The first season of the web series Unicorn Plan-It just ended. It took almost 6 months for Yagg to interview one of its creators, Haviland Stillwell (with Sarah Croce on her right and Ashley Reed on her left), but it was worth the wait!
How was Unicorn Plan-It born? I love creating, especially on set, collaborating, and raising an idea from start to finish. I thought of doing a web series, and mentioned it one day at the Abbey, at a table of women that included Ashley Reed and Sarah Croce. I also knew since the beginning of the idea for Autostraddle, Riese had always wanted a web series, so she was thrilled that we wanted to house the show there. Ashley, Sarah and I brainstormed and came up with a character driven comedy.
Why did you choose the web series format? Simply because it was the most accessible. I actually think Unicorn Plan-It will work very well as a half hour sitcom, and we can really expand on the stories and characters in that format, but our resources were limited for season one, and we all felt it was better to get started and produce the show, first as short webisodes, before actively shopping it to networks.
Why «Unicorn»? There's this private joke among our bisexual readers/members who call themselves unicorns, because many people believe bisexuals don't exist, just like unicorns. We chose Unicorns because we love them! I think they're sort of the gay mascot. And regarding bisexuality, it totally exists, and anyone who believes it doesn't is clearly living a very limited life, and not allowing their brains to expand! Harmony would council these people to release their old paradigm ways of thinking. Gallop on, Unicorns.
How do you work? Who writes what?
In terms of writing, all three of us wrote all six episodes for season one. It took us about a month and many writing sessions, and we just banged it out, as J would say. There are parts that were more heavy on one of the three of us, jokes that are very clearly one person's humor or opinions that certain characters expressed that quite clearly came from one of the three of our brains.
It's the end of the first season already, will there be a second one? You'll just have to wait and see. We would like to, will just depend on funding and schedules. And what that means is, it depends on how much the fans of the show want more!
What have you heard from viewers? How did they receive the series? Were you surprised by some reactions (either positive or negative)? I am grateful that so many people love it! I've heard personally from many people, as well as on Autostraddle, facebook, etc., everything from «yay! this is hilarious!» to «the presence of this show is making it easier for me to be who I am».
If you could do it all over, what would you do differently? That is a great question. I'd like to throw it to your readers - what would you all like to see, if there is a season two? What are your thoughts and suggestions?
On Autostraddle.com, the webseries is presented as «written, directed, produced and edited by Real Lesbian Females». How important is it? Most of the projects I work on aren't gay-themed in any way, but I felt like creating a sitcom with lesbian characters for «the mainstream» that everyone finds funny, regardless of their gender or orientation, was really key. I also feel like, as an artistic professional in the entertainment industry, I want to be a consistent example of how being open leads to the most happiness and success. I am blessed to have examples all around me, and it's our job to keep paying it forward.
You received a Power Up award as one of the «10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz», you, along with Sarah Croce and Ashley Reed, were named «entrepreneurs of the Year» by Go Mag. You're ending 2011 really well. What do you expect in 2012? Lots of mindblowingly fun work, kick ass good times, and a total raising of consciousness on a global level! I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to create every day, to work with amazing collaborators, and to constantly be challenged. It truly is just the beginning. Stay tuned!
Haviland Stillwell on Facebook
Want a Unicorn Plan-It t-shirt? Go to Autostraddle's store!
Photos WingSpan Pictures