Help us make a sci-fi series

KEEPING the peace between humans, vampires, werewolves and zombies is no easy matter.

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Kirsty Strain takes the lead in a new sci-fi series, which includes River City star Holly Jack, left
Kirsty Strain takes the lead in a new sci-fi series, which includes River City star Holly Jack, left

Just ask Kirsty Strain.

The Glasgow actress takes the lead in a new sci-fi series which could be filmed in Glasgow this summer. The star of Burnistoun and River City plays Eve Mitchell, charged with recruiting the Paranormal Investigation Team Scotland in Cops & Monsters.

The six episodes will be filmed around Glasgow, and the cast includes Holly Jack and Caitlin Gillespie from River City, Sarah Louise Madison and Caitlin Blackwood from Doctor Who, Kai Owen and Gareth David-Lloyd from Torchwood and Rachel Teate from CBBC's Wolfblood.

Werwolves and zombies aside, this is no ordinary shoot because it is being financed by crowdfunding, raising money from a large pool of backers online.

Kirsty and the team plan to air the series on the web and hopefully take it to San Diego Comic Con next year to showcase Glasgow's rising film talent.

"We crowdfunded last year to make a teaser, which is about half the length of what a normal episode would be," explains Kirsty. "That was to test the water and see what the what the response was."

Taggart star Colin McCredie appeared in a guest spot as a werewolf in the teaser episode, which has had more than 1500 YouTube hits in the first month of being posted.

"As our last crowdfunding campaign was so successful, we have decided to put our faith in that process again to raise a significant portion of our budget. If 1500 people pledged £20 each, we'll hit our £30,000 target and everybody will be a part of it," says Kirsty.

Crowdfunding has now begun to raise the money needed to film the six episodes over 12 days, paying for cast, crew, equipment, costumes, special effect make-up, props and locations. And there will be perks for backers.

"We're giving a lot back. I am offering a one-hour one on one acting workshop, and we have everything from Twitter shout-outs to bigger things like the mugshot perk which means that people send in their picture and we will use it on the mugshot roster in one of our upcoming episodes," says Kirsty.

"People can be in the episodes as extras, they can come and visit the set or chat with the team.

"There will be series credits or voice credit perks so they can actually put their voice in the series.

"O2 Think Big have already contributed and we've got perks on our Indiegogo campaign that range from £5 to £400, so everybody can get involved."

The series was dreamed up by Fraser Coull, who has set up his own production company Silly Wee Films, and says he was inspired by TV series such as Doctor Who and Torchwood and Buffy, Angel and Being Human.

"I just wanted a replacement for the shows that are off air now. I've always had a bit of a fascination for comics and monsters so I decided to put the two together," he says.

Govanhill Baths will be one of the locations used for filming as well as the basement of The Imaginarium community centre in Possilpark, which will be transformed into the headquarters of the Paranormal Investigation Team Scotland, and Orkney Street cells, the site of a former prison in Govan.

"We're hoping we can get the six episodes funded and shot in the summer, then get them online and go to other film and TV conventions," says Fraser. "If we can get on TV with them that would be great but that's not the goal.

"We want to get to a stage where we can make more without having to crowdfund, and a production company or commissioner will come along and say they love what we're doing and want more.

"San Diego Comic Con is the biggest convention of its kind in the world and it would be great to go there next year and show what we can do here in Scotland."

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