'Sunray': Veterans Producing Drama Series On A Team Of Ex-Marines

The new web series focuses on a group of ex-marines tackling a crime syndicate, with a funding campaign underway to complete the filming.

A group of military veterans are using their experience on the frontline to produce a new drama series.

‘Sunray’ - which is entirely cast and crewed by ex-Armed Forces personnel - follows a team of former Royal Marines taking on a crime syndicate.

Speaking to Forces News, writer and director Sam Seely said casting the show with former personnel was crucial to portraying "real-life experience[s] that an actor can never experience".

He said: "Even from just shooting the pilot [episode] and speaking through certain aspects of the story with the guys, they’re bringing those real-life stories [and] their real-life experiences and using emotional memory to convey that through their performance."

The show's main character is Echo 1 who leads the team of former marines in taking on the gang of criminals.

Tip Cullen, who plays Echo 1, said the character is "a broken man" because of his "aspirations" and his experience as a Royal Marines Commando.

"When you do that and then you get exposed to trauma and day-to-day life or death situations, it’s going to affect you in some way," Mr Cullen said.

The series also deals with issues faced by some veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt.

The team behind Sunray have used their own experiences of life during and after service in the military, with the aim to give audiences the most-rounded portrayals of those who have served. 

Scene from Sunray series showing Royal Marine holding gun DATE UNKNOWN used on 060121 CREDIT Sunray Series.jpg
An image from the Sunray drama series (Picture: Sunray Series).

"What we’re trying to do is show all the cool action stuff, because that comes naturally with the territory, but [also] telling that human story underneath," said Tom Leigh who plays Echo 2.

"Showing how these military people are human, what happens to them when they come home, when they step out of that military life, how they adapt to civilian life, what skills they bring over and how they use those in their life when certain complications [are] coming their way."

A funding campaign has been set up to help fund the project and complete the filming of the five-part series.

Mr Seely said: "Our initial target of £60,000 allows us to make it on a bare-bones budget.

"£60k allows us to make the series and we’re £10,000 away now on our Kickstarter and we’ve got eight days to go.

"We’re hopeful that we’re going to make it [and] any support is welcomed," he added.

The team hopes to reach the target and begin filming again as soon as possible.