Like the costumes of the characters in his planned new series for either the television or the Web, Charlie Fonville couldn’t shed an idea he had of a group of children’s entertainers on the run from the law.
“It’s always funny to see a mascot or person in a costume get beaten up,” said Fonville, who after two years of letting it exist as simply an amusing idea in his head is now on the verge of turning “The Funtime Gang” into a full-fledged pilot, if the project can reach its goal on Kickstarter by September 8th.
In the vein of “Children’s Hospital” and “Eagleheart” on Adult Swim (and sharing those shows’ average 13-minute running time), “The Funtime Gang” will introduce a new term into the lexicon as “entertainers of fortune,” a group of actors left without jobs after their TV show is cancelled, yet unable to leave their costumes since performing at birthday parties become their only source of income. But when Safari Steve and his posse including Randy the Raccoon, Derek the Dolphin, Gary the Giraffe, Chelsea the Chicken, and Tammy the Tiger are found hovering over the body of the dead exec responsible for axing their show, they must use their wits to evade the LAPD.
“There aren’t a lot of places where this will fit, but I really believe in it,” admits Fonville, who grew frustrated with writing original screenplays for projects such as this before turning to crowdsourcing. “I think with something this weird, it’ll help to show the world, the characters, the tone.”
To help him with the darkly humorous project, Fonville will team up with producer Clint Trucks, a creative executive at Crooked Hill Productions, a company familiar with such material since they worked on films like “Bad Santa” and “Lars and the Real Girl,” to produce the show and need not look further than to his wife Lauren, a costume designer, to outfit The Funtime Gang. As Fonville jokes, “We can do that stuff in house, literally.”
However, there’s only so much Fonville can achieve at home, though that does include personally brewing batches of beer to reward high-roller Kickstarter donors of age in the L.A. area, which is why he needs your help to make “The Funtime Gang” a reality.
“I’ve already been overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve gotten on Kickstarter,” said Fonville, who plans to shoot the pilot this later this year if funding comes through. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to present something finished that’s exactly how I want it to be, as opposed to showing a script and hoping they get it. The humor is certainly not for everyone, but I hope the people who it’s aimed at really enjoy it.”