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June 29, 2018

Short Form is Snatching Attention

Stage 13 is capitalizing on a new way to watch T.V. through their short form series Snatchers.

Danielle Smeltz
  • Gabrielle Elyse and Mary Nagi in Snatchers

    Stage 13

  • Stage 13
  • Stage 13
  • The creators of Snatchers, Scott Yacyshyn, Stephen Cedars, and Benji Kleiman

    Stage 13

Short form digital content is all the rage right now, showcasing original shows with episodes never surpassing 15 minutes.

Streamable through any device, these quick episodes leave their viewers wanting more, and Snatchers is no exception.

Snatchers is a horror comedy short form series about a teenage girl named Sara (Mary Nagi) who, after having sex for the first time, gets impregnated with an alien the morning after. And she not only wakes up pregnant, but late into her third trimester. Doing all she can to keep this secret from her mom, her ex-best friend Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse) and she try to handle this situation on their own and thus embark on this journey together.

The success of Snatchers is due to many factors, one of which is its portrayal as a short form series. Paul Young, the producer of Snatchers said, "It's a really exciting time for original short form content because you're finding stories from new artists that are amazing, and I'm a huge believer in short form as the breeding ground for the great filmmakers and storytellers of tomorrow."

Snatchers started out as a screenplay for a movie. But short form is much more flexible to the average viewers' schedule, and it is written similarly to movie screenplays so the transition was pretty simple.

Benji Kleiman, one of the creators, couldn't have been happier about the transition, saying, "In our mind, we were just making one project that happened to have these 8-10 minute delineations. It's amazing because people can watch these exciting sequences simply. If they want to watch the whole thing it's really easy to watch 8 episodes in a row, and if they want to watch one when they get home and one the next day it makes the medium much more flexible."

Stephen Cedars, another creator of Snatchers talked about the exciting future of short form digital content.

He said, "Coming from a place of personal experience, for a long time, web series haven't had the best reputation, being that anyone can put stuff on the Internet and claim it to be a web series. But we're living through a cool time because people are starting to realize that just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's bad, and it's actually quite good. We're really excited for that change in reputation."

The creators, Olde Money Boyz (Scott Yacyshyn, Benji Kleiman and Stephen Cedars) came up with the storyline in hopes of captivating an audience which doesn't typically watch this genre.

Instead of making the primary focus the story itself, which is what often happens with horror movies, they wanted the focus to be more on the characters. Kleiman said, "We wanted it to feel like a story that, aside from aliens, could really happen to somebody so that it was relatable. When we were writing it, it was a story about a girl who has sex for the wrong reasons and gets pregnant, and then has to face her own self-worth issues. To dramatize that, we used a monster movie framework."

Cedars added, "Believe it or not, we didn't realize that we needed to focus more on the teen pregnancy aspect of it until pretty late in the game. Once we discovered that and designed the story to make sure we were emphasizing what it would be like to experience a teen pregnancy exaggerated through this monster metaphor, that's when people started to respond to it."

Diana Mogollon, SVP and General Manager of Stage 13, is just as excited as the creators of Snatchers about what the future holds for short form and Snatchers itself.

She said, "There's more where this is coming from! I'm telling you, there's so many exciting things that we're doing at Stage 13 with our vision. With the Warner Brothers backing us up, they're pushing us to be innovative and to tell amazing stories with the best creators out there.

"That's really what keeps us growing every day."



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