Making NewTeeVee: Brian Hogg of dotBoom

In a Kitchener, Ontario basement, a team of five or six put together a show about web startup employees with puppets that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Adult Swim lineup. Offbeat and a little randy, dotBoom has an undeniable Office Space or The In Crowd appeal. The key, of course, is good writing and that’s all Brian Hogg had to go on when he came up with the crazy idea.

picture-531_580x435.jpgOriginally, Brian thought to do it as a Flash animated show, then thought of live action before settling on puppets. “I made the arbitrary decision to start making puppets. I though it would be easier than animating it in Flash.” Asked if he had a background in video production, he replied: “I just have this tendency that when I decide to do something, the fact that I don’t know how to do it doesn’t get in my way.”

His costs, he says, are minimal. “Mostly the tape, and lunch for the crew when they come over.” He has a few small sets, including a green screen for backdrops. It’s shot on a Sony HD camera, and edited with Premiere Pro on a Dell laptop. Audacity, an open-source app close to my heart, is used for recording. (Though Brian suggested an Apple sponsorship wouldn’t be turned away).

The goal was to create “a television show that just happens to be online.” “Not that I’m in some high, noble way trying to push online TV,” Brian reassured. He promised a larger-scale second season contingent on the eternal temptress of auteurs — funding. But considerations like money aren’t likely to stop him from inflating ideas beyond all sense. “If no one watches it, I’d still be proud of the effort.”

Photo of Brian, the puppet by Brian Hogg.

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