Your new webseries Safer-At-Home - in a few words, what is it
is the story of Jacob and Melissa under quarantine at their apartment in
the early stages of Covid-19 in Los Angeles. Melissa’s friend Shannon
joins them to watch a movie, but is forced to sit outside and watch
through the window as a precautionary tactic. What they do not know is
that Shannon didn’t show up alone. Something came with her….
So how did the series come into being, and how
did the idea emerge to film a series under
Adam Cabrera (who plays Jacob) mentioned to Alex Henderson (the director)
that they should take advantage of the downtime and create something that
dealt with the pandemic. It is something we are experiencing globally
after all. They approached Harold White and Katelyn Chunn, who in turned
created an idea and came to me to write it. So essentially, we are all
Do talk about the series'
co-creators for a bit, and what did they bring to the table?
I suppose I did just answer this in the previous question. Adam and Alex
create a lot of content for Alex’s YouTube channel The
Installments. Harold and I have helped them create projects as
well, including The Lady and Santa (which hit 1.3 million views on
in 3 months). So we all had history together and we knew that we worked
well together because we already had a proven track record. On
set, we can bounce ideas off each other. Since I wrote the script – and
I also direct – I like to be around set to help generate positive
creativity. Harold is there as well to help in guiding the story. That
frees up Alex to direct and Adam to focus on acting.
were your sources of inspiration when writing Safer-At-Home?
all honesty, I personally didn’t have a specific inspiration. I was
sitting at home, bored and frustrated and terrified about the uncertainty
of everything. So when I sat down to write the pilot episode I tried to
think of a couple who have been stuck together, day after day after day.
You can definitely tell they care about one another but you also know they
would be okay with a day apart. That is definitely very true to what I
imagine most people are experiencing during the pandemic. It isn’t until
Shannon arrives and all hell breaks loose that the real fun begins!
few words about Safer-At-Home's approach to horror?
the interesting thing about this project is that is about an experience
that literally the world was experiencing – that made the situation of
the film very REAL. We weren’t just writing about two people living
through a pandemic… the audience was experiencing it as well. So the
fear and anxiety of the situation is visceral… and we as filmmakers just
wanted to enhance that. It really is just WHAT IF?-statements.
Like, WHAT IF this happened while people were quarantined, or WHAT IF this
happened when someone was alone, or WHAT IF this happened when they all
met. And the best part about horror is how cathartic it is as a genre!
can you tell us about Safer-At-Home's director Alex Henderson, and
what was your collaboration like?
well Alex is a man of few words both behind and in front of the camera.
He and I have different styles when it comes to directing. I think in a
lot of ways we learn from one another. It is easy to collaborate with him.
He trusts Harold and I to come up with stories and a script, and we trust
him to tell that story visually. And he and Adam are really good friends,
so they have a mutual understanding as well on set.
the lockdown situation, what were the challenges of bringing Safer-At-Home
to the screen from a producer's point of view?
biggest challenge was trying to film as safely as possible. The sets were
VERY small and minimal. Since everyone was already friends and/or
roommates it was easy to keep the set small and practice safety. Harold
and I did not come to set until Episode 7 was filming. By that time the
restrictions in Los Angeles were loosened. I wore a mask and used hand
sanitizer frequently. We all respected one another and kept our distance
when we could. Plus, this a labor of love among friends, so we kept the
crew VERY VERY small.
you tell us about Safer-At-Home's cast, and why exactly these
due to the pandemic, we needed to use actors that were already around one
another frequently. Like I said before, this is a team of people who work
together and create constantly. So it made sense to us and it made sense
for both the project and the restrictions placed on everyone.
Given the lockdown, did you have any chance to
attend any of the shoots, and if so, what were they like?
did not. I did not attend set until Episode 7. I really wanted to but both
Harold and I knew that we needed to respect the actors and crew. Safety
was very important to us. Even when I went to set the first time I was
still very cautious and safe. We all were. But to make up for it, I wrote
myself a small role in Episode 7 (perks of being the writer AND a
$64-question of course, where can Safer-At-Home be seen?
all episodes are available on The Installments' YouTube channel BUT I also
created an entire show page on my website to keep all the information and
each episode, as well as our press in one place: https://michaelcoulombe.com/projects/safer-at-home/
far as I know, you're still shooting new episodes for Safer-At-Home as
we speak - so what's in store for the series? And should the lockdown ever
end, would you at all consider continuing it or even do a second season
under "normal" conditions?
at the time of this article we are shooting Episode 7. Our goal as of now
is to shoot 10 episodes and see where we are. But more than that, we would
like to edit the show together into a feature film and present it to the
audience that way. I would love to visit these characters as well as the
lockdown ends and life goes back to normal. But that is what Season Two
(or a sequel to the feature) is for!
website, social media, whatever else?
is no social media for the show at the present moment, BUT I can give you
the socials for the creative team:
Coulombe – Instagram @mcoulombe
Harold White jr – Instagram @haroldthewhiteguy
Henderson – Instagram @theinstallments
Cabrera – Instagram @Capricious_cabrera
again you can check out all information regarding the show at
you're dying to mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?
specific. We hope you enjoy the show… and leave comments on YouTube if
you enjoy a specific episode. We read them all and love responding to the
fans. And spread the word. We are proud of this series. We took a chance
and we are very happy with how it is turning out!
for the interview!