Ahead of the inaugural Melbourne Web Series Festival on 20 July, we’re profiling all 30 series that made the Official Selection list. Next up is The Runner created by Liz Scully.

The Runner, an action adventure mystery web series follows Josh Rundell, social activist vlogger, parkour traceur and skateboarder, as he outruns, flips and climbs the law in order to prove himself innocent of murder. The series plunges viewers into an explosive murder mystery with gritty production values captured on cell phones, surveillance cameras, go pros and Skype calls that track Josh, a fugitive who steadfastly maintains his innocence, while desperately searching for the real killer.



What inspired your series? 

While researching an idea for my next creative project I stumbled upon some fantastic YouTube postings of David Belle doing parkour moves through the streets and rooftops of various cities. I started watching YouTube skateboarding videos and was blown away by the amazing tricks that the skater community has evolved over the years.

An individualistic free spirited approach is key to both pursuits so it made perfect sense in my mind that one character could be a traceur and a skateboarder.  I began to develop a story that centered around a character with both these skills.

Pitting the athletism and anti-establishment attitudes inherent to parkour and skateboarding against the law offered a great opportunity for conflict and exploration of ethics. The surveillance camera approach to filming provided an extension to the anti authority theme and offered a unique style and POV for the series.

What do you want people to take away from your series?

Curiosity about where the mystery is going. An interest in parkour and skateboarding. A connection to the characters and the dilemmas they face. An interest in the social activism themes introduced throughout the story.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in production? 

Having a limited budget with which to tell a big story with action components that included a lot of stunts and car chases.

How do you reach your audience?

All forms of Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website; film & web festivals;   web series channels; word of mouth; live events (skate, parkour & music); through our partners & cast/crew, posters, news/media coverage, digital interviews

Interesting Fact about The Runner and the creator:

Liz Scully the creator of the series is too nervous to skateboard but she does surf. Her rationale is landing on water when you wipe out is way less painful than hitting concrete.

Why make a web series?

Web series have the potential to step outside the norms of television and reach an audience that is looking for adventurous, bold content that can be very different from TV. Taking the broadcaster out of the equation gives more freedom to the creators and producers of web content as they don’t have to adhere to the narrow confines of storytelling that has a specified length and structure based on advertising needs. It’s innovative and it’s exciting and you can make a series for much less and get it out there to your audience more quickly.

The Runner series online:





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