The online series was debuted at a special event in London.
Paul Neafcy‘s new series Phillip Human was screened on 10 March at The Old Operating Theatre Museum in London. YouTubers including Bertie Gilbert, Chelsea Fisher, Khyan Mansley, Hannah Witton and more attended the event which aired all ten installments.
#PhillipHuman launch.. Here we go! #TheGarretLondon #OldOperatingTheatre pic.twitter.com/6itaVLHlco
— Wildseed Comedy (@wildseedcomedy) March 10, 2015
Funded by Wildseed Studios, the first episode titled MY NORMAL DAY went live on the studio’s Comedy channel at the same time as the screening.
The series follows the character Phillip Human a Frankestein-esque creation who is likeable and endearing in nature, as he discovers YouTube and decides to start vlogging about his life. Heavily inspired by video trends, over the course of each episode the truth behind Phillip’s past is uncovered.
TenEighty caught up with Liam Dryden and Matt Ley, who both attended the screening, to find out what they thought as well as Jesse Cleverly, the Creative Director of Wildseed Studios.
“First and foremost it is just a really well done and wildly entertaining story told by a truly talented performer,” says Jesse. “People laugh, and people cry – they care deeply and they are entertained. It’s a great ride.”
“The series is phenomenal; it somehow perfectly captures the ‘relatable YouTuber experience’, while set in a completely unrelatable (and unlikely) environment,” says Liam. “The title of every episode alone will crack you up.”
Matt agrees with Liam commenting that it isn’t something the YouTube community has really seen before. “[Phillip Human] takes the culture and tropes we’ve all become so accustomed to and uses them as a basis for narrative, rather than just re-hashing them with the added factor of his character,” says Matt. “It uses the familiar medium [of YouTube] to tell a much bigger story, which I thought was wonderfully clever.”
“I think I speak for everyone when I say Neafcy absolutely blew us away,” he continues. “He took us on one hell of an emotional roller coaster from start to finish, showing off his tremendous acting skills that we haven’t seen too much of before.”
Commenting on the choice of venue for the screening, Liam congratulates Wildseed for finding the “most spooky-ass place” in London. “The venue was absolutely nuts,” says Liam. “We literally watched the whole series in front of this ghastly archaic operating table.”
Noting that the setting for the screening helped create an atmosphere, Matt is interested to find out how Phillip Human will be received online. “The atmosphere of the wonderfully creepy venue definitely contributed to the enjoyment,” says Matt.
Liam believes that viewers and YouTubers will get a “huge kick” out of the series, comments that “not only is it a great standalone piece of content, it’s also one big nod to the struggle we all deal with in both trying to connect with others on the platform, and coming up with original video content.”
Matt agrees and recommends the series highly. “The humour is tailor-made for YouTube audiences, and Neafcy’s hilarious and heart-wrenching performance will leave you feeling broken, fulfilled, and in complete and utter awe,” says Matt. “Trust me, you haven’t seen anything like this before.”
Jesse thinks the content has the potential to strike a chord with anyone, not only your typical YouTube audience, and that’s what makes it great. “I believe, and this is where I risk sounding pretentious, that Philip Human is in fact about what it is to be human, ” says Jesse. “People respond to it at a very deep level because without ever having to say it, it captures experiences and emotions we have all had to do with the loss of our childhood innocence, about the confusion we experience when we realise our parents are just as flawed as anyone else, about the power of ‘home’ as a place in our deepest psyche, about what it is to grow up, to experience loss and personal transformation, about how we try to make sense of our present through a better understanding of our past – and about the nagging feeling we all have, if we are human, that there is something ‘wrong’ with us.”
“Philip Human holds all these experiences up to us with great humanity and compassion, and in so doing helps us to accept ourselves, whoever we are, as being just the way we are supposed to be,” continues Jesse. “I would even go so far as to say that these are the things that mark great art out from mediocrity. I have made hundred of shows, and for me, this one is up there with the very best of them. I’d better stop now, I can feel poor Paul dying with embarrassment!”
The series has been met positively by the YouTube community, with many attendees of the event taking to twitter to express their thoughts:
Just watched @PNeafcy's Phillip Human series. A really interesting and different concept, definitely catch it once it's out.
— Sammy Paul (@ICOEPR) March 10, 2015
#PhillipHuman is brilliant. Lovely to see the hall and gardens that I've visited many times throughout my life. Cracking job @PNeafcy.
— Luke Fisher (@milkbesolution) March 10, 2015
In a year which has already seen some great UK YouTube projects @Phillip_Human is easily the best
— KILL Dixon (@WillDixonMusic) March 11, 2015
Answering how he thought the screening went, Jesse was pleased at the reaction it was garnering from Paul’s peers.
“We are trying to spread the word about the show, so for so many influential YouTubers to turn up to support Paul was really wonderful,” he said.
“We are also trying to spread the good news that we are here and helping YouTube talent take their work to the next level,” he continues. “It was really great to have such a brilliant example of what we have built Wildseed to do to show the people we seek to enable. Wildseed exists to empower creators to take their work to the next level by providing creative mentorship, strategic advice and direct investment into a project.”
Detailing how the concept came to fruition, Jesse believes Philip Human encapsulates everything Wildseed are trying to do. “Paul approached us with Philip Human when all he had were a couple of videos and a great idea for a character,” he says. “This was perfect for us as we believe that everything begins with character.”
“We then worked with Paul to deepen his understanding of who Philip was, what he wants, what he is afraid of and so on,” he continues. “Once we really felt Paul had explored the character deeply, he wrote various story docs, and then moved to scripts which we script edited with him. We then booked an acting coach and she worked with Paul to get the character right for the camera. Finally we funded production and are now marketing it on our channel.”
You can catch the first episode below, and a new ‘vlog’ will be uploaded to the Wildseed Comedy channel every Tuesday and Thursday.
For more on Paul Neafcy check out news about his self-published novel, or find out his 2014 top picks.
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