Introducing Karla Williams, co- founder of MsMono Productions. The company aims to tell female centred stories and increase the representation of women within film crews. We caught up with Karla to discuss the teams brand new project “Celibate”.
Plot wise what is the comedy series about?
Celibate tells the story of a women who loves sex, meeting a guy who has recently become a Christian and is celibate. We then follow their lives to see if they can overcome this obviously, very large hurdle. It is inspired by my own experience of being celibate and dating a guy who loved sex.
How did you go about casting for the TV pilot?
We sent out a tweet for the lead Olivia Bogle and a supporting character, Jonny Norfolk. Many actors got in contact and we finally cast Stand-up comedian Thanyia Moore as Olivia and actor Rus Kallan as Jonny. The other parts where cast with actors we knew or had worked with before.
In an era that seems so sex obsessed what do you think your TV pilot adds to the conversation surrounding celibacy?
I feel it adds an authentic voice. I have been celibate pretty much my whole life, and I have never seen a character in either film, TV or theatre that I find relatable. I also know many other celibate people and so I feel my script gives a genuine depiction of that life is like for us.
Many people associate celibacy with their religious beliefs, is this an aspect you chose to explore further in the TV pilot and what was the reason behind this?
Yes, the character who is celibate has recently become a Christian. He previously had a very unhealthy and disposable approach to sex which ended up causing the people in his life a lot of pain. When he became a Christian, he felt very strongly that he wanted to do things differently. I created a Christian character because I also feel depictions of relatable, honest and real Christians are also very rare.
What is the most challenging part about bringing your TV pilot to life?
To executive produce a tv pilot is a challenging endeavour, full stop. But I am very grateful I have been able to gather a talented team of creatives and a wonderful cast who all understand my vision and want to help me tell this story. I feel very fortunately that I have such support around me.
What made you chose the genre of comedy for your TV pilot?
I felt if it was a drama, it could become too heavy and a lot of the situations where I drew inspiration were, in hindsight, very funny. Also, I can’t lie – I really like sex jokes.
How do you hope your TV pilot will impact the conversations on diversity within the industry?
My hope is that Celibate will prove that people of colour and women, can create and lead TV series that feature intelligent, nuanced and engaging characters who appeal to a main stream audience. In the same way Black Panther did for Cinema.
Why is it so important to you to have full creative control?
Celibate is 6 x 30 min comedy that can run for at least 3 series. That would mean a total of at least, 18 episodes. It isimportant I that I have a say in each episode and control the direction my story goes. I feel with all Artists, creative control is the ultimate goal.
How is the fundraising going and how can people donate?
We are raising the budget to produce, film and release Celibate as a web series, which we then hope will be picked up by a Broadcaster. You can donate to the campaign here: https://igg.me/at/TeamCelibate
Finally, when can we hope to see the TV pilot?
We plan for it to be available online by March 2019.