They say always write what you know, and for Alex Knight, a course director for Full Sail’s Music Business and Entertainment Business bachelor’s programs, that couldn’t hold more true. The musician, writer, and self proclaimed comedy nerd has teamed up with three of his best friends and real life band mates (Andrew “Hondu” Knight, Chris Kutsor, and Jeff Mitchell) on a new reality-style web series, The Lost Weekend.
Before the series, the crew spent three years touring the country with their former band, The Arrival. The experience was overwhelmingly positive, says Alex, though far from glamorous. Some shows were better than others, and it was difficult to make a consistent living on the road. At a certain point, touring just wasn’t sustainable. When the group called it quits a few years ago, they found themselves rehashing their adventures in the form of anecdotes.
“We would tell these stories about being on the road, and people were like, that should be a show. I found myself thinking, I like to write, why don’t I take a crack at it,” says Alex.
Thus, The Lost Weekend was born. Featuring over a dozen comedic webisodes, the series follows the daily life of a struggling band. Viewers get to witness the glory and grit behind what indie musicians experience in today’s industry—all through the eyes of a group of wisecracking friends.
In addition to providing a writing outlet for Alex, the project also provided an avenue for the group to get back in the studio. The series features lots of original music, including the show’s theme song, “Open Road.” In fact, each member of the crew took on a unique role, with Alex writing scripts, Chris taking up the mantle of editor, Hondu working on publicity, and Jeff spearheading the score. Taking on this project on top of their day jobs meant writing, shooting and editing episodes on weekends, late nights, and in any spare moment. Not to mention that the entire production was executed on a shoestring budget.
“As far as money goes, it’s incredible what you can do without it,” says Alex. “There are some episodes where half the footage was shot on a legitimate camera, and half the footage was shot on an iPhone, and for the most part, you can’t really tell.”
For Alex, this new world of film production has permeated into how he teaches entertainment business and music students about expanding their expertise by adopting various skill sets. “My real-life examples of working on something outside of my own experience has filled a gap with my students where they feel encouraged to be multifaceted in their careers.”
The official launch of the series marks a bridge for a greater connection with fans and virtual viewers a like.
The one thing the band mates wish people take away from the series is, “hopefully just laughs. That’s the main thing we are going for.”
Additional reporting by Caryn Morris