V.O. is a mystery that unfolds across both CBC Gem and a viewer’s podcast app. The series invites audience to explore their relationship with an unreliable narrator while a riddle unfolds on the frigid commune of a reporter’s career defining subject.
Story + Format
V.O. tells the story of Sophie Dunnwater, a reporter filing a story for a fictional, long running CBC radio show and now podcast called V.O. As she reports her investigation of Webb Ratliff — the patriarch of a religious commune and now a suspected eco-terrorist — the story she’s filing often serves as the audio track of the show. The score of the show belongs to the podcast. We can see her holding a microphone in the face of other characters. She is our storyteller and narrator.
As Sophie descends deeper into Ratliff’s world, she finds herself — whether for self preservation, ambition, or ethics— compelled to stop telling the truth. It’s when Sophie makes this decision to stop telling the truth that what she as the show’s narrator is telling us, and what we can see with our own eyes, falls out of sync.
Each episode of V.O. is available as both a podcast, and as a digital series on CBC Gem, pointing to one another. Podcast listeners get a more fleshed out version of the story (twenty minutes versus the digital series’ ten minute cap), a version that extends beyond what viewers get to see. But crucially, what viewers get to see is the whole truth, unfiltered by and often conflicting with Sophie’s telling. Scenes regularly continue after podcast throws to commercial break. Sophie is an unreliable narrator caught in the act.
Who We Are
We’re a production studio with two arms — a video arm that has produced a documentary on CBC, and a podcast arm that has created show’s that have been featured on CBC Radio. With V.O. we want to tell a story that brings those branches together.