But first, the trailer:
Bonnie, her cast and crew and her start-up, YOW! Productions, are taking advantage of the level playing field that social media have created for online entertainment. With no networks to sell, the artistic freedom is total. With a modest production budget, there is no need to play the political game of getting Canadian government grants. And because she doesn't need to please everyone, Bonnie can focus on a segmented audience.
And that audience is smart, sassy, foodie women. “Sure, we all love those cute kitten videos—and I do watch them all," says Bonnie. "But women want and deserve more in their online entertainment.”
The result is something I characterized as “Repo Man meets Nigella Lawson”, with a fair bit of "I Love Lucy" tossed into the mix.
Its two main characters, Janis and Sue, run a failing catering operation with great food but bad business sense. When their delivery van gets repossessed, they end up making a deal with the repo man, Bob, to work off the debt by handling more “delicate” repossessions from other women.
So here is Episode One, all seven-and-a-half minutes of it. Take it away, Sweet Tarts!
But the show is not the whole enchilada. Bonnie wants to build an online community around the show to appeal to the online foodie movement. Each episode features “product placements” of real recipes donated by local chefs, and provided to the Sweet Tarts online community through the Show's web site, Facebook and Twitter outreach.
As YOW!'s press release explains it,
"A central component to the series is the associated Sweet Tarts Takeaway web site, which not only broadcasts the series, but provides a user community where viewers can connect with other viewers. This is not just an adjunct to the show, but an integral part of it. Forums, blogs by the actors (as their characters), merchandise and recipes by local restaurants will make the Sweet Tarts Web site a place viewers visit regularly to keep up with the latest information on the series."
Sweet Tarts Takeaway is filmed in and around Ottawa, starring veteran local actors Kel Parsons (Janis), Kate Drummond (Sue), Riley Stewart (Bob) and Jerome Bourgault (Dan). The show has already received some advance press from CTV and The Ottawa Citizen. Episode Two will go online Monday, February 21st.