Antidote 15: Web Festivals, TV Interviews, & More

original post from AmySuto.com

Antidote 15 on the Red Carpet Photocredit: Snobby Robot MagazineThe cast and crew on the red carpet for Hollyweb Festival!
Avi Kaye (director), Conner Sorensen (Benji), Amy Suto (showrunner), Portia Juliette (Sarah), Ashley Maimes (Anita), and Irina Kuzina (producer)
Photocredit: Snobby Robot Magazine

The past seven days have been a whirlwind of press and exciting events to celebrate Antidote 15’s season two and all the amazing people who are the lifeblood of the show.

On Friday, Antidote 15 screened in the Charlie Chaplin theater at Raleigh Studios, and I was able to talk on a panel about the inspiration for the show, and why ex-boyfriends, deadlines, and drinking things you’re not supposed to be are common college struggles.

thriller web series hollyweb antidote 15 amy suto The panel with me on the far right trying to think of something articulate to say about the show

On Sunday, we walked the red carpet and were interviewed by a few press outlets before the awards ceremony at Avalon Hollywood.

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This past week, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Faith Miller on ATVN news about Antidote 15 and our time at the Hollyweb Festival! You can watch the video below:

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When I started this over a year ago, I never would have expected that we would have all come this far. With each episode, we grew as a team and I owe everything to my tireless producers, directors, cast, crew, and everyone else who helped out on the project.

Now time to get back to work :)

Season 2 BTS: Rooftops and Rose Gardens [Weekend 3]

thriller web series ashley maimes antidote 15a behind-the-scenes photo of the nightmare scene, directed by Bryce Morgan and featuring Ashley Maimes

It’s hard to recount this past weekend without getting sentimental about production coming to a close. We’ve got eight pages left to film out of the 50 pages total for season two. Soon we’re going to start planning the wrap party, begin ordering t-shirts, and getting started on post-production so we can enter a webfest or two. Also sleep, maybe.

Anyways, here’s some of the reasons why this weekend of filming went so well.

New Characters

BenjiConner Sorensen in a flashback scene from episode 2.06, directed by Avi Kaye

One of the scenes we shot this weekend was a flashback with Benji and a new season two character. Even though it’s in the middle of the season it’s the very last scene I wrote for season two. I had been struggling with finding the right flashback to include in episode 2.06 and immediately after I wrote this scene it became one of my favorites because of how many layers there are to it despite being a fairly simple scene depicting a power struggle. Avi Kaye directed it, and Conner Sorensen and Katie Baker made it a really interesting scene — I can’t explain how because spoilers.

2014-07-27 13.41.06-1Kayla Tong, our guest DP, and Avi Kaye, one of our directors

Season two continues to become more and more impressive because these guys can take a scene to the next level in a way that serves character in unexpected ways.

New Cast/Crew Dinner Stories

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“There is nudity in every scene of season two. Emotional nudity but still.” -Antidote 15 cast/crew dinner quote thanks to Avi Kaye.

One of our highlights of our time on set has been the cast/crew lunch and dinners. We all sit around and tell stories about our lives. We’ve learned a lot about each other (such as Avi has a great taste in posters and Irina is indeed from Russia) and everyone leads interesting lives (whether they think so or not.)

I think the reason why I love this project so much is because our cast and crew are like a family. We share secrets and food and everybody pitches in their time and effort to make this series awesome.

New Locationsantidote15 thriller web series

The view from the rooftop where we shot a scene from 2.02

We’ve shot at some unique locations around Los Angeles this season, including a gorgeous Pershing Square office building, some sketchy alleyways, and now a beautiful rooftop restaurant, which Emma Petersen set dressed with paper lanterns and candles. Jen Enfield-Kane directed this rooftop scene from 2.02, and managed to craft a gorgeous scene despite the endless amount of planes that kept making us hold for sound (thanks LAX) and a tight time constraint.

Everybody pitched in for this scene: Kayla lent us her LED light which served as moonlight, Zach held the reflector, Irina AD’d, and our very own Takenori Oue made a guest cameo as a waiter.

group photo rooftop a15Takenori, me, and Irina

DJ Suto and Irina Kuzina were our lovely extras, and they invented great backstories. Irina’s character was on a date with DJ’s character and it was going well except for the fact that DJ’s character ran over her beloved cat on the way to the date and hadn’t told her yet.

rooftop dinner date picture thriller web series antidote 15a doomed date

Alternate backstories included other gems such as taking a lot of muscle relaxant before the date.

New Short Stories

If you haven’t heard, we’re releasing new short stories every Friday. These short stories take place in the Antidote 15 universe and expand on backstories and character details that didn’t make it into the actual episodes.

Antidote Stories

Onwards to weekend four!

-Amy

Antidote 15 Fans Get a FREE Graze Box

Graze snacks review Antidote 15Ashley Maimes, one of our stars, on set with a Graze box

The amazing people over at Graze donated a bunch of their healthy snack boxes to crafty for the Antidote 15 set! We are super psyched not only because our primary food group last season was donuts, but also because these snacks are amazing.

They’re also giving all Antidote 15 fans free boxes!

Use the code ‘ANTIDOTE15′ to get your free box!

Graze review Antidote 15

You can rate snacks on the Graze and get a monthly box based on your preferences.

This is our favorite snack from our last box:

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Thanks Graze!

-Amy and the Antidote 15 cast and crew

Season 2 BTS: Dinner Parties and Sketchy Elevators (Weekend 2)

antidote 15 showTop left, clockwise: Irina Kuzina (producer), Conner Sorensen (Benji), Takenori Oue (producer), Jen Enfield-Kane (director), Amy Suto (showrunner), Avi Kaye (director), Ashley Maimes (Anita), Andio Manguray (Jason), Dillon Bonnee (makeup artist). Not pictured: Portia Juliette (Sarah). group selfie cred: Andio Manguray

We wrapped weekend two! This weekend we shot inside a cool building in downtown LA and shot scenes with directors Avi Kaye, Bryce Morgan, Jen Enfield-Kane, and Conner Sorensen.

What I love about our set is that everyone is energetic and ready to go even when we have to shoot a high energy chase scene at 7am and then a heartbreaking season-ender at 10pm. Whether it’s Avi or Ashley inventing new plot twists (Antidote 15 is actually a batman prequel) or everyone telling stories at dinner, our entire cast and crew are all great collaborators.

We officially wrapped Laura Kirchner (Detective Emily Shipton), Andio Manguray (Jason) and Eric Casalini, (Dean Rutherford). We’ve got one more scene with Portia Juliette (Sarah) before we wrap her, too.

One of my favorite parts of this weekend was that everyone was so in it. Every take, every shot — everyone gave the show their all.

 2014-07-19 16.57.23-1A scene from 2.01 directed by Bryce Morgan, starring Laura Kirchner and Ashley Maimes.

The Last Scene of the Weekend

We shot the most emotionally intense scene last. I can’t say much because of spoilers, but what I can say is that Ashley Maimes and Conner Sorensen are two of the most talented actors I’ve ever met and I’m in awe of them. Avi Kaye directed the scene, and under impossible time constraints and with a dark scene on his hands, crafted a scene captured in a long shot that is one of my favorite scenes of the season. I never expected the scene to turn out the way it did when I wrote it, but Ashley and Conner and Avi took the scene to a whole new level of intensity. They made it happen after a long weekend of shooting when most actors would be done for the day.

We’ve only got four shooting days left, but we’re making each one of them count. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow us on Instagram (@antidote15show) to stay up-to-date on what’s happening on set!

-Amy

Season 2 BTS: Stage Managers and Detectives [Weekend 1]

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 2.34.10 PMAshley Maimes in between takes. Make-up by the talented Dillon Bonnee.

 Welcome back, everybody! Season two is happening! I say that, but it feels like season one hasn’t ended, at least not for me. While editing the final cuts for season one, I was also writing season two. The 50 page script for all of season two took about four and a half months from pre-writing to the final polish. I rewrote the whole thing several times to make sure it would be the best season yet, and I’m really happy about how it turned out, and I hope you are, too! We’ve got some new characters that are going to be great additions to the story. (Also: if you haven’t watched season one yet then go do that now.)

We’ve got so many new faces to our team for this season, including our fearless producer Irina Kuzina, and our new guest directors Bryce Morgan, Jen Enfield-Kane, and Avi Kaye. Conner Sorensen is also joining our roster of guest directors, and he’s directing episode 2.07.

This past weekend we shot for two days with directors Bryce Morgan and Jen Enfield-Kane, and with actors Ashley Maimes, Katie Baker, Daniel Rashid, Laura Kirchner, and Kelly Davis Wilson.

2014-07-13 12.53.19antidote 15 season 2 thriller web series

Left: Jen and Takenori having a staredown. Right: Avery and Bryce testing lighting with our gorgeous stand-in Claire

We had lots of great behind-the-scenes moments with Takenori and Jen in the interrogation room, with Laura and Ashley trying not to laugh during intense stare-downs, and trying to outsmart the air conditioning units threatening to ruin sound. Jen and Bryce both did an amazing job despite the fact that they had challenging time and production limitations.

Saturday we shot one scene with Daniel (who plays Tim) and Katie (who plays Petra)  in a sketchy alleyway, and then Sunday we shot interrogation room scenes along with dressing room scenes.

Fact: our production designer Emma Petersen is the best. She built the vanity mirror from scratch and turned a plain study room into a dressing room.

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We were also able to make the wizardry of low-budget production work for us by shooting in a stairwell for the interrogation scene.

Our crew was spectacular during these shoots, thanks each and every one of you for helping us lift heavy gear and make this web series the best it can be. morningshoot

Ashley Maimes (Anita), Emma Petersen (production designer), Jen Enfield-Kane (director), and Avery Xie (DP)

We gained a few fans this weekend — people who were watching us lug c-stands and lights around the apartment complex we were filming in wanted to know what we were filming, and several promised to watch season one. Claire, Avery, Takenori and I all went to get Pizza Studio after day one and the great folks there that helped us with our fundraiser for season one said that they watched season one and loved the concept.

We love you all and are so excited to be back for another season!

-Amy

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Inside the Audition Room for Season 2 [News]

10500263_684304001651858_8202686008436274767_nthriller web series action web seriesLeft to right: Ashley Maimes (who plays Anita), Irina (our new producer), and Takenori (our AD/line producer)

We spent eight hours in the audition room this weekend. As you can tell we ate a lot of frozen yogurt and cheese its and tried to stay sane — which is hard to do when we’re all locked up in a room together all day and trying to amuse ourselves when there are gaps in the schedule, whether that is Courtney reading the sides in a Southern accent, Irina and Jen winning all the staring contests, or Ashley leading improv games.

Also, a thanks to all the wonderful actors who showed up to auditions. You all amazed us and we’re excited for callbacks. We want to just cast all of you since you were all amazing. We had some tricky sides for you to read. So thanks again for being impressive. There were some auditions where when an actor or actress left the room we would all collectively freak out and write in all caps CAST THIS PERSON NOW on our notepads/laptops.

So yeah.

Hopefully I can get out all the sides and callbacks notices by the end of today or tomorrow at the latest.

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Ashley and Courtney reading the sides in varying accents for our entertainment

Onward to callbacks!

-Amy

The Fifteenth Hour: Season One Finale Commentary

Watch all the episodes here

Season one of our web series ended today and it’s one of those moments where I simultaneously want to sleep for five days and run around high fiving everyone for being amazing human beings.

We spent about six months on these episodes, and I’ve learned so much. What parts of the script work — and don’t — when you get to set, how to lose props when filming in the middle of the night, how editing for seven and a half hours straight requires one to get outside and go running at midnight in order to stay sane.

Editing the final cut of episode five was a bit surreal. Seeing everything come back to this final cliffhanger I had written years ago before the decision to turn Antidote 15 into a web series was unlike anything else. Typing “CUT TO BLACK” after a carefully crafted twist has always given me a rush (which is why they call me Amy “Danger” Suto clearly) but actually being able to execute the production of the series up to this final cut to black was a long time in the making.

Season one was not perfect. I know that I’ve got to bring in people to help me with aspects of production that I’m not the best at (such as lighting for exterior scenes). But I am proud of the way the story turned out, and I think we told the best story we could with the resources we had, and we’re able to take what we learned and apply it to create an even better season two.

Some of my favorite moments from season one came from discovering how the cast were able to bring their talents to each role: Daniel Rashid killed his scenes as the unsuspecting Tim in episode five and was able to improv some amazing lines that made the scene’s subtext even richer. Andio Manguray became the show’s iconic Man in a Dark Jacket and I can’t wait to feature him in next season. Portia Juliette was amazing as the tell-it-like-it-is grad student, and what was originally a bit role expanded into a character who will return in season two with what I hope will become an interesting — and tragic — character arc. Courtney Chism was fantastic in her tricky suspense scene in episode two, and Abby Rose Mark did a great job of lending her captivating voice for the Playback Device.

Our two leads — Ashley Maimes and Conner Sorensen — well, their performances speak for themselves. These stars are some of the hardest working actors I know, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Anita and Benji.

I think the heart of the series came through in each episode, and I want to thank everyone for their support the story we told and want to continue to tell. I hope season two will continue to raise the bar with innovative storytelling for the web and a higher production value, and I hope to continue to discover who Benji and Anita are and uncover the secrets they’re hiding from each other.

And last but not least, thanks to everyone who contributed their time to this project. I could not have told this story without all of you.

-Amy Suto

antidote 15 thriller web seriesStill from the final editing session of season 1

Day 4: Behind the Scenes Or That Time We Finished Season One?!

portia juliette as sara episode 2 and 5 antidote 15 web series thrillerPortia Juliette as Sara in episode five

Uh… so guys… we finished season one.

I remember so long ago in December of 2013 beginning to piece together the madness that was the early drafts of all five episodes, trying to realize the scope of this production and how it could possibly fit into my (and everyone else’s) insanely busy schedules. I remember staying up until 3am pouring over headshots and reels during the dredges of sifting through those wonderful people who wanted to come in audition and trying to visualize who would fit what roles, or those days leading up to the first shoot where I was scrambling to get props and set design and extras in order for the critical pilot episode, and desperately calling Bill or Ashley or any number of the supportive teammates who helped me keep my head on straight throughout this process.

There were so many times during pre-production where everything seemed so fragile like the whole project could just fall apart with one misstep. Only when the team came together did everything work out and surpass the expectations we had at the beginning of the season.

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Avery, Ashley, Conner, Amy, Jen, Takenori

 And then, hundreds of shots and takes and Subway sandwiches later…

…we wrap principal photography on season one.

It’s amazing how well everything fell into place. Conner, Ashley, and the rest of our talented cast went above and beyond, digging into their roles and characters despite constricting time crunches and last minute changes.

day4.1I can’t talk too much about what we just shot because spoilers are a thing, but I think you ought to know that these people (and I do mean ALL these people) are terrific and talented and anyone would be lucky to work with them.

Remember, our first episode airs MAY 1st, 2014, so mark your calendars and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and giveaways!

Thanks. To all of you.

-Amy

Day 3: Behind the Scenes Or That Time It Didn’t Rain

antidote15dramaticwebseriesDay three of shooting wrapped today! We shot around five scenes today and did a bunch of walk-and-talks and almost tripped and died several times while walking backwards. It also stopped raining juuuuuust long enough for us to get all of those really important exterior night shots we needed to get done.

My cast and crew were the best (as usual) not only because of their talent and work ethic, but also because they graciously missed the Oscars to shoot for five hours today.

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We also spent like twenty minutes sketchily wandering around the bushes with flashlights looking for the green vial prop which went missing in the middle of the shoot. In a plot twist in real life, it was all of us looking for the “antidote” during a time crunch instead of just creating a show about it.

Dillon Bonnee did a fantastic job with special makeup for one scene, and I can’t give it away now because it contains major spoilers. But if you’re ever looking for someone to do natural or special effects makeup, she should be your go-to!

Ashley survived the cold in several layers of sweaters in-between takes, and Conner managed to memorize a lengthy, difficult monologue for the walk-and-talk scene where Jen and I nearly tripped over everything.

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Ashley studying her lines on set

Oh, and when we’re not shooting Antidote 15, we’re getting into festivals with our other projects. Conner Sorensen (who plays Benji) and Jen (our sound designer) and I all made a film in 24 hours for the Ed Wood 24 hour film festival and our film got shown in front of a panel of industry judges. We also got to take snazzy photos like this one:

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Left to right: Conner Sorensen, Jen Enfield-Kane, Rahne Avant, Amy Suto.

You can read more about our 24 hour film festival adventures here.

All these awesome people make set a wonderful place to be. Next week is our last day of shooting– then we’re wrapped with season one! I hope all of you stick with us for the season premiere on May 1st. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been so hard at work on all these months!

-Amy

Day 2: Behind the Scenes and Holding for Sound

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 12.24.32 AMDay two of filming is always the best. Nicknames, anecdotes, and health tips have all been exchanged (Conner came to set drinking water with Chia seeds and shared his super-healthy smoothie recipes with us), I cha-cha’d real smooth in between takes, and we all got a little crazy in the best way during in the final few takes before our end time at 11pm. We held for sound about a dozen times when we were filming the exterior scene (*shakes fist at planes*) and we did not get locked into Doheny Library so that was a plus. Our awesome makeup artist Dillon Bonnee showed us her cool special effects makeup during breaks, and we consumed all the subway and apple turnovers the world had to offer.

The reason shooting is going well is because of our dedicated, hardworking cast and crew. Avery’s shots are always gorgeous (see above if you need proof), Takenori is always thinking three steps ahead even as I wildly veer from my shot lists, Jen is being a pro with the sound design and working the microphone and knows how to get the clearest sound in some of the noisier shooting locations, Emma can turn unassuming study rooms into professor’s offices at the drop of a hat, and Gus is taking great behind-the-scenes photos and videos along with DSLR selfies. Sarah also stopped by to do Ashley’s makeup for continuity, a much appreciated task.

Ashley, Conner, Courtney and Portia all did an amazing job, even as I gave them secrets and unwritten given circumstances to shake up scenes and try something new. If you’re looking for actors who are not only great people but also talented and hardworking, these people should be at the top of your list.

We have about three more days of shooting before our first season comes to a close! We’ve been at this web series thing for three months now, and during the next few months we’re going to be finishing up shooting, cutting the episodes, creating some trailers and behind the scenes videos, and organizing some giveaways and other cool things on our Facebook page.

So like our page, share the word, and stay tuned for more stories from the set!

-Amy

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