Ethan Cole Discusses the Making of ‘Cam_Girlfriend’

LOS ANGELES—Ethan Cole prefers improv to a full script of dialogue. It’s one of the reasons why Cam_Girlfriend feels so real. Each episode in the new YouTube comedy series starts with one page that summarizes “what we really need to get out of the scene.” “That’s how I like filming all my stuff,” says Cole, the creator of the project. “This is exactly the conflict. This is what we need to introduce and this is where it needs to go. “It’s sort of a roadmap.” It’s working. Episode 2 of the 10-part series starring Chaturbate exclusive broadcaster Lily LaBeau and actor and TV personality Dave Keystone—titled “The Hit”—launches today on The Camming Life YouTube channel on the heels of last week’s terrific premiere. The ambitious project, shot by CAMGF1 Productions and made possible by the Independent Production Fund, follows LaBeau’s character Chloe Cables—an up-and-coming cam model—through her relationship struggles with her live-in boyfriend Mike (Dave Keystone) while she juggles the unforeseen challenges of being a professional fantasy girl.Cole—and what LaBeau calls the “dream team” of creative minds behind Cam_Girlfriend—may not write the jokes ahead of time, but there are no shortage of laughs in the fast-moving, tightly edited episodes about various fictional, yet plausible cam-girl problems and how they affect real-life romance. Today’s episode centers on what happens when Chloe’s orgasm is pirated by a world famous DJ for what becomes a hit song. Will music fans around the world grow tired of hearing Chloe climax? Will she sue? “We wanted to explore funny situations that could only really arise from the space,” Cole says. “That’s kind of the challenge from the writing. We said, ‘What’s something really funny that could happen? What would it feel like if your orgasm was pirated?’ “… We’re in some ways inspired by Seinfeld. We wanted to create Seinfeldian sort of conflicts in the world of camming.” In the premiere episode “The Registry,” Chloe and Mike find themselves in another awkward predicament when they begin using gifts procured from her camming registry as wedding presents to friends. Cole explains that choosing LaBeau to play Chloe Cables made sense on many levels. A established porn star and veteran cam girl from Seattle with more than 500 performing credits, LaBeau at first was going to be a story consultant for Cam_Girlfriend. “With Lily we wanted to make sure that there was someone helping even from a writing perspective who has worked in the space—and someone who can give us a female perspective—and Lily is pretty interestingly positioned because she is a cam girl as well as an adult performer,” Cole says. LaBeau and Cole got to know each other during several casual Skype chats during pre-production. “As we got close to casting, she was the one who realized she thought she could play Chloe; she convinced us,” Cole says. “We did a lot of auditioning and no one felt right. She was the perfect person.” Dave Keystone, meanwhile, was someone Cole had a feeling was up to the task. “I’ve known Dave for a while and he’s a friend of mine. I’m someone who is a big fan of his work,” Cole says. “He auditioned and he was a really good fit.” Cole came into Cam_Girlfriend with a track record of making digital series that get people talking. In 2010 he created, wrote, and directed the show “The Project” for the Score Television Network. Cole remembers being inspired by a book he read about the historic Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson fight while in Mexico, leading to the creation of the comedic documentary series that featured various professional athletes reliving their worst career moments. That show was featured on ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, and the Toronto Star.  In 2014, Cole created the hit digital series Explaining Things to My Grandfather, which has millions of views and has been featured in “Funny or Die,” People, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Esquire, and the front page of Reddit. Then in 2016 he created—and starred in—My 90-Year-Old Roommate, one of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship and most popular digital series about what happens when a single man moves in with his 90-year-old grandfather. That show has been recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards, the Rockie Awards, the Webby Awards and more. My 90-Year-Old Roommate was the first show Cole scripted. “I learned a lot about the whole process and how to make a scripted project with a big team. It was a steep learning curve. That was kind of my film school,” Cole says. “I did some videos with my actual grandfather that went viral and that’s what those episodes were based on.” It was also when Cole realized he liked the aesthetic of improv. “I liked the surprises,” Cole says. “With each episode we know exactly what happens, exactly what the beats are, but we allow them to improvise to get there. It’s an interesting process and like with anything, there’s benefits and there’s obviously cons. But with us we really wanted to get authentic performances. “… We probably would do five to 10 takes per scene.” But the project really started on the beach in Costa Rica. It was where the Toronto native was vacationing in November 2016, when the inspiration came. Cole had just finished the first season of My 90-Year-Old Roommate and wanted to create another scripted show about relationships in the digital age. “And the camming industry really kind of spoke to me,” he says. He returned to Canada and sat down with his creative team—including seasoned producer/director Daniel AM Rosenberg, fellow writer Michael Goldlist and producer David Lipson—at a diner where they discussed the idea. “Communicating with everyone these days is very digital with texting and sexting and we thought this would be a cool way to explore digital relationships in the camming space,” Cole says. “Camming is part of the zeitgeist.” Cole started writing the pilot for Cam_Girlfriend in December 2016 and with his team’s own financing, shot it in one day in January 2017 in his old apartment, unveiling it on Feb. 28, 2017. He says the team’s chemistry made all the difference. “Dan was someone who I really respected as a director, I loved his stuff,” Cole says. “And then Michael actually acted in my show, My 90-Year-Old Roommate, and he’s done a lot of work with Dan in the past. With [producer] Jason Kennedy—my relationship with him was through Dan. He’s the one who worked with Dan and they’re kind of a team.” Cole, who just turned 37, got his Bachelor’s degree in History at Western University in Ontario and then earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge in England. “I thought maybe I was going to go to law school, to be honest,” Cole admits, adding that he has always put on plays and “had a creative side.” After earning his graduate degree, he worked in advertising copywriting for a couple years. Cole says he learned a lot from the three-plus-year journey of bringing Cam_Girlfriend to life. “I realized how important the team is. This is such a collaborative beast with so many up and downs and so many things that are going to change from the original vision,” he says. “You really have to have a solid team. That was one of the takeaways for sure.” Click here to watch Episode 2 of Cam_Girlfriend.

written by: Dan Miller

source: Ethan Cole Discusses the Making of ‘Cam_Girlfriend’ | AVN

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