The iconic Fitzroy Pinnacle, with its grandiose tower and statue-clad roof, is the kind of pub that few would likely accuse of being rundown or tired. But the creators of Pint Dreams, a new web series exploring the inner minds of two mates working behind a bar, have done their best to make the place feel that way.
The choice of filming location was particularly fitting as the series was created by one of the Pinny’s bartenders, Ryan Jones, and his fellow Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts alumnus Laura McIntosh.
“We’d both worked in hospitality for years and years, so we thought we’d set it in that world,” Ryan says.
The series features two bartenders working in a rundown pub who watch a lot of television and imagine themselves to be inside those shows. In total, there’s six episodes, each somewhere between two and four minutes long, with the first episode airing at the Pinny tonight (August 11).
The North Fitzroy pub has been at the centre of much of the show’s development, from early concepts to the initial fundraiser. The Pinny's manager, John Orris, also happens to have worked as the show's director.
Ryan says some of the ideas behind Pint Dreams came from working behind the bar but, mostly, it was about creating something fun.
“One of the episodes has a standup comedian doing a comedy night at the pub,” he says. “The fantasy sequence that happens is one of the characters dreams she is Jerry Seinfeld, complete with the bass guitar sound effects and everything.”
Ensuring the Pinny, which has been through some major renovations following a destructive fire in November 2015, looked appropriately tired did take some work, a job that was made harder by only being able to use the space after the pub had closed; as a result, filming took place over three nights from 11pm until 5am.
“We had to strip the taps off and take everything off the sides,” Ryan says. “We made the Pinnacle look about half the size too and there’s all sort of little Easter eggs everywhere, so you’ll find pictures of the locals that we inserted into the background. Anyone who’s been there will probably recognise it but, if you haven’t been there, it just looks like a small little rundown bar.
“I haven’t told the locals this, but there are definitely some characters based on them; I said there wouldn’t be but they’re all in there.”
Ryan hopes anyone who’s spent time working in hospitality will connect with the characters, even if some of the situations are pretty out there.
“So many people who work in pubs are creative and always doing other things,” he says. “So anyone who’s ever worked in a bar will probably identify with the story and know about that really ridiculous stuff that happens when you are working.”
Pint Dreams will premier at The Fitzroy Pinnacle at 8pm on Saturday, August 11. You can keep up with the series and watch the episodes as they are released by heading to the Pint Dreams Facebook page.