ATX Television Festival 2016: Rooster Teeth: Day 5

ATX Television Festival 2016: Rooster Teeth: Day 5

Day 5 is an imaginative drama series from an established production company, that promises to impress for a while to come.

If you’ve never heard of them, Rooster Teeth is an Austin based production company that has produced quality entertainment for many years. Some of their most popular work includes Red vs. Blue, RWBY (pronounced Ruby), and most recently Lazer Team, a theatrically released film, which also happens to be the first Youtube Red original movie. With their successes in anime and comedy, they’ve decided to give drama a try, with their new series titled Day 5, a show about an unexplainable epidemic that causes people to die if they fall asleep. Rooster Teeth invited me into their studio for a screening of the pilot, and a quick chat with the team involved.

The pilot starts out, as any pilot should, by introducing us to the main character, Jake, played by Jesse Boyd (The Choice). Jake is coming off a drug use marathon, which ironically enough is the only reason he is still alive. His lighter has given out on him, forcing him outside and into the world that has since changed drastically. Day 5 gives the audience an idea of just how desolate the planet has become, emphasized with a pan over Austin’s I-35 lacking a single car (An impossible feat by any stretch of the imagination, so kudos to the visual effects guys for that one).  As Jake begins to discover, but not understand, what is going on in the world, he rushes over to his family’s home to check on them. Unfortunately for Jake, his loved ones have succumbed to the epidemic.

The pilot progresses with Jake meeting Sam (Walker Satterwhite), an almost too intelligent and responsible 13-year-old boy, who appears to be the key to Jake’s survival, in my opinion. Sam is such an interesting character, extremely well written and thought out, and Satterwhite has such a natural chemistry with Boyd, which makes me excited to see how their relationship on Day 5 will unfold. I won’t go too deep into the occurrences of the show, as it is truly worth watching for yourself, but as we progress through the episode we get a chance to experience some of that Rooster Teeth charm and comedy that has made them such a successful production company. Towards the end of the episode, we’re quickly introduced to the other two main characters, Ellis (Davi Jay), a airplane pilot and disciplined man, and Ally (Stephanie Drapeau), a night shift nurse with the medical expertise to keep people alive just a bit longer. Each of these characters are equally compelling, and important to the story line. Their roles could and should evolve to take more of a lead role on an episode by episode basis, but as of the conclusion of the pilot it is clear they are complementary characters to Jake and Sam.

Both director Josh Flanagan and producer Ezra Venetos need to be credited with the absolutely stunning quality of work you’ll see on Day 5, as they overcame many challenges to make this series happen. As many of you may know, Austin has been very rainy in recent times, so to film a show where the entire first season encompasses 24 hours, the weather had to cooperate to a large extent. I spoke to both Flanagan and Venetos, and they both described the challenges in this filming process as so unique to their show. Venetos touched on the complications with filming an apocalyptic themed show in a highly populated area. In addition to that, Flanagan pointed out that unlike any of the zombie shows out there, in Day 5‘s universe, even animals are dead if they sleep. This means that a squirrel or bird moving across a shot could cause an entire reshoot, a massive problem for a production on a budget. So my point being, Flanagan and Venetos, and the entire rest of the crew did a fabulous job, with an exceptional product at the end of it all.

Day 5 is billed as a dramatic series, and surely it is, but as I mentioned earlier, Rooster Teeth has a way of implementing a certain charm and character to their works, and you’ll find this show to be wildly funny as well as a decent amount of action thrown into the mix. Rooster Teeth is releasing Day 5 exclusively to their sponsors, which means you’ll need to become one to see it. You can get more information on that, including a free 30 day trial, on roosterteeth.com. The show premiers on June 19th, 2016 on roosterteeth.com. 

Official Trailer:

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