In the shadows of Manic City, super heroes and super villains battle every day. One man struggles to become that which he desires most: a villain. How will his choices affect his life? Welcome to Paul Gibbs’s newest creation, Manic City.
“It’s a web series about Mark Caiman, who is a very low level super villain who aspires to be a high level super villain,” said Gibbs, who produced the series. “He aspires to be someone like the Joker or Lex Luthor but right now he just does tech for Nightmare, who is the big villain in Manic City.”
Patrick Gibbs, Paul’s twin brother, plays Mark in the three part series. Patrick shows an incredible acting range in Manic City. Patrick seamlessly goes from bundling and comedic to deep and emotional and even to an intense chase scene in episode three.
“This was a surprisingly hard character, in some ways, because the character was nothing like me at all and in other ways because the character was more like me than I was used to playing,” said Patrick. “And the character can be such a clueless idiot at times but then he has to run the gamut from comically silly to surprisingly deep at moments.”
Manic City was produced and written by SLCC students. Different writers wrote each of the three episodes. The first by Jarrett Reich, the second by Loren Teryl and Patrick and Paul Gibbs wrote episode three. The series features everything from intense drama to comedy and action.
“I originally envisioned it as a feature film,” said Paul. “And then I thought of it as a short film. And then when I took the communication documentary class last spring as a requirement for the film production tech degree, Tyler Smith, the instructor, mentioned that he wanted to do a summer series, and Manic City was the one that was the most interesting to the rest of the class.”
The film was shot in locations spread out across both campus and across the valley. Tilted camera shots and bright costume design give the film a real comic book feel. Paul studied his favorite super hero movies to capture the feel of a super hero movie.
“We shot some scenes on campus. I think we were the last production to shoot in the old automotive trades building. When I started coming to school here that’s where the film classes were taught and I’ve filmed in there so many times. I enjoyed being the last production to shoot there,” said Patrick. “There’s a very spectacular chase scene in the third episode that was shot in the construction downtown. We were working around all the construction near where the malls were.”
“It was one of the most challenging sequences but definitely most fun,” said Paul.
Currently, only the first episode is available on the website maniccity.tv. But the other two episodes will be posted to the website soon, and a screening of all three is currently being planned.
“At the moment we’re waiting for our musical score to be completed. We’ve been extremely lucky that an extremely talented local composer locally named Brandon Graves has volunteered his time to compose some original music for us. It’s one of the best parts of the series,” said Paul.
It was one of the most exciting projects I’ve done here on SLCC,” said Patrick.
To see episode one, or join the Manic City Facebook and Twitter pages, go to maniccity.tv.