After more than a year of waiting, fans of Machinima’s “Bite Me“ can finally get their fix. The online series, which pins a small group of people up against a growing legion of the undead, first aired on Machinima’s YouTube channel back in late 2010. Season two premiered March 6th of this year. The idea for the show hatched with one simple question: What would happen if video games came to life?
Machinima aired the second series during a red carpet event in Beverly Hills on Monday night, and we had a chance to speak with the director and cast.
In the first season of “Bite Me,” we were introduced to Jeff (Yousef Abu-Taleb), Mike (Ryan Welsh), and Greg (Justin Giddings)—a game addicted trio or roommates. Each of the guys is living a normal life. Jeff works as a waiter (which he is not exactly excited about) and has a huge crush on the girl across the street from the house, Shawna (Dani Lennon). Mike is about to move out of the house and in with his dramatic, controlling, and exercise-addicted girlfriend, Lauren (Risdon Roberts). And Greg, a lighthearted Harvard graduate, is now working as a sign twirler on a street corner. When the guys are home they love to spend their time playing video games. But, what would happen if one of their video game scenarios happened in real life? Would the geeky trio know what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? The question is answered throughout the rest of the series.
For those who have yet to see “Bite Me,” it is not just any show about zombies. As part of the cast would put it “It’s not like any other zombie show or film which may only be focused on horror. With Bite Me, you get comedy, action and a good story as well.” Also, the fusion of styles ranging from comic versions of the characters to montages of references to past decades is something beyond entertaining. To put it simply, the cast unanimously describes it as “epic” and “amazing.”
What sets “Bite Me“ aside is that, in director Jarrett Lee Conaway words, “it’s the first zombie story in which the characters already know what zombies are. They are not spending tons of time trying to figure out what is going on and what the creatures are,” he told TechZwn at the premier.
It’s Jeff, Mike, and Greg’s knowledge of zombies through video games, comics, and films that actually helps them live to see another day instead of getting their brains eaten. In fact, the writing in the script is so detailed that the characters go as far as categorizing zombies for the audience. It simply is a whole new zombie culture.
[pullquote_right]“It’s the first zombie story in which the characters already know what zombies are.”[/pullquote_right]
Another thing that makes “Bite Me“ work so well is that the team seen on screen is not only close on camera, but off camera as well. The cast is so dedicated to the series and to their fans that they have gotten to know their characters so well as to suggest certain parts of the story. Much work goes behind the making of “Bite Me“ and that is why it took so long for season two to air. Director Jarrett Lee Conaway works on endless amounts of storyboards to find the best ones for each episode of the series. Some of the actors undergo physical preparation including taking various types of martial arts classes. There are also long, strenuous days in the filming process. And of course, Jeff, Greg, and Mike, along with the rest of the team, play video games to familiarize themselves even more with the gaming culture.
At the premier event for “Bite Me” season two, team members were more than excited to finally show, and some to see for the first time, the final product of their hard work. The message of the night for “Bite Me” fans comes from Shawna who says “to our fans, we love you guys, we hear you guys and we want to incorporate what you want to see.”
Also Jeff says to those who have not yet had to opportunity to experience the show’s zombie action; “You are totally missing out!”
New episodes of “Bite Me” air online every Tuesday. Be sure to check out the latest episode of season 2 below.
[box_light]Images courtesy of Machinima[/box_light]