Meet Valerie Lapomme, a 23 year old woman with bright eyes and a bubbly personality who loves video games, sci-fi, comic books, and obscure pop culture references. She has an overbearing but well-meaning mother, wears her love for Joss Whedon on her sleeve, and filters deeply philosophical questions through an absurdist layer. She has an infectious personality that makes her even more attractive the more time one spends with her.
If she sounds like the perfect girl, well, she was created that way.
Val is the brainchild of two Toronto based entertainment veterans, Stephanie Kaliner and Simon Fraser. The duo conceived of the Sexy Nerd Girl web series after realizing just how invested audiences can become in the lives of their favorite characters. “I know when I watch a lot of programs, I’m in love with the characters. I wish I could talk to them and they could talk back to me,” states Kaliner. Based on YouTube and Facebook comments, the audience does not seem to mind that she is, as the producers describe her, an openly-fictional character. “She’s as real as you want her to be,” states writer-producer-director Mike Fly, which is true; after all, I still believe Bree is real.
In fact, comparisons between Sexy Nerd Girl and lonelygirl15 can easily be made. They each feature attractive fictional female vloggers with a verbose vocabulary, emotional resonance with the audience, and a penchant for leaning into the camera. They both have a lethargic guy pal, in Val’s case his name is actually Guy, who hangs out in the background and is clearly in love with her. Lastly, both series inspired a loyal audience from the start that whole-heartedly bought into the series’ concept.
An exclusive Joss Whedon Tribute music video from the Sexy Nerd Girl just for Tubefilter.
However, the similarities quickly end. For starters, there never was an attempt to convince viewers that Val is anything other than a fictional character. Also, while LG15 morphed into a dark action-mystery series, Sexy Nerd Girl is content with stay sexy and nerdy. “LG15 was a pioneer when it came to using YouTube as a narrative platform,” states Fly, “because of that, no one will ever be able to recreate what they did.” Nevertheless, thanks to the new media boom caused by Facebook and Twitter, Valerie is able to engage her fans socially to a level not possible three years ago.
Social media interaction is a major part of the producer’s plan for the series. In her videos, Valerie frequently mentions viewers as well as other YouTube vloggers. Also, she appears frequently on the video game review show, 3Kb. In fact, Val was in a two month long relationship with 3Kb host, Jay Hooft, before the two amicably broke up.
This inclusion of real people helps to flesh out Val’s world. As the series progresses, the viewers will play an increasingly important role. Some will join her social media circle of friends within the show. These interactions will directly impact the narrative and will allow real people to become part of the fictional story.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the show is that the vlogs, which are released two to three times a week, are only the appetizer. Starting this summer, the producers plan to begin production on the first 10 episodes of a hopefully multi-year series. Told from a 3rd person perspective, the series will give insight into Valerie’s life and what it means to be a somewhat aimless 23 year old woman dealing with an overbearing mother and life on the Internet. “We’re building an Internet celebrity and then we are going to make a show about that person,” writes Fly.
To keep up-to-date on Valerie’s vlog subscribe to her YouTube channel, follow her on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or bookmark the Sexy Nerd Girl website, which also has all of the links to her numerous social media sites. The girl even has a MySpace page and a LinkedIn, yet sadly, no love for Bebo. I guarantee a few minutes watching Val’s vlogs and you will be hooked.