Corey Fogelmanis – PrankMe
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What is it about the role of Jasper and the series “PrankMe” that really drew you to the project?
A) I think the subject matter was what initially stopped me and made me think, “Wow this is something different.” But then I think once I actually started working on the character, on set and with Hazel (our director) I really started to find how complex of a person he is and that just lit my mind on fire. I was so psyched.
Q) The show is centered around vlogging, you get this fly on the wall perspective. How do the camera angles and cinematography play their own characters and help set the tone of the series?
A) Yeah, I really like that you called it a character. For me, it just feels like the cinematography is Jasper’s second half – because holding the camera and being responsible for a lot of the shots was such a big part in my process of finding him. But it really is another character. I think what makes the show so distinguishable is the fact that it is told first-hand through Jasper’s vlogs. That is something we haven’t seen much of before in traditional television and it was really fun to explore that.
Q) What was the hardest or most challenging moment to film and why?
A) The hardest moment for me to film was a scene between Jasper and his mom at the end of episode seven. I remember the day being difficult for many reasons. A lot of changes were being made to the script and we were shooting a bunch of pages that day and it was just a really intense, high energy day. So, all of that combined made it super difficult. Luckily, the way the show is shot (which is me holding the camera most of the time) gave me the freedom to use what I was feeling in my life in my work. Hazel and the rest of the crew gave me the freedom I needed to work through it and allowed me to kind of breakdown on camera that day. It ended up feeling great and being some of my favorite moments to shoot, but I just remember it being a lot in the moment.
Q) Has being a part of the show made you look at YouTube any differently?
A) I don’t think so. Before I did this, I didn’t really have an opinion about YouTube. I was never looking at it in any sort of way. But I guess now I would say I’m a little more concerned with the way people are acting and the response or lack of response specific behavior gets from the fans or the media. But I don’t think I’m looking at YouTube differently.
Q) Since it is such an intense, dark role, how did you prepare emotionally to play Jasper?
A) I feel like I could talk about this for hours. I had a lot of references that Hazel gave to me. These films and YouTube videos definitely helped me find the energy levels that are so common with this type of social media personality. Once I got to London, which was where we shot the show, we did three days of rehearsal and kind of just mapped out the whole show and where Jasper was at each moment of it. This was really helpful because once we got to set I was able to think back to rehearsal to figure out where I needed to be in each scene in order to keep his arc in tact and not warp it in anyway. This was especially helpful because, like most projects, we shot it entirely out of order. Throughout the duration of the shoot Rebecca Hewett, our acting coach, was also extremely valuable to me. Continually talking about the character and the circumstances helped me stay in it during the long days on set.
Q) What is it about the Fullscreen Network that has made it such a great fit for the series?
A) I think the fact that Fullscreen didn’t put a cap on what we were allowed to do made them such a great fit for this project. I remember going into Fullscreen while I was still new to the project and we talked about how, as a network, they love to push boundaries and see how far they can take something. Ultimately, I think that mindset was what allowed us to tell the story we wanted to tell in the capacity that was necessary to do it right.
Q) Do you hope that “PrankMe” will start an important conversation in the YouTube community about boundaries?
A) Of course. All I can really ask for is some sort of response. I think that’s the coolest thing to be able to make something that means so much to me, but then to also have it mean something to a bunch of other people. But, of course, I think it would be wonderful if it starts a conversation in a way that allows people to kind of wake up and reanalyze what they’re doing with their online presence and how they contribute to things.
Q) What do you hope audiences take away from watching “PrankMe?”
A) I think what we do online has a much bigger impact than we realize. It does contribute to something, either in a positive or a negative way. So, I think anything we can do to analyze how we’re impacting somebody else online or somebody in the public eye and what we’re supporting will allow the dangers of the internet to be seen in a different light. It’s all of our responsibility.