Life’s a game for geek girl
Felicia Day is hailed as the future of broadcast writes
GAME gal Felicia Day will mix business with pleasure when she lands Down Under for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo.
Day, 33, makes her first Australian visit, with stops in Brisbane and Adelaide for the pop culture geekfest that brings the stars of film, TV and animation to Australia to meet fans.
With four days off between gigs, Day will film at least one episode of The Flog, her hit internet TV show. She imagines at least part of that will involve a trip to a wildlife zoo and ‘‘some cuddle time with a koala’’.
‘‘Each week, I try to do something I’ve never done before,’’ she says. ‘‘I might try blacksmithing; I might cook a recipe I’ve never cooked before; I might play a computer game with my brother we never got to play as kids. I get to have some fun, be flippant and funny, but beneath all that fun, we try to encourage people to push the boundaries of what they know.’’
Australian fans know Day best for her roles in shows such as sci-fi series Eureka, Supernatural and as one of the stars of Joss Whedon hits Dollhouse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer but it’s Day’s internet presence that turns heads these days. She and friends Kim Evey and Sheri Bryant are the faces behind YouTube channel Geek & Sundry. Industry types hail Day and friends as ‘‘the future of broadcast’’.
‘‘The work is incredibly hands on, but I like to be busy,’’ Day says.
‘‘We produce the content ourselves, invent the shows and appear in those shows.
‘‘The idea is to create a place that lets people feel they belong to a community that is built around the shows. You never just watch the shows, you buy the board game or the comic book we talk about, start drawing, tell a story to a child. Different shows have different subjects, but the idea is to be a little less passive than television has us be.
‘‘Big networks have big budgets, they do passive entertainment well. Web videos, on the other hand, are smaller, shorter and designed to include people, encourage them to take something from the video into their lives. There’s also a very active forum and the chat room – where we’ll talk to people about what they’ve seen. That what I love and it’s where we create our community.’’
Other Geek & Sundry programs include The Guild, a superhero drama that could not have been created without crowd-funding and The Husbands, a sitcom set in a near future which imagines gay marriage is legal in the US. It follows the adventures of a same-sex celebrity and sportstar who wake from a night out to learn they have tied the knot in a quickie marriage. Instead of breaking up, they try to make the marriage work.
Tough network TV stations may be watching with interest.
Day says she and her friends have always been more interested in showcasing alternatives. She is just one of the stars of the cult musical Dr Horrible’s Singalong, executive produced by Joss Whedon working with family and friends Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris.
It has had millions of hits, so many in fact, a few weeks ago a US TV network finally capitulated and put it to air.
The show attracted two million-plus viewers – not massive number, but ‘‘we did pretty well all in all’’ Day says.
‘‘Its lead-in show’s audience was not the same fan base and it didn’t have a tonne of advertising.
‘‘The emails and tweets I’m getting are from people who say they saw the show for the first time.
‘‘That’s new audiences reached which makes for dual excitement.’’
Supanova Brisbane plays RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, from Friday to Sunday.