Kickstarter’s sixth week features the multi-talented creators and stars of BROAD CITY, G.L.O.C.s ILANA GLAZER and ABBI JACOBSON, who, in their second season, have a Kickstarter campaign to reach the next level of awesome. Let’s hear a little more about their project and their experience with Kickstarter.
You’re in front of the networks – how would you pitch Broad City so that someone unfamiliar with the show can get a grasp of it in two minutes?
ILANA: We’re a buddy show that asks what the Odd Couple would be like if it cast young women and what Sex & the City would be without endless wealth. New York City is our set, Curb Your Enthusiasm is our lighting with Dazed and Dazed & Confused gels. In a generation of prolonged adolescence, our characters strive to come of age gracefully which proves impossible in an age where the majority of human interaction happens on online.
ABBI: What is New York really like for single women in their twenties? We’re not living in Soho lofts and skipping over puddles in high heels. Our show examines the everyday trials, tribulations and triumphs of two friends coming into their own, next to each other. Their relationship—this love/hate back and forth is what grounds you as you explore their ups and downs and sticky situations. And all that jazzy stuff Ilana said up top.
What is your process when it come to approaching episodes for Broad City? Is everything situationally based? Emotionally based? A combination?
I: Our fave is when it starts with a real thing that was funny and happened to either one of us or a friend. Sometimes, though, it’s just a bit or a topic we want to cover or play out and see what happens. Other times—usually Abbi’s idea—we’ll just try something crazy like Do The Right Thing. D*ck Magnet is a paradoxical problem that seems to consistently happen upon our friend a.k.a. a dick’s too big, which is obvz hilarz. Making Change was an idea I wanted to play out, and I love Ab’s reaction because I still don’t know who’s “right” or whatever. Instant Karma is wanting to share the feeling of being not cool enough for stuff, which happens all the time in New York.
A: Yeah, I think we prefer to base the episodes off of some truth if we can. For instance, in Do The Right Thing, even though it was this sort of crazy idea, a lot of the actual ideas within the episode were based on things that actually happened. I make a lot of eye contact on the streets of New York (bad idea), and in turn, I get a lot of really fucked up stuff said to me–and thus came about a lot of the male suitor’s dialogue and the overall idea that we’re not gonna take it anymore! It’s fun to see a project through and look back and realize where it came from.
(Keep reading our interview with the Broad City broads, more after the jump…)
Has this project impacted you personally? In what way? How has it impacted you creatively?
I: This project has helped me become more concrete, which I think any project or self-induced process does. It helps me define what I like and what I don’t like—artistically, in people, in myself, comedically, etc. I’m learning the level of bullshit I can (no longer) tolerate and how far I’ll go to bypass that point in whatever process. It’s helped me in stand-up because shaping your voice in a duo is similar to shaping your voice when the partner is your audience. I’ve learned I like being an H.B.I.C [Head Bitch In Charge], and I love collaboration.
A: This project has completely changed my confidence. I think in comedy, and probably any career where you’re passionate about something, you doubt yourself, and can be very insecure about your own ability and ideas. With this project I think I overcame that with a mixture of “I think I’m actually good at this!” and “Fuck it, I’m just gong to put my shit out there!” Writing something, and bringing it to life is so rewarding, and having that product has made me feel differently about my work and skill as an actor, comedy writer, and producer of things. In terms of my creativity, this has really helped me define my voice, and trust my instincts. I go after what I want more now, and it’s very exciting.
What is your message with BROAD CITY?
I: Ooh, this is so validating! One message is that in this world and in our generation, there’s an abyss of fleeting relationships and memories, and people go in and out of your life, but there are also still people you love and/or stick with unconditionally, and I guess that’s comforting in a way. Another message is that some women don’t give a fuck if they’re not considered the absolutely hottest girl in the room and actually prefer to have their strengths lie within their intellect—it may not be new, but it’s worth repeating. Another message responds to, I think, all the underdog male protagonists we see in film & TV: women feel silly in dating situations, too.
A: Yeah, I love this question. Ilana and I talk about this a lot. Women can be strong and vulnerable at the same time. We can be disgusting and beautiful, smart and silly. I love thinking and playing around with those opposites, and creating really well rounded characters, because that’s how I feel about my own life. I hope people feel a bit of a “Get it!” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but it is what it is.
Is there anyone else who contributes to the project?
I: Omg yes!!! We work with all different directors and editors. ROB MICHAEL HUGEL edited and directed a half to two-thirds of the first season and has really directed our tone that we still retain. ALEX CHARAK and GREG MURTHA edited and directed Under The Mistletoe, MATT CADY directed and edited Yoga, LUCIA ANIELLO d&e’d Vchat, JOHN MILHISER d&e’d You Can Have Him, SATHYA VIJAYENDRAN shot Instant Karma beautifully, PAUL BRIGANTI of Landline TV directed Mom Brunch, and TIM BIERBAUM d&e’d Do The Right Thing. Everything else was directed and edited by ROB. Our actors are individually recognized on our cast page (click hurr). They’re all multi-talented artists who are passionate enough to work for free-very little + food, for which we thank them repeatedly. Working with other people is seriously the most fun part–human interaction, y’all!
A: Yes, all of what Ilana said. Season 2 is a ton of collaborations as well. It’s really such a big part of it–getting to work with all these amazing people. We’ve made so many new friends through these shoots and it’s become a social thing as well. We should also mention THE COOK TRIO, who does the music for the credits and a lot throughout. ROB introduced them to us, and picked the song for the show and that has been a huge thing.
How has the project changed or grown along the way?
I: We’ve started paying our director/editors in Season 2—not much compared to what they normally make, but it’s something, at least. That’s made our process more efficient. We’ve become more disciplined about writing, which has to happen to simply keep going and certainly in order to get better. It’s hard to do, but it also instant gratification.
A: The pre-production has changed drastically. For the second season, we wrote the entire season first—which is almost the opposite of how the first season went. We plan and produce, and it pretty much takes up most of our space in our brains and lives. I think we know what works and what we like a lot faster now. We’re much more confident as a team in our ideas and our collective voice.
What has been the most challenging element of this project?
I: Having enough time to live and feel like a human being and not just a self-fulfilling snake-eating-itself robot. I think that’s also important for performance. Draining my savings is scary for me ’cause I’m a big Jew. I want to just let it go, and I remind (lie to) myself that it will be returned, but who knows.
A: It takes up a lot of our lives. Ilana and I see each other every single day and sometimes we specifically have to plan out days where we are not allowed to talk to each other to stay sane! It is something we are so passionate about and want it to be the absolute best it can be, but it really is a ton of work and I feel like I don’t socialize as much as I used to or really get a lot of downtime. It is very much worth it, and every Monday when a new episode comes out, the excitement of that far outweighs the fact that I am eating take-out alone with my Prismacolor markers drawing people’s names for our credits.
How did you get involved with Kickstarter?
I: I forget how I came across it, but I loved the site when I saw it. The layout is really exciting with the ticker, and you feel like you’re a part of something. We were planning on shooting a pilot with our own money and for a smaller budget than we’re pitching for on KS. But why not at least try on Kickstarter first? We saw other comedians promoting projects that way and had to go for it. At least try.
A: I saw something someone posted awhile ago for their friend’s band who was trying to raise money to produce and album, and started browsing the site. Ilana and I have been talking since the summer about producing a short film or a pilot and Kickstarter seemed like a great way to help us do that.
Is Kickstarter something you’d recommend for other creative ladies?
I: Oh yes, for sure. It’s a forum that rewards creativity and thoughtful packaging, and I think women have been trained to treat themselves that way—like a neat little package to sell to a dude for marriage. But women also channel those traits into business endeavors, and I think they’re pretty awesome at it. Get it, mamaz!!!!! Chyeah! But also anybody can use and benefit from it, and perusing the site makes you feel good about the world because people make beautiful things.
A: Absolutely. It’s a wonderful site, and is a great tool to potentially get your project funded. I’d say make a video for it—that was recommended for us to do. Have a clear idea of the end goal, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Would you like to add anything else?
I: Sure! You’re great, G.L.O.C. is hot as hell, and Glennis the Menace is a badass bitch! Mwah, bitches!
A: Yeah, I love this site and I’m so excited that you guys have included us!
You can donate to BROAD CITY‘s Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/broadcity/broad-city-pilot?ref=live
Find out more about the show and ABBI and ILANA at http://broadcitytheshow.com.