The first season of "Safety Geeks: 3D," a new Web series produced by Burbank-based Lumen Actus, is being touted as the first live-action comedy Web television series presented in a three-dimensional format.
The 3-D version of the show, produced by Lumen Actus partners and comedy duo Tom Konkle and Dave Beeler with digital effects engineer Mike Smith, was announced in Santa Monica in June.
"Safety Geeks: 3D," Konkle said, is for the Web, but was shot to be shown like a network series. The 10 shows, typically between four and 13 minutes long (including the hour-long Web movie version) revolve around a group of safety "experts" called the Professional Occupational Safety Hazard team, or POSH.
It is up to POSH to investigate safety violations and accidents. But sometimes the investigations themselves cause even more damage and accidents.
The shows, Konkle said, combine the off-the-wall and surreal humor of Adult Swim and the classic comedy of Monty Python. The project uses professionals both in front of and behind the camera, making "Safety Geeks: 3D" different from other similar online projects that may not hold themselves to such a high standard.
"When you say 'Web series,' it's treated like a stepchild in some ways," Konkle said. "And I don't think that's a really good way to look at it."
Going online allows the production team the creative freedom they wouldn't otherwise have if they were producing "Safety Geeks: 3D" for a network for executives who knock on office doors chiming in with their ideas, Konkle said.
"If you get a chance as a playwright to put your play up once, the way you wanted, where they didn't workshop it … if you could get it up there and see it and like it in its pure form, that's a Web series," Konkle said.
The Web series also allows the production team to produce work and make it available to a worldwide audience almost immediately, Beeler said.
"It's a very exciting time," he said. "Our first sale, when Episode 1 of 'Safety Geeks: 3D' went up, was in Portugal. Whooda thunk it?"
But first, the work has to get noticed.
"Bear in mind the market is flooded, so it's easy for it to get missed," said actor and writer Brittney Powell, who plays Dr. Randi Minky on the show.
The production team will hit the road and travel to conventions, such as this year's ComicCon in San Diego and possibly Dragon*Con in Atlanta, presenting their work to their primary audience, or as Konkle calls them, "first adopters."
"Guys and gals who tend to be smart, who tend to be literate with new media, with computers," said Beeler, who plays Reginald Syngen-Smithe on the series.
"Safety Geeks" is offered in 2-D and 3-D. The 2-D version can be watched for free on Konkle and Beeler's website, http://www.safetygeekssvi.com, as well as on their YouTube channel. The 3-D version can be bought, downloaded and watched through Yabazam! The 3-D version requires either a 3-D television or capable computer monitor, and 3-D glasses can be bought anywhere online, Konkle said.
Konkle said he hopes to use the experience of "Safety Geeks" and offer Lumen Actus' 3-D services to outside companies for repurposing old products to 3-D. Ideally, he said he'd also like to create a workflow where ideas are turned around quickly.
"Our aesthetic is to have an idea on Monday and be doing it on Friday," he said.