Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Creatives: The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

Happy Wednesay!

It's a busy one for me.  Lots of important meetings at work (one of those big-girl-outfits type days).  And tonight I'm packing up because tomorrow after work I leave for Leakycon!  That's right, I'll be down in Portland to attend a convention featuring The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Cast & Crew.  I'll be attending their writers' panel as well as an "extravaganza" with the whole group.  Fingers-crossed that I meet some of these amazing people :)

But speaking of the LBD, adaptations, transmedia, and really cool things...I've been meaning to introduce you all to another adaptation inspired by the LBD's efforts: The Autobiography of Jane Eyre.

Let me just start by saying this web series is as different from the LBD as the books which inspired them.  Lizzie Bennet filmed in specific, "controlled," indoor settings using a tripod and with fairly polished editing.  This fits with not only the pretense of her being a mass communications grad student, but also within Austen's orderly presentation of her narrative.  Jane Eyre, on the other hand, often shoots with a handheld, frequently outdoors, and is admittedly awkward.  But this is also in-line with her character - and the story to come.  I mean, I know they were worried about the house, but none of us could imaging Lizzie becoming homeless. 

So to reiterate - if you embark on The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, expect something wholly different from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

But expect something awesome none the less.

So now, let me brag a bit about about the project. AOJE is the creation of current and recently graduated students in the Vancouver, BC area.  They currently have a cast of 6 and a crew of 8 - which blows my mind! 

The actress who plays Jane, Alysson Hall, is also the show's co-creator and one of the writers.  And she plays a brilliant Jane!  By the time you get to the 2nd episode, you'll know what I'm talking about.  The level of emotion emanating from her astounded me.

Her Jane is just as passionate and introspective as Bronte's character.  And like the Jane of the novel, there is something beautiful about her person.

Ok, and you might be wondering "How have they adapted ________?"  Well, without giving too much away, I can say that in AOJE, Jane is the live-in Tutor for Adele Rochester, who's father E. Rochester owns a company called Thornfield Exports.  If you're thinking, Jane's life is so much more than Thornfield - yes, it is!  And they've adapted that through stories about her life incorporated into the vlogs.

But, speaking of Thornfield.......... Rochester.  Well, as of writing this, we've had 12 episodes, he has been introduced, and he is definitely Rochester!  Rough.  Harsh.  Careless.  Pensive.  Regretful.  He's a fan of GoT and  he has a tattoo!  As soon as I saw that I thought, "Yes!  Rochester of 2013 would totally have a tattoo."  Oh, and don't worry, Pilot is also in this adaptation. 

[Please note the tatoo on the left forearm... :]

Another thing I appreciate about the adaptation is that it situates itself within the same universe as LBD without the need to reference it all the time.  According to Jane, she was inspired to embark on this project after watching Lizzie's vlogs.  In real life,  the creators of AOJE contacted Bernie Su to make sure they wouldn't conflict with any upcoming projects "Pemberly Digital" has on its plate.  Like the LBD, these creators have embraced transmedia across youtube, tumblr, twitter, pinterest, facebook, instagram, and multiple websites.

So, if this peaks your interest, you can start here with Episode 1.  I'd encourage you to stick with it for a few episodes.  When it feels home-made or awkward - it's supposed to.  That's part of Jane's character.  And I'll vouch for the fact that it gets really good!

You can subscribe to their youtube channel for new episodes every Wednesday at 9 am.  Follow them on twitter @TheAoJEOfficial or Jane (on twitter & insta) @eyrequotes and start to explore the world of Jane Eyre retold in our present day.

[1847 title page]

[2013 vlog]

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