Our generation doesn’t necessarily have the dating thing figured. Regardless of the era, anyone in their early 20’s probably had a complicated love life but it seems Millennials have a knack for making this a bit more complex than necessary. After all, we “talk” instead of officially dating someone; and depending on the person a “bae” is more of a concrete title than it appears.
Cylla Senii took our approach to love, and spun it into a show that depicts our struggle between finding happily ever after, and enjoying our youth without being tied down. Situationships is overdue, yet right on time. We spoke with the up & coming producer and director about how the show came to be!
Give us your full name, age, hometown, and current place of residence
My name is Cylla Senii. I’m 25. I’m a Pisces. (I love my sign.) I was born in Queens, New York and raised in Warner Robins, GA. My current place of residence is New York City.
Where did your love for directing and producing come from? Are there specific moments that influenced you to follow a path in media?
My fascination with directing and producing started during childhood. I have always loved storytelling, had a vivid imagination, and always knew that when I got older I would pursue a career in film, acting, and entertainment. I grew up watching the classics, performing in theater, and watching every Disney movie possible. I watched movies and shows that inspired me and encouraged me to be creative, and I also grew up in a home that embraced and celebrated the arts. All of these factors influenced me to pursue this career path that I’m very passionate about.
What steps did you take to gain experience in the field. From education to producing your own series, walk us through those building blocks.
At the University of Georgia, I majored in Advertising while also studying heavily in Theater, Film Studies, and the Music Business. From there, I interned at the likes of Huffington Post, Sony Music, and CBS Sports Network to broaden my understanding of the entertainment, media, and television industry.
Upon graduating, I worked at Bobbcat Films in Atlanta, GA which was run by CEO Roger Bobb, who previously was VP of Tyler Perry Studios. This certainly was a highlight in my early career to have the opportunity to be on set at a major production company run by seasoned producers and directors. The best advice I ever got from him was to never be afraid of producing and directing your own content, and that it’s a wonderful thing to do.
I relocated back to New York City in 2014 and started working at Disney Interactive (hello childhood dream!). Following this, I’ve worked at the best ad agencies in the country including BBDO New York and Droga5 where I honed my skills in advertising and production. I am thrilled to be an Interactive Media Producer at D5.
Each and every one of these experiences have influenced me to create, direct, produce, and market my own passion project, Situationships. 🙂
Where did the idea come from for Situationships?
Situationships is a show routed in truth. The story is so relatable, because it’s based off of real-life dating stories that happened to me and my friends. Many of the stories are exaggerated of course and a few are completely imagined, but at its core, the story is meant to be an authentic portrayal of how dating and communication has changed for our millennial generation. It deals with the “gray” area and the “what are we?” area of dating that we all know too well, and it’s meant to start a conversation about it. I think this is something that the show does very well, and it’s why our audience enjoys it.
What did it take to bring the idea from a thought to an actual show ready to be filmed
It took a lot of planning and dedication to make it happen. At the time, I got inspired by a lot of the funny and interesting dating stories that kept coming up in conversations with the people around me. From there, I got to writing and building my team. Within a few months, we were casting and shooting, so everything happened pretty quickly once I decided to make it happen.
How did you go about building your team from actors to production?
I built my production team by working with my talented friends who were in the industry. For the actors, we held a blind casting call and had over 4,000 actors submit. I thought this was amazing considering we were a new web show, and I believe it’s a testament to how relatable the content is to everyone in our generation. Finding top talent and providing opportunities for underrepresented demographics on screen was a major focal point of our casting process, and I am very pleased with the results.
When did you experience the most struggle while putting the first season together?
Post production and building the audience were some of the more difficult aspects we ran into in season one. After strategizing over several weeks, we were able to successfully distribute the show and reach our audience. I am very thankful for my amazing team who helped us accomplish that.
How many views has the series gotten in total, and what does the positive reception mean to you as the creator?
As of today, we have over 391,000 views on our Youtube channel. I am so thankful for everyone who has supported this show. This is something I have always wanted to do since I was a child, so to see that I created something that people really enjoy just makes me happy and thankful. I really appreciate the support!
What did you do to effectively market the series and get it in front of so many eyes.
We found our audience and our voice on social media, and it really worked. I also have an amazing team that was just as passionate as I am to make the show a success, so it was a team effort.
What’s next for the series?
Greatness of course. More content to come in 2017. New announcements will start in January. Stay tuned. 😉
Do you have any projects you’d like to put into production aside from Situationships?
Yes! This year, I actually produced and acted in another web series called, Mistake, which was created by Nicolette Ellis. It will premiere in 2017! I’d also like to highlight another short I was in called 5knives, which was created by Kar Logan. It will fully air in 2017. Aside from those 2 projects, I have a new dark drama that I am extremely excited about. All I’ll say is that it’ll be a thriller, and I can’t wait to share more exciting content with everyone!