I’m super happy to share some exciting news with you all. The creators that brought you the viral sensation, A Very Potter Musical, have a new digital series called The Wayward Guide For the Untrained Eye. This series is the brainchild of the Tin Can Brothers. As writers, directors, producers, and actors, they’ve produced hundreds of YouTube videos, five live stage shows, and raised over $200,000 on Kickstarter, and are best known for A Very Potter Musical. Check out my interview with them and learn everything about their new series and why you’ll want to drive right in it! Check out their site – HERE.
PopHorror – What inspired your newest digital series, The Wayward Guide For the Untrained Eye?
Tin Can Bros – We had been kicking around two unrelated ideas for a while: a horror project involving werewolves and a series following podcast hosts investigating a story. In mid-2017, we were brainstorming possibilities for a new filmed project and decided to combine these two ideas. Thus, Wayward Guide was born. As producers of our own material, part of the way we operate is by continually scaling up the size of our projects. With Wayward Guide, the goal was to make something bigger and better than we ever had before. That challenge of treading slightly deeper waters than previous projects is where we, as a team, thrive. So, in a matter of several months, we successfully funded the project (through the generous support of 2,474 backers on Kickstarter), assembled a cast/crew to bring the show to life, and shot the entire series in 14 days.
PopHorror – That’s amazing! Can you tell viewers/readers what this series is about?
Tin Can Bros – When an alluring corporate corruption story falls unexpectedly into their laps, twin podcasting-team Artemis and Paul Schue-Horyn are finally given the chance after years of hard work to prove themselves as top hosts at the American Podcasting Network. But opportunity soon leads to tragedy as the eccentric and divided locals they are interviewing in the small California mining town of Connor Creek start dropping like flies. With the threads of their investigation quickly becoming tangled and rumors of a bloodthirsty werewolf on the loose, the Schue-Horyn twins need to decide who to trust and the price they’re willing to pay for a juicy story. Dun dun dunnnnnn!!!
PopHorror – Haha. I love it! You decided to do YouTube with a podcast component (a visual and audio medium). Why did you decide to utilize both things for this series?
Tin Can Bros – Once we landed on Artemis and Paul being podcasters (the 2020 version of the investigative journalist protagonist), we knew that that most satisfying companion piece to the show would be the in-world podcast they were making in the series. We are big podcast listeners. And at the time of conceptualizing Wayward Guide, a number of really popular investigative/true crime podcasts were hitting the zeitgeist. We kept thinking, “It would be so fun to be a fly on the wall during the ‘off-the-record’ parts of these stories”. So, that inspired the approach we took with Wayward Guide. While the Series follows the messy escapades of Artemis and Paul as they investigate the paranormal mystery of Connor Creek IRL, the Podcast is the polished story produced after the events of the Series. Using both mediums gave us an opportunity to expand the world of Connor Creek, spend more time with the kooky characters we love, and shed more light on Artemis and Paul’s inner life by how they choose to report on their experiences. We also enjoyed the opportunity to create and recreate locations from the series in an audio format.
PopHorror – That’s awesome. I love that you chose to do it this way. This series has a great cast. How did the casting process come about?
Tin Can Bros – With our varied experiences and creative backgrounds, we wanted to assemble a cast from a variety of different performing mediums (i.e. Broadway, TV, Film, Digital). We’ve collaborated with many of these actors for years on a number of projects. For instance, several members of the cast (including Darren Criss and Lauren Lopez) are part of a theatre company we co-founded called StarKid, who created the viral parody A Very Potter Musical. And some people, like Steve Zaragoza, have been in our online orbit for a while and we’ve been looking for a chance to work with them. We met Sean Astin a few years ago at C2E2 in Chicago when we were attending to promote a show. As a prank on the audience, we asked him if he wanted to put on a costume and join us for our panel, pretending to be our friend Dylan Saunders (who plays Desmond in Wayward Guide) because Dylan couldn’t attend and the two look like they could be related. Sean didn’t hesitate to get in on the joke and we’ve kept in touch ever since then. We wrote the role of Artemis and Paul’s erratic boss, Lesly, for him and were thrilled when he joined the team.
PopHorror – The story seems to have a great mix of comedy and suspense. Was that your intention?
Tin Can Bros – Thanks! Exactly. We really enjoy taking a genre, like horror, and trying to approach it with our own spin. And we tend to gravitate towards more irreverent comedy. So, the aim was to find our own blend of these two worlds. Comedy and Horror both operate under the same rules of holding and breaking the tension. Wayward Guide was a great opportunity for us to explore the gray area between the genres, using the same tools!
PopHorror – How many episodes are there?
Tin Can Bros – There are 10 Episodes in the Series and 11 Episodes in the Wayward Guide Podcast. Starting October 13th, chapters will roll out on a weekly basis, Series episodes every Tuesday and Podcast episodes every Friday.
PopHorror – Great, thanks! What is your goal for this series?
Tin Can Bros – This project has been three years in the making and we’re very proud of it, so we want Wayward Guide to reach as many eyeballs and earholes as possible. If Wayward Guide’s reception is positive enough, hopefully, folks will see what we’re able to create using our limited resources and entrust us with something bigger in the future. Like we said, we love a good challenge. Also, after living with the story for so long, we’re just excited to go on the journey with the audience and see how they experience Wayward Guide on a week by week basis. But we’d be remiss not to admit we’d love to create a Season 2!
PopHorror – Do you plan on doing more series like this if it’s successful?
Tin Can Bros – Definitely! We imagine Wayward Guide as an anthology series following Artemis (Mary Kate Wiles), Paul (Steve Zaragoza), and their boss Lesly (Sean Astin) as they explore new towns experiencing other paranormal occurrences. While the characters from the American Podcasting Network will remain the same, the other actors in the series will play completely new characters. We imagine it like the team behind Christopher Guest movies is making American Horror Story, with the protagonist throughline of something like A Series of Unfortunate Events.
PopHorror – Love that! Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
Tin Can Bros – We always have a few projects cooking on the back burner; shorts, series, animated projects, musical films. We’ll see what sort of world we’re living in next year, but this process has inspired us to continue creating in the narrative podcast realm. Additionally, we hope to be back in NYC soon with our cold war spy musical Spies Are Forever, when it’s safe to perform live again.
PopHorror – Thank you, Tin Can Bros for all the information and I wish you success! The Wayward Guide For the Untrained Eye premiers October 13 on YouTube with a podcast component. This is a completely immersive, 360 experience for viewers and we hope everyone enjoys it!