Published on April 19th, 2018 | by Biz Books
2018 Vancouver Web Fest Interview: Tom Pike and Dana Luery Shaw
BizBooks.net is pleased to showcase a few filmmakers participating in the 2018 Vancouver Web Fest.
In this interview, we talked to Tom Pike and Dana Luery Shaw, the creators of Personal Space.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and Personal Space?
Tom Pike: We are independent creators who have been working together since college on digital series. Personal Space is our latest project, three and a half years in the making.
Dana Luery Shaw: Personal Space is a sci-fi show about astronauts who have no idea their therapy sessions are broadcast on Earth as reality TV.
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What should audiences expect from this web series?
Tom Pike: Personal Space is a mixture of comedy and drama.
Dana Luery Shaw: Viewers should expect one angle and one set. Personal Space was shot vlog-style, so we could get as much bang for our buck as possible. I think that the story really grew due to those limitations.
Tom Pike: Before we created Personal Space, we’d written a lot of half-baked concepts for a sci-fi show set in space. None of them really worked. When you try to make Star Wars for a few thousand bucks, it shows. We eventually decided to work within our budgetary constraints rather than against them. Personal Space consists entirely of the crew’s therapy sessions. It’s a very intimate, personal story.
What was the biggest challenge making this project and how did you overcome it?
Tom Pike: When you’re making something on a tight budget, anything you can do yourself, you sort of just have to do.
Dana Luery Shaw: I was directing voice-over actors while also preparing most of the food and craft services, which was its own challenge because there were so many different dietary restrictions.
“People like Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica and Kurt Yaeger from Sons of Anarchy said yes to us. We looked up to a lot of these actors before we worked together. It has been incredible to have them believe in us.”
What was the most rewarding aspect of making this series?
Dana Luery Shaw: Having people watch it!
Tom Pike: It’s that moment when you realize someone else believes in it. Viewers, for sure. And also actors. People like Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica and Kurt Yaeger from Sons of Anarchy said yes to us. We looked up to a lot of these actors before we worked together. It has been incredible to have them believe in us.
What are the three most important ingredients for a successful web series?
Tom Pike: I’d say a compelling concept. A concept you can shoot. And a team that believes in it.
Dana Luery Shaw: Money, patience, and persistence.
What books and authors have been influential in your career so far?
Tom Pike: The Martian by Andy Weir is wonderful. It uses science to drive a story while keeping the focus on characters who feel like fully realized people. Every problem in it is the result of the solution to an earlier problem. It’s just brilliant.
Dana Luery Shaw: First, I’ll start by saying that Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies made me want to write for the screen. But as far as books are concerned, the Madeleine L’Engle books were a big influence on me when I was younger. Books like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and graphic novel series like The Unwritten influence a lot of my more recent work. Right now, I’m enjoying anything Helen Oyeyemi writes.
What other projects are you working on right now?
Tom Pike: I’m in post-production on The Long Dig, a sci-fi short film I co-created with litweb star Kate Hackett. It’s a post-apocalyptic short about a woman who leads a team of scavengers looking for technology good enough that they’ll be allowed to go home.
Dana Luery Shaw: I’m working on two science fiction webseries that I’m hoping to announce soon.
Where can we find out more about you?
Dana Luery Shaw: I’m @TheFakeDana on Twitter, but don’t be fooled. It’s really me.
Thanks to Tom Pike and Dana Luery Shaw for speaking with us!
You can check out Personal Space at the 2018 Vancouver Web Fest on April 20th at 11:20AM.
For more information, please visit VancouverWebFest.com.