Webheads love a great Jane Austen web series! Starting this week is the long-awaited Project Dashwood, a modern adaption of Sense and Sensibility, set in southern California.
BookTrib got the scoop on the new series from the its creators, Alayna Mae, Maeve O’Connell, and Jessamyn Leigh.
Lit for Webheads: What is the premise of Project Dashwood?
Project Dashwood: It is the life of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as seen through the eyes of their younger sister, Margaret. She’s into film and trying her hand at vlogging, so she films everything that happens to her family. The story starts three weeks after her father dies.
LFW: Where do you film?
PD: We all live in Eugene, Oregon, and shoot there, mostly in our own houses. Since the characters travel so much in the book, we’ll probably film in different parts of Oregon as well, and show off our beautiful state.
LFW: Where did the idea originate, and what inspired you to do a web series?
PD: We had been watching The Autobiography of Jane Eyre and we really enjoyed the idea of translating a classic book into that medium. We all have theatre backgrounds and love literature, especially Austen, so we decided to go for it. We decided on Sense and Sensibility because it’s one of our favorites and was relatively easy to adapt. Because Austen’s themes and characters are so timeless, the story remains relevant.
LFW: Did you find any challenges translating an 18th century novel into the 21st century?
PD: Sense and Sensibility doesn’t have any really difficult plot points, so the big challenge was translating Jane Austen’s witty dialogue into modern speech. We did find it helped a lot to outline the whole story before we started writing.
LFW: You are not the typical literary web series creators.
PD: No we aren’t! Alayna is in her third year of college, Maeve is a nanny, and Jessamyn runs a coffee roasting business with her dad. The three of us acted together in high school, where we learned a lot about almost every aspect of theater production. Our homeschool resource center had a really strong drama program with an amazing teacher. However, this is our first time writing and filming anything, much less a series. In a way, we are learning right along with Margaret.
LFW: Is there anything else you would like people to know about Project Dashwood?
PD: We’re so encouraged by the amount of support the online community has already shown us. We’re very excited to share this journey with everyone!
See new episodes of Project Dashwood Wednesdays and Saturdays.
NEW IN TOWN
Shrew That, a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, started March 4, with new episodes on Wednesdays and Fridays.
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Marianne finally got over Will on Elinor and Marianne Take Barton, and Edward and Lucy had it out.