Your new webseries Portal - in a few words, what is it about?
Sex, drugs and addiction - it's not a family show.
did the project fall together in the first place?
released our first feature film The Lost Generation in 2014, and the
fans of this took the DVD and uploaded it on to the streaming sites, it's
now on over 500 sites, and my mates got this illegal Netflix app and
been seen 150,000 times on that - well we took all this data, about a
million views, to Dailymotion whom we knew and they liked what we did, and
I basically said 'all these views should be on your platform, and you
should pay us to make a series we can give away from free' - and to cut a
long story short, they said yes.
what extent do you see "the portal", the titular drug of Portal,
as a metaphor for addictions (to drugs or other things) in modern society?
And other sources of inspiration when dreaming up Portal?
means to escape, or a window into another world, and so portal on its most
basic level is the name of a drug in a web series, or it could mean that Future
Artists are going to show you a world of portal, lots of things you
have never seen... there are many levels to the film, addiction to sex,
drugs and a certain criminal way of life play a big part of it, but also
everyone is trying to escape too.
can you tell us about your screenwriter Jack Casey, and what was your
known Jack for many years, we met on the set of Life on Mars, he was a
runner and I was John Simm's stand in - being the lowest members of crew, we
got on well, lots of banter and built a good friendship, he is an amzing
writer and I can come up with ideas, and so we bounce projects from text
messages to Facebook to WhatsApps to craft the story and script - I started the process off by
explaining a storyworld that I wanted to explore
and a way of filming it, Jack came in and wrote all those amazing scenes
and built up the characters, and all the dialogue is Jack's own, i love
listening to Jack's dialogue!
Portal does feature its fair
share of special and visual effects - so you just have to talk about those
for a bit, and how were they achieved?
is very special effects heavy, but more old school than CGI... for the
opening of portal in episode 1 we wanted the wow factor, so we show this computer
game that a real person lives in, the world of portal is both digital and
real, or cartoon or dreamlike, it can be anything the user of portal
creates, the more advanced they get, the more odd the world can become -
so we used CGI to demonstate Sophie's character with her eyes, create spaceships and transport devices and also gunshots and blood, and blood that an
actor walks in and carries across the street (in episode 4) - we also used a few
practical effects, we chopped someones hand off in episode 5, that's a practical
effect, loads of fake blood, gunshot wounds ... when you do a practical
effect everyone has to be involved, with green screen it's more me and the
VFX guy Sam Highfield, pointing and going, ok where is the spaceship
again, and then trying to explain this to a bemused actor.
What can you tell
us about the series' look and feel as such?
It's old world vs new world, analogue vs tech, good vs bad, the colour pallets
and the locations and the design within them are both classic, and via Ben
Tallons (art director) a unique artistic look, that is exclusive to
portal, all captured by Craig Porter and his 3 light cinematography.
about your principal cast, and why exactly these people?
main cast are people I have worked with before, Clay Whitter has been in
every film I've done, so if you like his work, check out my back catalogue,
Victoria Connet was the lead in Lost Generation and we had a great time on
that film, we had to bring her back, and Chelsea Edge who was pretty much
an extra in Lost Generation, is the main lead, and is making a real name
for herself in the filmworld - they are all Northern actors, who have
worked so hard for a break, and this is their moment to shine.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
we had 12 days to shoot this picture, and a 90min run time, as the project
is both a feature film, and a shorter web series, so we shot fast, and all
worked very hard, we had 12 key crew that did everything, from moving kit
to shooting, to making food to art direction to, well everything, those 12
people are priceless!
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of the series so
Critics have been
praising the film, saying its surreal, bold and hard hitting, we have had
nearly 200,000 views on episodes 1 and 2 thus far, and episode 3 is out today - and
the fans are connecting with us via social media - it's been amazing to
think that something we worked all year on has found a fanbase!
The $64-question of course, where can the series be
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Head here and
subscribe to our channel and watch all the season
I've read somewhere that the present one is only
the first season of Portal - so is it at all true that you're
planning a continuation, and if so, what do you have in store for future
We leave episode 5 on a
bit of a cliffhanger, major characters will die and there will be
consequnces, plus we will explore the real world of portal and the real
price of addiction... no spoliers.
Your/your series' website, Facebook, whatever
You can check out The Lost Generation here:
Thanks for the interview!