In the world of web series, few are as garishly bizarre or exquisitely offbeat as Rob Parrish’s NEXT TO HEAVEN.
As a viewing experience, Next to Heaven can only be equated to watching The Twilight Zone as produced by David Lynch and narrated by Mystery Science Theater 3000. Parrish taps into a short film sensibility by “casting” each new episode using movies he downloads from Archive.org, which he then re-cuts and edits with new audio. The results are equally disturbing and utterly hysterical.
Having already surpassed 100 episodes, each of which range from two minutes to ten in length, Parrish’s darkly humorous series has won multiple awards and was even chosen as one of Twitch’s best short film web series of 2011. Season 2 is presumably wrapping up, hopefully with plans for a Season 3, containing highlights that range from sibling rivalry between a monkey and a baby (Season 2 Episode 28) to those “damned dirty goat eyes.”
In an interview with Twitch last year, Parrish explained his process:
I pick them semi-randomly — I punched some keywords into Archive, look at the thumbnails and pick the ones that look like they might be fun. So I have a library of film to watch. Sometimes the story jumps right out of them. It’s like “well there it is. That’s the thing.” And then other times it’s just an image that you like — “I want to do something with that!” But, you don’t’ know what. And then other times a particular movie will just sit in the back of my mind for weeks, and then I have one of those in-the-shower moments like, “oh I know what to do with that one now!