Five strangers are gathered on an abandoned island by a mysterious landlord. They are all guilty of terrible crimes and for those they must die.

Italian thriller series, Hidden was created by Crsitiano Bollo and Ricardo Cannella. Ricardo is the founder and Artistic Director of the Sicily Web Fest and of the Cinnamon Film School. He spoke to us about creating Hidden.

This Web series is loosely based on Agatha Christies novel “Ten Little Indians”, what aspects of the novel did you choose to incorporate into your series?
From the novel I’ve taken the general setting and the “locked room-mystery” kind of narration: as in the book, we have some characters gathered in a place by a mysterious man, and then they start to die; the killer might be one of them or a stranger to the group. We have also decided to split the story into two different time settings: the present and a past that shows how all the characters are connected, as it happened in “Lost”.

Was it difficult staying within budget when creating set and costumes for this film, especially when filming on the island?
On one hand we’re lucky because filming in my homeland island is easier, I know everybody here and get the permission of filming, location and other things it’s a little bit easier. On the other hand, however, we had to face some difficulties due to the weather condition, which has affected also the actors and crew transportation to the island. Regarding the budget, there’s one thing we Italians can do for sure: do the best with less.

Why did you choose web series as your format?
Here at the Cinnamon Production we believe that digital series can be the future of the audiovisual entertainment, because the distribution can reach the people in an easier way, because all the big realities (Canal Play, Netflix etc.) are not leader in the market and the demand of a less rigid format is growing up.

What are the challenges you came across making your series and how did you overcome them?
As I said, the main problem was the weather: Ustica is a very sunny and warm island, but we shot in January and it was very, very cold. Boats didn’t come from Palermo for a week or something, so we had to change our working plan. Besides that, we’re young but well prepared: we know how to do this work and we overcame all the challenges we had to face.

How did you fund your series?
It’s all self-produced, we use some of the income from other series (Run Away, Web Horror Story) that was distributed by Canal Play. Also we had some fund from our Executive Producer Cristiano Bolla, which is also the co-writer of the series and my first assistant director.

Do you have any future plans for this series?
It’s currently distributed by BigopTV, a new but very professional south-american digital platform. Starting from this summer we should be distributed also by Netfall, in Germany. We have submit the show to as many webfests as possible, which we’d like to attend, of course.

What do you want your audience to take away from this series?
At the end of the show, we’d like to audience to not care about the final solution. It can be strange, I know, but what we care about in this series is to create a mood, to let the people be in the mind of some lone and sad characters, it’s more psychological and existentialist then just a thriller that goes from A to B.

What is unique about your series?
We try to do demonstrate that we can do good cinema even working on a digital series format. We care a lot about the quality of the images, the acting, everything we do is for art’s sake.

What advice would you give to emerging creators?
Not to underestimate the world they’re trying to be in: we’re overwhelmed by shows, products and we don’t have time to watch them all. So be sure on what you’re trying to narrate, find a unique way to do it and give value to the time the audience will spend by watching your show.