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Q & A: Rodrigo Garcia and Jon Avnet Break the Mold with Star-Powered, Women-Centric Web Channel, WIGS

by Maggie Lange
May 15, 2012 11:26 AM
1 Comment
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WIGS is a YouTube channel, but don't let the platform scare you off. Filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia ("Albert Nobbs," "In Treatment") and producer-director Jon Avnet ("Fried Green Tomatoes," "Up Close and Personal") have created what may be the first scripted, professionally developed web content aimed at women: WIGS.  Starting with the launch of its first series Monday, WIGS promises to fulfill an untapped market of dramatic, high quality, women-centric short films on the web.

In our interview below the jump, Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia detail the inception of the channel, the scandalous and mysterious women WIGS will profile, and the frightening excitement of the internet's immediate feedback loop.

The WIGS roster boasts both star power and salacious stories. Upcoming series and shorts showcase Jennifer Garner, Virginia Madsen, Michael C. Hall, America Ferrera, Jane Kaczmarek, Jena Malone, Caitlin Gerard, Stephen Moyer, Catherine O’Hara,  Allison Janney, Julia Stiles, Sarah Paulson, and Dakota Fanning.

WIGS gives an opportunity for writers, actors, and directors who want creative freedom, says Garcia.  This isn't cable, it doesn't have the scrutiny of a network show, and it's not a $20 million feature with an expensive release. "These are funny, intimate, and moving series for directors and writers trying to find new outlets," says Garcia.  Avnet adds, "They are hopefully entertaining, exciting, informative, and best of all worlds: addictive."

Caitlin Gerard ("The Social Network") the star of "Jan," the first series on WIGS
Caitlin Gerard ("The Social Network") the star of "Jan," the first series on WIGS

Monday, WIGS launches its first series: “Jan," (watch the first episode below and here).  Caitlin Gerard ("The Social Network") plays the titular Jan, a disheveled innocent who bumbles about breaking all manner of objects not nailed to the floor.  Virginia Madsen ("Sideways) plays her boss.  She's an intense, dominant photographer--a fierce Annie Lebowitz in black and bangles, who takes photos of women just after they've had sex for a series called "After Glow."  It's what the tagline promised: secretive, screwed up, sinful.

WIGS is an ambiguous acronym: Where It Gets… Spicy, Secretive, Screwed Up, Sinful, and other sexy "S" words.  The title of each show names the central female character and focuses on her mishaps, dilemmas, downfalls, and occasional breakthroughs.  For Jon Avnet, the shows are really about "second impressions," or as Garcia put it, "secret lives." The two directors love exploring these women's private experiences.  They revel in whatever lurks behind the smooth surface.

Their creative goals will either take advantage of or challenge YouTube's natural format.  The set-up of the platform tends to favor our most attention-poor moments.  But as Avnet says, our cultural consumption patterns now are suited to bursts; he mentions his rush through the first season of "Mad Men" in less than 24-hours.  YouTube's constant prompts to click to the next video might carry the viewer through several episodes of the series if the directors dole out the mysteries enticingly enough.

For more on the seductive future of WIGS, read Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia's Q&A below.

1 Comment

  • Barbara Everett Heintz | October 13, 2012 11:45 PMReply

    My life is a collage of Fried Green Tomatos, Salvation on Sand Mountain, mixed it with Grapes of Wrath. Had I written my book, "Pinkhoneysuckle," in the separate southern stories it tells of a woman from mid century, the madness, the abuse, the diaspora which would change many self reliant agrari an families in to what all rust belt cities would reclassify us as, "The White Trash, and The Rednecks bunch of louts, then I would have died begging that someone would remember us. I need someone who can change lives to read, "Pinkhoneysuckle," and if all you care about is the free material -- That is alright with me, but I want someone to show Martin Luther Kings assessment and belief that We children, white or black, were, "Poor Little Children," out in those cotton patches. We needed help then, but NAACP was against showing the ragged white kids. John Kennedy was our last hope until we got through about fory years of turning our scenic little fa Belrms and towns in to where ghosts walk, and I tell them; "Old Friend, Dearly Beloveds, I got the book out, but who will listen. I have awards from San Francisco and a First Place Award in Hollywood, but it looks too long to master in a film or to read on an airplane flight. I took it to Sonoma, and hands down they said my book cover deserved an award, and I told them that hose pictures were my Mama and Daddy, but I want the world to know how we were destroyed in the symbolic Midnight Raid when our country decided that poor whites, especially, they could make it up north with some cheap wine and their crop allotments down to almost nothing.
    So I am begging some of you to look up me on Amazon; Barbara Everett Heintz, "Pinkhoneysuckle," the first book I have published and see what my reviewers are saying. You who participated in Fried Green Tomatos will recognize the self mutilating humor, for we southerners are a funny bunch, especially when we are so broken we cannot walk. I am asking you to n read about one woman, the one I would sacrifice, 'Me," to show you we were not of this world, and the lowest expectation we had was not as low as it sould get.

    Can anyone hear us or help those left behind? Or are the women and children who were told to keep their mouths shut just too consistently looking with their heads down, and meth with everything else going through there has changed what was us -- Our land, our food, and the clothes on our backs in to a pit where we cannot even cook our fried green tomatoes anymore.

    Please be merciful to us, and check out my book on Amazon, and you are apt to see why I rack up five stars and incredible reviews, for people say they lived next door to us, but they did not know. Mr. Jon Arnet, or Ms. Shannon Silverman, I hope to hear from you, and I can take you places where you will be welcome if you act like a local. Pleaase hear me, after all of these years, when I knew the story had to go forth, for last near at this time, I was near death.
    Oh Please; Will you share the mercy of film to show the lives of folks who could not even escape to the seashore?
    Blessings and Many Thanks --2012 Wildcard Festival Winner in Hollywood with, "Pinkhoneysuckle," and Honorable mention in San Francisco, for I placed it in the wrong category. I will dry your tears when it is too heartvbreaking.
    Lovingly, Barb -- Amazon, Kindle Ready, and Create Space

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