BBC Writersroom announces new immersive digital mystery The Last Hours of Laura K
The project [...] challenges the traditional conventions of storytelling, and questions how we live our lives now.Kate Rowland, Creative Director, BBC Writersroom
The Last Hours of Laura K is a ground-breaking digital experience placing the audience at the heart of the story. Using 24 hours of footage from the fictional surveillance programme SATURNEYE, this is a disconcertingly intimate, unfiltered and impartial look into Laura’s last hours before her death.
The 24-hour video file is only half of the story. To find the killer, users will have to immerse themselves in the characters’ digital lives via their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, looking for clues and motives seeded by our writers over months to help them identify the killer.
Kate Rowland, BBC Writersroom Creative Director, says: "The project inspired by the Edward Snowden quote, 'I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity, love or friendship, is recorded' challenges the traditional conventions of storytelling, and questions how we live our lives now."
With BBC development and support, this ambitious project has been a labour of love for the creative team behind it. The writers include Gabriel Bisset Smith, who also directs; Rachel Delahey, who plays Laura Kitchens; Kenny Emson; and Ed Sellek, working closely with producer Jon Davenport and Kate Rowland.
The Last Hours of Laura K will officially launch on 30 March. It’s on this day that Saturneye’s prototype media player is released to the world - it’s on this day the hunt for 23 year-old Laura’s killer truly begins.
With over 40 character profiles already live on social media, as well as an alternative newsblog SP117, the narrative threads are already there to be discovered. When and how the users consume and share the content is up to them.
The 24 hours of Laura’s life was filmed over an extraordinary 16 days across London, from the Southbank to St Martins at Kings Cross, from Farringdon to Dalston by a small, dedicated team working with a set of step ladders and a bag of Go pros.
Gabriel Bisset-Smith is an award-winning writer/actor/director/comedian. As an actor, he has worked for the RSC, The Royal Court, Young Vic, Old Vic, The Bill. He's had plays produced at the Hampstead Theatre, York Theatre Royal and for BBC Radio Four. He's been on attachment at the Soho Theatre, the Royal Court and was a story contributor on the C4 series Skins. His short film Thrush won the Rushes Soho Shorts award, the 2010 Vimeo award and the Grand Jury Prize at the Disposable Film Festival. He has just been named one of Dazed & Confused magazines Dazed Visionaries. He is one half of comedy double act GUILT & SHAME who tour the country regularly to sold out shows. He has also been nominated for the Off West End Most Promising Playwright award and has three feature films in development.
Rachel’s most recent play CIRCLES (Birmingham Rep) has just been announced winner of the Catherine Johnson Award for Channel 4. Her last play ROUTES (Royal Court) earned her the Evening Standard Award for most promising playwright 2013, and THE WESTBRIDGE (Royal Court) won best play at the Writers Guild Awards, 2012. Last year Rachel was named Screen Star of Tomorrow by Screen Daily for her work on her feature PRETTY with Film Four.
Kenny Emson is an award-winning playwright who has written extensively for the stage. He was selected as part of the BBC Writersroom 10 and BBC Writers Academy in 2011 and has gone on to write episodes of Doctors and EastEnders. In 2013 he took part in the Kudos/Bush Initiative. He is currently developing original series ideas with BBC Wales and Company pictures, his first feature film ‘BAI’ with Creative England/BFI, and adapting ‘The Mr Quin Mysteries’ by Agatha Christie for Acorn Productions.
Ed Sellek has been writing for TV for some six years or so. He started out as a Storyliner on Hollyoaks, putting all his experience as a romantically inept misfit teenager to good use. As Senior Storyliner, he helped run a few of their big event weeks, including 'Who Shot Calvin?'. From there, he joined the Story Office on EastEnders. He lent a hand to killing Hev, and blowing up a B&B on Boxing Day. From EastEnders he finally graduated to script-writing, joining the daytime drama Doctors as one of their Core Writers in 2013. Somewhere in all this, he also managed to co-create and write 'Who Killed Laura Kitchens?'. He's currently on the Holby City Shadow Scheme and is writing his eighth episode of Doctors. He lives in Lewisham with his fat dog, Ripley.
Kate is the BBC’s Creative Director, New Writing. She founded the pioneering Writersroom, created R3's ground-breaking strand of new writing The Wire, where she first commissioned writers such as Dennis Kelly, Jack Thorne and Debbie Tucker Green and created the BBC's TV Drama Writer's Festival. Kate leads development from innovation lab to external partnerships. A multi-award-winning producer and director, she has been a champion of new voices with projects such as BBC Four’s Bollywood Shorts, Cineast and the Original Drama Shorts for BBC iPlayer. She has developed talent such as Lee Hall, Sarah Phelps and Stephen Butchard. Work developed through Writersroom includes In The Flesh, Wolfblood, Boy Meets Girl, and From Darkness. Kate was Head of Radio Drama, and won awards for her radical work with writers; previously she was a director at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Young Vic, Soho Theatres and was founder of Altered States Theatre Co. She is a school governor.
Jon is a BAFTA-nominated digital producer and exec with over 15 years' experience in the UK broadcasting industry. For seven years, Jon ran Hat Trick's award-winning Digital Department, devising and overseeing ground-breaking productions such as BBC Three's Bryony Makes A Zombie Movie, BBC Switch's Chartjackers, the Broadcast Digital Award-winning app for Channel 4's Facejacker, and Google Silver Medal Award-winning comedy YouTube channel Bad Teeth. Jon is now a freelancer working in the digital field for clients including IMG, Epic TV, Wall To Wall, and the BBC.
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