Ohio based Ben Bays is a key part of the team that is bringing us the popular web series Aidan 5. This unique project stars Bryan Michael Block and Maya Sayre and is co-directed by Bays, along with John Jackson as well as co-written by Bays, Tim Baldwin, Vidas Barzdukas, and Jackson. Aidan 5 has hints of Sin City that you can see easily as well as movies that have dealt with cloning/sci-fi and of course we have the police crime drama element, all rolled into one! Check out my latest Versus with Aidan 5 show runner Ben Bays.
Brian S- First off, tell our readers who you are and your part in Aidan 5: The Web Series.
Ben Bays- Executive Producer, show runner. I developed the Aidan 5 series story with John Jackson after I saw his award-winning 48-hour short. During the production I wrote many of the episodes and directed a few. I'm also that annoying guy who nags people a lot.
Brian S- Where did the idea and concept for Aidan 5 come from?
Ben Bays- John Jackson and Tim Baldwin. They were participating in the Columbus, Ohio 48-hour film project and randomly selected the genre "sci-fi" out of a hat. That night they came up with the concept of Aidan 5, wrote the script, and were filming it the very next morning. I know Johnny has said that he was heavily influenced by The Maltese Falcon.
Brian S- What kind of films do you get your inspirations from?
Ben Bays- I love anything sci-fi. Alien, Close Encounters, T2, Blade Runner -- Like most people my age, I grew up on a steady diet of Star Wars and Indiana Jones so those kinds of films were heavily influential. Although I have to say that my favorite movie of all time is The Shawshank Redemption -- truly a perfect film.
Brian S- They we this is shot and the art involved would remind any fan of Sin City. Was the the plan from the beginning or did Aidan 5 evolve to this?
Ben Bays- I think it sort of fell into that by default. Johnny was originally worried about being able to find locations in 48-hours that matched whatever genre he selected from the contest, so he planned ahead of time to shoot everything on green screen and do the backgrounds as pencil sketches. That would give him the flexibility to adjust to whatever story they ended up writing and still deliver it in 48-hours. As it happened, they combined the "look" with cloning and a classic film-noir style, turning it into a pretty cool and visually-arresting concept. It certainly got my attention.
Brian S- Ok, tell our readers a little about Aidan 5 and why they should watch it.
Ben Bays- Aidan 5 is a sci-noir set in the not-to-distant future where a detective is trying to solve the serial killings of his own clones. This is all told through live action photography and illustrated, pencil-sketched backgrounds. It's a kind of "living comic book". -- What's more, it's done completely without any budget. $0.00 Everyone involved volunteered their skills and their free time.
Aidan 5 not only has a unique style, but it also has a great story and one that we're very excited to tell. Stunning visuals can't sustain a series, only compelling characters and a good yarn can do that. Aidan 5 is lucky enough to have all three.
Brian S- Is it a lot of fun to make a visually awesome web series like this or more of a headache?
Ben Bays- Both. The Pros are that you have the freedom to do anything you want in the script without fear of the budget. We were able to write and create scenes that would simply have been financially and logistically impossible for us in the real world. The Cons are that it ends up taking a really, really long time to post, especially with everyone working for free between their families and day jobs. -- But headaches aren't so bad, that's why they invented Aspirin.
Brian S- Any fun story you'd like to share?
Ben Bays- Occasionally we would have to end up shooting a scene in Johnny's garage. It's funny to look at the final composite with these epic sequences of jumping off rooftops and crashing airships, and then look back at the original footage of an actor running in place next to Johnny's car and weed-wacker.
Brian S- Tell everybody when they can find new episodes of Aidan 5 and where they can find them!
Ben Bays- We release new episodes every other Friday at www.aidan5.com.
If you like what you see, spread the word.
-- Thank you GeekTyrant!
Watch Episode 4 now if you missed it and tune in tomorrow or Friday, April 14th for Episode 5.