There are countless web series about actors in L.A., but very few in which the actor is a 10-foot-tall alien robot. Enter hot hunk … of metal Jeff, the well-meaning, socially awkward robot hero of Wired and Condé Nast Entertainment’s new mockumentary web series, Jeff 1000.
Three of the episodes are fun moments from a faux reality show following Jeff and his BFF, Summer Glau, during the making of their untitled indie action film, but the show truly finds its magically meta voice in the episodes that go “behind the scenes” of the reality show.
In these episodes, Summer’s “ex,” David Arquette, and the crew share what they really think about working with Jeff. As to why Jeff was cast, Arquette scoffs, “Not to take down the whole production or anything but … Wall-E was too big for this.” VFX technical adviser Matt Winston nervously comments, “In terms of creative criticism … he’s a little sensitive and I don’t push it. Because he could, you know, incinerate me.”
The actual working robot who plays Jeff was created by Stan Winston Studios and Legacy Effects in partnership with YouTube, Condé Nast and Wired for the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con. Wired put out an actual behind-the-scenes web series about creating the robot back in 2013.
In future seasons of Jeff 1000, creator Michael Karnow (Alphas) plans to have Jeff explore other occupations. “Like so many millennials, Jeff is trying to pay the bills any way he can,” Karnow explains. “This week Jeff is an actor, next week he’ll be making artisanal soap or manning a food truck. L.A. is the land of dreams. Why not explore them all?”
The Tangled Web We Watch is our column on what’s worth watching online. You can watch Jeff 1000 at YouTube.com/Wired and read Stephanie’s full interview with creator Michael Karnow and Wired exec Rachel Samuels on her blog TangledWebWeWatch.com.