Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reflections on ‘Shades of Bad' Season 1 from Stuart St Paul and Jean Heard

Jean Heard stars in Shades of Bad.
Now that all 20 episodes of Shades Of Bad Season 1 are released, Jean Heard who plays Doris looks back at the first 20 episode season while on a break from shooting Season 3, Episode 43.

Jean was voted best actress in the Indie Series Network poll for Episode 16 when the female lead web soap was joined by a male actor for the first time, but, he was only on the phone. Season 1 never left the kitchen, and rarely been out of the chart top ten. It is not until the end of season 2 there is a need to go outside kitchen and that is only to dispose of a body… but they don’t go far.

The very dark comedy show, which has 3 mature actresses in a kitchen, breaks many of the web series molds and is bent more on a long term TV series mold, but working in 3 to 5 minute blocks, kind of like a very modern Golden Girls.

Coming from feature a feature film background, the show was always designed for music and fully (digitally) orchestrated score by creator Stuart St Paul’s long term collaborator, feature film composer Mark Blackledge. They have test-edited some episodes together as the ambition was always to reform it in some way as a longer piece, and the show plays very very differently. The three minute format is quite separate, quite a genre. When St Paul looks back at the old TV soaps he worked on, the scenes would not hold up as stand alone episodes. Shades of Bad now has 140 minutes of continuous drama cut as short episodes.

“We had a plan to shoot Doris being taken by police in a prison van to a psychiatrist to relay why and how she had become such a danger to society and a serial killer (in released episodes that are only just beginning). That would have given the TV show a different flavor. The idea is still there, but when we edited them together it really did not need it, so we are in a rethink. Together the show airs very differently. It needed minor tweaks, will need a complete regrade on color, but it works. What doesn’t work is the heavy use of music that fits 3 minutes does not play in a 20 minute episode". Stuart says that both Mark and he saw that straight away.

“It is funny how time flies, Mark is on another project as well as what I am told a complex upgrade from ProTools 10 to 11 and a new digital orchestra, and I am working on a movie with a producer in LA and a A list star, so editing our mega episodes of Shades Of Bad is on a back burner”, says St Paul. “Not much shooting will take place in the remains of 2015 as rer is on a movie, Jean is on a lecture tour, and Lynn is in Panto. The team aim to hit episodes in the fifty numbers early next year”.

“The pause in shooting also sees a sea change in cast. We can reveal one of the three women die, and we have started with a new star. he is an Olympian, a world personality with the stature of a lead actor. I like the idea of discovering someone. It will come as no shock that those episodes will be up before the Rio Olympics. Then we need a villain who become spart of Doris’s future in a way you will never in a month of creative writing classes guess. We again have someone up our sleeve, but we need to do a lot more work to convince him to join the show”.

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