On February 25 through 27, while a mythologically reported one billion people across the globe (or 15% of the world’s population) were prepping to tune into, tuning into, and/or complaining about the audio issues of the 84th Annual Academy Awards and all its accompanying Hollywood hullabaloo, a pair of indie filmmakers and their cast and crew traversed New York City and other undisclosed locations to film the final installment of their much watched (with an accurately reported 10+ million-some-odd views as of late 2011) and much adored web series.
Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller bittersweetly announced last September Anyone But Me – the online original drama they created, wrote, and produced about a girl who likes girls in post-911 New York that has won a number of accolades and garnered a healthy fan base – would film one last episode. Last weekend they shot that episode and on Tuesday, March 20 they plan to release it.
It’s rare a multi-season, indie web series provides itself with an opportunity to decide its own finale. Most online originals simply end or fade away into the online video ether. Ward and Miller are acutely aware of this. That’s why they wanted to make Anyone But Me’s sendoff something special, something fans will appreciate and remember.
So, the pair brought back the original core cast for the last installment and Allison Vanore as the finale’s producer. Ward and Miller are providing more than your regularly scheduled number of minutes of entertainment, too. The series-ending episode is slated to clock in at a run time somewhere around 15 to 18 minute mark.
I’ve never had to film the conclusion of a dramatic web series that’s been part of my life for the better part of four years and had a successful run across its three seasons and 25 episodes, but I’m sure it’s an emotional experience. I caught up with Ward and Miller to find out how it was for them and what we can expect to see at the end of Anyone But Me.
Tubefilter: Tell me what’s in store for the finale.
Tina Cesa Ward: The finale is really about getting back to the characters we started the series with and to tell a story that really explores an important issue in Vivian’s life. A past event that has never truly been in the past for her. It’s shaped who she is as a person and now she’s forced to really look at it’s impact again.
TF: Can you give me any other teasers? What’s going to happen?!
Susan Miller: Something happens no one’s prepared for.
TF: You brought back your original core cast to shoot the final episode. Was it an emotional experience when you all wrapped production?
TCW: In April of 2008 the cast came together for the first time and Anyone But Me came to life. We’ve all been a part of each other’s lives in one way or another for all these years. Now we’re moving on, but I have no doubt that Anyone But Me will have life for many more years to come.
SM: It’s hard to say goodbye. It was stunning each time an actor’s last scene was shot and we gathered everyone to announce “That’s a series wrap for Aunt Jodie. That’s a wrap for Aster and Vivian.” The reality hit that these were the last words those characters would speak. The last image we’d have of them. Over three years of working together and making a show that has meant so much to so many people, it was just very moving in that moment to realize what we’d built together.
Be sure to tune in March 20th to the series finale of Anyone But Me at AnyoneButMeSeries.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Seto