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INTERVIEW: Karla Williams

Hi Karla, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! Really well – busy, but very excited and motivated.

How were you drawn into the screenwriting world – has that been always a major passion?

Stories have always been a passion, from when I was a little girl, and TV. I was raised in a home who loved television, so it was always on; we used to eat dinner around a table as a family while also watching TV. I started off writing for Theatre because I knew how to format a play and what a theatre script looked like, having studied them at school. I wrote my first screenplay 6 years ago for my short film Pretty Bitch. Then in 2015 I decide to purse writing for TV.

How does being the boss and creative force behind your own production company gives you more freedom as a writer?

I had created the series before I decide MsMono would produce it, and I had planned to sell the rights to either another production company or Broadcaster. I then realised what selling the rights would mean, so I decided MsMono would produce it. Being one of the Executive Producers on this project is great, because I can be confident the series will remain true to my original vision.

How did you come up with the idea for Celibate?

I have been celibate for most of my life and about 6 years ago I dated a guy who really loved sex. I was asked to create either a drama or comedy series and was inspired by that situation. I decided to change the genders as the story of a man who loves sex has been told, time and time again. I wanted to explore female sexuality and also create a male character who has a considered and compassionate approach to sex.

Was the actual story always meant to be the main concept or it evolve into this?

The story of a male celibate character, meeting a female lover of sex had always been the focus. The characters have evolved and developed with each draft, but the story has remained the same.

With romantic comedies being brought back into the mainstream conscious, courtesy of Netflix, how do you hope this helps the project?

I feel the new wave of romantic comedies is putting a twist on the genre. Celibate 100% falls in line with that, as it takes your boy meets girl story and turns it completely on its head.

Aside from the project, is there something else that makes the story stands out?

The fact we have a female character who is funny, intelligent, quick witted, nuanced and very much in control of her sexuality, is very rare on both the small and big screen. Also, a male character who is successful, driven, good looking and motivated, while also being thoughtful and emotional about sex is equally rarely seen. There is a growing demand for more complex and diverse female lead roles across stage, tv and film; Celibate stands out because it delivers just that in a female lead but also creates an interesting and multifaceted male lead.

What’s been some of the most challenging things you’ve encounter from a story perspective?

Getting the female lead, Olivia, just right. I wanted to make her confident and bold while also having the capacity for vulnerability and nuance. I think I have got the balance now and it helps we’ve cast Award-winning stand-up comedian Thanyia Moore to play her. Thanyia is just brilliant, she has really understood Olivia and all her complexities.

How and where can people help bring this project into fruition?

We have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the budget to produce, film and release Celibate as a web series. We are offering a wide range of amazing perks including an Acting Masterclass with Casualty Actress, Crystal Yu. You can donate to the campaign here: https://igg.me/at/TeamCelibate

What else is happening next in Karla Williams’ world?

Hopefully a meeting with Netfix because they want to commission the series!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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