I've wanted to create a web series for awhile now. As someone who's been writing since I was in elementary school and who created my first website in high school (I'm old enough that that was roughly my first opportunity to do so), it seemed like kind of a no-brainer.
When I saw folks I looked up to like Felicia Day and Joss Whedon put themselves out there with The Guild and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, my first flush of inspiration came over me. I came up with a few idea and even began writing a few of them. But they were, shall we say, a little overly ambitious for girl that didn't have a camera, a budget, a crew or anything you could remotely recognize as resources. I needed to do two things: 1) Learn to be a better writer and 2) Think smaller.
I feel like I'll always be doing Step 1, but working through iO Chicago's writing program definitely helped me a lot. I had a great teacher (former SNL writer Nate Herman) and some fantastic and talented classmates that, through collaboration, feedback and just general inspiration, helped me get funnier and better. I wrote jokes, sketches, late-night TV sketches, TV episodes...and some of them were actually alright.
I should've embraced Step 2 a lot sooner than I did, but my own version of the 2 Redheads lightning bolt hit last summer after attending the ATX Television Festival. (Sidebar: I'll be attending again this June and competing as a finalist in the Pitch Competition.) As an avid Dan Harmon fan, I was aware of the existence of Channel 101 and had visited the site, but after sitting in on the 10th anniversary panel with Harmon and Rob Schrab at ATX, I had a new level of energy about creating something of my own and this time I was committed to thinking smaller.
I thought about what resources I could draw upon in creating my first web series and Hayley Rice was one of the first people I thought of. I knew Hayley was a talented actress, in addition to being a friend and a tenant living in the apartment below me. If she was game, it seemed like a perfect pairing as I knew we could probably get away with using her apartment for the shoot. (FYI: Hayley no longer lives in my building, but we did end up using her apartment for most of the first episode.) At that point I started thinking about what would be fun for us to do and Hayley and I have two very important things in common: 1) We both have bright red hair and 2) We like comics, superheroes and have frequently bonded over our mutual love of X-Men (at her request, I dressed as Dark Phoenix for her bachelorette party).
The title 2 Redheads came first because, well, obviously. Making the redheads amateur superheroes followed shortly. In putting together the first episode and the arc for the 10-episode first season, I utilized the knowledge I'd gleaned from studying at iO, as well as Dan Harmon's story circle method. While we have fun with superpowers and snappy pop-culture-referencing humor, the centerpiece of the series is the friendship between the main characters (I refuse to call it a "womance" because ew).
After that there have been many fortunate occurrences. It started with Hayley liking the first episode and wanting to do it (man, would I have been boned if she didn't). It followed with Claire—one of the best people I know at making things happening—deciding she wanted to try her hand at producing. And it's been further succeeded by a merry band of friends, loved ones and acquaintances lending a hand to take 2 Redheads from a random thought after a long weekend to a real thing that soon people will be watching with their eyeballs. It's been a fun ride and I can't wait to see where we end up next.