Series writer and creator Joseph Blum and his production team didn’t quite know what they were in for while creating the comedic web series Howard Rights His Wrongs until they were well into the production of the first episode. “After we filmed that, and I was editing it and putting it together, we were like, ‘That was hard!’ It was really fun, but there was a lot of stuff that we had to film,” said Blum.
They finished that 10-minute-long episode more than two years ago, and it was one of the longest videos Blum had created at the time. Since then, they have posted four more episodes on HowardRightsHis Wrongs.com, as well as on Blum’s official page on the video website vimeo.com.
The hard work Blum and his team have put into the Syracuse-based web series will be on display at Craft Chemistry, 745 N. Salina St., from Saturday, Sept. 29, to Nov. 3. The screenings will also feature a group art exhibition showcasing the work of more than 15 artists that has been based on or inspired by Howard Rights His Wrongs.
The episodes vary in length, mood and style, but they all explore the possibilities of the same premise: Hapless college student Howard (played by Blum) will literally leap through time to correct his mistakes.
Although Blum is the show’s creator, co-writer and star, it is really a collaborative effort. The crew is made up of friends and other show supporters that he has met through his experiences as an adjunct professor of multimedia storytelling at Syracuse University and as an actor in the local improvisational comedy collective Oregon Fail.
Freelance sound producer Daniel Powell, who contributed the original score for the last three episodes of the series, met Blum when they were auditioning for the same improv group. They formed a collaborative work relationship soon afterward. “With Joe, I feel like we’re very much on the same wavelength sonically,” noted Powell. “I love working on projects like this because it forces me to sit down and write every day.”
The city of Syracuse itself features so prominently as the show’s setting that it seems to qualify as a character itself. Blum decided to use distinct Syracuse landmarks such as the Palace Theatre in newer episodes because viewers seemed to take pleasure in seeing their city as the backdrop to the hilarity onscreen.
“Going forward writing the rest of the episodes, we thought more about location and where to shoot things in places that people would recognize,” said Blum. After he finishes editing and post-production on the first season’s sixth episode, he would like to get started on a second season of the show. This time around, however, he’d like to compensate his collaborators, who graciously worked pro bono throughout the process.
“If I do a second season, I may do a Kickstarter campaign so I can pay people,” said Blum, referring to the public-funding website. “I’d like to work with the same people again and give them something for their efforts.”
An artist reception for Howard Rights His Wrongs will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, 7 to 10 p.m., at Craft Chemistry. Screenings will continue until Nov. 3. Admission is free. For more information, visit craftchemistry.com.