Hello again. It is that time of the week for another installment of “The IndieNet and Beyond.” Besides the usual news items, there is an interview with Scott Klein, the creator and one of the writers/directors of the new web series Haywire. The new scifi horror web series premiered on October 29th, with episode 2 hitting the virtual airwaves on December 1st, followed by a new episode the 1st of every month. The plan is for 12 episodes for the first season.
Klein describes the series as focusing on “the result of a flash of light over a small town in Orange County New York called Monroe. It has an effect on everybody who sees it. Everybody who is not in direct line of site is unaffected. Basically you have the people that were hit by this light running amok and you have the normals trapped in their houses. And the series develops from there.”
At first glance you may mistake this for some kind of zombie story. But not so, explains Klein, “The big difference between a Haywire (what we refer to as people affected) and a zombie is that Haywires are not dead and they remain intelligent in that they retain their skill set. If they were a carpenter they can still build. If they were a scientist they can do experiments. They are just stuck in a loop. So basically whatever they were doing when the light hit they are stuck in the loop of doing that event. So as where zombies are mindless and dead, haywire are kind of a unique phenomenon.”
It’s an interesting concept, with people affected stuck in a loop with homicidal tendencies if anyone dares interrupt them. A concept that first sparked in Klein’s mind one day when he noticed a guy in his development that every morning like clockwork jogged around the block. It occurred to him that he is so regular in this loop,what would happen if that guy was a little off? He found the idea of people stuck in these type of loops really interesting and thus was born the concept of Haywire. He even gives a tip of the hat to the original idea in the first episode with a jogger Haywire stuck in a loop.
Any web series often begs the question, why not the more traditional route of TV or film? For Klein’s group it just made sense at this point in their filmmaking path.
“I started about 10 years ago with a simple black and white zombie film called “The Risen”–just me and my girlfriend. We had a two person crew and we shot a full length feature, which was an incredible experience just from beginning to end. [We] learned how to do everything from the ground up,” said Klein.
“When I realized I could do a whole film just with the two of us, we started to expand. We did a dark comedy in 2004 called 4 For Dinner. In 2009, we came out with a ghost story called Cry. Actually [it won] two awards at the NY Independent Film and Video Festival.” said Klein. “Then we decided to tackle a web series. It has actually proven to be even more expansive than doing a feature, more cast, more crew, everything. So it really is a step forward for us.”
“We decided to go with a web series for a couple of reasons. Most of our cast and crew are 9-to-5ers. And even when they have a free weekend they are doing plays or other shorts. So the web series allowed us to schedule a lot easier. So you have actors that come in a full weekend every other month, every couple months and shoot for two days. Go back to normal lives and in a month or two see themselves up on the web series. It is very satisfying to have that turnaround,” explained Klein. “So the web series became very appealing for scheduling. It also became appealing because we were able to all contribute to writing and the process a little more than before. What we’ve been able to do is have a couple of people write and have more than one person direct an episodes. It became a lot more collaborative. It really fit for what we were trying to do as for scheduling and as far as creativity.”
One thing that caught my eye was the opening of the first episode that tells the origin of this strange world we find ourselves in by using comic book art. Klein and his wife have worked in the comic industry for over 10 years, so they feel close to the comic book genre. The idea of having a high production take on the set-up of the show versus trying the same thing in live-action on a low budget works well and caught my attention.
The Haywires have a unique look with special effects make-up around their eyes. “I knew I wanted something to happen around the eyes, because that is basically where the light is entering,” said Klein.
Klein asked make-up effects artist Liz Martinez to create the look and she hit the books. “She actually came across some photos of people that had been struck by lightning and it gives this effect called lightning flowers. It is a type of veining type of effect. So she kind of likened that. As the Haywire effect last longer these looks around the eyes might change and evolve.”
What was the light? Will we ever know? Klein assures me there is a plan.
“That stuff has been plotted out over the course of several seasons,” he explained. “We are really chomping at the bit to get to it. But my God, that could be years down the road. But it will be fun paving that path and letting viewers in on what exactly we have planned. We know exactly what is going on, thankfully, and are going in that direction.”
The series is basically four different threads that intersect. The fourth thread is written and directed by John Lenihan and is about outsiders that come to town. “So you will get a completely different feel not only storywise but also visually. And when all those worlds collide, we will all collaborate. So you get a really nice collision not only of characters but cinematic style.”
Klein shared some advice to those aspiring to create their on web series.
“I read a lot on web series in web forums [things] that people are arguing about; release schedule and episode length and all that fun stuff. How long should it be, when should I release…? The web series format is so new, I guess my suggestion would be make good episodes and don’t worry so much about the restrictions. Because if its good, they’ll watch it,” said explained Klein. “That’s kind of the credo we are going by. We are trying to make [Haywire] as good as possible and not worry so much about this little box people try to shove web series into. It is just the start of this format. So don’t try to define it, just do it.”
That sounds like some solid advice to me. So what are you waiting for? Go make some web series and be sure to tell me about it so I can talk about it here.
An angel incarnate struggles between a life of being a single mom and a killer of killers. A balancing act between her loved ones and her desire to ascend. Yuri Brown stars in and writes this new web series. Jeff Kanew (Revenge of the Nerds) is the director. Cursed premieres December 1st, 2010.
What I’m Watching
Some of the web series that I’m currently following.
The LXD – The Greater of Two Evils Season 2 : Episode 6
Two evils clash. Cool dancing and choreography, plus I loved the silent film nod.
Riese: Kingdom Falling
More of the Canadian steampunk web series Riese: Kingdom Falling, that was picked up by SyFy and is now showing episodes that have never before been seen on the web.
Suck and Moan – Episode 4: Transformations & Tooth Decay
What happens when a vampire drinks zombie blood?
Suck And Moan – Episode 5: Bloodlust
Some vampires like killing zombies a little too much.
Vampire Zombie Werewolf – Episode 3: Vampwardly Mobile
Tad reveals his plan to the web producer, and some special vampire guests are about to arrive.
That’s A Wrap
Got a web series, web comic, web… whatever, then I want to know about it. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s a wrap for now. Take care, my virtual friends, and I’ll be back next with more. Until next time… Marx out.
Marx H. Pyle is a writer, martial artist and American independent filmmaker. A graduate of Vancouver Film School, he has worked on a number of projects including the short film he wrote and directed, Silence of the Belle.