Chicago-based screenwriter and actor, Harry Bauer, has just launched his zany four-part webseries, “Mad Scientists Consortium” on YouTube.
Each 5-7 minute webisode takes a semi-dark and comical look at five Chicago-based mad scientists hell bent on world domination, or in their case, starting with Illinois, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota.
The story emanates from the idea that there is a place for everybody and sometimes you have to force your way in.
“When we first meet the characters, we learn quickly that they have failed miserably in their attempts,” says creator, writer and co-director Bauer. “Now they have united forces and embraced teamwork.”
In the pilot (22 minutes divided into 4 episodes), we learn that their path to their re-calibrated goal is to sell their services to anyone willing to pay. While their jobs are relatively mundane, such as helping an apartment resident with his noisy neighbor, they find unconventional methods to deal with them. What obnoxious neighbor can’t be handled with a sliver of Kassogtha — a tentacled monster?
Filmed last March and April at Lacuna Lofts in Pilsen Arts District and Ravenswood Manor with the five mad scientist actors. Bauer is Dr. Bruce Slade, who is described as “crazy. Just plain crazy.”
Co-stars are Noah Simon as bumbling Dr. Frederick Trimble; Sara Sevigny, an “Empire” semi-regular, as blunt-talking, Dr. Ingrid Rector; Scott Pasko as “the regal and vexed” Machiavellian leader, Dr. Dorman Vincent and Stacie Barra as “vampish intellectual,” Dr. Victoria Irizarry.
Bauer, who originally came to Chicago from New Jersey to pursue theater, co-directed with Joe Cuomo, who also serves as frontman for Chicago rock band Post Primates. Cinematographer was Antonio Hernandez, a recent Columbia College grad and Brian Sarfatty edited.
Bauer turned to crowdfunding for his own work
Bauer represents a growing number of writers taking advantage of crowdfunding and producing their own content. “I had some modest success on the contest circuit and hooked up with potential collaborators here and there,” he says.
“For the most part though, I was tired of just existing in my little writing bubble. I decided to start making some content for YouTube. After experimenting with that for a bit, I decided to upgrade my efforts.”
Bauer quotes the budget at $10,000; half his own money and to date, $7,000 raised on Indiegogo. The goal is to gain enough interest from potential investors to shoot the remaining nine episodes he has written.
See “Mad Scientists Consortium” here.
Colin Costello, who still calls Chicago, “home,” is a working screenwriter whose credits include the 2016 family film, “Traveling Without Moving.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.