Earlier this fall, Lynnfield Patch posted a parody video from Youtube showing the budding "Occupy Lynnfield" movement, and immediately set out to try to line up an interview with its creators.
The video portrays a comically clueless protestor out in front of his Lynnfield home railing against stock brokers and demanding some "stock fixers," while also pondering why that guy Dow Jones screwed up the economy. "What's his problem?" muses the lone protestor as the 1969 song "Volunteers" by Jefferson Airplane plays in the background.
Of course, Occupy Lynnfield is just one of many comedy videos that 25-year-old Lynnfield resident Tim Brierley has made with his 20-year-old brother Alex, with occasional help from 23-year-old sister Molly.
The Occupy Wall Street protests, and their closer to home counterparts, Occupy Boston, have generated heavy media attention and discussion, not all of it civil, throughout the political spectrum. Fortunately, Brierley reports that everybody seems to get the joke. "People have thought it's funny, no one said anything," said Brierley, although he acknowledges that he can see where some may be inclined to take it too seriously.
Tim is a graduate of Governor Dummer Academy who years ago also attended the Lynnfield Middle School and the Summer Street Elementary School. He's been making videos since about freshman year in high school, and he and his brother post them on Youtube under the name "Get Serious Productions." For his part, Alex is currently a student at Rollins College in Florida.
In a recent interview, Brierley explained that he got his idea for the parody of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstrations after a visit to Washington D.C., where he saw some of the protests that have spread to that and other cities.
"There was definitely an audience out there that doesn't know what's going on but wants to be part of it, so I just thought it was a funny idea," said Brierley, adding that "Youtube has opened up that whole scene just to come up with comedy sketches, it's been awesome."
Looking ahead, Brierley confirms that he would love to get into comedy writing as a full-time career, although "in the mean time, it's just for our own entertainment," referring to his brother and their friends.
"The main goal was never for Youtube," he added. "We always do it just to make ourselves laugh, it's always kind of a bonus if you get others to laugh."
The creative process that goes into making these videos often starts simply enough, with Tim and Alex just sitting around and playing off each other's senses of humor, making little jokes that can develop into a video idea and then be improved upon.
Alex is expected to come home for the Thanksgiving break, and Tim reports that the two may team up for their next video at that point.
Of course, the brothers don't actually have a production budget to work with, so their videos stem from what they can do and where they can film. In fact, Tim and Alex's mother even made a brief cameo in the Occupy Lynnfield video, calling the lone protestor in to have lunch at the end - although even that one second-long appearance required some convincing. Overall though, Tim reports that his parents have been very supportive of their sons' creative efforts. "She's used to us making videos and goofing around," said Tim of his mother.
Tim also explained the origin of the name "Get Serious Productions." As a sophomore in college, he took an acting class with one of his best friends, thinking it would be an easy "A." Instead, they ended up in a very serious environment with a teacher who would always admonish her students, "Get serious! Get serious!"
And no matter what genre an artist, musician or writer works in, he or she always has creative influences. In Brierley's case, one of the main influences is Andy Samberg of "Saturday Night Live" fame and his comedy troupe "The Lonely Island," consisting of his two best friends, Jorma Toccone and Akiva Schaffer, and which also specializes in making comedy videos. - many of which have appeared on SNL in recent years.
"We like to think we're sort of like them," said Brierley.
Editor's Note: Four videos from Get Serious Productions are attached to this article. Check them out.