From it’s catchy theme song to its tasteful content, Adulting with Jane is a pure delight. Described as a sitcom meets a how-to video series, Adulting With Jane is a new comedy series which features one influencer in each episode to teach the main character, Jane, how to “adult” in a comedic way. In addition to being a copacetic way to acquire new skills, Adulting with Jane, is also one of the first narrative series ever to feature shoppable video technology. This means that if viewers like any product while watching any episode, they are able to click on it, buy it on the spot, and easily return to the episode. Join us as the show’s Executive Producer Jenny Paul chats with us on the show’s current impact and her hopes for its future.
Hello Ms. Paul! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today!
It is absolutely my pleasure!
The concept of Adulting with Jane is exceptional! How was it developed?
The Concept: Adulting with Jane is a new short DIY Comedy series– think sitcom meets how-to videowith a different expert appearing in each episode to teach Jane how to adult. In addition to being a palatable way to learn new skills, Adulting with Jane is one of the first narrative series’ ever to feature shoppable video technology. When you see and like a featured product in the show, you can click on it, buy it on the spot, and easily return to the episode! So many younger (and sometimes even older) adults are afraid to do some of the things that our parents and grandparents did so easily for fear that we will not “do it right”. With that in mind, Adulting with Jane is designed to demystify important “adulting” skills in fun, bite-sized sitcom style segments. From “How to Change a Tire” to “How to Use an Instant Pot” to “How to Help a Friend with a Panic Attack,” Adulting with Jane gives its viewers one stop access to both the figurative and the literal tools to succeed at that skill on his/her/their own.
Interesting! How do you compare your production process for the show with your other projects?
It’s mostly the same! We add a couple of extra steps to pre production and post production. We vet and select the featured products in the episode long before we shoot so we are able to make sure they’re in the pre production design plans and well-represented in the episode. Additionally, we program the shoppable functions after post production and episode lock. Our multi-faceted marketing campaign to cultivate viewership and potential episode partners and sponsors as well as to introduce this new type of shoppable platform to the market is also its own unique beast.
Very Intriguing! What was the most difficult production problem that you have had to solve so far?
It’s always the juggling and the seemingly never ending learning curves that are the most difficult and the most rewarding part of any producing job. Inevitably, you have seven things going on at once and if four of them are well under control, it’s a really good day. Then, when all seven things are finally checked off the list, eight more have somehow appeared. There’s really never a dull moment in this line of work!
I can understand that! What has your creative process been for the show?
I started by developing and incubating the baseline idea for the Adulting with Jane concept, format, and main characters, spent another significant period of time developing scripts, characters, and story arc with a handful of crazy talented writers, and finally vetted and on- boarded the best creative artists and technicians I could find that I thought work well together skill-set and chemistry-wise with a similar aesthetic to what I imagined the final product/show to be. Then, I took a step back and let the team get to work. As we continue to develop and make decisions about the show, my personal creative process is largely collaborating with the people that I’ve already onboarded to bring a bigger vision than one I ever even imagined to life.
Give me an example of a time when you thought outside of the box. How did it enhance your creative process?
In this line of work, resourcefulness is key. I’ve repurposed a living room to look like three totally different apartments to save a day in production. I’ve hired a makeup artist straight out of a MAC Store after her shift. I’ve asked a friend to borrow a live chicken from another friend. I can safely say, being a low budget producing specialist, I spend more time “out of the box” than in it. I truthfully don’t even think about it most of the time. It all feels like “just another day” to me. Resourcefulness is a major part of my personal creative process: how can we make this (whatever ‘this’ is in the moment) work best with what we have available to us? Outside the box. Inside the box. Through the box. Around the box. Under the box. Sitting on the box. Standing on one foot on the box. You get the idea.
(Laughs) Indeed I do. Name a time when your patience was tested while producing the show. How did you control your emotions?
I always remind myself that content and comedy making is not rocket science. We’re here to empower people to feel more confident taking responsibility in their own lives and make them laugh a little in the process. Rarely anything is worthy of a huge emotional investment or response. Sometimes, when it gets too real, I call my Co-Executive Producer, Elvin Roytman, to vent. He is truly the best sounding board/support system anyone could ask for.
How do you plan details such as framing, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene?
I generally leave it to the professionals that I trust to pull it all together! We have a stellar core creative production team led by AWJ Producer/Director Samantha Saltzman with Director of Photography, Alphonse Silvestri and Producer/Sound Department Lead, Jonathan Paul. Sami supervises these departments as well as the Art Departments and will check in with me and the rest of the producing team in regard to big aesthetic decisions or changes. Now having shot three episodes and a teaser/trailer, the team has a very easy working relationship and vocabulary in regard to Adulting with Jane, and I imagine it will only get stronger as time goes on.
What is the most challenging part of studying and researching scripts to determine how they should be directed?
I don’t direct the episodes myself, but in writing them and developing them with other writers and the director, the most challenging aspect in regard to the scripts is marrying all of the different styles together to create one cohesive language and world for the characters to speak and live in.
Cool! Walk me through how you select scripts for production, and determine how material should be interpreted and performed?
We commissioned about 12 scripts as we made bigger decisions about the characters, the world of the characters, the voice(s) of the characters, and how the expert influencers would function as “guest stars” in Jane’s already established world. We’ve already produced two of them, and the other ten are in the queue for when we are able to secure a sponsor(s) for the topic. A third episode that we produced, “Creating Space” was written specifically with one of our episode sponsors as well as the Marie Kondo “tidying” phenomenon in mind! Performance wise, Jane is a pretty close to home character for me to play: a generally optimistic, open-minded, well put together goofball that has very little shame 😉
(Laughs) Love it! What is the best advice that you’ve ever received?
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
I couldn’t agree more! How do you apply that advice to your career?
I do it as much as humanly possible. In all parts of my life. My career is no exception.
Ms Paul, you seem to be the pinnacle of a Renaissance Woman. We look forward to continuously seeing you shine!
Thank you so much for your time!!!
No problem at all!
With proper adulting, there are times that we need all the help we can get! Could you use some tips? Keep up with Adulting with Jane on all social media outlets below.