Just Passing Through launches Kickstarter campaign

Mary MacKay
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Just Passing Through's first episode, Alberta Bound, features the side-tracked journey westward and the arrival of the quirky over-the-top P.E.I. Gallant cousins, Terry and Parnell, played by Dennis Trainor, left, and Robbie Moses, on the apartment doorstep of their somewhat stuffy and totally unprepared-for-company cousin, Owen Stephens, played by Tyler Seguin. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Web-based comedy series looking to fund a second season

The Just Passing Through Maritime comedy series was barely passing through the online visual sights of soon-to-be avid fans when requests for a second season began to pour in.

The first seven 22-minute episodes of this critically acclaimed web series about two Prince Edward Island cousins, Terry and Parnell Gallant, who get stuck in Toronto at the home of their kooky cousin Owen Stephens on their way to the buckets-of-money promised land of Alberta, is now one of the most popular web-only series in Canada.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW JUST PASSING THROUGH SEASON 1

“We’ve had more than 400,000 views from that content from our first season,” says Jeremy Larter, who with his brother Jason Larter and high school chum Geoff Read created Just Passing Through, which stars Dennis Trainor, Robbie Moses, Tyler Seguin, Bridget Tobin and Sydney Dunitz.

“And it’s still climbing in viewership on a regular basis. The episodes still get watched probably 700 to 1,500 times a day. So it’s still going. . . . That’s pretty good considering there’s no press for it and there’s not really any marketing other than the grassroots marketing that we’re doing. So it’s obviously still slowly spreading out there.”

Thought to be the biggest budgeted, complex homegrown comedic dramatic series ever shot on P.E.I., in 2012 Just Passing Through received $150,000 from the Independent Production Fund (IPF) and Innovation P.E.I.

Innovation P.E.I. is not involved this year, which leaves a funding gap to be filled.

“We’ve had season two in the back of our mind now probably since the first season came out, very shortly after,” Larter says.

“We knew we were going to do it and then we got word in January that Innovation P.E.I. probably wasn’t going to be onboard so then we started to think of ways that we could increase the budget a little bit.”

And so they decided to create a Kickstart campaign for $50,000 to bolster their application for funding for season two from the IPF.

CLICK HERE FOR JUST PASSING THROUGH'S KICKSTARTER PAGE

“Kickstarter is probably the biggest crowd funding site,” Larter says.

“Basically you put in your campaign, you explain your story and then you can put in donations levels and set them to whatever you’d like them to be. For a particular donation, a person would get a little reward for that, so you don’t just donate and not get something back.”

Of course, with the crew of Just Passing Through, it wouldn’t be just any ole donation reward.

Their Kickstarter campaign has 12 donation levels that will definitely appeal to devoted fans who will be rewarded with opportunities to be actively involved in the production of the second season.

This includes a Just Passing Through or Pogey Beach ringtone for your phone, first viewing rights, invite to cast and crew wrap-up party, appearing on camera, speaking a line of dialogue and appearing as a new character in the Pogey Beach spin-off season.

And if your wallet runneth over with available donation cash, for $2,500 you can get pretty much all of the aforementioned, plus an executive producer credit.

The first season has received critical acclaim from many well-known publications including Fast Company, Swallow Daily, The Ottawa Citizen and The Globe and Mail. John Doyle, TV critic for The Globe and Mail, listed Just Passing Through at sixth on his Top 10 TV List of 2013. This was the first time a web series has made any Canadian critic’s top 10 list.

Doyle also named co-creators Jeremy Larter, Geoff Read and Jason Larter the 2013 runner ups for TV Artist of the Year, behind Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad.

“We’re still really focusing on trying to get (Just Passing Through) into the Ontario market because we think there’s big rural Ontario market and big Toronto market that we haven’t tapped into yet,” Larter adds.

“So we’ve been putting out Just Passing Through business cards all through the universities in Toronto and then we put out a Blue Jays video that kind of went viral here and got us more eyeballs in Toronto.”

The Blue Jays video led to an invitation from musician, author and filmmaker Dave Bidini for Larter and Trainor to make a special comedy appearance at a Stompin’ Tom tribute at the Horseshoe Tavern, which was one of the legendary P.E.I. performer’s old stomping grounds in Toronto.

Ex-pat Islander Ivy Knight of Glenwilliam, who is the only Canadian food writer currently contributing to Vice in the United States, is hosting an East Coast Party at the Drake Hotel in Toronto for the Just Passing Through cast and crew to help them raise funds for the second season of the show.

“I love comedy, I was addicted to Codco and (Kids in the Hall) when I was a kid, and when I discovered Jeremy’s show I was completely dazzled,” Knight says.

“(The characters) Terry and Parnell are people I grew up with, went to high school with — the characters are so real, you recognize them instantly. That makes for great comedy, much like the Trailer Park Boys hit a nerve with everyone in the Maritimes so too has (Just Passing Through.)”

Tonight’s Toronto East Coast Party event, which is sponsored by SwallowDaily.com, also has the food supply support of P.E.I. chef Jeff McCourt’s artisan gouda cheese, Ontario “oyster boy” Adam Colquhon’s oysters and Kyle Osland’s Kensington Brewing Company beer.

“Right now we’re just focusing on trying to get the second season off the ground. We’re going to try to write another seven full episodes. We’ve got a bucket of ideas and now we’re starting to write first drafts of scripts, and we will have two first drafts of scripts done by May. . .” Larter says.

“If we find out about the (IPF) funding in June, if we get approved, and we meet our Kickstarter goals, then we’ll just ramp it up because we’re hoping to catch the good weather for season two. We’re hoping to be able to shoot at least part of the season outside in summer weather.”

Organizations: Independent Production Fund, Globe and Mail, Blue Jays Fast Company Ottawa Citizen Trailer Park Boys Toronto East Coast Party Kensington Brewing Company

Geographic location: Toronto, Maritime, Prince Edward Island Alberta Canada Ontario United States

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Recent comments

  • Gary Gallant
    April 16, 2014 - 17:09

    This show should not be receiving island tax dollars. Anybody can see that it is dumb easterner EI propaganda right in tune with Harper. If anybody should be funding it should be Federal as this plays in nicely with EI misery the Harper govt has created. The Trailer Park Boys weren't out scamming EI everything else they were doing an EI scam wouldn't have been hard to write into the script. Bubbles worked for his stamps refurbishing shopping carts and the boys were always busy and didn't need EI. I think Islanders have a right to be disappointed in Alberta Bound and the fact that the creators are unimaginative enough to write jokes about the many other things that are funny about PEI. Most Islanders I have talked to agree that we shouldn't be supporting a show that panders to the dumb, lazy, drunken easterner ripping off EI.

    • larry maacdonald
      April 18, 2014 - 23:45

      whats the matter, wrong side of the ei line.

  • Big Bad
    April 16, 2014 - 00:04

    Personally, I love the series. If you don't like it--don't watch it. If it was on CBC, it would be the only relevant fictional program on the whole network. It's not even on the TV, so calls to "Get rid of ... this kind of garbage" are completely ridiculous. As for using tax payer money,--I'm a tax payer and I'm satisfied to see at least a sliver of funding go to something that relates to my worldview. Keep up the good work boys!

  • same story
    April 15, 2014 - 20:16

    Its garbage boys. A crack head could make that crap up

  • Morgan
    April 15, 2014 - 20:05

    Love this show, I agree it is a little filthy but hilarious. Proud to say it is island based and look forward to a second season, and a 3rd and a 4th!! Keep up the good work!

  • Chris
    April 15, 2014 - 13:41

    The show gives a glimpse of Canadian culture be it skewed. Americans love to laugh at regional differences that' s what made Doug and Bob Mackenzie so funny. A woo koo koo , a woo koo koo.

  • Hay Bailer
    April 15, 2014 - 05:54

    They received $150,000 from the Independent Production Fund (IPF) and Innovation P.E.I.??? Does the hay bailer know this???

  • A concerned Islander
    April 14, 2014 - 21:34

    Please don't call this comedy - it is nothing short of filthy trash. Shame on the PEI Government for putting tax dollars into something like this. Can't imagine it will help the tourism industry - we are advertised as a gentle Island, perfect for family vacations. |I hope others don't think all Islanders are as dirty-mouthed as these. Get rid of the first series, forget about the second series and enjoy some wholesome comedy, not this kind of garbage.

    • jason arsenault
      April 15, 2014 - 13:10

      Your comments are uncalled for it is an opportunity for talented people from our province able to do something other than to move west also the spinoffs from this will help local people with employment give hotels business and restaurant's business good for them guys quite simply if you don't like it keep your comments to yourself and don't watch it humour is found in many ways just because you may not like it doesn't mean no one else should

    • An unconcerned Islander
      April 16, 2014 - 15:23

      I have a simple idea for you. If you don't like it don't watch it. I enjoyed the show. Thought it was pretty funny. Not all Island shows have to be about Anne. There are shows I don't like....and guess what....I don't watch them. Problem solved. And enough about this Gentle Island. Is anyone else sick of hearing this. It was a advertising slogan to get people to come here. It is not the PEI motto.

    • LA
      April 16, 2014 - 22:09

      No doubt there are some things you enjoy that I would consider a waste of tax dollars too (like the lame and gagworthy "Gentle Island" slogan that was generated by some agency in Ontario, no doubt), but I won't begrudge you your preferences. Obviously this show is popular, and if it's not your brand of humour, that doesn't mean it's shameful. If you really think others are so dumb they can't grasp the fact that it's a local COMEDY (or can't grasp it yourself), then you have no business telling people what type of entertainment they should embrace. Believe you me, I don't need or want your assistance in choosing my shows. Sorry to disappoint you in that regard. I realize you take great pleasure in moralizing. Seems like there is a whole category of things you can't imagine.

  • Chris
    April 14, 2014 - 11:17

    I've lived in the US for the last twenty years. I've watched my share of TV series but these two guys are unequivocally the funniest two guys I've seen in a long time. I wish them the best and I hope they get exposure, that's TV exposure in the US.