New tribe hits the net with 4 Iroquois webseries

, Beacon Correspondent and Beacon Staff/strong

Up on Mission Hill there’s a tribe of four college dudes inhabiting an apartment on a relatively hard-to-pronounce street.

Or at least that’s how it goes in the world of em4 Iroquois/em, a new, Emerson-born web series that premiered earlier this month.

“Iro-WHAT?” repeats person after person in a promo short on the series’ site. If you can’t pronounce it now, the crew hopes you’ll be able to by the close of the series’ five episodes, the third of which premiered Wednesday night.

The show follows the antics of four students—Dale Dahmer, Chris Higgins, Kelly Kuntz-Rothsberg, and Cole Pyles—as they try to buckle down and spend a semester getting their own film production company off the ground. Naturally, play tends to get in their way as the quartet balances college, life, and work in their apartment at 4 Iroquois Street.

The characters that coexist at 4 Iroquois, played by Cory Walls (Chris), David B. Weaver (Dale), Giovanni Naarendrop (Kelly), and Alex Foley (Cole), dedicate their new semester at the fictional Thoreau College to film production. This situation is detailed in the sitcom’s first episode, “Jeffrey Dahmer’s Birthday Feast.” The series plays off stereotypes of college life and college kids. But high quality editing and the genuine vibe brought by a cast of actual college students distinguishes the show.

em4 Iroquois/em is a college sit-com through and through — it takes raw, emSuperbad/em-esque humor, throws in some slapstick physical comedy, and gives it all a sophomoric, but nuanced twist.

“We pitched it as a ‘bastard child of emIt’s Always Sunny/em [in Philadelphia] and emEntourage/em,’” said senior visual and media arts major Katie Flynn, who is co-line producer on the show. The five-episode season went into production about a year ago at 5 Iroquois Street, an off-campus apartment, as a side project through EIV (Emerson Independent Video).

Over the course of three months, all of the 30-40 page episode scripts were shot, the crew not wasting a single available weekend.

Surrender Pictures, a small production company owned by Flynn and Emerson alumnus Matt Kramer took the project under its wing.

“We funded the project from our own pockets [in addition to the money from Surrender Pictures], as well as from a Kickstarter campaign that helped us raise over $2,000,” said Flynn. Production of the episodes ended in May.

For Weaver, a senior visual  and media arts major who puts a markedly spaced-out spin on Dale Dahmer, em4 Iroquois/em was a chance to get some acting experience. Weaver described his character as “paranoid about technology and the future.” Dale carries around a cellphone he doesn’t turn on — he just likes to press the buttons.

Then there’s Cole Pyles, the requisite slacker of the group. Pyles is all deadline-pushing procrastination and slept-through alarm clocks. Foley, who plays the party-loving Mr. Pyles, said em4 Iroquois/em taps into a familiar vein for students.

“It’s a good college show because it captures what happens in college life, but also how people interact,” said Foley, a visual and media arts major. He points to the technical skill of the production team and the chemistry that existed between all the members of the cast.

“The editing is unbelievable, and we got lucky with the group of guys they cast,” he said.

Word has been spreading about em4 Iroquois/em, even if slowly.

“Sometimes I get a random who saw the show, but it needs a little more exposure,” said Foley.

“I think some stickers ended up in the library bathroom,” said Weaver. “There’s lots of Internet stuff happening with it. There’s a great website.”

Will 4 Iroquois film and produce a second season?

“I hope so. There are a lot of people in LA right now,” said Foley. “Maybe there will be a whole new project, but I hope this same group stays together, no matter where it goes next.”

strongCatch up on Season 1 at 4iroquois.com. New episodes debut every Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the website./strong

emBoccia can be reached at cheyenne_boccia@emerson.edu. Miller can be reached at steven_miller@emerson.edu. Follow him on Twitter @steve_r_miller./em