Given that Instagram has graduated from being a mere platform to showcase one’s selfie abilities, travel experience and meals in all their hashtag foodporn glory to a more interactive experience, thanks to live streaming and video stories, it seems almost odd that it has taken this long for someone to take full advantage of the outlet by introducing a scripted series.
Enter The Out There. Courtesy of quadruple threat Hannah Lehmann, who serves as writer, creator, producer and lead actor on the project, The Out There is a thirteen-episode linear series shot exclusively for Instagram, allowing followers and viewers to watch the entire season in less than 20 minutes on their devices; the 60-second constraints on Instagram ultimately allows each episode to explore their maximum potential in the most minimal of time.
The series itself was born from a combination of Lehmann’s “daydream walking and creative frustration“.
“I would walk to my day job dreaming up scenarios in my head that matched whatever music l was listening to at the time. Eventually, these day dreams manifested themselves into small scenes, and eventually, a story.”
As for what exactly that story details? The Out There proves limitations on budget doesn’t have to stifle the creative process as the show initially presents itself as a dark character study before segueing into a tale of the supernatural. Lehmann’s Frances is a Sydney-sider stuck in a rut whose sanity is cause for concern by her only friend (Molly May Paterson), an issue that only escalates when Frances is visited by Thomas (Robert Snars), a ghost who has been living in limbo for thirty years. With no memory of how he came to be but certain that it is Frances he needs to uncover the truth, The Out There gradually descends into something far more sinister than expected.
As intensive as all that sounds though, the creative team wanted to ensure that the series and its characters maintain a sense of relatability amongst the more outlandish situations; think the supernatural mentality of Stranger Things mixed with the hyper-real angst of Girls, and you have an idea of what director Mohini Herse is attempting.
“Overall I wanted to create an insight into Frances’ world. “The Out There” is spooky and strange but also sexy and silly. The characters had to feel relatable but also had to be open to going along on a supernatural journey; It’s hard enough for Frances just to pay rent let alone having to deal with being haunted by an attractive ghost.”
With a production team as intensive as any other filmic creation, The Out There is potentially poised to jumpstart a new wave of filmmaking with Lehmann’s series being the first of its kind in Australia. In a time when how people interact with each other and consume their entertainment is being redefined, there couldn’t be a more apt time to visit what’s “out there”.
Watch it now @theoutthere