Way back in the summer of 2013, when I was younger and more care-free, my GCSE media studies course required me to produce two one-minute trailers for a new TV show. Being a massive fan of Doctor Who, my overly-ambitious 14 year old self wanted to make a sci-fi show set in my hometown of Plymouth. This was my first taste in the television production world, these were the times I’d been looking forward to my whole life, I was going to dedicate my whole summer holidays to this – and so I did. I got together all two of my friends (I’d like to point out that I’m not such a social introvert anymore!) and took them through my plans. We met up basically all the time as it was, so adding a camera to the mix hardly made any difference to them – apart from the fact that I was bossier than normal! So how did it work out? Well, as you can imagine, despite heading straight to the fancy dress shop with all the pocket money I had, trying to create aliens on the tight budget of a fiver was harder than my naive self had anticipated. Instead I had to fill most of the trailer with the three of us speaking dooming dialogue and poorly acting out scenes of shock, emergency, and devastation. So here it is, the first trailer for The Paradox, and no, it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy…
This was as far as the GCSE course specification required me to go, but I didn’t stop there. I’d enjoyed the whole process of creating a TV show far too much to just suddenly stop, and after being disappointed and underwhelmed with the final results of my trailers, I set about realising the full potential I believed the show had. The first thing I did, as soon as the coursework was over, was gather together all the footage I had and created a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video; a video I love so much more than the actual trailer itself purely because it didn’t try to be something it’s not, and because it holds some great memories of my first experience of the production world.
So much more pleased with the behind-the-scenes video than the trailers, I had a go at remastering some of the scenes featured in my coursework, but on a smaller scale with much more attention to detail. The resultant videos were to a much higher standard but were regretfully made after I could submit them for assessment, however I can still document them to the rest of the world and they go to show how fast I learnt and developed new skills in terms of editing and production. The new scenes I had created from the old ones used more editing techniques and demonstrated ways I could’ve got more sci-fi elements into my original trailers without having to spend money on cheap and rubbish make-up. Below I’ve posted two small scenes: one that has a psychedelic feel to it, where the lead character is possessed by an alien entity and ordered to kill his two friends; the other showing a man being devoured alive by a creature made of lightning using lighting effects both in the studio and on the computer program to portray this.
Now into the flow of things, I started to branch off into other areas of the show – storylines, episode posters, and character profiles to name a few. I began writing down plot ideas and episode names, I started drawing concept art both on paper and on computer programs, characters began to have background stories, series long story arcs were beginning to be devised; creating this show was starting to take over and television production was the only thing I could think about. Below I showcase to you a few examples of the extras I have made in the past to accompany the show…
One of the things I had a go at doing back in early 2014, to give the show more of an identity, was to try and write part of an episode, accompanied by a piece of soundtrack I believed went hand-in-hand with the writing. For one particular episode named Terror of London, I wrote a scene set in a hotel near Putney Bridge accompanied by ‘A Noble Girl About Town’ by Murray Gold. I’m afraid it’s not the most exciting passage of literature you’ll ever read in your life, clearly when I was 15 I did not own a thesaurus…
Lewis slumped on the bed.
“Room with a view,” he said, commenting on the scenery. Putney Bridge had been illuminated by buildings on both sides as the Thames passed underneath it. James continued unpacking.
“How come we can bring ONE suitable sized suitcase between us yet they need to bring along half their bedrooms?” he asked rhetorically, almost violently unpacking, desperate to get it done and out of the way.
“One of life’s mysteries I guess,” Lewis replied, staring outside in awe.
“I wonder how they’re getting on next door,” Lana remarked. Both girls had nearly finished unpacking, despite the fact they had bought almost twice as much as the boys.
“I bet you they’re sat in there staring at that blimen telly!” Shannon laughed.
“Lewis will be daydreaming no doubt!” Lana speculated, talking over her shoulder to Shannon, not even having to look at what she was doing.
“They’re probably having a make-up party or something,” James hypothesised. “I mean come on, let’s be honest, they’ve probably got an entire dressing table stored away in one of those suitcases!”
“And they’ll be in their pyjamas!” Lewis added. “They’ve gotta be in pyjamas?” he laughed, now his turn to unpack the suitcase.
“Done!” Lana sighed, looking proudly at the empty suitcase on the bed. “Ooh look! Free sachets!” Lana exclaimed, easily pleased. “And we’ve got a kettle!” She gasped in excitement. “We can have tea whenever we like! And there’s flavoured!”
“Well I’ll just be having the normal thank you, it’s what makes me British,” Shannon beamed.
James stared at their kettle. “I reckon, Shannon’s already talking about tea.”
“One things for sure and that’s that she won’t be having any of these exotic ones!” Lewis said, reading the names of the different flavours. “It’s what makes her British,” Lewis imitated in a posh accent.
“I think I’m gonna go bed you know,” said Shannon, calling it a day.
“Already?” Lana asked.
“Yeah, James’ll be up early and I’d rather wake up on my own accord than have him banging on my door!”
Lana laughed. “I know the feeling!”
Both girls were already in their pyjamas and ready for bed for it meant they wouldn’t have to do it when they got tired. Lana walked over to her lamp to switch it on as Shannon got into bed. She then went over to the main switch and turned the lights off before getting into her bed.
“Excited for tomorrow?” Lana asked, officially drawing her day to a close.
“Mega excited!” Shannon replied with a big smile on her face.
“Night Shannon,” she smiled to herself.
Lana turned out her light; all that could be seen was the curtain of night. The same could not be said for the boys’ room. Both guys had fallen asleep on top of their beds, fully clothed with every single light in the room on. It seems they were more tired than they thought.
A drawing I created on Serif DrawPlus X5 of the Orbs, creatures made of electric energy that fatally zap people and creatures within range:
With some episode names and ideas floating around my head, I had a go a creating some blockbuster-style episode posters using images I had taken both of me and my friends, and of places that I had been too:
So this really is as far as I got with The Paradox before deciding that actually I’ve got nowhere really left to go apart from to actually make the show itself! (Which I can’t, because I don’t have the money!) I also wanted to move on to different projects, develop my skills in other areas and genres of TV production in order to open new doors and gain more knowledge; but I can only ever have one first show, and The Paradox will always be special to me for such reasons. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to come back to this for inspiration when I’ve been commissioned to write an episode of Doctor Who. A boy can dream…