Take Me Back: Raising the Bar for Web Series
For those of you who haven't been driven completely mad by the TTC strike and, more importantly, for those who have, take a quick break and watch an episode of Take Me Back.
Seth Mendelson (seen above), star and co-creator, sat down for an interview about making the ten part web series.
It all began with a call that Seth got at midnight sometime in December of '06 from his co-creator Joe Baron who was in Scotland at the time. Originally intended to be a quick and dirty production for the internet, the series took sixteen months to produce and and went further than Seth and Joe ever thought possible. "We decided that we'd make something [that] we actually wanted to see."
Seth, originally from Montreal, came to Toronto to study film at Ryerson. Though he says he learned more about the actual physical and technical practice of making movies during this series, he thinks film school is a good idea for those who really want to make the most of it. Access to free equipment, networking, a compulsory audience, and being forced to make something on a regular basis rounded out the advantages that he felt film school offered.
Seth told me about shooting Take Me Back and some causalities along the way. Fatigue was ever present for Seth and Joe throughout the entire process. "I got mono, and lost about ten, fifteen pounds. So, it was cool cause I got to watch Six Feet Under with my girlfriend all day cause I gave her the mono too". Also, the masked man almost got a beat-down from a bystander, who hadn't seen the camera, after knocking over Emma (Danay Cragaris) while she was climbing the stairs on crutches.
The series sets a new high for web content. This is especially true when you consider that everyone involved were volunteers. Not a single person was paid. Kudos to Seth and Joe for putting together an engaging production.
Fans of the series can look forward to more development with Emma and something that might help Al escape on Monday, when Chapter 4 becomes available. Subsequent new episodes go live every Monday.
Posed and digitally altered photo by Jon Currie.
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