In this day and age, you’ve got to have a gimmick to stand out as a YouTube series — as it turns out, biker comedy “The Clandestine” has like 10. So that’s a pretty damn good start.
For starters, take the beautiful scenery and quirky character actors of Ireland. Then add equal doses of motorcycles and funny. Throw in badassery, mayhem, rival biker gangs and a sort of Robin Hood-esque air of nobility. Also, did I mention that the hilarious Milana Vayntrub of “Live Prude Girls” fame is co-starring in it and looking red-hot and dangerous? Motorcycles and humor had me already, but when he added in Vayntrub, well, let’s just say series creator Joseph Campo is now brewing with nitroglycerin.
This awesome web series (which can also be found at TheClandestine.tv), stars Bennett Warden and Michael Lavery as two corporate cogs who launch a motorcycle gang to break free of button-down bullshit. Fortunately for us, starting a motorcycle gang is much easier than keeping a motorcycle gang and the series brilliantly explores the “what ifs” of that brutal world.
With season 1 now online, I got a chance to electronically reach across the pond in order to talk with Campo about all things “Clandestine,” including how an American filmmaker living in Belfast starts a biker comedy show, how he pays for it all and, oh yeah, how he gets Milana Vayntrub on board. Not only that, but he then generously offered to give us an EXCLUSIVE music video filmed for the show (which we’ve embedded at the bottom!). So not only is he talented and motivated, he’s also a hell of a nice guy.
How did the idea for the series come about?
I wanted to do a web series, and we had an approachable motorcycle parts sponsor, Gingerparts.com. Since I’m not (yet) a biker, I knew I’d look like a tool if I tried to make the show “legitimate,” so instead I made it about wannabe outlaws, which hits a lot closer to home. Once I had a basic treatment, I hired writer Kieran Doherty to collaborate on it with me. He’s equally nerdy, equally naive and probably a whole lot funnier than I am.
Who came up with the name and/or designed your badass club patch?
I thought of the name and the idea of a skeleton shushing us, but what makes the patch kick ass is the design. I found this brilliant Spanish visual artist on the web, Julio Cesar, and he made the patch for me. Then I got a local animation company whose work I love, Black North, to animate it.
Could everybody in the cast already ride motorcycles, or did they have to learn for the show?
About half already rode motorcycles, and for half of them we faked it like champions. If you look close you can probably see where we used biker doubles.
Hell yeah she is! Truth be told, we had initially hired Taryn Southern for the role, but then Taryn was offered some amazing TV work during our shoot, and we wanted her to take it, so we scrambled to find a replacement. I watched so many videos before I found Milana, and as soon as I saw her, I knew she was our Anna. Her sense of humor is priceless. If your viewers haven’t already seen her show “Let’s Talk About Something More Interesting,” they should.
Milana missed her flight from L.A. to Belfast, which was meant to arrive two days before the shoot. Luckily she caught one the next day, so I arrived at the airport to pick her up the evening before we started shooting. When I got to the airport, I waited ages before an immigration officer came out and asked me if I was waiting for Milana Vayntrub. Then he asked if she had a visa for her stay. My heart dropped. In the scramble to hire a replacement actress and tie up preproduction, it never crossed my mind that she’d need a visa. We’re literally 12 hours till camera rolls, I’d paid my star, she’d travelled across the world and is in the next room, and the thought that it all may have been in vain was too much for me to bare. Luckily, the airport staff advised us as to the way we should answer a few of their questions … nothing illegal of course, just some procedural tidiness, and Milana was set free.
How have you been going about promoting the show on social media and how has the response been so far?
We pretty much zeroed our bank account on production and post, so our method to get the show out has been mostly word of mouth (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and trying to drum up press for the show. I’m a crap marketer but luckily the show has been resonating with people. I’ve tagged some responses we’ve gotten on Twitter. We’ve also started creating a series of videos inviting famous people to join or prospect for The Clandestine. We just sent one of these to Pete Cashmore at Mashable. Hopefully he wets himself and does a story on us.