In about a week, many local filmmakers will be gearing up for a ton of events and festivals, kicking off with the 48 Hour Film Festival on June 3. But prior to that, we're seeing a brand new web series called You Again
. The series focuses on two exes who are now roommates, and the toxic relationship the pair have between themselves and their close friends. Today we chat with the complete cast and crew of the series, including the co-creators, about the series and their time filming it before it premieres on their website this week. (All photos provided courtesy of Andrea Peterson.
Andrea Peterson, Zach Reynolds, Kylee Wood, Jordan Nicholes, Holly Tuckett, Andrew Jensen, Jordan French, Kyle Larson, Skylar Stratton & Rebecca Paez
Gavin: Hey everyone, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
I am a local freelance shooter/editor/writer/actor. I own my own production company called DoYouSee Productions
and work on projects here locally as well as across the world. I moved here from Texas by way of New York, Boston and even Miami. But when I'm not filmmaking, I am often in the mountains skiing or hiking. You could say I've becoming smitten with the skyscrapers of the West.
Zach (CoCreator/Collaborating Writer/ "Zander"):
I am a local actor/improviser, I have been living in Utah my entire life, and am an avid gamer and geek. I grew up in Magna and have been living in downtown Salt Lake for 10 years now.
My name is Kylee. My background has mostly been in live theater and improv. I have performed regularly with the Off Broadway Theater as well as Hale Centre Theatre. My actual son appears in Episode 7.
I just graduated with an acting degree from Brigham Young University. I got into it in high school and haven't stopped since. I love theater (especially Shakespeare) and I've been involved in a number of different productions in Utah Valley over the past few years. I love video games, exercising, and going on dates with my wife, who I've been married to for a little over a year now.
Holly (Director of Photography):
My name is Holly Tuckett, I was born and raised in Salt Lake City. I left the Beehive State after high school to attend Whittier College in Southern California, thinking that I would never return, but the changing seasons, mountains and family lured me back in 1993. Oddly, I never worked in the film industry in California; I worked with developmentally disabled people and ran a 40-bed facility for children and a 60-bed facility for adults. I returned to Utah thinking I would pursue a medical degree, but life does funny things and I did everything but that. I was even a United States Postal Carrier,
and saved an elderly couple on my route from their burning home. Consequently, this was perfect training for working as a producer on the many local films that I have produced, along with running my own production company.
Andrew (Director/Collaborating Writer):
Hi, I'm Andrew. I love to make people laugh and I love making films. I just finished up film school at the University of Utah (I'm free!) and when I'm not doing the movie thing you can find me on numerous stages throughout Utah with my comedy duo ToySoup. I've had the opportunity to perform in the Denver, Phoenix, Austin, and Idaho improv festivals and was the co-founder of the SLC Comedy Carnivale. I also like books. Not the e-reader junk, actually pages.
Joshua Michael French (Producer, Director):
I grew up in theater since I was five-years-old back in Chicago. Had the opportunity to be on stage and film since then. Graduated in Theater at UVU and been able to live and perform on stage in Chicago, London, Paris, Indianapolis, Edinburgh and all over Utah. I am a published writer and have won several awards for two theatrical plays and several film awards for 47 Minutes
. I have had the chance to produce for HBO, Disney and had another short film, Come Unto Me
, released in March of 2016.
My name is Kyle Larsen. I have been acting since I was ten, mostly on stage. I have recently started doing a lot more work with film. I’m 24 and love nerdy stuff, but I would hope that I am still kind of normal.
Skylar Stratton (Hair and Makeup):
I'm a hairstylist and makeup artist with my own studio. I've been in the beauty industry for 13 years and the film industry for about 10. I love laughing and helping people feel good about themselves.
Rebecca (Sound Designer):
I work locally in production and post-production sound and video editing. I went to school for it in Pittsburgh, but I've lived in Utah for most of my life.
How did each of you first get into local entertainment?
I've always been a bit of a storyteller, be it through acting, music, or writing and I ended up pursuing a Literature degree at Texas Tech University before getting my masters in Broadcast Journalism at Boston University. During that time, I interned at Good Morning America
and then spent some time freelancing in Boston, as well as New York. When I moved to Miami I began working for a production company as a producer, shooter, editor, for a lifestyle network and then when the universe finally brought me to Utah, things slowed down a bit and I was able to hope back into acting both for stage and film.
I was always a class clown as a kid, I randomly got put into a theater class, and I just kind of ran from there. I was a huge fan of improv and frequented the Off-Broadway Theater in downtown Salt Lake. It was there I cut my teeth and flowered out to acting over the years. I then took classes under Dr. Corey Ewan who was a driving force in me wanting to pursue entertainment.
I have loved performing as long as I can remember. I got a Theater scholarship to USU Eastern and there met the co-creator Zachari,
and others that have helped me get involved in the Utah theater scene.
I got involved in the local scene by connections I made at school, and just starting to go out to any auditions I heard about. I've gotten a lot of information and opportunities from friends and mentors I've met here.
My work in the local film scene began with an interest in making my own documentaries. I didn’t feel that I knew enough to just go and do it on my own, so I volunteered on as many student and independent films as I could. Basically, instead of paying for a film degree, I used "Google University" and paid for my own internships with local mentors that I convinced to teach me what I needed to know.
I first started acting in plays at Salt Lake Community College and shortly after that joined the local improv troupe Quick Wits where I performed for seven years. It was there that I started to collaborate with many of the actors to produce short comedy films.
Networking on local films and stage work.
My first show that I participated in was Indianapolis Jones at the Off Broadway theater when I was 16. Ever since then I have enjoyed returning to do other shows there. I also perform with Laughing Stock Improv Comedy which is a ton of fun.
I got a call from the mother of a friend of mine who had seen my work in several fashion shows. She was looking for a makeup artist and hairstylist for a short and I barely waited for her to finish what she was saying before I was like "Yes!"
When I moved from Pittsburgh, I started looking for places to network, and I ended up in a group called 4F, which introduced me to a director of a feature looking for a sound person. Since then, I've had a steady stream of work.
What have you all been working on lately?
Although You Again
has pretty much been the main thing on my plate for the past several months, currently I have acted in other short films including No Walk in The Park
, where Zach and I play a couple of mimes working through relationship issues. I have an all-female cast and crew short film called Sisters
that is in post-production right now, and I am also working on completing my first feature film script.
Aside from You Again
, I have done some other short films with the BYU Capstone Projects. As of late, my main focus has been working on starting up a gaming YouTube channel, DigiWuts
, for a Let's Play concept. I am always doing improv and always trying to put more on my plate, so I get around.
I perform regularly with Laughing Stock Improv. I'm also woking on some filmed sketches for the theater the troupe performs at (Off Broadway Theater) and I will be co-directing their Halloween show.
I just finished up doing some film work for the LDS church, and am waiting for the release of a short film I starred in with C Street Studios (called Shelter
). In the theater world, I just finished up the BYU productions of Dogville
and Mother Courage and her Children
. I'm currently working on Noises Off
at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, and after that, I'll be moving on to Romeo and Juliet ,
which will be playing this summer at the Castle Amphitheater in Provo.
I have been working on a documentary about the same-sex marriage case, Kitchen V. Herbert
, that accelerated bringing marriage equality to the entire country. We were embedded with the plaintiffs and the lawyers of the case. I have shot a short narrative film for Andrea called Sisters
. That is how we met, and then she asked me to shoot her web series. When I am not doing the series, I run my own production company and do commercial and web content for local business and freelance for bigger productions that come through town. I have done assistant camera work for the documentary On Any Sunday
, I was a camera operator for the documentary Away to Me
, and as a PA on shows like So You Think You Can Dance
, The Biggest Loser
, and Doomsday Preppers
. My first short documentary, Timi Earl Skeleton Girl
, won the 2011 Filmed in Utah Documentary Award and screened at “The Made in Utah, Park City Film Series,” the Logan Film Festival, the Foursite Film Festival and the Chagrin Film Festival.
I have been finishing up a web series that I wrote and shot while in the film
program at the U of U, called Knickerbockers
. I also have been cutting the locally-produced series Cult Classics v.s. Comedians
. I have also been working on my garden.
I have a feature that is in pre-production that will start production later this year, called The Express.
I also am heading to Chicago to direct a children's show called The Skirt Tale
and am currently writing two series. Outside of that, I work for a local company called Blue Raven Solar and help residential homeowners save money on their utilities by going solar.
I have recently taken a break from doing stage performances and focused on projects of my own. So here is a shameless plug to follow me on social media and check it out! I just barely premiered a Star Wars
fan film that I wrote and directed. Aside from my personal projects, I have just been doing Laughing Stock at The Off Broadway Theater.
My studio, Skyler Stratton Studio, is new, so I'm setting that up. I already have a list of improvements that I want to do. I am also key hair and makeup on four other shows filming here, Proper Manors
, which is in its fourth year, Genesis
, The God Particle
and America's Ghosts Flaunted
, all of which are in their first year of filming.
I recently finished the post sound work for another short called Undertow
(of which I also was on set sound), and I'm editing another short called Collide
, which will be finished within the next month or two so we can make the early festival deadlines.
How did the concept for You Again come about?
Andrea: You Again
was born out of a long car ride to Monterey, Calif., and then some very late night hilarious conversations between Zach and myself. We are really close friends who have had the opportunity to act multiple times opposite of each other; unfortunately, it's usually a tragic romance or something that involves crying, and we wanted to laugh more. Zach is super geeky and well, I really lack geek knowledge, so often our conversation became silly fun banter. Actually, many of the conversations between Audra and Zander are real life conversations between the two of us that we adapted into the scenes.
The characters are all inspirations from real life people, archetypes and acquaintances we have encountered in life. I really just wanted to mix two things I loved: acting and anything geek.
Andrea would be the one to answer this one, but she would send me her scripts and they made me laugh, so I think that is how I got involved. Well, that and I had already shot for her short film. And it helped me to understand millennials a little better, even though I still don’t get them.
I worked on a short film called No Walk In The Park
which was shot last autumn, and both Andrea and Zach were acting in it as well. A friendship began there, and after I had finished producing ICARUS
for Adaptive Studios, Andrea and I talked to see if I might be able to help with the show.
What was the process like in getting it written and forming the main storyline?
As soon as we decided to try and write something fun, I ended up pounding out five scripts in a couple of weeks. I kind of got inspired and jumped right in; I'm not much of a wader. The storyline started out as obnoxious versions of ourselves: Zander a super geek, and Audra a hot mess. We wanted to go the sitcom route in the sense that it is a "will they or won't they hook up" scenario, however, we really want it to feel like an ensemble cast, so you could say it is a mix of Big Bang Theory
with How I Met Your Mother
and New Girl
. We have the two leads that the show revolves around, and then we have quirky supporting cast members who add to the turmoil of the toxic-yet-hilarious relationship. We actually have a team of collaborative writers who got together with Zach and I and helped us tweak all 12 episodes until we were thrilled with how they turned out: Andrew Jensen, Tim Drake, and Ben Hopkin.
Andrea wrote the episodes out and sent me some scripts one night and had me read them, and I ended up loving them. From there, I was more of a collaborating writer. I would go through the scripts to make sure we had geek street cred. As with dialogue of other characters, one of the characters in the web series is actually inspired from one of my old bosses when I worked at Game Stop.
How did you go about putting together the cast and crew?
It has definitely been a local Utah project. Everyone on cast or crew has been someone who someone else has worked with before on a project. We really wanted to own this. The core production team was created by people Zach and myself have worked with, and then as far as the core cast, we held auditions in January, and many more local actors joined the project. I personally have worked with Holly Tuckett, our Director of Photography, on my all-women short film, and I have worked with Mario DeAngelis, one of our Directors and Producers, on a couple short films and music video. I have worked with Becca Lynn Paez, our sound designer, on the all-women short film I did, and Joshua Michael French, one of our Directors and Producers, actually acted in a short film with Zach and myself on a BYU Capstone Project. There are so many people involved that I hate leaving them off, but like I said, everyone on set is amazing and through connection and wonderful times on Utah sets we've gather such amazing talent to work on this project.
It was very much us asking friends if they would be interested. We have been so lucky to have so many professionals work on this project, it really wouldn't have come together with out our crew. The passion is there with everything they do, and the fact they were so willing to help is fantastic. The casting process was awesome. We held auditions and really wanted the audition process to be a warm welcoming environment, so we would give people hugs when they walked into the audition room to ease the tension, we felt that would help people loosen up and just have fun with these crazy characters. There are so many talented actors that auditioned and really brought the characters to life
. It was very hard to make a final decision.
Auditions and favors. For the cast, we had several actors that came to the auditions process and with the five or six directors that were placed in Season 1; it was an amazing, warmth of awesomeness. A lot of times, as an actor going into a "reading" it can be very overwhelming and nervous jitters come around—but siting on the other side of the table and really wanting these people to do well, plus the overwhelming nature of everyone in the casting process wanting these actors to do well, made the process fun and exciting. We even got an email from one of the actors thanking us for how "inviting and kind" the audition process was. For the crew, there were a lot of people that jumped in—knowing that if I or the producers couldn't come up with the money that they may not be getting paid. I established two budgets in order to show what we could do as well as what we could
do if we had the certain amount of funds to pay everyone. There were a lot of friends and favors called in to make sure these episodes got done. It's been rough in some setups but overall the cast and crew have been a pleasure to work with.
For the actors, how was it auditioning for the show, and what did you first think of the script?
Well, Zach and I pretty much wrote ourselves in the parts, so thankfully we didn't have to audition. It is actually really hard to act as "yourself," you'd be surprised. But it has fun trying to create this Audra character so that people don't just see me on camera.
Andrea had me in mind for the part when she wrote Zander; I loved the script and how the character was really just an exaggerated version of myself. So getting into the part wasn't really difficult. Any excuse to geek out on camera is okay for me!
I was lucky enough to be offered the role of Beth by Zach, since we have such a long history working together. I got a copy of the scripts pretty early on and really enjoyed the relationship between Zander and Audra. I had a few ideas rolling around for what I wanted the relationship between Audra and Beth to be like. After meeting Andrea, it was awesome to see how clear her voice was as a writer throughout the series and it made developing that sister bond SO easy. I had a great relationship with [Kyle] outside the series, so basically I'm very spoiled.
The auditions must have been one of the most fun I've been to. Usually, there's always a sort of tension and nervousness at auditions (for both the actor auditioning as well as the creative team), but when my wife and I auditioned, the first thing we commented on was how fun, supportive, and laid back the team was. It made it really easy to audition and just have fun. The sides were really witty, and I got to read for some hilarious characters. I felt like I could make some really fun choices based off of what they were giving me.
I really enjoyed the auditioning process. The creators were super friendly and helped eliminate that sometimes awkward audition environment. Right from the beginning I knew that this was going to be a fun group of people to be working with. When I first got to look at the script I was excited most of all about how truly hipster my character Calvin is. It also has a unique style of comedy that I find refreshing!
Like most indie sets, it really just started out with meetings for the script, meetings on locations, then shooting. Zach was generous enough to let us make his apartment the primary location, and the others were found based on connections other members of the cast and crew had. Most of us have worked together on other sets before, so filming the pilot was a more familiar process then it would have been otherwise.
What was it like for everyone first starting out and getting everything filmed?
Getting started on filming this web series was so much fun. We started with the idea and the first initial scripts in August 2015, locked the scripts the Tuesday before that Thanksgiving and shot episode one that December.
Getting a swing of the relationship between the characters was a big thing for me; it took us a bit to really figure out what makes these people tick and how they affect each other. The first day on set was exciting, we were so excited that we made the executive decision to just shoot the entire season, everybody on set loves what they do, and the excitement was there and really shows on and off camera.
The first episode I shot was Episode 7, that was directed by Andrew Jensen. We both have a background in improv, so his approach to rehearsal was very easy to me to grab onto. We were able to film everything in one long day. Having the advantage of warming up in rehearsal made the whole shoot run so smoothly for us as actors. It gave Andrea and me the time to find out sisterly groove and I think that really shows in the final product.
I came in on Episode 5. Despite not knowing anyone prior to this, the team was great. Andrew always brings a really fun, strong energy to it, and he loves what he does. It was really easy to work with Andrea, Zach and Troy on the episode.
In the beginning like everything else, people are learning how others interact and work—the nice thing about this project is that even when there's the appearance of toes being stepped on, we figure everything out and work diligently so at the end of the day, we can all go out to the pub and enjoy life as it truly is, that of friendship. Typically during filming, everyone gets along with everyone else, and it's been fun to watch how truly connected people become in a small amount of time when it comes to working for the passion of the project and not just a paycheck.
In season 1, I mainly have one big episode that I am a part of, but that experience was enjoyable seeing how the crew adapted to the environment that we were filming in. The house we were filming in was beautiful and we all had a great time being hipsters.
We have a pretty small, but tight-knit crew, so it went fairly smooth. But you know, it is an independent film so there are always challenges, but we are creative and industrious and have come out with some pretty awesome content on a next to nothing budget.
A lot of very early mornings. It's a lot of fun. Andrea' s character is off the wall so there is a lot of ridiculousness going on that's balanced by how organized the production is. Most of us have worked on other projects together, so it's really good to see people again.
What was the best part for each of you during filming?
It has been so exciting see all the characters begin to take shape and go from words on the page to actually tangible characters on screen. It's funny, as the writer, you have things your head that you expect to see and then you get to set and the director and actors take it all to a whole new level. It's just like when you a read a book and then go see the movie or vice versa and you finally get to put a face with a character.
For me, filming in a comic shop, it was hard to keep focus when I am surrounded by so many things I want to buy. It made me feel really at home and even connect with the character even more.
I love that it was able to be a collaborative process. We could be doing a take and have the director or Zach call out a joke to try and having the flexibility to do that keeps you engaged and present. It's a huge advantage to the creative process.
...Is this a trick question? Same as any other film set: craft services.
For me the best part of filming is collaborating with our directors and coming up with some really creative shots to tell the story and then being able to actually execute them almost to the exact drawing made on our storyboards!
The best part about working on this series was all the amazing talent that I got to be a part of. Filmmaking is such a team effort and the cast and crew were incredibly enjoyable to be around, and I find a positive atmosphere on set breeds the best kind of creativity.
Best time for me was Episode 3. I was directing the very first film/episode ever, and we had a handful of people unable to show for the weekend. It was a three-day shoot, mostly evenings. And we did everything in a small amount of time as well as had a blast with the skeleton crew that we ran. I worked on Episode 3 as a producer, director, crafty and shepherd of the extras. It was crazy and yet organized and fun. Plus we had the chicken in that episode as well as PEEPS!
My favorite part of filming was when my character gets mad at his hipster groupies because they don’t know how to properly do brunch. We got to do some cool camera angles, which was a lot of fun.
We mostly film one episode a day, which is very different from my other projects. It's a lot of fun to be able to see immediately where everything is going and see it take shape. The hardest part is not laughing so I don't spoil a shot.
For me, seeing the actors improv their lines has been fascinating and entertaining.
Once everything was completed, what did you think of the finished product?
You are always anxious about showing that initial season to people, because we all know the first seasons are rough as we are getting the kinks out and getting to know the characters. But I am so proud of what the entire team has done! It's so nice to be able to step back and ... say "Wow, I really did that?" You could say that art is art for the sake of art, but we really did make this to share with people, and I cannot wait for people to see what we have done.
There is always going to be that nervousness as an artist on how people receive your work, so I will always second-guess myself until we get eyes on it. However, that being said, I think we have made something great and truly funny. The editing is fantastic, the cinematography is fun and shot well, the performances were hysterical. Everyone did an amazing job.
One reason I tend to do live theater is because I do not enjoy watching myself. But watching this series makes me laugh out loud, and that makes me really proud of the work put in to make that happen.
I loved the finished product, and I have to give props to Andrea Peterson who cut together all of the episodes, amongst many other hats she has worn during this series. With comedy, timing is so important, and she did an incredible job finding the brilliant moments in all of the mischief on set. Also, Holly Tuckett is just a killer Director of Photography, she amazes me.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the [cast and crew] premiere of the episode, so I don’t know yet! But the small clip that I was able to see was awesome.
Still working on it, but all things considered, I'm proud to be able to share my name with this work. It's one thing to have an idea, and it's another to actual give of your time and work in order to make it a reality!
Well we are still in production, but we have some of the episodes completed and they are really well done, with lots of production value and they are funny!
I'm really proud of it! It's definitely funny.
I think the final product is solid; I'm hoping we can garner a large enough audience so that the project can continue into the second season.
The series is set to premiere this June. What are you doing to roll out the first episode?
Were going to do a premiere and roll out an episode on a weekly basis. We will then all take shots of whiskey to "cheers to us" finally doing it!
What do you hope viewers will take from the series?
I hope viewers fall in love with the characters like we have and just want to see and know more about them. It sounds cliche, but as a writer, you really want the characters to come to life
and be people that audiences want to know and become attached to. I want people to laugh, cry, and love the new story and journey we are taking them on.
I honestly hope the viewers will identify with some of the real life situations that get blown out of proportion sometimes, because, despite all the insane things happening in the show, the characters are still honest and real. I believe some of the circumstances in the show, a lot of people can identify with, and I think that's where the laughs will come from.
I think a lot of people see themselves in these characters (maybe a part they don't want the world to see but it's there). Who knows what when we actually cross over from just trying to figure out to tomorrow into full-blown adulthood. What may appear to be that in others isn't
always the case.
But a lot of good can come from loving your flaws while looking for a little more balance. Luckily for Audra and Zander
they have a good support system to help them while they figure that out, and maybe even each other? Also, Tote bags. They will all get tote bags.
That everyone's got a little weird in them, and that's completely okay.
I hope the viewers will get involved with the characters in this series, 'cause they are fun. I also hope that they see what can be accomplished in this very talented state of ours when great minds can work together.
Connection. If we can make them laugh and continue to watch epi after epi, then that's amazing. If we convert one fan into an "I love that show," then for me—it's worth it!
I hope they enjoy it. I just hope they laugh.
What I hope that viewers take away from the series is a good belly laugh and perhaps a better understanding of the millennial generation, because I am in my late 40s and those “kids” baffle me.
I hope the viewers will be able to enjoy the story that has been created and learn that it’s totally fine to be who you are. You don’t need to impress anyone, you just need to be who you are and surround yourself with others who accept you for you. That was maybe a deeper answer than it needed to be, so I also hope they laugh. So in a nutshell, I hope they laugh at me.
I would say the take-aways for this series are to expect the unexpected in life and to make the most of what you have, because the craziness that Audra brings to Zander's life, I think, helps him really live his life, rather than just existing in life.
Are you looking to do a second season yet, or are you waiting to see how this one pans out?
We very much intend to do a Season 2. Everybody has the drive and desire to do so. In fact, Andrea and I have started writing episodes already!
We very much want to do a second season. In fact, we've already written four episodes. As a writer, I just wanted to know where the characters are going or where they might be heading. We are actually going to be shooting episode one of season two this summer just to inspire ourselves and hopefully use to get us funding and picked up for larger distribution. Just as audience members, I think myself and much of the team really want to see where the characters are headed.
What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year?
Like I said, I am working on a feature script, so hopefully I can finish that begin production on it in some facet. I also have a short film this summer that I will be acting in called Autumn
where I play a social vampire, and then I will be performing in Salt Lake Acting Company's production of Winter
this coming fall. And when in doubt hopefully we will be writing more episodes and maybe beginning production on a Season 2!
Well, I am a performer so I will always be performing where ever I can, and I will always be starting up a new project to keep things coming out. Improv is something that keeps me sharp, so you will see me there and hopefully some more films and shenanigans.
I will be working on the Kitchen V. Herbert
documentary, doing a series of short documentaries to promote a new local restaurant, Table X, and looking to start post production on a documentary that I started back in 2010, that is about our screwed up relationship with sex and sex ed. I hope to be shooting more and producing less. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream.