By Susan E. Clarke
When the credits have the category “Animal Wranglers” in it them then you know that you’re in for a treat! Ren: The Girl With The Mark is quite simply the most beautiful, intricate, fascinating, compelling and high production web series currently airing on an online platform. It really raises the bar for what is considered ‘professional’ with regards to online linear content.
Ren is an original fantasy series about a young woman who, after a strange encounter in the woods, is marked by an ancient spirit. Cast out from her small village, she is forced to leave behind the family she has spent her whole life protecting and journey across the land to find the real meaning behind the mark she bears.
Bringing it swinging into action within our fantasy-loving hearts are creators, Kate Madison and Christopher Dane. Previously working together on another infamous high-production series, Lord Of The Rings prequel (for the web) Born Of Hope, they have banded together to bring about a period fantasy series that will certainly ignite the dreamer within you.
What are instantly noticeable and astounding about Ren are the sets and locations which have been used. So much care and affection has been placed into this series that Kate and Christopher went so far as to bring their team to Wales in order to find the best places to film. No cascading water falls or wooded landscape was left untouched, some shots will take your breath away! They also built and created their own village which seamlessly fits into the environment making the world of the series incontestably believable within the story.
The amount of supporting cast members is impressive and one can only imagine the amount of work that went into placing, dressing, propping and giving ambience dialogue to the the huge crowd scenes and village locations. It is obvious that Kate and Christopher put a lot of faith in an incredibly talented crew, and many people can be attributed to Ren’s success. Namely, in this case, costume Designer/Supervisor, Miriam Spring Davies, Head Scenic Artist/Set Dresser, Amanda Stekly, Designer/Prop Maker, Hans Goosen and Designer James Ewing. Kate and Christopher both take up the usual job of a web series creator of swapping many hats of responsibilities, overseeing everything as well as performing roles of Producer/Writer/Director/
The mass involvement in this project only goes to prove, once again, how welcoming Kate’s production company ‘Mythica Entertainment’ really is and you’re bound to notice some familiar faces, not just from Kate’s previous work, but also from the main talent-circle of the web series industry.
The actors are also not to be ignored – I implore you to go to their website, www.rentheseries.com to check for yourself the long list of awesome characters, all of which I couldn’t possibly mention in this short review. But without them the series would be missing its crowning jewels.
Guiding the way Sophie Skelton, as Ren, is both a strong lead and wonderfully fragile young woman who you can really relate to. As a viewer you sincerely care about her plight as she learns what has happened to her and the responsibilities that come with it. Christopher Dane takes on one more role acting as wonderfully cryptic Karn who you cannot help but prefer over Ren’s unassuming and tortured father Dagron (Nick Cornwell) and then of course there is the magical wonder of young James Malpas as Ren’s younger brother Baynon, all of which create a family just a dear to you as your own. Again, this is just the tip of an incredibly talented iceberg, you would have to watch the show to see exactly what these actors do for the series, as well as taste the splendor of the rest of the main cast.
Ren: The Girl With The Mark is an incredible achievement and a really enjoyable adventure! There are twists and turns, shocks, phenomenal fight sequences orchestrated by Action Coordinator Ronin Traynor, and a script that really caters for the high-level fantasy and gamer lovers within us all. Season one is 5 ten minute episodes and there is a lot of behind the scenes footage to be found for those moviemakers amongst you.
If this sounds up your street then I would also recommend that you get involved with Kate, Christopher and the rest of the Ren community. They have a constant presence online, sharing with you the highlights of production and they very often travel here and there to promote their work. Staying in touch may also give you the opportunity of being involved with the future of the series as well as any other amazing productions likely to come out of Mythica Entertainment in the future.
There have even been whispers of a feature film being their next big achievement and having been so lucky to watch Kate’s progress from Born of Hope to Ren: The Girl With The Mark and onwards, I can only promise you one fact: Whatever comes next will blow your mind! So put your faith in the future of online entertainment, rely on Kate Madison and her team to lead the way, then watch this space.