Today I have something a bit different to share with you all. Meet Dave Morgan, a writer, director and RTS Award Winning producer, who is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for his spy web series Discretion. I asked him a few questions about the project, the team that are bringing it all together, and what it’s really like to crowdfund a project.
First of all, please introduce yourself and Discretion
Well, as your intro brilliantly stated, I’m Dave. Hello! I’m a writer, director, and Royal Television Society Award winning producer from Liverpool. I mainly work on independent short films and web series’, but I have also worked on much larger productions all over the country as well.
My new web series is called Discretion. It follows the story of Tom, an ill-prepared newly recruited MI5 agent on his first assignment that goes very wrong. Tom’s boss and the head of MI5, George, is called into an Inquiry where he leans that both of their jobs are on the line. But things are much worse than expected, Tom has disappeared, two terrorists have broken out of Belmarsh Prison, and Sophie, Tom’s partner at MI5, has no leads to finding them.
Where did you get the idea of Discretion from?
The idea spun out of my love for the James Bond and Jason Bourne films, as well as the TV series’ Spooks and 24. I had many different ideas for crime films that I wanted to write, but they all had quite similar characters and tones to the stories, so I decided to rewrite the outlines, unify the characters and universes of the films, and turn them into a TV series. And thus, Discretion was born.
Why have you chosen to tell Discretion as a web series?
The reason we’ve gone with a web series is because that’s where most of an audience is now; Online. The BBC recently moved one of their channels online because of that exact reason. It’s where our audience is.
Espionage is also moving into a very digital age, so we’re trying to keep in line with that.
Who are you working with to bring this story to life?
We have an amazing crew lined up for the series including myself, Neal McAndrew, a lifelong friend of mine who is co-writing and co-producing the series with me. We have James Pearson of Pearson Casting who is our Casting Director, James Llyal who is one of our Cinematographers on the series, and Matthew Hirons who is our script editor. That’s just to name a few, we’ll have more big announcements in the coming months so keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages.
We all believe passionately that independent talent and independent film and TV for that matter, is something that needs to be pushed and promoted in the industry. So that is what we are doing with Discretion. We’re getting a group of really talented people on board and showing their skills to the world.
Neal McAndrew (left) and Dave Morgan (centre) on set
Why did you choose to crowdfund the project and what’s your aim with the campaign?
Most people assume that if you go to crowdfunding then you’re desperate for the money, but that’s definitely not the case with Discretion. The reason we’ve chosen to crowdfund the budget for the series is to raise awareness for Independent filmmakers and Independent films and series’.
The big leagues of the film world are dominated by remakes/reboots, sequels, and things we’ve seen hundreds of times before. What I want to do with my company, DLM Media, is look to first time Writers & Directors and find brand new, fresh talent in the industry and get some really new ideas on screen. Discretion is the perfect example of what we can achieve through crowdfunding with the help of likeminded people who also support Independent films.
When it comes to crowdfunding, what are the most surprising or difficult things you’ve encountered?
By far, one of the most difficult things about crowdfunding is getting people to give their hard-earned cash to a stranger on the internet, in that it is only becoming more and more difficult with the amount of people who are turning to crowdfunding.
There are many challenges to crowdfunding, but, personally, I find that getting people to just take a few minutes and look at the crowdfunding page is the most difficult. You really have to tap into your communities that the film represents. And when you’re a brand-new company, with a new, original idea, that is very difficult to do.
Where can people learn more about Discretion and follow your campaign?
The best places to go to are the Indiegogo page, our Twitter and Facebook pages, and of course our official website (www.discretionws.com).
The Indiegogo page is the best place to look for what you can get out of the series and what you can do to help us. We have some amazing perks on offer and a chance to spend some truly personal time with the cast and crew over dinner, on set, and during the table read. There’s also the opportunity to be in the film yourself!
My favourite perk has to be the film stills. I will personally be choosing 2 stills from each episode, printing them onto celluloid, and presenting them in a framed collage with information about the series and an exclusive “collection number”. These will never be on sale anywhere else in the world so now is the time to get your hands on one!
Thank you to Dave for taking the time to talk about Discretion. Make sure you check out the Indiegogo page and follow Discretion on social media so you can keep up to date with the journey to bring Discretion to screen.