THE IDEA for the series emerged when our two leads Phillip and Giovanni
were improvising an e-casting (online recorded audition) for a new feature
film. They tried a few different scenes as individuals but only felt excited by
their audition when they ad-libbed together as a gay couple asking their
best friend to surrogate for them. It just seemed to work and it made them laugh.
And so The Vessel was born. Although they were both down to the final
audition they didn’t land a role in that feature film, but as one door closes
THE PILOT had to be turned around pretty quickly, in 8 days to be exact. Producers Chloe and Phillip had been thinking about the idea’s potential for a web series but once they heard about the Raindance Web Pilot Competition they decided to go for it. Pulling together a crew, actors and locations we filmed the pilot in half a day, enlisted a brilliant animator (Geoff Brenner) for the titles, edited, mixed and submitted it just on the deadline. Winning Best Web Pilot at Raindance (2011) was amazing and spurred us on to see the project through.
For behind the scenes photos
FILMING THE SERIES over 10 episodes took 6 days, a lot of pasta and plenty of sweat lugging equipment around on public transport. We pulled together our brilliant crew, animators and musicians from places like Film Crew Pro (http://www.filmcrewpro.com ) and ShootingPeople (https://shootingpeople.org). The series was shot on the Canon 7D and we received a lot of support from Motion Picture House and The London Film Academy who provided us with equipment and locations. One of the locations, seen in Episode 6, was the Saatchi and Saatchi pub, conveniently named ‘The Pregnant Man’. Casting our guest stars was a reasonably simple case of asking very nicely and hoping we didn’t sound too cheeky. It must have worked as we ended up with some real pros whose experience and class shone through in the improvisation.
THE CONCEPT AND STYLE of the series was really important to us. Shooting from Kim’s point of view felt like the best way to put the viewers in her shoes and to get a sense of life as a surrogate and to really understand the characters that surround her. To maintain this naturalistic feel we shot the scenes in a single take and while we mapped out the story arcs of each episode, the dialogue was improvised. We feel like this kept the relationships fresh and brought a lot of freedom. It had its challenges though as we were never quite sure where the shoots would take us. It was a little bit scary and put a lot of pressure on the actors, but it definitely brought out the most creative and spontaneous versions of us all.
If you have any questions for us please drop us a message, we’d love to hear from you…