Aidan 5 is Officially Launched!

March 4th, 2011 | Room101

by Ben Bays - Executive Producer/Writer

Thanks to everyone on the Aidan 5 team who has worked so hard and tirelessly to make this happen. It’s almost impossible to describe all of the collective efforts that have gone into getting something like this off of the ground. It required dozens of people working around their families and day jobs for no money to finally see it playing here. We are proud of our team and look forward to revealing more of their work in the coming months. — We hope you enjoy the series as it unfolds every other Friday, right here on Aidan and be sure to stay connected as more information becomes available.

And we’re back…

December 31st, 2010 | Room101

by Ben Bays - Executive Producer/Writer

We realize that over the past year Aidan has kind of been like that old house in the country you pass by on the way to somewhere and wonder if anyone lives there. Occasionally you see a bizarre new lawn decoration appear or what you think may be a dim light on inside, but you never really wanted to stop and knock on the door to introduce yourself.

There have been a lot of challenges for us here over the past year, but we have always been working very diligently on the series and felt that it would be best to wait until we had something to show for it. After a lot of hard work, we are very happy to announce our imminent release as well as our sneak peek weekend showcasing two new episodes and the official trailer.

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We keep harping about how it’s tough to create an ambitious show on no budget. While that’s been an unfortunate reality for us here, we are hoping that it doesn’t stay that way forever. We’ve been seeking investors/distributors that would be interested in our project, and while we finally have enough episodes completed to start releasing them, we still have a few on the back end that need to cross the finish line.

So, to help with things like promotional costs and finalizing the show, we’ve decided to open an IndieGoGo page for donations. If you or anyone you know (preferably some wealthy eccentric uncle with a British accent and his own spaceport) would be interested in helping out, you can visit our IndieGoGo site.

Also, we’ve moved to YouTube so be sure to grab the new RSS feed from our main page. We are trying to get our hits up, so pass it along to your friends and blog about it as you wish.

We’d like to thank everyone who has stuck with is for this long haul and waited patiently for the show’s release. Believe me, we are as happy to get to this stage as anyone.

Stay posted to the website for further updates, but things are moving along well.

Happy New Year!

Status Update…

December 20th, 2009 | Room101

by John Jackson - Co-Creator/Director

Hello again. It has been quite a long time since the last post and I wanted to pop my head above ground and let everyone know that while we’ve been down, we’ve not been out… not by a long shot.

Things have been running silent at for a while, but make no mistake, our team has been working extremely hard behind the scenes and that’s no small feat considering all that has happened in the past few months. I first must share public sorrows to Ben Brown, my friend and Aidan 5 lead artist and compositor, for showing amazing strength and courage caring for his ill father, while trying to keep a day job and work when he could on Aidan 5. Sadly his father lost his fight with leukemia and passed away with Ben at his side. Quite a heavy burden for one so young, I respect him immensely for that.

However, life goes on, and Ben is back in action, jumping head first into Aidan 5 with a renewed vigor. I can only let his work speak for itself. We have also since finished principal photography on all 15 episodes and have been working hard to push through an immense post-production workload that can be delivered in a reasonable time-frame while still creating a product we’re proud of. It continues to be a challenge with the all-volunteer nature of our show to consistently hit deadlines and schedules while absorbing the many curve balls daily life throws at us, but we are extremely pleased with the results and are looking forward to sharing them with you soon. It is our goal to get the show up and running without any additional interruptions, so we ask your continued patience and support as we close the gap to finish what we all hope will be a great first season.

It has been a true labor of love and a real testament to the dedicated team of professionals who have worked so hard on this. Thank you for hanging in there with us, we know you’ll enjoy the ride when we get this old roller coaster fired up and tearing down the track again. Stop back by when you get the chance or sign up and get a notification when the new stuff goes up. We hope to be throwing a few surprises at all of you who have signed up already online with us. Thanks for your support and word of mouth reviews; they have lifted us up when we needed it.

And now… back to work.

Games, zombies…and a little sci-fi.

August 21st, 2009 | Room101

by Maya Sayre

You know you’re not in Kansas anymore when you’re approached by a 7.5 foot tall Chewbacca, offered to have your portrait painted as a zombie, and have played games until you fall into a sleep-induced coma.

Welcome to GenCon; THE convention for gamers.

This was my first GenCon experience, and I whole-heartedly admit it will not be my last. I heard tales of the wonders one could experience at GenCon…and let me say I was not disappointed.

I came home with a few less dollars in my pockets, but richer in an understanding of D&D and other games. Seriously, I was genuinely moved by the people at GenCon. Everyone who came by the Aidan 5 booth seemed really interested in the project, and many visitors even offered to help!

Oh, and I must mention our screening on Saturday night! I had no idea what to expect. (I don’t think any of us did!) We were prepared for about 15 or 20 people, and had planned to raffle off an AIDAN 5 shirt based on those numbers.

When we arrived at the screening location, the theater was already half-full. By the time the lights went down, we had counted 99 people! Having that many people there to witness the results of our hard work was rather surreal, and I think all of us were blown away by the positive response we received.

We made some friends too… “The Mercury Men,” another black-and-white sci-fi webseries is something everyone should check out!  They are creative folks, with a heck of a story on their hands.  Visit to find out more.

Again, thanks to everyone who attended the screening, and to those who stopped by the booth to say hello. You definitely made my (and our) GenCon experience something I (we) will always remember.

(**Our apologies to those who attended the GenCon screening of Aidan 5. Due to the large numbers of attendees, we didn’t have enough raffle tickets to give away the AIDAN 5 shirt. But all is not lost!  We will be holding an online raffle to make up for that.  An email will be drawn at random on 8/31/09, so be sure to register your email for your chance to win!)

No Sets, No Budget, No Problem…

August 9th, 2009 | Room101

by Ben Bays - Executive Producer/Writer

It was little less than a year ago when I sat down at the Landmark theater in Columbus Ohio to view my friend John Jackson’s 48-hour film premiere. I had heard that the shoot went well and Bryan Block said that it looked like a fantastic “living comic book.” But I had no idea what to expect, especially from a 48-hour project. The lights went down, the logo appeared on the screen, and a few seconds into the film my jaw hit the floor.

I couldn’t believe what they had pulled off in just 48-hours. I left the theater that night wanting to see more. I wanted to find out why Aidan’s clone went on a killing spree. I wanted to learn about the other characters we only got brief glimpses of, and I wanted to discover what else that world had to offer. Essentially, I wanted more Aidan 5.

A few months later, I approached Johnny about turning the concept into a web series. The idea was simple: follow the 48-hour model and create an entire series with no budget, an all-volunteer crew and a limited time frame. Creativity and elbow grease are the only resources.

writers-meetingWe set up a few initial meetings with the original 48-hour team, huddled in a corner booth at Panera Bread, or devouring a stack of chicken wings at BW3s. We tossed around ideas about the characters and the world, essentially brain-dumping our collective idea of what Aidan 5 was into a flurry of notes and e-mails.

Then, over the course of the next several months, Johnny and I hashed out the story and character arcs, ending up with three potential seasons of episodes with room for more. Early on in the spring we met with co-creator, Tim Baldwin and writers Vidas Barzdukas and Noell Evans. We pitched them the new story, after which, they immediately jumped on board and began hammering out scripts.

For reasons based more on location, noise level and closing time, we found that a local Applebees ended up being the place for our regular writer’s meetings and a large round booth hidden at the back of the restaurant suited us just fine.

With a production date of June 27th looming on the horizon, we began to assemble the production team. Some had returned from the original 48-hour short, and many new faces signed on as well. All of them volunteered their time, skills and in many cases, equipment. Construction of a giant green screen wall began in the scene shop of Production Designer and friend, Chris Clapp.

Centered around stacks of stored lumber, stagecraft walls and sawdust, this would be our “sound stage” for the next 4 months. I noticed Chris sitting in the corner of the shop one afternoon with his head in his hands, laughing. “I can’t believe my entire job on this project is to make sure the set won’t be seen on camera.”

Casting began, headed up by the lead actor Bryan Michael Block, along with Vidas Barzdukas and Co-Producer, Shawn Likley. They set up sessions every weekend for a month at various public libraries around Columbus. Local actors came from far away as Indianapolis and Kentucky. The turnout was quite large given that once again the project was volunteer only.

The post-production team led by illustrator/compositor Ben Brown began to prepare for the large number of shots that would start coming in, and Johnny began his storyboards for the upcoming shoot.

During the final production meeting we went over any last minute issues and questions. The task was to shoot three episodes in one day and the schedule would be grueling. A 6:00AM call time would be preceded only by two meal breaks and a wrap scheduled for 1:00AM.

As I sat there in the meeting, I was struck by the commitment of these people/friends/colleagues, all giving their free time and skills to this small project. Without their professional dedication, this simply wouldn’t happen.

Not long after that I found myself standing on the stage with lights blazing and crew members running around. The actors took their places against a sea of brilliant green. The cameras framed and focused. Silence fell on the set and Johnny checked the monitor. — “Action!”

What a Long Strange Trip…

July 7th, 2009 | Room101

by John Jackson - Co-Creator/Director

This is the first official production blog of the series, and having just finished the first 3 episodes of our 15 episode first season, we will be running additional updates in the coming weeks to keep you informed of the production in advance of our August 14th premiere, as well as our screening and exhibition at Indy Gen Con 2009.

From here on out it will be deadline after deadline but I am excited to finally see this project come to life! I am so lucky to have such a great team of wonderful and creative people to work with, as it would not be possible to do any of this without their dedication and support.

As an independent project, this is certainly more ambitious than anything I have attempted before, and I am still amazed at the response the original 48-hour short has received.  From Columbus to Miami to Cannes, what a long strange trip it has been!

To fill you in on how this whole thing got started, Aidan 5 began in August of 08′ as part of the 48-hour film project in Columbus, Ohio. Simple enough… pull together some friends, have some laughs and make a film in 48hours, start to finish.

I teamed up with Tim Baldwin, who was a co-worker and editor, and began thinking of ways to assemble a project capable of being produced in 48 hours. I still recall Tim’s warnings and emails about not getting “too crazy” with this thing. Little did we know…

After a conversation about possible location concerns, I had the idea to shoot everything on green screen and simply draw the locations in post. I had worked with this style of live-action/animation 10 years ago but nothing on this scale.  (Oddly enough, I was kicked out of art school on a first year scholarship but have always had a thing for doodles and illustrations ever since.)

Ben Brown, a visual effects artist and graphic illustrator who works with me at a local production company agreed to illustrate and animate the short. The night of the contest I pulled “Sci-fi” from a hat and the 48-hour clock immediately started ticking. 48 sleepless hours later we were finished, and you can view the final result here:  Aidan 5 short film.

To our surprise, the short ended up winning Columbus, and was slated to compete in the International 48-hour competition at the Miami International Film Festival. Almost immediately, friend and Director/Producer Ben Bays started to push my buttons about developing Aidan 5 into a web series. (We had both originally wanted to do a series of some kind but I think I wanted a teen drama set in rural America and Ben wanted something to do with vampire hunters, so it is a good thing Aidan 5 provided us with clones, or we’d be seeing a web series about teen vampires with issues. Who would watch that?  …apparently everyone.)

Ben and I made the trip down to Miami to see how the short faired against the winners of 69 other cities from 15 different countries across four continents. Needless to say, we were both shocked and excited to see it take home the 2nd runner-up prize.

Shortly thereafter, Aidan 5 was selected to appear at the Cannes Film Festival short corner. Once again, I packed my bags, headed to the south of France, and enjoyed three days of film festival bustle where my only brush with celebrity was almost getting run over by Academy Award winning Director, Ang Lee’s limo. Overall, Cannes was a truly amazing experience, and one that was shared remotely by everyone who was involved. I wish they all could have been there.

Almost a year after it began, here we are once again, standing on a green screen stage with longtime friend and actor Bryan Michael Block reclaiming his role as Aidan, the obsessed detective bent on discovering the mystery behind the murders of his own clones. Built on the 48-hour model of no budgets and extreme deadlines, this web series will be an exercise in creativity and resourcefulness. I hope you’ll enjoy what talented, dedicated people can do with nothing but their imaginations when the series premieres August 14th, only at

And since Aidan 5 depends on viewers like you, in the spirit of grassroots indie film making, tell a friend, share a teaser, put us on your Facebook page, and celebrate independent art.

Thank you for your support!

Aidan 5 Website now live…

May 11th, 2009 | Room101

Hello, and greetings from

As you can see, the official site is now active, and we will be bringing you more information and updates in the coming days.

Stay tuned to this blog and be sure to register your email with us on the main page.

Exciting things are ahead!