Arts

Tabitha Grove creates Mars One-inspired web series

Photo: Courtesy of Dexter Calleja

When the Mars One project was first announced, over 200,000 people from around the world applied with hopes of being among the first permanent residents on Mars. Tabitha Grove, a University of Ottawa alumna, wasn’t one of them, but she did create a web series imagining what it would be like to be chosen.

World Away is a six-part web series that was released this past summer, by Grove alongside two of her Sheridan College colleagues, Elias Campbell and Maxim Gertler-Jaffe. Grove acted as the producer and production designer for the series.

“I worked from casting all the way to deciding exactly what is seen on screen,” said Grove. “One of the challenges we had with the series that combined the jobs of producer and production designer perfectly is that for being a short, five or six minute episode, it’s about making dynamic scenes and making it interesting to watch for our viewer.”

Grove did a B.Sc. in General Science at the U of O before moving on to Sheridan College and said that her time at U of O helped her find her passion for film.

“At Ottawa U it was fantastic because I did a science degree, but I had the opportunity to take tons of electives in video production, film, and communication, and that was something that I think gave me perspective in the university for a bigger picture view of what I wanted to do.”

World Away was filmed and created in Toronto, and follows a young woman named Quinn who participates in an experimental one-way trip to Mars. The web series follows her as she says goodbye to people close to her and confronts their contrasting opinions on her trip, which inevitably will end her life on Earth.

The six episodes in the series all clock in at about five and a half minutes, which makes every second of the show meaningful and action-packed.

“With TV series, you have a longer form to deal with. On the web, there is so much fantastic content that the audience is consuming a lot and wanting to see a lot in a short period of time, so you have to keep it interesting while making it quick,” says Grove, who has worked on a wide range of large and small-scale productions.

One of the most uniquely modern aspects of World Away is that it was funded entirely by an account on Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding website. The project’s goal of $7,500 was just exceeded by it’s 105 backers, who donated $7,520 to the series.

“We shot the pilot on our own, and we wanted to do the series in a similar style but we needed help”, Grove explains. “Indiegogo provided that ability to not only bring forward our idea and show it to people, but also to grow an audience, so people were on board for the series right from the start.”

An evidently contemporary series, World Away looks at pressing questions of the technological and highly opinionated modern age. “It’s a drama,” describes Grove, “but it’s talking about concepts that are relevant.”

You can watch all six episodes at http://www.worldawayseries.com/ and follow updates at https://www.facebook.com/worldawayseries and https://twitter.com/WorldAwaySeries.