HUFFLEPUFF: “I might not always like the choices you make, or the way things turn out, but I think it would be infinitely more tragic if you let that stop you from trying. If you let it turn you into me.” –Jordan Hall (Carmilla Karnstein: Carmilla: The Execution of Carmilla Karnstein)
The moments before the collision… My favorites are when you can conceptualize the longing and feel it in your bones, haunted by her ghost… Because, their eyes really say it all. There’s a connection, beyond anything: a senseless longing, like all air escaped form their lungs. They search for their lip; for her to breathe life back into them. Just pure and simple, they are human connecting to human. And in that split second, they let down all walls and pretenses. Their hormones go crazy, but after the dust settles, and they break away for that split second before the returning crash, they come home to one another. And, in the moments before, they know. They just know that this person may be the most important person in their life. And that both terrifies and entices. That moment before the collision, it’s haunting: harrowing even. Because, every inch aches for that love to be reciprocated. There’s nothing but complete terror, but absolute brevity. How sweet, traumatizing, and yet brave it is to love someone. It has nothing to do with you. Those split seconds before, they feel like an eternity. But when it happens, they have absolute clarity, even when drunk on her without touching a drop. And then, the stoic sufferer, the brooding apathetic one… she’s shaking like a leaf. -jt
On this day in 2014, a little video titled “Disorientation”
was uploaded to YouTube. Years later, this video would turn out to be the very
first episode of season one of the hit lesbian web series Carmilla!
Adapted from one of the first vampire stories ever written, the
novella Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu,
the web series was created by Jordan Hall and Ellen Simpson and stars Elise
Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis. The original Carmilla
tells the story of a young girl who is hunted by a female vampire in the 1890s,
but Hall and Simpson reimagined the story to be the video diary of a freshman
at the fictional Silas University as she investigates the disappearance of her roommate Betty, while simultaneously trying to adjust to her new roommate – a strange,
nocturnal girl by the name of Carmilla. Laura’s investigation eventually leads
her to into a world of supernatural beings, as well as into a romance with, you
guessed it, her vampire roommate Carmilla.
As of today, the pilot episode has garnered over 2 million
views on YouTube. Following the extremely positive reception from LGBT women
starving for representation, the Carmilla web series was renewed for three
seasons. In 2016, it won a prestigious Canadian Screen Award and since 2014 has
won 9 awards in total for its on-screen representation and its strong fan base.
Although the series concluded after the third season, it was announced in 2016
that this modern retelling of Carmilla
would also be getting a film adaptation with all the stars and creators from
the YouTube series remaining! The movie is expected to drop sometime in fall of
“ I think Carmilla secretly hates leather pants…left to her own devices Carmilla would be in sweats…And a really good bathrobe. She would really like a really good bathrobe. ” — Jordan Hall (Carmilla, Co-Creator/Writer, 19:17)
I’m currently reading Joss Whedon’s biography and I just finished the chapter about the Bronze, dedicated to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which would become one of the largest single-show-oriented forums on the web.
The Bronze became a place where fans could connect and discuss the show with like-minded people. Eventually, Joss and the creators - even some actors would join. This was a time when the Internet wasn’t accessible to every household and so the Bronze became quite a unique experience for the fans. It even spawned meetups that the cast and crew eagerly attended, called Posting Board Parties.
I’ve always been immensely envious because I never got to experience the beginning of Buffy and its rise to popularity. I was simply too young and living in a country with no access to it. In 2006 it became my favorite show of all time. That will never change.
Fast forward to 2014. Basically every popular show has thousand of websites and fandoms across the world. Actors are on twitter, facebook, instagram and every other social media you could think of. The comments are endless. Connecting is damn near impossible.
Enter a small web series on YouTube about a young girl starting college, when her roommate goes missing. Turns out it’s about a whole lot more than that. The series is so groundbreaking with its strong female characters and LGBT, adolescent, feminist themes that it resonates with young people pretty easily. We have missed something like this.
What gradually happens after August 19, 2014 is pretty remarkable. People from all over the world starts following the episodes and a connection is formed through social media, mainly tumblr, but not exclusively. Friendships are formed, artwork and opinions are shared - a fandom is growing.
A late October evening, I discovered the breath of fresh air called Carmilla and I was blown away. I hadn’t seen anything like it since Buffy. And this is not me calling it a Buffy 2.0. It’s me saying that for the second time in my life I got to watch something that could evoke what the Buffyverse once evoked in me back in 2006. But this time I got to be a part of its beginning.
This time I got to make friends who enjoyed the show like I did. This time I got to talk to people who shared my love for it. This time I wasn’t completely alone in enjoying something so important. I got to know the fandom, the crew, the actors. I got to talk to them. I got the whole package!
I was 6 years old back in 1997 when Buffy premiered. I was 15 when I discovered the show. It was already over by the time I completely fell in love with it. And I had no one to share it with. I still don’t, to be honest. I’ve never known anyone who loves that show as much as I do, who would sit down and really discuss it with me, who would cry about it with me. It’s lonely to grow up loving something alone, but it’s my baby. It’s part of who I am as a person and I will never regard that fact with anything but pride.
To now watch the creators of a show I love so dearly communicate and actively discuss their characters with the fans is something I thought I had forever missed my chance to experience. Carmilla has completely changed those expectations. I feel so lucky to be a part of this. To get another chance at sharing my love of a story and not having to feel so alone.