These new stars in ‘Growin Pains’ are at the forefront of the show that has a mix of surprises, shockers and of course, drama. With that excitement, we got the main cast together for a day photoshoot. Each of the actors starring in the show had their own personality and that was easier to for our photographer to gain impressive shots. Whilst the stars were given the A-Star treatment, we had a chat with Natasha Adams, who reveals a little more detail about the show under her indie production company Eclipse Entertainment. She provides us insights into the coordination of the show and the reason for its creation, as well as the journey into making the show into reality.
1. Tell us a little about yourself Natasha since you’re the founder of your own production company Eclipse Entertainment.
My name is Natasha Adams, I am a producer and director. I have previously worked on various music videos but in January 2017 I decided to work on more complex projects. I initially produced a short 15-minute film called ‘Perspective’ which I never uploaded as I wasn’t happy with the quality. I then decided to produce a webseries and started casting.
2. a) How did the establishing of Eclipse Entertainment come about?
I always enjoyed editing but it was when a local rapper in my area asked me to film and edit his music video that I found the courage to take it more seriously. Up until this year, I had been working independently. It was only during the casting of my latest project ‘Growin Pains Webseries’ that I met the other members of my team. It was by chance that one of my cameramen came to support his friend in her audition where I got talking to him about what he does and then we decided to work together. The rest of my team were found through networking online as they saw I was working on a webseries that seemed to interest them.
b) Was setting up your own company the only avenue you could see to showcase yours and other people’s talent?
Before I decided to create Eclipse Entertainment, I tried to reach out to other production teams but with the little experience, I didn’t get far so I decided to create my own opportunities and create my own productions.
3. What’s your take on the current UK entertainment climate? With more people establishing their own companies to tell their stories, do you think it’s time to think more out of the box instead for ‘begging’ to be part of the story?
I think it’s important to create your own opportunities. The current UK entertainment climate is becoming more saturated so as long as your story is unique and can capture the attention of the audience that’s all that matters.
4. How important is it to you to contribute in the telling of the Black experience in any shape or form that is creative and/or begins a conversation among viewers?
For me, I would like to see more shows I can relate to. I made a conscious effort to ensure ‘Growin Pains’ explored more issues than just the negative aspects of growing up in London. A lot of the series that are based in London often focus on the guns, drugs and gangs aspect but there are other social issues occurring which should be highlighted.
5. So, you’re the writer-director-producer-editor of your new upcoming show ‘Growin Pains’. Was it a challenge producing storylines for your male characters in the show as well as multitasking with four different roles?
It was challenging writing for my male characters; as my perspective of what men go through may not be as accurate as I assumed. I often asked my cast members to give me there opinion and feedback on various storylines to ensure it was authentic as possible.
6. ‘Growin’ Pains’ – an interesting title. What’s the inspiration behind the making of this show?
‘Growin Pains’ are aches and pains that you experience as a child, as the series is based on growing up in London where you will go through ups and downs the title just seemed to fit.
7. Tell us in a little more detail the dynamics of the show. Is the show based on the realities of street life?
The series follows six young people all experiencing various difficulties. The show shows both the challenges females and males face as they grow up. Topics highlighted vary from unemployment, fractured relationships with their parents, dealing with growing up in care, battling with gaining respect ‘on the street’ etc. The show is based on various people I have met from school up until university.
8 a) Do you think that there’s going to be a perception of your webseries being pigeon-holed as “another one of those urban dramas” following countless others?
I don’t think it’s likely we will get pigeon-holed because I don’t want to limit what we are. When you watch ‘Growin Pains’ you will laugh, cry and be shocked. We will explore a variety of social issues, for example, interracial relationship, body counts and anxiety to name a few so I think that makes us unique.
b) How do you want viewers to perceive the show?
I would like everyone watching to be able to relate to what each character is going through. If not relate than gain an understanding of what young people go through in this day and age. For example, not every young person who is unemployed is unemployed by choice, sometimes it’s due to their circumstances. So if everyone watching gains a deeper understanding of what young people go through these days then I have done a good job.
9. Do have any favourite characters or scenes within your webseries?
My favourite character is Aaron, I enjoy seeing him wanting to do better in life but constantly getting sucked into the street life again and again.
10. Regarding the funding and time, this has taken to create the show. Any words of encouragement and advice you would give someone who wants to create their own webseries?
When I first started this process I was three months pregnant so I was aware that I was under a strict timescale. From start to finish the whole process took five months. It took me three days to write the series followed by a week of looking for characters and setting up auditions. I was working full time so filming was only on weekends so filming took three months. Post-production took four weeks which was delayed because I had my daughter earlier than expected. In terms of funding, everything was self-funded. All the equipment (cameras, microphone, lights) used was my own.
My advice to anyone starting their own webseries is to get a solid team. Prepare to multitask and do multiple jobs. I wasn’t just the director, when needed I was a cameraman or I was holding lights up. My last piece of advice is to get feedback, ask your close circle about storylines and what they think about your structure
11. Do you think that the UK has a long way to go in establishing an online series/webseries market?
I think the UK has to explore different topics, for me I’m bored of the gang-related webseries, whereas in the US they don’t limit themselves. I feel they are more creative with storylines than us.
12. When will the first episode commence and how can people follow the show once it commences?
The first episode will be released tonight on the 18th October 2017 at 7 pm via Youtube.