In his day job, Ted Jones is a Lead Editor, Project Manager, and Short-Form Producer for FutureView Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based video production company focused on creating everything from corporate documentaries to sports sizzle reels for large-scale organizations.
But on nights and weekends, the Film grad turns his talent and creativity towards The Sherman House Webisodes, a web-based, reality-style show made from actual home videos that invites viewers into the lives of four roommates living on Sherman Street in Washington, D.C.
“I have always wanted to make something, and that feeling just doesn’t go away,” Ted says. In 2010, two new roommates moved in with him and his wife and suddenly a light bulb went off in Ted’s head. “There was no plan to film anything when they first moved in, but once they got in the house they turned out to be so charismatic and interesting that we starting talking about creating random sketch comedy, maybe once a month.”
After six months of filming in 2010, Ted had about 100 hours of footage and realized that, once edited, a really great story could unfold. 2011 and 2012 was spent editing the home-video-style footage and turning it into organized and digestible episodes.
Earlier this year, Sherman House Webisodes debuted on the Internet with a total of 10 episodes around nine minutes each. Ted describes the show as an optimistic, post-modern exploration of the urban “20-something” culture in the digital era. Fans have described it using words like “honest,” “humble” and “brilliant.”
Ted has been releasing webisodes about two at a time every week, and is now halfway through the series. “We’re not pushing our lives on people; it has the feel of ‘we’re all the same.’”
Ted will tell you that the webisodes are meant to not only mirror reality TV but also serve as a correction to it. “In shows like Big Brother, the characters are forced to live together and the result ends up being drunk drama,” says Ted, who strung the scenes of the “SHWebisodes” together with interviews. “This is not that; we chose to live together and chose to make a project together. It doesn’t falsify reality the way mass media does.”