It’s about time this wacky gig was properly celebrated and skewered. Bloggers Jessica Bern and Deb Anderson have created a web series, BlogTHAT!, based on a the life of a women in L.A. who blogs her way through a career transition into social media as a former actress and through the roller coaster of being single mother who is dating. They launched a Kickstarter campaign today that is already getting great traction.
Readers of Bern This, Jessica’s blog, might find this storyline familiar, as it’s based on Jessica’s life and experiences as a blogger throughout the last few years, coupled with Deb’s experiences and the lives of the many bloggers they know. Jessica and Deb, who blogs at San Diego Momma, have a production company called Two Funny Brains where they create marketing video content with their trademark funny, relateable edge and expertise with how social media is used by women. Here’s an example of their work for LeFlambe Cookware.
They’re crowdsourcing the pilot to their web series, offering various ways for their fellow bloggers to join in the action as BlogTHAT! develops. We talked Deb Anderson about her collaboration with Jessica and about the Kickstarter campaign:
BlogTHAT! will be like Seinfeld meets That Girl. It’s mainly about life in Los Angeles for a single, divorced mother who is originally from New York City and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. The series picks up soon after the main character, Jessica, has divorced and is trying to make it on her own while putting her life back together, making new friends, dating, and blogging for support. In a nutshell, BlogTHAT! is a comedy about living life on your own terms while screwing up a ton along the way. The blogging “culture” will be a huge part of the show because it’s something Jess and I know so well and there’s so much humor in it against the backdrop of friends and family who don’t know what the hell blogging means or even if it’s “real.” Each episode will prominently feature an aspect of blogging or poke fun at it in a friendly way.
The outlining and brainstorming come first, and it’s a messy, beautiful thing. This part of the process entails hours, sometimes days of back and forth between Jess and I, resulting in a concrete plan for the episode. From there, we write, sometimes together via Skype, occasionally in person, and usually separately. We submit our work to the other for fine tuning, comments, and massaging. We often go through several drafts together via email and then collaborate on the final draft. I can honestly say the writing process is 50% Jess, 50% me. Sometimes I don’t know where she starts and I begin. Or end? If loving her is wrong, I don’t want to be right. After we have a finished script, Jess begins producing it and pulls the logistics together, including the cast, the locations, everything, with more back and forth input. When it’s time to shoot, we decide how we want the episode to look and the vibe we want to portray and I direct it with that vision in mind. Jess then edits and we go through several versions until it’s just how we envisioned the thing from the beginning.
Kickstarter fund will pay for the production crew, the actors, and the basic elements for a four-day shoot (including food), locations and insurance. This has been five years in the making and we are crossing our fingers we raise enough money to make it happen. Some of the fun of a Kickstarter campaign is the rewards offered in exchange for higher levels of support. Want producer credit? You can have that! Or spend time on set learning from the best. Many of the rewards function as marketing, and there are four slots for Twitter handles to be worked into the script (though only a few hours into the campaign half of those are taken already).