by Lorie Lewis Ham
Earlier this year I was approached by Yael Shavitt about her web series Split. I checked out the first episode, which was all that was available, and loved it! It is an interesting fantasy web series featuring an LGBTQ character. After watching the episode, I interviewed Yeal about the series which she created, wrote, and stars in.
KRL: Can you give us the basic premise for Split?
Yael: Split is a web series about two possible paths that one life might take. An early decision in a young girl’s life creates a split in her world, sending her off on two parallel paths into alternate futures.
KRL: How did the idea for Split come to be? Why did you want to tell this story?
Yael: A few years ago I simply woke up early one morning with the seed of the idea for Split in my head. I think it literally woke me up. Many drafts and rewrites later, I can say that I wanted to explore the impact of the choices we make and how one pivotal decision can create a ripple effect that alters the path of our life.
KRL: How long did it take from idea to actually starting to film?
Yael: It took about three years. Most of that time I was writing and rewriting, on and off, while working on other projects. When I had a solid draft of the script, I decided to put together a creative team, and together we planned pre-production and production for the pilot.
KRL: Why did you choose to do this as a web series?
Yael: I felt like the short-form serialized format fit the style and tone of the project. And in terms of producing, a web series felt manageable. It’s still such an open form that you can use it in whatever way best serves the story you’re telling. And, of course, another beautiful thing about it is that you have direct access to your audience.
KRL: Was having an all female production team and crew a choice, or did it just happen that way?
Yael: It was absolutely a choice. I knew I wanted an all-female creative team early on. It felt right for the story, and I also just wanted to collaborate with other women filmmakers on the project. When we started assembling the crew, it started as a bit of a challenge: let’s see how many female crew members we can get. Later on it became, well, why shouldn’t the entire crew be made up of women? During this search I found fantastic filmmakers. The team we had working on this is definitely one of the project’s greatest assets.
KRL: Why did you choose to have a main character who is LGBTQ?
Yael: I was interested in looking at how the protagonist’s different paths influenced her perception of herself and her awareness of who she is and what she likes. We’ll see more of this unfolding in the following episodes.
KRL: How did you go about casting the series?
Yael: It was important to me to have a diverse cast, and the team and I consciously worked towards that. A few of the actors I already knew from previous projects, and felt like they would be a great fit for the roles (which they totally were). The rest of the roles we auditioned for, and through that process found those perfect fits.
KRL: What is it like acting in something that you wrote as opposed to something written by someone else?
Yael: It was certainly easier to learn my lines! I think it’s just really fun acting in something you feel good about and being part of a project that you believe in, whether you wrote it or not.
KRL: What has been the hardest part of this project? The most rewarding part?
Yael: The most challenging part of this for me has been manifesting ideas into existence. It takes a certain leap of faith to be able to transform an idea that exists only in my own head into a fully materialized plan that takes into account not only the script, but also the crew, cast, locations, equipment, wardrobe, props, and all the other elements and details that go into a production.
The two most rewarding aspects of this have been witnessing the team’s passion for the project and their collective pride in it and watching the audience’s response to what we created.
KRL: When and where will people be able to watch this web series? Is Split on social media and is there a website for the show?
Yael: Our pilot episode is available online at splitthewebseries.com. We filmed the rest of the episodes in September, and they’re now in editing. The best way to find out when they’re available is to follow us on social media. We keep these pages updated with info about production!
KRL: Are you still fundraising?
Yael: We’re not currently fundraising, but you’re welcome to visit our page on Seed&Spark and follow us there. It’s free, and we do periodically send out exclusive updates to our followers: www.seedandspark.com/fund/split.
I highly recommend you check this out and I can’t wait for more episodes!
Trailer for Split: