The good idea syndrome

I watch a lot of TV series, and I’m sure most of you can say alike. The format has become even more popular in the last decade, and the quality bar keeps being set higher and higher. Many actors are eager to be part of an episodic show because they have a better chance at developing their character, and the viewers love to grow affection towards their weekly heroes. Also there are stories that fit much better in a serialized context.

In my opinion, the latter has always been the case of The Wakefield Variation, and besides being a fan of many shows myself, I always try to sit in front of the screen with a critical perspective: if I’m trying to make my own show, I can’t help analyzing other people’s work.

That’s why yesterday, just while Italy was showing how far behind the civilized world it still is with the controversial-to-say-the-least family day, I decided the give a shot to the highly praised Amazon Prime‘s show Transparent.

The series tells the story of a family who find out their father, played by Jeffrey Tambor, is a transgender. I just recommend you this show and I won’t go through many details, I’ll just focus on the soundtrack here. The characters find some old records at their dad’s house: when they run into Jim Croce’s Operator, they start to sing along. You might remember my Songs in the key of Wakefield category posts, in which I mentioned the lyrics to Time in a Bottle to be pretty pertinent to the story I was trying to tell.

You may think that Operator has a more specific background which wouldn’t suit The Wakefield Variation as flawlessly: but what is Wakefield trying to do, if not trying to reach out to his ex girlfriend? All right, he’s got his way to do it, and he’s definitely beyond pay phones… but it’s undeniable that he has unresolved issues with that relationship. That’s basically the point of the show, as told in the three-parter web pilot.

I always imagined to use covered versions of existing songs in the show, alongside the original soundtrack, and I’ve been thinking that a female voice could be great to sing Jim Croce. It could be diegetic, with Eleanor or some other character (hint: three more female characters have been outlined during these years of undisclosed development) playing/singing on screen, for some reason. When I saw, and heard, Operator played by the two girls at the end of the pilot episode of Transparent, I had an epiphany.

Maybe I won’t be able to feature a song by Jim Croce in my show, maybe I’ll never get to take The Wakefield Variation to the next level. But I got a confirmation that I might have had a good idea, and that’s enough to keep me in the game, for now.


Interview with Kelsey Gillis

Lisa & KelseyGood Morning everybody! Let me introduce you to TWV’s female protagonist, Wakefield’s girlfriend, that will be played by Kelsey Gillis! A very nice, pretty and sunny Canadian actress.
Yesterday morning Gianluca, Alessandro, Aurora and Kelsey went to Torre del Lago in order to shoot the Teaser Trailer that will be ready soon for you all to watch. In the afternoon I joined them to interview our actress and discover who she is and how she came across TVW’s project. I found out quite a lot of interesting things about her that I would like to share with you.

Lisa: First of all, where are you from and what do you do?
Kelsey: I come from Vancouver BC – Canada – far on the west coast and I am an actor and a student. I’m currently studying graphic design and fine arts in Florence.
L: That’s why you live here!
K: Yes, exactly, that’s why I’m currently living here.
L: And what’s your experience in acting and films?
K: Quite a bit actually. Professionally in the past 4 years, in between my school projects, I’ve done 3 or 4 feature films, a bunch of short films, a couple of episodes on tv… so, it’s been good.
L: It’s a lot! How old are you?
K: I’m 24.
L: So, it’s a lot for your age.
K: Well, yeah, I guess.
L: Have you ever played a role similar to Wakefield’s girlfriend?
K: No, not at all. Which is why it is very intriguing for me, it’s very unlike any role I’ve played which is cool!
L: How did you find out about TVW?
K: I found out on Florence craigslist.
L: What made you decide to apply?
K: I just had a feeling about it. I thought “Ok, why not? It’s cool. I mean, I’m here, I miss working in film, it’s my first love, it’s interesting…”. And I just sent my stuff.
L: I can imagine. And what stroke you the most about this project?
K: I guess the initial emails and the tone of the project that was introduced to me, I found it really compelling.
L: Nothing about the plot?
K: Oh, yeah, I mean the plot… By the tone I mean the plot, yes the plot! Hahahah
L: Hahahah. And this morning you were shooting the teaser trailer in Torre del Lago, that’s also the setting of a scene of the short film. Any comments? What do you think about the setting and the environment?
K: Yes, I think that it is perfect for the setting and the environment. I think the atmosphere of the environment is full of energy.
L: Is there anything about your character and your future interpretation that worries you?
K: No, no worries.
L: You just feel confident about it.
K: Definetely, and I am looking forward to the more… the deeper and deeper I go into the role, the more I uncover and discover about the character and the more of my personality I can bring into her.
L: You haven’t already read the script, have you?
K: Yes, I have.
L: Oh, that’s why! Hahah. And have you thought about this project’s future? Can you predict anything? I mean… success?
K: Oh, yes, I have. I think it would be such an intriguing and different series to be put out there, because there isn’t anything like it for what I’ve seen in the general market. And I think a lot of people can identify with it, hopefully. It think it will be a great different identifiable thing to bring to the world.
L: So, your hope is to keep on doing it…
K: Yeah, that’d be great.

Buongiorno a tutti! Permettetemi di presentarvi la protagonista femminile di The Wakefield Variation, la fidanzata di Wakefield che sarà interpretata da Kelsey Gillis, attrice canadese, simpatica, carina e solare.
Ieri mattina Gianluca, Alessandro, Aurora e Kelsey sono andati a Torre del Lago per girare il Teaser Trailer che sarà pronto a breve. Nel pomeriggio li ho raggiunti per intervistare la nostra attrice e scoprire chi sia e come si sia imbattuta nel nostro progetto. Ho scoperto un sacco di cose interessanti su di lei che vorrei condividere con voi.

Lisa: Prima di tutto, da dove vieni e cosa fai nella vita?
Kelsey: Vengo da Vancouver – Canada – lontano sulla costa ovest, sono un’attrice e una studentessa. Al momento sto studiando design e belle arti a Firenze.
L: Ah, è per questo che vivi in Italia.
K: Sì, esattamente, è per questo che al momento vivo qui.
L: E che esperienza hai nella recitazione e nel mondo del cinema?
K: Abbastanza. Professionalmente, negli ultimi 4 anni, ho fatto 3 o 4 lungometraggi, diversi cortometraggi e un paio di episodi alla tv… sì, una buona esperienza.
L: E’ tantissimo! Quanti anni hai?
K: 24.
L: E’ tantissimo per la tua età!
K: Beh, penso di sì.
L: Hai mai interpretato un ruolo simile alla fidanzata di Wakefield?
K: No, assolutamente. Per questo è molto affascinante per me, è molto diverso da qualsiasi altro ruolo che abbia mai fatto!
L: Come hai scoperto TWV?
K: L’ho trovato per caso su Florence craiglist (sito di annunci ndr).
L: Che cosa ti ha spinto a contattarci?
K: Avevo un presentimento. Ho pensato “Ok, perché no? Sono qui, mi manca lavorare nel cinema, è il mio primo amore, il progetto è interessante…”. E così ho inviato il mio materiale.
L: Capisco. E cosa ti ha colpito di più di questo progetto?
K: Penso che siano state le email iniziali ed il tono del progetto, come mi è stato presentato. L’ho trovato molto avvincente.
L: Niente della trama?
K: Oh, sì, intendo la trama.
L: Questa mattina, avete girato il teaser trailer a Torre del Lago, che sarà l’ambientazione di una scena del cortometraggio. Che impressione hai avuto? Cosa ne pensi?
K: Penso che sia perfetto per il set e l’ambientazione. Penso che abbia un’atmosfera piena di energia.
L: C’è qualcosa del tuo personaggio o della tua futura interpretazione che ti preoccupa?
K: No, nessuna preoccupazione.
L: Ti senti sicura.
K: Assolutamente, e non vedo l’ora di andare più a fondo nel personaggio, così da poter scoprire più cose e darle qualcosa della mia personalità.
L: Non hai ancora letto la sceneggiatura?
K: L’ho letta.
L: Ah, ecco perché! E hai pensato al futuro di questo progetto? Puoi predire qualcosa? Successo?
K: Oh, sì. Penso che sarebbe una serie così intrigante e diversa, perché non c’è niente di simile nel mercato, per quello che ho visto. E penso che molte persone potranno identificarcisi. Credo che sarà qualcosa di davvero diverso e riconoscibile da portare nel mondo.
L: Quindi la tua speranza è quella di continuare…
K: Sì, sarebbe fantastico.

meet the actress

Just a brief introduction post before the exclusive interview we are about to publish…. anyway, meet Kelsey Gillis, the first official cast member of The Wakefield Variation!


Giusto un breve post di introduzione prima dell’intervista esclusiva che pubblicheremo a breve… in ogni caso, ecco a voi Kelsey Gillis, la prima attrice che entra ufficialmente a far parte del cast di The Wakefield Variation!

Kelsey Gillis

Great news ahead, again

Ok, we’ve been writing this many times before, and we do sincerly hope we didn’t let you down. So, for you people that are still with us… well, next week is going to be the first major milestone for The Wakefield Variation: we’ll introduce you the female lead (yes, we have finally cast her… still looking for Wakefield though) along the new title graphics and…. we’ll shoot some test footage to be used in the first teaser trailer! The whole process will be covered by this blog, our tweets and facebook page, so keep following us!


Ok, più di una volta vi abbiamo annunciato “grandi notizie”, e speriamo di non avervi deluso finora. Comunque, per quelli che ancora sono con noi – sappiamo comunque che sono sempre in crescita – la prossima settimana sarà davvero piena di novità per The Wakefield Variation: presenteremo l’attrice protagonista (sì, l’abbiamo finalmente trovata, stiamo ancora cercando Wakefield però) insieme alla nuova grafica…. e soprattutto, gireremo del materiale per il primo teaser trailer! Tutto il processo sarà seguito da questo blog, i nostri tweet e la nostra pagina facebook, quindi seguiteci!



casting call now open!

Ok, let’s put the crowdfunding hassle aside for a moment, and focus on the actual filmmaking process. It’s time to look for talent! For The Wakefield Variation, we’re looking for:

  • 1 Actress, age 20-30
  • 1 Actor, age 25-35

As you should already know, the short is internationally oriented for marketing and festivals, and previous experience is appreciated. The filming will take place in Florence/Pisa/Lucca (we’re scouting locations right now) and will be in english: we won’t accept applications from non-native english-speakers. We ask for a resume with pictures (full shot + face) for first selection. Please spread the word! (And while you’re at it, what about a donation?)