Welcome to Cliffhanger Falls, where the girls are voluptuous, the men are devious and the town cop is a delusional orphan with a handlebar moustache and Vietnam flashbacks
If you ever dreamed of writing, filming or starring in your own online soap-opera spoof, prepare to love Tyler Downey and Bo Lais. The Kansas City duo created "Cliffhanger Falls" as a choose-your-own-adventure book gone viral, filming the pilot episode with local actors and local director Ty Jones. It's up to audiences to choose what happens next and execute it.
"You can just pick up where it left off and continue the story," said Downey, who wrote the first episode. "I tried to set it up so there are lots of different story lines to follow."
The rules are simple: Write, shoot, edit and submit. No porn, easy on the language.
Each episode will be based on the same characters and settings, but it will be up to each director to create new twists. People can vote online for their favorite submission, and a new 8- to 15-minute episode will be posted on cliffhangerfalls.com each month.
"It's never been done before, other filmmakers taking the same characters and same storyline," Jones said. "The elements of creativity you can put in there as a director is really exciting."
Downey focused the pilot on introducing the main characters and settings. Because they'll have to be recognizable in future episodes, each character has a trademark look. Expect smoking jackets, trampy wigs and unexplained eye patches.
"It was a lot of fun, probably one of the funniest things I've ever directed," said Jones, who described the episode as a cross between "Soap" and "Dark Shadows" with a dash of Ben Stiller. "(Downey) is one of the most talented writers I've worked with. It's like working with Jim Carrey."
Downey hopes to be surprised by the plot twists people bring his original storyline. "I would love to see some pretty crazy stuff," he said. "Alien invasions, brain transplants, back from the dead, love triangles, love octagons, all of it."
You can check out a series preview and character bios on the show Web site.
MCT News Service