The pilot episode of The Broken Continent, a new web series by award-winning filmmaker Francis Abbey, packs quite a lot of adventure into its twenty-two minute debut. There is a continent splintered by an angry god, an ambitious and ruthless king, warrior women living in the woods, a beautiful queen kidnapped, armies on the move, swordfights, hired assassins, and magic.
The Broken Continent pilot starts the tale of Elyrion, a continent split into five shards. King Eadwyn Redway, played by Danny Gavigan, seeks to re-unite the land under his rule, using whatever means necessary to accomplish his goals. His actions drive a group of refugees to seek protection under the Daughters of Tairol, a band of women warriors living in Ironleaf Forest. As King Eadwyn continues his conquest, the Daughters seek to thwart his plans.
The show features many strong female characters, to include Brenn, played by Bette Cassatt, but the focus of the pilot is on King Eadwyn. This complicated character has been created well by Abbey, and Danny Gavigan truly brings this villain to life in a performance that is pure entertainment to watch.
The story behind the making of The Broken Continent is noteworthy as well. Lacking the budget of a giant mainstream network, Abbey, along with co-producers Kelley Slagle and Bjorn Munson, went to Kickstarter to crowdfund this project. After two successful campaigns they were able to raise around $54,000 to finish the pilot.
The sheer amount Abbey, Slagle, and the rest of the team have accomplished with such a small budget is amazing. The Broken Continent is not a group of LARPers throwing a fan video on the internet; this is a professionally made web series. From the special effects and fight choreography to Noah Potter’s original music, everything for this show has been done so well.
“We were happy that we were able to pay almost the entire cast and crew, but many people took lower pay than they would have normally,” says Slagle, who, in addition to being one of the producers, also stars as Arabel in the show. “We are very fortunate to have so many talented people passionately involved in this project – actors, crew, designers and artists – and that has allowed us to really flesh out the world of Elyrion despite our limited budget. ”
Unfortunately, the audience doesn’t see too much of Arabel or Slagle’s own stage combat skills during the pilot, but Slagle assures us the story of her character will be told in future episodes. “Arabel is definitely a fixture in the extended story,” she says. “In addition to showcasing her fighting skill and witnessing harsh examples of her ruthlessness, her initial split from The Women of the Wood and sister is explored.”
The team will now take the completed pilot to conventions across the country, promoting the series and attempting to gain the financial support to continuing filming and production. “Our goal now is to secure additional funding for future episodes of The Broken Continent,” Slagle says. “To do this we are concentrating on marketing the pilot and building a solid following. We are taking it to TV festivals that get it in front of distributors and sci-fi/fantasy and other conventions that expose it to our target fan base. We also have other original Broken Continent content to supplement the web series in the works – including novelization of the current story, games, etc.”
The pilot has been aired in three parts, with all three now available for viewing at getbroken.tv.
The Broken Continent is definitely worth checking out. The pilot is fun and entertaining, and it is amazing what this group has been able to accomplish. The only complaint at this point is there is only one full episode to watch, and viewers will have to wait awhile to find out what happens next in the story. “The pilot is only the beginning,” Slagle tells us. “There is a rich world to unfold should we get the resources we need.”