The television pilot for MENver is currently being shopped around some pretty major studios, with hopes for full production to begin later this fall.
Everyone knows that Denver is a hotspot for the male population. In fact, reports from last year estimated that there are 19,000 more men than women in the Denver area. So what's a love-seeking straight guy to do? Why, create a TV show mourning the plight of his gender's chances at love in the beautiful "303."
The show centers around Joe and Justin -- "two single guys fumbling their way through life trying to connect with a girl. It's not going great, not at all. It's bad," the IMDB.com description states.
Check out a sneak peek here:
Q: So what gave you the idea to make MENver?
A: The idea for this series has been brewing for quite some time ... Jason Knauf (co-star) and I have first-hand experience with being single in the 303. The pilot episode was originally called "LoHi," but after having some of our TV industry friends read "LoHi," the overwhelming response was: “It’s not the pilot, maybe episode 4 or 5, but not the pilot,” so I rewrote the entire pilot while I was in Vietnam last summer. Jason and I have done a few films together previously and while on set we got to talking about dating in Denver ... just how horrifying it was/is. Not to mention the OVERPOPULATION of MEN in the 303. We call it Salvador Dali dating because when it’s all said and done you feel like your face has been morphed into a strange painting ... did that really just happen?
Q: How many episodes have been produced, and how many are in the works?
A: So far we have shot a few promotional scenes (Little Man Ice Cream) which helped us garner an Executive Producer to help fund the pilot. The PILOT IS FINISHED with the exception of a few technical tweaks of which we’re currently working on. The screening at the Mayan was hugely successful ... our first screening sold out, and the second one was full. Lots of positive feedback from Westword, 5280 Magazine, and our general population. I have several episodes written and a completed series bible which is essentially a loose outline of the first season (12 episodes).
Q: Is each episode a stand-alone, or is there a developing, overarching storyline across the series?
A: Finding love, dating, what is masculinity, friendship, struggling actors, single parenting, and DENVER (aka MENver) are the prominent through-lines in the first season. Each episode has its own thing going on ... some of the episodes are stand-alone, some definitely keep the engine moving ... We have over five hours worth of content to dig into, so the strokes will be broad at times -- sometimes pencil-thin. We’ll never be (or compete with) Portlandia or Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but we like to think we’re swirling around in the same canoe as those shows -- kind of like a grown-up New Girl! Maybe we can get Zooey Deschanel to guest star. Who knows?
Q: Has the show been picked up by a network yet? If not, what is the plan for that?
A: No. We’re currently shopping the pilot. There’s quite a few big players taking a look at MENver. Exciting stuff for all of us! We see our show on a platform like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, but we’ve also talked to a few platforms like Youtube Red and iTunes. There’s a ton of options for new content that has a place, and I think MENver will find a home. There’s really nothing like it on TV.
Q: How did you come up with your cast? And are they all local?
A: We were lucky to get some of Denver’s best: Amie MacKenzie, Elizabeth Rose, Chelsea Bell, Shevanni Desai ... really, they’re ALL damn good. Everyone is local. This is a homegrown show. Think of it like farm-to-table, but more like film-to-table or tv-to-table in the 303.
Q: I saw the scene that was filmed at Little Man Ice Cream. What other Denver landmarks do you feature in the show?
A: Okay, I’m super proud of this one... We shot one of our scenes at My Brothers Bar on Platte Street. It was the first time a production was shot here in the 145+ years since the tavern was opened. I’ve been a regular there since I was 19 years old ... still am. We cast Paul Ewald as the bartender in the scene. We also shot on the Millennium Bridge which connects Confluence Park to Lower Downtown. Jinji cycles (32nd and Bryant) opened their doors to us as well. We also shot at friends' houses in Arvada and in Jefferson Park.
Q. You've been in the entertainment industry quite awhile. What other projects have you worked on that you are especially proud of?
A: I’m proud of everything I do in this business ... it’s a crazy impossible thing we do! I loved working on the first two seasons of AMC’s Better Call Saul, the feature films Sicario, Outlaws and Angels, and The Zodiac. I also wrote and directed the feature film Suburban. Seth Rogan’s (AMC) Preacher is a highlight as well. I’m about to shoot the upcoming feature film titled Unfollower -- it’s gonna be good!
Q. So when do you think we can expect to see MENver on TV?
A: As soon as humanly possible. We’re hoping to go into production on season one by late fall of this year.
Marty Lindsey is a graduate of Pomona High School in Arvada. He went on to study at Fort Lewis College in Durango, then Metro State College in Denver. After relocating to Los Angeles to further pursue his education within the entertainment industry, Lindsey returned home to Colorado in 2004.
What do you think? Do you hope MENver takes off? I know we at OCN will be cheering on Lindsey and crew to the very end!! Feel free to leave a comment below!