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How it Began (a Relic blog post)

The story of Relic could begin in many different places. It could begin with two, the first amateur webseries I produced, or with Cedric Clarke & the Unsettling Dark, the project that this series was birthed from. It could begin when I started to write, or when my friend Zoe and I came up with the basic idea for Relic oh so many years ago as a novel pentalogy. For the purposes of this brief summary, we will start my junior year of high school… and skim a bit until we get to the good stuff.

I made the decision to start making webseries with the help of my friend, Cristin, my junior year of high school, following a series of unsatisfactory participations in my school’s theater productions. Together, we had collaborated on a short film for my Creative Writing class sophomore year, and we had some interest in trying something new. Therefore we banded together a cast and crew and against the odds produced 10 30–50 minute episodes over a mere six months… a miraculous feat when the complexity of our schedules and the scripts are to be considered. This experience kicked off a hunger in me.

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Artwork by @cykelops of my first webseries’ leads

Fast forward to college. After several years of attempting to revive my first webseries, I finally put something new together with the help of Olivia Dimond… a short webseries called Cedric Clarke & the Unsettling Dark which would eventually be cut off by the global outbreak of coronavirus. While we were filming Cedric Clarke, I had already begun work on a potential Season 2 due to my ambitions. Since I was planning on studying abroad at the University of East Anglia this year, I decided to film a plotline for the season abroad in the UK. After much confusion and awkward reaching out, I managed to make contact with the UEA Filmmaking Society, who connected me with Elle Rose Guyan.

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Cedric Clarke’s cast

When it became clear that COVID-19 would prevent the completion of Cedric Clarke, Elle and I took a step back and reconsidered our Season 2 plans. Since, at the time, nobody knew just how long this would last, we thought we stood a chance at filming at least something in the UK in 2021. I pulled out an old novel pitch I’d worked on with my amazing friend Zoe Traub, and we workshopped it. Though I didn’t expect much interest, I reached out to the Filmmaking Society again… and, it turns out, a lot of people were interested in helping out with a wholly original project. We brought in our amazing writers room at this time, notably including Jack Hawes, whose ideas for the series would help redefine the pitch and give it direction.

While COVID-19 prevents Elle and I from assuming our original positions as showrunners, we have happily passed off the mantle to two hardworking Relic crew members who were already basically doing the job: Henry Webb and Idunn Marthinsen. I remain on as a writer and generally as an overseer of the mythos… which you might see branch out in other forms, if we’re lucky! But for now, the focus is set squarely on producing five high quality episodes for all of you to enjoy.

That’s the story of how Relic began. Stay tuned for more information on writing, casting, and all the rest of the process!

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