What was your biggest challenge during your first season?
Carmilla and Laura’s twitter and tumblr feeds were our main pillars. They started 2 months or so prior to the first drop of episodes. They were fun because they a) were purely character driven b) offered an alternate POV than the one Laura shared through her vlogs c) could be used to explore all the off screen ‘action’ shenanigans we were never able to show.
we also experimented with wattpad, which wasn’t a great fit, and podcasts for season 3: loved those. The more character driven, the better.
is it weird to be famous? What’s that like?
How do you organize your multimedia storytelling in a way that doesn’t confuse viewers? That’s always my worry with transmedia- it’s hard enough to get people to click on ONE link or just subscribe in ONE place, let along several
- Delivering an entire tween series through an app. No room for audience growth, very hard to share.
- A 3D motion comic series. The format was dead before we started, hah.
- Losing sight of the intimacy of the format in our second season of Carmilla. Finding the right balance of listening/changing course.
Signal boost for some older questions!
As much as it’s neat to see all the feeds integrated - the series also needs to stand on its own, regardless of transmedia. We also phased out Wattpad and didn’t wade into insta or FB. The character driven feeds on twitter & tumblr) were also on the platforms the fandom was operating in already, so the ask was manageable and allowed the characters to interact with fans in-world.
Can you expand on this? I’m curious to hear your thoughts, as moving to new seasons is always a weird transition!
Other than transmedia, what is your general marketing strategy, and what does your marketing outreach look like? I feel like audience building is still something that confuses me a lot.
For branded digital series, ‘regular’ digital ones or TV? All different processes. For branded - getting a strong idea of what they’re after, what their desired ROI is, and what the “tone/feel” of their messaging is. Then we come back with series we had previously optioned/developed. Want to make sure they are shows we’d make anyways. This doesn’t always work - IE some brands really want a simple, broad sitcom - but we always try to steer them in the direction of ultra niche series with global appeal.
When/why did you decide to make the Carmilla movie? Was that always the plan, or was it just that you wanted to keep making stories in that world?
An older ask about brand plus -
We try to keep the brand plugs outside the show itself. Easier to make cheeky, self-referential instagram post than to shoehorn them into the narrative. Again, doesn’t always work - the agencies will tend to favour “quantity of brand mentions” over quality, even against the brand’s wishes. One of my favourites will always be in MsLabelled Season 1 - comedian Sara Hennessey improv’d on set. She blurted out, “you better quattro those things” and that was a hilarious plug of the razors.
This is definitely a question for the cast, not me!
A lot of shouting into the void. In a nutshell: a) identifying which fandoms might have overlap with yours b) reaching out to 20-30 potential viewers a day for 2-3 months, and c) the general press outreach and article pitches. Having a clear idea of who the show is for and where that community lives is key.
You’re famous too! You have like 17,000 twitter followers!
for instance - we thought we’d have a lot more overlap with Pretty Little Liars than we did. We saw an uptick of Orphan Black fans, so we pivoted our strategy in S1 to focus less on PLL, and more on OB fandom.
More signal boosts! Boy, this sure got out of hand quickly Thanks for all the awesome questions, folks!!
How could you tell where fans were from?
It was something we wanted to do while prepping for season 3. Whether or not we were going to be able to do it depended on a) getting funding for the concept trailer and campaign from the OMDC (Ontario Media Dev Corp) and approval from the corporate bosses. Now ideally we’ll get the chance to make the hour long series.
How did you choose Jordan Hall as Carmilla’s writer? And what were you looking for in the cast? Adherence to the overall tone of the piece? Potential appeal to your target audience? Or something you would be eager to read/watch yourself as well, as the writing has obviously been layered to appeal beyond its target audience?