Hello Lovely Readers!
It has been a shamefully long time since I posted anything, but this will more than make up for it! I have been BUSY–but not too busy to check out what’s new and awesome in a favorite world of mine–superheroes! I was introduced to the upcoming webseries, Just Super, and I am so stoked about it! I want everyone else to know, so I asked the creative team for an interview and they graciously obliged! Here is our talk (Harry Potter update follows at the end):
Hello! Thanks for agreeing to (virtually) sit down with me and talk about this amazing new webseries, “Just Super” ! I’m (virtually) here with Adam Carpenter: Producer, Jesi Mullins: Co-creator and Actress, and Rebecca Kopec: Co-creator and Actress! Hello, everyone.
Laura: Every superhero, as we know, has a good origin story. So, where did “Just Super” come from?
Adam: Becca and Jesi, I’m going to let you take this one.
Becca: Once upon a time, on the island of Manhattan, there was a young woman out to dinner with a good friend. I mentioned that I wanted to work in TV, described the character I’d play, and then commented that while I’d absolutely love to play a superhero, I knew no one would ever cast me in that type of role. So she suggested I create it myself. From there, I called on Jesi Mullins and together we sketched out some basic ideas for the series. From there we brought in Alan Kistler and Mary Beth Walsh to write it for us and eventually brought in Adam Carpenter to keep us all on track.
Jesi: Becca and I were destined to make this project together. We both came at it with unique perspectives and a five-hour grilled cheese brainstorm session led to a story and world much bigger than we ever could have done on our own. Alan and Mary Beth wrote it better than we ever imagined. And Adam? Without him, we’d probably still be eating grilled cheese and talking about how great it would be. Someday.
Laura: Why is the concept of a female superhero important to you?
Adam: It’s mainly been a boys club for SO long in the superhero world and comic culture. Not since Buffy left our televisions has there been a female superhero protagonist who was treated with the same respect as her male counterparts. Too often female superheroes are relegated to being the eye candy for a bunch of male heroes and the predominantly male audiences. The Marvel movies, which have done so much right, are still not putting out a female-led movie until November 2018. If no one else is going to step up and show who and what a female superhero can be, then we will make that project.
Jesi: Honestly, the “boys’ club” mentality has always bothered me because female superheroes were exactly what I wanted growing up. I was lucky; I had Xena, the X-Men, Buffy, etc., who were easily accessible. I want to be part of making that culture empowering and accessible to you girls, so they don’t feel like they have to scavenge for representation.
Becca: One of the slogans for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is, “If she can see it, she can be it.” That resonates deeply with me. Women are rarely able to be the heroes in their own stories, especially in the mainstream superhero genre. We want girls and full grown women alike to see themselves in these characters and realize they truly can be the one who saves the world.
Laura: What superheroes did you identify with, growing up?
Adam: As a guy and a nerd, I identified with Spider-Man mostly while growing up. There’s a bit of that in Just Super in the character of “Emer” who’s not the “stereotypical superhero type”. She has self doubts of her abilities to be the hero she needs to be, but that’s where her friends come in.
Becca: As a child, I was obsessed with She-Ra. As I got older, Buffy was my girl. I love that she was just this normal high school girl with normal high school problems, but yet also had this power within her- more power than she even realized at first.
Jesi: Xena is my homegirl. Any time a woman is kicking the mens’ butts, I’m in. Rogue and Gambit (separately and together). There was something about the X-Men that always spoke to me: the power of those who are different or out of place that find a home together. Also I’m pretty sure those two in the 90s cartoon taught me what romantic chemistry was.
Laura: Can you tell me more about the process of making a webseries?
Adam: Well, we haven’t started actual production yet, so I’m sure we could tell you more once we’re in the thick of it. We have eight episodes planned for the first season, with each episode coming in around 5 minutes or so. So when all is cut together, we basically have as much content as one one-hour length primetime show. The nice thing about the webseries is there is no middle man of the network. We can put up on YouTube, Vimeo, whatever the exact product we want to make, which is really freeing.
Jesi: What he said. Adam, you’re so dreamy when you talk shop.
Laura: If you had a Michael Bay-style, basically unlimited budget, how would you do “Just Super” differently?
Adam: More explosions for sure. Emer would just have the power of explosions. No, I think the heart of our story is our four main characters, Emer, Danny, Stacy, and the Trenchcoat Man, and an unlimited budget would not move us away from those character dynamics. We’d probably be able to spend money on some elaborate set pieces, some more visually interesting superpowers along the way.
Becca: Unlimited budget you say? I’d hire someone to carry me around set all day so I’d never have to walk again. I’d expand the role of Emer’s mother and hire Allison Janney (we don’t have that budget, but if you’re willing to work for free, you can still be in it, Ms. Janney!). Also hire the hottest guy in hollywood to make out with me. Make out with Emer. That’s what I meant.
Jesi: Easy: It would go toward hiring Tom Hiddleston to play my devoted yet deliciously troubled love interest. And better craft services. Roast beast for everyone!
Laura: Who are your superheroes now, both comic-book style and real-life style?
Becca: As cliche as it may be, my mom. She is one of the strongest, most independent women I know and you will never hear her admit it. Pop culturally speaking, Veronica Mars and Buffy will always be my go to girls.
Adam: I will shamefully say that I have primarily followed male superheroes in comic book form: Batman, Iron Man, Captain America. But since taking on this project, I have branched out to Captain Marvel, who is awesome! And hey, Thor’s a woman now and it’s selling better than male Thor!
Jesi: I was raised in a matriarchal family. From my Grandma Jane down to the Notorious Mama Mullins to my superwomen sisters, Jeni and Juli, I have no lack of real-life inspirations. Fictionally? Oh man, I love ‘em all. Still a hardcore X-men fan. Loving me some Carol Danvers lately. I have such a soft spot for the Hulk. Of course, comics or not, it always comes back to Xena for me!
Laura: What do you want the world to know about “Just Super”?
Becca: It’s just plain FUN. It’s a buddy comedy with super powers and wine! What’s not to love? We also want to show that while yes, it may be about women, men can still enjoy the story as well. The themes and comedy are universal.
Adam: The themes are universal, the actors are wonderful, the material is great, and this is just the beginning of Just Super. We are building a universe and a product that will only continue to grow and (we hope) will surpass the webseries medium.
Jesi: This is the show that I want to be watching on my television RIGHT NOW. It’s smart, it’s funny, it has a ton of heart, and it’s about people that everyone can recognize.
Laura: When and how can we see this wonderful series?
Becca: We’re currently in the fundraising stages and are hoping to have the finished project ready by the fall. Until then, check out our trailer (and help us make the dream a reality!) at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/just-super-the-series/x/9885096 (or the shorter link www.igg.me/at/justsuperseries)
Adam: We’ll be coming to a YouTube channel near you! Or Vimeo! Or we’ll break each episode into a series of 6 second Vines! But we will also hope to enter some film festivals for webseries and/or short films. So if you frequent those, you just may see us there!
Jesi: Soooooooon…stay tuned!
Laura: Thank you so much!!
Are you excited yet? I know I am! I hope you can pitch in a few bucks or at least spread the word–the fundraising ends TODAY!!
As for “Girl Meets Boy Who Lived”, I am reaaaally struggling with finishing HP4. The static nature of many of the characters are starting to get to me. I can only hear Malfoy sneer so many racist (sort of ) things before I start to tune out, you know? And the house-elves. I need say no more about that.
Why make a tri-wizard tournament if you’re going to have four wizards? YOU MADE IT ALL UP!! Why make rules if you’re going to break them? And it’s not like it was a surprise that Harry was going to compete. He gets everything!!
But I will slog on, dear readers, for you!! So stay tuned! And stay awesome 🙂