How Amazon Prime Video’s “Fairfax” Humanizes the Hypebeast Experience – The Hollywood Reporter

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Fairfax, the new original series from Amazon Prime Video, is an animated comedy starring Skyler Gisondo, Kiersey Clemons, Peter S. Kim, and Jaboukie Young-White as four college best friends on a passionate quest for influence on Los Angeles’ famed Fairfax Avenue, a neighborhood known for its curvy lines of youthful music aficionados. streetwear waiting to buy the latest version of sneakers.

Created and produced by longtime Los Angeles native friends Matthew Hausfater, Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley, Fairfax humanizes the hypebeast experience by finding humor in the fundamentally relatable desire to be part of a community.

The first episode follows Dale (voiced by Gisondo) who has just moved from Oregon to the Fairfax area as he joins the “Gang Gang” (a crew of 13-year-old friends) who spends their days hunting down them. latest clothes outlet latrine: the Dr. Phil Box Tee. THRCritics of the series call it “visually energetic, humorously frenzied, and populated with an outstanding vocal cast.”

The characters, designed by artist Somehoodlum, were created to spec “before they were cast,” he said, adding, “I never think about how my art is going to be animated, so it was really cool to think of how a hoodie was going to look from the back, the other side.

While putting on the show, Hausfater, Buchsbaum, and Riley had a clear vision of who they wanted each of the four main protagonists to be, but conceptualizing these archetypes was not without challenges. “It was really hard to sum up all aspects of ‘hypebeasts’ in four characters, it was something that we struggled with,” Somehoodlum explained. “All I did was represent a style. ”

The aesthetic of Somehoodlum is influenced not only by satire, but also by the distinct colors and textures of Los Angeles, creating an atmosphere for the show that is both grainy and sugary illusion. “LA, in general, is the land of opportunity; it feels like anyone can come as a fan and come away as a legend, ”he said. “This is where a fan becomes a real contributing member of the culture: I’m just inspired by Tyler, the creator – that’s what all my pastels are based on – Golf Wang’s lookbooks from the 2012 era.” … It comes from the love of this community.

On Tuesday, November 2, actors, designers and special guests gathered on the avenue at the “Latrine Store” pop-up, which is based on Latrine, a fictional streetwear brand created in the entertainment world. The pop-up ran through November 5 and distributed merchandise such as fanny packs, bucket hats, yo-yos, skateboards and salad launchers.

All eight episodes of the first season, which premiered on October 29, are exclusively available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, and production for the show’s second season is already underway. THR spoke to Hausfater, Buchsbaum, and Riley from Los Angeles who raised them and inspired the site-specific series.

Matthew Hausfater, Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley
Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

What role has Fairfax Avenue played in the wider culture of Los Angeles? And why did you feel like the right environment to define a new animated comedy?

TR: Fairfax played a huge role in our formative years. We’re all from LA, and we all grew up strolling the neighborhood, eating challah French toast at Canter’s at two in the morning, and watching Fairfax evolve from this neighborhood full of Jewish deli and bakeries to this incredible mecca of the streetwear and pop culture.

MH: We’ve gone to great lengths with our animation studio Titmouse to make the show feel authentic in that when you see the block or when you see props, as the background characters are called, they are. from all walks of life, socio-economic background, and it really is as diverse as Fairfax in real life.

How would you define a hypebeast, and what does the streetwear subculture mean to you?

MH: I think hypebeast is just a shiny new word to say that you love and admire and that you are a fan of something… It really means that you are a huge fan of streetwear and that you will do anything – except death. – to get your hands on a pair of sneakers, or a box t-shirt or, you know, a sweater.

A B: I think every teenager is a hypebeast at some point in their life. It’s the obsessive urge to get something and it’s just built into what it’s like to be a child. It’s the thing. It’s like a hot item that’s advertised on TV and baked in your brain and you just need to have it, otherwise.

Why does Amazon Prime feel like a good home for the show and your audience?

TR: We have created animated series like Break, Hi Arnold, Rocket power, Animans and South Park. We wanted to make a show that felt like a 2021 version of those with our own sensibility and humor involved. Whether you’re 13 or 35 or older, you’ll find something to connect with, whether it’s a joke, emotion, or storyline. We wanted to find that balance between making a really specific show that feels contemporary, while also telling stories that you could connect with whether you’re from Fairfax or not.

How do you deal with influence and the pursuit of fame differently in Fairfax, in a way we’ve never seen before? I know they are college kids, but how do these themes extend beyond this stage of life?

A B: Every story we told boiled down to what we thought was a universal and relevant theme. So, for example, episode 106 consists of creating a university team; anyone can connect with what it’s like to want to be on a team and want to be the champion of that varsity team. So the hope is that an audience can still see and connect with this story, even if it doesn’t necessarily resonate in their life at the time.

TR: The funny thing for us is that there are so many people our age and older who behave like the kids in our show, if not more immature. [laughs]. Whether you’re 13 or our age, we know people who are trying to get angry or trying to create social media content and make themselves known. I think adults can watch the show and laugh at themselves a bit. Because whether they realize it or not, I think everyone is trying to find their place in this weird internet game.

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Fairfax
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

How has working as three friends and collaborators influenced the creative process from the start of the series’ development until now?

A B: It was a fantastic, constantly evolving process; we are constantly learning and trying to improve our process. Obviously, three is an interesting dynamic – frankly, like a wedding, it takes work. It’s a process and it’s a delicate balance, but it’s something that I think we’ve been successful in doing and that we frankly enjoy doing.

MH: I don’t know if it’s for these two guys, but it’s a dream come true for me to work with them. Because, you know, we grew up together as writers; Teddy and Aaron had a script on the 2012 blacklist, I had a script on the 2012 blacklist. I read every script that they ever wrote, and I always said, “Dude, if I could just find a way to work with these guys… ”because they’re so funny. And they have such a great action comedy, so I’ve always been kind of like that romantic comedy guy. And the chemistry in the recipe when you put us all together is really what makes Fairfax. Teddy and Aaron are my two best friends, and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this with them because it’s really difficult and I’m kind of in awe of anyone who can do it as one person.

TR: It was a blessing in disguise because if there was something we all loved, we knew it was strong. Matt always refers The voice, and how we have like a three-chair rotation system. Whether it’s a song, a design or a script, everything takes the turn of three chairs. And if not, then we find a way to beat it so that we are all really happy with the end result.

How did you approach the casting of all the characters?

TR: We wanted to cast people who felt new and different for an animated show, people who weren’t your usual voiceover suspects. Some are and they’re amazing, but some are people you say, “Oh, whoa, I didn’t expect to see this person in an animated series” and that’s what we found so satisfying to do. work with them. These were actors who could bring authenticity, voice and personality to these characters, and everyone was a combination of people we had long admired or people we thought we could bring just a hilarious voice. to the series. I mean, John Leguizamo and JB Smoove voicing our pigeons was just a dream come true. We couldn’t have asked for better improvisers and funnier people. Everyone on our show did a great job helping us build this world.

How is Did Somehoodlum, who designed the animated characters, help your vision come to life?

A B: Somehoodlum is an amazing artist that we were fans of just on the internet; we really connected with their color scheme and felt like it spoke Los Angeles, and their visual style was just something that felt really unique and different from other animated shows we knew. The process of working with them was amazing. They are incredibly collaborative and a dream to work with and have such an understanding of the world of Fairfax. They are so into the joke there. If you look at their Instagram, somehow satire is built into everything they do. So, on a tonal level, that also really spoke to the voice of the show. It’s a perfect fit.

What’s your favorite place to go in Fairfax?

A B: So I’m a foodie… The animal was one of my spots. I just think Animal was one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. I love to eat there. And of course Jon and Vinny’s. I’m all about this larva.

MH: I also like the food. I think Meals By Genet is one of the best meals you can have in Los Angeles. And then of course, love and respect and a big thumbs up to Tyler, the designer and the Golf Wang store. As well as goo which is a hairdressing salon where my wife sometimes has her hair done. And Zak! Zak. this is really where I get my glasses.

TR: I would say the Fairfax Flea Market is a quintessential LA experience. You can’t go wrong at a Sunday market.

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Fairfax
Courtesy of Amazon Studios


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