“We’re here to talk to you about THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE.”
How excited would you be if someone said these words to you? Don’t we all yearn for the chance to be a superhero? Well, now’s your chance! (sorta)
We sat down and spoke with Phil Boothman, the creator of a new webseries named THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE, which aims to teach people how they can become superheroes.
A Place to Hang Your Cape: Why exactly did you start THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE?
Phil Boothman: THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE is essentially a thematic and narrative continuation of the show I have been making for the past 3 years, SO YOU’RE A SUPERHERO, which is a series of mock-educational videos teaching the viewer how to become a superhero. After almost 150 episodes to date, I feel as though I have done everything that I want to with the idea in that format and wanted to explore it in a bigger and more ambitious way, and THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE was born from that idea. The main concept of the new show is to move away from the ‘solo superhero’ format of SO YOU’RE A SUPERHERO into more of a team dynamic, and to try and mine that situation for fun and interesting ideas, as well as to create something with a more consistent narrative running throughout. I’m hoping that this will ultimately create a more engaging and rewarding experience for the viewers than the work I’ve done previously which has been more standalone in nature!
AP2HYC: What do you ultimately hope to achieve with this series?
Boothman: My main objective with the show is to create something fun and enjoyable for the viewers and to continue to build on the community that has grown around SO YOU’RE A SUPERHERO. That has been the most rewarding part of creating the show, interacting with this super weird, funny, and dedicated group of people who share the same interests as me, and I just want to be able to reach more viewers like that and give people who enjoy the same things an opportunity to connect with each other as well.
AP2HYC: I’ve noticed a lot of similarities to Marvel Comics and how they handle the superhero game. Did you draw a lot of inspiration from them or is this purely coincidence?
Boothman: I’ve always been a huge fan of Marvel Comics, and that’s only increased since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become such a huge pop culture phenomenon, so I think it was inevitable that I would draw inspiration from that world. In fact, my main inspiration when creating THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE was Warren Ellis‘ series Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. – the weird team dynamic in that series, and the way it approached the superhero genre, and Marvel Comics in particular in such an offbeat and humorous way was a huge influence on me. If my show can even be fractionally as great as that series, I’ll be a happy man!
AP2HYC: What are the biggest challenges that come with producing this web series?
Boothman: I’ve always had quite a ‘do it yourself’ mentality, so in producing THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE, I’ve had to accept that I can’t do everything on my own, which has been something of a big adjustment! But the people I’ve brought on to join me in working on this project have made that particular transition a lot easier than it could have been, which I’m very grateful for.
AP2HYC: What’s been your favorite part of this entire project so far?
Boothman: Developing the world that the show exists in has been a really fun process. When I started making SO YOU’RE A SUPERHERO, I was mostly winging it on a week by week basis, so when questions of continuity or about the world the show was set in came up, I was pretty much stumped! With THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE, the situation the characters are in is much more clearly defined than it ever was with the previous show, so it was important to me that the world of the show was just as clearly defined. So I’ve spent a lot more time world-building than I ever did before, and I’ve found it to be a much more rewarding process than the more improvisational way I’ve approached things in the past.
AP2HYC: If this campaign is a success, could you see yourself doing something like this again in the future? Do you already have plans in place for another campaign?
Boothman: THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE is just the beginning of what I want to do in this area, so if everything works out, then I see a lot more crowdfunding in my future!
AP2HYC: And just out of curiosity – which superhero would you choose to be and why?
Boothman: The answer to that question changes on a regular basis, but right now I think I’d go with Gambit – charming, roguish AND you get to make things things go boom? Sign me up!
Don’t forget to support the Indiegogo campaign for THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE here.
Have you checked out any of the videos for THE SUPERHERO INITIATIVE yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!