From Undercover Brother to The Confession, the web series-to-film route has been traveled before. But except for standouts like Four-Eyed Monsters, rarely do low-budget indies transition from computer to big screen. Most web producers focus on making it to television, if at all, these days.
So it was big news when the team behind YouTube’s Black & Sexy TV Network, which I featured this summer, started a Kickstarter campaign to make a feature-length version of their hit sitcom, The Couple. UPDATE: The campaign was successful, raising 30% more than the ask.
“They said, ‘two minutes, three minutes, eight minutes: these episodes are too short! We want more!'” actress and producer Numa Perrier said in the campaign video. “We’re ready to make a full 90-minutes.”
The Couple and other Black & Sexy programs have made their mark with a distinct, realist approach to black storytelling. Issues explored on The Couple range from serious (STD tests) to frivolous (bathroom space). Leading the ship is Dennis Dortch, director of the 2008 feature A Good Day to Be Black and Sexy, but he is aided by a growing group of writers and producers, from Perrier and her co-star Desmond Faison to Issa Rae, creator of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, now on iamOTHER.
If successful the $25,000 campaign — half-raised with two weeks to go — will give fans a new and exciting narrative for the couple. They win a large sum of money, which the producers say changes the couple and those around them, bringing out “who they are.”
We all have our vulnerabilities, and at the moment mine is “getting older.” I guess this is everyone! So when the trailer for the web series Everyday Is Like Sunday stated, “You’re getting older…Now get it together,” I have to admit: they got me.
The team behind Everyday Is Like Sunday is raising $5,000 for post-production and marketing for their web series. It’s been a three-year journey for creator Pavan Moondi, who completed the script for the full series last year but had already shot a 22-minute pilot for it in 2010.
The project has moved forward with Blaine Thurier as director; Thurier is known both as a member of The New Pornographers and as director of numerous music videos and features, one of which, Low Self-Esteem Girl, won him a top honor at SXSW in 2000. The production beefs up its music-cred with Nicholas Thorburn (Islands/Mister Heavenly/The Unicorns) and Dan Werb (Woodhands) as part of the cast.
I can’t be the only sucker for almost-30/post-30 angst, and even if I am, strong direction and writing could easily elevate Everyday Is Like Sunday beyond the niche. The series has clear promise.