Just For Laughs launches digital scripted series

Explaining to an Alien, an eight-part original web series, is the inaugural project produced through JFL's new digital brand.

Explaining to an Alien JFLMontreal’s Just For Laughs has launched Explaining to an Alien, the first original series produced through its new digital brand: Just For Laugh Shorts.

The opening two episodes of the eight-part project (approximately three minutes per episode) launched Monday on YouTube, with the remainder of the episodes set to roll out once a week.

Created, written and produced by Montreal-based Moving Mind Studio, the series sees a naive alien being questioned by two bumbling secret agents. However, when the alien begins to ask the agents questions about humankind, the conversations quickly turn to topics such as dating, celebrities, smoking and sex.

Eric Lapointe, senior director, international sales and digital development, said part of launching the new Shorts brand was to distinguish this content from JFL’s stand-up and hidden-camera programming. He added that if any of the projects gain sufficient traction online, they could potentially be adapted for television series, though this is not the purpose of JFL Shorts.

Explaining to an Alien was shot in Montreal in December and January at the Just For Laughs headquarters. Prior to launching on YouTube, the series made its world premiere at the Vancouver Web Fest, which ran from March 17 to 19.

Lapointe said one of the reasons JFL made Explaining to an Alien its first project was that the producer, Moving Mind, is currently riding a wave of momentum. The prodco’s project, Campus Law, was one of 10 projects optioned by comedian Kevin Hart at the Laugh Out Loud Network Pitch Panel at last summer’s JFL festival. The sitcom is currently shooting in L.A. and is due to debut on the YouTube channel Laugh Out Loud Network this summer.

Lapointe said there is no set target for the number of projects that will be produced through JFL Shorts, though the company has a number of in-development projects currently.