By: Caitlin Walsh
It was a webseries that took the internet and fandom by storm unlike, quite possibly, any before it. And now, Carmilla (just having wrapped its third and final season) announced that it’s not saying goodbye just yet.
On Oct. 6, 2016 at New York Comic Con, Shaftesbury’s branded entertainment agency shift2 and digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment announced that they will extending the Carmilla digital series into a feature-length film to be released in Fall 2017. Pre-sales are now available at http://carmillamovie.vhx.tv.
Carmilla is a scripted webseries, funding by U by Kotex®. The series put a modern spin on the cult classic gothic vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu of the same name, published in 1872. And it’s been a beacon of hope for many LGBT+ fans who see themselves in Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman) and Carmilla Karnstein (Natasha Negovanlis), the show’s two queer leading ladies, or even in the wide cast of characters that include S. LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander) who is a non-binary student and good, observant friend on their floor.
It’s a story that resonates with everyone, on some level and their identities are not the stories – they just are. It’s progressive, it’s modern and its fans flocked so passionately to the series that now a movie is in the works. “The demand for Carmilla has been off-the-charts so we wanted to super-serve the fans by exploring the story further through other formats and platforms,” said Jay Bennett, SVP, Creative and Innovation, Shaftebury/Smokebomb. “It’s not often that you have the opportunity to launch a film with the kind of built-in fan base that Carmilla has.”
Since its August 2014 launch, over 50 million views and over 170 million minutes of watch time have been generated with zero paid media. The first 24 episodes of the highly anticipated third and final season premiered in mid-September, generating more than 4.3 million views and 16.2 million minutes of watch time.
The Carmilla movie will include many of the original cast from the digital series, including Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis. Alex Acoba (DeGrassi, The Next Step) has signed on to write the script with the series co-creator and writer Jordan Hall. “This film is a love letter to the fans and the natural next step in the evolution ofCarmilla’s phenomenal success,” said Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, CEO, shift2. “Through the support of U by Kotex®, we have connected, engaged and sustained an audience for the brand for three years. We look forward to working with U by Kotex® to seek out additional platforms to tell Carmilla’s story.
Produced by award-winning digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment and executive produced by U by Kotex®, Carmilla digital series has steadily engaged fans, who have named themselves “Creampuffs” based on a line from the series. The series’ official Facebook and Twitter accounts have generated almost 150 million impressions, 465,000 interactions and more than 270,000 unique users. 81% of those users are female, and nearly two-thirds are in the 18-24 demographic. Carmilla also boasts huge international appeal with views in more than 180 countries and has been translated into 12 languages by fans. Because in every language, good storytelling is good storytelling.
All episodes of the Carmilla series are available via the YouTube channel KindaTV.