This week’s featured webseries is Super Knocked Up, the hilarious show about supervillain Darkstar who finds herself inconveniently knocked up by her arch nemesis, Captain Amazing.
We love web series here on Hypable, and we want to prove to you why! Each Wednesday, we spotlight a different webseries which has caught our eye, and this week it’s Super Knocked Up!
With its impressive visual effects and talented, hilarious cast, Super Knocked Up puts a fresh a spin on the familiar superhero genre – not least because the show’s protagonist is actually the villain.
Season 1 opens with Jessica, aka Darkstar (who has quite happily been living a life of evil), waking up in bed with her arch-nemesis Captain Amazing (aka Michael).
But hey, that happens, right? And surely nothing could ever come of it, seeing as they are on opposite sides of the fight of Good vs Evil… except a few weeks later – you guessed it – Jessica discovers that she’s pregnant with Captain Amazing’s baby.
Now Jessica is conflicted about where her loyalties lie, and season 2 sees the unlikely pair come to terms with the fact that, despite their differences, they’re going to have to raise this child together.
First launched in 2012, Super Knocked Up was conceptualised and realised by Jeff Burns, and stars Jourdan Gibson and Mark Pezzula as Jessica and Michael.
In its second season, Super Knocked Up has launched a spinoff series, a talk show and a comic book, and there’s a lot more to come!
Jeff, Jourdan and Mark have graciously taken the time to sit down with Hypable and discuss their thoughts on the show, its spinoff ventures, and the world of web series in general.
HYPABLE: What came first: the general idea for ‘Super Knocked Up’, or the idea to do a web series?
JEFF: Actually Mark and Jourdan are enemies in real life and got pregnant, and I based it on that… okay, not really. The story totally came first. I was itching to make something of my own as it had been a few years since I made a film and I saw everything migrating to the web and really believed that was the place to be. And I believe it even more now.
As a web series enthusiast myself, I’m very curious to hear why you believe so strongly in the web series format?
JEFF: I really think it’s the future of entertainment. I think more and more people are going to be watching everything online – you’re already seeing it happen. I watch all my TV shows on Hulu, for example, and have been doing that for a couple of years. In terms of the web series format, yeah I really love it. I love the freedom it gives me and other creators. We’re not confined to a set time length for an episode like TV series are. I can make each episode however long I think is best to tell that particular part of the story – that’s so freeing as a creator.
MARK: I really didn’t know much about web series before I started working on Super Knocked Up. But I think, really, the format is the next evolution in the way stories are delivered to an audience. They’re usually short, so people can watch them at their leisure, they can be watched at any time, and they’re usually produced independently. So all of that combined makes them a worthwhile draw to audiences and filmmakers.
JOURDAN: One of the great things about web entertainment is that there’s little barrier to entry. If you’re passionate about a project, you can film it, and post it online almost immediately for the world to see. And, fortunately, the past few years, filmmakers in the web series world have really raised the bar for quality. So, with web, we get easy access to viewers, fans, AND high quality entertainment.
One of the first things I noted about the series is how great it looks, it’s very professionally done. Jeff, do you have a background in filmmaking?
JEFF: Oh why thank you! That’s really, really cool to hear. I did not study film at all. My degrees are in History and Ancient History. But I’ve always loved telling stories and after grad school had this desire to try filmmaking.
So having no idea what I was doing, I threw myself into it and made my first short film. I was totally hooked after that. I knew that was what I wanted to do, it’s my absolute passion! I learned by doing it basically. I get better with every project I do.
Jourdan and Mark, how did you find your way to ‘Super Knocked Up’?
MARK: I got involved with Super Knocked Up after Jeff asked me if I wanted to play a superhero in a webseries he wrote. And who doesn’t want to play a superhero?! So I said yes.
JOURDAN: I saw a posting saying that Super Knocked Up was re-casting their lead actress, and I was SUPER excited, because I knew of the show, and already had a lot of respect for it. I didn’t dream I’d get cast as Darkstar though, because she was brunette. Fortunately, Jeff is very creative and can think outside the box! I sent in an audition video, and it went from there.
(Note: In Super Knocked Up‘s first season, Jessica/Darkstar was played by actress Natalie Bain.)
What made you cast a new Darkstar? And how did your audience react to such a drastic change?
JEFF: Mark said he would only continue if I cast a super-hot new girl every season…
MARK: Yeah, I need a new girl every season. Like there’s a new Bond girl every movie.
JOURDAN: There’s actually a new hot girl coming in for season 3. KIDDING!
JEFF: Natalie Bain played Darkstar in season 1 and she was great. It really just came down to money. She wanted to be paid for season 2 but we weren’t in a position that we could do that. Everyone is still on an all volunteer basis, which I’m super grateful for. But I know we were going to continue and was thrilled when we found Jourdan, who totally rocks it in season 2.
MARK: And people accepted it almost right away, because we introduced Jourdan to them from the start. So people got to know Jourdan, and by the time season 2 aired it was like she had been Darkstar all along.
JEFF: We did a lot of things to introduce Jourdan to the fans. I had her do Super-Jourdy vlogs, and we’ve been doing our live Super Geeked Up shows via Google Hangout for months now. And that was really important I think. Fans got to be introduced to Jourdan as a person and interact with her and dig her. So they were already invested in her as a person before they saw her as an actress, which meant they wanted to see her in the role even more. If we didn’t do any of that and just said, “Hi, here’s season 2 and there’s a new girl,” I don’t think it would have worked as well.
JOURDAN: I am so thankful for how Jeff went about introducing me as the new Darkstar for season 2. He was very thoughtful about what the fans might feel and think, and he was really thoughtful about how I might feel coming into a role that’s already been portrayed by someone else. He eased the fans into knowing me, and it’s been a really great transition and experience.