Jersey Actors Unite To Crowdfund New Indie Web-Series

What is Community Cares?

A comedy-drama web-series inspired by shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” about one motivated woman’s unlikely quest to greatness within a dilapidated local TV station.

Community Cares is my latest foray into on-camera acting together with fellow actors and friends from the NJ School of Dramatic Arts.

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Niel Sumter as Ray Campbell. Photo: Kitsune Media

Why & How We Did It

We set out to not only create palpable, quality entertainment for viewers to enjoy, but to continue cultivating our talents in an open creative space. All of us have become very close, stay connected as a network of friends, and have invested much of our combined time, effort, and personal finances to pre-production, scripting, team meetings, catering, location hunting, and, of course, recruiting & scheduling a capable film and sound crew. It has been hard work, and we have something to show for it.

In only three filming sessions, our production crew filmed footage for four 5 to 7-minute episodes deliberately using a single-camera setup. This is fairly crazy and unheard of, but indie bootstrapping like this calls for long days & tight filming schedules that can run late into the night. You can see some of the footage in our trailer.

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Photo: Kitsune Media

Where We Are

Exactly a year later, after committing as a team to produce what is now known as Community Cares, we now we have:

  • Four episodes on deck for post-production,
  • A polished Trailer, showing our commitment to this creative venture, AND
  • Finalized scripts for EIGHT more episodes collecting dust on our producer’s desk.

We are ready and willing to film the rest of what we hope will be only the beginning of a quirky, laugh-out-loud, web-series season with the potential to draw in fans of popular television comedy-dramas like The Office and Parks and Recreation. We have pulled our weight. We know our audience. We promise to deliver.

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Phil Araujo as Jason Quick (foreground) & Sabreen Shareef as Skyler King. Photo: Kitsune Media

To do this, we considered the exciting, yet risky potential of crowdfunding and the successes other webseries have been fortunate to meet. We asked many hard questions and eventually came to a positive consensus. With four episodes already under our belt, plus the experience of operating in a production company-type manner, it seemed like the right time to take the plunge. One question still lingered, however:

Would enough of the internet community care about Community Cares…?

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Photo: Kitsune Media

A Community That Cares

So here we are, having launched our Indiegogo campaign. Our goal is to draw in an interactive, passionate community that will collectively partner with us in completing Community Cares Season 1. We love the ideal freedom to create something unique and edgy for those who choose to support us. The truth is we honestly have done all that we can to push as far as it can go – we are actors and some of us, like me, are still struggling to find consistent work.

This crowdfunding campaign is likely our last option to jumpstart post-production and bring our web-series public. It’s really all or nothing. I wish I could say that we would be able to continue on and find another way, but because of the “equal partners” nature of this endeavor, there’s no way to guarantee that outcome if our campaign fails here.

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Director Ken Scheps intently observing the scene. Photo: Kitsune Media

Lend Us A Hand?

As of publishing this article, 23 days remain in our Indiegogo campaign. If you like what we’re doing, please share this article within your social circles. That would be just as valuable to our cause. The links to our Indiegogo campaign, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube presence are also below for easy access.

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Thank you so much for reading and pledging any support you can offer.

Niel Sumter / Ray Campbell of Community Cares: The Web-Series

  1. congrats on the amazing work . the universe will reward you, so keep your eyes on the prize.

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