There may be a new star among us walking around the campus at Durham College and UOIT.
UOIT biochemistry student Odane McKenzie is among a handful of DC and UOIT alumni found in the first episode of a new YouTube reality series called ‘The Real Shady Bunch’.
The series has just hit the web and, according to Facebook, has more than 2,000 likes.
The reality show focuses on the lives of seven Christians as they maneuver through life.
In the first episode of the show you can watch how they deal with their families, jobs, religion, social issues and they don’t forget to include the drama.
“This man has the audacity to greet me with his tight, tight, tight shirt, trying to make muscle with his one pack,” disses Vishaun Clarke, Durham College business marketing alumni.
The show is led by Sherod Beneby, a McMaster University master’s student who works with his Durham Region cast members through the Prophecy church system. He approached his fellow cast members about the idea in May.
According to Clarke, when she was approached by Beneby, her answer was “I have been waiting for this moment, I was born to do this,” while others were more skeptical.
Sheonti Hutchinson, UOIT criminology alumni, thought Beneby was joking. He wasn’t.
Beneby wrote his pitch and voiced his vision to a few producers before picking the one he thought was the best fit for the show idea. The producer, had a contact from the USA Network show ‘Suits’, Donovan Drummond, and according to Beneby, gave the cast members some advice and thinks the show will do well.
The process of making a show is not easy.
According to Beneby, nearly $1,500 was put into the project and that was after making deals with the producers. Beneby says he was told by his producer, a project like this could cost as much as $2,500.
Beneby says money was not the only issue. One production company quit on them when they were about to start filming. In addition, meeting up and making time with the other cast members has been a difficult process. However, they were able to put together the money and the time to make their first pilot episode called ‘Choices’.
McKenzie says the process made him feel like he was part of something big.
“I didn’t feel like Snooki (from Jersey Shore), but I did feel like I was a part of something big while we were filming. I’ve never been in that type of environment before, it was a lot of work, but so worth it.”
The producers and team are now working on the second episode.
Even with conflicts arising, as seen on the first episode, the members of The Real Shady Bunch all have hopes the show will go far.
“I would love to see this show be taken up by a TV station or a network,” says McKenzie.
Beneby says he can see the show one day having different set locations, kind of like other reality series such as Jersey Shore or the Real World.
“The Real Shady Bunch Montreal, The Real Shady Bunch LA, we’re going far.”