Classic Alice aims to speak for an audience that feels neglected and gets abandoned on television: book nerds. Series creator, writer, and star Kate Hackett know that situation very well. “I was exactly [that]audience,” Hackett says. “Nobody knows how to write for book nerds.”
Classic Alice is a web series that follows a college student who decides to live her life according to classic literature. Hackett says that the first time she felt the impact that the show had on people was her first time at Vidcon for the series along with co-star Tony Noto.
“We were at the Pemberley Digital booth, and this girl turned around […] and she saw Tony and me and she started crying. That’s when I went, ‘Oh, people really like these shows.’”
Having recently surpassed one hundred episodes, the series is approaching its conclusion with the final episodes airing in January. It’s a bittersweet feeling for Hackett. While the hard work of writing, editing, and filming the series are already complete, as she and her team draft the last tweets for the show’s characters, she comments that she started getting very sad. “It feels like it’s actually over,” she says. “The characters kind of die, it feels like I’m killing them. So [it’s] good, but not good. Sad.”
For the show’s final arc they’re tackling Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”. Hackett is hesitant to say more about the show’s conclusion, but states that the fact that this is their last book is “very telling” and that their characters “have a lot to resolve in a few weeks.”
On the reaction from the audience and their fans, Hacket states the following: “We’ve had such a varying reaction to the show this season. Sometimes our fans are wildly unpredictable.” Hackett did say though that she hopes that the audience was able to think more about the series than the fact that they like or dislike a certain character. “I hope that viewers were entertained and they were challenged to think about different characters and different points of view.”
Looking back, Hackett said one of her favorite moments was in the “Dracula” arc where Alice is telling Andrew off. “I really loved that moment. It felt very truthful. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to say this to ‘That Guy.’ As an actor I knew exactly who I was talking to.”
Hackett also jokes that writing and starring on the show has turned her into a “power hungry maniac,” saying she enjoys writing for herself rather than for a boss. As a result of her work on the show she said she has felt the need to challenged more as an actor. “Pushing myself is definitely something I’ve grown to need,” Hackett said.
From its inception, Classic Alice has embraced transmedia, using Twitter, Tumblr, a faux student newspaper and podcasts to further the story and connect more with their fans. “We included that because we thought it was a cool way to let the characters live in multiple ways,” Hackett says. “It’s also cool because you can interact in different ways. Being able to talk to people as the characters is cool.”
New App Available in Winter
Hackett’s latest project, in partnership with the Horizon Factory, involves putting all of Classic Alice’s media together in one convenient place for fans to relive: an app, which will be made available in the iTunes store this winter. The app will contain all of the videos, social media, characters’ diary entries, podcasts and more for each book, as well as extra behind-the-scenes content and bloopers in a timeline. The prequels and “Crime and Punishment” arc will also be available to download for free, with later books ranging in price from $2.99 to 8.99 each. Hackett describes the app as a DVD box set, only interactive and with more extras. “The app is wonderful. I love it so much”.
As for what’s next, Hackett says that, while she’s unsure where the future will take her, being a part of web community has been an “immensely enriching” experience. The web series creator also announces that she’s got a couple of sketches coming and that she would eventually like to make a feature film, one she may potentially write. “I’ve made so many friends, developed so many skills, and gained so much experience: it’s been an awesome ride!”