What would you do if you could get inside your head and access your past? And what if your past showed you that your life was moved by hate?

2020 Official Selection series I, Celebrity (BRA) explores the possibilities of the new digital age with only one thing in mind – fear.

Melbourne WebFest spoke to Associate Producer, Caroline Roehrig, leading the series as ‘Ana’.

How did you decide on the plot and theme of your series? Was there something specific that inspired your series?

We decided we wanted to explore the possibilities social media could bring to anyone. Then we realized “hate” and “hating” had become very commonplace on Social Media/ the Internet and people were doing it quite often. People have decided to judge more, put their points of view more, and even lie, create intrigue, fight, and hate with fake profiles as well.

How important was the role of technology in your series and why did you choose to use the trope of technology to convey your story?

It was very important and we do play with it in several parts of the series. In one episode, there is a scene where they are watching a Christmas party recorded in a Beta Cam. At that time, that was the only record of that party and we even trace a parallel about it as if that party was nowadays, we would have one recording for each guest of the party and several different perspectives. There is also the discussion about people hiding behind technology (both haters and the stalker).

What was your greatest challenge creating the series?

For sure a shortage of money. When you have money, you can do and use a lot more resources. In the other hand, when you don’t you have to be creative and use your imagination to resolve things that would be easily resolved with money/effects.

Why choose the web format for your series?

It’s easier to spread a message, to get people to watch it, if you have a quality, well done series, you can get it put out on a worldwide scale.

What was the development process like for your series?

It took us almost 5 years from conception, fundraising, pre-production to getting it ready. So in this time frame, we developed the central idea a lot further and decided many new things that weren’t considered in the beginning.

I, Celebrity (BRA)

What’s next for your series, and where would you like it to progress in the near future?

We are having arguments for another 4 seasons if this first one goes well. We will probably launch it in a few months time, as it is not yet released, and we would love to have some partners be able to purchase it or inject funds for the next seasons so that we have more production power/potential.

Has the end product strayed far from your initial vision?

Yes, we had a much shallower vision, it was supposed to be a comedy series discussing how fake social media could be. We now have a much deeper series, that brings about a serious discussion about so much of our days, like hate, stalkers, and things that are already so ingrained in our every day, even though is so new, that we don’t even think about it anymore.

I Celebrity

What was your release strategy?

We haven’t released it yet, but we are preparing several short videos, several posters with key points we want people to feel curious about. We will use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do so.

What was the most important aspect of your series?

Other than all that is listed, we have a very mixed crew, who bring ideas and freshness. We have black actors, trans and LGBTQI+ actors and we have a deaf actor. All of these brings different layers that are subtle but special.

Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers out there who want to create a web series?

There is no magic formula, but once you have a script you like and desire to take the story to the world, go for it, plan, bring people to the project that could have strengths different than yours, and that can work in a collaborative way. And do it. This is the great thing about web series, once it is done, you can take it to the world.