About Venice The Series :
◘ Evolution :
Venice is a web soap opera series and the creative concept of long time friends and artistic partners Crystal Chappell and Kimmy Turrisi. Chappell and Turrisi joined with director Hope Royaltey to build a groundbreaking business, production, and content model for the web. Venice developed from Chappell’s commitment to portray strong, decisive, and real characters; simultaneously maintaining creative control, which is often lacking in traditional television broadcasts. Venice will be the first serial that bridges the gap between many worlds — it unifies the gay and the straight worlds; people of color with multi-ethnic groups; and people in Venice, California with the global community (the series will be translated into multiple languages).
◘ Storyline :
Venice focuses on the life of Gina Brogno — a single, gay, self-made interior designer — living and working in Venice Beach, California. The plot follows Gina’s human experience in connection with her various love interests, brother Owen, father The Colonel and myriad other characters that make up Gina’s network of relationships. Gina is a strong, confident, and complex career woman who navigates her relations with people through an intense yet thoughtful prism. The convergence of Gina’s experiences with a progressive, bohemian, and urban backdrop; provides an electrifying plot journey. The storyline offers the best of traditional soap romance, love stories, tragic happenings, and hairpin turns. But it is done in a new, savvy, and edgy format with unique character development, diversity of character, and tantalizing plot portrayal.
◘ Concept :
Viewers will be led through a suspenseful voyage laid out in a series of webisodes; accompanied by interactive social networking on the Venice website, Twitter, and Facebook. Chappell, Turrisi, and Royaltey are committed to offering viewers both the opportunity to participate in the evolution of Venice and the way in which it is delivered to their computers. Turrisi describes the format as “viral media or guerrilla filmmaking,” similar to documentary filmmaking. In fact, the interactivity has produced a fan following before the series has even launched.
◘ Background :
The concept of Venice grew out of Chappell’s role as Guiding Light’s Olivia Spencer, a heterosexual, middle-aged woman who realizes her capacity to love another woman. Chappell played opposite Jessica Leccia who portrayed Natalia Rivera, Olivia’s object of affection. The storyline, now known as “Otalia,” followed Olivia and Natalia as they grew from foes to friends to lovers; and elevated the profile of same-sex relationships on mainstream daytime television. Both Chappell and Leccia garnered passionate fan attention and ardent recognition by gay, soap, and mainstream media outlets. “Otalia” quickly became daytime’s “It” couple and is known as one of the best love stories ever written for television. “Otalia” even sparked YouTube channels, community boards, and chat rooms dedicated to the telling of the story.
In her embrace of the overwhelming fan attention that came out of Otalia, Chappell wanted to continue telling the story of so many of the women who had written, emailed, and reached out about their own personal journeys. “The fans are what inspired this concept. There have been such great people who have come into my life because of this experience,” Chappell says. Chappell’s commitment to telling their story the “right way” is the driving force of Venice, “The fans have shared their stories with me so honestly and openly. I want to keep telling their story. That is why we are doing this. That is why this is so important.”