An animated dramedy web series, mixing bleakness with the absurd.
Annise Alvarez walks the streets of Midland City as a Safety Detective, looking at anything and everything that may be or become dangerous, from tripping hazards to forks that are 2 millimeters too long.
Haunted by the death of her parents, Annise consumes herself in her work, wanting to make a difference in the world and save lives no matter the personal cost. At the same time, she grapples with developing relationships with both her younger sister and her colleagues, while also searching for ways to be happy in a grim world.
Season 1 music composed by Sidewalk Labs; season 2 and 3 music is from ZapSplat; season 4 and 5 music by Nicolas Jeudy.
Want to see more? Start with the first episode!
After Scientific Method and Redeemers, I wanted to make a series that had the potential for more broader, mainstream appeal: enter Safety First.
I first used the characters in a two page (rejected) submission to an anthology comic contest. The story was called Long Night and involved two detectives finding a horribly mutilated body, but instead of being shocked or disgusted, they focus on their insipid conversation instead.
It wasn’t long after the comic that I revisited this concept for an animated series. I wanted a character-based detective show (something along the lines of Scott & Bailey) but ridiculous and comedic.
I was also inspired by the old PC game Traffic Department 2192; specifically, how the mundane “Traffic Department” title gives the wrong impression for the type of game it is (a top-down action arcade shooter). I wanted Safety First to involve traffic safety but to not be limited by it, so I created the idea of a safety detective, which would open up much more storytelling possibilities.
I was also fond of Traffic Department‘s lead character, Marta Velasquez, and her biting snark, which helped influence the development of Safety First‘s Annise Alvarez – though I’d like to think I made Annise way more likeable!
The Safety First pilot was screened at the following film festivals:
- Global India International Film Festival: March 2019 (Best Web Series)
- Rome Prisma Awards: June 2019 (Finalist)
- Indo Global International Film Festival: July 2019 (Best Web Series)
- Baltimore Next Media Web Fest 2019
- Los Angeles CineFest 2020 (Semi-Finalist)