Lane Allison and Sara Lafferty are the dream team you'd want behind putting together an out-of-the-box web series premise. Together, they created (starred in, produced and other many amazing things) After Pluto, a series following Truman Welles who survives a tragic accident resulting in her losing 10 years of her memory. I know right? Catch up with the creators and learn more about the series below!
netTVnow: After Pluto has such an interesting storyline. How would you describe it to audiences?
Sara Lafferty: Lane always has the best answer for this since she is the very talented writer. So yeah, what she says!
Lane Allison: On her 38th birthday, best selling author Truman Welles survives a tragic accident that strips her of the last decade of her memory. The last thing she remembers is driving home in 2006 and hearing on the radio that Pluto was being downgraded as a planet. It's an ensemble show about how she and the people in her life move forward. There is a lot to hash out, including her marriage to Ian, who she was in the process of divorcing, and fans around the globe eagerly awaiting the third installment of a hugely popular book series.
NTN: How did the two of you get involved with the series?
SL: Lane and I have been wanting to collaborate on something for quite some time, so we began brainstorming and coming up with different ideas for a web series. It started out completely different, like a lot of projects do I'm sure, but one day Lane had this brilliant idea about someone losing their memory and the last thing that they remember is Pluto being downgraded as a planet. I liked the idea and so we decided to develop it from there!
LA: Sara had cast me in a web series she was producing about 6 years ago. Then a few years later, I asked her to work with me on a mock trailer I had written. After that, we felt we were ready to tackle something bigger together, and Sara was already a fan of the freedom a web series afforded, so it was a good place to start.
NTN: I know you both star in the series, but what other roles did you take on besides acting?
SL: We both wore multiple hats and for me, besides Actor, it was Co-Creator/Producer and Editor. Editing is my main forte, with a little bit of acting on the side, but I find it fun to dabble in the other aspects of filmmaking because it gives me a well rounded knowledge of how it all works. Also, being co-creator and producer allows me to do the roles and editing jobs that I want to explore!
LA: I'm Co-Creator/Producer, Writer, and Director. We both did the Set Decoration and I was on Props and Wardrobe along with Valeria Costa. Valeria was also our 2nd AD and a shining example of our small but mighty army of a cast and crew who were so giving of their time and extremely willing to lend a hand whenever and wherever needed.
NTN: Subsequently, what can you tell us about your characters.
SL: I really like Charlie because she is very quirky and I feel like I can have a lot of fun with her. She also has a lot more complexity to her than we've seen so far, which will trickle out over the rest of the episodes. She's a bit of a mystery, but a very important person for Truman.
LA: Truman at her core is a survivor, which perhaps makes her better equipped to handle her new circumstances than others might. In the first episode we find her in sponge mode, taking mental notes on everyone and everything as she goes about trying to put the puzzle of her life together. But there is no doubt she has a long road to travel. In her mind, she is a passionate 28-year-old, just beginning to explore herself as a professional writer and what it means to be an adult woman, thrust into the world of a now-thriving 38-year-old author with a bit of personal baggage to unpack. It’s a lot to digest.
NTN: The pilot episode is really intriguing! What else can audiences expect moving forward?
SL: We packed a lot into the pilot because we wanted the audience to get a good grasp on Truman's life, but there is so much more yet to be told!
LA: Indeed! We don't want to spoil too much, but we will tell you that the person who Truman had feelings for, which Ian alludes to when trying to explain his drunken infidelity, will come into play. Stay tuned!
NTN: What prompted you to make After Pluto into a web series versus another formatted media?
SL: For me, I feel that web series are the new, popular form of media. It also allows us to put our work out there without having to wait for a network to pick it up. We want to be able to share our work with everyone, no matter how popular it is.
LA: It's a world that encourages risk taking and allows artists at all stages in their careers to tell their stories, while also allowing the audience to claim for themselves what works and what doesn't on a more visceral level.
NTN: What do you guys like most about the web series community?
SL: I like how diverse the community is. Anything goes, and you don't really have to follow any certain format like most network shows do. It creates more original content.
LA: I like how welcoming everyone has been. I have several friends and colleagues in the industry who have their own series and have been incredibly gracious with sharing their knowledge and tricks.
NTN: Where do you hope it’ll be in the next few years?
SL: After Pluto, or the world of web series? I guess my answer would be the same for both: thriving online!
LA: I hope web series continue to grow in popularity, and stays a place where independent artists can cultivate original content and develop their craft. As for After Pluto, I hope in a few years we are still kickin' and gearing up for season 3!
NTN: What’s something about web series that most people don’t know?
SL: Web series are a great way to share your creativity out in the open, and anyone can make one!
LA: Agreed! And whatever small budget you have cobbled together, you should use almost half of it toward feeding your cast and crew - especially if they aren't getting paid in anything other than credit and experience. We got really lucky and had Sara's husband, Smithers, who created the most delicious fuel that kept us all going. We heard from several people that it was a giant bonus, and helped make our long shoot days more enjoyable.
NTN: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
SL: At the moment my upcoming project is the baby girl I am about to bring into the world. She'll be here any day now! Other than that, helping develop the rest of the episodes for After Pluto! [Update: Since the interview, Sara has had her baby! Congratulations!]
LA: I've got my hands full with writing the rest of the season along with us figuring out the next steps for the series as a whole. Other than that, I am a member of The Open Fist Theatre Company here in LA, and we have a very busy season ahead. Also, as an actor, I'm always auditioning.
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