Indie sci-fi is one of the hardest genres for an aspiring web series auteur to pull off. If you lack the budget of a Nuclear Family or an H+, it’s very hard to produce a product that won’t seem low-rent or cheesy. Some creators, such as the team behind Star Trek: Renegades, attempt to bring together a TV-quality budget through Kickstarter.
Creator Eric Small has other ideas. Small, who is the driving force behind the 10,000 Days web series, is embracing his show’s indie stylings. The result is a spacious, bold, ambitious series with big dreams.
10,000 Daysy takes place 27 years (which, if you don’t want to do the math, does in fact equal about 10,000 days) after a huge comet strikes the Earth, sending it careening out of its orbit and plunging the world into a perpetual winter. It’s a fairly dubious setup, but who cares; it’s merely a gimmick to send up a cold, bleak, futuristic landscape where two warring families, the Becks and the Farnwells, are both attempting to do what it takes to survive. It’s a common post-apocalyptic setup mixed with Romeo and Juliet. Six episodes have been released so far, with several more to come.
The show uses a heavy amount of CGI and green screen effects to create its setting, and while the use of this technology is made very obvious, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. The world has a sort of 300 feel to it, with characters constantly moving in front of a bleak, intentionally unnatural backdrop. The series YouTube channel gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at these effects and the camerawork that goes along with them. If you can’t excuse fairly cheap CGI, you probably won’t find a ton of indie action series that float your boat.
As for the story itself, 10,000 Days can get fairly talky at points, but it remedies this mild case of ‘show, don’t tell‘ with some nicely choreographed action sequences and suspenseful twists, which are spaced nice and even throughout the series. The result is an indie sci-fi epic that is attempting to break away from the yoke of its small budget. Whether or not it succeeds is open to interpretation.