Andrew Harmon


 

   
 

Baking Flour

by Candace C. Smith

The concept of Flour started thanks to a Nike commercial. Or wait, was it a Gatorade commercial? No, it was a Cotton-esque commercial, like the ones that feature singer-actresses Emmy Rossum and Zooey Deschanel. Like the New Girl star, Jeni Miller and Deirdre McCullagh are quirky, affable, and full of excitement. It’s a joy talking to both, as they explain how their comedic web series, Flour, came to be.

After working together on a few commercial ideas, Jeni and Deirdre quickly realized how much they understood one another in both personality and ideas. They were having fun, they had good chemistry, and they were developing a groove that, for artistic and ambitious people and projects, is not easy to cultivate. Coming up with skit after skit for their commercials, Jeni and Deirdre decided that it would be great to bring a web series to life every week.  Their brainchild, Flour, was soon born.

Filmed in Philly, Flour is about two sisters Tulip and Violet, the progeny of hippie parents. The younger, carefree sister, Tulip, played by Deirdre, moves in with her older, level-headed sister, Violet, played by Jeni, who has a bakery named Flour and a dippy fiancee. Jeni and Deirdre explained that the name of their web series comes from both the bakery’s name and their character names (as ‘flowers’). That double entendre is one of many signs of intelligence and humor you will come to find from watching Flour

Like Lucy and Ethel, Tulip and Violet find themselves in the strangest situations with every monthly episode. In one instance, both girls decide that they want to raise money for Violet’s bakery and thus decide to have a bake sale. A harmless idea until their friend Clay comes up with the idea of putting marijuana in the brownies, thinking that if there’s pot in the brownies then customers will eat more, leading to more sales. Of course!

Jeni and Deirdre already felt like sisters before playing them on Flour, and decided to come together with their mutual love of creating. Their enthusiasm and consistent, solid work ethic has brought together a well-rounded production team, which are mainly comprised of females. The direction, production, and writing, and editing are all the results of women and while this should not be a big deal, it is in a time where the entertainment industry could use more of the female imagination. They also want to see more diversity- in entertainment and for their web series. Hearing Jeni and Deirdre’s candid thoughts on casting actors who may have any other ethnic and racial backgrounds other than Caucasian was refreshing and thrilling.

If you’re a future web series creator, Jeni and Deirdre have a handful of advice for you: Have a plan. If you’re an actor trying to create your own web series, use everything that annoys you as an actor to your advantage now that you’re also behind the screen. For example, you want your actors and crew to show up on time.  You want your actors to know your lines. You’re going to want to be more aware of time, especially if you’re the producer. Have everyone in both the cast and crew signs a contract. Finally, crowdfunding is a great option, but don’t put all your expectations in this. You may still have to use funds that will come out of your own pockets, so be prepared!

As if conceived through magic or just plain fate, Flour was conceived in one of the most painless ways, genuine ways possible, and it shows through the production team responsible for the series.  Flour has all the elements of a fantastic small-screen production- interesting direction, which complements and heightens the comedy, rather than dampen it, natural actors, and hilarious storylines. With the glut of web series online today, this is one to give your full attention to before it gains an even bigger following after its premiere at this year’s LAWEBFEST next month.


 

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