High-drama, low-runtime web series The Confession hits the web later this month. To drum up excitement, a new featurette has been added to the project's Hulu page, giving us an in-depth look at the actors and premise.
The Confession is an oddity in the Hollywood TV landscape. It's a story about a professional hit man (Kiefer Sutherland) who makes a series of confessions to a Catholic priest (John Hurt) detailing his murderous work. The two engage in a theological battle, debating religion and morality, with plenty of flashbacks to the actual assassinations for the audience.
What's really interesting is that each episode is a mere five minutes - short even by web video standards. The actors and production team are all established TV veterans, making the low-budget project on par with many prime-time dramas in look and feel. Sutherland created the series with writer/director Brad Mirman.
The project is exciting for its medium alone. Major TV series have dabbled with short-form web video in the past, usually under the inauspicious label of "webisodes." Most of the time it's with supplementary content for a main series, like Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Lost or Sutherland's own 24. But in recent years more and more fully baked, professional series are hitting the web. Syfy's Sanctuary began its life as a web series, and the network has generated some buzz with the steampunk adventure Riese: Kingdom Falling. Joss Whedon's Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was perhaps the highest-profile web project yet - until now.
The Confession will be the one of the first fully contained, mainstream web projects created by the Hollywood system. And if the featurette and trailer are any indication, it looks very promising: Sutherland is playing a despicable criminal (the likes of whom Jack Bauer would gladly have hunted down) desperately searching for God, despite his own lack of faith. John Hurt is his reluctant spiritual guide, fighting his own terror and trying to bring Sutherland's character to redemption.
Check out the featurette and trailer below:
The biggest question is, can a heavy premise survive on such a bite-sized delivery model? Most writers would struggle to combine well-developed theological themes and gritty gunplay in a two-hour movie, and The Confession is just ten, five-minute, episodes in length. Whether they succeed or not, I can't wait to see the finished product.
The first episode of The Confession is scheduled to hit Hulu in March.