There’s no doubt that representation on TV is important. Feeling seen and being able to relate to characters in stories being told is vital, however, while we are seeing more diverse and queer stories being told, there’s still a lot of work to do. So it’s more important that ever to support the projects that are trying to make the world more inclusive and diverse by giving voice to more marginalized communities. The creators trying to make these types of stories still lack a lot of the funding that is given to more mainstream stories, so they need fans to step up and back the projects whenever possible.
That’s exactly the case when it comes to funding Season 2 of KindaTV’s BARBELLE. The Canadian series recently received funding once again through the Bell Fund, but creator and stars Gwenlyn Cumyn and Karen Knox just launched an Indiegogo campaign looking to raise an additional $30,000. The additional funds will help the duo make Season 2 of the series, which begins production this fall, and follows Alice (Cumyn) and Veronica (Knox), girlfriends and bandmates in Toronto who break up and then must fake their relationship for their adoring fans. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, Season 1 is currently available on KindaTV.
To get a better idea of what exactly these funds will be used for, The TV Junkies recently caught up with Knox. She discussed the campaign, some of its best perks for those who donate and also gave some hints about what’s to come in Season 2.
The TV Junkies: Congratulations! We were thrilled to hear you will be back for Season 2. Along with the Bell Fund, you’ve also launched this Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. What will raising this money allow you to do?
Karen Knox: Thank you! This season aims to have 100 per cent more iconic gay music videos, asymmetrical haircuts, and matching pink camo power suits. But honestly, raising this money is really about taking responsibility for making sure that our mostly female identifying and queer creative team are getting paid a fair wage. In the film industry it’s difficult to get studios/networks interested in queer projects and so they frequently get made on tiny budgets. This trickles down to the largest cost on film/T.V sets: PEOPLE. It’s important for us to set a standard for how much marginalized media makers are getting paid, because if the community consistently under sells itself, we contribute to the problematic notion that we can pay marginalized media makers less money for the same job. So BARBELLE Season 2 is ponying up and making sure we have those independent film industry standard rates for our 100 per cent rad team of freaks.
TTVJ: I was checking it out and the campaign has some pretty awesome perks available for those who donate. Are there any in particular you wanted to highlight or think are especially fun?
KK: We’re pretty stoked about the TIX+TEE+TRUE LOVE, which includes two tickets to our fancy Queer Toronto WHO’S WHO premiere in the spring, a sick band tee, an instagram story shoutout from us, and a link to the Season 2 blooper reel. The Season 1 premiere was amazing. We had people from all over North America, not to mention Australia and England come to hang out with us and the KindaTV fam. We can’t wait to roll out the red carpet, or maybe we’ll do rainbow this time, and show all the good folks the work they helped make happen! And then party till the sun comes up, mandatory pizza at midnight, mandatory x 2 belting Robyn lyrics on the dance floor at 2AM.
For people who can’t to make it to Toronto — you can get the official BARBELLE Band Tee – which dear Miss Gwenlyn Cumyn will be sporting on her Instagram this week. Keep your eyes peeled!
TTVJ: Once you get all the funding set, when do you plan on filming and then having BARBELLE Season 2 available to viewers?
KK: We’ll begin principal photography for Season 2 in October. It’s tricky to say exactly when the show will be available, because so much depends on KindaTV’s scheduling, and how post production goes, but we’re hoping for a spring premiere! It’s mind blowing how much time and effort goes into a project like this, but we’re essentially making a movie, if that puts things into perspective.
TTVJ: All this talk about funding Season 2, but you guys did leave us on a pretty big cliffhanger in Season 1. What can you share about what’s ahead for Alice and Veronica in Season 2?
KK: Well we want to avoid spoilers of course, but we can tell you the band is on tour! And there is definitely a reality TV show being made about them. The Kardashians meets SpiceWorld meets But I’m a Cheerleader.
TTVJ: Do you plan on bringing other characters like Lulu and Brooklyn back in Season 2?
KK: There will absolutely be some familiar faces! And some new ones. OK…HOT TIP that we haven’t dropped anywhere yet. It looks as though there may be one new to BARBELLE but familiar to our audience face that we are absolutely stoked to be working with appearing in Season 2. Let the rumour mill begin.
TTVJ: There’s a note on the campaign page about other ways fans can contribute or donate than just giving you money. Can you talk a little about the other things people can do and how to get in touch with you there?
KK: We’re always looking for brands to partner with as well. Are you or do you know a brand that would want to be featured, or would simply want to sponsor the show? We would love for you to put us in touch! Clothing, coffee, food, bevvys, cosmetics. We like to work with brands that share our core values of inclusivity, generosity, and STYLE. If you are, or you know someone who has a company that would be interested in working with us, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TTVJ: Is there anything I missed that you wanted to touch on or add?
KK: Making this show has been such a massive eye-opening and heartwarming experience. We have been so inspired by the viewers, and we can’t wait to take Season 2 to the next level. Oh. And Poptarts has its own emoji now. Check out #poptarts on Twitter for that queer sprinkle explosion.
Are you glad we’re getting more BARBELLE ? What do you want to see happen in Season 2? Sound off below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.