The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator
A Crowdsourced Guest Review & An Unfortunate Report.
The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator is a web series of 4 episodes by Edgar Wright, Tommy Lee Edwards & You - or so it says in the opening credits. It was released in the spring/summer of 2012, and focuses on a coffee addict experiencing writer's block named Brandon Generator (yep, the one from the title).
Where the moving comic book gets special, is the fact it's crowdsourced: prose, drawings and voice messages from viewers were included in episodes two to four.
And so, to respect the essence of what makes Brandon Generator so unique, this review will be crowdsourced too and shall include interventions from special guests. And here comes the first one:
"Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba"
Thank you for this very eloquent opinion, singers of The Lion King's opening.
By far the biggest appeal of Brandon Generator is Edgar Wright, who is in my opinion the philosopher's stone of writers - everything he touches turns to gold.
This Brandon Generator project is no exception, each episode is better written than the last one, and even the first one should make you laugh. We were already aware of Edgar Wright's ability to write a compelling story for a feature. But it's remarkable how clever and witty he can still be on a seven minute episode.
Now it’s time for another guest review on this guest review:
"We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!"
Thank you, Gollum.
The way illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards and his animators managed to put that much quality into the look of Brandon Generator, in such a short period of time, is simply unbelievable.
The design (very film noir) and the animated effects help you get into this atmosphere very quickly.
Also very helpful are the voice of narrator Julian Barratt and the music by David Holmes’ Unloved.
One last guest commentary on Brandon Generator, one that you'll probably find most insightful:
"I don't know what you're talking about. Now let go of my arm!"
Thank you, random guy on the street.
The Premiere Report
I contributed to Brandon Generator, and had the good fortune of seeing my drawings in two episodes (two and four). Amazingly, they spelled my name right in the credits.
I'm telling you this because they invited contributors to a finale premiere, which was held in London; I live in France. Oh well, never mind... The mail I got also mentioned the event was to be hosted by Edgar Wright and Tommy Lee Edwards.
A week later I was in London, in front of a big screen, surrounded by other contributors, and a few dozens of geek journalists. It was a very good evening, and the setting of the premiere was beautiful. But the truth is, while I got to see Edgar Wright with my own eyes, and it was probably the closest I'll ever get to meeting him, I was never able to say "Hello" to the man.
While I certainly don't regret my short but exciting trip to London, this missed opportunity still hurts a bit.
It's not too late to check out this little gem. Sure, you can't contribute anymore, but you can still go to www.brandongenerator.com and watch the four episodes. I believe it's well worth 30 minutes of your time.
The way Edgar Wright and co. included viewers creations is a real tour de force. As you can see in this review, crowdsourcing is not always appropriate. But in The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator, it works like magic.
Check out more of Damien's (and fellow new-recruit Munir's) reviews on our Contributors page.