(Los Angeles, California, March 8, 2017) Wraptastic Productions’ live action ensemble, and very zany comedy, “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” premiered worldwide exclusively on Amazon/Amazon Prime to five-star reviews on the 6th of March. Produced by Chris Sobchack, Nicole Sobchack, and Heather Hall, the short-form series stars Nicole Sobchack as the free-spirited, confused but very funny, Tiffany, who loses both her job and her boyfriend in the same day. When she moves in with her married sister Emma (Andie Karvelis) and Emma’s husband, Bob (Ben Kacsandi) Tiffany soon turns their formerly peaceful life into chaos as she struggles to find her way in life, trying one new crazy scheme after another. As Nicole Sobchack tells us, Tiffany is “one hot mess!” Series guest stars include TV icon Marion Ross, Scott Connors, Grant Linden, Larry Soileau, Jeff Garrido, Aimee Adams Hall, Matthew Peter Murphy, Shannon Noelle, and Sage Ortega.
Listen to Part One of our interview with Nicole Sobchack as she talks with our Senior Editor, Cirina Catania, about the making of the seriesHERE or Click on the Picture Below to listen on Soundcloud. .
In Part Two of our interview, Nicole Sobchack continues her discussion about “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” and gives other filmmakers advice on what to expect if they want to distribute via Amazon. Click below to listen:
(Special thanks and a big shout-out from the producers goes to Blackmagic Design, and ShotPut Pro by Imagine Products for their support of the series.)
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE SOBCHACK PART ONE (ABOUT THE FILM):
Cirina Catania: This is Cirina Catania with U.S. Times. I am speaking with Nicole Sobchack, the creator of a comedic series called, “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” that’s airing on Amazon beginning the sixth of March. She’s also the co-owner of the L.A.-based Wraptastic Productions. How are you, Nicole?
Nicole Sobchack: Hi, Cirina. Good. How are you?
Cirina Catania: Well I’m very pleased for you. It sounds like you’ve got some great things going. Would you tell our listeners – what is Wraptastic and what do you guys do over there?
Nicole Sobchack: Wraptastic Production is my and my husband, Chris Sobchack’s, company. We are becoming a full production company where this is our first real baby where we wrote, directed, acted, the whole nine yards, but we have just optioned a script, which hopefully will be an Oscar contender.
Cirina Catania: That would be great. Wouldn’t it? The production we’re talking about today, which I find fascinating, is this new comedy series you have called, “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” What is it about, who’s in it, and who did what on it?
Nicole Sobchack: Well it’s about my character, who loses her job, her boyfriend and her place to live all in one day and needs to move in with her sister, Emma, played by Andie Karvelis, and her husband, Bob, played by Ben Kacsandi. I decide to find myself. It’s about me, my character, trying to do things like Scientology. We’re going to have Kabbalah next season. [This season she tries] Yoga, vegan, Lucifarian. The thing about it is we never make fun of the actual thing. We make fun of the fact that my character can never execute it correctly.
Cirina Catania: It sounds funny just hearing about it. I have not seen it yet. I’ve seen your trailer and the trailer is hilarious. You had a screening a couple days ago and I understand it went really well. Tell me about it.
Nicole Sobchack: It was amazing. I will also say that we had a screening in Sundance and that went incredible. Everyone was dying and laughing. We were really relieved because that was the first time we put our baby out there. Then came the L.A. screening and we were really nervous all over again because L.A. can be a tough crowd. It turned out to be just as amazing. People loved it. They were laughing. They got into it. They loved every character. They loved all the guest stars that come in and just wreak havoc on our world. It was just amazing and fun.
Cirina Catania: You were one of the producers. You were the writer. You acted in it.
Nicole Sobchack: Yes.
Cirina Catania: You basically created the series with Chris. Correct?
Nicole Sobchack: Yes.
Cirina Catania: Were there surprises for you in the reaction that you got from the audiences? As a writer, you stand in the back of the room and you wonder if they’re going to get your jokes. How did that go?
Nicole Sobchack: As a writer, our very first compliment ever was when we landed Marion Ross to play our mother. It was strictly by a script that we had sent her, our fabulous casting director … It was originally written for a man, actually. Our casting director [Lisa London] suggested how we felt about Marion Ross and we instantly changed it to a woman and just prayed that she liked it and she loved the role. That was our first real compliment as a writer. Then was the audience laughing. Three minutes. Unbelievable. It’s so surreal because that’s your baby up there and people are loving it. Yeah, it was the most incredible feeling I think I’ve had to date in this business.
Cirina Catania: That’s awesome. That’s really awesome. Tell me about the production. Were you backed by a studio or how did you raise the funding for this?
Nicole Sobchack: No. We did crowdfunding. Indiegogo is how we funded this. We had an amazing amount of friends, family and strangers who contributed. We had about a $6,000 budget. We a little underestimated that budget, by the way. In the allotted time that we had, which was about a month, we actually raised more than that, which was fantastic. Then the rest was Wraptastic Productions.
Cirina Catania: This is a series. You shot a pilot and how many episodes?
Nicole Sobchack: Six episodes. This is a short-form comedy series.They’re about seven to 10 minutes long. When they go up, you can actually binge watch them in the time it takes you to watch Law and Order.
Cirina Catania: People love binge watching now. Don’t they?
Nicole Sobchack: Yeah, they do. It’s a crazy thing. You can get some popcorn and you won’t even be finished by the time the series is done.
Cirina Catania: Did you have a lot of people on your crew? What equipment did you use to shoot with? Can you talk about the physical production?
Nicole Sobchack: Yeah. We actually shot in our home. We had a very skeleton crew and they were amazing. We shot on RED Epic which was fantastic. Thank God our DP, DJ, [DJ Harder] hooked us up with Panavision lenses because sometimes we had to do a shot like on a couch. It had to be just one shot with the three of us. Because of the camera that we did and the Panavision lenses, we were able in the editing room to make it look like they were individual shots. Then a three-shot and then a two-shot, all from one shot. It was amazing.
Cirina Catania: Isn’t it amazing what you can do now with a little bit of a budget and a lot of heart?
Nicole Sobchack: Exactly. Everyone loved it. My favorite thing about it is the director, Larry Soileau or Emily Moss Wilson [guest director] would yell, “Cut!” and everyone would start laughing. I think we knew we had something special when we were filming.
Cirina Catania: Nicole, your character goes through a lot trying to find all these solutions in life. It had to have been a challenge with your makeup and wardrobe. Tell me about that a little bit.
Nicole Sobchack: Oh my god. We are so lucky. Our makeup artist and she did our hair too was Stacy Rosas. She was incredible. She made me look like death in our vegan episode, which is “There’s No Tiffany, Only Zoul!” She had to make me get all bruised up for the Marion episode, which was “Truth, Dare, Or Obamacare.” I go through a glass wall. I had glass in my leg. Yeah, I was not the pretty girl throughout this whole entire shoot. She got to do Andie all beautiful and just a little powder on Ben and then hours with me, but she did such an amazing job. It’s awesome.
Cirina Catania: Is there anything you want to say to your crew? Because I know they’re going to be listening to this.
Nicole Sobchack: I love you! I can’t wait for season two. You guys are amazing and it’s all because of you that we are where we are.
Cirina Catania: That’s awesome. You know, this is a tough business when you’re an independent. It takes a lot of fortitude and a lot of … Not just intelligence, but creativity and stick-to-it-tiveness to get this stuff done. I commend you on that. When’s it coming out and how do we see it?
Nicole Sobchack: It’s coming out Monday, March 6th and on Amazon and Amazon Prime. There will be new releases and you’ll look up, “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” Like I said, you can binge watch them all. You can watch one, watch another one later, go back and watch it again. Whatever you would like to do. Yeah, it’ll be all up there, ready to go.
Cirina Catania: Where can people go to learn more about the film? Do you have a website for it or a place where they can go to learn more?
Nicole Sobchack: No. We don’t have a website. We do have Facebook.
Cirina Catania: Okay. They can go on Facebook and they can search for Please Tell Me I’m Adopted?
Nicole Sobchack: Yes. Up there we have a lot of fun stuff. Pictures, videos, stills. We have even our Indiegogo video back when. Yeah, you can get a lot of information on that. Also Twitter.
Cirina Catania: Okay. We can go to Facebook, search for, “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” This is Cirina Catania. I’ve been talking with Nicole Sobchack. She’s the creator, writer, producer and lead actress in the new comedic short-form series that’s airing on Amazon starting the 6th of March. Thanks, Nicole.
Nicole Sobchack: Thank you, Cirina.
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE SOBCHACK, PART TWO (ABOUT DISTRIBUTION/MARKETING AND AMAZON):
Cirina Catania: This is Cirina Catania with US Times. We are talking with Nicole Sobchack who’s the creator of the comedy series Please Tell Me I’m Adopted. It’s being released on the 6th of March on Amazon and in part one of this interview, we talk to Nicole about the fun production and in this part I really wanted to ask you, Nicole, about marketing and distribution because you’re on Amazon and there are a lot of independents out there who are saying how do I do that? Can you tell us first of all why you chose Amazon?
Nicole Sobchack: Yes absolutely. At the time that we were ready to release, Amazon had just become the new more up and coming than Netflix and Hulu and we loved the fact that they were getting aggressive and growing and they were also into short form comedy. They actually have purchased short form comedy series. We thought they would be the perfect platform for us to grow also. Through our distributor, Kinonation, that has a great relationship with Amazon and all of them actually, but with Amazon once we met the criteria, we did not have to go as you know with Amazon, they have the funny or die thing where you go up like a lottery and you go up against another pilot and whoever wins will get a slot. Because of our distributor, we got to bypass that and they loved our show, they approved us, and gave us a slot on Amazon.
Cirina Catania: Can you talk a little bit about the kind of criteria that Amazon looks for when they’re looking for a comedic series?
Nicole Sobchack: Sure. First and foremost, you have to shoot on 4K I believe or higher. That’s the number one. You can not be using your cell phone or your iPad or any of that. They do look for that. You have to have things like trailers. You have to have posters, you have to have an IMDB page. These things are all very important. You have to have color and sound and stuff like that all done because if it’s all distorted, they won’t do it. You have to be professional. You have to treat it like it’s a real TV show budgeted by a high studio.
Cirina Catania: Right. Which is tough when you’re an independent. They have a long deliverables list it sounds like. Did they also have, for example, a number of still photos that you had to provide them for publicity purposes or what did they-
Nicole Sobchack: Oh absolutely. The metadata is amazing. You have to have short form description of each episode, a long form description of each episode, your overall description of the series, photos, like I said, trailers, yes. That’s why they do it because you can’t just throw up anything and be on Amazon.
Cirina Catania: Course not.
Nicole Sobchack: They want to take serious filmmakers and that’s what they do and they’re an amazing platform to be a part of.
Cirina Catania: Yeah I think they’re growing by leaps and bounds compare to where they were even just a year ago.
Nicole Sobchack: Yes and they just had the Oscar winning moment [Manchester By The Sea] in their time so they’re just expanding everywhere just with movies and series and now short form comedies. It’s amazing. They’re an amazing platform and a great family to be a part of. We’re very grateful.
[About the LA Premiere of “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!”] They went beyond my wildest dreams. People loved it, people were excited about it. The press that was there was excited about it. They laughed, they told us that this was hysterical and everyone really loved the short form. They loved the little bits. We have a through-line in them so they’re a full half hour, only done in ten minutes. It was just beyond my wildest dreams.
Cirina Catania: What does Amazon look for – for their success and for yours? For example, if you want to go to season two, what do you have to accomplish on Amazon in order to do that?
Nicole Sobchack: Hits. You gotta hit us, you gotta like us, you gotta watch the show. They base their ratings on the hits. The more people that obviously go to our show which is why we did all this, why we’re doing the social media and the press reaching out beyond our families, reaching out to millions, to the world so that we can do a season two.
Cirina Catania: Any advice you can give to other filmmakers who want to try to be on Amazon?
Nicole Sobchack: Yeah. I think truthfully that when you go and you can get an amazing crew, you can get amazing…LA is one of the greatest places and everybody wants to do something so you get a fabulous crew together, you can get cameras for a decent price, you can go do crowd funding and get your family and friends to chip in. Many things are being done that way now and you can do a really professional shoot for a very limited budget. I suggest that you really go out and do this and then advertise. Hire a PR person. Save money. The best thing I would say to anybody too is when you do your budget, budget for post. Don’t just do filming and pre. Budget for post because post is very expensive also with all the editing, all the social media things you need to do, hiring a PR, doing screenings and events to get your word out there is also part of a budget that you need to really focus on.
Cirina Catania: That’s where people run out of money usually is in post.
Nicole Sobchack: Exactly.
Cirina Catania: It’s unfortunate, but it’s hard for some independents to plan for that. You’re absolutely right. Is there anything else you want to tell us about the marketing or distribution that I haven’t thought of asking?
Nicole Sobchack: No, I think that truthfully and honestly the best way is if you don’t have a connection to get in, there are aggregators that can come in and do the pitch for you and though you give them a percentage, a little percentage of nothing is nothing, right? It’s a great way to go and when they believe in your project, it’s also just amazing.
Cirina Catania: That was Nicole Sobchack, the creator, writer, producer and lead actress in the new comedy series on Amazon called “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” Go on Facebook, search for “Please Tell Me I’m Adopted!” and you can see more about this very funny series. Thanks. Nicole.
Nicole Sobchack: Thanks Cirina.