FYIG recently had the chance to chat with actress/writer/producer Rebecca Eady about her brand-new web-series Evolve: Year Zero which debuts March 1st. Read on to find out more about Rebecca’s experience creating this new series, her background in acting, and her experience working on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the film industry.
I grew up in England as a competitive dancer and singer who secretly fell in love with Armageddon (yes the Michael Bay flick! Don’t judge me!) in between competitions and shows. When my family relocated to Canada, I continued my training in theatre and then naturally went into a career on the stage. After performing around the world and in my home city of London, I ventured back to Canada to re-focus on my truest passion, film. My first audition was for Pompeii, directed by Paul W.S Anderson and in booking it, I reignited my fire for Action/Drama. Getting to play a warrior woman was a dream. Things then flowed from there and when there were lulls in my career, I picked up the pen and started creating the things I wanted to be in. That’s how I ended up behind the scenes as well as in front.
Were you always interested in acting or did you lean more towards a career behind the scenes?
I’ve always loved telling stories. Acting was the first main vessel for that and I truly love it. However, when I started to put my ideas on paper, I realized that there is also something special about bringing something to life. Creating every element and then seeing it come into its own is truly amazing. I strive to create characters that women would love to play and I continue to act in everything that I’ve written because I’m creating my dream roles and who wouldn’t want to live that out!
You’ve done a bit of voice work for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate from what I’ve read. How did that opportunity come about and would you be open to doing more video game work in the future?
I had so much fun working for Ubisoft! I basically auditioned, as an unknown to the company, booked a role and then it grew from there. What started out as a couple of days of Motion capture, grew into multiple days of Voice over work. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate became my whole summer and I loved the experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
You have an interesting new project debuting online on March 1st called Evolve: Year Zero. Tell us a little bit about this new web-series and what we can expect from the show.
Our new project is a post-apocalyptic Web series that follows a team of evolved United Nations Soldiers who have failed to save humanity. Now they have to face their failed past while battling for their future. It essentially focuses on their humanity and whether or not they will continue with the old patterns that failed them or face adversity in new ways. You can expect deep characters struggling with their inner demons while fighting for their lives. Plus, some pretty great acting! We’re really proud of what our cast brought to this show!
An important part of this project was having equality between the male and female characters. What did you do to ensure that equality was realized?
Our cast and Production team was completely 50/50. I wish I could take credit for that, but it just ended up that way. Also, we just hired cast based on abilities and weren’t tied to what gender each character had to be. So it was a wonderful surprise when the show naturally represented the world. However, we made purposeful decisions in regards to how those characters would be depicted on screen. We wanted the world to view them as warriors first, gender second. This allowed for us to then fully flesh out the complexities of each character and create a world of natural equality. Not an imposed one. This meant that for our female cast, they got to delve deep and become fully realized women on screen. For our men, it meant they got to not only show their strength but also the emotional battles they were going through. It was important for us to make sure that the women be shown in their fullest strength but that the men were also powerhouses.
Describe your character Rawny in Evolve: Year Zero.
Rawny is the window into the world of Evolve. She is the first character we identify with in the first episode. So it was a big challenge to make her someone people could relate to in this world of Year Zero. Her abilities mean that she is physically stronger than any man or woman in that world. Therefore she shoulders the responsibility of being a failed protector to humanity. British born and now nationless, Rawny struggles with not only her failings but the isolation of losing the people she loved most. It was challenging, as I had to play her at her lowest and then bring out her inner warrior when trouble was brewing. It was nice to not just play a typical “Strong woman Character” but to also get to play the immense emotional depth that comes with true strength.
You also had a cast full of diverse Canadian backgrounds. What led you to consciously choose to have a bunch of different nationalities represented and what advantage do you think that gives the series?
Again I wish I could take all the credit for that but it just happened to fall that way. We literally hired the best Actors for the roles and then embraced their cultural heritage and nationalities. Diversity is one of Canada’s strengths. We ended up with: Norwegian, Congolese, Australian, British, Portuguese/Guyanese. It was a beautiful thing to realize that in Canada, most of us are immigrants and we should embrace that. So instead of having our Actors put on American accents, as usually happens, they used their native tongue/accent. So you can hear Norwegian lines as well as French, Australian accents as well as English. It was a lot of fun to see the mix within just a small group of people.
Tell us a little bit about the experience of writing, producing, and acting in the same project. How difficult was it to manage all those tasks?
The creating was the easy part for me initially. Building the world. As a writer though, I knew going into this script that I wouldn’t have the financial resources to have big sets and props etc., so that was always in my mind. I think the challenge was in trying to build 12 unique characters in the medium of a web-series. You get very little time to meet these characters and to get to know the world. So we treated this more as an introduction to them. The tough part really came with producing, creating costumes and all the other jobs we had to multitask in. I was lucky to have an amazing team with Marcus McKinley, Ashley Ross, and Joel McNichol, as we all pulled together to make sure this became a reality. Often working 17 hour days. In regards to the acting part, that was the easiest, as I knew the world so well. The only difficulty came with trying to unlearn about other characters so that Rawny was responding as though everything was new information for her. Overall though, it is definitely a tough road to go down when you create content with very limited funds, but it’s also the most rewarding.
Were you inspired by any other project when you started work on Evolve: Year Zero?
I really wanted to capture that grittiness that you see in shows like Vikings or features like Mad Max and meld it into the world of Evolve. Obviously, we couldn’t go too gritty as we wanted to make sure that Evolve was viewable for all ages, but we tried to keep it as grounded and raw as possible. I love movies like Braveheart and Gladiator, so our costumes slightly reflect that old time warrior look melded with modern accessories.
You launched your production company ReadyMade Studios to work on Evolve. Talk about the work that went into creating that company.
I’ve been building up a portfolio of scripts for the last six years and I knew when creating these projects that I wanted to be involved in the full realization of them. This meant that I had to learn how to produce. This way I could bring a skill set to the table when (fingers crossed) our more ambitious shows take off. For me, I’ve always wanted to create a community within this industry that was inclusive of everyone and where everyone’s voice could be heard. The most logical way to do this was by creating a production house. It is currently at the beginning stages, with Evolve: Year Zero being our first baby, but we’re optimistic about its future.
What does the future hold for you and for ReadyMade Studios? Do you expect to continue acting and producing?
Hopefully a lot of filming! We have a catalogue of scripts as well as the full Pilot TV script for Evolve (should it do well on the web), so we will keep pushing forward and driving new content into the industry. The joys of having your own company are that we can decide what we create and how we want to put it out there.
What kind of hobbies do you have outside of the film industry?
Oh my goodness, my life has completely become about Evolve and so I’ve had very little time for hobbies at the moment but I love kickboxing and I’d love to do more of that when we get a break. I also love to sing and dance. When it was my job, I used to hate doing it in my free time. Now, because I don’t get to use those skills much, if I’ve had a stressful day I love to just sit and sing or have a mini dance party for one! I make sure the blinds are closed though so my neighbours don’t think I’m crazy!
What advice do you have for aspiring actors/filmmakers?
It’s going to sound so simple but just get out there and do it. I think what cripples most people is the fear of it not being perfect or not having the resources. The thing is, fear is not a way to gauge whether to do something or not. You can always find the resources if you just put it out there. Find a group of creative people and shoot it on your iPhone if you don’t have access to better equipment. Just do it. Even if no one loves what you did, you can be proud because you tried. You put yourself out there and there is no shame in that. You can learn from every experience, so go out and create something! We always say… “worst case scenario… at least we know our mums will love it!”!
Tell the readers where they can find you and Evolve: Year Zero online.
All Episodes of Evolve: Year Zero can be found on our website www.evolveyearzero.com and the first 4 Episodes will go live on March 1st, 2018! Alternatively, we will put putting them on YouTube so that its accessible to everyone! You can follow our progress with the show on our social media platforms: