27 February 2014
Interview with Daniel MacMunn, Creator of "A Seat on a Train"
TC: You are the creator of the television series "A Seat On A Train". Would you like to tell our readers a little bit about the series?
DM: I sure would. "A Seat on a Train" is a television series I created which pays homage to the old, classic "Twilight Zone" episodes. I am a huge fan of the late Rod Serling and his hit television show which aired from 1959 to 1963. I feel the world is coming to a big turning point with the internet and advanced technology. A lot of issues are being put on the forefront and I have a lot to say about them. So just like Rod Serling did, when television was a new media in everyone's house hold, I want to create stories that speak about our times, our moral issues and how technology is changing our world. Not many know this, but Rod Serling was a war hero. He fought in Japan with a military unit called "The Death Squad." It was called "The Death Squad" because of the 50% casualty rate they endured during their fighting. Well, as you can imagine, Rod Serling saw a lot of horrible things during this time of his life. He was injured twice but went back to fight every time. So when he came back to the U.S. he was very unhappy with the world and had a lot to say about it. So he created a television series to show these stories, "The Twilight Zone" obviously being the most successful. "A Seat on a Train" opens up with an old fashioned train packed with seated and standing passengers. There is only one empty seat and all the standing passengers are staring at it, anticipating who will sit next. Also, each standing passenger will appear in that season, so the audience is also wondering who is going to sit next. When one of the passengers sits in this mysterious seat, it takes them into their story, which usually points out his or her flaw and ends with a lesson learning twist.
TC: What was your inspiration for this series and what brought it together?
DM: Rod Serling was definitely my inspiration for this series and of course my lack of pleasure with things that are going on in our world today. I have a lot to say and want to have some effect on this world before I die. Unfortunately, I'm not built for politics and am more of an artist at heart. So what better way to change the world than to make stories about it, trying to bring attention to these issues I have problem with and entertaining an audience at the same time. I never get preachy and I always try to keep the story open ended at the end, where both sides of the issue get meaning from the twist. Of course there are going to be issues I am very passionate about. With those episodes you will see a more biased point of view. But in general, I don't like to get preachy or push my ideology on others, politicians can take care of that side. I just want to entertain the public and get some of my points across throughout the process.
TC: How many episodes to you plan on for the first season?
DM: The first season has 10 episodes that are written and are all ready to be filmed. I already filmed the pilot "Out of Place," which you can check out for free at www.aseatonatrain.com I also have descriptions of each episode for the whole "A Seat on a Train" 1st season on my website.
TC: Who do you have starring in the episodes?
DM:. Starring in the pilot is Rae Foster and William Hoffman, both very talented actors, as you will see when you watch "Out of Place." William plays an obsessive compulsive man named Spencer, who will not leave his condo and has to have everything in its' exact place. Rae plays Samantha, Spencer's beautiful girlfriend for five years, who has come over to dinner to basically end it with Spencer because of his newly developed obsession, which is ruining their relationship. Both actors nailed it and made "Out of Place" a very well acted piece to watch.
TC: Is there anything else you are currently working on that you would like to discuss?
DM: This show is basically my main focus. I am always coming up with ideas for new episodes. I have enough ideas to fill four seasons. So with any spare time in my busy schedule, I write new episodes. By the time this show gets picked up I'm going to have 4 seasons written it seems. I also write feature length films. I have written 7 features, two about Afghanistan, two horror scripts, a Christmas script and two dramas. I am always shopping my scripts but my main focus is on my television series because it is my true passion. It incorporates all my crazy ideas, political points of view and most important, my artistic integrity.