Extraordinary Lives (Pilots for Paramount Comedy)
Following previous works being seen, and the building reputation of the team, myself and Troika were approached to produce and direct several scripts for a pilot of “Extraordinary Live”s for Paramount Comedy Channel (with options for Channel 5 also). This series of spoof shock-docs were cleverly crafted by the writers and required a varied production design for each episode of the intended 6 pilot tests. 2 of these were brought to full production and shoot.
Hippo Boy The Worlds Most Modern Freak tells the tale of a modern day Elephant Man, or so it would seem. The Victorian Freak Shows of that era being replaced with the carnival of Day-Time UK Talk Shows as the Carter family, under the guidance of the mysterious Circus Master, Seamus OReilly, prostitute their (supposed) Hippo-resembling son for the world of freaks. With creative make-up by Tanya Jackson (TJ Makeup) the test shoot was successful in establishing the mood for the entire show. Needing to add depth to the tragic nature of the story, Geoff Walsh of Outroads commissioned to create a title song for the film, which further established my working relationship with the Sheffield based songwriter.
Jeremy Tapsill: The Worlds Most Controversial Talk Show Host tells the story, via hidden cameras and expose reporting, of a UK Daytime TV host (with a tie in to “Hippo Boy” episode) whose world of confidence, TV ratings chasing and aggressive interviewing begin to crumble as a behind the scenes reporter (acting as undercover whistleblower) delves more into his seedy world. Using the camera in unique and experimental ways, and by multiple uses of subtle visual FX the whole feel was that of hidden camcorders and secret filming, but achieved with fully fledged equipment. The cross over of characters between Hippo Boy and Tapsill also cemented for the pilots the nature that all episodes would feature multiple cross over events and references.
Troika ceased working with the writers involved, leaving development of the project at script stage, due to working commitments on another project.
Original song on "Hippo Boy" by