Web series’ don’t have to be all cats and video games. “High Maintenance” tells sophisticated, realistic stories in fifteen minutes or less.
My Life in Sourdough
...because cats and gamers may dominate internet content, but foodies have also found their niche online. Marie Constantinesco’s web series “My Life in Sourdough” plays with gourmet hipster culture through a hybrid fiction, autobiography and cooking show format. Each episode follows the quirky adventures of a young French woman on dates and in the kitchen, paired with an actual recipe from the show. This genre innovation allows Constantinesco to explore her combined interests in cooking and awkward romantic interactions, while creating the potential for crossover content with recipes and foodie related tie-ins.
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While “My Life in Sourdough” is unique from many other successful web series in that it isn’t video game themed, it does tap into an equally powerful web interest. Anyone who has ever browsed Instagram or Buzzfeed knows that food photos and content are almost as important as adorable felines. Constantinesco cleverly blends the well-known cooking show format with an offbeat narrative about the difficulties of finding true love in Brooklyn. By featuring a subject that already interests people and the added bonus of a recipe that accompanies, Constantinesco is able to experiment with her characters and storylines much in the way a chef might play around with different combinations of ingredients in the kitchen. The second season veers into the absurd with the introduction of a jar of sourdough starter named Fluffy as a primary character.
“My Life in Sourdough” is a good example of content with potential beyond the web series. In addition to the recipes tied to the show, Constantinesco also includes cooking themed “life changing tips” to create a kind of lifestyle brand as part of the overall experience. The show could also easily expand its production budget by incorporating branded content from featured food products or businesses. With web series starting to make the leap over to more traditional media, it’s also not difficult to imagine an established company like Food Network or Tastemade testing the show as a foray into fictional programming.
In creating her web series, Constantinesco crafted her idea to a manageable production. “My Life in Sourdough” shoots in New York with a cast and crew largely composed of Constantinesco’s friends. The relatively simple premise of dating and cooking also allows for simple exterior or readily available locations. The recipes and food content also draw on an activity Constantinesco was already doing – baking for recreation. The ease of production also features another advantage: the possibility to shoot in other cities. Constantinesco lived in Paris, and has expressed the desire to film a season in her former home town.
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