BTS: Lydia/Mary Q&A

Filed in Behind the Scenes by on August 5, 2012

Syndicated from Bernie Su‘s Tumblr

So here’s part 2 of me answering questions about the past month of The LBD.

Part 1 about Netherfield is here.

Part 3 about everything else is here

In this post I’m focusing on questions about the Lydia/Mary arc.

Before I start, I’ll just say that the Lydia spinoff brought me a lot of joy.

It felt that the Lydia story stood on its own and not as “Lizzie Bennet Diaries lite”. You could follow Lizzie’s story to Netherfield or you could follow Lydia’s story to Mary’s, and now they unite back at the Bennet house.

Don’t be surprised if we do another story split like this in the future.

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Q: Would you guys consider having Lydia’s multiple location phone vlogs going on at the same time as Lizzie’s? Because Lydia moves around with her camera, wouldn’t it be a good way to show scenes with the characters as opposed to re-enactments?

A: Creativity vs Economics again. It’d be nice but we don’t have the resources to do it. Also I like the reenactments, they make me laugh… a lot.

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Q: Will we be seeing more of Mary, or will she just be on Twitter from now on? I really like how you guys modernised the character (make that all the characters) and I think that it would be a shame if we didn’t see her anymore..

A: Thanks. I’ll say that we love our version of Mary as well. The “emo” direction felt like a bolder/modern/cooler choice than just “bookworm” Mary. I’ll also say that Mary Kate, Rachel, and I loved working with Briana and we’d love to work with her again.

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Q: Do you plan on having Mary come on to Lizzie’s vlog?

A: Well, we aren’t planning to NOT have Mary come on Lizzie’s vlog. Vague enough? 🙂

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Q: What is the story behind the cat who plays Kitty? Did you have to find a trained cat to play her?

A: That’s Rosie. She’s Mary Kate’s cat and she takes the “be cute” direction like a pro!

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Q: Will Lydia still be putting out videos on Tuesdays and Fridays?

A: Not for now. Lydia’s channel follows Lydia’s story, but there isn’t as much of a need for it when we’re essentially getting a version of it from Lizzie’s channel.

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Q: The obvious question is “will we see Mary again?” But I wonder what role she’ll play in the grand scheme of things? Will Lydia and Mary continue their reluctant friendship when hurricane Wickham comes to town?

A: Just putting this here to illustrate how much Mary support there is, and that makes me happy. To be honest, the Lydia spinoff is something we wanted to try and we’re thrilled that it was such a success. Props to Rachel Kiley, who basically had to write that whole arc by herself, it was fun, cool, and lovable. It also let us do something that the book never did.

1. Give Lydia depth and her own adventure
2. Tell us what happens to her while her sisters are at Netherfield.

We plan to continue giving Lydia depth in ways the other adaptions never do and whether that involves Mary specifically, well you’ll just have to see.

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Q: I found Episode 3 of TheLydiaBennet (The Lodger) somewhat off-putting, in that both Lydia and Mary’s actions seemed implausible to the point of unbelievability. On the other hand, I really loved Episode 7 (Going Home), in part because it seemed like a believable human interaction between Lydia and Mary. Does writing for a faux real-life vlog impose special constraints in terms of maintaining believability? And are there any other lessons you’ve learned about writing for this particular medium?

A: Like everything about the show, this is all an experiment. I know that the Lydia/Mary arc was something Rachel had a lot of fun with, especially since she wasn’t constrained by following the book. She’s someone who takes a lot of risks as a writer and taking risks leads to hits and misses, but I personally loved how she got all the Dr. Who references into that episode. I don’t think we could do that in the Lizzie show, but Lydia? – Sure! Let’s have fun with it, let’s see what happens, and let’s see if the viewers like it.

As for lessons about writing for this medium. Well I’ve personally been writing for this medium for a long time. Four years (an eternity for the internet). But yeah there is this sense of believability for this particular show that actually predicates how the show is executed. For example in Going Home, you can hear the sound of Lydia bumping the mic on her camera. Well as much as that would be “unreal” in a 3rd person series, it’s very real in our show (even though we didn’t intend you to hear that).

One of the things I love about our show is that it focuses so highly in the writing and the performances. We don’t have fancy camera shots, special effects, action scenes, or any of that. Don’t get me wrong, I love those as much as the next guy, but that’s not our show. Our show is about people interacting with people and it’s a lot of fun to just watch the actors do the scenes.

Personally, for a guy that lives in Hollywood, where everything is essentially “fake” and constructed, it’s fun and refreshing to a have creative piece that is pure writing and performance.

Part 1 about Netherfield is here.

Part 3 about everything else is here

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