The year is 2020 and Jerusalem has been decimated by a nuclear war. Bickering teenage siblings Yarden and Kineret travel what remains of the city in search of their little brother who went missing in the aftermath of the bombing. In their travels they encounter various survivors of what was once Israel, only to find that very little had actually changed.
Animated comedy web series Dead End (ISR) is filled with twists and turns. Melbourne WebFest spoke with the mastermind creator, director and screenwriter behind it all, Nir Berger.
What inspired the concept behind Dead End?
Every few years in Israel we get a few months of anxiety that we might get nuked by Iran. That’s a result both of Iran saying they’re going to do it, and our own leadership using that fear to maintain control. One way of dealing with that anxiety is taking it to the edge and seeing what things might be like if and when that horrific eventuality takes place. When we thought of that, we realized things would probably be mostly the same, just weirder. That’s really the heart of the series.
What is your favourite aspect of the series that you’d love your audience to know about?
It was done entirely in one year, or 13 months to be exact, from the point where we had only the concept and a green light to the point where we had 45 minutes of animation going on the air. All of that is thanks to a group of insanely talented and dedicated individuals who worked on this series.
Dead End Trailer
If they only took one thing, one message, what would you like the audience to take away from the series?
At the risk of sounding too high brow and philosophical, I’d have to say it’s probably “don’t be assholes”.
Why did you decide on the web-series format?
The series was originally intended as a TV long form series, but that was never going to happen in our specific corner of the world, since animation is so expensive. When the new broadcasting corporation came to the world they were looking for animated web content, so we had the opportunity. The entire concept had to be reinvented to suit the new medium, of course, which I did with Ofir who co-wrote the series with me, and later storyboarded it and did voice work as well.
What was your greatest challenge creating the series?
Hitting the right tone and rhythm, and keeping up with the schedule. Luckily Yael (the series’ producer) is physically unable to not meet a deadline. Also having an amazing art director like Inbal, who managed to design around 80 characters from scratch in just a few weeks.
Overall how long have you been working on your series?
One year to get all the funding and everyone on board, and another year to do all the actual production.
In post-apocalyptic Israel, what survivors should the audience be thrilled about meeting in your series?
Each of the crew has their own favorite, but I think mine would have to be Ronen, the Attention Deficit Seahorse.
What advice would you give to those looking to survive a post-apocalyptic world?
Get an amazing team to do all the real work, trust them and enjoy the ride.