The thriller, reminiscent of AMC’s popular The Killing, was co-created and directed by Radar Director Neal E. Fischer and DP Kevin Kirchman.
It’s a “vlog” styled mystery about egotistical film student Andrew Olson, who becomes obsessed with the unexplained murder of a classmate, Heather Ross, whom his drone has found lying bloodied in an Iowa farm field.
With the help of his friend Max, Andrew investigates the case, ultimately plunging him into a spiral of events that put his friendships and relationship with his girlfriend, Q, in jeopardy.
#WhoKilledHeather stars award-winning actor David Raymond as Andrew, Charlotte Mae Ellison as Q, Christopher McClellan as Max, Channel Awesome personality Doug Walker as Barry and Hannah Toriumi as Heather.
The idea spawned from a short film Fischer was working on and using using a drone in Indiana. “The drone was about 200 feet away. We didn’t have a monitor. But we started thinking, what happens if we see something we didn’t expect to? What if it was a dead body? Filmmakers are inherently curious. So we continued to think about it while editing,” says Fischer.
Fischer recently joined Radar as a commercial director and is known for his micro-budget feature, Dead Girls, his award-nominated short films, and his work in the Chicago Theatre scene.
“I’m inspired to create content that has cinematic writing, and high production value in every format,” says the director. “The web series landscape is growing at an unbelievable rate, positioning itself on equal footing with the current trend in streaming content. I wanted to be a part of that movement, and find innovative ways to tell a new story.”
Fischer proposed his idea Radar Executive Producer, Graham Gangi, who leapt at the opportunity.
“Neal has an impressive ability to create engaging content. He is always exploring ways to tell a story; from his micro features, to traditional broadcast commercials, and now the #WKH web series. And this was way to show the entire talents of the Radar team.”
Beginning in March 2016, Fischer and company lensed for 5 days, covering a massive 166-page script, which encompassed all 36 episodes. The dorm room set was built on Radar’s stage, using inspiration from Fisher’s old college days at the University of Iowa.
“We decided to shoot in chronological order which meant David had to memorize something like 40 pages a day. But we had a great script supervisor, Friday Savathphoune, who really kept us on track,” the director added. Eventually there was a daunting 40 hours of footage for editors, Mallory Ryan & Mark P. Smith, to piece together.
As many productions do these days, some costs were offset by product placement including Jimmy John’s, JerkyXP, Soylent, Metropolis Coffee and the How Did This Get Made? Podcast.
Besides already airing online, the goal is to submit the series to festivals. Fisher and Gangi both believe that anything which gets Radar noticed is a great thing.
#WhoKilledHeather premiered May 5th at 4:00 PM CST, with new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 PM on their official channel. We are only 32 episodes away from finding out who killed her?
Created by Neal E. Fischer & Kevin Kirchman
David Raymond – Andrew Olson
Charlotte Mae Ellison – “Q”
Christopher McClellan – Max
Doug Walker – Barry The R.A.
Casey Freund – Detective Jones
Cassidy Stirtz – Melanie
Hannah Toriumi – Heather Ross
Richard Strimer – Ron Sanders
Cory Hardin – Shaun O’Hara
Jeremy Trager – Bryce Urso
Director: Neal E. Fischer
DP: Kevin Kirchman
Writers: Dan Eden and Kevin Kirchman & Neal E. Fischer
Editors: Mallory Ryan & Mark P. Smith
Assistant Editor: Brandon Danziger
Production Designer: Linda Wyatt
Colorist: Bryan Smaller
Wardrobe Stylist: Rachel Yacapraro
Sound: Ed Bornstein & Patrick Lewandowski
Script Supervisor: Friday Savathphoune
Production Coordinator: Cassondra Balynas
Additional Photography: Ryan Marshall, Catherine Ring
Graphic Design/Art Dept Asst: Gavin Wright
Graphic Design: Kayla Mikula
SFX Makeup: Brittany Vogel
Drone Operators: Elite Air Productions www.eliteairproductions.com
PR/Marketing: Michelle Rose Micor
Content Manager: Garrett Woods
Interns: Zoe Pressman, Sabrina Thompson, Janelle Domek
Creative Director: Dr. Steven Gray
Head of Production: Eve Cross
Executive Producer: Graham Gangi
LA-Based Colin Costello writes for film, TV, advertising and of course, Reel Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.