My first web-series, "Violet", premiered last Friday (the 13th - ballsy, considering what year we're in).
It feels futile to recount how much work, rework, and re-rework went into this project - this very silly, ridiculous web-series. It's like analyzing the lyrics of The Banana Boat Song; didn't Harry Belafonte just hum it into existence one morning while folding his laundry? 🍌
No, he had to rewrite it 345 times (probably).
In the fall of 2019 - yeah, when the world was still innocent or at least blissfully unaware of itself - Jessie, Sofia, and I started pre-production for what we were calling "The Thespians/Mrs. Violet/Theatre Kid Show". It was based on a stage play for middle schoolers we'd created in college, reworked into a slightly more mature web-series. It was fun, an easy project to sink our teeth into following graduation while we were all still broke and confused in New York.
We launched an Indiegogo campaign the first week of March. We scouted locations, cast the show. I wrote episodes at the desk of my day job. Two weeks later, we had raised 60% of our goal budget and were days out from shooting the first episode.
And then the sky opened up and rained bat soup all spring long. For months, the project - along with everything else in the world - was suspended in midair.
During the summer, when it was crystal clear there was no end in near sight, we re-evaluated our options. We had money now; the question was how to spend it if costumes, set, and equipment were no longer necessary. I rewrote the first season to make it Zoomable and we started pre-production all over again. From three cramped bedrooms spread out across the United States, during a pandemic, we rebuilt the show in its entirety...
...and then across 12 bedrooms, we rehearsed, shot, and edited it.
I won't bug ya with the details of that scheduling fiasco, but it's worth noting the number of emails between us, Sean (our editor), and the cast: 332. Since August.
Now it's November, and the first episode is out. Two more will be released next week. My work, for the most part, is done.
People to shout out:
- Sofia, for being a consistent source of enthusiasm and love
- Jessie, for being our guiding light
- Sean, for taking our 3 hour long Zoom recordings and turning them into something discernible
- The cast, for being flexible in the midst of chaos
- Adam, for letting me name his character Guy Mansfield
- My downstairs neighbor, for not calling the PoPo every time she heard me yelling in a bad British accent at 10pm on a Tuesday
I'm very happy and thankful today: happy to see the show polished and completed. Thankful to take a break. Happy to share it with you. Thankful to turn my phone off and enjoy the terrible weather here in Buffalo. (I complain, but I wouldn't have it any other way.) Happy to sleep in tomorrow morning.
Thankful for The Banana Boat Song. 🍌