Mississippi serves as a stand-in for Roanoke, Virginia in a new workplace comedy “Lowest Bidders” that debuts its first episode online this week.
The brainchild of Will Black, who lives in Vicksburg and works for the Corps of Engineers, the series has the charm of a show like “The Office.”
“My wife and I would make our own jokes along the same tenor of ‘Parks and Rec’ or ‘The Office,’ and I started writing them down,” Black said. “Before I knew it, I had a whole notebook full of them.”
Black said he entered the world of filmmaking as a hobby three years, purchasing a camera and relying on good old fashioned autodidactic know-how to fulfill his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Black, along with a streamlined crew of five, set out for production on “Lowest Bidders” earlier this year. The group self-funded the production and pulled in a group of veteran actors from across the South. The crew has primarily filmed in Jackson, Clinton and Vicksburg.
“It certainly doesn’t feel like a hobby, Black said. “Casting is crazy; we had hundreds of people submit for these roles, and you’ve got to narrow it down while other people are making shot lists and call sheets. It feels like a full-time job, but it’s not.”
The series follows Mike “Skrudge” Venice, owner of a small parking enforcement company known for its ability to win government contracts, who is played by RIcky Wilson Jr. out of Jackson, Tenn. Jesse Gallegos of Alexandria, Louisiana plays Kibbs, Venice’s dim-witted but loyal employee. Emma Graves, also of Alexandria, portrays Blaire, who is relied on to clean up the mess made by Venice and Kibbs.
Black’s Broken Window production has finished production on the first three episodes of the series with plans to do multiple seasons. Check out the first episode on YouTube or Funny or Die.