Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 


Thefuturemachine is here: Andrew L. Urban reports on how Dirty Karma, a small team with a small budget but big imagination is working the digital space with comedy.

The hand addressed envelope included a lock of black hair which the message said was Cathy Freeman’s, acquired at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and the writer, signing himself as just ‘Tom’ claimed I had just had ‘a bevvy’ with him ‘in 2022 in a sweet new bar they’ve opened on the moon’. 

The lock of hair was to prove that time travel existed, as ‘Tom’ had just gone back to 1994 to get it … The brown paper bag that had been ripped up for the message had no identifying marks or a return address – but two weeks later a more formal letter arrived, typed on thefuturemachine.tv letterhead signed by ‘Matt’ referring to the lock of Freeman’s hair sent by Tom; ‘he’s a dickhead for doing that. If anyone asks, this never happened.’

"the teaser campaign"

So began the teaser campaign for their new web series, which has now been launched at http://thefuturemachine.tv – starring Tomorrow When the War Began star Andy Ryan, & Bait 3D's Cariba Heine, as well as Okine. It follows two mates and their journey with the aid of a self-made time machine ..all taking place from the comfort of their living room.

The digital series - by award-winning director, David Barker, comedian Okine, and Tropfest finalist Sheldrick - was created specifically for small-format viewing, due to the increased demand by a young audience, attracted to quick, immediate and sharp entertainment online.

Andy Ryan & Tom Okine

“We all love TV, I even have one, but the landscape for delivering stories is evolving, everything is becoming more immersive." Sheldrick added.

"Our aim was to create a story that younger people could relate to, both characters have their own idiosyncrasies and their struggle to overcome their limited intelligence; something we found is universally experienced!" says Okine.

The project is “totally self-funded by Matt, Tom and myself,” says producer David Barker. “At this point we're just under the $15k mark, with approx $30k in deferrals. And we've probably got another $5-7k to spend on marketing over the next moth, and more.

"to find an audience online with short, sharp comedy"

As for a business model, Barker says “Our aim is to find an audience online with short, sharp comedy. Series One (8 x 4min eps) we did independently and stream for free through our website via YouTube. For Series Two (8 x 4 min eps) we would like to have a partner on board … telco, broadcaster, or sponsor. 

“We want to make quality Australian comedy for people who are looking for entertainment online. Having a time machine at our disposal, the opportunities are limitless. How successful that will be depends on finding a comfortable fit with a like-minded, creative and progressive thinking business partner. From there we would like to integrate a cross platform model to draw audiences across from one format and into another - adjusting the format of the comedy to suit the different modes of distribution.”

Uploads: Barker says over 2000 hits were recorded on the trailer in only two weeks. “And we're fast approaching 1000 hits on the first 2 Eps which we posted a little over 24 hours ago - (at 12/11/2010) - it's very early days! With online content the product has a different life cycle than traditional media. It's ongoing, as the tentacles reach further and further out into the net. And it's highly competitive! The show will be made by word of the digital mouth and with a healthy nudge from our marketing campaign which started with Pubegate, and will extend into Xmas with more online influencers, content, street and ambient campaigns.”

Published November 18, 2010

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Cariba Heine

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