'House on the Hill' a spirited Internet TV comedy made in Sonoma County

  • Daniel Sullivan, front, Jeff Bodean, working camera boom, and sound-man Jim Price, back, watch the monitor as they set up a shot of Tangela, left, and Tamara and, played by Artemis Acetrack, left, and Emily Somple, while shooting shooting a haunted-house sitcom at their Crowhaven Production studio in windsor on Saturday January 26, 2013. Scott Manchester / The Press Democrat

Eerie things are going on at a business park between the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and Windsor.

A grand old chair lurches backward as a visitor goes to sit. Unseen forces rattle wall hangings. People pop in and out of a casket.

What's happening inside the Crowhaven Productions office is a sometimes scary foray into Internet television. Jeff Bodean, whose professional credits include actor, set engineer and software developer, is producing a haunted-house comedy, "The House on the Hill."

Making Of 'The House On The Hill'


For the present, the sitcom appears only online (houseonthehill.tv). As much as Bodean would love to entice a TV network to buy it, he figures, "It's easier to have tea with the queen than to go through that process."

So he and director-actor Dan Sullivan, a former standup comic who once hosted a traveling beer show and scored an extra role in "Moneyball," work to attract online hits to their program, at present consisting of two episodes.

"We get views all over the world," Sullivan said. He's bemused by tracking that shows "The House on the Hill" attracts clusters of Internet viewers in the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

It wasn't all that long ago that a production company as small as Bodean and Sullivan's couldn't hope to create a show and present it to potentially millions of viewers. Then came quality, relatively inexpensive digital cameras and editing technology -- far cheaper than working with film -- and the Web.

"Now two guys in a garage can do stuff that rivals 'Star Wars,' " Bodean said.

His and Sullivan's two episodes feature some outdoors and on-location shots that show off Sonoma County. But much of the action happens on an elaborate, $200,000 set that Bodean had constructed in a commercial space near the airport.

Mimicking the interior of a Victorian mansion, the set is richly decorated with antiques, mounted animal heads, creepy figurines and other curiosities that took Bodean months of shopping to compile.

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