NZ comedy web series gets silver in Washington

NZ comedy web series gets silver in Washington

CAPTION: (L-R) Creator and Producer, Mike Minogue with fellow cast member, Cohen Holloway pose with the clapperboard on set of The Watercooler. PHOTO: MERIANA JOHNSEN

A group of Kiwi actors creating comedy to reflect New Zealander’s unique sense of humour is striking a chord with an audience halfway across the world.

The Watercooler show received a silver award out of the 20 web series selected globally for the Washington D.C Web festival, held at the beginning of April.

Still reveling in their success, the cast was busy shooting a pilot episode for the second series over the weekend of April 22 at Kilbirnie’s Rongotai College.

The boy’s bathroom was transformed into the set of a movie bathroom using film posters and popcorn sprinkled for the episode on “urinal politics”.

The show centres on a series of absurd personal anecdotes told around the water cooler by work colleagues, which are then recreated in the six-minute long episodes.

Series creator and writer Mike Minogue wants to make comedy his “mates” can laugh a, as he feels their stories aren’t reflected on television.

“I just wanted to see real New Zealand stories on screen and that’s what this is. It can’t get anymore direct.

“It’s not just us trying to interpret what New Zealanders are or what they want to see, it’s what they have done and we are putting it up on screen for them to hopefully laugh at.”

Minogue is surprised at winning the award, which he compares to being like Wedding Crashers winning a Golden Globe “We aren’t really the ‘awardsy’ type”

He likens the show to other New Zealand comedies like the Maori Side Steps that have garnered support online.

Shows like these were viewed by funding agencies as too unconventional for television, yet had hundreds of thousands of views on their Facebook videos, Minogue said.

Co-producer Desray Armstrong described the humour of the show as “that kind of Kiwi-ridiculousness absurdity”.

She has worked with Minogue on a number of projects including Hunt for the Wilderpeople and currently on Peter Jackson’s latest project, Mortal Engines.

“It’s a nice thing to do in your downtime, to come together and make stuff in a professional way about ridiculous s***,” Armstrong sid.

The pilot episode will be submitted for NZ on Air funding later on in the year,with the aim of making a second series.

The vision for this series is to create viewer-driven content, where the audience can submit their stories through Facebook.

You can watch season one of The Watercooler on:

www.watchme.co.nz/entertainment/the-watercooler/

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Article by Meriana Johnsen

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Article by Meriana Johnsen

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