BTS: The Yay Charlotte Effect

Filed in Behind the Scenes by on June 3, 2012

This post is syndicated from Bernie’s Tumbr.


Hi Everyone,

Sixteen episodes in now. Wow SIXTEEN (17 with that Q&A). That’s 8 weeks of continuous videos with more to come.

Those of you following along in the book will know that we’ve wrapped up chapter 6 and we’ve been here a while. When I was doing my analysis/coverage of the novel, Chapter 6 was rich with great elements and it really felt like we needed to spend some time here covering the events and the characters.

For this BTS week, I’d like to focus on Charlotte. I know the audience always wants to ask about Bing and Darcy (and now Wickam) but that is all coming. Resources and being locked in from Lizzie’s POV limits us to what she can show us but I’ll say that we will see the other characters.

Now on to topic. I’d like to point out that one of the big thematic changes that I felt needed to happen was that our modernized/contemporary version of the story could not be completely focused on.

1. Marriage
2. Men

Obviously Pride and Prejudice does hyperly focus on those two things given the time period but as I said before, this is a different generation. Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a story about modern women, 2012 women. Women who are striving for higher education and/or career aspirations and/or other goals that are more than just “putting a ring on it”.

Side note: I feel a little embarrassed that it took us 16 episodes to finally pass the bechdel test (where our characters don’t talk about men), but given the source material, it was no easy feat. We also directly adapted a scene from the novel that DOES NOT pass this test and I’ll admit that it wasn’t totally a clean adaptation, but I’m happy we did it. I’m extremely proud of our team, especially Ashley and Julia for drawing out this great episode. – Episode 16

So on to the modern woman, or in this post, the modern Charlotte. In early development (Hank and I talking story) we really wanted to focus on making our characters great.  Personally I pushed to really develop Charlotte and bring her into the front of the story (remember she appears in episode 1, she doesn’t appear until chapter 3 of the novel). I think the character is decent in the novel but was really underdeveloped in both the 1995 BBC miniseries and the 2005 Keira Knightly movie. Thus in our series, we pushed to have our Charlotte not only be a “supportive best friend” but really a character that the audience loves to see on screen.

As I like to say the “YAY CHARLOTTE” effect.

Seriously think about every other adaptation (or even the novel) have you ever, EVER, saw Charlotte enter a scene and get excited that she was gonna lay down her “Charlotte-ness”? – Doubt it.

We consciously made our Charlotte a force to be reckoned with. Though they’re best friends, Charlotte directly counters Lizzie’s “prejudicial” opinions to the audience, and she’ll “playfully” embarrass Lizzie openly on her vlog.

Personally I believe that this is (at least in our version) the backbone of their relationship and mutual admiration and respect for each other, which of course sets up what will happen to them in the future as their opinions begin to separate them.

That was funny. I will not affirm nor deny that our Charlotte will do the above. We know what we’re having her do and I hope you enjoy where we take it.

Also be sure to check out Monique’s awesome write up about our Charlotte on her blog.

Have a good weekend everyone and thanks for watching.

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