5-10: Nanaimo’s newest web series

Comedian Peter Hudson and producer Raymond Knight. Photo credit: Raymond Knight.
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The webisodic 5-10, created by stand-up comedian Peter Hudson and Raymond Knight, owner of Knight Studios, is growing in popularity on Facebook. The first episode released on August 19, 2018, and has over 80k views while the second episode released on September 21, 2018, has over 30k views.

5-10 follows Peter Hudson as the character 5-10 as he navigates the urban setting of Nanaimo and readjusts to society after a stint in Nanaimo Correctional Facility. The character usually dresses in a “Straight Outta Harewood” t-shirt with a bike chain necklace, jeans, and prison tattoos that compliment the character’s persona. He portrays the loveable but ambivalent friend or family member in someone’s life that tries to do well, but, in the end, messes everything up.

“This is our cousin that we see once a year at Christmas dinner and that’s like, enough,” Hudson says. “Your cousin that’s been in jail, your cousin Gerry, like everybody.”

Each episode aims to tackle social issues that affect the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, as well as Canada as a whole. In Episode 2, Knight and Hudson film at Nanaimo’s homeless encampment, Discontent City, which helps relieve some of the stigmas surrounding the camp.

Hudson says after the birth of his daughter in June of 2017, he took a month off to transition into fatherhood. During that time, he wrote a stand-up bit for the comedy network Just for Laughs and created 5-10. The character’s premiere started as a stand-up bit on stage at open mic night at The Vault Cafe.

“Peter just came up with this character. He just showed up one day here at open mic and was like, ‘I’m going to do this comedy bit as this character,’” Knight says. “He’s like ‘check this out, I got this bike chain on, his name’s 5-10, and he just got of jail.’”

From there, Hudson and Knight started thinking of future possibilities for the character.

“We just started thinking, how do we turn this into like a skit? What’s the story,” Knight says. “What if it’s all about him getting used to the modern age and modern society after being in jail, because everything is changing so quickly.”

The webisodic uses Nanaimo as its setting and is filmed in various locations across the city. Knight writes outlines for the episodes, him and Hudson rely on improv and attempt to predict how everyday people will react to 5-10 in peculiar, but also common, situations.

The webisodic’s structure ebbs and flows from scene to interview, mirroring that of Trailer Park Boys’ mockumentary structure. In episode one, 5-10 asks the cameraman, Raymond Knight, if he can drive his truck after his release from prison, but other than this small involvement from Knight, 5-10 breaks the fourth wall by talking directly to the audience.

After the release of the first episode, people around Nanaimo quickly recognized Hudson and Knight. Other members of the cast include Hudson’s wife, Sarah Bingham, who plays 5-10’s partner, Misty, and their daughter, Juniper, who plays the daughter in the show.

“I’ve had people notice me up at the school when I was up there, like five different people. People drive by my house screaming,” Hudson says. “It’s ridiculous, people getting pictures with me. My friend’s like, yeah we just saw Misty and the baby from 5-10 downtown.”

Bingham does all the makeup for 5-10 and Juniper.

“It’s pretty straightforward, Peter’s and Juniper’s teardrop is eyeliner,” says Bingham.

She freehands a neck tattoo that says “5-10” and then does her own by overapplying what she would normally use on herself. As for costume design, both Bingham and Hudson put their character’s costumes together themselves.

Peter Hudson has performed at Just For Laughs Northwest, Rifflandia, and was the winner of the 2016 Yuk Yuk Yukoff. He’s toured and performed with such acts as Jon Lovitz, Jake the Snake Roberts and Nelly, just to name a few. Hudson aims to bring Nanaimo’s social issues further into the light through his comedy.  

Raymond Knight is the owner of Knight Studios in Nanaimo, BC, and produces music videos, commercials, co-produced the webisodic 5-10 with Peter Hudson, and recently received a $10,000 grant from Telus for a short film Knight Studios recently completed. Knight offers an insight to aspiring producers, directors, or screenwriters.

“Get really good at editing,” Knight says. “I think that my skills at writing have improved quite a bit through the editing process.”

5-10 exemplifies that low-budget productions can still be successful and don’t go overlooked. Knight and Hudson say that some networks have expressed interest in the show, but they plan to keep producing episodes and increasing the strength of their audience before making a formal pitch.