AFTER winning RTÉ’s online Storyland competition last week, Swinford comedy sensations the Hardy Bucks are hoping their creation can make it onto the small screen.
The ‘Bucks’, who have been an internet phenomenon for the past year, saw their efforts to date culminate with victory last week in RTÉ’s comedy/drama competition and co-creator Chris Torduff hopes it will be a stepping stone.
“What we hope to do now is for the Hardy Bucks to get a pilot show for television and we’re waiting to see if production companies are interested,” he told The Mayo News.
The competition ran over five stages of voting, after an original entry of close to 150 was pared down to ten before public voting commenced. The ‘Bucks’, as their legion of fans tend to call them, won four of the five stages and came second in another stage.
The most interesting aspect of the show is the lack of experience of all who take part - none of them ever acted before and while director Chris Torduff studied Media in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, the whole show is essentially amateur. It made winning all the sweeter.
“We’ve never really won anything before, never been part of a winning team so this is a great experience,” admitted Torduff. “We’re all amateur, amateur actors and I am am amateur editor so it is all new to us. It is one of the most memorable things any of us have ever done. It is a great feeling.”
To get across the line the ‘Bucks’ ‘promoted the hell out of it’. Their Facebook page has 8401 fans while their YouTube site has amassed close to one million hits. It is a phenomenal achievement considering they only went live on YouTube in October ‘08.
“It has been an amazing year. This time last year there was no Hardy Bucks. We’re very close to one million hits now which is phenomenal. We’re at 850,000 and counting. The last video got a lot of plugging and the day it was launched we had over 20,000 hits which is beyond belief.”
The prize for winning isn’t substantial, in fact it is more about the prestige of winning than any prize. Torduff and Co see it as a platform for the ‘Bucks’ to expand.
“The aim throughout the competition for us was to win so we could make a final episode. It is the attention that it has brought that has been the real boost for us.
We can all say we made a competition winning drama/comedy for RTÉ. That’s always great to have on the CV.”
This weekend will see the Hardy Bucks play live at the Academy in Dublin on Saturday night while the final episode on Storyland will be shown on September 29.
For those unaware of who the Hardy Bucks are then a simple trip to www.youtube.com/hardybucks will put you straight. Be advised that the content is suitable only for over 18s.
Their brand of humour is very much of a rural type in a show that focuses on the lives of two best friends, Eddie Durkin and Billy ‘Buzz’ McDonnell. Set in the fictional town of Castletown (scenes are set mainly in Swinford with some in Charlestown), the show follows Eddie and Buzz and their mates around town. Buzz describes the pair as ‘two hardy bucks around town . . . fighting, drinking, schmoking’.
The ‘fighting’ normally involves the pantomime villain ‘The Viper’ who stalks the lads at every opportunity and plenty of bad luck follows the lad’s search for ‘wemin’ as they wonder if there is a life outside Castletown.
What has impressed Torduff and Co most is how receptive the people of Swinford have been. The ‘Bucks’ had an initial fear that locals might see it as an insult to the town. But they have received nothing but help and acclaim.
“I want to say a big thank you to the people of Swinford for their help and support.
The whole town have been fantastic, there was never any closed doors.
We can’t say thank you enough. People have been very accommodating and it has been very humbling.
“We had a homecoming gig in the Gateway in Swinford a few weeks ago and it was great to see the whole town behind us. You can have all the YouTube hits in the world but when you see people coming out in the flesh like this it is huge affirmation for what you’re doing.”
Watch this space.
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