In Pandemic, a deadly virus is unleashed on the fictional nation of Mendona. Bioterrorism expert Alex Papoulia, played by Michael Booth (Wonderland), must face not only the threat of disease and death, but his sceptical co-workers and the unprepared system in which he operates.

Created by Sydney film and design collective, Paper Moose, the five part series was commissioned by the UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine to demonstrate its new five day Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence course.

As a content creator, where do you go to find information about other film makers and web series?
Generally online, shared with me on Facebook or I might read an article on

How do you finance your series?
This series was a piece of branded content for UNSW, so it was a direct commission. Previously we have been self funded like for our comedy sketch series Nick and Seaton.

How did you research the world of fighting bioterrorism when writing the series?
A lot of the research was simply using the curriculum for the course. Each episode was loosely structured around a unit of study, so our writer took the curriculum and tried to cover what was being taught. Additional research took place in the usual arenas of online. The students and some of the staff at UNSW had done a previous script and treatment, and while we didn’t use it and started from scratch, we did however, use some of the research that they had done and used their statistics and the general flow of the disease. Working with the school that teaches these things meant they had a lot of information and knowledge about how it would actually play out that we were able to incorporate into our series.

Do you see bioterrorism as an issue that we will soon find ourselves dealing with?
The course that we created the web series for was designed specifically for intelligence bureaus around the world, so I suppose there is definitely a need there and hopefully we won’t have to. But it’s good to know that there will be people out there that have the knowledge to deal with it if it does come about due to the course.

When are you completely satisfied with your work?
Never. Haha, I am completely satisfied with my work when I have the right amount of time for prep and do everything I can possibly do to make a great piece of content.

What is your favourite thing about making web series?
I love the immediacy of web series, and the control that we have over the content we are creating.

Are there any web series, other than your own that inspire you?
I love the work the Late Night guys did with Wizards of Aus and The Severe Comedy guys did with The Justice Lease, seeing teams produce awesome work with very little budget is always inspiring.

Have you achieved the goals you set for this series?
It was a highly ambitious series and I was very happy with the end product and the response from audience both here and overseas.

What was the most difficult challenge you had to overcome in production, and how did you go about it?
Time was a challenge as we needed it delivered in six weeks. We also only had budget for a three day shoot, this meant we had to make the script restricted to within a few locations. We shot multi-cam in a television style to maximise our coverage, we also built the two sets at UNSW side by side so there was no down time in resetting. All of the extras were personnel at the university which also provides its challenges when you don’t have much time. But with all challenges you just take one at a time and prioritise what is important in each scene and how to achieve the best result with what we have.

Pandemic on web:
Watch Pandemic
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