The first project, I was a part of in my first year at University, was Project Carraway, a video blog series adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to an 2014-2015 setting. This project was developed as part of the Writer’s Workshop module and during a global trend of retellings of classic stories (See The Lizzie Bennet Diaries). The project came out of a roundtable discussion when I suggested adapting a classic novel to a modern setting and mentioned The Great Gatsby, as an example, due to the recent film adaptation.
Over the course of three months, within the team I researched similar series and designed a logo to suit the content (the green light often mentioned in the book is the focal point of our logo). Later we discussed in the team which aspects of the book we wanted to adapt, while being aware of our capabilities with filming, editing and acting. We collectively wrote five scripts, that I would act out as Nicole Carraway, the gender-swapped version of Nick Carraway. Alex Ferguson, a part on the team, was Jay Gatsby, and Charlotte Claydon as Jordan Baker.
As this was a time-sensitive project, we were on a tight deadline, and I took on the initiative of filming the series with a single camera, to make it feel more legitimately like a real video blog series. As I also had appropriate video editing software, I was responsible for editing together the episodes and uploading them to Youtube. We also created a social media community on Tumblr for all of the content to be more easily disseminated and for fans to be able to find it. It was also the only place to find bonus content and where we shared fan-created content.
To really maximise our brand and what we were doing, each of us also wrote a short story adaptation of classic novels. I adapted Little Women into a short story titles Young Ladies, whereas other team members adapted Beauty and the Beast, Othello, and The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Overall, the project was a huge success and a great learning experience. It just goes to show how much work needs to go into something like this and how positive the results can be.
The full series can be found below: