Portal – An Original Scripted Drama Premiere

I belong to several online groups through Facebook and other various media, as I’m sure many of you do, too. I came across in one of these groups dedicated to those of us who feel we are a bit socially awkward and are into cons and all that goes along with them. The group is specifically the MCM’s Socially Awkward Facebook group. The members of the group help each other out with situations, advice, and we plan meetups at the MCM Expo’s in the UK.

This morning before work, I was perusing Facebook and came across a post from Portal Dailymotion from Manchester, UK. They were asking for reviewers for a new web series on the video platform, Dailymotion. The web series is called Portal. I told them I’d take a look and see what it’s all about. Well the good news is, it was certainly worth my time and I will continue to watch the series as it unfolds.

The original scripted drama series is in five parts, two of which at the time of this article are live on the web. It was brought to life by the independent film studio, Future Artists, an award winning independent film company and distributor. Their catalog includes ‘The Lost Generation’, ‘Actors Guide Survival’, ‘Broken Britain’, ‘Your State of Emergency’, and distributer of ‘Invisible Circus : No Dress Rehearsal’ (Dynamo Doc award 2012), ‘Riot From Wrong’, ‘Drowned City’, ‘Circle the Wagen’ and ‘Pan Play Decadence’.   

Without giving too much away, the series portrays a world where the members of the society are eager to take leave of their humdrum, tedious lives and seek to live out their craziest desires in a virtual reality called Portal. To enter Portal, the people must consume an illicit and highly addictive black market drug which induces a coma-like state. What is it about their everyday lives that make them want to escape? Portal asks a number of questions that parallel our current obsession with social media. The links to the trailer and the first two episodes are at the bottom.

From the press release:

Future Artists’ Mark Ashmore, Director and Co-Producer of Portal comments; “Alter-realities have always been a popular sensation in modern society, from games such as The Sims to the global subculture of Cosplay. The concept of a virtual world as an accessible reality is boldly explored in this drama, which takes a look at how technology is the ‘new drug’ of today.”

Ilias Kountoupis from Dailymotion says, “As a Video platform, we are always excited to support original and independent programs. We hope that this is only the beginning of a long partnership with Future Artists and that they will continue to present new and original web series on their Dailymotion channel.”    

Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire adds, ”Future Artists have succeeded in creating a highly innovative and thought provoking drama, which we are sure will resonate with audiences worldwide. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Dailymotion to bring their first original web series to the screen, which also marks the first digital project produced with investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund.”

Portal stars an ensemble of up and coming UK talent including Chelsea Edge, Clayton Whitter, and Victoria Connett.

Portal was funded by Dailymotion and Screen Yorkshire has invested through its Yorkshire Content Fund.  The series was shot on location in Todmorden, Halifax, and Manchester.

About Screen Yorkshire

Screen Yorkshire offers production financing for content in the TV, film, video games and the digital sectors in Yorkshire and Humber, through the Yorkshire Content Fund, the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK. Backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the fund is open to content producers working in film, TV, games and digital based in Yorkshire or from outside but looking to establish a base in the region. It has attracted £15m from ERDF as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13. Recent investments include: Dad’s Army, The Hunter’s Prayer, Girls’ Night Out, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Testament Of Youth, The Great Train Robbery, Get Santa.

 The Portal Trailer

Portal, Episode 1

Portal, Episode 2

Give them a look see, well worth it!

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