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I enjoy conjuring up big ideas at the intersection of art and technology
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A musical web series turned television pilot
  • Co-creator
  • Writer
  • Designer

In the summer of 2008 - before Glee and before most of us had smartphones - a few of us set out to make a musical web series called Boyfred. It was about a guy whose girlfriend goes away to Africa, so he built her a website to keep in touch. His name was Fred, but he was her boyfriend, so she always called him Boyfred. Michael MahlerAlan Schmuckler, Blake Silver and I created a pilot presentation to show others our vision.

The creators of Boyfred: Blake Silver, Jarrod Zimmerman, Alan Schmuckler and Michael Mahler

With some luck, our project was soon represented by CAA who had interest in pitching it as a television show. From there, in what now seems like a whirlwind, we had the good fortune to work with director Tommy Schlamme (director of The West Wing and Sports Night), Sony Pictures Television, ABC Television Network and executive producer Bruce Helford (creator of The Drew Carey Show and Anger Management).

This is the original pilot presentation from 2008. It features me, Michael, Alan, Dara Cameron, Jackson Evans and Tony and Grammy award-winning Jessie Mueller. Michael and Alan wrote the music and lyrics, I designed the website that you’ll see in the presentation, and Blake was our director.

A few years later, taking the script we had written for ABC, we were given the opportunity to film our vision with a bigger budget thanks to our producer and co-writer Bruce Helford. Different cast, bigger crew, truncated script, but the same idea.

In the recording studio, laying down tracks for our Boyfred film shoot

This updated presentation was shot in 2011. Though it marked the end of this adventure, it remains a quarterlife-defining symbol of everything I love about the process of creating something from nothing.

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Jarrod Zimmerman