Sense 8 Sen­sory Over­load

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

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.”

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