Looking for a web series with a female lead? How about one created by a female? One that’s smart and well written? You need to check out Classic Alice, created by Kate Hackett.
Classic Alice is the story of Alice Rackham, a college student with a huge drive to succeed. When she gets a bad grade on an essay because she isn’t emotionally connecting to material, she decides to take it a step further and live her life according to classic novels. Her friend, Andrew Prichard, uses the opportunity to make a vlog-style documentary about the process, and together they create ‘Classic Alice’.
There are already over 70 episodes on YouTube.com/ClassicAliceSeries but they’re currently raising money for Books 8 and beyond on Indiegogo. Check out the interview below with the creator of the series Kate Hackett.
Kate, explain what Classic Alice is using references.
Community meets Gilmore Girls meets Wishbone.
What’s your opinion on the changing landscape of media? Do you think it’s creating a better landscape with quality content or too much “stuff” to wade through?
As an actor/writer, it’s amazing to be able to create my own show and get it out there without having to wait for a traditional gate keeper. That said, of course there’s a lot of stuff to wade through to find the ‘gems’; I think at some point we’ll find a way to separate professional productions that also encourages new artists.
Do you notice a lack of women creatives in “new media” like there are in “traditional media”? Or is the barrier for entry lower on the web?
I think it’s still a bit of a boy’s club, especially because it’s a step toward TV/film and isn’t its own end all be all. It’s probably a cycle at this point too; women don’t see women creators, so they think there’s no room.
That’s not to say there are NONE, of course there are and they’re wonderful, but I think men still dominate this arena just as we see that most writers on TV shows are men, etc.
What’s been your strategy to break through in the over-saturated world of crowdfunding?
We’re running this IndieGoGo like a damn circus! Prizes! Fun contests! Harassing our cast and crew into making them do ridiculous things! We have plans to do a very ludicrous livestream too, so keep an eye out for that. I think our whole deal is “interact”; we try to engage the audience and fans as much as possible because they’re the ones who talk us up & get the word out!
Do you feel that the types of female characters seen in web series are more diverse than on TV or in films?
Interesting question; I’m not so sure about this. I think that we have more freedom in web creatively, so we can embrace some really nuanced female characters in a way that traditional media might find too risky, but I’m not sure we’re taking that risk upon ourselves. Part of it may be genre; it’s tough to write a drama for a short-format like the web, so we see a lot of comedies (cheaper to make, quicker to shoot, etc.) Women in those comedies certainly can make bolder choices and they definitely do, but ultimately if we’re dealing with a boy’s club behind the scenes, we’re going to wind up in a similar place on camera.
When you were creating Classic Alice, were there any characters in books, tv or film that you looked to as inspiration for any of the characters in the series?
Absolutely! Annie from Community was a big one and as the show goes forward, I look forward to bringing in some more dramatic inspirational characters. No spoilers though.
If you could pick any book to be adapted into a broadcast TV show for the masses, what would it be?
Lev Grossman’s Magicians series, but that’s actually going to happen so… Maybe Tana French’s series. Or anything Donna Tartt. NO WAIT. THURSDAY NEXT.
Looking back to the beginning of making Classic Alice, what’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout the process?
Start earlier. Give way more time than you thought you needed!
What are you watching on TV these days?
I love The Fall so, so much. I also really love Parks & Rec and Game of Thrones and omg The Affair was INSANELY great.
Can you suggest a few books for people who like strong female characters?
Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. Beloved by Toni Morrison. The BFG, Rolad Dahl. The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Fowles.
Want more Kate?! Listen to our podcast with her!