Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world, with London at a very close second. Many of the UK’s series have made it stateside and British actors and behind the scenes talent are respected all over the world, but British web series still seem to be ignored in the UK. BAFTA recognises film, TV and video games, but this wonderful new medium is still being ignored.
Lisa Gifford’s web series 3some already has an abundance of awards and accolades, with no less than 17 combined international awards and nominations. The series boasts actors from Coronation Street, Eastenders. Emmerdale, 2 Point 4 Children, Doctor Who and more. Despite its success, it and other web series are ignored in the UK.
In 3some ROB (Euan King) and JENNY (Lisa Gifford), a thirty-something couple living together in a trendy part of East London, are about to split up – spectacularly!
Meanwhile Rob’s former best friend and Jenny’s ex-fiance, PAUL (Peter Halpin), is on his way back home after a year of travelling, escaping the consequences of “that threesome”, the repercussions of which are still reverberating throughout Paul, Rob and Jen’s lives.
This wonderful series is directed and written by Lisa Gifford and Produced by Elisar Cabrera. It stars Lisa Gifford (Sweetheart), Peter Halpin (Mermaid of the East), Euan King (MacBeth), Annette Badland (Eastenders) and Simon Fisher Becker (Doctor Who).
We caught up with the producer Elisar Cabrera.
Hi Elisar, thank you for taking the time out to talk with us. Tell us a bit about you web-series 3some
3some is an independent web series set in London about the love lives of three 30-somethings. Over the course of the series we discover what’s in their past and how its been affecting their future. If you are a fan of Cold Feet, Friends, Coupling etc you will totally get 3some.
What made you want to get involved with this series?
After writer Lisa Gifford had written the play version of 3some, we discussed about how could put it online. It was after the play had its initial theatre run that Lisa thought about extending the world of Rob, Jenny and Paul. So the web series was created set one year later. For me working on the web had always been an ambition of mine. I love the idea of engaging audiences from the moment you release the first episode. 3some works perfectly as a series because Lisa had crafted six fantastic episodes that all tell part of the whole story but at the same all tell their own story within each episode.
If you are a fan of Cold Feet, Friends, Coupling etc you will totally get 3some.
What obstacles does the average British web-series have to over come in order to be seen by a large audience?
You do get a sense that the UK is behind the USA when it comes to recognising web series. When an article appears about a web series in a newspaper the journalists always look to American series because they don’t know or don’t care that web series are being produced in the UK. Audiences are online discovering series for themselves. Online they are discovering shows that would never get commissioned on TV because they speak to niche audiences. The diversity online is incredible and its great that writers have this unique way to tell stories. Producers of British web series need to learn to identify who that niche they are speaking to is and go online and find where they are and what sites they spend their time on.
I always find it amusing when gossip mags focus a story on a so called celebrity that only has a fraction of a following of some of the popular British YouTubers but that gossip mag hasn’t heard of that YouTuber and has no idea how influential that YouTuber is.
What made you want to go into producing?
Working in film is something I always wanted to do. I did’t know I wanted to get into producing until I started working in film. Fortunately I got to work as a producer’s assistant to film producer Matt Devlen on a couple of low budget films in the USA. I absorbed that entrepreneurial spirit producers need to have. My cousin Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club) was also producing around this time (early 1990s) and for me working around him and his friends such as Brad Wyman (Monster) was also a fantastic education in low budget film production. My time in LA was hugely inspirational in me becoming a producer.
The UK is behind the USA when it comes to recognising web series
Is 3some the first web-series you have produced?
Yes, 3some is the first scripted web-series I have produced. But before 3some I was also doing a livestream chat and review show on YouTube. It was what I learned about YouTube doing the live show that helped me decide to produce 3some as a web series. I love the immediacy of audience feedback and excitement when a new episode comes out. Web series has its own challenges with regards to audience engagement but they are challenges that every producer should try out.
What advice would you give to youths aspiring to become a producer?
The best advice is to go out there and do it. There are plenty of filmmaking networking places where you can meet directors and writers such as Raindance, Shooting People and Meetup groups. If you can find a writer you can collaborate with, this is ideal. Between you think of an idea that could be filmed simply. Your average sitcom tends to be characters in a single location – coffee shop, flat, workplace, etc. You can find actors on websites like Casting Call Pro or StarNow. As far as filming, many web series are filmed on DSLRs. Make something within your ability and resources. Release it and learn.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Last year I produced two feature films. On the August Bank Holiday, you can see the thriller Deadly Virtues at the Film4 Frightfest film festival in London. I also produced horror comedy Ibiza Undead which is being edited at the moment and will be released in 2015. You can keep up to date on Ibiza Undead on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/IbizaUndead. For Doctor Who fans you can watch a documentary I made about 50 years of Doctor Who on our website www.whoschanging.co.uk
Make something within your ability and resources. Release it and learn.
If you would like to find out more about 3some follow them at @watch3some
Or you can watch the series on line at www.watch3some.co.uk