Diesel's New Dark

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A puppet made of meat, a sleepy-eyed lass in a bathtub of hair, hooded, half-nude contestants in a dungeon dance contest--all these strange, wacked-out notions are elements in Diesel's new homepage initiative, V.

The video content effort is the first from Swedish shop Farfar as Diesel's AOR, after the much-awarded Heidies "15 MB of Fame" and a nine-shop pitch to win the business earlier this year, and consists of several shows. "Dance Party," the aforementioned twisted reality show, brought a group of dancers into a basement studio and then forced them to dance, hooded, with a soulless voice directing them. "Corner Time" sees a series of various hucksters dispatch self-improvement methods, "Pete the Meat Puppet" chronicles one carne character's rise, fall and rise again and "Hair Bath" sees a heavy-lidded hostess implore viewers to send their hair to a P.O. box in Hillsdale, New Jersey so she can lounge in the tub with it.

The webfilms were executed in part by Legs, a new creative and production studio, part of the Milk Group in New York, consisting of Georgie Greville, Greg Brunkalla, Geremy Jasper and Adam Joseph. Greville and Jasper directed and wrote at MTV, respectively (you'll remember Jasper, who penned the music to "Pete the Meat Puppet," as the creator and songwriter behind MTV's Chunky Pam and founder of rock group The Fever and Greville for her Iggy-inspired short for Milk's casting service, House). Brunkalla is a director who got his start at @radical.media and also edits and Joseph, executive producer/director of creative content at Legs, is a former MTV casting director.

"The whole project was a gigantic collaboration for us," the Legs group writes. "Greg and Georgie would usually direct, Geremy would co-direct and be head writer and Adam, in the executive producer role, would oversee everything and manage our factory-like space."

A team from Farfar joined Legs at Milk HQ as they shot elements of the campaign inside the gallery/fashion/casting/production hub, going for a black and white, vintage feel for the strange tales, which have a feel to them not unlike John Waters meeting Tay Zonday in a Toys-R-Us unisex bathroom. The brief, the collective writes, was "a black and white 30-page PDF with super ambitious ideas for content of all shapes and sizes from short films to propaganda pieces to live interactive shows, all making up this surreal and mysterious internet TV station."

Judging from the initial content, 'surreal TV' is being achieved. Some of that stems from the real feel to the segments. For instance, "Corner Time," which, according to Legs, was unscripted and relied on casting guru types for its strange vibe. "Dance Party," however, took aspiring dancers and put them into a crazy, mixed-up world. In their underwear.

"There was a great moment when we first started shooting in the basement, where Adam was intensely interrogating all the dancers behind a blaring light. They became sincerely frightened and actually believed that they were being abducted into some sort of dangerous cult ritual. That was exciting. A bunch of them admitted to our PAs that they were legitimately freaked out when it was being shot. I guess being led around in your underwear with a bag over your head is a bit of a compromising situation."

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