We’re excited to introduce you to Classic Alice. This is a episodic Youtube show that follows Alice as she uses classic novels to help her make life choices. I heard about the show previously, but I didn’t start watching until the lovely people involved with the production approached us about doing a feature and letting you all know about their campaign to fund the next “season” of their show.
I know a lot of us fell in love with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries that Hank Green produced a couple years ago and I haven’t really found anything that hit the same mark that that series did until I started watching Classic Alice. I like the genuine storytelling that they have going on and a well thought out story that brings the book to life. I’m not a huge classics girl as far as reading the story, but I love these modern takes an Classic Alice is doing a great job at bringing these stories to life. Other fun note, most of their production team is female. And, oh, did I mention there’s a cute boy in the story.
We hope you enjoy getting to know Classic Alice, we have an interview with Kate Hackett, the Creator of the series for you to learn more. And if it’s something you’d like to help support, we’ll have more details about their Indigogo campaign below.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s the first 68 episodes of Classic Alice.
PTB: Classic Alice is probably new to most of our readers, can you give us a history of how it got started and what the show is about?
Kate Hackett: Classic Alice is the brainchild of series creator and star, Kate Hackett. When over-achiever Alice Rackham gets a bad grade on an essay because she isn’t emotionally connecting to material, she decides to live her life according to classic novels. Her friend, Andrew Prichard, uses the opportunity to make a vlog-style documentary about the process, and together they create ‘Classic Alice’.
I was asked to write a book-recommendation YouTube vehicle for myself to host, but I don’t think I’m personally charming enough to host anything for more than 1 millisecond, so I proposed an alternative: what if we shot something in narrative form?
“THAT SOUNDS EXPENSIVE”, the production company declared.
“What, like Lizzie Bennet?”
Sigh. But yes, kind of like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an insanely popular web series that retold Pride & Prejudice in a vlog style format. Ours, however, would follow characters who are purposefully reliving classic literature. We wanted to encourage kids to pick up books that had some substance (IE, if you like Twilight, you’ll love Wuthering Heights kinda thing!)
Eventually, the company moved to a different project but I decided to make the show on my own (well. with an amazing team)! And here we are.
How do you choose the books you feature the series? And how did you decide to use the visual citations for the books? That’s such a fun element to the videos.
It’s kind of a weird process; I have to see if the book fits the show and if the show fits the book, so sometimes I try something and it doesn’t quite work out. I always look for the “how can I update this for today” angle, that’s important, and once I find that it’s GENERALLY smooth sailing. It doesn’t always pan out. Count of Monte Cristo, for example, would’ve been awesome, but getting Alice into
that revenge place (+ jail??) was too difficult for us last season. It just didn’t fit our story arcs.
I’ve never done a book without having read it before; it would take too much time to sit and read the entire thing first and the books I have in my brain tend to be what I gravitate toward anyway. It’s easier all around.The visual citation text gag actually came from our director, Josh Compton! We needed something in the first episode to break up the long monologue and he thought that might be funny to include — Alice TOTALLY would make Andrew cite his sources.
Many of our readers are librarians, teachers and parents, how do you see Classic Alice being used in a classroom or educational setting?
I think it would be a great tool to supplement discussions about novel themes! Because we are not a
beat by beat retelling, we are really focused on thematic elements of the books, which are (in my opinion) more interesting anyway! We want to foster discussion about more than just the plot. We create modern-day analogies of what goes on in the books, sure, but beyond the analogous retelling there is, I hope, a deeper understanding of the human truth that the original novel touched upon in the first place.
Your hosting an indigogo campaign to fund the “2nd season” of the show. What are some of the fun perks people can get by donating and what will their donation help fund?
We would like to be able to get nine days of shooting for ~24-30 new episodes in addition to confessionals, podcasts, and all the other ways CA has embraced transmedia (with more of that to come!). I would also like to be able to move the camera and shoot in fun locations! They would be getting – if we are fully funded – what they expect from the Classic Alice team … and more.
We have tons of super fun perks; everything from character interaction to getting to be a character yourself to sock puppet theater (where we reenact a book of your choice! WITH PUPPETS). Everything we have is pretty fun!
What advice do you have to young film makers who want to get their start using youtube?
Take risks. Don’t be safe. Watch others, learn, and add your voice.
If you’d like to help with the indigogo campaign, you can check out their page at campaign page HERE. The campaign ends a week from today, March 6th. They are hoping to raise $60,000 and they are just over half way there. They also made a campaign video that you can watch to learn a bit more. Like any of these campaigns, every little bit helps and they do have perks at all different price points which is nice.
(graphic and gif credit to Classic Alice)