It’s as if the Three Stooges mixed with the Trailer Park Boys.
That piece of imagery is how Carihi grad Malcolm Masters and two of his partners in crime describe their web series Goons.
The minute long pilot, which is full of karate chops and fight scenes that put Power Rangers to shame, was one of 15 projects recently awarded a $10,000 grant through Telus.
Malcolm, a Campbell River native, is a co-creator of Goons and stars as The Brawn, alongside Camden Filness as Blue and Ryan McNeill Bolton as The Brain. Masters describes the characters as those who typically disappear from a film within the first few seconds because of their shenanigans.
“The premise is they are these guys who are usually in 30 seconds of a movie because the hero beats them up and they’re never seen again,” Masters says.
The aspiring actors and filmmakers would like to turn Goons into a mini-series, with one episode dedicated to each character.
Goons, which was created with the help of the $10,000 grant – is up against several other pilots all competing for the ultimate prize – a $50,000 grant from Storyhive, a Telus initiative that aims to help local content creators in Western Canada develop their dreams.
The winner will be chosen in July following a four-day voting period open to the public.
Masters says his group is thrilled to be in the running and was beyond excited to receive the $10,000 from Storyhive to produce a pilot.
“We were over the the moon to finally get some recognition that way,” says Masters, adding the group was “beaten down” after failing to find success at other film festival competitions.
“It’s pretty heart breaking to not get anywhere that way. Myself, I wasn’t expecting too much so I’m really happy to get a bit of legitimacy.”
It’s been a long time coming for Masters who first started acting with Anne Young’s Young Theatre program when he was in Grade 5.
“That was my first time acting on stage, in front of a crowd,” says Masters who considers himself a movie buff.
“I always loved movies. I rented movies every weekend. Clint Eastwood was always my hero when I was young.”
Masters continued refining his craft through middle and high school, taking drama classes at Robron and then Carihi.
After graduating in 2007, Masters moved to Vancouver and enrolled in Capilano College’s acting diploma program.
It was there that he was ‘discovered’ by a talent agent during one of his live performances.
That led to appearances on TLC’s Untold Stories of the E.R., filmed at the former Riverview mental health hospital in Coquitlam, as well as a two-episode role on the TV series Supernatural.
Masters also appeared in the History Channel’s Battle Castle where he put his sword fighting skills to use. Masters is certified by The Academy of Fight Directors Canada which helped him snag is Battle Castle role and has proved valuable in the filming of Goons.
It was through the Academy that Masters connected with his Goons co-stars Filness and McNeill Bolton.
Masters says he’s been having a blast working on Goons which originally started as a project to pass the time in between acting gigs.
Goons started three years ago, originally as a six-episode mini-series.
It was later set aside for other projects, but recently resurrected.
Masters says the reincarnation of Goons is a “restart” with all new content.
“Goons has been in the works to keep us busy in between the downtime,” Masters says. “As actors starting out, it’s important to do your own stuff and it’s a great way to network and meet people doing the same thing.”
It’s also how Masters and his team, which includes Goons director Tom Hackett, discovered the Storyhive grant opportunity, which provides good exposure for the young actors.
Goons, along with other pilots that received a grant, will be available to view on Optik TV for Telus subscribers, as well as on the Storyhive website (storyhive.com).
In the meantime, when he’s not squeezing in trips back home to Campbell River, Masters and his crew are working on a longer, 10 to 15 minute pitch to submit to Storyhive for round two of voting, in a bid for the $50,000 prize.
“When that time comes (in July) I’ll be getting all my friends and family to get on there and vote,” Masters says with a laugh.
To view the Goons pilot, visit: storyhive.com/project/show/id/1095