Our loyal readers may or may not have noticed that I have been a bit out of touch with writing articles for Zimbo Films lately, and I have a good reason for it. For the last several months I’ve been working on a comedic webseries with Matt Conant and Stephanie Yuhas called Nerd Vs Geek, playing with the notion that both of these classes of….well, nerdiness and geekdom, cannot get along. Matt and Stephanie wrote, produced and directed the show, as well as acted in their “creative love child” of a show under the same names.
I was their video intern for a year under their non profit company Project Twenty1 after I graduated college, and they both gave me a lot of insight as to how the “film world” works and what I need to do to make myself stand out. I have worked as the production manager for the entirety of the series, and as a fellow geek/nerd, I jumped at the opportunity to bring some clarity to the broader definition of what those terms mean. Shows like Big Bang Theory have attempted to shed some light on the subject of pop culture and geekdom, but have failed to convey this love of sci-fi/fantasy/video games/etc. as an acceptable social norm. By isolating Sheldon as an unusual person and the only unusual person in the entire show, it insinuates the stereotype of the traditional nerd, as someone who you don’t want to become. (Please don’t comment on how I don’t understand Big Bang Theory, I have honestly never watch the show. I have just heard this rant from countless friends and am simply reiterating their thoughts).
Nerd Vs Geek has an ensemble cast of nerds and geeks, who constantly squabble over their differences and what is the acceptable amount of geeky/nerdiness in social situations. The show is split between the nerds: Apple (Sarah Braun), Becca (Shelby Dawn), Royale (James Collins, Jr.) and Stephanie (last name Yuhas), and the geeks: Gregg (Robb Stech), Matt (last name Conant), Enriggy (Rogelio Gonzalez), and Wyatt (Jordan Allen). Each nerd has a different area of…..let’s say expertise. Apple enjoys writing, daydreaming, pizza, and has a habit of being the quiet one in the room. Becca is the controlling president of the local Mensax group (an off brand of Mensa), and can be incredibly manipulative. Royale has a photographic memory, enjoys Dungeons and Dragons, and is secretly much more geeky than he lets on. And last but not least, Stephanie is a 1st grade science teacher with an obsession for dinosaurs and random nerdy facts. As far as the geeks go, Gregg is one of the most closeted about his geeky side; only letting it out when in the presence of his brother and other geeky friends. Matt is the most antisocial of the group, and is completely immersed in everything from pop culture to board games to obscure video games, and prefers the solidarity of his basement compared to the company of other human beings. Rogelio has a tendency to create weird voices and likes to think “Batman” is an actual verb. And Wyatt is one of the sane ones, whose obsession of theater knowledge attempts to help Apple come out of her shell.
Nerd Vs Geek was also featured in an “Indy Filmmaking for Pennies” panel at Too Many Games 2013 in Oaks, PA yesterday. I had the pleasure of filming it (as you can see from the picture). Too Many Games is a retro gaming convention best known for hosting nerdy famous podcasters and filmmakers such as the Angry Video Game Nerd and Brentalfloss. The panel yesterday featured most of the cast and crew from Nerd Vs Geek as well as the show Living in 8 Bits, created by Mike Licisyn, our cinematographer from Nerd Vs Geek. A good number of people attended the panel and asked some interesting questions about filmmaking on a budget and how to begin. We also premiered the tenth episode of Nerd Vs Geek at the panel, which received a good reaction from the audience (probably because it has to do with playing Dungeons and Dragons, and it’s one of my favorite episodes so far). Below is the link to the episode if you care to watch.