Taking a light-hearted look at all things LFC, The Redmen is an Online Comedy Show Made BY the Fans, FOR the Fans.
Produced and shot in Liverpool, the Redmen is fully independent, and 100% unofficial. Taking its inspiration from Baddiel and Skinner’s Fantasy Football as well as the Tim Lovejoy days of Soccer AM, and various British sketch shows the series seeks to put the fun back into being a Liverpool Fan.
We Are The Redmen:
“Hello, my name is Paul Machin- Life-long Liverpool fan, Eternal optimist (Lucas Leiva- Future Brazil Captain, watch this space), and Creator of ‘The Redmen’.
Like most of our ideas, the concept for The Redmen came about after a few pints.
Back in 2006/7, mainly to amuse myself, I made a few footy related Internet clips. One came about after we smuggled a video camera into the Liechtenstein- N.Ireland game. Chris (now Redmen co-presenter), Joe (co-contributor) and I got wellied at half time and started to commentate on the game. As honorary Liechtenstein fans for the night we decided to put a bias of John Aldridge proportions into our efforts, and ended up making more noise than the assembled home fans put together. The second was my own interpretation of what Marco Materazzi had said to make Zidane headbutt him… if they were both Scousers. The third and final clip took shape when Tony Hibbert was sent off in the Merseyside Derby and my cousin claimed that Gerrard had used “the Jedi mind trick” to convince the Ref to pull out the red card. (The first two are still online at www.youtube.com/themachincreations but beware, our production values have gone up a bit since then! Sadly the Gerrard one was pulled down over a copyright issue- there are plans underway to re-do it for the new website).
Making those videos had been such a laugh, and I really wanted an excuse to make more, so we started talking around the idea of creating a “vehicle” for these type of clips. A gang of us were in the pub and as always we were talking about the Reds. Eventually the topic turned to the club channel. There seemed to be a consensus among us that whilst it was a good ‘back up’ channel, something to flick onto when nothing else was on, (like Babestation, only more socially acceptable), there really wasn’t anything on LFC TV that we would tune in specifically to watch. Of course aside from live games the only other footy related programmes (that weren’t centred around either highlights or live scores) that we did watch were “Soccer AM”, and “Fantasy Football,” back in the day. From those shows we got the basic format for The Redmen.
Initially we’d decided to start virally, with the idea being to convince LFC TV to take us on (which can be seen in some of the really early, 2007 promo videos we did -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lkliEBSKa4 ). However due to scheduling reasons, the production ground to a halt.
The idea lay dormant for a year or so until by chance I bumped into Jerome (our Director for the pilot), whom I hadn’t seen since school. It turned out that he was also a film-maker (having had a 3 Minute Wonder on Channel 4, and done work on the early FA Cup rounds for ITV, amongst other things). After working on another project together I brought the idea for The Redmen to him, and he in turn brought in Darren, our outstanding Graphics man. We knocked together a proposal and then the pilot, and took it to LFC TV. Despite some initially positive feedback, we were told that “people will either love it or hate it”, and that it would perhaps better suited as part of a Fan Takeover Hour that was supposedly on the horizon. Months passed and it finally became clear that such a proposal was never going to materialise. Again it seemed as though The Redmen would never see the light of day.
So we took a break, (during which time Jerome’s son was born) and worked on a few different projects. All the while I found myself fighting back the growing number of negative “bitter” Reds in pubs and bars around Liverpool, and in doing so was reminded of why I created The Redmen in the first place; Because no matter how bad a season is going, there are still so many great things about being a Liverpool Fan. And as I was once reminded by a mate after the sale of Robbie to Leeds: “It could be worse, you could be a Stockport fan”.
So I went back into the editing suite, carved up the pilot episode into bite-sized chunks, and then set up the ‘youtube’ site to host them. The idea was to get them out to as wide an audience of Liverpool Fans as possible, and youtube seemed the most convenient way to do this. From this mad session the first four online clips were born. As with any pilot they are a little rough around the edges, but hopefully they will give people a good indication of what we are all about, at least until the next generation of clips go live.
Of course I would still love to see The Redmen make it onto LFC TV, but if that doesn’t materialise then, and if the fanbase is there, we will be looking towards live online streaming. This is of course all pie in the sky, for now our goal is simply to reach and to entertain as many Reds as possible,
For me, the aim of the show is to support those fans with the ‘glass is half full mentality’, and to bring back an air of ‘positivity’ to all of those others who succumb to ‘the doom and gloom’ that sets in during a long season.”
“Right now I am putting the finishing touches to the scripts for the next set of clips, which should start filming in the next week or so, whilst trying to build up connections with the online LFC community. Things are going well so far, Liverpool impressionist Darren Farley (who is a top bloke by the way) has pledged his support, and the response to a casting call for local actors has turned up a few potential gems.
As far as promotion goes we are really looking to the fans for help. We have created a number of posters to promote the show, which we hope fans we will print out and display for us. These can be found on the Facebook group, or for a better quality file they can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also encouraging everyone to join to aforementioned Facebook group:
On a creative note, at the moment we are on the hunt for a new female presenter, as well as local actors for various sketches. If anyone wishes to put their name forward then send us a C.V and Headshot to email@example.com
Lastly, and most importantly is the ‘The Redmen Channel’ on youtube:
Feel free to post links to the videos and to leave comments, the thoughts of fellow Liverpool fans are always appreciated.
This summer promises to be one of the most pivotal in the history of Liverpool Football Club, and it is my hope that The Redmen can be there alongside the mighty Reds both next season and many more to come…
Hope you enjoy what we’re doing as much as we enjoy doing it,”
Writer/Producer: “The Redmen”