Update | Web Series Wednesday #4

It’s been six months since our last web series update. From that alone, it’s not hard to guess that Persuaded To has been put on the back burner. But we thought we best explain why Persuaded To, which we thought we’d be releasing in January, hasn’t progressed any further.

  1. Casting:

    We got in contact with our university’s drama societies and picked the one we thought was best for the job. We exchanged a few emails, and for the most part the society seemed really excited about the project. Then we had a face-to-face meeting and it was obvious their enthusiasm had diminished over the weeks of emailing. They didn’t think many boys would apply, or that auditions would be popular in general. Even though they said they’d gained contact information for people that were interested they never forwarded the details. So, getting help from our university seemed like a dead end. We don’t blame them at all, because they probably knew how much work they would have to do to help us and, as a society, they were trying to gain members rather than pass them on to a couple of amateur script writers.

  2. Writing:
    Although we planned the entire web series at the end of the summer, we only had the first fifteen or so episodes scripted – and even then they were only first drafts – and as university work piled up writing episodes became less and less of a priority as casting became less and less of a reality.
  3. Anxiety:
    In the first few episodes, I play Anne and Maddie plays May – two big roles. We have no acting experience, and although we had a lot of fun filming the episodes we did, it was just between us and that was comfortable. The idea of bringing in other actors made us panic…A LOT. So, we realised it would be better to re-cast the entire thing, thereby making the episodes we had already filmed redundant if we wanted to progress. (We had plans to release the episodes Maddie and I pre-filmed as a sort of bonus feature when the web series was over, because, despite everything, we’re still really proud of them.)

So those are the three main reasons why we haven’t talked about Persuaded To in quite a while. However, Maddie and I have recently gone over the scripts and are in the process of re-writing. We want Persuaded To to be something really special, and for that we’ll need to make the scripts better. Just know that we haven’t given up. We want to re-film the first episode, even if I have to play Anne, just to present the direction we want Persuaded To to go in. If we have a good initial response to the episode then hopefully, we’ll be able to encourage people to get involved. In the best case scenario, Persuaded To will come back with a vengeance next year, and this time we’ll make sure to update you as often as possible.

 

Trailer | Web Series Wednesday #3

So, we’ve missed a couple of weeks! This was mostly due to moving into university, where our top priority became settling in and bonding with our flat mates. However, we have still been working on our web series in the background. Now that we’ve moved up to university we finally have the new set that we’ve been waiting for. Partly why we stopped working on Persuaded To… was because there was nothing more we could do! But now that we’re here we’ve got quite a bit of filming to do.

Recently on our booktube channel we released the teaser trailer of Persuaded To… which compiles some of the videos that we’ve filmed! We’re still undecided as to when we’re exactly going to start posting the videos on the official Persuaded To… channel, because we kind of want to wait until we’ve been able to gather the rest of the cast together.

On that front, one of the many theatre/drama societies at our university says that they enjoy bringing ‘classics up to date’ so we shall be getting in contact with them as soon as possible. After drafting an incredibly professional email posing our idea. Hopefully next Wednesday things with have moved along tremendously!

Film With Friends| Web Series Wednesday #2

This week, everything has been GO for the web series. So much has happened in a week, it’s almost unbelievable! Here’s the document of our progress!

  1. We condensed the plot of ‘Persuasion’ done to 3 pieces of A4. Each chapter was divided into summarising bullet points, which made figuring out what needed to happen in each episode easier. It also meant we could estimate how many episodes the web series will be in total: we’re aiming for at least 30 episodes!
  2. We made detailed character reference sheets. Every person that could possibly be relevant to the web series got a personality, a mental analysis and a note on their appearance. This really helped keep our vision clear for how we wanted characters to behave, and what their motivation was.
  3. FILMING! IT STARTED! Since our last post, we have a total of FIVE videos ready for upload! They’re out of sequence, so nothing could be posted yet, but this was a BIG achievement. It meant scripting and lighting and filming and editing…a lot of work. For our normal BookTube videos, we do everything as one take because our speech is entirely spontaneous. But, with scripted videos, we could retake the scenes as much as needed to ensure the best final product. It’s new and exciting, but definitely a learning curve.

We want our videos to be as realistic as possible. As much as we love web series with only a select number of characters, it’s really fun to put a face to every name and have them appear, to give a sense of world building – that the characters exist outside of the internet, with friends and family and fun events to attend.

We cast our best friend, Holly, as Ruby Russell. At first, we were only going to use her photo on Ruby’s blog, but Lady Russell is so pivotal to the plot of ‘Persuasion’ – without her advice, the book wouldn’t exist – she had to appear in a few episodes. It was so much fun to watch Holly inject the character with personality and expression! We couldn’t ask for a better Ruby.

But, then we thought, “Wait a minute, we have three other best friends. They should be in it too!”

Sarah, who has appeared in many Heart Full Of Books videos, plays the role of Susie Hamilton, an old school friend of Anne’s. She was perfect for the role, because she’s really is one of our oldest school friends. Surprisingly, all our friends have some acting experience with Drama at school, and Sarah performs in Amateur Dramatics. It was really great to give her the opportunity to do something she loved, and it definitely made a difference to her performance. She knew the script and spoke with passion.

Finally, Jenny and Jasmine needed parts, and it took a while to decided who they should play, but we now have a brilliant idea for each of them. Slightly more minor roles, but integral to the plot nonetheless. There’s only one problem…we haven’t asked them if they want to be part of the web series yet! On Friday we’re seeing them before we leave for university, so wish us luck in getting them on board.

That’s about it for this week. See you next Wednesday for more updates!

The Beginning | Web Series Wednesday #1

Struck by a bolt of inspiration in the dead of night, Bee decided we would create a web series.

We’ve wanted to create our own since we found ‘Nothing Much To Do’ last year, and made a video about our Top 5 Literary Web Series. We just didn’t know what we wanted to adapt. So many have already been made in video format, it was going to be hard picking one that fills a gap.

But, Bee’s midnight stroke of genius already knew what we were going to adapt: Persuasion by Jane Austen. It’s perfect!
Persuasion is one of the texts we’ll be studying at university, and something we’ve recently read. Also, with the help of the web series master post, we were able to discover that no other web series had been created based on ‘Persuasion’. So, there! A gap in the web series world, and a project that will fuel our academic study!

Of course, deciding to make a web series is one thing. Planning it is another.

There’s so much to think about that, as a watcher of web series, I never really considered. Do we want the experience to be multi-media? How many videos will the series be? How often should we upload? How many sets should we have? Which characters aren’t crucial to the main plot? And how the heck can we make 19th Century characters relatable in a modern day setting?

This series on our blog will document the behind-the-scenes adventure of making ‘Persuaded To…’ (our title of choice, isn’t it great!) and hopefully show how the web series will grow from preliminary development to final video!

Wish us luck!