About The Web Series
Secrets Inc. is comedy web series about a rivalry between two corporate espionage firms in Bangalore, India. One operates as a branch office of a New York based firm, while the other is a local Bangalore firm. Using informants, sabotage and double dealing, the two are out to destroy each other.
The motivation behind this show was to make a piece that's full of comedy and suspense, while showcasing the unique mix of tradition and booming tech culture that characterize Bangalore. I lived in India for almost two years and found it exciting, chaotic and amazingly fun. While I've loved many American and European movies and shows about India, they tend to focus on the hardships. I haven't seen one that also captures what is sophisticated, funny and dynamic about this multifaceted country. I wanted to create a piece which reflects that experience. I also wanted a chance to work with local actors and use a mixture of script and improv to tell a dynamic and unique story. After already shooting a portion of the web series, I think we're on the road towards achieving that. However, there's still a ways to go.
Where's The Money Going?
The funds we're raising now will go towards producing the remainder of the series in New York and India. Expenses include equipment, crew, travel and accommodations. Another big expense is post production, specifically post production audio. We've shot a lot of exciting stuff, with great performances, but shooting on the streets of India doesn't always make for clean audio. If we don't have excellent sound mixing and dubbing on the final product, all our good work is for naught. That's why we want to raise enough money to work with professionals and do it right.
The Larger Goal
This web series, in conjunction with a previous piece called Expats: Bangalore and planned future projects in Barcelona and around the world, is an attempt to use lean, mobile shooting techniques and comedic stories to showcase people and places not usually seen in U.S. media. I view it as a way to explore and gain insight into an unfamiliar locale and culture while using comedy to offer a story that's familiar, fun and inviting.
We have a lot of great rewards. Some are what you'd expect -- DVDs and T-Shirts...
But we've also got some unique rewards, such as custom hand-painted signs from India -- you decide what you want the sign to say (as long as it fits and isn't offensive) and we'll have it hand painted in English and Kannada (Bangalore's local language). Here's an example from our show:
We're also offering photos of India from photographer (and Secrets, Inc. producer) Carol Haynes. Below is a sample of a few and a link to a larger selection: www.flickr.com/photos/carolhaynes/sets/72157630812938012/
We've got a good script, an awesome cast and crew, and tons of enthusiasm for this project. We would love for you to be a part of it!
Risks and challenges
There are obvious challenges to shooting a web series in a foreign country, including unforeseen travel difficulties, local bureaucracy and juggling various actors from various countries. However, since we have already shot a portion of this project in India (as well as successfully completed another one: https://vimeo.com/37221176), we have experience dealing with some of these obstacles. The best approach lies in finding a balance between meticulous planning and adaptability. Specifically, by having a detailed script, combined with a very small crew and actors versed in improvisational techniques, we can adapt quickly to the challenges of a dynamic and sometimes chaotic shooting environment. We have used this approach before and have made this openness to the unplanned and the unforeseen an inherent part of our storytelling process.
On top of this, the writer/director has many years of professional editing experience (documentaries, commercials and features). This leads to quick on-set decisions about what is absolutely necessary to shoot and what can be "fixed in post." Furthermore, and most important to the supporters of this project, professional editors understand how to tell a story with the footage they have (not what they wished they had). This skill ensures that, no matter what obstacles or challenges the production might face, a professional, finished project will be delivered.
- (30 days)