NuCentz Magazine had the pleasure to talk to Levi Otis- Executive Producer of a new Web TV comedy series entitled “UnderPAID”. Levi tells NuCentzMag.com the difficult times he had developing his series. He also shares advice about being an independent filmmaker.
UnderPAID TV series is a comedy base on life lessons and the fight of temptation not to do something stupid at work. Levi Otis has worked above and beyond his powers to bring a high-powered, gut blasting comedy Web TV show. It’s guaranteed to blow you away and keep you laughing with its star quality cast. UnderPAID was written by Levi Otis, directed & produced by Willie Mac & Athena Haley this collaboration of creative thinkers has come together and created a show that will be talked about for time to come.
NuCentz: What is your web series UnderPAID about?
Levi Otis: UnderPAID is a comedyabout a group of dysfunctional people who all work together at a group home in Northridge California. They spend more time handling their own personal problems & issues then that of the clients, who look to them for support and guidance. The pay is bad, the morale is low but the Staff always has each other’s back. Just as long as they clear their selves of any involvement first.
NuCentz: As the executive producer of a Web Series, What are some the difficulties that you face while filming?
Levi Otis: First, was raising the funds to create a budget to even began filming UnderPAID and making sure that funds were available for things needed for production. We had an indiegogo donation site account as well as me making peach cobblers and selling them. Other difficulties were actors cancelling the day before we were scheduled to film, camera batteries not charging. But I was blessed; my producer Athena Haley was on it and kept things running smoothly. She did a lot of the footwork to make sure UnderPAID had what it needed to be successful, and my director Willie Macc was supportive as well. We all moved as a team.
NuCentz: What are some the things you want to convey with this UnderPAID project?
Levi Otis: No matter what the situation is, you can always find the humor in it. That’s why UnderPAID is a relatable show. Because you will see situation and you will say I would of done the same thing. If I could get away with it and not get in trouble.
NuCentz: Could you give some exclusive details on what your viewers expect to see on this web series?
Levi Otis: Comedy and more comedy, you will see situations handled the way you wish you could handle them at work, but know if you did that you might get fired. In the episode called "It's your Birthday". A client overhears staff on the phone mention that his mom wasn’t coming for his birthday, now you would think the staff would be more supportive, but this is not the case and the comedy takes off from there.
NuCentz: Give us the names of the main cast members.
Levi Otis names the main cast, having quite a few people on UnderPAID series –
Keke Ellis - Cinderela Graham
Rob Black - Steve Turner (comedian)
Mikki Wrongmen - The Lady Mac (comedian)
Frankie Tapatio - Dominic Oliver
Rossy Oldbert - Jeri Wingo
Levi Otis:I was blessed with a great cast and look forward to working with them in season 2 of UnderPAID.
NuCentz: What advice would you give independent filmmakers to better their film making skills? (Do’s & Don’t)
1. First set up a budget, start taking notes, so you can keep track of the direction you want to go, ask questions & Write according to your budget.
2. Sometimes you need to walk away for a day or longer before you start rewrites. (The finished product)
3. Make sure you have a sound group of people around you, who will share your vision and who has your back.
Shout out to Four16 Entertainment, Willie Macc- Director / Editor & Athena Haley- Producer.
Dos & Don'ts 1. Do not just take peoples words, if their not delivering, move on. 2 Do not promise things you can’t deliver 3. Do not take every ones input literally (This will drive you crazy)
NuCentz: How did you come up with the idea for the UnderPAID TV Series?
Levi Otis: I was working at this group home that was just poorly ran. It was not the priority program in the company. It was clearly the staff against the clients. The morale was low and the pay was lower. Staff was always complaining, but the staff got along and always had fun together, just some of the stuff that I saw there was totally funny. Seeing things like, staff doing laundry at work using the clients detergent. Clients finding staff items in the dryer. So I was talking with a few co-workers telling them that the comedy at our job could make a good show. So then I began writing UnderPAID