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Summit City Noise
Entertainment magazine meets soap opera
By Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader
Dean Robinson has been known to come up with some pretty good ideas over the years. Last summer, he came up with a doozy. On April 8th at 1 a.m. on NBC 33/ Comcast 13, Fort Wayne can get a first hand look at the media savvy Robinson's newest project, Summit City Noise.
"I had been kicking around the idea of doing an internet soap opera," shares Robinson, "It was going to be loosely based on my years as a rock and roll magazine publisher in Indianapolis. That was back when I wore a younger man's clothes. When I became co-host of Live on Stage, I decided to change the magazine in the soap opera into a local TV show. Either way, it was going to be called The Noise. When the producer gently removed me from the staff of Live on Stage, I got the idea of producing a real TV show to introduce the characters in the soap opera. But instead making it a full-on dramatic-comedic piece, I thought we'd be better off doing a show that actually covered the real entertainment scene in Fort Wayne."
The show switches back and forth between a reality-type fly on the wall view to the 'actual show' footage, giving it a show-within-a-show feel. The overall look is fresh and fast paced with plenty of information and laughs to boot. Robison says he had a few different influences in mind when developing the show, "Wayne's World leaps to mind, as does This is Spinal Tap and Borat. But we're not trying to make fun of anyone in a mean-spirited way. If we do a joke, everybody's in on it or we don't do it. Melissa Long from Channel 21 appears in our third episode and she is a scream. She wanted in on the action and she was a great sport. The show is silly, but we don't make people look silly."
Robinson stars as Quentin 'QT' Taylor and also serves as the writer, producer and director of the show and along with Scott Frey, handles the camera work. Robinson also takes care of the music, although the theme song was written by Robert Scrimm. Scrimm also co-stars as Owen Dodge, along with Corey Noble as Corey Mall and Daisy Paroczy as Mallory Spine. Paroczy co-produces the segments that she appears in as her character. Robinson says it was easy to assemble the cast, "For me, working with Daisy was one of the best things about doing Live on Stage. She's a blast to work with. I love me some Daisy. So she was a lock from jump. When I thought about casting Corey Mall, Corey Noble was the only dude on the list. All I had to do was convince him to join the cast. Entice him and then spring the trap. Robert Scrimm played Binny Fraid in Butch Black: The M.E.A.N. Man! (Robinsonís 2005 movie) After the Butch Black premiere at Cinema Center Tech, Rob demanded that I give him a bigger part in my next project. Now I can officially tell him to shut up."
Whether or not this is a completely new concept for a show, it certainly seems like it's the first of its kind in the city. "The sitcom meets Entertainment Tonight element may be new to Fort Wayne television. I really don't know. I'm a video producer, not a historian," admits Robinson, "The connection between Summit City Noise the TV show and the upcoming
internet soap opera may be unique. The stuff we'll be doing in the soap opera is gonna be crazy. The TV show is pretty much TV-PG. The soap opera will be more TV-MA. Both projects include the same cast and additional actors. That's where Summit City becomes fictional. It will be a hyper soap opera. The soap opera will launch sometime this spring or summer."
The internet aspect is all part of Robinson's long term goal for the project. "I love creating these kinds of projects. I'd like to do Summit City Noise on a larger scale, with a bigger budget, for a broader audience. The website is a very important component. It will soon become the most important component. I want the site to become a haven for artists. Right now it's largely music and video content. But I want there to be more. Cartoons, movies, stories, podcasts, and radio streams. There will be something for everyone if not something from everyone."
One form of Fort Wayne entertainment that will receive plenty of airtime is theatre. Robinson says that's a result of the plethora of talent in the area, "We've got some great stage talent in this town. These performers already get some love. They deserve more love. We're about to give them a great, big, group hug."
When asked if Fort Wayne is ready for this type of innovative entertainment, Robinson replied with tongue firmly in cheek, "Doubtful. Fort Worth, maybe. Fort Wayne, no way. But we called the show Summit City Noise. Not too many other places we can run it." Robinson says we can expect to see at least 16 episodes, with the plan in place to run four episodes a quarter. After the initial four episodes air in April the next batch should appear in August or September.