Clearing out the inbox and answering questions that aren’t related to what the next adaptation will be or questions that require spoilers. I read them but my only answers to those questions/suggestions are “yes we are considering *that* book” and “This is a spoiler: Read into that however you choose”. Also many of the questions I get are answered in this FAQ.
Btw small side note before I begin. If you’re a viewer that never watches or reads anything outside of Lizzie’s videos, you literally have no concept of Team Figi or even that Fitz and Gigi are anything more than general acquaintances. What is clearly one of the fandom’s favorite friendships in our show doesn’t even conceptually exist for 50% of the general viewership. Fascinating huh?
On to the questions!
Q: Lizzie’s new filming spot is an interesting choice - unlike most locations to date, Lizzie can see who is coming into the frame before we can (no visible door like in her room, C&C, the first PB office…). Any reason you can share (= non-spoilery) for this choice? And BTW, you guys made me cry today…
A: Well it certainly is different. If anything it has this feeling of warmth. Obviously the door gave every room a feeling of tension. “That door could open at anytime”, “who’s gonna come through that door!” - I think we generally prefer the door, but I think in this side by side setup, you get this sense of intimacy that you don’t have when that door is behind them. Basically you as a viewer aren’t worried about the door. You’re more focused on the characters talking.
The reason why we moved her into the Den is that there are certain things that we need to have happen in front of camera in future episodes that would be absolutely absurd to have them happen in Lizzie’s bedroom.
Q: Hi Bernie! Are there any plans to make LBD available as a podcast on iTunes or something?
A: We’re tinkering with something on iTunes but I don’t think the Podcast format works for us. Unless we do something like BTS commentary as podcast episodes, which I am a fan of. I know I learned a ton listening to Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica commentary podcasts back in the day.
Q: Loving LBD and the way you’ve modernised it. I am curious about the whole domino thing though. I think Hank Green mentioned on his tumblr that it was starting to get a little unbelievable that everyone walks in on Lizzie filming all the time and that an app like domino would be perfect to get round this. However, the way that domino is being introduced (i.e. Gigi chasing personal issues with the first few demos of a company product) strikes me as more unbelievable. Am I missing something here?
A: Yes you are actually. There have been several fans who have astutely sussed out our potential plans with Pemberley Digital. There is a clear reason why the Gigi arc is playing out on Pemberley Digital’s channel and not her own, I look forward to telling you why. Unless you’ve already figured it out.
A slight tangent, the parody press release and this parody discussion from the offices of Pemberley digital were brilliant.
Q: So how many people have actually tried to pre-order the tape?
As of now there are over 3,500. Read into that however you choose.
Q: In today’s (last friday’s) live feed, you mentioned loving the fan tumblr accounts, and fan twitter accounts. Or were you just talking about tumblr accounts only? ‘Cause right after you mentioned the twitter accounts, you spoke of the tumblr account for improbablycluelessbing. Anyway, I’m just curious to know… and I’m daring to ask… Do you have a favorite in either category? I mean, I have mine, but what are yours? Or are you an equal opportunity fan of all the fan accounts? :)
A: I’m an equal opportunity fan account appreciator. If I’m missing some let me know. They’re hysterical.
Improbably Clueless Bing
Wickham the Abtastic
Diary of a Darcy
Worst Wing Man Ever Fitz
Immaculately Haired Caroline
Darcy the Hipster
Q: I’m sure you get this a lot, but I am very interested in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and I would love to write for a series like it! Do you have any advice on how to become a writer for youtube shows like this? This seems to be a new way of script writing because of heavy and immediate interaction with the audience, and I think it is the script writing of the future.
A: Well the easiest way is to do the show yourself or with friends. I will note that as the market for writing feature movies and TV shows remains relatively stagnant, the market for writing web series is growing and can only go up from here. But like any writing gig in any industry you need a body of work so get started.
Q: Was there are a thought of setting “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” in a real town in California as opposed to fictional town?
A: Well we’ve never canonically said where it’s set. So it could be a real town (that’s probably in California, USA).
Q: Hi, I’m incredibly sorry if you’ve been asked this before but are there any plans to release the LBD as a DVD once they’re completed? Thank you.
A: Yup, it won’t be right as the show ends but I’d hope we’d eventually have a DVD. More to come on that, but we have plans.
Q: Hi! Why is the Pemberly video program called Domino?
A: Well I named it. I wanted something that sounded good off the tongue that would have an inner meaning for the character arc. Domino thus works well. Btw, apps/products change names all the time in development so if there is future and/or continued videos the app may change names.
Q: Hey! First if all, thank you for making a complete mess out of me this week! All those emotions! :) And secondly, I am writing my MA thesis about the LBD and thought a lot about it. Now I am wondering if the questions in the Q&A videos are from real people or do you just make them up as well so you can tell parts of the story that don’t fit in the usual videos? Thanks for being awesome!!
A: The only question we’ve ever planted was the Maria Lu question that we used in this QA video. Everything else is taken from the fans. My favorite thing about the QA videos is how we actually are able to give you extra character depth (and sometimes even a little plot) through these “interactive” videos. It’s a fun challenge (and great practice) as a writer to take a fan question and turn it on its head into a plot/character thread in world. Check out the playlist and see for yourself,
Q: Now that we’ve reached the end of the Pemberley arc, I’d love to hear more about how you guys went about modernizing Gigi. In the book, she is very shy and her temperament is much similar to Darcy’s-what was your inspiration for the way you wrote her?
A: Not implying that you don’t, but I think the overwhelming majority of the audience loves the way we modernized Gigi. Personally, I’m extremely happy with her (like all of our characters). She’s incredibly fun to write for and I think that she holds up to the very high standard we’ve set for our versions of the original characters. - Very proud to see this write up at Hypable.
But to answer the question, the biggest need of making her extroverted was because we wanted to put her on camera. There are two ways someone gets on Lizzie’s video.
1. They force their way on.
2. Lizzie brings them on.
Shy characters don’t tend to make their way onto videos. Charlotte and Jane are probably the “shyest” of the characters but they certainly aren’t super shy. Mary is shy, but she came on cause she literally had nowhere else to go in Ep 72.
If Gigi was super shy, she’d almost never be on camera, and it would have been really difficult to do the Pemberley arc without having Gigi being an active character like she was.
Q: Just curious. Why did you change it from Jane informing Lizzie about Lydia to Charlotte informing her?
A: It was actually Jane in the script up until about the week before we filmed the episode, but the reason for the change was that it felt like who would learn about the tape first would be Charlotte given the way the site/tape was discovered.
Q: You mentioned in the AMA that LBD has consciously chosen to emphasize the female/sisterly friendship of Pride and Prejudice. Would you be willing to expand upon the reasoning and goals behind those choices? Thanks!
A: I think it was the result of knowing that we weren’t going to have Darcy on screen for a lot of the show. Also it felt really weird if we emphasized the guys so much in a story about modern women. A modern woman’s life achievement isn’t necessarily (and shouldn’t be) defined by the quality of the mate she ends up with.
Q: So impressed! I knew you and Hank were clever and creative, but to frame your timeline around the first flirty Lizzie and Darcy video on the 200th Anniversary proves how thoughtful and intentional you are as well! It was planned, right?
A: Gonna admit something here, we got lucky. Extremely lucky. If we could pick one week of content to have our biggest press push to drive new viewers, it would have been literally last week. Normally in PR, you pay thousands of dollars for that. We got it for free because we were lucky.
Before last week, the highest viewed day in LBD history was 11/1 (Darcy day). That number was eclipsed 5 times last week with an amazing press push coupled with one of our best weeks of content ever. It was fun to watch.
Q: Hi Bernie! I was just wondering what cameras and microphones you use to film LBD? Have you consistently kept the same cameras and equipment since the beginning or have you changed them? If so why/why not? :) Thanks!
A: Ooh tech question. The gear has switched from time to time but the vast majority of the episodes (80-90%) were shot on a Canon T2i and a Rode Shotgun Mic. So when this is all said and done The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will be the longest video version of Pride and Prejudice in history and it will have been primarily shot on an $800 camera and a $150 microphone. Welcome to the new age of content. :)
Thanks everyone for the questions.