News Column

Former Lakeside students seek fame through YouTube webisodes

May 5, 2013


May 05--No fancy equipment required for filming and no television needed for viewing. To watch a series of short films by two Martinez residents, the video sharing Web site YouTube does the trick.

Zach Elledge and John Harn recently launched a show filmed entirely in a car garage on a low budget with minimal equipment. In just hours, the first episode of the series was edited and uploaded onto the Internet.

"Everyone can see it on YouTube. That's what's so great," Harn said. "The whole world can see it."

The amateur filmmakers have planned 10 episodes for the first season of The Midnight Room. The series of videos joins an emerging form of Internet-based entertainment called a Web series.

On YouTube, channels exist for Web series similar to what television viewers find on cable. Cooking, comedy, even PBS documentaries have their own niche on the Web.

Elledge and Harn, graduates of Lakeside High School classes of 2011 and 2010, respectively, hope their Web series will help them break into the film industry. Without going to Hollywood, they can showcase their talents on YouTube.

The two friends grew up in the same neighborhood, but only this winter discovered a mutual interest in film. The idea to base their first Web series on the classic TV show The Twilight Zone came to them two weeks ago.

Each episode is two to three minutes long and features a different character and science-fiction story line, similar to the iconic TV series.

Elledge and Harn alternate directing and acting in the episodes. Harn starred in the premiere that went live on YouTube midnight Thursday. The musical score was also written and recorded by Elledge, Harn and their friends in the garage.

Having control over creative elements for the films is something they say will help them develop artistic instincts.


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