When Butch Hartman, creator of the hit Nickelodeon series Fairly OddParents, approached 2015 Agoura High grads Jeremy Elder and Adam Fisher, both 18, about writing a series for the Noog Network, his newly launched app for kids, they were stunned. “We were at a screening for Zach 2.0 [one of the app’s series],” recalls Elder. “He came up to us and asked if we’d like to develop our own show.”
The two admit they were left speechless. “We really didn’t expect that,” said Fisher. “We looked at each other and said, ‘What just happened?'”
For Hartman, it was a natural decision. ” I had watched Jeremy and Adam perform in the Agoura High ComedySportz team with my daughter Sophia for three years,” he said. “They were two of the funniest kids I’d ever seen. So when I decided to make my own network for kids, I couldn’t think of two better writers to get material from! They’re smart, hard-working and hilarious. Why search all of Hollywood when the best talent was right in my own backyard?”
Charged with a dream-come-true task, the team went to work to create a six-part series in which each episode runs only two minutes long. “We looked at [online sketch] shows like Portlandia and Key & Peele,” said Elder, currently majoring in drama and playwriting at UCLA.
They came up with Lincoln High, an offbeat high school parody series centering around new students, “Jeremy” and “Adam,” who interact with different school stereotypes, all played by Elder and Fisher. “There’s no real plot,” said Fisher, a drama major at the New School in New York City. “Each episode highlights a different type of student, like goths, geeks, cheerleaders.”
“We have a lot of costume changes, sometimes within each episode,” Elder notes. “Especially in the first one where we meet all the characters.”
Directed by Hartman, the entire series was shot over two days during spring break on the Agoura High campus. “It was nice shooting somewhere we felt comfortable,” said Fisher. “A lot of our friends were extras.” Elder’s dad, Dave, plays a teacher in one episode.
The Noog network is a unique animated world filled with cartoons, video games and live action programs in which players must earn “Noog” coins in order to advance and watch new shows. When Elder’s mom, Jennifer, complained on a Facebook post that she “needed help” to view all of the episodes, Elder responded, “Play Freaky Beasts and earn some dang nickels. No free rides!”
Though they’ve moved on to college, the talented duo say audiences can expect future Lincoln High episodes. “We’ll shoot more on a break,” said Elder.
For more information or to download the Noog Network, go to www.noognetwork.com.