I had the chance to chat with some of the lovely people who are part of Rational Creatures, the Persuasion inspired web series that premiered in Fall 2019. This webseries is crowdfunding for a new season on Seed&Spark and literary inspired webseries lovers are in for a treat. Thank you to everyone for their fun responses.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourselves?
Jessamyn: I live in the Pacific Northwest, where I work in specialty coffee. I got into filmmaking several years ago through another Jane Austen-inspired project and I’ve never stopped! We met through the magic of the internet (specifically the online community surrounding literary-inspired web series) several years ago. Despite the time zones that separate us, we’ve now managed to work on several projects together.
Anya: I live in the Midwest of the U.S. I mainly consider myself a writer, but Rational Creatures has made me into more of a filmmaker as a director, cinematographer, producer, and editor. I have the same roots in filmmaking as Jessamyn–Austen-inspired web series on the internet.
Ayelen: I live in Ontario, Canada right outside Toronto. I’ve been in love with television and film since forever, but I never really thought about it as a thing I could do. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and when I grew up I saw some cool web series and decided to take that writing to film. I actually loved it so much, I decided to go to school for it. I have so many great friends that I found through filmmaking, including these amazing women that I’m working with in Rational Creatures, and I’m thankful that most of them are women who love this craft as much as I do.
Hazel: I live in the South of England and I’m a primary school teacher. I also like crafting and playing the ukulele with astounding mediocrity. I met the others around the interwebs because we all love writing and classic stories (and the idea of how fun and empowering it can be to infuse them with the kind of diversity we want to see in media.) and playing with internet storytelling and just had the best time messaging back and forth. We’ve all helped each other out on various film and writing projects since then but Rat Creatures is definitely the biggest.
How would you describe Rational Creatures?
Jessamyn: It’s a cozy romantic dramedy full of relatable characters.
Ayelen: Jane Austen told the millennial way (minus the avocado toast).
Hazel: It’s okay.
What inspired the creation the series?
Anya: There haven’t been many adaptations of Persuasion, and we all had some ideas of how to go about it in a modern context, so we melded our ideas together.
Ayelen: I think we all secretly wanted to do it but didn’t know if we could do it on our own; when we realized we all had ideas we thought putting them together would make a great show!
Hazel: We definitely spend and have spent a lot of time sending each other everything from lists of each of our favourite movie kisses to screenshots with pretty lighting to articles about direction style too. I think it’s helped the whole mood of the show form between us in a kind of a nebulous way: we follow what excites us all. Which is incredibly lovely.
How does the new season expand on the first season?
Anya: Season Two will pick up where Season One left off, and finish the story. We’ll get to know all of the characters better, delve deeper into the story, and tie up loose ends.
Ayelen: We’re going to see the relationships evolve, we’re going to get to know the characters a little better and dive deep into who they are – and more importantly who they can become.
Jessamyn: And hopefully we’ll be able to pull off more doggo content!
What is your role like in this production?
Anya: We’re all co-writers, creators, directors, showrunners. We all do it all, together. Some of us have slightly different skill sets that we can put to use. For example, Jessamyn has an eye for costumes, and I did most of the cinematography on Season One.
Ayelen: We’re pretty good at making decisions together, and we all know what our interests and talents are in order to help us make the best show possible. I’m not sure too many other shows or projects work the way our does, but I honestly think this is the best way to share our talents. We are all in this show in some way.
Hazel: I couldn’t actually make it to set for season 1 (Pesky passport issues) so up until now I’ve been more on the development/writing/mission control side but I’m dead excited to help with production as well this time around. If we make it to green light, season 2 will be the first time we all actually meet in person!
What do you hope viewers take away from the new content?
Anya: We have to reach our Green Light (80% of our total crowdfunding goal) before we can promise any new content, but we hope that viewers will enjoy our take on the original text.
Ayelen: I’m super excited for viewers to see the rest of this show (fingers crossed that we get to make it). I hope they understand our goal in making this new Austen tale. I hope they can relate. Although the text is based on a 200 year old book, we’ve infused a lot of what’s happening in our own lives. I hope they can see themselves in a text where they may not have before.
What are some of the details for the new Campaign?
Jessamyn: We’re using Seed & Spark, which is a platform focused specifically on funding inclusive, indie film projects. With them, we have to hit 80% of our goal to keep any of the funds. For us, that’s $9600, which is also the minimum budget we can afford to produce the rest of the show with. If we don’t hit that, we won’t be able to continue Rational Creatures.
Ayelen: There are a lot of cool perks (the stickers being my personal fav). There are also some great milestones that I hope we get to reveal – some great bonuses for our fans! My secret hope is that we get to some stretch goals cause I’d love to make a telenovela version of this story, or to see Peter (our very own Fred Wentworth) in Regency wear reading the letter *that letter*!
Where can our readers keep up with you all and Rational Creatures online?
Campaign link: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/rationalcreatures2
Hazel’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheTreeMermaid