The Wakefield Variation is a suspense/thriller web series created by Gianluca Olmastroni and Alessandro De Nicola.

One day a young man decides to leave his girlfriend he had been living with and just vanish. The man, named Wakefield, doesn’t leave any trace behind but continues to spy on his former girlfriend using bugs and hidden cameras.

It’s a twisted social experiment. When his girlfriend finally decides to move on, Wakefield starts thinking about getting back into her life.
The series was inspired by the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story ‘Wakefield’, the creators liked the idea of someone choosing to put one self in exile which then created the web series.



Filming locations: Pisa, Italy; Torre del Lago Puccini, Lucca, Italy; Viareggio, Lucca, Italy.

Why should people watch your series?
The series tells a story which is different from anything else around. It does so using talent from around the world, putting together different approaches in filmmaking: North American (both acting leads come from Vancouver, Canada) and European (Italian producer/creators/director).
What do you want people to take away from your series?
We want them to understand that this is basically a very complicated love story. We would like the audience to appreciate the way we mixed mystery and unresolved tension.

How do you finance your series?
The series was partly financed by a crowd-funding campaign in 2012. The rest was self-financed.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in production?
Besides finding the money, we had to schedule everything far in advance, as we needed to book a reasonably priced flight for lead actor Michael Brian (Wakefield) who was coming from Vancouver.

How do you reach your audience?
We started a blog over a year before we actually started shooting. We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The series being web-based, the web itself is the main way to reach the audience.

Is it an ongoing project? If so, can you give us some clues about what comes next?
It is definitely an ongoing project. It started as a short film, it became a series pilot and was then recut as a 3-part mini-series. It is supposed to have a continuation – the open ending has always been part of the idea – and what we’ve done so far is meant to showcase our storytelling and production skills to potential backers, (web) broadcasters, etc. A 4-page outline about the continuation of the series has already been written, which tells what happens during Wakefield’s exile and brings in new characters, including Wakefield’s mysterious friend on the phone and the person entering Eleanor’s room.

Trivia: please tell us a quirky and/or interesting fact about yourself or team that’s unrelated to your web series.
Despite the project being shot mostly in Pisa, which is also where Effetto Espanso (the production company) has its headquarters, no one in the cast or crew is actually from Pisa. We (Gianluca Olmastroni and Alessandro De Nicola, series creators and founders of Effetto Espanso) started our company here because this is where we completed our MA degree in film studies and we decided to stay. Our subsequent professional networking has involved very few people from Pisa, and none of them took part in The Wakefield Variation.

Why make a web series?
The web is the most direct form of distribution, and serialised content is what we felt more at ease with to tell the story we originally conceived.

Is there anything in particular you’d like us to add about you or your series?
The series spawned a graphic novel prequel about Wakefield’s teenage years. It is called “The Wakefield Variation – One Look Behind” and is available through major eBook stores.


The Wakefield Variation on the web:

Official site/blog:
facebook page:
twitter: @wakefield2film
Gianluca Olmastroni (co-creator, director): @lonesomefilmguy
Alessandro De Nicola (co-creator, producer): @Aledeni3
Effetto Espanso (production company): @effettoespanso


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