Emma Maddock – LA Web Series
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) The series has a unique perspective and instead of constantly seeing you together there are large gaps of time (like years) that come. Also, you also give it time to build up, not an instant relationship.
A) It’s going to be good. We did want it to be different, not another story of teens exploring sexuality. It is a love story and that’s what we wanted to portray.
Q) Please tell us about “LA Web Series” and about your character.
A) The series is about two girls who just randomly meet. My character is from England and the other character is from Los Angeles. So, we just randomly meet and I don’t want to give too much away, but in the beginning maybe we don’t hit it off so great. Then, we start to talk and explore the city and each other’s past. We kind of open up to each other. It’s ultimately about two strangers meeting and what happens when we actually give each other the chance to get to know each other. We walk past people because we are so consumed with our lives. We don’t look at the hundreds of people we pass each day. So, it explores what could happen maybe if we said hi to a stranger who has given us a friendly smile.
Q) How was your character originally described to you?
A) The character is still yet to be explored since we haven’t filmed the first series yet. We want them to develop as the story goes along. My character is not shy. She came out to America and obviously she has some sort of confidence and courage to come out here. She is trying to interact with this stranger and maybe she sees something might be there. She tries maybe a little bit harder than she would with anyone else. So, it makes us question fate and destiny – is it already set up for us or do we have control over it? So, my character is a very curious person and an open and accepting person. She sees that Avery (Alexandra Swarens) is a bit more closed off so I think she wants to create the atmosphere that allows Avery to open up to her and trust her.
Q) In doing that, is there something she finds in herself?
A) It is difficult because my character is kind of open yet closed off on certain things, too. It’s like they are good for each other because they give each other confidence. They open up to each other about certain things that they may not have shared with other people. The first season takes place in one night. So, each episode is part of the same night. A lot happens in one night and then as the seasons go on there will be a time lapse of years. We’ll see what has happened from that one night where they opened up to each other and everything happened – if it really was meant to be and still feel the same way years down the line. So, they definitely bring out the best in each other. They explore the city together.
Q) With the series evolving with time together and time a part, will we see them together and some of life on their own as well?
A) In the series, you see us together, but we do tell each other maybe bits about our past. So, we learn about their past lives and why they are where they are and who they are. And then in the future seasons, we might explore more of their actual home life. It’s Landon’s family and Avery’s family and how they contribute to each of the characters’ personalities and why they are how they are.
Q) Where do you connect with Landon?
A) The biggest thing is that she is an English girl coming over to America. So, she has that feeling of being lost. She is not in her home place. So, I can definitely identify with that since I came out here by myself when I was nineteen years old. I came out for school. So, when she meets Avery who is a local she is able to show her around the city and show where she is familiar with. That kind of makes Landon a bit safer, I guess. A bit more trusting. So, when I meet locals and they help me out they will show me and it makes me feel more about home here and it gives us a bond because they are helping. I can relate to that lost feeling and being ab it scared of your surrounding that way. Also, the courage it takes to move…It definitely takes courage to be able to leave everything despite maybe what your family says – if they aren’t supportive. For me, personally, it was a toss up of staying in London to pursue law or coming out to LA and pursuing my acting career – something I love. My dad said that law was a stable career and asked if I could just stay because my baby brother had just been born. So, it was a lot of changes. I think with Landon I think that’s what she did, too. She maybe got some different advice from home, but just decided what she wanted to do and come out here to see what she wanted.
Q) Was this part written for you or just happened to have similarities to your life story?
A) She didn’t come out here to pursue acting, but it definitely makes it easier to act because it is so relatable and I can understand in the teaser where she has a flight home in the morning. So, I can understand that and how much stress it would cause since it is such a big thing getting to fly across country. They did have to change one thing because the character is from London and I’m from Manchester. I don’t know if all Americans can tell, but accent wise it is a bit different. So, they changed that to make it more realistic. There is a lot of similarities. I’m happy to explore the character putting in my personal experience and also what is written for me.
Q) With the web series, we get small chunks of time per episode. How will we be able to learn so much in such a brief amount of time?
A) Each episode is not a set amount of time. Some episodes may be three minutes long and some may be seven. All the episodes are already written, but each episode is a question. With each episode, we explore a certain aspect of the characters’ lives. I should say in each episode we answer a question – we find out something about maybe why they bumped into each other or why they are closed off. So, with each episode being a question we are able to keep the audience’s attention.
Q) How many time a week will it be published?
A) We haven’t fully set that in stone yet. We are fundraising right now so the shooting schedule kind of depends on that. We are hoping to sort of release it as a package like you would on Netflix how “Orange is the New Black” comes out as a season. We are looking towards (hopefully) the end of this year to the beginning of January. We are all really passionate about this. We want to get the story out there and we already have so many fans loving the series just from the teaser. We want to get it out there. Right now we are talking about releasing it as a whole package. Then, we will do some more promoting and hopefully go to more conventions. We are hoping to get out to ClexaCon. It’s so up in the air right now. We definitely have high hopes for it.
Q) How long will the fundraising be going on?
A) It is up now on Indiegogo and there is fourteen days left. That will be our main source. We are drawing as much traffic as we can to it. We are doing everything we can and have good content for it, too. We have it on Twitter and are on Instagram, too. So, we are really just looking for help from our fans. It is hard as a brand new series because people don’t know what to expect content and quality wise. We just hope that people have faith in us. It is going to be great! The teaser is great so with more funding…The script is amazing. As you saw in the teaser, it is so real, intense and beautiful. With funding, it is going to be way better than that. We are hoping to get the majority of it funded in the remaining days. We are going to do as much as we can and maybe do our own fundraising party for “LA Web Series.” Indiegogo is our number one source at the moment.
Q) Social media is a large force for getting people to find it and watch. How has that been the biggest asset to the series?
A) We have got family and friends, but without social media we wouldn’t be able to get the word out there. We have people in Germany and Australia supporting us. It’s international and that is crazy! On Indiegogo you can see where people have donated from so to see people have been donating from all over the world is amazing in itself. It is something that everyone can relate to. It’s not just an LGBT story. It is an LGBT story, but it is a love story. Everyone in some way can relate to love. Love has no language. I tis a feeling. Twitter has been amazing. We have been able to get a lot of followers and retweets on our stuff. We have Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Obviously, without YouTube nothing is possible. YouTube is the platform we are going to be on. We just reached one hundred subscribers, which is fun. The teaser has been out maybe a few weeks and with just a teaser means it is going well. We’re getting different crowds from different social medias, which is good.
Q) I like that the series gives hope for happiness. A lot of shows had a bad 2016 and I like that web series and your particular one gives us hope for happiness in LGBT communities.
A) I read that more LGBT characters are needed on series and I also read that more lesbians were killed off more than ever. Here is a lesbian to draw an audience and now she is killed off? None of us are dying in this series. And as I said, it is just so relatable. So many lesbian web series (not to put anyone down) are kind of cheesy and have used sexuality to draw in the audience. We do obviously have lesbians in it. It is a lesbian love story. Every lesbian likes to watch a lesbian love story because they can relate deeply. But it is a wholesome story. There are layers and depth and it is not “we’re in high school and we’ll play truth or dare and maybe we’ll like it.” I’ve watched plenty of that stuff, don’t get me wrong, but this is unique and special.
Q) I think what will draw viewers in is the writing.
A) When I read it when I first got the script it was so easy to read. It was conversational so it is very natural and flows. That actually made it super easy to read. It instantly became so relatable to me. As we discussed before, there are so many aspects of myself that I see in the character. They are in a situation that I can find similarities with that I have been through my whole life. Reading it was just so smooth. There is something like seventeen episodes and I read it all the first night I got it. Just one episode after the other I wanted to know more. It definitely keeps you stringing along to the end where you are like, “What is going to happen?” It was a great read and I can’t wait to act it out and put it on screen for everyone.
Q) Why do you think it is important now more than ever for web series like LA Web Series to be created and shared?
A) With LA Web Series in particular, I think (as I said) a lot of LGBT material sexualizes sexuality. Not just web series, if you look up lesbian you get lesbian porn. I was watching “The Fosters” the other day and it was saying “straight girls in stilettos pretending to be gay.” And they absolutely nailed it. The majority of content is not real. It’s ran by men for men. There is some great lesbian content like “The Fosters” out there, but unfortunately the majority is still sexualizing sexuality. In our series we don’t make it a huge deal that we are gay. We are okay who we are. We are just two individuals meeting and we form this connection. We want to put the message out there that it doesn’t matter if you like guys or if you like girls. We’re not saying it should only be girls. It’s not like that at all. It is very important to us that we put a positive image out there for everyone to see – not just lesbians. Love is normal. Love is a beautiful thing and we’re trying to show that through this writing.
Q) With the Indiegogo campaign, how can people get involved and what are some of the perks?
A) We do have perks if you do donate. You will see along the side, you can get like a signed postcard from us from LA. Higher up is a Skype call with the cast – myself and Alexandra. So, there are great perks like producing credits. There are tons of perks if you donate, but we understand not everyone has money to throw in. If you share our Indiegogo with someone it goes so far because at the end of the day it isn’t the money we are doing this for. We have something great and we want to share it with the world. We want everyone to be able to see it and that’s why we are so excited it is already international. Although the money isn’t the reason we are doing it, but we need to money to make it. In LA it costs so much to get anything done film-wise because they know everyone wants to shoot here. Equipment is expensive and if we want quality material we need to pay. So, if you can’t donate with money giving a share still reaches out to people that we might not be able to reach. Just spreading the word makes us happy. I think though that what people don’t realize is that even a dollar can help. We have over 2,000 followers on Twitter. If each one of them gave a dollar we would be so much closer to our goal. I think people are scared though. Yes, it is just a dollar, but if a lot of people gave a dollar it amounts up. I wish people wouldn’t be shy to donate anything because any amount helps.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure we share about “LA Web Series?”
A) Regarding Indiegogo, it would just be nice that everyone knew that no amount is too small. Everything helps. We see these already popular web series and they are fundraising, too. It comes in so quickly because they are already established. For new series, it is harder because people find it harder to just give money when they don’t know. But we promise the public that it will be worthwhile and anything helps, honestly. The series is going to amazing. We have high hopes for it. We want to get the best crew, best editor and the best everything. It will be the best and, unfortunately, that is through money. So, we’re trying to reach out to everyone. I’m super excited to shoot this and we’re going to start soon. I just can’t wait for everyone to get to know our characters and this series.