Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, then you’re probably aware that TV is evolving. And, by evolving -- I mean traditional television is fading into the background and streaming content is stepping into the forefront. Dare I suggest that perhaps we’re in the midst of an artistic revolution? Yes.

One such evolutionary/revolutionary original web series worth paying attention to is the hybrid soap-meets-drama-meets-thriller, Split.

With two seasons under its belt, Split has racked up several festival awards and nominations at LA WebFest, Indie Series Awards and NexTV Web Series Competition. The show has also gained lots of fans along with way and this July it goes international heading to KO WebFest 2015 , Northeast Asia’s first ever web series festival.

Split comes from creator/producer Rebecca Norris and co-writer/co-producer Gabrielle Glenn , who I recently had a chance to interview to find out more about this successful web show.

Q: What can you tell us about the first two seasons of your web series Split?

Rebecca: SPLIT is a soapy/drama-thriller web series that follows Dana Lafferty, a devoted wife and mother, who’s blindsided when she receives an anonymous letter revealing that her husband of 15 years, James, has been leading a double life. They engage in a bitter divorce, wherein Dana discovers more than she bargained for about the man she thought she knew. As soon as Dana thinks the worst is behind her, she finds herself in the crosshairs of her ex and the “other woman” in James’ life, both of whom want Dana's family for their own. Dana must figure out a way to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and defeat her enemies before it's too late.

The unique thing about SPLIT is that it crosses over between different genres, which I like to call “genre smash”. It’s a drama, but definitely has a soapy aspect to it, as well as suspense thriller and a touch of comedy. We developed it that way on purpose, to ground the series and make it feel relatable to viewers. Rarely in real life is a moment ALL drama or ALL comedy. There’s often several emotions at play, and I feel that SPLIT captures that well. The beauty of making a web series is that there are no hard-and-fast rules, and no one telling you, “No, you can’t do that.”

As far as the production of the series, we shot season one and season two at once, over the course of 5 days, which was quite an undertaking as you can imagine! I edited the episodes, and we released the two seasons on YouTube and SplitTheSeries.com over the course of about a year.


Q: How did you originally come up with the idea for the series?

Rebecca: In the back of my mind, I’d had an idea for some time about a woman getting a letter revealing her life has been a lie. It actually happened to someone I knew in the past. I thought about how difficult it would be if you thought your life was on a certain path, to have it ripped out from underneath you without warning. So the kernel of that idea had been planted awhile back.

Then a few years ago, I was taking a film class and our assignment was to make a short film that incorporated little to no dialogue. I had no money to make the film, so I thought I’d better figure out what resources I could find for free. In the building I lived in had a conference room and large parking structure available to the residents. So I came up with the idea of a divorce mediation gone bad, and then the “mistress,” who in that story was the husband’s divorce lawyer, goes after the ex-wife, hunting her down in the parking garage.

I shot the short film, which had a cliffhanger ending, and it seemed like it would be a great pilot idea for a series. I met producer Gabrielle Glenn, and pitched her the idea, and she was interested in writing and producing the web series with me. So we developed and shot it, and here we are, two seasons later!

Q: Anything surprise you about where the show started and where it is now?

Rebecca: Since we filmed both seasons at once, we knew where the show was going to progress to, story-wise. We’ve been surprised and very pleased with interest people have had in the show, and the positive critical response. Our audience has been steadily increasing as we’ve been working hard to get the word out.

Q: Will there be a season three?

Rebecca: We’re about to embark on season three, and will be striving for it to be the best season yet. Dana will be put through the ringer. Let’s hope she gets out alive!

Q: Is there different pressure now that it’s a critical success?

Rebecca: I think the only pressure now is to make sure that the next season lives up to and outdoes the previous two. We also hope to have the same kind of critical acclaim for our next season as our last two have had.

Gabrielle: I think so, but I don't feel too much pressure from outside sources. My goal is to make each season better than the last.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from this project?

Rebecca: I learned to release a bit of my perfectionism, because it prevents you from finishing projects. I had a set amount of time to work on each episode, and then had to post each one. I learned to do the best work I could, and then release it, literally and figuratively, so I could move on to the next.

Gabrielle: Prioritize and communicate often. Shooting 10 episodes in under a week takes a lot of organization and everyone should always be on the same page.

Q: What else is coming up for you and the series in the near future?

Rebecca: Aside from developing season three of SPLIT, I’m currently writing a book called MAKE A WEB SERIES OR SHORT FILM FOR LESS THAN YOU SPEND ON COFFEE. I read a statistic that people spend roughly $1100 a year just on coffee. I thought that rather than drown their frustrations in caramel macchiatos, writers, actors, and directors could help jump start their careers for that much money by writing and producing their own work.

I’m also teaching two web series classes coming up, an online class through Screenwriters University.com, and a live class at Script Anatomy in Los Angeles, as well as developing a suspense thriller novel and screenplay. Needless to say, I don’t sleep much!

Gabrielle: We're writing season three soon and working on pitching investors for the upcoming season. I'm trying to grow my own freelance business in my free time.

Watch “SPLIT” the series at: www.SplitTheSeries.com
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