ac’tiv•ist is a short-form narrative comedy web series that shines a comedic spotlight on college activism. In this first season, aspiring student organizer Samantha Rushbad grapples with the simultaneously inspiring, mind-numbingly banal, infuriatingly stupid, and downright absurd nature of campus activism as she starts a campaign to force her college to divest from Israel. As Sam steps ever-further into the labyrinthine world of activism, she must also deal with her mother, love interest, teachers, and friends who fail to understand her activist life.
The show was shot over the course of two weeks in January 2016 is due to premiere on May 1, 2016. Written by a current college organizer, ac’tiv•ist is an independent series produced entirely by current college students and recent graduates.
The plan sounded simple: “the script is written, now we will make it.”
But in reality, we knew that making it was going to be far from easy. With a release date slated for May 2016, we began the work of producing this show seven months before shooting and a year before the premiere -- because we knew that's what it would take to make this show reach its full potential. Here's how we did it.
To reach the end of October, we had two major goals. First, we needed to bring together all the amazing people who will give their time, energy and (relatively minimal) blood, sweat and tears to this production -- that meant starting the hunt for our rockstar production team and casting all of the roles. Then we started fundraising, fundraising, fundraising to get all the props and costumes, all the video equipment, and all the locations, housing, and transportation for our cast and crew. (We could still use some help with that, by the way!)
By November and December, we had our heads deep in logistics and rehearsals. We started booking locations for filming in Amherst, MA, making travel arrangements, putting together a production schedule that would work for a 25-person team, and amassing all the equipment and props/costumes for filming. On top of that, we broke down scenes, put together shot lists, and held production meetings and read-throughs.
January was the time the rubber met the road. From January 3-17, we filmed all six episodes for this first season. And since those crazy awesome, crazy long days, we have been video editing, scoring the show, promoting it to the press, and making final adjustments.
That’s how we planned to “make it” from June 2015 to May 2016. But this isn’t just our journey -- we want you to join us. We have been sharing the production process with you every step of the way with updates and exclusive content on our email list, as well as our Facebook page and Twitter account.
And we need your help. Big time. If you care about this project -- if you want to see a show about campus activism become a success, share our project with your friends and donate a few dollars to help make it happen.
Stay up to date with the show!
Subscribe to our email list