Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jake Wilson is The Real Deal

I do not throw words like this around. I mean it, Jake Wilson is the real deal. Jake stars in a web sitcom called The Battery’s Down. The show is a hilarious look into the life of someone making it as an actor living in New York City. But get this: it’s a musical, complete with songs and big dance numbers – and it’s totally indie! Here’s the best part, not only is Wilson the star, but he created the show and writes it as well! Jake and I chatted about what it’s like making your own show for the internet. [something I’m a bit familiar with myself…]

Jake graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a degree in Musical Theatre and says that it was the best program ever and the best decision of his life. He moved to NYC right after graduation, right after Michigan’s senior showcase [which is how he got his agent!]. He loves living in New York even with the financial difficulties that the city brings, but also knows he’d feel that way no matter where he would live doing what he does. Jake had been in NY for a few months auditioning and “getting bored from just working stupid part-time jobs” and wanted to do something to get his name out and be fulfilled creatively. He shot some ideas around with a few friends and eventually settled on the premise that is The Battery’s Down.

Jake’s title on the show is exactly what one would expect from a multi-hyphenate. Right now it stands as: Creator/Writer/Producer/Director/Cinematographer/sometimes Choreographer/Publicist/Production Manager/Actor/ etc…

I hate that actor always comes last. I am an actor above all else and that aspect of it always seems to get thrown by the wayside because of my 87 other responsibilities. I am praying for the day where I can just sit back and simply be a creator/writer/actor.
That is definitely the price of being a multi-hyphenate. At first, you take on more responsibility in the production because you’re just trying to open up more opportunities as a performer, and then people all of a sudden forget that you really are also an actor on the show too! But that is the life of being on an indie production. The Battery’s Down is totally Indie, there are no investors. . The main people Jake has helping him in that area are his friends, and costars on the show Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Adam Wachter, and Jessica Hershberg. Even though the show is indie, the production value is incredibly high. I mean, this is a musical!

Thank you!! We do what we can. There is no budget. The budget is "how can we do this for free?" "who can do us another favor?" "how am I going to pay my rent?" Everything is out of my pocket and I really cannot wait for the day where I get paid to do this!!! [Anyone reading? ;) We are totally open for blatant advertising and product placement] There is no crew, although of recently I do have a great assistant and some interns that help with the logistics of setting up locations etc. It is usually either my friend Michael Kadin Craig or Andrew Keenan-Bolger filming. They both help me with the editing as well, but everything is totally unpaid and done by ourselves via Final Cut. In a perfect world I would LOVE to have things actually set up and have loads of pre-production months in advance, but there is absolutely no time in the real world. With a few exceptions [mainly in the writing area] we begin from scratch on the 2nd of the month and plow forward until about 11pm on the 31st when I am burning the DVD and running late to the release party.
What made you decide to create a web sitcom?

It is absolutely the best way to expose yourself for the smallest amount of money. Plus I have total creative freedom. Where else can someone my age with no real credits say that? How could anyone pass that up? This show is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I feel that if we don't make the jump to network TV like we have been talking about, there will sadly probably only be one more season of the show. I physically can't do it to myself for that much longer and maintain a normal life, especially on zero budget. That being said, It is the happiest moment of the month when I can relax for one day and watch all of my friends laughing at the DVD showing at the release parties. In the end I am obviously having a blast. I am so lucky to have been able to work with such talented and giving actors and composers. I still can't believe that I can honestly say "Yea, I filmed a scene with Christine Ebersole for MY television show." Like...WHAT?!?
There you go. I told you, Jake Wilson is the real deal, yo! The second season of The Battery’s Down premieres on April First! No joke! Check out the trailer for the second season below, and watch the first season at!

[© MMIX MD TOTAL all rights reserved.]


sitcom-lover! said...

The Battery's Down is AMAZING!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE you have an interview with Jake Wilson! I already loved Soccerboy In LA, but this is putting me over the top!!!!!!!!!

batterylover said...

Hey! I just heard that they're gonna release the first season soundtrack on iTunes on April 7th!!!


Alice said...

They're making a cast recording? That's super delicious! I heart that show like, seriously.

Dimitri Martin said...

wait, wait, wait. That show is having a recording on iTunes? That's unbelievable, because people keep talking about how the internet can't be used to make money for original shows.