A WEB series set around the lives of a group of LGBTI Sydneysiders which has notched up more than 40 million views online is under threat.
The Horizon has filmed parts of seasons seven and eight and might not be able to finish post-production work after a major sponsor from the US did not deliver on promised funding.
The popular series, which gets about 20,000 views daily, is not just a show for entertainment purposes. It also delivers important sexual health messages.
“This season we explore PrEP and the affect it has on one of our major relationships in the show,” Stark said..
“PrEP is kind of the big thing in gay community at the moment. People are unsure about it and there a lot of angles to cover and we’re going to try and look at all angles.”
The show’s popularity extends beyond Australia to international markets such as the US and Brazil.
“For people overseas I think we’re popular because (Australians) are a bit exotic but we’re still western and they can relate to the stories,” Stark said.
“We tap into a universality in gay culture. People can relate to our characters.”
Stark has had 30 years experience working in television and loves the freedom of working on a web series.
However, his proudest moment working on The Horizon were the moments when people learnt something about men’s sexual health.
“We get feedback from people who are grateful for the information that is weaved subtly into the story lines,” Stark said.
“We had a story about about a character who went to the doctors to get PEP. And we got so many messages from people who said they had no idea about PEP.”
Up until now the show had been made on a shoe string budget with cast and crew being underpaid for their efforts, something Stark had hoped to change before the overseas funding did not come through.
“People have been doing this show out of the kindness of their hearts… and we told people we were going to pay them,” he said.
“There are so many ways for people to sponsor the show… it’s not like the money’s going to waste, we have a proven viewership.
“We want to pay people… it’s frustrating we’re trying to make up the shortfall,” he said.
“I can’t wait to tell this story.”
To make a donation to The Horizon’s crowdfunding campaign, click here