Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Q&A with the Creators Edward Kiniry-Ostro and Sal Neslusan of the Web Series "Roomiess"

What made you decide to film a web series?
Well, Sal had recently wrapped production on her first web series, Professional Friend, and Ed had completed his first short film, Hold Up Heart, this past winter. We were both itching to create content that could reach a wide market with broad appeal. Sounds like the World Wide Web, doesn’t it? We thought so too! So we turned towards that direction and have had a blast doing so.

Tell us about your web series. What inspired you to make it?
We were really interested in creating bite-sized comedy that people could choose to binge watch all together or in bits and pieces while their boss wasn’t looking at work. We also thought it would be fun to create shorter pieces that people could share amongst their friends. We both know anything past the two minute mark can sometimes feel like a marathon when it’s online. We wanted to carve out something that is uniquely us and still had the relationships of a sitcom but also caters well to the world of 140 characters and buzzfeed lists.

What do you love about your web series?
We love the stuff we came up with together. Our brains all think in very different ways, so when we truly collaborate, something fun happens. For example, one of the team’s favorite episodes was “Special” Victims: our homage to Law and Order:SVU. That episode was written around Ed’s kitchen table, and then when our director got his hands on it, it became a completely different animal. It was 100% a team effort. We were also inspired by some of our favorite shows out there like Broad City, 30 Rock and Portlandia. We feel we’ve captured some of their spirit while still keeping our own take on things. We love humor that’s irreverent but remains grounded in the slightly skewed universe that the characters live in. Keeping Stu & Syd in their bedrooms was also a fun challenge - how many adventures can they get into in a bedroom? Well, apparently a lot! So we’re just stoked we were able to keep pushing ourselves to be creative while utilizing the minimum amount of tools.

How long did it take you to make your web series?
We started writing in February, pre-production began in May, we were shooting in June and had wrapped by August. We basically finished it the morning we released. Say whaaa?!

What was the most challenging part of the filmmaking process and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging part was probably in post. We had originally slated the first season to be a weekly series. Three weeks prior to our launch, we made the decision to go “Beyonce” and release the whole season at once. Ugh. This elevated our stress ten fold! Another thing we have in common with Beyonce. There are just so many. That said, we thought this was a better move as more and more people are binge watching. Since we’re fairly new to this world, we wanted our audience to get to know us immediately. When you alter the release date like this it definitely adds a lot more pressure. Everyone wants a solid product especially since they’ve been working so hard for some time on it, so we just made sure communication was our top priority. We have such a strong crew and so making sure everyone is heard is vital to us so we can all be proud of our work at the end of the day.

What’s next for your web series? When and how can people see it?
Well we’ve got a few different ideas rolling around for Stu & Syd, but for now you can catch find them at roomiess.com, or on our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/RoomiessTV. You can also like Roomiess on Facebook and follow @stuandsyd on twitter!

Can you provide any advice to other filmmakers who dream of getting their web series made?
We think you have to just take the leap and do it. Don’t just sit around writing and saying you’re going to make something. Make something. Ask for favors, dip into savings, stay up all night working - but you have to actually do it. We’re also strong believers in feedback. We asked everyone for their input. Sometimes it’s crap, and you’ve got to know that, but if you’re asking for it you’ve also got to know when to keep your mouth shut and listen. More often than not, even if you don’t like what they might have to say, it probably is going to help you in the long run. So be kind, gracious, and ask for help. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!


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