The new models the producers of television series are using makes for some very interesting programming. The latest example debuts at 9 p.m. Oct. 8 on DirecTV. The cable provider has been dabbling in original offerings over the last few years but it’s most ambitious project is the 10-episode “Full Circle.”
What makes this offering so compelling — besides the great acting and amazing script — is that each episode connects with the one before and after it. It takes a look at how we are all inter-related told through the links between the actors of Tom Felton, Minka Kelly, Julian McMahon, David Boreanaz, Keke Palmer, Devon Gearhart, Billy Campbell, Kate Walsh, Cheyenne Jackson, Noah Silver, Ally Sheedy and Robin Weigert. The series marks the television debut of award-winning screenwriter and playwright Neil LaBute.
Making the limited-run series pushed all of the actors because they spent only a day on each episode and almost all of the action was confined to conversations across a table in a restaurant.
“We were all a little nervous at first of how natural it was going to feel,” Felton says.
Of all the actors, the quick and confined shooting was the biggest change for Felton. The blond-haired actor, best known as the bad boy of the “Harry Potter” films, went from those big budget productions where they were lucky to shoot one 30-second scene in a day to this TV production where an entire episode was completed in a 12-hour day. He also traded all of the special effects work for a very real location.
The story featuring Felton and Minka Kelly — that opens the series — has them playing lovers who are being separated by his decision to go back to school in England. Felton credits Kelly for making the process and transition so much easier.
“It such intense work because it’s an entire episode of two people looking into each other’s eyes and pouring their hearts out,” Felton says. “I think we were both lucky that we seemed to get along very well and clicked pretty quickly. There were some scenes where the emotions she poured out were so real, I was tempted to call ‘cut’ and ask her if she was OK. That’s a testament to her skills.
“I have never had a chance — even in a film — to have a scene with such emotion.”
Felton’s not done with films but he had told his agent that he would like to try working in television if he could find a unique and cutting edge program. He was lucky that his decision to look at TV came at a time when TV production is taking on a new look.