Eric Blair’s life is thrown into chaos when the C.I.A. decide that he is their last chance to get close to an international arms dealer.

Matthew Carvery not only created Asset, but also stars in the action/thriller web series. The story follows a Canadian civilian, Eric, who is caught up in a world he never imagined he would ever have to be involved in as he travels from Toronto to Prague.

What are the pros and cons of casting yourself in the lead role?
Well as an Actor the pros are being able to further my career in that regard, and be seen playing a type role that I haven’t had the chance to do before.

The main drawback is that, once production starts, I have to step back from my role as creator and producer. We made sure that on set all questions the actors may have had went through Jonathan or Mike (our directors) and they were the only ones allowed to bring questions to me. This did make for some slightly humorous situations where an actor would bring me a question, I’d tell them to bring it to one of the directors, but then because it was a script question, the director would then bring it back to me. Convoluted, yes but necessary to keep the chain  of command on set clean. You can’t undermine your directors and that means you do have to give up control of your project to a certain extent.

How many people worked on this project?
We had about 20 speaking roles, and a crew of about the same size. Then there were about 10 more people working post-production on it. We were luck to find that many talented folks willing to work with us.

Have you achieved the goals you set for this series?
Critically, yes. We’ve been accepted by many of the more exclusive festivals (Our two years as selections at Melbourne Web Fest is a particular favorite bragging point) . Been nominated for several awards, and won one in Vancouver for Best Thriller Series.

Audience wise, there’s still room to grow.

Financially, no one’s figured out the formula for that quite yet, but that’s coming for all of us, we just have to wait for the industry to catch up to us creators.

What’s your background as a content creator? 
I wrote a few episodes for the second season of Clutch, but this was my first outing as a content creator.

What was the most difficult challenge you had to overcome in production, and how did you go about it?
There was one day that the SD card we were recording sound on failed. It appeared to be recording but wasn’t. We didn’t catch it until the end of the day.  Fortunately our post sound guy, Aaron Tsang (also the composer for Pete Winning) was gracious enough to add some extra ADR time to help us get the dialog for those scenes.

From start to finish, how long did it take to complete this project?
Actual filming was four weeks. Post took much longer. Since we couldn’t pay full industry rates we wanted to allow for folks to have other work coming in. So we spread our post work over about 6 months.

When are you completely satisfied with your work?
Never. That’s the artist’s curse. There’s always room to improve. I think that I’d find it really unsettling if I ever was completely satisfied, that would mean I didn’t learn anything new while making it.

What’s the magic formula for a successful web series?
Find talented people whose company you enjoy to partner with, and make something you love. If you love what you’re making and you enjoy who you’re working with then it won’t feel like work, and that will show in the end product.

What is your favourite thing about making web series?
That it can just be done. You don’t have to wait for permission, or, more importantly, distribution. With the right people, you can make a show and put it out there for people to see. We’re all performers in one way or another, we want what we do to be seen.


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