Canadian made web series Young & Reckless follows Devon’s life after he gets kicked out of law school and has to move back home with his mum. However, life isn’t so bad for Devon after he discovers the love of his life- next door neighbour Claire. Devon’s new mission to win the woman of his dreams, isn’t exactly easy when he is faced with Claire’s teen daughter, Olivia. Especially when Devon begins babysitting this teenage terror.

Released in late 2016, this comedy web series contains five episodes to date, with episodes running between four to eight minutes each. Directed and produced by Brianne Nord-Stewart, the series stars Leo-nominated and co-creator Devon Ferguson who starred in How to be an Actor. We spoke to Director, Producer and Co-editor Brianne Nord-Stewart about how she created this hilarious series.

What are the challenges you came across when making your series and how did you overcome them?
Once we had the funding – and getting that is a prequel in and of itself which I’m sure everyone can relate to – it was actually an alright shoot. It was a challenge to find two HOUSES in Vancouver side by side or across the street from each other, which is a major plot point in our show, but once we did, the homeowners were the loveliest! It did involve a one hour commute each way to set…Which after our sixth day in a row was definitely being felt by everyone on board. Also trying to schedule a cast of minors and adhere to the child labour laws when you really need then for more than 8 hours…was impossible. But our crew worked hard and we made it through! But the awesome team of myself, Andrea, and Devon, and with our magic weapon line producer James “Hutch” Hutchison, we figured it out.

You shot a lot of scenes on location outdoors. What were some of the challenges when shootings?
We had a WIDE range of seasons while we were shooting. We did shoot a second unit in Kelowna, BC which is where the story of the show is set which was part of our funding agreement. So to show that off, and maximize the “We’re in Kelowna” effect, we had to shoot outside. And Kelowna is a sunny place, whereas Vancouver in April is either gorgeous and blossoming, or drenched by constant rain. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t raining!

How did you fund your series?
We acquired a pre-license agreement with Telus Optik local, a cable provider who offers a VOD channel for their subscribers. This triggered development money from CreativeBC, and we’re waiting to hear about our tax credit’s approval…

Do you have any future plans for this series?
We’ve got season two’s story blocked out and we need to make it now (before our cast goes to college). So I’m hustling to find the next partner.

What do you want your audience to take away from this series?
Never underestimate a teen girl. And ab pain. We want you to laugh!

What is unique about your series?

Our 13-year-old character is a fully realized character and is an equal match for our 28- year-old Devon. What’s especially funny about the whole dynamic of a 13-year-old girl vs a 28-year-old guy is that the dude just can’t win. And there’s no end to the cruelty a 13-year-old can inflict.

What was your release strategy?

We began building our audience through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, posting through our film shoot to get cast and crew talking with the world about the project. We had a launch party with cast and crew that included Snapchat geo-filters, and unleashed the entire series online at the same time. Once the show was released, we Facebooked, tweeted and Instagrammed every victory of every cast and crew along the way — whether it was related to Young & Reckless or not.

What was your target audience and how did you build a relationship with them?
Our target audience is teen feminists and millennials. To build our audience with teen feminists, we tried to engage with teen feminists on social media, and opened up social media accounts using our teen character of Olivia Hawkins. She currently has a rather successful twitter account, tweeting about all things feminism, @OliviaRiots


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