Fans Are Giving the Webseries EASTSIDERS the Green Light

There are so many exciting things going on today with Webseries, Indie projects, and WebTV.  Almost daily, I come across a new show emerging via my social networks.  I have recently found such a gem, EASTSIDERS,  which is written and directed by the amazing Kit Williamson and stars the talent of Van Hansis, Matthew McKelligon, Constance Wu, and John Halbach. Kit does triple duty by being a part of the talented cast as well.  It reminds me of shows I loved like Will and Grace and Queer as Folk. The scripts are full of witty dialogue but there are touching moments along the way, as well as some shocking ones.  I think most people will relate to the situations and find much to laugh about.

As with all Indie projects, there is a way for the audience to get involved and help the series to be even better by helping with production costs.  The great thing about all Webseries is that they are driven by the support of fans.  Once you check out the series, please head over to their Kickstarter page to see how you can help and the awesome rewards that are being offered.  Here is the official description of the series and our interview. I hope you head over to all their pages to find out more and consider jumping in on the Kickstarter campaign.

What happens after the world ends? Written and directed by award winning playwright Kit Williamson, ”EastSiders” explores the aftermath of infidelity on a gay couple in Silverlake.  When Cal (Kit Williamson) finds out Thom (Van Hansis) has been cheating on him with Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon), their relationship is turned upside down. Will the lies tear them apart or are they just stubborn enough to stay together forever?

Drunken outbursts and double standards abound in this dark comedy about the sad and funny messes we make out of our lives.   Cal’s best friend Kathy (Constance Wu) is always there for him with a bottle of whiskey in her purse, but she has her own problems with her nice guy boyfriend Ian (John Halbach), even if they’re all in her head.  Stephen Guarino guest stars as a party promoter throwing one last bash before the apocalypse.

Q: Tell me a little about EASTSIDERS.

A: EastSiders is a dark comedy about a gay couple dealing with the aftermath of infidelity in Silver Lake, CA.

Q:  Is there more freedom in webseries when it comes to character development as far as exploring sexuality?

There is definitely more freedom in general on the web because it’s still driven by content creators.  When you’re truly independent you
have the ability to call the shots much more than when you’re forced to reconcile your vision with someone else’s ideas about the story.
Sometimes you can get caught in a kind of vacuum, though, so I think it’s important to pay attention to what viewers are responding to and
keep things as interactive as possible.

Q: This one is for Kit: Being a very successful playwright, do you find webseries to be more similar to theater than traditional television is?

A: I don’t know if all web shows are closer to theater than traditional television, but mine certainly is.  I tend to write dialogue driven scenes and I think that works well in a 10-15 minute format.

Q: The show is being called the next ‘Queer As Folk’, any plans to bring along some of the actors from that show?

A: Wow!  That’s such a huge compliment.  ’Queer As Folk’ was such an amazing, groundbreaking show.  I was a fan of both the British and the American version.  We’ve pretty much got our cast squared away but I’d jump at the chance to work with any of those actors.

Q: You had a very successful Kickstarter campaign and raised $15K. Do you think fans are becoming more involved in the shows/projects they enjoy or know they will enjoy?  How did the success of the campaign make you feel?

A: I think fans are definitely becoming more involved in green-lighting web content.  It’s really empowering to think that people have the ability to make the projects they want to see a reality.  I feel really honored that people care enough about what we’re doing to contribute financially– it really means the world to me.

Q: Speaking of Kickstarter, you have a new goal, where can people go to help?

A: We do!  If we can reach $20,000 we’ll be able to up the production value and fully pay our cast and crew, who have been volunteering their time and talents to make the show a reality.  You can go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1503081443/eastsiders-the-series to find out more.  Even if you can’t donate, it helps so much to share the campaign on your Facebook or Twitter– that’s where the majority of our backers come from, statistically!

Q: Do you think more people in the entertainment industry are being drawn to Webseries and Indie projects?

A: I think that people are coming to web content in droves because it’s one of the few places in the industry where people still have creative freedom from the outset.  If you want to write for TV you have to work for years before you even get to the point where you can pitch your own ideas.  I definitely aspire to do that someday, but in the meantime I think it’s amazing that I can write and direct a web show and work with such amazing people.  It’s incredibly fulfilling both creatively and personally.

Q: Any behind the scenes stories you can share with us?

A: Here are some fun facts:

Jeremy and Thom are actually smoking green tea blunts in episode 1. We only had 4 hours to shoot 8 pages in the Cha Cha Lounge. Constance Wu wore her hair in buns all day in order to make her hair like that to play Kathy. Calling cut as the director while you’re acting in a romantic kissing scene is the most awkward thing ever.