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Flushing out the secrets of student life

by Elsbeth Cossar March 29, 2014
Flushing out the secrets of student life

In TV shows and movies we often look to characters to be our heroes. It’s even more inspiring if they go through the same difficult experiences as we do — triumphing in the end.

Natasha Greenblatt and Maisie Jacobson, former Concordia and McGill students,respectively, are aiming to create a web series, entitled Flush, that looks deeply at the lives of everyday students, the trials and the unspoken struggles they trudge through. As an innovative and thought provoking twist, these five to nine-minute episodes are set exclusively in various bathrooms.

Jacobson and Greenblatt co-wrote the series together. Greenblatt describes the plot as “a story of people that go away to university [who] are dealing with all sorts of things, about who they are in an unfamiliar territory and deciding what they want to do with their lives, who they want to sleep with, how they want to deal with sex and with themselves, and what kind of person that they want to create.”

The series broaches topics such as friendship, intimacy, sexuality, abortion, losing oneself and being exposed to the harsh realities of growing up.

It was Jacobson’s idea to set the web series exclusively in bathroom settings because, as a private space, “it becomes a really great container for all of those themes.”

What’s creative about this series is that it looks at a greater span of time than just a summer or a year. Greenblatt, who stars as the main character, Lucy, stated: “in our first season we’re looking at her entire university career from the end of high school to the end of university. It’s a very different way of watching time pass,” adding, “we kind of wanted to show her evolution over a longer time.”

Jacobson agreed; “I think that university years are kind of neglected on television and I think that it’s a really important time for a lot of people and a really scary time… it’s a really fun period of time to explore too.”

The trailer for Flush was produced for a grant application through the Independent Production Fund (IPF) in hopes of receiving funding for the series that is to be shot.

“Our trailer ended up being a little darker than we meant it to be. Ultimately this show is about finding oneself creatively which can be a really hopeful and wonderful thing to experience,” said Jacobson.

The choice to stage every episode of the series in a bathroom setting is a unique choice because of the connotations of such a private space.

“A bathroom is a place where you’re able to take off your public persona but you’re also creating your public persona,” said Greenblatt. “It can investigate both of those things.”

“In some ways we’re looking at the bathroom as a place where people take [their] armour off but we’re also thinking of bathrooms as places where people get ready to face the world, like put on their armour. As young women, bathrooms and experiences that we have in front of the mirror are so weighted. It can be so wonderful and so horrible,” said Jacobson.

“Bathrooms are also places that we engage in self-care a lot, but also places we engage in self-harm at times, so that’s also important in terms of how we see ourselves,” added Jacobson.  This dichotomy between public life and private life is a strong motif in the work, but more importantly it is meant to encourage people who go through similar experiences and can relate

“I think we’re definitely going for hope, but a complicated hope,” said Greenblatt.

The list of 250 applicants for the IPF competition will be shortlisted by April 7. The first round is based on the amount of views the trailer receives on YouTube before March 31. In order to produce the full web series Jacobson and Greenblatt need the funding, and to help them out you can check out the trailer and share it as much as possible.

Watch the trailer of Flush at Flushtheseries.com

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