More great news for the ingenius Crystal Chappell on the heels of her New York Times article on her new web series, “Venice”, such mainstream platforms as The Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and Gawker all ran pieces on Chappell’s new venture and its potential impact on the LGBT market, soaps and her dedication to bring a full-fledged lesbian love story to the web, in a different vehicle than Guiding Light’s Otalia.
On Monday, a brand new article in the New York Times titled: ”Love That Dares to Tweet Its Name, From ‘Guiding Light’, Sparks Web Series,” featured Crystal Chappell’s new original project “Venice”. The article give some good dish on the behind the scenes plans and production model for the show. It also addresses the lack of kissing time for Otalia, and more. Below are some excerpts but read the whole feature!
Ms. Chappell said, “Like the audience I hated the idea of letting” the story line go. She will try to keep the spirit of Otalia alive by starting a Web series in November called “Venice.” While it won’t have Olivia and Natalia — those characters are the property of Procter & Gamble — the show will feature Ms. Chappell as a single, gay career woman, and follow other fictional inhabitants of Venice Beach, in Los Angeles. Her leading lady on “Guiding Light,” Ms. Leccia, has agreed to join the cast without pay. One big difference from Otalia: “In the first 30 seconds you see these two women kiss,” Ms. Chappell said.
Producing “Venice” is a labor of love as everyone is working without pay for now. Ms. Chappell recruited as cast mates the actors Hillary B. Smith (“One Life to Live”), Jordan Clarke and Daniel Cosgrove (both from “Guiding Light”), and Elizabeth Keener (“The L Word”). “I can’t pay you anything,” she said she told them. “How’s that for an opening line?” (She’ll cover food and transportation, she said.)
Camera equipment was donated by friends. And her partners in the newly formed Open Book Productions — Kim Turrisi, the writer for “Venice,” and Hope Royaltey, the series’s director — are also donating their services.
Ms. Chappell’s ability to mobilize her online fans will help the promotion of “Venice.” Since setting up a Twitter account in May, she has amassed more than 6,500 followers, robust compared to her soap peers, though minuscule when set against the more than three million people who follow the Twitter veteran Ashton Kutcher or the hundreds of thousands tracking the pop star Lady Gaga.
She also may be able to draw on the support of gay viewers. Bob Witeck, co-founder and chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, a marketing firm specializing in lesbian and gay households, stressed these viewers’ loyalty. “It’s hard to find truthful stories about our lives, our families, the people we love,” he said. “And when we do, we give a higher degree of confidence and support to a program that reflects us.”