Hollyweb Fest is the premiere place for web series to get recognized, especially series in their first season. Jeff Burns, the Executive Producer and creator of Super Knocked Up, is excited for their first appearance as an official selection of the 2013 festival. The show stars Jourdan Gibson and Mark Pezzula as Darkstar and Captain Amazing, two superheroes on opposing sides that must join forces after a one night stand results in a baby. With over two million views, the series is an incredible hit among comic book fans. Jeff Burns talks in depth with us over Hollyweb Fest, the hardships of making a web series, and what we can look forward to at the end of the season 2.
Hollyweb Fest is coming up, how excited are you to be selected?
Uh, ridiculously excited! It’s so cool to see festivals just for web series and to be selected out of all the amazing web series out there is so freakin’ cool. So hell yeah I’m excited!
You’ve reached 2 million views, that’s a huge milestone, how do you feel about that?
It’s amazing! I never thought we’d reach anywhere near that level of views in such a short time. It’s mind-blowing really. And it’s also really encouraging to see that there’s an audience out there for web series. An audience I think is only going to keep growing and discovering all the amazing and unique series on the web. For me, one of the coolest things that’s happened is seeing that we actually have fans. Like super-awesome, ridiculously dedicated fans. Knowing that people enjoy what we’re doing so much and anticipate each new episode so eagerly is easily one of the best parts of making a web series. And it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
I stumbled on Super Knocked Up via twitter and loved it from the get go, tell me how you came up with the concept.
That’s so cool you found us on Twitter. I love hearing when people find us on social media! I came up with the idea for Super Knocked Up after I got a few girls pregnant. Kidding! Just kidding. I was taking an online screenwriting course through ScreenwritingU.com. We had to come up with a unique concept and then write a feature script. I was playing around with a lot of different superhero ideas because I’ve always loved comics and superheroes. And going through the assignments one day the idea just hit me: What would happen if a super-villain and superhero had a baby together? And I loved the idea as soon as I thought of it. It had conflict on so many levels. It was funny. And it let me take a relationship story and put a fun superhero/villain twist on it.
The show is a comedic soap opera among super heroes, is that what makes it fun to watch?
I think the fun part is seeing a super-villain and hero in everyday life and trying to make a relationship work. I think putting them in non-superhero situations but then working in superhero stuff to those seemingly normal situations makes it a lot of fun. I love putting my protagonist Jessica (aka super-villain Darkstar) into situations that make her really uncomfortable. Like meeting Captain Amazing’s hero friends or being examined by the heroes’ OB/GYN (who just happens to be Captain Amazing’s mom). These are normal things but when it’s two archenemies trying to make a relationship work and raise a baby together, it becomes not so normal. But it also becomes very fun to watch.
It takes super powers to produce, write, and direct, how do you make it work or are you completely overwhelmed?
Yeah it does! It’s such a tremendous amount of work. But I love it so much that it doesn’t really feel like work. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at times. I do have people helping me on my team, which is awesome. But yeah most of it still falls on my shoulders and that can be very daunting at times. I try to focus on the most important things and make sure I get those done first. It also helps a lot to make priority lists of things and a timeline. Making a plan and writing things down always helps me a lot. I also don’t get out much. I’m pretty much working on Super Knocked Up non-stop. So one way I make it work is that I just work by butt off all the time, which you’ll find is very common among web series creators. Though one thing I’m trying to do is take more of the workload off of me and have others help out more.
What can you sneak peak for the rest of season 2?
People will see the baby be born. And that will be exciting and make a whole new level of craziness for Jessica. Now she’s going to have to try to be a kick-ass villain, be a good mom, and live with this jackass superhero she can’t stand. So she’s going to face a lot of challenges and we have a lot of fun with Jessica trying to take care of the baby as a first-time mom.
What advice would you give to those interested in making their own web series?
Tell a story you’re super-passionate about. You’re going to live, sleep, and breathe it all the time so it should be something you totally love. It also really helps if it’s a unique story. A lot of people tell me they love the idea of Super Knocked Up because they haven’t seen it before. If you have a unique concept, you can stand out. But again, making a series you’re really passionate about is the most important thing, whether it’s unique or not. I’d also tell people to embrace social media. It’s so important to use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to spread the word about your series and communicate with the fans. And start doing it early. I started promoting Super Knocked Up on Facebook a year and a half before we released it. It’s never too early to start promoting your series.
Why should people watch Super Knocked Up?
It’s a superhero story with heart and believability. It’s really a story about two characters who can’t stand each other forced into this super-awkward situation of having to try to make a relationship work and raise a baby together. The fun part is they have super-powers and are archenemies. So take characters people can relate to and get behind, mix with cool superpower visual effects, throw in super-fun comedic moments and you have Super Knocked Up! I think people will dig it!
Quick Fun Questions
Favorite Line you wrote.
Oo, show him your boobs!
Funniest Onset Story.
So my lead actress Jourdan Gibson is originally from Texas. And Jourdy has a ridiculously adorable accent, especially when she says “Y’all” which she does all the time. She usually can hide her accent really well but on certain words it comes out. One of those words is “naked.” And there’s a line in Episode 5 of Season 2 where she has to say that. But it was coming out as “nekkid” rather than “naked.” So the rest of us northeasterners kept saying “nay-ked” but she thought we sounded like a bunch of hicks saying it that way and basically you just had a bunch of people saying “naked” over and over again at four in the morning. It was hilarious. She finally said it the way a non-Texas person would say it and we wrapped for the night. Or morning. Or whatever it was at that point :)
Dream guest star to have on the show.
Jennifer Garner. Jourdy and I are huge fans of her and the show Alias. Jourdy actually wants to star in an Alias spin-off where she plays Sydney Bristow’s sidekick. But the next best thing to that would be if Jennifer Garner guest starred on Super Knocked Up as a superhero or villain. Probably a superhero because then Jourdy’s Darkstar character and Jennifer Garner’s character could have an awesome battle. That would be epic!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just that I absolutely love making web series. I think it’s an incredible format and there is no part of the film industry as supportive as the web series community. And I’m so proud to be part of it.
You can check out all the details on Super Knocked Up and watch episodes by Clicking Here!