Sense 8 Sensory Overload
Aeight complete strangers share the same terrifying vision of the violent death of an unknown woman. In the aftermath, they begin to experience strange sensory phenomena: seeing, hearing and feeling sensations that are not their own. As the eight slowly become aware of each other, they realise that they are not alone – and that they are being hunted.
Sense8 is the new 12- episode Netflix series from the combined minds of creators Andy and Lana Wachowski and J Michael Straczynski, bringing the Wachowskis’ talents to television for the first time. “About eight years ago Lana walked in, threw a piece of paper on the desk and said, ‘ So what do you know about doing TV?’ totally out of the blue,” says executive producer Grant Hill, whose projects with the Wachowskis include the second and third Matrix movies and Cloud Atlas.
“What I soon found out is that the Wachowski version of television is a whole different thing,” Hill says. “You have a lot longer to tell a story which is the reason we wanted to go in this direction, because we thought we had a really strong story that needed that time. But we also had a story that has eight central characters and they live in eight very disparate cities ranging from Nairobi to Seoul to Mumbai and London, Berlin, Mexico City, and Chicago and San Francisco – so you think, ‘ All right, that’s a broad scope but people have done it before.’ But then they were like, ‘ We really feel that since the characters are so strong and it’s so important that their home environment is so strong, we want to shoot every single thing that happens in Mumbai in Mumbai. And we want to do it more or less in script order.’ So your normal idea, ‘ Oh I know a bit about television,’ goes out the window and you start reinventing the wheel.”
That wheel rolled across the globe, with a core team travelling to each city and a cast that includes Korean star Doona Bae, Bollywood’s Tena Desae and Germany’s Max Riemelt, alongside some familiar SF faces including Naveen Andrews, Freema Agyeman and Daryl Hannah. “We travelled fairly light,” says Hill. “We thought, if we’re going to be in these countries and we’re making this sort of commitment to film all of the material scripted in the country in that country, then the other thing we have to do is start drawing more upon the local resources. So when we’re in India we want predominantly an Indian crew and yes, we’ll have three or four people who are in charge of overseeing the continuity and the look of the thing, but that helped us a lot.”
The Wachowskis directed seven episodes in the series, with Cloud Atlas co- director Tom T ykwer and V For Vendetta’s James
“Look, we like you, but you’re clearly not important enough to be in this shot.” “Hey, hanging in a graveyard always cheers me up.”