Cyphers - Debrianna Mansini

Posted by Steve on 10 November 2010 | 0 Comments

Tell us about your sci-fi web series.

Cyphers is a sci fi web series driven by five main characters who come to a crossroads in their lives. Each one is driven to the edge of their comfort zone in the world by seen and unseen forces demanding that they pay attention to themselves, their relationships, and the world around them. As these unexplained phenomena occur in their personal lives, they are simultaneously converging on the edge of the same circle - a dark web of corporate influences over our food and water. The influence of the feminine principle ( not female) is demanding that they do something - vis a vis David and Goliath - the feminine principle being the way we feed ourselves; literally - fighting for food and water.

Where did the idea/concept for your web series come from?

The concept of creating a webisode came from working on a 48-hour film and I thought - this is silly - why do we wait for a 48-hour film competition? Let's just try it ourselves for real. So I gathered a bunch of my women actor and writer friends and we sat around my dinner table many a night for about six months talking about characters and stories and what stories as women and people we wanted to tell.

I frankly think women's stories have been largely ignored - and really, after a certain age, is when life gets interesting to me. And not just for women but for men too - when you are looking back at your life choices and wondering if you still want to be making the same ones, do we still want to be defined in the same ways that either we have chosen or that culturally we have been forced into - as a homemaker or as a business woman hitting the glass ceiling or for our sexual preference. When we have a life experience that makes us stop and look at our life and we have yet another chance to make a different choice - what will we do? THAT is interesting to me. And that is what we tried to write for each character - the men too. In regard to that relating to the subject matter - food and water - that is an issue we all face with genetically modified foods. And it is a "gatherer" as in the "hunter/gatherer" concept - that I see as part of the feminine that is trying to re-emerge as a force in each character's life - male or female.

I don't know how the idea came to me about the corporations fighting for control of food and water - I just remember sitting in an airport and calling my co-writer Lori and saying "I got it, here's the story!" It seemed to fit. Plus i am kind of a political activist and the idea that we could create awareness while entertaining was of particular appeal to me.

Name some of your sci-fi influences. Any favorite movies, TV shows, novels?

I think we all loved X-Files, Lost and Blue Velvet ~ and are David Lynch fans. My favorite movies are Pan's Labyrinth, and believe it or not, Little Miss Sunshine.

Tell us about the technical production of your show. What camera & equipment did you use? Editing software & hardware? For visual effects, etc?

We shot on a Canon 5D and edited on Final Cut Pro on a Mac. David Forlano uses CUBASE and Sample Tank on a PC when building sound and music for Cyphers. We have folders full of music from about seven different musician/composers to work with.

Can you tell us any interesting facts or trivia about your show? Any funny stories?

The leaking wall was a challenging effect built to happen in real time. David made a plastic bladder - a ziploc bag full of molasses. This was installed inside a wall and plastered over. We had ONE shot at it, or we would have to take another day to re- build the wall, and we did not have the location... we would have been sunk. Thankfully we had a terrific actor and our two cameras caught it in one take. This happened on day two of shooting the series. David built the "creature" out of paper-clay and polymer clay.

Cyphers can be found online, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Cyphers - SciFinal Page

More behind the scenes from Cyphers below:


Cyphers on location.

Cyphers on set.

Cyphers on location.

Cyphers on location.

Cyphers on location.

Cyphers on location.