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[Interview & Promotion] – Paul Dudbridge – ‘Horizon’ – A Web Series

 

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Posted October 25, 2015 by

 
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“The lives of five people are forever changed when a mysterious alien ship appears on the skyline over Bristol. It’s intentions unclear, the disparate group attempt to flee the city and reach loved ones, but their efforts are impeded by a city in panic, looters, and the threat of military attack. As they battle to stick together, loyalties and relationships are tested, and an even larger question remains: who are these mysterious visitors and why are they here?”

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Interview With Paul Dudbridge, The Director:

First, tell us about your web series; ‘Horizon’, where did the idea come from?

It stemmed from a conversation with a cameraman colleague of mine on a job one day. He eventually couldn’t commit, so I took the idea to Simon Pearce and his usual go-to writing partner, Chris Marshfield. Then, together we developed a story and went from there. What was the inspiration for me was the platform really. Being able to tell a story over a series of episodes and have our own version of The Walking Dead or Lost, was a nice creative challenge. All our other work had been seen as completed pieces as features or short films. Drip-feeding the audience story points and being able to manipulate and tease them so much with a cliffhanger was so appealing. I grew up on the 60’s Batman and loved how they always finished on a cliffhanger, now we could do the same but in our own way.   Those TV shows like Lost and Walking Dead were the primary touchstones for us and also dare I say it, the film Independence Day. We’re a little more serious than they were but tonally we’re on the same page.

How did the production of web series unfold, where did you shoot it? How long did the series take to make?

The writing process was wonderful and challenging from a creative point of view, but we all loved that. It was a puzzle to solve and yet we quietly and confidently knew we would crack it eventually. We all sat and fleshed out the story before dividing up the episodes to be written up. I wrote episodes 1 and 2 and 8 and 9, Chris wrote episode 6 and Simon wrote 3, 4, 5 ,7,and 10.

We shot all of the show, with the exception of a few scenes for the finale, in Bristol. We all live here so logistically it made sense to shoot it here. The actual filming took just over two weeks, with a few days for pick-ups and exteriors and visual effect background plate shots. The after that it was post-production work that took the time. We had to edit the episodes and then start handing off shots to the visual effect artists. Once that was in place, we then sent the episodes to the composer and the sound designer.

For me, the big challenge was always the visual effects work. I knew what we could do and what could be done but it was just about finding the time and fitting in around the artists themselves and their other work. Everything always takes longer than you think too. I knew this going in (or so I thought), so instead of planning it to take take 3 months, let’s give ourselves 9, but it ended up taking 18! Some shots we literally churned out in minutes, sometimes 5 or 6 a day. Others took 5 or 6 days per shot! And we had about 140 in total! The render times for some of the fully CG shots took 40-50 hours to put together within the computer and even then some things weren’t quite right when it had finished and had to be masked over or redone.

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What about the cast, who stars in ‘Horizon’ and how did you get them involved?

Our cast were wonderful. We had Paul Tonkin (Steven), Alicia Ancel (Chloe), Kate Davies (Nicole), Kessie Bartlett (Katie) and Jason Allen (Sanders). When I first approached Simon Pearce to co-write with me I also asked him if, as an actor as well, he’d be interested in a part too. So he played Dan. Most, if not all of the cast we had worked with before in some capacity. We didn’t really have the luxury of auditions so we wrote parts for actors we wanted to be in it. Between Simon Pearce, the co-writer and co-producer on the show, we had gathered up a big list of actors over the years and we just approached them. We did have two that couldn’t do it so had to use people we hadn’t worked with before, but thankfully both those roles were played brilliantly.

We understand that ‘Horizon’ is currently in release, up to its third episode, how has the response been?

The response has been amazing. We were really prepared for the onslaught of internet trolls and people giving their comments, but the comments, bar one, have all been wonderful and very positive. It’s encouraging, as when you’ve put two years of your life in to a project, it’s nice when people get it and it finds a home.

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What are your main methods of distribution…how can we watch it? Do you have a specific website?

The show can be watched, along with accompanying behind the scenes videos, by visiting www.horizonwebseries.com. We’ve also been approached by a TV Network to screen it as well as having some interest from foreign distributors.

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

Well, Simon, Chris and I have already had a meeting for a possible season 2 of Horizon and where we could take it. It just depends on how well the first season goes down with the fans!

Besides that, I have a feature planned for next year. It’s a hospital siege action/thriller so no science-fiction in that.

 

Watch Episode One Here:

For the rest of the web series, please visit the official website linked below.

Links:

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Vimeo

 

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Adam Snowden
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