Strong storytelling. Nuanced characters. Serious content. “EastSiders” proves these can all exist on the web.
F to 7th
…because any show that explores a subculture in five minute webisodes is definitely worth your time. Ingrid Jungermann’s “F to 7th” offers a quirky, insightful portrait of contemporary life among homosexual women in New York. Jungermann relied on crowdfunding and a grant overseen by director Spike Lee to produce the series. Due to the cult following of the show, Jungermann is currently developing a cable version with co-star Michael Showalter for Showtime – not too bad for a niche web series inspired by events from the creator’s own life.
More on F to 7th
Jungermann created the series “F to 7th” largely as a way to deal with issues in her own life. Raised by a religious mother who disapproved of her sexual orientation, Jungermann never felt fully comfortable with herself as a gay woman, which is reflected in the fictionalized Ingrid she plays on the show. Yet “F to 7th” goes beyond simple introspection and navel-gazing, taking a humorous look at the entire slice of Brooklyn sub-culture in which her character exists. Jungermann uses the series to present a more complicated representation of the lesbian community, though always through the filter of humor and interesting characterizations. What’s more, the series is interested in more than even its own niche of east coast sexuality, though this does play a big role in the series. The show also pokes fun at other eccentric sub-cultures, such as the obsessive pet owners who navigate dog parks. If web content thrives on the perception of authenticity, Jungerman is certainly writing from her heart, though with a keen social eye and awareness of the world outside her own apartment.
While “F to 7th” may be one of the more successful web series out there, Jungermann is a filmmaker first and foremost, which is reflected in the high quality of the show. In fact, Jungermann is a film school graduate, and she partly financed the series through an NYU grant overseen by the notable director, basketball fan and NYU alum Spike Lee. While some filmmakers may still feel that features are the truest expression of film, Jungermann has actually written and directed her first feature, "Women Who Kill," which serves as a kind of companion piece for the web series (and presumably was propelled in part by the show’s success). As the show transitions to cable through its pickup by Showtime, Jungermann will presumably continue to approach the material in the same unique way. Instead of viewing web content as a step down, Jungermann took the stance that it was simply another way to tell the story she wanted to and to make a personal statement. “F to 7th” was actually the second web series that Jungermann had worked on after “The Slope,” which gave her a firmer grasp on the medium. It also shows that as we continue further along the path of digital content, web series may prove a more viable alternative than the traditional student short film model of most film schools.
Jungermann managed to finance the web series through an interesting combination of sources. The show used a “traditional” Kickstarter campaign, though did not rely wholly on it for fundraising. What’s more, she was also able to leverage some of the success of her previous web series, “The Slope,” which dealt with similar material. And while she was definitely fortunate through her association with NYU that she was able to apply for the school’s grant – and certainly there’s an element of luck in that she won the grant – this speaks more to the fact that there are alternative means out there than hitting up friends and strangers for money on the web. In making any media project, it’s also not a bad idea to look for more than one financier, even if that one is a crowd.
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