Film Production

IFNYC#016: Callie & Izzy – A WebSeries like No Other

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Nicola Rose and her quirky comedy series

Callie & Izzy

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Every so often, you stumble across something so unique that it makes you pause.  That was the case when I discovered the webseries Callie & Izzy.

Callie & Izzy is a webseries created by Nicola Rose and it follows the adventures of a woman struck by the cleverly named, fictitious malady Puppetitus B.  Due to this disease, Callie literally has a puppet named Izzy growing where her left hand used to be.

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Callie & Izzy

Izzy is not just a puppet.  It is a sentient and separate personality that may or may not have Callie’s best interests in mind.

Life isn’t easy when you have Puppetitis B. Just ask Callie Williams, who comes down with the dread disease and suddenly has an evil puppet growing out of her hand.  Izzy (the puppet) is a cute, furry sociopath with a lusty sex drive, a mind for business, and a passion for ruining people’s lives.  Yet, deep down, is Izzy truly friend or foe? Pal or parasite?  And who, exactly, is doing the puppeteering in this relationship?

What makes this webseries unique

What I like about this series is that it has many elements that you don’t typically find in a traditional webseries.

For one; puppets.  When I think of puppets, I immediately think of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets.  Izzy is a far cry from that family friendly fare.

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Izzy Concept Art

In the United States, puppets are almost solely entertainment for children, but in other parts of the world, particularly in France, where Nicola Rose studied, puppetry can draw a more sophisticated and older crowd.  Puppetry seems to be a great medium for social commentary through metaphor and it’s still widely used that way in many parts of the world.

The other thing that really drew me into this show was how raw it was in its writing and production.  There’s obviously a level of skill and experience behind the scenes but with the release of each new episode of the show, there is a step up in both story and production value.

What starts out in the pilot episode as a small story about one woman with a disease and a live puppet on her hand evolves into a phenomenon that takes its place on a global scale.  The cast, particularly in the second season, blossoms well beyond what one typically finds in a web series.

If you have a webseries idea, go for it

What Nicola was able to do with this show is nothing short of spectacular, and I would recommend the show as a case study for those who want to produce their first web series.  

There is a lot of talk today that creators need to stop sitting around, waiting for permission to produce their projects only when some, often intangible, perfect situation arises.  Sometimes the best thing a filmmaker can do is figure out a manageable way to get some of their story down on film so they can put it out there, get feedback and then keep tweaking and letting it grow as they continue to move forward.  

There is nothing wrong with doing a project that in some eyes is seen as a work in progress.  Very few people create “a hit” anything on their first time out.  Through producing many projects a filmmaker will learn what works, what doesn’t, and what they ultimately want to say.  Get out there and create something because at the very least, it gives you something to grow from.

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Callie & Izzy Series Artwork

 

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