Irreverent comedy still in gestation
DADS needs public support
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 06:00 am
One former St. Albert resident is hoping to take his own inspiration about fatherhood and turn it into a TV series.
Adam Thomas now lives in British Columbia but being a new dad is an experience that translates easily across borders. What else would you call such a show but DADS? It’s probably better than other possible descriptors involving bodily functions.
“The concept of DADS came from my own experiences after the birth of my daughter. The early days are just so crazy and exhausting but when you get past that part you begin, hopefully, to be able to see the craziness as a funny thing. Like showing up to work with spit-up on your shoulder, or diaper blowouts. It's all just so ridiculous,” Thomas explained.
Being the creative type, he thought of sharing stories of diaper blowouts through a blog. That blog ended up being featured in a local newspaper, which led to him getting story contributions about fatherhood from friends. Things simply escalated from there.
“One night after another exhausting day – I think I had just caught my daughter taking her first tub poo – I went outside onto my porch to have a beer. Standing there I just thought about me and my friends who had all had kids around the same time and thought it would make for a funny show; a show about a group of friends who really don't know what they are doing.”
That was four years ago. Now, DADS is closer to being a reality with a cast and a producer and everything. Well, almost everything. First, he doesn’t want the public to be confused about this project and a new TV series starting this fall, also called Dads. It’s created by Seth Macfarlane, the same guy behind Family Guy and last year’s sleeper hit movie, Ted.
Thomas prefers not to talk about it too much, especially because it’s the competition. He says that it’s apparently terrible.
“Oh, that show,” he stated. “While you might think that could work to our advantage, we have found it frustrating because people see something about our show and think it's that other one. To make matters worse, the other show isn't at all like ours. The whole premise is different. So I know the next question is "are we going to change our name?" I don't want to but it's tough being the small fish swimming upstream against the white water of a major network.”
In his DADS, there are four main characters: Tim, Jesse, Davinder and Josh. You could call them composite characters each with their own quirks and all loosely based on real-life people. They’re all having trouble figuring out how to transition from being men to dads. He calls them “East Van types.” Thomas referred to one episode where the four get into a “kid park rumble” with yuppie dads from West Vancouver.
“We tried to develop stories where the dads had to struggle with their identities and pasts and present purpose ... that were also funny and weird,” he explained, later adding, “It's a show about a group of friends who are kind of lost, struggling with who they are versus who they were and who they should be. It's a theme I think a lot of people can relate to, whether they are dads or not. Being a parent just compounds the anxieties around self-determination because you can't be as free or selfish as maybe you once were. Well you can be, but that just makes you a dirt bag and more likely to have to pay child support.”
People can check out a Restricted trailer on the project’s homepage at www.dadsdotcom.com. The four dads sit on lawn chairs at a playground drinking beers and smoking some hand-rolled cigarettes, puffing out very thick smoke. Yes, you could call it crude and irreverent. That’s exactly what Thomas is trying to say.
The site also has a link to the YouTube page where you can watch an eight-minute ‘half’-pilot or a handful of so-called DADbites. Bear in mind that all are as irreverent and ‘R’ rated as the trailer.
Thomas said that he has enough material for at least several episodes that he figures would be great for a TV or even a web series. Web would offer more creative freedom but TV might make for greater notoriety. If HBO called, Thomas said he would definitely pick up the phone.
The problem as with most such entertainment efforts is the delicate issue of money. Financing is not always as easy to accomplish as that one genius idea that translates well from script to screen.
That’s why Thomas has an Indiegogo campaign to help prop up his coffers. He already received some help via a grant from BC Film and Media and the Independent Production Fund, otherwise known as the IPF, out of Toronto.
“Out of 157 applications, we were one of 14 selected. However, the financing we received was only about 75% of the money we had budgeted for and was conditional on our being able to fill in the other 25%. If we can't, we don't get the IPF. So the stakes are high.”
He needs to flesh out the last $20,000 by Friday, Sept. 20. There’s a link on the website for that too. There’s already $5,000 that has been pledged in support. There are different promotional gifts for various levels of financial donations.