If the locations look familiar the next time you’re binging a new show on Amazon, that’s because you're looking at scenes of your own backyard. #Washed, a new show premiering on Amazon Prime’s streaming service, was written and filmed completely in Dallas.
#Washed follows Mark, played by Corey Pratt, as he struggles to cope with his body turning 30 while his mind still sits at 22. While Mark works through his self-described “quarter-life crisis,” he relies on his friends and co-workers to keep him sane. Told from a black-male perspective, #Washed is a coming-of-age story for those not quite ready to grow up.
The journey to make #Washed a selection on Amazon’s massive streaming service has been a long one, taking its first steps last fall when creator and director Jerod Couch sat down with Pratt to start writing for the first two episodes. Using those first two entries as a pilot, Couch and Pratt fine-tuned their process before going back to work on another six episodes.
"It probably took us a little longer than most TV shows,” says Couch, who was born and raised in Wilmer. “But I would say all in all, it probably took us around six to eight months, but then again we’re also shooting just on the weekends, because all of our cast and crew have 9 to 5 jobs.”
Couch and Pratt financed #Washed themselves, so learning how to use time effectively was a top priority when filming. By creating well-defined goals of what the crew needed to shoot in a limited time frame of the weekend, Couch was able to film a wide variety of scenes on what would usually be back-to-back 15-hour days on location.
Any project requiring long hours and the financial risk that #Washed presented can create stress in a relationship, but fortunately Couch and Pratt have developed a trust and rapport formed from being friends since high school. Pratt recalls Couch talking about the idea for the show nearly 10 years before they turned the cameras on, and Pratt has wanted to be involved since day one.
The duration from when Couch first pitched the idea a decade ago to now allowed him to learn the ropes by working in production at ESPN, then becoming a key figure in launching the Longhorn Network before moving to work for the Texas Rangers the last three years.
“My background was commercials, so this was my first time jumping into long-form scripts” Couch says, “which is a totally different beast, because you’re going from producing 30-second commercials spots to 160 minutes of content.”
Season 1 is available to watch now, with ideas for season 2 on hold while the duo works to secure funds.
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“We’re currently raising funds for season 2,” Pratt says. “We have an amazing seed and spark campaign, which is a platform geared more towards filmmaking.”
Raising funds should prove to be easy with the positive attention #Washed is receiving. The series is racking up five-star reviews on Amazon and was nominated for Best Comedy at the Indie Series Awards.
Between fundraising, writing, filming and promoting, work is never in short supply for Couch and Pratt, and they’ve learned a lot from wearing so many hats to make #Washed a reality. They’ve learned the value of thorough planning, professional appearance, and above all else, determination.
“Be consistent,” Pratt says. “This journey hasn’t been easy, at all, by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe our consistency is what’s setting us apart from the other web series out right now.”