Interested in web series? AKA short (4-10 min per episode), fun sized series on YouTube that cram as much story into one episode as an hour-long show would. Looking for suggestions? Seek no more. We’re bringing you Talk Web Series With Us, featuring a new web series every week! Sit back, relax, log onto YouTube, and explore the stories web series have to offer!
Next stop: Brains
Bri Castellini, in a college playwriting class, was assigned to write a five-minute scene in a non-stage location. “I chose one of the tiny piano practice room with notoriously slow-closing doors, and decided the funniest thing to do was to cram as many people into the space as possible,” she explains in a recent interview. She also wanted a supernatural element in the mix, but a supernatural element that was just “a bother, more than an immediate concern.” She ended up with a scene of a girl trying to break up with her boyfriend, but constantly being interrupted by a zombie apocalypse. The assignment was a success and soon became the web series it is today- Brains.
In this series, zombies can function normally as long as they’re eating enough… well, brains. It’s taking the popular idea of a zombie apocalypse, and instead of making it the focal point of the series, it’s putting it on the back burner. It’s non-news. There are far more things to worry about in this world Castellini created- like boyfriends!
“The apocalypse is very much treated like this giant annoyance rather than a dire situation, and I believe it’s the only piece of apocalyptic zombie fiction that deals with the world after the worst is over, rather than right in the middle,” Castellini explains when asked what makes this different than other zombie films. “It’s a zombie story that really isn’t about zombies at all- it’s about how the world bounces back from an extinction-level event and the way priorities and relationships and plans have to realign in a new, very different landscape.” Brains is forming its own niche in genre television where an apocalypse is happening but isn’t important. It’s telling a story so different than what we typically see, and it’s telling it well.
Castellini plays the female lead, Alison Sumner, and is also the go-to gal for everything and anything behind the scenes- writing, creating, and producing. She’s passionate about her work, seeing herself deep into the film industry in her future. She would love to get this series to six seasons, “to complete the story without exhausting the characters past their believable arcs.” Season 2 just premiered last week. She’s written a season 3, she’s outlined a season 4, and has concepts for a season 5 and 6. Living, filming, and producing in New York City is expensive, though. “Unless we get real famous real fast, or win the lottery, or some combination therein, we will not get to produce a season 3, let alone produce four more seasons.” She goes on, “Are there any eccentric billionaires reading this right now? I’d even take a vaguely eccentric millionaire! You just have to provide the funds- I’ll organize everything else!” Just in case those millionaires are reading!
Six seasons or not, Castellini just wants her audience to laugh. She wants viewers to relate to and understand the characters, and genuinely care about what happens to them. “I care so much about the experiences and struggles of every character, and I guess the big thing is that I hope people see how multidimensional even the seemingly one-note characters are,” she notes. She’s loved doing this so far. “I also got to see my work come alive, which is such a humbling experience. Andrew Williams, our series director, helped shape Alison in such a specific, kickass way, and all the individual actors lent such a genuine touch to all their characters in ways I couldn’t have even imagined,” she replied when asked what she’s gotten out of this experience so far. “I don’t think I could ever stop listing things!” She pays tribute to the passionate fans of the series and notes it’s an “indescribable honor” for their support. The rest of the cast (Colin Hinckley, Marshall Taylor, Kmur Hardeman, and Masha Danilenko) feels the same way, “People we don’t know like us and think we’re talented because of this silly thing we filmed amongst friends in between day jobs and school. That is so crazy.”
So, check out Brains- a series going against apocalyptic norms, and having an incredible time doing it.