by Kathryn Graham
(Continued from Part I – Colby Ryan & Anne Schroeder, the actors-writers-producers for workplace comedy Grosse Misconduct, tell us all about how they put together their cast and crew and what you can do to get started!)
Kate: How did you go about getting financing and the directors and the post production crew?
Colby: We needed was someone on board to guide us because this is the first time we’ve done something like this. It was one thing to work on the script as new writers, but we needed someone to guide us through the process of developing a webseries in terms of crew.
We don’t have a contact list of people that we could look through to populate the crew, so I placed an ad looking for a director/producer, and Mitchell Lazar responded. He’s a fresh new voice. He’s an NYU grad. He has great ideas and a great energy.
Then from there it developed pretty quickly because he’s a writer/director/producer, and he does have a network of contacts so he could reach out. That’s how we got Daniel Sorochkin, who is our producer. He let us know what we needed to do and when we needed to do it.
Mitchell was also in charge of casting. We talked about the lead characters before, that part was easy, but we had to put out a casting call to find the best actors we could to fill out the rest of the project.
They all did an amazing job. Everyone was so professional throughout the whole shoot. It was such a great experience. We were blessed to have them. We needed that guidance.
Kate: Was this a project where people were paid or was it because they loved and believed in the project?
Anne: Our crew was paid, but they were pretty much across the board fresh out of college. For a lot of them, it was one of their first times being in the position that they are working towards doing full-time. That was exciting.
It was a very diverse crew. We had people from all over the world. From Israel, Turkey, Canada, and Poland. France.
Not that Colby and I are old, but these kids are 21/22, and they were such hard workers and so positive. Sometimes I think the younger generations get a bad rap. They were so professional.
Colby: Anne and I are the executive producers of the project. So in terms of financing, Anne was gracious enough to allow us to use funds from her production company, Not So Artful Productions, in order to finance the vast majority of the project. We literally could not have done it without her.
We had such a tight shooting schedule. We shot four days in an office space in Manhattan called Stratosphere, then we had two other days where we did external stuff.
But it was four twelve-hour days in this office shooting eight+ pages a day. For a new crew to be thrown into this situation, it was shocking we didn’t have any meltdowns. We would happily work with them all again if given the opportunity.
Kate: Do you have any advice for anyone else who’d want to make their own series?
Anne: Just do it.
Colby: We were both thinking the same thing. Just do it.
Anne: You have to do it because no one else is going to do it for you. What works for me might not work for you, but figure out what does and just do it. I have so many actor friends that have these great ideas, but they never take the time to put it down on paper. It’s up to you.
Colby: It’s something that we’ve been hearing so much of in the industry in general. Actors creating their own content. I almost feel like I hear it too much. You can get kind of numb to it after a while. But it’s true.
You really just have to dive in. We didn’t know what was in store when we were doing it. We didn’t know each other. We didn’t know what it was like to work together. It’s like improv: Someone begins, then you just say: ‘Yes, and’ – and continue. Keep on going and see where it leads.
If you feel passionately about completing a project that’s all it takes. You keep moving forward every day. Believe me, we had setbacks. From the beginning to the end of this process was two years.
In the beginning we didn’t know that was going to be the case, but things pop up. Some little things pop up, and some super dramatic things pop up, and you just deal with them, and you move through, and you say: We’re going to get this done no matter what.
We both felt such a great sense of accomplishment once we saw the final product. We looked at it, and we were like: “Wow! We did this!”
I would wish that feeling on any actor because we have so little control over what happens in our careers. We’re always sitting back waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for casting to say “You’re the one.” And usually the answer is “No, you’re not the one.” So take control of that, of your own narrative, and score a win for yourself…
No matter what happens with Grosse Misconduct. Of course, we want the world to see it. We want people to enjoy it and for it to go some major places, but even if it doesn’t, it’s a huge accomplishment for all of us. For Anne and I specifically as the originators of it. We’re very proud of having accomplished it, and I would want everyone to have that feeling.
Check out all six episodes here: Grosse Misconduct
Get in touch with Colby & Anne and tell them what you think here: