Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’m going to mention it again like I do most things, my sister and I have a youtube channel.

So far, we’ve made three web series. It started in 2015, the year our mom died. I don’t know if it’s because she died that we decided to start making videos as something to do since maybe somewhere inside we knew that the first two months of summer would be quiet and strange with just us in the house while our dad worked. Or maybe it was because we had genuinely talked about making videos for a while before an idea that interested us both finally came to us. Maybe it was a combination of the two, but for whatever reason, my sister and I decided to make videos online with some people we knew from university and that was that.

Making web series’ ended up being a perfect combination of our interests. Since I love writing, I usually outline the scripts before I start writing them with my sister close by with her ideas and edits as I go. My sister loves acting so she ends up acting in them, usually as one of the leads but sometimes as a side character. Another one of our friends loves filming and editing and enjoys helping us with that aspect of our company, and another is a talented hair and make-up artist who has made everyone in our series’ look fantastic. Add a handful of friends who like acting, a we were lucky enough to have a group of people who wanted to be a part of some of our projects, despite the fact that we generally couldn’t pay them (definitely not much)*.

We aren’t very popular. Over the four years that we’ve had the channel we’ve only recently made it over the 150 subscriber mark, and we generally range from fifty-seventy views per video, and yeah, that can be frustrating. But my sister and I aren’t making these videos to be stars or to make it big, we’re doing it because we like to do it, and because with every series we do we learn something new. With every new script I write I learn something new about script writing that I didn’t before, and with each new character my sister plays she adds another range to what she can play.

So far in our film making careers (if you could call it that) we haven’t made anything original. I fell in love with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern web series adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and wanted to try adapting some beloved book like they did, which led to us choosing Charlotte’s Web as our first foray into film making. Our second web series was based on a historical event of the Hare and Burke murders but imagined what it would have been like if these murders took place in a modern day university, and became a satire and dark comedy on university life and student debt. Our third, and currently airing web series brought us back to the literary world with a modern adaption of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but from Rosaline’s perspective as a storytime vlogger.

Our last web series was probably my favourite to film. We somehow managed to stay on schedule and finished filming right on time (and finished early on our last day!), we had an absolutely amazing and dedicated crew who were willing to wake up early on many Saturday mornings, and an incredibly talented cast who also came early on many Saturday mornings with their lines memorized and ready to act.

It seemed so long to film, and I can’t believe the last episode is going to air on Wednesday. It’s going to be weird not posting about it anymore. It took so long and so much to make, and just like that it’s finished.

Of course, my sister and I plan on continuing with making web series. I already have an idea for our next one, another literary inspired one. I’d love to do an original at some point, but what’s been brewing on that end always ends up more complicated in my head. I need to re-read the book before I start brainstorming and outlining what I want to do with this next literary one, but the new idea I have is making me pretty excited.

But each year it gets harder to make web series, and the simple reason for that is that most people involved in our web series have full-time jobs, and finding time to film and edit and memorize lines while working five-six days a week makes it pretty difficult, and pretty tiring. It doesn’t mean the end of film making, but it does mean we have to change the way we do our next series to make it easier for all involved. So far this means a shorter series with maybe ten episodes, much like The Femmes Fatale, as well as a smaller cast so that we don’t have to worry about getting a huge number of people memorizing lines. A smaller cast and fewer actors will also mean less filming days (hopefully), and if all goes as planned, we can film this next series fast and get it ready for fall.

Once it’s written of course.

I think a lot about how long we can keep this going, and sadly I don’t think it will be for too many more years. With getting older and working and all the other things that come with growing up, the one thing in common is less time. Even if we can’t make web series in the future though, I’d love if we could post every so often just to keep the channel alive. But I won’t worry about how long we’ll be doing this or when it will end, instead I’ll focus on the end of Any Other Rosie and what will come next, and how much fun we’ll have doing it.

*We gave them lots and lots of food though! 

(AMAZING graphic for Any Other Rosie made by the talented Jenna McGill!)

(Also, if you’d like to watch Any Other Rosie, or any of our past web series, you can do so here)

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