By: Hayden Cordova | Lifestyle Editor
Lights, camera… Abstraction! On Jan. 29, JagTV premiered the first episode of their latest original series “Abstraction” on the JagTV YouTube channel and broadcasted over JagTV 61.1. Following the successful eight-episode run of “The End is the Beginning,” which concluded at the end of the Fall 2019 semester, “Abstraction” differs greatly from its predecessor with its advanced science-fiction setting and restructured production format.
The story revolves around Riley, played by returning “The End is the Beginning” co-star Joy Flanders, who hopes to find her missing brother by hacking into the Osiris Company through a process known as deep-diving, which allows the user’s fully conscious mind to interact physically with the digital world. With this high concept, the cast and crew faced new challenges in creating a convincing, sci-fi world, particularly one reliant on applying visual effects on a larger level than “The End is the Beginning.”
Francisco Cordova, returning co-creator and showrunner of “Abstraction,” discussed the two shows’ differences.
“‘The End is the Beginning’s’ strongpoint was cinematography and shot composition,” said Cordova. “I would say ‘Abstraction’s’ strong point is the visual effects.”
Joy Flanders, who also contributed to the visual effects, expressed excitement for the new technique and its possible implementations in the future.
“I think the visual effects are so cool!” said Flanders. “Francisco actually taught me how to do some and I thought it was awesome. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but it’s so amazing at the same time!”
What served as the most significant change from “The End is the Beginning” to “Abstraction” was the change in format. While “The End is the Beginning” focused on producing 20-minute anthology episodes on a bi-weekly release schedule, “Abstraction” compresses its production into five to ten-minute webisodes on a weekly release schedule, and plans to surpass “The End is the Beginning’s” eight-episode count with a streamlined, continuous storyline taking place across 13 episodes in total.
Charles Flowers, co-starring alongside Joy Flanders, shared his thoughts on the transition from separate episodes in “The End is the Beginning” to a continuous story in “Abstraction”.
“I think it’s easier to some extent, but it can be difficult to make sure that continuity between episodes is consistent,” said Flowers. “We’ve got to make sure that we follow up everything that’s already been established in the world. But it’s really awesome to be able to explore that part of production.”
Francisco Cordova related how he felt the evolving workflow will benefit the cast and crew of JagTV over the following semester.
“I feel like it’s a different level of interdependence that we have,” said Cordova. “In the previous series, I would say ‘Hey, here’s what the next episode could be, here’s an idea of what you could do,’ and it would be a self-contained episode so they could basically do whatever they wanted. In this one, we have more communication between everyone, making sure that one person’s episode flows nicely into the next episode, and keeping everyone up to date as to what’s going on. It’s definitely more cooperative, and you might think it’d be harder, but it actually creates a better working environment since it allows people to become more familiar with each other.”
The End is the Beginning and Abstraction both can be found on JagTV’s YouTube Channel and are broadcasted continuously on JagTV 61.1, with televisions located in the Student Center, the Communications Building, and the Rec Center. New episodes of Abstraction premiere weekly on Wednesdays on the JagTV YouTube Channel.