Webfest Berlin is an independent web series festival, that has been founded by Meredith Burkholder, four years ago. Meredith was already a media professional before starting the adventure. As she worked as a production manager for the series Mission Backup Earth, she quickly realized (watch the interview with Meredith here) that Berlin needed its own web series festival: Webfest Berlin was born.
The festival has gained the attention of the industry and been supported by many prestigious sponsors over the last four years. In her journey, Meredith Burkholder is accompanied by web series expert and screenwriter, Joel Bassaget, as well as producer and series consultant, Anne Santa Maria. Many other professionals and passionate volunteers have joined the adventure since.
The fourth session of this festival was held at the beginning of September. I couldn’t attend it this time but got, thanks to Joel, a selection of web series I’d like to share with you here. All of them can be watched on YouTube.
Today I’d like to introduce you to NarcoLeap, a web series from Canada.
Created by: Kate Green
Episodes: Approximately 10 minutes
Performed by: Chelsey Reist, Madison Smith, Evelyn Chew, Austin Eckert, Aleks Paunovic
Kelsey (Chelsey Reist) struggles with narcolepsy. When having narcoleptic naps, she gets vivid dreams about being someone else. The frequency of the experiences augments over time and Kelsey doubts more and more about the nature of those dreams. SMALL SPOILER, because it’s not what it’s all about: It turns out, that she can project herself in other bodies.
NarcoLeap is indubitably a science fiction series that is the Zeitgeist of the genre currently: identity switching, empathy-Trips, mind-controlling, etc. Just think about Sense8, Altered Carbon or more recently The Innocents. Those aren’t bad examples to follow; on the contrary. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it hasn’t been done ever before in science fiction, it’s just that it seems to be on lots of author’s mind at the moment; myself included.
Cinematography & Editing
The creators did a proper job with the title sequence, the cinematography and put some visible efforts in the special effects, which is an accomplishment, especially for an independent web series. In this case, the series has been supported – among others – by the Independent Production Fund. This and the professionalisms of the creators, of course, explains the relative high standard of the production.
Script & Performance
As I said, the genre has multiplied stories around taking the identity of someone else recently, whatever form it might take at the end. But this isn’t a bad thing per se. The potential for stories around identity switch or putting yourself literally in someone else shoes is immense and probably not easy to perform.
Which leads us to the actors who did a great job, considering the demanding topic.
I belong to the more experienced science fiction audience – both on paper and on screen – and I think the creators did a decent job.
Make sure to watch it. Here are all episodes released on YouTube until now: