On the eve of a rough and tumble snow storm that brought most of Toronto to a stand still, some feverent fans, creators, donators, and cast came out to celebrate the release of the new web-series Pete Winning and the Pirates. A tongue in cheek homage to the serials of yesteryear, Mike Donis and company pulled out all the stops at The Projection Booth with a 1930s themed premiere. (Course any chance to wear my fedora and my bow tie is a good one).
Young women in stunning dresses wandered the gathered crowd selling raffle tickets, while men in suits (and the occasional hat) and bedazzling ladies swapped trade stories. I chat briefly with Mike, his co-director and cinematographer Out With Dad’s Jason Leaver, Saffron Cassaday and Sandra DaCosta, two of the series leading ladies, as well as fellow Smithee.TV star Katie Uhlmann of Katie Chats.
Mike is stunned and humbled by the massive turnout and his nervous excitement proves infectious as the theatre steadily fills to get a look at the first two episodes of this anticipated web series.
As the crowd moved into the theater proper, Samantha Aylesworth, the costume designer for the series takes to the stage, welcoming us, talking about the series before Jason joins her to talk about the series creation and how Toronto is currently THE hot bed for making web-series.
Then, it’s time…
Pete Winning springs to life on the big screen, opening with a radio-land news-flash style voice-over we’re given a future history lesson, and we jump right into action, being introduced to the cast and their adventures.
As expected from my set visit, which actually comprises a large part of episode 1 of the 4 part series, it’s a fun series, one that exudes charm and a sense of joy. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, and the entire cast is almost ridiculously good looking.
Pete (Donis) and his crew, Cassaday and Robert Nolan, are hungry, living on the edges of society, and seeking parts of a map. The landmasses of the world have changed you see, the ice caps are gone, the water levels have risen, and radiation is rampant. Through all of this Pete, who is nursing the loss of his murdered lover Carmen (Dani Barker) by the nefarious villain of the piece played by Terry He.
There’s fights, chases, pirates, lovely ladies, and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.
It’s undeniably fun.
My one problem with it… The episodes are too short, The original serials from which Pete Winning takes his launching point traditionally ran about 15 to 20 minutes, the two episodes screened were between 5 and 10 minutes. It was kind of frustrating, no sooner have you been introduced to the world, and want to learn more about it, when the episode comes to a close.
I like the style, I like the pacing, it’s just so much fun, and my own mind started to toy with ideas and plots for the world, so that’s a good thing, I love when something fires my imagination in that way. I just need longer episodes!! And I’ll be honest, I want a recurring role on the show (let’s make that happen everybody! Tweet @Pete_Winning !!!).
Have a look for yourself…