For five days in Summer 2012, Ted Pauly and Melissa Silverman travelled from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to a loft on Sixth Street and Girard Avenue that housed a creative collective, gallery and batting cages.
The Girard Avenue loft, also known as Girard Hall, was the main filming site for “All Over It,” a fictional comedy web series set in Fishtown. “All Over It” focuses on the fictional group, The Batatat Collective, comprised of artists who live together and try to sell their creative ideas for money.
The series was created, written and directed by Pauly and Silverman, college friends who also worked together for MTV.
The show was originally meant to be a 22-minute pilot. After workshopping the show, Silverman and Pauly decided to split what they had filmed into short episodes and post it on their own online.
Episodes of “All Over It” can be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo and on the series’ website. The first episode premiered on Feb. 2 and since then, four more episodes have been posted. The series will have nine episodes in total.
“I think [the series] kind of reflects the way [Silverman] and I work,” Pauly said. He explained the two would work on creative ideas together and eventually thought of an idea for a show about a group of people living together “longer than normal.”
When the pair originally wrote the show, they did not have any one particular place for the setting in mind.
“Our producer brought up the idea of Philly and we jumped at it,” Pauly said. Pauly grew up outside of Philadelphia in Wayne, Pennsylvania and always had a love for the city.
“Philly was like ‘it’ for me,” Pauly said. “That’s where I wanted to be.”
Silverman grew up in New York City, but said she appreciated what Philadelphia had to offer.
“Philly really resonated and made perfect sense [for the show],” she said.
Life imitated art as many of the residents of the Girard loft were actually part of a creative collective. Some of the residents even helped out on set, including Temple alumnus Jacob Kindlon.
Kindlon, a film major, was a script supervisor and production assistant on set.
“It was pretty amazing at that time,” Kindlon said. “Definitely the biggest set I had ever worked on up to that point, and as script supervisor I got to see every single second of it.”
As a member of a creative collective, Kindlon said he appreciated the series’ authenticity.
“Our way of life was super similar to the scenes depicted in the series,” he said.
To fill the roles of the eclectic artists that make up the show, Pauly and Silverman held casting calls in New York.
“Each person we ended up with was made for the part,” Silverman said.
Silverman said the cast members were all talented improvisers and often did not stick to the script.
“A fair amount of [what is] funny about the show is improv,” Silverman said. “Our [director of photography] would have to hold back laughter.”
Chris O’Brien, a New York improviser and actor, plays Mike, the leader of The Batatat Collective.
“Everyone is irresponsible in this loft, and he is the responsible one trying to get them all together,” O’Brien said.
The cast also includes H. Jon Benjamin, who is known for voicing the title character in FOX’s animation comedy
“He was amazing, easy to work with and hilarious,” Pauly said. “He is the kind of person that doesn’t need direction.”
Pauly said the shooting schedule was very ambitious and a “race to the finish everyday.”
“There is always that tension, like, ‘Are we going to get everything done?’” Pauly said.
However, Silverman said shooting was overall a very positive experience.
“People really had fun,” she said. “It was inspiring to be around our cast, who always kept their energy.”
Pauly said reception for the series has been positive so far.
“We have gotten a decent amount of press,” he said. “It feels like it’s still early going on, but we are just knocking on wood and hoping people continue to like it.”
As for the future of the series, Pauly and Silverman said they would be interested in making more episodes if it continues to be well-received and the cast is willing. The two have other creative ideas that they are considering developing down the road, but are proud of their work on “All Over It.”
“We spend our days working on our own ideas, and it’s great to have something we created and finally get to share it,” Silverman said.
Kelley Hey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org