Broadway on the Web: Justin Anthony Long, Jee Young Han and Jonathan Lee Invite Broadway Stars to Their "City of Dreams"

By Michael Gioia
23 Sep 2013

Justin Anthony Long

"We do have the plot points for Season One; we have it all plotted out. We have to just sit down and write," said Lee on the creation process. "As we write and finish the episodes, we look through it and we do little edits… Process wise, and writing wise, the three of us like to laugh, and we like to have fun. We literally sit in a room together, and we [think], 'What would be really funny to happen to these three down-on-their-luck kids?'"

Throughout the series, the three struggling artists — who promised their friends that legendary producer Cameron Mackintosh was backing The Ballad of Ofagina — must figure out how to write, orchestrate, cast and produce a new musical. Along the road, they encounter financial difficulties, casting and creative dilemmas and, like any overworked actor in a musical series, vocal problems prior to the first performance.

Watch the sixth episode, "A Summer in Ohio," in which Julie and Julian must successfully complete three ridiculous tasks in order to gain their father's financial support:

As for filming the series, "basically all the work is done by the three of us," said Lee. "We do all the filming ourselves. If we're in a scene together, it's basically done by a tripod or [we] have one of our friends hold the camera for us. With filming and everything, none of us had any clue how to do any of it… I bought the camera we're filming on, and then I learned how to [use] Final Cut Pro as we edited the first episode."

Han added, "We did a lot of trial and error — trying and learning from our mistakes and then trying again."

When shooting, Han said, "Everyone is looking at it from different points of view. Jon's looking at it through the camera, Justin's looking at the big picture, and I'm usually just [directing] that one person or that specific moment… That's the beauty of a trio working together like that. We're good at editing each other's direction."

"I think it's because we all watch a lot of TV, and if it doesn't look like a TV show, we know," said Long. "With lighting, there are certain things we've learned, like what not to do… But it's a lot about playing around with it and seeing how it looks in the camera frame."