When a show is greenlit to air without having to first make a pilot for approval, that says volumes about the cast and the creative team behind it. That’s exactly what happened with Disney XD’s newest show, Gamer’s Guide To Pretty Much Everything, premiering Wednesday, July 22.
Last month, we had the opportunity to sit down with the cast – Cameron Boyce, Sophie Reynolds, Felix Avitia and Murray Wyatt Rundus – to discuss the new show and watch what’s called a “Network Run Through” where they read the script and run the set.
The don’t just play gamers on television; much of the cast like to play in real life and carries that knowledge to each of their characters on the show.
Felix: “I’m a big gamer! I love to play games on consoles like PS3, PS4 and Xbox. I love advanced warfare like Call of Duty, I love the FPSs which are First Person Shooters. I also love racing games and sports, too. I can pretty much play anything and everything.”
Cameron: “Oh, confidence! Okay.”
Even the producers discussed the attention to detail that goes into each episode. “On the writing staff, we have two very hard core gamers who know that world like the back of their hand and for everyone else, we’ve had to educate ourselves. There are games all over the 2nd floor of this building and big consoles and it’s all over the writer’s room so what we write is right in front of us so if we have questions, we go to our hardcore gamers and they supply the answers.
This is storytelling; storytelling is always about the characters, the connections, the interactions, the comedy and gaming is a big part of our world but that’s the backdrop. It’s really about the connection between these four characters.”
Q: Can you tell us more about your individual characters?
Murray: “I play Wendell on the show and he’s very full of himself; he’s a very cocky character. He believes that everyone around him doesn’t really know what’s going on, that he is really the mastermind of everything that’s going on. He’s very aggressive when he plays video games with the crew.”
Sophie: “I play Ashley on the show; she’s the girl who hangs with the guys. And, she is not always the smartest with the books but she’s got a really good heart and she’s just a good friend. And she’s a great gamer, a super-smart gamer. That’s like, her strength.”
Cameron: “I play Connor, his backstory is that he was a professional gamer, he did all these tours, he went to Tokyo and London and all these places doing all these professional tournaments, basically. In the midst of a tournament, he breaks his thumb. So Connor has to be a regular kid now. He was homeschooled and stuff so that he could do gaming so his mom tells him ‘You’re going to go to a regular school’ so it’s like ‘Okay, I don’t really know how to be a regular kid’. So he goes, he makes some friends, but he kind of tries to use them at first to get back on the tour where he things he belongs. And eventually, he kind of realizes that he likes having these guys around. So, instead of going on the solo gaming tour, he chooses to keep these guys around and instead go on the team tour.”
Felix: “I play Franklin on the show. Franklin is very positive, very energetic. He wants to fit in; he’s not the best gamer, unlike these guys who, you know, grew up like that, but he really wants to fit in with people and he wants to be a part of the group. So, he’s very smart, though. Outside of the gaming world, he’s very smart, he has common sense, he loves school and, of course, he has a great sense of fashion – always wearing ties… but, he’s just a good kids and he wants to make everybody as happy as they can be all the time. That’s what I love about him.”
Q: When did you start production on Gamer’s Guide and what is a typical day like for the cast and crew?
Sophie: “We started in April. Yeah.”
Cameron: “We’re shooting our 9th episode, so we’ve been here for about 9 weeks. We work 5 days a week, so starting Wednesday we do our table read; it’s kind of the beginning of when we shift our focus to a new episode. So we’ll do our table read on Wednesday. Our table reads are not table reads; we’re always standing… it’s really crazy and high energy in there. Thursday we have run-through, Friday, we have run-through, we have the weekend, and then Monday and Tuesday we come in and shoot.
I’m still getting used to it; I’m used to Monday through Friday.”
Felix: “Don’t forget, we have script changes about four times every episode so we have to keep learning it.”
According to the producers, things can change, jokes may fall flat or story lines will have to be shortened. They mention that much of the cast is new, except for Cameron who has been on TV for a while.
They rave about the cast, calling them amazing. “They’re so new and fresh and young with no a lot of experience and you give them these scripts and the next day there’ll be asterisks on the side where things always change and they’re on top of their lines and they’re on top of who their characters are, what they’re supposed to be doing. There’s really a lot of respect and we’re all really proud to be working and to have this family, this team, that we have, you know.
We come to work and all of what we have is based on respect for each other and treating each other with real decency and appreciation.”
Cameron: “And that shows up on screen, too. You can tell, you can tell. The cohesiveness that we have, we share as a group, you can tell in the results, really.”
Cameron Boyce on Twitter
Felix Avitia on Twitter
Sophie Reynolds on Twitter
Murray Wyatt Rundus on Twitter
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