Created by Fabiana Weiner and Jonathon Gittus, No Pink Cowboys follows friends A.B and Sam as they navigate the obstacles of modern love and dating.
The Melbourne-based original series has been officially selected by a number of festivals and won Best Web Series at the 2016 Made In Melbourne Film Festival.
What inspired your web series?
Fab and I met through Uni and we soon found that we had similar creative tastes. Since Fab wanted to continue acting while also getting into producing, and I wanted to continue writing and directing, we took the opportunity to make the most of each other’s experience and interests. A web series was something we felt was ambitious enough for both of us to get excited about but, was still achievable considering our next-to-nothing budget and time constraints with work, Uni, and in my case, parenting.
As for the content, real life experience was used wherever it could be. The date in Episode 2, for example, was based on a Tinder date I had where after ten minutes she said, “I think I’m just going to go. There’s just no vibe. It’s not anyone’s fault, but there’s just no vibe”. I then sat there thinking, ‘Huh, that could be a good bit in Cowboys…’
Why did you choose web series as your format?
I was really impressed by the way the team behind Starting From Now created episodes that effectively weaved together into an engaging story that became more powerful than the sum of its individual pieces, despite their episodes being much shorter than ‘normal’ television. This seemed like a good recipe for making a story considerably more complex than a short film, while being more achievable than making a feature length film.
What makes your series different from other romantic comedies?
Fab and I worked really hard to get the right balance of comedy and character development. There were some early drafts that were probably funnier than how those episodes finally ended up, but they were redrafted to better develop A.B and Sam. We also wanted to make the characters’ lives unique, even though we had limited time to convey. The odd family dynamics with Sam’s daughter Hannah from a past relationship, for example, was tempting to take out to ease the burden of exposition but both Fab and I thought it was an interesting way to diverge from the typical guy/girl set-up and allow audience to read between the lines.
The challenges of love and dating are relevant to everyone. Who was your intended audience and who did they end up being?
Hopefully the different elements in the show come together in a way that’s entertaining for people who might be watching for different reasons, whether it be to relate to people’s troubles with online dating, single parenting, or to laugh at desperate barmen trying to plead their way into someone’s bedroom.
Considering the age of the main characters and the tone/content of the show, I’d guess 20-50 is our main demographic but this wasn’t so much a strategic decision on our part but something that happened naturally.
What are the challenges you came across making your series and how did you overcome them?
Most challenges were actually more manageable than we first thought they would be. We didn’t work with any jerks, everyone we approached for locations was lovely and accommodating, the actors were all great, so no complaints there. Probably the hardest part of doing something on no money, is finding times when large groups of people are all available to work for little to nothing. People are busy, so we had to be creative with the way we scheduled the shoot to accommodate to people’s commitments while still being as efficient as we could be.
How did you approach the marketing of your series?
That’s been taken care of by the producer, Fab, who has opted to hold off putting it online while applying for funding to market the series and re-polish a few things in post-production. We’re both learning that with web series there’s no ‘normal’ way to get a show out there, which is part of what makes web series challenging .
Do you have any future plans for this series?
We’re hoping the show is good enough to find an audience online, whether or not that’s achieved through funding remains to be seen. We’ve spoken tentatively about ideas for a second series but that’s on the back burner until the first series gets out there.
What advice would you give to emerging creators?
Make a show that you personally are going to like. I think the only way to compete against projects with massive budgets is to put our own voice into our work, so that even if the show doesn’t have the polish of Hollywood, it’s at least unique.