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Creating The Last Hours of Laura K

Rachel Delahay


When a group of writers were put in a room, force fed cheese, and asked to come up with some ideas for an online drama, no one could have predicted where our minds would go.

“We’ve decided it should be a 24 hour, looped, document containing all the CCTV footage from the last day of a girls life.”
“Right. 24hours? Not, say, eight 3 minute episodes?”
“Nope. We’d like our thing to be an immersive 24 hours.”
“Cool. That sounds cheap. Ok then.”

And OK it was. Kate (Rowland - head of BBC Writersroom) listened to our idea and fought for it from day one. She understood, like us, there needed to be a reason for this drama to exist only online. She understood it couldn’t at any point feel that this was a potential TV show but without the budget. She saw we wanted to play with form, we wanted to enjoy long immersive storytelling, and we wanted to tap into our own viewing habits and make them a part of the experience.

Watch the trailer for The Last Hours of Laura K

Taking a break from our brainstorming and cheese eating, a producer came down to share with us a short film he’d just made. It was good. I think. I wasn’t really watching. I recognized one of the actors in it straight away and then spent 15 minutes of the 20 minute film IMDB’ing him to find out what else I knew him from. This is just standard to how I watch television now. One eye on the TV one eye on my phone. But what if we could make my short attention span work to push the story forward? What if we came across this 24 hour document and began Googling the brand name? What would come up if we typed in Saturneye? Were any of the characters on Twitter? What could their twitter feed add to the story? Could it conflict with the visual story being told? She’s here kissing one person but her Facebook status clearly states she’s ‘in a relationship with…’ another.

And this is how THE LAST HOURS OF LAURA K came about.

The team of writers and producers behind 'The Last Hours of Laura K' (Kennie Emson, Ed Sellek, Gabriel Bisset-Smith, Rachel De-lahay, Kate Rowland, Jon Davenport)

It could have been the last hours of anyone, but we wanted to see a brilliant female character live on screen for 24 hours real time. (And this was decided before we knew I’d be playing her- promise) This was our project and we could do with it what we wanted. So for once let’s see the real London. Not the vague aspirational London where white men live on the Southbank and walk to work. The ethnicity of our lead was not important so we decided there and then they were going to be non-white. (If only more people did this.) And the sex? This was going to be a drama where a murder happened and then, due to a loop aspect, there’d be a rebirth and we’d go on to follow that person in real time to find out how and why they died. If our lead were female it already felt so different to other stories where girls are killed in order for us to merely find out about their male killers. We were going to have a detailed portrayal of a real Londoners life. Where they go, who they call, who they text and their own impression of it by how they document it on Instagram and Facebook etc. So why shouldn’t this all this be given to a girl? Why shouldn’t we have a brilliant female lead? Why shouldn’t we watch a real girl with complex needs and wants go about her life? So we did. And I couldn’t be more proud.

The Last Hours of Laura K - join the investigation now

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So Long!