Promising chills and thrills, Stray Factory gets ready to debut its new web fiction series
The gang at Stray Factory is never satisfied. In their six-year journey, the theatre group has ventured into comedy, spoof videos and creating performance spaces (Stray Studio). Now, founder Mathivanan Rajendran is taking them a new way, with a web series. “Our videos were going viral (remember South of India?), but we realised the story-telling wasn’t working for us. We wanted to tell longer stories, but didn’t know what,” shares Rajendran. A conversation with aspiring city-based director Hariharan, gave him the idea to look at horror. “After comedy, scary videos are what we share the most digitally. But instead of plain horror, we thought we’d give it a spin—build the series around urban legends,” adds the fan of The Twilight Zone.
In a collaboration with Culture Machine, their first eight-episode series—based on real stories—is set to go live on the Rascals’ YouTube channel in the first week of February. “We’ve roped in fresh faces for the cast and we’ve got a great team of technicians, too. Sync Sound, who did the sound for the film Maya, is on board, as is publicist Amudhan Priyan, who is doing Siddharth’s next film, Jil Jung Juk,” says the 31-year-old. However, the going has been tough, with the biggest challenge being identity. As a channel based in the South, they had to figure out how to give the stories a pan-India appeal. “Language is an issue, too. We want to follow the format of a film like Ahalya, where you really don’t understand the language, but it makes sense. We are looking at something with Tamil, Hindi and English in it,” says Rajendran, who is also scripting it. The first episode, set in south Chennai, promises to explore the most basic urban myth.
—Surya Praphulla Kumar