An irreverent, mysterious dramedy for millennials, Carmilla (108 x four-minutes) is a scripted transmedia series that puts a modern spin on the cult classic gothic vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Produced by Shaftesbury’s digital studio, Smokebomb Entertainment, and funded by the U by Kotex® brand, Carmilla has generated more than 55 million views on KindaTV, the largest scripted YouTube channel for millennials in Canada, since its launch in August 2014. Season 2 premiered on June 2, 2015, and Season 3 launched on September 15, 2016. Natasha Negovanlis (“Carmilla”) took home the Fan’s Choice Award at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards.
A quarter of a century before Bram Stoker’s Dracula entered the literary canon, there was Carmilla, which was published in 1872 and tells the story of a young woman’s susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire. In Season 1 of Carmilla the series, Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman) is three weeks into her first semester at Silas University, where things have gotten off to a weird start. And then her roommate, Betty, mysteriously disappears after a party. A cryptic note leads Laura to believe that this isn’t just a case of partying too hard. Determined to find Betty, Laura summons her inner Veronica Mars and starts her own investigation. Not at all complicating things, a mysterious girl, Carmilla Karnstein (Natasha Negovanlis), bursts through the door, and introduces herself as Laura’s new roommate. Who is Carmilla, what happened to Betty, and what’s behind the strange events at Silas University?
In Season 2 of the series, Laura Hollis and friends find themselves faced with even greater stakes (no pun intended) at Silas University after the mystery of the missing girls is solved. Having saved her roommate and a significant portion of the student body, Laura Hollis pretty much figures good has triumphed, until Silas erupts into total chaos. Come hell or Hogwarts, Laura and her friends are determined to unite the warring factions of the University, reinstate classes and traditions, and turn Silas into the welcoming bastion of inclusion and knowledge it was always meant to be. At least that’s the plan! But nothing ever goes as planned—the past and future are about to collide in unimaginable ways, and relationships and friendships will be put to the ultimate test. If love has its sacrifices, just how far will they go?
At the start of the third and final season of Carmilla, we find our tiny heroes Laura, Carmilla and LaFontaine hiding out in the Silas University library from The Dean, who is relishing in her newfound power and gloating glory. You know how Evil is – big on the rhetoric. Affected by the traumatic events of Season 2, Laura is disillusioned and fearful to try anything that might hurt her and her friends, while Carmilla and LaFontaine find common ground in their quest to stop The Dean.
Incorporating the U by Kotex® “Save the Undies” campaign, Carmilla also includes transmedia extensions engaging millennial audiences, including character Twitter and Tumblr feeds that extend the story world between episodes, and U by Kotex® integration vlogs featuring the two lead Carmilla characters debating such questions as whether vampires get their periods.
Carmilla is developed and produced by Smokebomb Entertainment and shift2 in association with U by Kotex®. The series is executive produced by Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie, and produced by Steph Ouaknine and Jay Bennett. Funded by U by Kotex®, the series is co-created by Smokebomb and award-winning playwright Jordan Hall, written by Hall and directed by Spencer Maybee.