One of the first people we reached out to while trying to get Half Cut Tea off the ground was Sandeep Parikh. We'd been following his career since he released his webseries "The Legend of Neil" for Comedy Central in 2007. Since then he went on to costar in Felicia Day's groundbreaking webseries "The Guild" for 6 seasons. In his off-time, he was creating content for The Nerdist Channel, My Damn Channel, and his own channel Effin Funny.
A few weeks after our first email exchange, Parikh reached out to us with a request. He was about to start filming short film for YouTube's Geek Week and needed someone to film the behind the scenes video. We accepted. We expected a small group of 4-5 people with a handicam filming something in their house. We were mistaken.
Our alarms woke us early the next morning, earlier than any human should ever be alarmed. With our brains still groggy from the early morning wake-up call, we got in the car and followed our GPS to the middle of the desert. We took a dirt road to the top of a small plateau in Santa Clarita, California. We were one of the first to arrive and the sun followed soon behind us. In the distance, we saw a cloud of dust ascending the windy road. A 18-wheeler was towing a Winnebago to the set. It was one of the first surprises we got that morning.
Parikh arrived a few minutes after the Winnebago. He was dressed like a director: baseball cap and a t-shirt. Behind Parikh was the crew of 30 people ranging from a cinematographers and make-up artists to Dustin Diamond and a turtle handler. At noon we were rewarded with a fully catered lunch. All our ideas of what a web video would be were being dashed one at a time. This was no small production, instead we were walking through a set as professional as any you'd find on a hit television show. Parikh directed the crew with ease. He kept the set light and fun while making sure everything stayed on schedule and looked right.
After the two-day shoot, Parikh sent us the address to our next location. We'd be meeting him in a recording studio hidden in a strip mall in Silverlake. We pushed our way through the over-sized soundproof door and heard Parikhin the sound-booth recording voices for his animated webseries "Game Off." In the control room, an engineer leaned over a large console of faders and knobs and Parikh's producer and girlfriend Josie Kavadoy sat behind a desk with pages of scripts at her fingertips. After a few minutes of filming, we left them to their work. Both the Geek Week short and this episode of Game Off were due at the end of the week. They had a lot of work ahead of them.
A few days later, Parikh invited us to his house to film the interview as well as play one of his favorite card games, Dominion. After a few minutes of instructions and a few minutes of confusion, we were knee deep in Dominion using moats to protect ourselves from spies and buying up all the provinces we could.
After spending a week with Parikh, we were left in awe of his work ethic and the path he created for himself in Los Angeles. He was making his own content in his own way and made a name for himself doing so. It was inspiring to know that with original ideas and dedication, you can make your art without compromising your creative freedom. He's definitely someone who we admire.
About the Author
Select the most compelling article and help us make TV.
California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.
Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.
Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.
At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.
Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.
Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.
A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.
Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.
Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.