Also - we're finally getting some press coverage for the show. The press release last week didn't generate too much interest, but now that it's in The Lance, we'll see if it gets picked up or not, especially after folks can watch the first episode as well.
If Orson Welles and J.J. Abrams made babies ...
By Lindsey Rivait, Lance Arts Editor
It’s Lost meets War of the Worlds in the locally produced original dramatic online series The Extent, focusing on eight main characters who all awake to find themselves mysteriously trapped together.
Filmed entirely in the Windsor area by local filmmakers, The Extent stars Dylan Dewdney as Tom Hunter and Leslie McCurdy as Mary. The series also features UWindsor Alumni Allie Boak, as well as Windsor locals Melissa Amlin, Maggie Yoell, Steve Markou, and Jamell VanDusen.
While the series premieres online Aug. 5 at 7 p.m., work is still being completed with filming wrapping up on Aug. 30.
Series creator and Executive Producer Jason Nassr says they do have some final casting surprises coming up. “We do have a commitment from David Brandon George. He was just in a move with Kevin Spacey called Casino Jack.”
Production plans for The Extent currently include three seasons, each with 15 episodes eight to nine minutes in length. “Ultimately, the story we want to tell is three seasons,” said Nassr. “It’s us telling a beginning, middle, and end. My focus is on the storytelling,” he continued.
While this is the first online series for Nassr, he has worked on feature-length and short films previously. “It’s been flowing pretty much like a feature film schedule given our budget, given our resources, and having to use mostly local talent,” Nassr explained.
Nassr admits that the storytelling mechanisms used in The Extent are inspired by Lost, which explains why the series has been described as “Lost meets War of the Worlds.”
Nassr was itching to produce something and to incorporate YouTube into the mix.
“I wanted to take advantage of YouTube as this brand new medium for artists like myself who are posting their work online. There’s not a lot of stuff like this on YouTube, not a lot of serialized storytelling that has any kind of production value to it,” said Nassr.
The story for The Extent came to Nassr in his sleep. “I went to sleep one night and woke up in the middle of the night and I wrote down some ideas. That was the rough idea for the story,” said Nassr, who wrote the end of the story first and then worked his way to the beginning.
Also on board as Executive Producer for the project is former Lance Editor in Chief Ryan Rogers.
“As a producer, Ryan hopped on board right away and started to create the shell of what the series is. Creating our arcs and where we wanted our characters to end up,” explained Nassr. Beyond the show, Nassr and Rogers are developing extras for the fans on their website with plans to create a members section offering bonus material.
“Things like wallpaper for their desktop computers, or as far as going to show pre-produced videos that matches or somewhat shows clues for different parts of the story that we’re not telling at that moment, stuff that might be used later on to fill in the gaps, and little gems that can accent the show as a whole,” said Nassr.
While the duo is busy finishing the first season, Nassr is hopeful that the audience will like the series enough to warrant a second season. “Our biggest challenge as far as the show is concerned is when we are going to film our second season. That’s going to be the biggest thing. Once the viewer sees where the show is going, they’ll understand, perhaps at the end of the season, what that means. It’s going to be something where seasonal is important to embed into the storytelling,” Nassr said.
The first two episodes of The Extent premiere Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. on YouTube. The third episode will premiere two weeks later and from then on will follow a weekly schedule. Check out The Extent online at www.extenttv.com.
Also - now that I've got to definitely start getting ready to move out to ... somewhere out near Lindsey, Ont., I've got a lot of things to wrap up around here, things to box, and I've got to find a realtor or something to help us find somewhere to live for a little while once we've moved out there.
So, busy busy. Sort of.