Nasty Habits, a new web series created by Christina de Leon and Katie Lee Harper, is changing the way we view storytelling. Writing the stories of multiple characters, but telling each one in a different episode, Nasty Habits is unlike any web series I’ve seen before. “What sets Nasty Habits apart is the slice-of-life anthology format. We essentially have a web series of short films. That’s how different each episode is. And telling the story with one single scene allows the audience to feel like they are in the room with these people. There’s nowhere to hide; we’re here with the characters in this one space until something is resolved,” de Leon explains, and her explanation of this web series is exactly how you feel watching it.
It’s “a collection of vignettes featuring characters participating in their own addictive habits,” as described on their website. The episodes are independent of one another, yet each one contains enough passion and plot to reach an ending. They are truly about the characters connecting with one another, and doing that while sharing a nasty habit. How vulnerable do you get when you are most comfortable?
The creators hope that while viewers watch, they find themselves saying, “me too.” They want us to relate to them in a way that’s natural. “I love moments in film and television that make you go, ‘I thought I was the only person in the world who does that, or who feels that way!’ What I strive for with this series, and in general, is to make people feel like their thoughts, fears, dreams, etc. are universal. It makes the rough patches in life so much easier to handle when you know you’re not the only one who’s gone through that circumstance.” And they’ve hit the nail on the head.
Each episode features a different nasty habit. Each episode is full, and heavy, and emotional. Each episode is about fixing what’s broken, growing up, and moving on. “There is great significance in a moment where a big decision has to be made or where someone has reached his/her breaking point and is fighting for something. These episodes often end in a ‘grow up with me, or be left behind’ kind of way. Either one character outgrows the other, or they both make the decision to better themselves.”
This series began when de Leon had to write a 5-page “cigarette scene” in an acting class. She got good feedback from it, felt inspired, and decided shooting it would be a piece of cake. “I knew nothing about film, but I was aching to make something. I got together with my best friend, Katie Lee Harper, and we decided on a web series rather than short film. This way, we could expand into other habits and tell even more stories.” They take inspiration from movies like Paris, Je T’aime and New York, I Love You, and wanted to make their own version of that.
Nasty Habits just wrapped shooting its second season. They plan on releasing the episodes in the New Year. They’re always looking for help, though, as they are self-funded. Anything would be greatly appreciated.
Nasty Habits is telling “stories that last as long as your cigarette.” So, take a break from whatever you’re doing, and tune in. You’ve got time.