TUMWATER, WASH. - On a spaceship millions of miles from Earth, there are only a few inches of metal and wire between you and oblivion.
"You know the classic odd couple trope?" asked Ken Carlson. "We liked it so much we're like 'Let's build some sets!' and we started building sets in garages".
That may sound like the setting for another of Hollywood's $100 million space adventures, but the YouTube web series Dead Drift is funded by nothing but passion -- Carlson's passion for a 16 episode web series about an uptight commander heading to Titan in a decrepit spaceship with Carlson himself playing the grossly under-qualified engineer Maurice Morris. Carlson also writes and edits.
His friends have all chipped in. Olympia artist Danzio contributed the ship models, and when Chris Nacey finished helping Carlson build the sets, he played Mars Orbital Logistics Commander Schneider.
"Some people get paid, but not the actors and not Ken," said Nacey.
Here the only pay is the occasional complement on YouTube where Carlson hopes Dead Drift will find its audience.
"Essentially the target audience is us," said Carlson. "You know geeks, nerds, sci-fi buffs, adult children of all stripes."
Even if Dead Drift doesn't go viral, Carlson's passion is contagious. This space mission isn't going to be aborted anytime soon.
"There have been times where I've gotten to the point where I'm like I'm not tremendously successful at it you know what I mean?" said Carlson. "But every time I finish a project and I'm like OK now what? I CAN'T not do something else. Like I can't not create another story so it's something I have to do."
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