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article imageEmmy winner Michael Slade talks 'After Forever' on Amazon Prime Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 24, 2019 in Entertainment
Emmy award-winning writer and executive producer Michael Slade chatted with Digital Journal about the hit digital drama series, "After Forever," on Amazon Prime.
After Forever swept the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards, where it took home five Emmy trophies, including the coveted award for "Outstanding Digital Drama Series." Kevin Spirtas also won for "Lead Actor in a Digital Drama Series," and Erin Cherry won for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Drama Series."
On winning the Emmy Awards, he said, "It is extraordinary and so over the moon. You start a project like this, which we started out of love and we wanted to tell a story. Suddenly, the Emmy recognition happened, and the project had a trajectory and life of its own that was just meant to happen. It is the high-point of my career thus far."
In particular, his win for "Outstanding Writing for a Digital Daytime Drama Series," which he shared with co-creator, co-writer and lead actor Kevin Spirtas, was also very gratifying. "I was nominated before for projects where I was a hired writer, but winning for something that is truly your child is a whole other thing," he said.
Slade acknowledged that the writing process for After Forever was very cathartic since his real-life partner, Richard, died of "horrible cancer diagnosis" a few years ago. "Kevin and I wanted to tell a story about gay men who are in their 50's. That really spoke to me," he said.
"Artistically, I also wanted to explore my partner's story. The diagnosis that we give Jason is the diagnosis that my partner had, and the decision to not be treated. The rest became fictional. It is about navigating through the other side of loss," he explained.
"The show is not like walking into a funeral: it is humorous and it is fun. It is life since it has all these things going on simultaneously," he added. "I am always gratified when people tell us that. We are being asked to take a journey of every emotion. As a writer, it doesn't get any better than that."
Digital transformation of the entertainment industry
On the impact of technology and streaming on the entertainment business, Slade said, "The amazing thing about this digital explosion is that it has created platforms for stories that have were not being told in all sorts of communities to be told. It made things more accessible. Also, technology has made things less expensive than they used to be. You can self-finance a project without the need of having the budget of a major network or studio."
He shared that After Forever has appealed to a demographic of all ages, genders and all walks of life. "They are responding to this story since they are responding to the love story of these two men," he said. "People don't refer to it as a 'gay story.' They refer to it as a 'love story'. I find that encouraging and exciting. It is a statement that things are moving forward."
Slade revealed that he is stoked for the next season of the series, and shared that they start filming in September. "It's the next stage in the journey," he said.
For the fans of the series, he concluded, "I would like to give them the hugest 'thank you' one can ever imagine. The outpouring of love that we get for this show is incredible. There are days when I read things from people and I literally weep. The way that it has touched people, and the way they feel the need to let us know that."
To learn more about After Forever, check out its official website and its Facebook page.
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