Just Celebrity talks with one of the leading characters of new British web series ‘Horizon’
JC: First of all, can you tell me more about Horizon?
SP: Sure. Horizon is a 10 part science fiction web series set in the city of Bristol, UK. Each episode is roughly between 4 and 6 minutes long and follows five friends whose lives are thrown into chaos when a mysterious alien ship arrives in the sky over their hometown. As they make plans to evaucate, their efforts are impeded by a city in panic, looters, and the threat of military attack. As they attempt to round up loved ones and gather supplies, we continue to tease at the larger question – who are these visitors and why are they here? The entire first series is now online at www.horizonwebseries.com.
JC: What made you interested to play in the web series?
SP: I actually came on-board as a co-producer and writer to begin with – it was Paul Dudbridge the director who first pitched the idea, we’d worked on a number of each others projects over the years, but never anything on this scale, so it was an exciting opportunity. Together with my writing partner Chris Marshfield, we sat down to map out the first 10 episodes. It was part way through this process that Paul suggested I actually play the character of Dan – I have a background in acting when I was younger, and have appeared in a few shorts and TV dramas in the past, but it’s a career behind the camera I’ve been pursuing for the last few years. I was a little anxious at first, as I only wanted to do it if I felt I could do a decent job with the part, but the more we began to flesh things out and shape the individual episodes the more excited I got at the idea. Whilst challenging I could see it was also going to be a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it.
JC:What is the biggest challenge about taking on this role? What do you love or hate about the character you are playing?
SP: For me the biggest challenge, aside from doing it in the first place, was to play a character that we only see in such short bursts. It’s a very event driven show so the trick with all the roles was to have enough sense of character and emotion to it that it doesn’t just feel empty and come across as all action. We worked hard to find these little moments in each episode that would allow the characters to stand out, as they’re all quite different, and hopefully have the audience care about and invest in each of these people. Whether we’ve done that will be up to them!
SP: In terms of what I love – it was a chance for me to do things I don’t normally, typically when I’ve acted in the past, because I look quite young I guess, I tend to be cast in roles where I’m a little shy or nervous, or I play the slightly nerdy character – so with this I was able to play someone a bit stronger and also get in on the fun stuff like hanging upside down in wrecked cars and jumping out of explosions!
JC: As you have experience in front and behind the cameras, what do you prefer?
SP:Without a doubt directing is my first love, and that is what I intend to do as a career – but having said that I’ve always enjoyed acting and I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever completely leave behind. If a role comes up that seems interesting or challenging I’m sure I’ll be tempted!
JC: Are you also working on other projects at the moment? Or will be in the near future?
SP: I’m currently developing what I hope will be my next feature. The last movie I directed, a supernatural horror called Judas Ghost, is available now on DVD in the UK, and Chris Marshfield, the other writer on Horizon, is currently at work on an action/thriller script called “Denied”. This is a genre I love so hopefully we’ll be going into production on that around the end of 2016 all being well! I do also have a short I’m developing in the meantime which is another horror. Outside of that – if the response is good we’ve inevitably been talking about a second series of Horizon so we’ll have to see what happens!
JC: Thank you for your time Simon!