A lot has happened since I last spoke to Leah Cameron and Natalie Novak.
The pair is the brains behind The Communist’s Daughter, a web series set in 1980s Canada that spotlights Dunyasha McDougald, the daughter of two Communists who struggles with fitting in at high school and supporting her family’s beliefs. Last March, they applied for Independent Production Fund support. Last April, they were one of 30 projects awarded funding to help get The Communist’s Daughter off the ground. In July, the series took the title at the CBC Comedy Originals Pitch Competition at Just for Laughs.
Now the duo, along with executive producer Lauren Corber, has one more goal before cameras roll: public support. A Kickstarter campaign kicked off a few days ago, and it’s chockfull of the humour and ingenuity that accompanied their IPF pitch campaign last year. And, as Cameron believes, those looking for IPF funding should take note of.
“Think of social media,” Cameron, the project’s writer, creator and director, says during a recent phone call. “If you can, try to find a voice or something that can be tangential to the project itself, but it’s sort of like an extension of it, so that you’re not just re-posting behind the scenes photos, but you’re doing something new and interesting for people.” Take advantage of social media’s strengths, she says, whether it’s images and video on Instagram or longer form posts on Facebook and making the word count work to your advantage on Twitter.
“I think that the seedling of that idea in and of itself, too, is also how timely the project is, to begin with, but that timeliness doesn’t live on its own,” producer Novak says. “It’s the mining of the Internet that we did to bring relevance to something that already felt relevant.” Cameron and Novak took full advantage of the current political climate during the past year, using #TrumpRussia in their posts alongside Cold War references and specific language (“Comrades,” “Everythink,” “Sayink”) to promote The Communist’s Daughter. The duo has likened their Kickstarter campaign to a PBS pledge drive, and have reached back to the 80s to make accompanying videos—where Cameron, Novak and Jim Butkovitch are decked out in that decade’s finery—look like they were filmed on VHS tapes.
The writing is done on all eight episodes, penned last November by Cameron, Waneta Storms, Peter D. Murphy, Kaveh Mohebbi, Clara Altimas, Jim Gorrie and Spencer Thompson. Now it’s up to fans, friends and family to make that final push and make The Communist’s Daughter a reality.
I beseech you to help them out.
Support The Communist’s Daughter through their Kickstarter campaign.