Interview With John Cabrera

We sat down to talk with John Cabrera co-writer of the hit webseries from Warner Bros "H+ The Digital Series." Cabrera chats with us about H+ and how it came about. How did the concept of H+ come up?

John Cabrera: We started back in 2006 that is when the debut was first conceived. The idea came to me while I was driving through a parking lot. Hence one of the big plot points in the series about a group of survivors that have survive in a parking lot, because they didn't have no reception. That experience actually happen to me while I was driving through a underground parking lot. The radio in my car started going out, then the reception in my phone went next. At that point I started to play around with this idea with a world connected with technology. A world deeply embedded with technology that if we are out reception we feel vulnerable, we feel less complete. That eventually evolved into the idea of this technology being inside of us. I took this idea with Cosimo the co-worker and he loved it. We started building a story world in about a year, then we started sharing it with people and brought it to Bryan Singer's company. One thing led to another and we started making a series for the internet. Webseries is looking to be the next big thing in regards of how we get our entertainment. Why choose the webseries route instead of traditional routes such as television or film?

John Cabrera: When we first started pitching the project we didn't know where it was going to live. We didn't really  have a format yet, all we had was a world. What was really distinctive was how many stories took place in it. We've been building a mythology for this series that had so many characters, that it was almost begging to be told in a non linear fashion. A story that had us jumping around time, place and seeing things in briefs moments instead of long traditional  narrative arcs. When we sat down with the guys at Bryan Singer's company they were like this is amazing, something like this really couldn't be done on television, but it would be perfect for the internet. I look back on those early days of pitching and all those spaces and what we created. I just don' t think it could really had lived on television. I don't think audiences would have that kind of temperament for this kind of storytelling, this very non linear storytelling. I don't think that would work on the television, however on the internet I believe it does work. On the internet you have more ways to explore how the story is told. As you guys saw at the screening, the story can be told in a variety of ways. You can watch them in order, mix the episodes up, or just watch them on your lunch, this is really something the internet can only do. You have control on how you will watch the series.

H+ Episode 1: Driving Under (Subscribe To The Channel) That's what we really like about the series, it's not told in a traditional narrative format. We can go to episode 20 and go back to episode 1 because each story is different, experiences are different, characters are different. Speaking of characters do you have any favorite characters from the series?

John Cabrera: My co-writer/co-creator Cosimo De Tommaso is Italian so the entire Italian storyline is deeply inspired by the world he grew up in. In fact the town in the Italian storyline begins in, is the actual town he grew up in. That's definitely an important storyline for him. For myself it would be the India storyline is probably the storyline I'am most connected too on a emotional level. Let's talk about the theme for a second. Watching the series and this is our own interpretation, we notice a lot of social commentary on the usage of technology. How that in the wrong hands technology could bad. Was that a point you were trying to get across?

John Cabrera: Our approach to technology in the series was never to paint technology as good or bad. What we wanted to do above all else is explore our relationship with our tools. How much does this technology describe who we are as human beings? It's funny I'm one of those guys that become space when it comes to my phone. Every once in a while I think I lost my phone. I would pat my pockets down and nothing will be there, in that brief moment I'm just flooded with terror that I lost my phone. I think to myself it's just a phone, but yet I get so scared like I lost a part of my body. I guess the question is how much different is this technology from our own living tissue. If I lost my phone it would be weeks of recovery. I'll have to send countless emails saying I lost my phone, it will be a long process to recovery data that I lost. We live in age where technology is not that different from H+. The only difference is that with H+ that type of technology is in your bodies rather than our pockets. We were just fascinated of what would happen if this technology was taken away. What will be left? Is there something left that is distinctly human without all this technology? That is something we wanted to get across. Time to answer some questions from our readers. Mary asked: What is a tool on the internet that you can't go without?

John Cabrera: The social network. John asked: Kenneth is my favorite character on H+. What can we expect from him in the future?

John Cabrera: You're going to get a little more backstory from him. You'll find out why he is so driven to help. You'll learn more about his connections to this technology. We're also going to learn about his relationship to other people who helped developed this technology. Is there any plans for a Season 2 or spin off for certain characters?

John Cabrera: Yes! We have a very, very large world here. In writing the first season or part, we had to make hard decisions on what stories we would tell first. In doing that we have a lot of stories left to be told, because this is Youtube we have one of the great advantages of our audience. The audience can tell us what part of the H+ world they want us to explore. It's a feedback that you really don't get from television. Here at we game and read comics. I understand you game a little bit. What have you recently played?

John Cabrera: I'm a Playstation guy. The last game I played was "Skyrim." As for comics "Y- The Last Man" is a huge influence for H+. Finally what is next for H+ without giving things away?

John Cabrera: Expect more places like Africa, Alaska and more locations. There is more but you'll just have to wait and see.

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