It all starts with auditions for actors, then comes memorizing the script and filming scenes. One question not often asked is what an actor goes through on a daily basis. Luckily for us, Funny Laugh Productions answers this in its new seven-episode web series, Far From Hollywood, released the first week of April.
Jackie Jorgenson said the project originally started as a way to test out Instagram stories and see if people would watch a series through it, but then the stories became shorter, forcing the project to become a web stories instead.
The script presented a challenge in itself, as Jorgenson rewrote the script two more times after going to an actor’s bootcamp. The plot became less about moving and individual roles and more about an actor in a small market.
“It chronicled more into the journey of an actor in this area,” Jorgenson said.
While script-writing was one challenge, another issue Jorgenson faced was communicating with the other actors who were shooting themselves in Missouri and Colorado.
“I needed to make sure everything was clear for them so that it is more an approachable thing for them to do on their own,” she said. “So there was a challenge in how do I communicate this from long-distance to make sure they feel comfortable and empowered, and can own their character.”
They made it work, however, and her favorite episode of the web series was the first.
“While it’s a comedy, there’s a lot of dramatic performance on my part,” she said.
The plot follows a woman auditioning for a role over her laptop and she has to change her performance from dramatic to comedic during the audition when the director tells her the project is a comedy, challenging Jorgenson in her acting.
Jorgenson received Best Actress in an Indie Film from Actors Awards, Best Actress Global Film Festival Awards, and Lead Actress Award of Recognition at the Accolade Global Competition for her performance in the episode.
“I wrote that episode with the intention to submit to awards, and hopefully bring some attention for the other actors as well,” Jorgenson said. “It was so fantastic.”
Funny Laugh Productions also released a micro film, You Got Me, on May 21. It’s a film about a ghost who begins owning her accomplishments after haunting a therapist, lead by Hayley Simpson.
The idea for this film came to Simpson after being approached by Jackie to write a film for a contest talking about women empowerment.
“I wrote You Got Me thinking about just being at home alone and if a ghost ever scared me, the hilarity that would ensue from there,” Simpson said. “It’s probably my favorite project I’ve ever written.”
Simpson also has a pilot for a one-hour dark comedy being developed, titled 1099, that she hopes will be funded, and would take place in Copper Harbor.
The film is about a woman who is down on her luck and lost every job she’s gotten, who is approached by her neighbor who is a hitman and wants her to become an assassin with him.
“It’s in the vein of a ’90s comedy show. The heart of it is these two main characters who very clearly need each other,” Simpson said. “It’s almost like a mother-daughter story.”
Simpson said the cast and characters for 1099 is diverse, with both main characters in the film being LBGTQ.
“I really want to make that a main focus because it is so important representation happens, especially right now with where we are on this social climate,” Simpson said.
Far From Hollywood and You Got Me can be found on YouTube at Funny Laugh Productions’ channel.