Logline: She’ll become a feminist, as long as it doesn’t make her look fat. Ack!
Length: For Dances with Films: 5 minutes and 59 seconds
Full version: 11 minutes and 50 seconds
Director: Susan Sassi
Producer: Susan Sassi
Writer: Susan Sassi
About the writer, director and producer:
Susan Sassi currently writes for an iO West Sketch Team. Previously, Susan wrote and starred in the musical Victorian Courting and Zombies, which she produced at UCB, iO West, and the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it received rave reviews and had a sold out run.
Cathy: Susan Sassi (LA Fringe Fest, iO West & UCB LA)
Charlene: Kate Huffman (Fresh off the Boat, Castle, and UCB LA)
Andrea: Nicole Yvonne (Key and Peele)
Cathy’s Mom: Kat Palardy (UCB LA, Brooklyn 99, The Pete Holmes Show, New and Girl)
Irving : Jeremy Briggs
Charlene’s daughter: Julie Birke (Freak Out)
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Looking for producers, distributors and financers for Season 2 and looking for Journalists to write articles promoting the series at festivals.
Funders: Raised money on IndieGogo
Made in association with: When Susan Calls
Release date: December 2015
Where can I watch it? Friday June 10th 6:15pm at the TLC Chinese Theatre
After its festival run you can find it at: https://www.youtube.com/user/WhenSusanCalls
Congratulations! Why did you make your web series?
Thank you! I was already on the lookout for an idea for my next project. Someone told me my humor was like a Cathy cartoon and that stuck in the back of my mind. Then I noticed people online hate the Cathy Comic because she reinforced negative stereotypes about women. I vaguely remembered the Cartoon.
So I re-read the comics and researched Cathy Guisewite, the creator, and it was very clear to me that in her day, Cathy was a role model. She was a single working woman at a time when it was still new and uncommon to be single working women in her 30s. Looking at it from a modern eye, some of the jokes are outdated, while a lot of the jokes still hit. But bit gets a bad rap online from those concerned about negative female stereotypes.
Part of my idea of feminism is being a woman and being free to speak your mind and express yourself. So to squelch a woman’s self-expression with judgement goes against this. I hope this web series encourages women to be themselves even if it conflicts with what most women think is empowering. Loving yourself despite anyone else’s opinion is truly the most empowering choice of all.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this web series?
You should watch it because it’s funny, silly, will make you laugh, and afterwards you’ll never want to eat chocolate again!
How have the script and web series evolved over the course of their development and production?
This web series mostly wrote itself. Originally there were more locations. But due to budget restraints I re-wrote it to fit in an apartment. Also originally Charlene and Andrea were too similar. I tried my best to differentiate them and their point of few to represent different female archetypes voices struggling inside of us. Charlene is our motherly and nurturing side. Andrea is the no-nonsense, business woman, fighting to be equal with men side.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Other than the feedback to differentiate Charlene and Andrea, I have received nothing but positive feedback from people who have seen it. Even from people who aren’t familiar with the original Cathy Comic strip love it.
When I had the first table read, only one person was pushing for another direction but everyone else in the room loved it so much they fought back and were passionate about continuing in the direction it was headed.
I sat back and watched and was tickled at how much passion and thought my little silly piece of comedy was evoking from people. My favorite compliment was “I think it’s hilarious that you gave Charlene a daughter and Andrea a Cat”
There was one woman online who didn’t see it but hates the comic strip so much she admittedly stated on twitter she refused to watch it. I used some of her voice to inspire the opposite point of view of Cathy in Andrea.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It was challenging to listen to the women slam my web series for the very reason I created it, when she hadn’t even seen it. In a world where there are so few women writers and directors of film, it’s so important we support women’s work.
Support doesn’t mean agreeing. It means you are supporting women to have a voice and encourage them to have a voice. If this woman gave the web series a chance she would have seen it’s not about encouraging negative stereotypes about women, the series is about how being yourself, no matter who that is, is the most empowering choice of all.
Of course the series is very silly and fun on the outside. So if you aren’t looking for meaning it can also just be something fun.
What are you looking to achieve by having your web series more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I’m hoping it will bring a lot more people to the screening on June 10th and help me get more press/bloggers to promote the screening on the 10th. I’m hoping it will help get the word out for me to find people/companies interested in financing and/or distributing Season 2.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this web series’s message?
Journalists, Web Series Financers and Distributors, producers, and Management/Production Companies.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this web series to have?
I am hoping people will enjoy and have fun watching the Web Series. Despite everything I talked about earlier, it is first and foremost a comedy, meant for everyone to laugh and have fun.
While filming on set, the site of me eating so much chocolate, was so disgusting, it really inspired everyone else to eat salads. So I guess I’m also inspiring people to eat healthy!
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this web series?
Should Cathy be allowed to stay who she is and be respected for what she represented when she was first created or should she be forced change and be a perfect ideal role model for children in this day and age?
Would you like to add anything else?
There is someone online who put Louie CK quotes over Cathy Cartoons. I ran into some people that thought these were really Cathy. I just really want people to know, those aren’t authentic Cathy cartoons.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Currently the festivals are taking up all my time and attention leaving little to no room to work on anything else. After Cathy is finished at the film festivals, I hope to start work on Season 2. If I get enough money, for season two, Cathy is going to be in real world modern situations such as Sensitivity training, Sexual harassment training, Pole Dancing, The Biggest Loser, etc. I also have two new ideas for web series I would like to start writing and a musical I plan to develop into a film.
If you enjoyed reading about 'Cathy in Real Life' please check out our platform: www.wearemovingstories.com We embrace new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you are a filmmaker - we'd love you to contribute. More info: Carmela (firstname.lastname@example.org)