Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys,' like their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they’ll take Globe readers on a journey about what it's like to be 'upcoming' in a business that won't stop changing.
So here we are penning our first post for The Globe and Mail. What a trip, especially with the week we have had. If you’ve read the introduction article written by the gracious J. Kelly Nestruck, then you know a little bit about us, and if you haven’t, here are the Coles Notes.
Watch the trailer for Whatever, Linda.
We are young and upcoming Canadian filmmakers. We came together as creative partners in 2013 when we met producing the digital series Whatever, Linda (watch the first episode here).
Mackenzie is a producer and sometimes writer, most recently on Orphan Black, Whatever Linda, Cheese and our first feature film, The Definites.
Hannah was named a TIFF 2014 Irving Avrich Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, and is a writer, actress, producer and sometimes director, most recently working on Orphan Black, Whatever, Linda, Cheese, The Animal Project, Max & Shred and The Definites.
Soon after meeting, we fell creatively in love and started a company, Aberrant Pictures. Right now we are three weeks away from going to camera on The Definites. And now we can add Globe contributors to our list.
Starting to write for The Globe was already making this week filled with expectation and excitement. Add to that the looming launch of Whatever, Linda, working full-time on Orphan Black and spending nights getting The Definites ready for pre-production; you could say we were high on adrenalin and maybe running a little on empty.
Then Thursday hit, and everything we had prepared and put in motion for the rollout of Whatever, Linda was put on hold. Actually, it came to a screeching halt.
Right off the high from our Globe photoshoot Wednesday night – which happened in one of the empty Orphan Black studios (which was itself a trip, especially for Mackenzie, who usually works behind the camera, not in front) – we got news the next morning that we were no longer releasing Whatever, Linda in its entirety.
WHAT THE?! was our initial reaction. We were already in full-on rollout mode: a production-stills countdown was on; press releases were finished; launch party invites were out; everything was ready to go – except that we were halting it all. It felt crushing to postpone this project any longer. We began this show in February, 2013, and though patience is a virtue in show business, this felt like a total derailment.
But as soon as we talked to our amazing executive producer James Milward about the specifics of a new, unexpected (and pending) deal, we knew we had no choice but to put the brakes on. (We wish we could tell you more about the deal, but we signed an NDA, meaning you'll have to keep reading to find out what happens next!)
Once we knew the release was on pause, we went into crisis-management mode. Hannah called The Globe – it looked like the feature article written about us was going to have to be pulled unless we could think of a new angle for the story. Mackenzie, meanwhile, stood in a snowy field, tech-scouting for Orphan Black, as she tried to figure how to spin the Whatever, Linda countdown into something different than, well, a countdown.
It was a stressful afternoon to say the least, but we put our minds to work and figured it out. And you know what? Things worked out for the best. The Globe now has an exclusive sneak peek of the first episode of Whatever, Linda, we are releasing our full trailer today (see above – the countdown was saved!), the feature wasn’t canned and the pending deal will ultimately be worth it all – well, we hope.
So today we find ourselves relieved and extremely excited about what’s next. The Globe feature was a success this past weekend; the world is getting its first taste of Whatever, Linda; we are still hosting our “launch party” tonight; and our feature film is coming together. And we actually just spent the weekend in Wilmington, N.C., where we presented Cheese at the Cucalorus Film Festival.
We can’t complain. Well, one can always complain, but in our case, only about our lack of sleep.
Until next time,
Hannah & Mackenzie