What’s Streaming: Taylor Snaps onto Vimeo

Graphic by Jacob Jardel

Jacob Jardel
Voices Editor
@JJardel_Writing

“I mean, he’s not that hot.”

“You prefer her over him? Like, physically?”

“Yeah.”

“But this is like the kind of guy that we’re into.”

“Yeah, but that’s boring. She’s new. She’s great. She seems awesome.”

With that response to a game of “would you rather,” Taylor arrived at the realization that she might be attracted to women.

And with that set of snaps, viewers began the dominant story line of “This Is Taylor.”

The series originally aired via social media platform Snapchat for 32 days, with a new set of snaps appearing every day on the Gay Women Channel’s (GWC) story. The series utilized the My Memories feature to film scenes throughout the production process and post them at a later date on the account’s story.

A compilation video of the show is available for purchase on Vimeo.

Sarah Rotella and Adrianna DiLonardo of GWC created the show with Rotella taking the directorial reins while DiLonardo worked primarily on writing. This series is the duo’s second venture outside of their weekly Pillow Talk videos and occasional sketches on their Unsolicited Project YouTube channel.

Their independent movie “Almost Adults” received praise from fans and film festival critics alike. With “This Is Taylor,” the two continued their success in longer-form projects.

The series begins with Taylor (Justine Nelson) preparing for school, watching Netflix with her cat and commenting about her ice cream date with herself. The next day, she meets up with best friend Kelsey (Felicia Simone) at the park where they share the above-quoted exchange.

The rest of the series features Taylor’s examination of her sexuality, with a binge of the HBO series “The L Word” and, eventually, an Instagram search of attractive classmate Madison (Gwen Cumyn).

But Taylor accidentally liked an over-two-year-old photo, thus starting the romantic subplot of the story.

The two eventually become lab partners and soon date casually. However, upon Taylor’s realization of her sexuality, she decided to go on more casual dates under the impression that Madison had no desire to get serious.

Taylor snaps many of the dates from a number of suitors, particularly Kate (Winny Clarke), who ends up playing a bigger part in the narrative later on in the series. Without spoiling too much, the introduction of other casual dating partners makes for very conflicting moments for the main character.

As a whole, the series itself does a great job of exploring the concept of coming to terms with a newfound sexuality. The story plays out like a video documentary from a close friend with few boundaries as to what she shares online. Viewers get to know each character personally, especially given the various capabilities of Snapchat.

Indeed, the series itself is less of a television show and more like a series of snaps. While the constant black boxes around the vertical film could bother some viewers on Vimeo, the use of captions, stickers and other features of the app make up for it while adding a personal charm.

The characterization is great, especially from Nelson, who plays the character like a friend chronicling her life through Snapchat. She captured the essence of a goofy college student trying to find herself, making for a character many viewers could relate to.

Simone also shines in the series, with Kelsey providing some of the best comic relief in the series – particularly in the moments where she steals Taylor’s phone to catch an embarrassing moment or two.

While Madison appears in relatively fewer of the scenes than Taylor or Kelsey, Cumyn does a great job of playing the role of crush to Nelson’s Taylor. The pair exudes natural chemistry together, thanks in no small part to Cumyn’s acting ability.

Meanwhile, Clarke fantastically portrays the air of mystery that comes with the character of Kate. She may have few scenes as a whole, but that makes her no less memorable a character.

DiLonardo and Rotella’s writing for the series balanced out the cheesiness of new love with great humor and the dramas that arise when searching for a partner. The pair did well to keep the audience involved and interested with the story.

Overall, “This Is Taylor” is well worth the $3.99 price to own through Vimeo.

Moreover, it shows the capabilities of social sharing platforms like Snapchat in the production of series and potentially even short films.

More than anything, though, it shows the talent and creativity seen in stars of non-traditional media. From the actors to the creators, the sky is the limit for these individuals.

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