The Blog Speaks To Joely Collins About New Raindance Hit TV Series Coded


Good Morning Lovelies, 

How are you all? I am going to spend today having fun, cheering you up and making sure that you start the weekend off with a smile on your face, because while it might be hard for many of us it is the only way we can beat it. 

There so I wanted to start the day with a great interview I did with Joely Collins, the star of the new TV show Coded, which aired at the Raindance film festival. From taking about what makes the show special to what she is currently working on, we discussed it all...

Firstly congratulations on the show being shown at Raindance! How did it feel to be selected?
Thank you!  When I heard the news that Coded had been accepted into Raindance, I was thrilled. Raindance is a highly respected festival with hubs around the world and they were one of the first film festivals to showcase digital content in their programming.  It was an honour to be selected and nominated for the Best Ensemble Cast award. 

Could you explain to those who may not know what the series is about - what the story is?
Coded was born out of writer/creator’s Steve Neufelds’s experience as a high school teacher.  The series is about a young teacher named Shae, who believes his new teaching job is a perfect chance to change the world.  He wants to reach the kids who seem unreachable.  Unfortunately, his class is a group of kids who suffer from cognitive disabilities and emotional problems and they don't share his enthusiasm.  Shae was on a destructive path when he was younger and a teacher helped him turn his life around, so he knows change can happen. As he delves into the lives of his students, he becomes more strident in his desire to ignore policies that don’t deal with the reality of what kids face, and to cross the line most teachers don’t cross: the one that leads into his students’ personal lives. The backdrop for the series is this idea that when you have an education system that is already underfunded and bursting at the seams to meet the needs of its students, are we implicitly relying on a few idealist individuals to keep the system working? 

What was it like being a producer on the show and working hard to make it such a success?
Producing Coded has been incredibly rewarding for me.  Bringing something to life is a huge undertaking but I was passionate about this story right from the beginning, I knew it was a story I wanted to tell.  I find producing really creative, it’s the opportunity to bring the elements that you want altogether and build your vision of a story.  I had an amazing team of people around me and a lovely and talented cast.  It really is the cherry on the top when you make something that people want to watch.  I guess our success on the festival circuit has been proof of that.

The story is about schooling and students, what is it about this genre do you think people find most interesting?
Most of us have experienced high school, and so it’s a genre that I think a lot of people can relate to, as it reminds them of their own experiences.  We wanted to give our audience a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ perspective of what goes on in the classroom and be as truthful as possible. Although we delve into the lives of the students, I believe what makes Coded unique is our teacher, Shae’s journey.  Steve and I were fascinated by this idea that even when people are trying to do the right thing or do good things, it can still have negative consequences.  What is going too far?  Where do we draw the line in terms of how far we should go to help someone?  As for the kids, yes they’re difficult and troubled, but every kid has a story, and reasons for acting the way they do. Those are real people sitting in the classroom with you each day.  It was important for us to humanize them, and I think this is what has been resonating with people.  I’ve had several teachers reach out and say ‘I have a kid just like that in my class’.  It would be gratifying if people walked away with a broader picture of who these "coded" students are.

Is there a scene that you are most proud of or one that you would like audiences to look out for? Why this one?
I’m actually proud that we were able to start a real fire in a classroom in a school and not set off the fire alarm!  It may only look like a small fire in the first episode, but the planning that was involved in shooting that scene was huge.  I remember saying to Steve, no more writing about fires!  But I was happy with how it turned out.  It was definitely an exciting day on set.

Finally can you tell us anything about what we can expect to see you in next or what you are working on?
Well, I’m currently working on doing a second season, so hopefully I can tell you all about that in the near future!

Blog Soon, 
Joey X

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