Making Sparks: “Friction causes sparks, and flames ignite”

Emily Claire Drummond

Many of us enjoy spending our leisure time engrossed in our favourite television series – whether it be the weekly soaps or the latest Netflix hit. It’s often a good way to wind-down and relax after a busy day. However, with all those lengthy episodes and seriously addictive storylines out there, it can be difficult not to over-indulge in show marathons and naively procrastinate the days away. That’s why Making Sparks could certainly be a game-changer.

In 2013, this short fantasy thriller took broadcasting a series up a notch by being branded the first app-delivered series – exclusively available on mobile phones and tablets. Written by Adrian Reynolds and directed by Rebel Yell’s Jack Delaney, Making Sparks’ five-minute long episodes are just enough to give you your daily dose of supernatural thriller, without depriving you of all productivity. The modest series consists of seven bite-sized episodes, and somehow each episode fits an hour’s worth of plot into a few action-packed minutes. So if, like me, you’re guilty of prioritising your favourite shows over what you should actually be doing, fear not – it’ll only take you 35 minutes to watch this series.

The choppy storyline follows Perry (Merveille Lukeba, who previously played Thomas Tomone in Skins), a reserved, secretive soldier on leave from Afghanistan, and his risk-taking girlfriend, Anna (Siddhii Lagrutta). Suddenly this interesting duo are catapulted from the comfort of their flat into a world of supernatural beings, illegal fights and an inevitable curse. Alongside scatty neighbour Sharon (Josie Bloom) and a corrupt vicar (Jon Campling), they find themselves caught up in the midst of a fiery secret they cannot escape. Which sounds unmistakably entertaining, right?

Well it is! Though at times I found myself lost in the chaotic and occasionally untidy plot. Sometimes there was room for improvement: despite the novel format, certain aspects could have been expanded to increase suspense, and there were some loose ends which weren’t fully tied up. Nevertheless, each episode was very visually enticing. This well-made, budget thriller is etched together with excellent camera work and intriguing character portrayals. And a lot of passion has clearly been put into Making Sparks – by both the creators and the actors – too, so it was certainly dramatic.

I mean, when a show manages to squeeze that much excitement into 35 minutes, it certainly deserves recognition. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Making Sparks is definitely one worth checking out for local cinema enthusiasts. Plus Making Sparks is now available to watch for free online, and its unique app is available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play – so why not give it a go?