“Only take what you can carry. Only kill what you can eat. Don’t make bonds you can’t break. Don’t get caught outside after dark. Never ask why. Never look back.” These are the rules for survival laid out by an unnamed wanderer of the wastes in The Silent City, a crowd-funded post-apocalyptic web series that shows what you can accomplish with creativity, a clear vision, and a cadre of Kickstarter supporters. Here’s episode one, “A Fractured World.” We’ll talk more afterwards.
Brad Anderson’s Session 9 was a masterclass in demonstrating how you can get better production value than money can buy if you choose the right setting, and The Silent City is following in those same footsteps. The web series is filmed “in the real life abandoned spaces of New York,” and the results speak for themselves. The three episodes posted so far are moody as hell, and despite the knowledge that the trappings of civilization are likely just one rotation of the camera away, Silent City nicely captures the lonely nature of a world that’s all but empty, with the protagonist wandering through spaces bereft of another living soul, but still echoing with stories of what came before: a pile of forgotten shotgun shells, a key found in the headband of a ball cap, stacks of rusting shipping containers that will never reach their destination.
Actor Eric Stafford is nicely understated in the lead role, and writer/director Rubidium Wu also has a solid knack for visual storytelling, mixing terse narration by the hero with evocative images such as a campfire made of discarded currency.
You can watch episodes two and three below, and you can find more information at the official website. As for me, I’ll be adding The Silent City to my bookmarks, and I’m betting many of you will as well.