As a Saturday Night Live fan, Australian writer-director Daley Pearson had a bright idea for a multi-platform comedy series with a fast turnaround, in which audiences participate.
Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Screen Queensland funded the development of the project and the ABC commissioned a series. The result is 7 Days Later, which will premiere on ABC 2 at 9 pm on October 22 and on social media sites.
The concept seems a recipe for chaos. Seven days before the show goes to air, the producers will announce a key word via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and 2JJJ.
Audiences are then invited to contribute storylines and characters, which Pearson and co-creator Nick Boshier will develop into a script which will be performed by a cast of YouTube identities, with a fair bit of improvisation.
Pearson is the Gen Y director from Brisbane who created, wrote and directed his first comedy series, The Strange Calls, for the ABC and Hoodlum Entertainment, when he was 26.
There will be six episodes produced by Ludo Studio, a production company formed by Pearson, Boshier, Dave Jansen and Charlie Aspinwall.
A five minute version will air on the ABC. For social media platforms there will be a 30-minute show. The key word for the first show is “aliens.” For the second, it’s “love.”
The cast will include Boshier, who co-created the YouTube brands Bondi Hipsters and Beached Az, Alex Williamson, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Florence Noble, Paul Michael Ayre, Jordan Raskopoulos, Bishanyia Vincent and Neel Kolhatkar,
Pearson tells IF the multi-platform show will aim to create a bridge between people who only or mostly watch broadcast TV and those who devour online media.
Surveying the hectic writing and production schedule, Pearson says, “We plan not to sleep for six weeks.” He thinks the concept could be exportable to the BBC and other markets.