When Superintendent Alistair McDent has a bad day, he draws inspiration from his coffee mug that reminds him he relies on miracles.

McDent, played by veteran stage and film actor James Bradford, has to Save his School District, and his job, by somehow inspiring and coaching staff, completing teacher evaluations and walk-throughs and getting student test scores out of the basement.

He’s got six months, or his district will be taken over by Department of Education inspector Violet Lancaster (Michelle Fansett) who will give Alistair a new job monitoring lunchrooms.

During the course of the 7 part web-series, Alistair calls on his most senior Principal, Paul Jetson for help, but in the end it’s Paul’s secretary, Janice Hollingsworth, who discovers a product called eWalk that can help save the school district!

The web series was directed by Michael Dobbin of Quiet Revolution Pictures. He was able to complete all filming in two days.

Director Michael Dobbin gives final instructions to Michelle Fansett and James Bradford, during the filming of Episode 1 of Saving the School District

Dobbin said the short filming schedule was a challenge.

“Completing production in two days put a tremendous pressure on the cast and crew to deliver fast and efficiently, while maintaining attention to good performances and screen value. I think we pulled it off,  but I played only one part in a great team and a great ensemble.”

The 7 part series tries to both entertain and show audiences how eWalk from Media-X can save a school or a school district by engaging staff at all levels. Dobbin thinks that more and more feature entertainment is headed towards the web.

“Most people view at least some, if not all of their entertainment content on the web,” he said.  “So audiences are much more forgiving of the web as a platform then they used to be. Even big-screen movies end up getting more eyeballs on the web than the cinema these days. But what hasn’t changed is the audiences desire for a good story and to be entertained. For Saving the School District, there is a deliberate message: to get the word out about what eWalk and eWalk Plus can do for the client. But why shouldn’t the viewer be entertained in the process?”

Dobbin has previously worked on full length feature films including Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal, and The Maiden Danced to Death. This was quite a change he said given the modest budget and limited time available for production, it made sense to focus on the essence of what “Saving the School” is all about: giving talented people the right tools to deliver on what they do best.

“Comedy and satire are a great way to get the message out — and the best way to accomplish that is through the strength of the cast. We had a phenomenally funny and talented cast, which made my job a lot easier. Their ability to hold the focus of the audience and to make them laugh meant that they would perhaps be more forgiving to the low budget nature of the production,” said Dobbin after the filming was completed.

You be the judge! Check out Episode 1 of Saving the School District and see if we pulled it off!

 

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