While shots of the web series "Locally Grown TV" will feature Ballard Farmers Market, the creator notes that it is actually set in the entirely fictional "Ballmont Farmers Market."
New show to be set in "Ballmont," but first, fundraising
A new comedy web-series, Locally Grown TV, is coming to Seattle, and it promises to be something like a cross between Arrested Development, Modern Family and Portlandia. Only, true to Seattleite ways, it will be set in a farmers market.
The group making the series, Abundant Productions, is set to shoot the pilot episode of the series in mid-September. But before that, they have to raise the money.
In order to achieve this, the group started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $10,000, which started five days ago and will end Saturday, August 11 at 4:35 p.m. So far the project has 43 backers and has raised $2,108.
As for why it will be set in a farmers market, Wallingford resident and creator Simon Hamlin said it has to do with a lifelong love of the setting.
“I always did have an affinity for markets,” Hamlin said. “I grew up like a lot of kids in the northwest going to Pike Place Market with my parents.”
Markets are not just about the produce, Hamlin said, but the atmosphere and the people, too.
“The markets have always been this place where there is that sense of freedom, there is that sense of self-expression,” he said. “It’s a colorful place; you got all these smells and sights and sounds and interesting characters.”
Locally Grown TV will be set in the fictional farmers market of Ballmont. The name is a reference and a shout-out to two of the markets that Hamlin visits the most, Ballard and Fremont. The name is also to give the filmmakers more creative control.
“We didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves with just one, being in an actual market, using that name, and feeling beholden to really having to honor what that market is about,” Hamlin said. “It gives us more creative license to do whatever we want, because it’s fictional.”
The show will follow the Granger family, a third-generation farming family, according to the website. There is iron-fisted Grandpa Edmund and absent-minded Grandma Gigi. Their daughter Sam, who tries to keep everything together, and her husband Jim, “a spiritual man who dreams of a utopian society.” And then there is the vegan grand-daughter, the business-smart grandson, and the “whoops” grand-daughter.
Other recurring market folk consist of a wheelchair-bound hippy, a busker, and the market manager, a.k.a. the “Godfather of the market.”
The Ballard Farmers Market will be featured prominently in establishing shots and some scenes, Hamlin said. But in order to control sound and have more control over what happens in each scene, many shots will be made on a remote set separate from the market, with extras in the background to keep the market feel.
Hamlin also was careful to note that the Ballmont Farmers Market is meant to be entirely fictional, and that people should not be upset if for some reason it is untrue to either Ballard or Fremont’s markets.
Abundant Productions does not come without experience. Hamlin is a well-established actor in the Seattle region, performing in plays, web-series, local indie films, the Portland-based show “Leverage,” and even a bit part in the Academy Award-nominated film “The Fighter.”
Filmmakers Lorraine Montez and Lisa Roeser are also well-established professionals. Together, they have enough connections and experience to make the project work, Hamlin said.
Hamlin has a lot of ideas for the project. More than just a web-series, he wants to create a community, where people can get together online to talk and learn about farmers markets.
Local buskers, farmers and businesses will be featured on the website and in some episodes, he said. He wants to replicate shows like “In Living Color” and “The Chappelle Show” by having talented buskers play at the end, to help get their name out there.
The website, even before the web-series has begun, has already begun this community vision, Hamlin said. Being online and able to provide instant feedback, this community can also help direct the future of the show, he said.
But for now, everyone at Abundant Productions is focused on fundraising. They hope to not only reach the $10,000 goal, but to outdo it.
“If we can surpass it, it all goes back to our production,” Hamlin said. “It all goes to the creation of our show that is for the community.”