The TV series “t@gged” is full of suspense.
And that’s exactly how Hannah Macpherson and Melanie Kirk wanted it.
The series is the latest project the dynamic duo have worked on. Macpherson is the writer and director, and Kirk is the line producer.
The series premiered on July 19 and immediately became a hit on Twitter, often getting compared to Freeform’s hit “Pretty Little Liars.”
The series follows three girls – Hailey, Rowan and Elisia – who are tagged in an online video of another teen who is killed. The girls try to figure out who is behind the murder and the tagging, before the killer gets to them.
It stars up-and-coming actors Lia Marie Johnson, Lulu Antariksa, Katelyn Nacon, JC Caylen, Claudia Sulewski, Lukas Gage, Brendan Meyer, Timothy Granaderos, and Nicholas Fink.
Though the series films in Albuquerque, the series isn’t set in a specific city.
Macpherson credits the style of the show to cinematographer Corey Weintraub.
“Corey’s brought so much visually to the show,” Macpherson says. “I can’t say enough about him and how wonderful he’s made the show.”
The journey for “t@gged” to become a series began when Macpherson and Kirk submitted for Shoot Santa Fe, sponsored by the Santa Fe Film Festival, in 2013.
The series was then picked up by AwesomenessTV and is streamed on go90, by downloading the apps to tablets or smartphones.
Production for the first season began in September 2015 and filmed around the Duke City.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production employed about 60 New Mexico crew members and 250 local background talent.
“This is a special production,” says Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office. “One of the greatest gifts of a healthy and active film industry is that it gives access and opportunity for New Mexicans to tell their own stories in film and media.”
Macpherson and Kirk are back in New Mexico gearing up for production of the second season.
“We feel extremely excited about it,” Macpherson says. “Even though I wrote and sold it in Los Angeles, they let me return and work with Melanie. It was amazing to bring it back to New Mexico and be able to pay all of the actors and crew we’ve worked with. We have people to hire and get the second season into gear.”
Kirk says being able to work with AwesomenessTV has a great coupling.
The network has been working on getting original content straight to the viewer.
“I think by and large, teens are watching the show in their phones,” Kirk says. “You can also stream it to your TV or on the website.”
There are 11 episodes in the first season, and episodes will be released on Tuesdays.
“It’s so cool to just share something that we worked on so hard,” Macpherson says. “To get to tell that story, that’s the ultimate fulfillment.”
Macpherson says her goal is the same as that of the New Mexico Film Office.
“We both want to bring productions to the state,” she says. “With this series, we’re able to rehire many of the people who worked on the first season with us. It’s letting the entire industry grow.”