With a seamless script-to-screen production cycle, Travis Tyler and James Poirier joke, “People want to see our content and we can’t produce it fast enough!” Still, even in a post-production haze after their recently-premiered short film, The End of December, the mantra of the independent filmmaker persists: “We enjoy it. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it.”
Comedy is a new venture for this team, though, and it comes in the form of a web series about students in spy training school. Spycology, they say, is perfect for the next big thing: web entertainment.
Spycology is James Bond meets Harry Potter meets Scrubs, states James with a grin. They describe script writing as a scattered, creative asset. “The trick is pulling it all together.” Tenth Gate Production’s smooth-functioning production manager Nancy Pratheepmanowong explains that the appeal of a web series is that they are ongoing and allow for a true story arc. “From a writing standpoint,” says James, “it’s watching a character evolve naturally. You can’t achieve that the same way with short films. “ While James is more writing and detail-oriented, Travis is the big picture guy, drawn to the re-watchability factor, which is exclusive to web series.
Tenth Gate Productions was set in motion when Travis and James decided on a name for their future production company in 4th grade. “Growing up in rural Maine, there aren’t too many draws on your time. We’d film something nearly every day,” James explains. James and Travis butt heads, and they say it’s better and more constructive that way, especially with new addition Nancy, who balances out the team. Travis explains, “a long standing friendship is hard to emulate, but we have this keen understanding.”
They define themselves as storytellers, rather than filmmakers, sharing the mentality, “I need to tell your story and I need to tell it right.” James points to the rarity of seeing “Written, produced, and edited by:” in credits. “This really maintains artistic integrity efficiently from script to screen.”
But even though they’ve been in the business for 15 years, they still learn something every day. “You can’t be in this industry if you thought you knew it all,” explains James, who sees editing as the new art form. “If you stop learning, you become complacent,” Travis expands, noting the challenge of finding the best solutions for each new creative endeavor. While they feel Hollywood has reached a wall in terms of originality, the independent film community evolves in ways unmatched by major film studios, and they’re taking the web by storm.
Be sure to follow Tenth Gate on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TenthGate for the latest updates on Spycology and their other projects.