Spilling the Beans: A Collaborative Student Web Series
05 June 2019
Students from across departments have been collaborating on an exciting digital television project: the second series of Spilling the Beans.
Written, directed, filmed, produced and budgeted by BA(Hons) Television students, Spilling the Beans is a collaborative project.
The cast is mostly made up of students from the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, with one English student from Exeter University and five professional actors, four of which are from Cornwall. The set was designed by BA(Hons) Interior Design students.
Following last year’s success, the second series of the show is even more ambitious. It comprises of six, ten-minute-long episodes, as opposed to the six, five-minute episodes of the first series. It also includes around double the number of actors and crew.
Julia Johnson, a second year BA(Hons) Television student, has been co-ordinating the project this year, working as a writer, director and series producer on the show. This follows on from her success last year, when she was a director on the first series.
Julia told us what to expect from Series Two: “Spilling the Beans follows the lives of married, student couple and café owners, Brad and Chad. The beginning of the series sees the boys cheat at poker and gain an enemy in Keith, the thug. The rest of the episodes follow Brad and Chad as they attempt to think of get-rich-quick schemes to pay Keith back.”
Brad and Chad’s get-rich-quick schemes include creating a parody Star Wars film and organising a battle of the bands.
To create the show, Julia explained that “the process starts in the Writers Room, where the sitcom is developed alongside Silent Witness writer Graham Mitchell and The Tribe writer/lecturer, Marie Macneill. Once the scripts are written, a crew is formed, auditions start and the pre-production begins!”
Spilling the Beans: Series Two has involved nine writers, seven directors, six producers, ten actors and forty crew members overall.
Julia said: “Running Spilling the Beans has been FUN – and stressful! There is so much more involvement to a production than meets the eye. It takes a lot of dedication, commitment and organising. We had painting parties where some crew came in to take ownership of the set, bringing props to meetings to make sure everyone was onboard.”
“It has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve been on,” she told us. “I have [been able] to see it flourish, from the Writers Room through to post-production.”
It has also taught Julia some important skills: “Spilling the Beans has taught me how to take ownership of a project and be able to make executive decisions for the production. I am exceedingly proud of the effort that has gone into the production from all involved, from painting the set to rehearsals with actors. It’s been great to add to my portfolio, too.”