Suspended in front of a green screen in the back room of a duplex in South Park is a helicopter. Its not life-size, mind you, but its a helicopter nonetheless, and like almost everything thats gone into Antarctic... huh?, the video project put together by Matt Hoyt and Jason Sherry, its made by hand.
Hoyt—who also writes, directs and produces— stars as Preston, a Southern California writer who takes a job in Antartica in hopes of finding some solitude, but instead finds a motley crew of characters and has all kinds of adventures. But Antarctic...huh? is more than a fish-out-of-frozen-water story. This is a cool art project, with the emphasis on art and a dedication to self-reliance and inventiveness.
Hoyt and Sherry have constructed a miniature Antarctica in their garage and essentially created a film studio in less than 600 square feet. The footage looks deliberately funky, and the plot, which features non-sequiturs, frozen cavemen and occasional social commentary, feels almost British. Its kind of like if Sid & Marty Kroft had made The Young Ones, the ground-breaking Brit show from the 80s. Hoyt says thats exactly what theyre going for.
Were well aware that the show is silly, but weve put a lot of thought into making it silly, he tells CityBeat. Were just trying to do things on our own terms.
Sherry built some amazing models and props for the series, and that craftsmanship is at the heart of Antarctic...huh?
Its kind of about the nature of creativity and self-exploration, but we turn that on its head, Hoyt says. Were using digital technology to translate analog ideas. Jason and I built this world, and our friends have filled in the gaps.
Hoyt and Sherry have a lot of friends, including Pinbacks Rob Crow, who appears in his first acting role, and Joe Plummer, who plays drums for The Shins and Modest Mouse, who contributes to the soundtrack.
This isnt the first time Hoyt has stepped behind the camera. One of the owners of the hip Starlite restaurant, hes made music videos for Pinback and Goblin Cock, and though hes billed as the director of Antarctic...huh?, he says its a true collaboration with Sherry.
He couldnt do it without me, and I couldnt do it without him, he says. Were enmeshed together. Hes like the co-director, but art director is the right title for him. Jason is directing the art.
Hoyt is aiming for a multi-platform distribution model for the show, but first they need to finish it. They launched a Kickstarter campaign with some nice swag available for donors, and a trailer can be found there and at antarctichuh.com. Additionally, tickets are on sale for the first big public screening, which will be held at The Casbah on Thursday, July 12, along with performances from Optiganally Yours and Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as the headliner.
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