The Sci-Fi web series directed by Paul Dudbridge has been quite a success and Just Celebrity Magazine was curious about the man behind the story.
JC: Why did you choose to switch from Drama to Sci-Fi for the series?
P: Well, I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi as a genre but when working at the lower end of the budget spectrum, I have mostly ruled it out on any large scale. Whatever genre you work in there has to be that dramatic element to the piece or it doesn’t hold up, so Horizon presented a nice opportunity to make a project with those dramatic elements that I’m used to but with the added sci-fi aspects too. It was a fun project to work on, having the opportunity to blow up buildings, has shoot-outs, chases, crashed cars, and large epic supermarket looting scenes! With a background in visual effects, I wanted a project where I could also test and push my personal creative envelope too. What would challenge me? What scares me from a creative point of view? So, a Sci-Fi project with a large cast did the trick!
JC: When do story ideas usually hit you?
P: Usually in the car or in the shower! Ideas come from all sorts of places really. When I have a seed of an idea, I’m subconsciously working on it from a few different angles; does it interest me and do I want to tell/see this story? Also, from a producing/logistical standpoint, can I make it? And finally does the story offer different avenues that I can expand and take it in? If I’m thinking of something and all three boxes get ticked then, I’ll think on and develop it further. Some films, I couldn’t get out of bed for. In order for me to commit so much time and effort to a project, it has to excite me creatively.
JC: Who are starring in ‘Horizon’, how did you get the cast involved?
P: We have a wonderful and talented cast in Horizon. We have Paul Tonkin (Steven), Alicia Ancel (Chloe), Simon Pearce (Dan), Kate Davies (Nicole) and Kessie Bartlett (Katie). We had worked with the cast before in one way or another so we wrote the roles with them in mind. The majority of time I like working with actors that I know as you already have that shorthand on set. It is nice discovering new talent and new faces but for this project we knew going in who we wanted for the parts.
JC: Looking back at the released episodes till now; are you pleased with the end results of the episodes and responses?
P: We couldn’t be happier with how the show has been received. It went way beyond our expectations, which was a very nice surprise. We had people we’ve never met sending in messages, commenting, and sharing the show to their friends and fans. We even had some sci-fi fans taking screen shots and circling areas in the frame they thought might mean something! They were asking all the right questions and we have had enough demand for a follow up season. From the feedback, the format and structure also seems to have hit the right spot with people liking the daily releases and the cliff-hanger endings to each episode.
JC: What is your next step, are you working on any other projects?
P: Well, season two of Horizon is now on the cards. We just have to write it and raise the finance! Personally, I have a feature film I’m producing next year with my producing partner Dan Richardson. It’s a hospital siege thriller so a slightly different approach to Horizon. I’m excited by it, which is always the way to be.
JC: Thank you Paul for the interesting interview!