By Rivka Yeker
Kappa Force, a new web series directed by Hannah Welever and created by Addison Heimann is on the horizon for things to add to our anticipating queues this upcoming spring. I was able to sit down with Hannah, Addison, and producer & cast member Emilie Modaff to discuss the show’s intentions and what direction it’s heading in.
The series is a kitschy Scream Queens meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired satire based on the complexities of toxic masculinity specifically rooted in Greek culture on college campuses. It uses Kappa Force, the secret crime fighting team within a generic sorority, to retaliate against the patriarchy no matter the cost.
Check out the trailer released 10/31 here:
What has been the driving force behind KAPPA FORCE's narrative? What is the underlying statement of the entire project?
Hannah: I mean, for me, the underlying themes are feminism and upright goofiness. Might seem like a simple choice of words but I think this past year has been a really rude awakening for progressive young people, and our most common retaliation has been dishing back satire and equality on a daily basis. Kappa feels like an ode to the shows we grew up with a contemporary twist.
Emilie: And I’d say that there’s his underlying theme of “womxn working towards a total destruction of the patriarchy, through the satirical and self-examining lense of 90s comedies and pop culture.” It definitely comes across as a goofy satire that touches on some pretty serious shit.
Addison: So I wrote Kappa Force basically because I was devouring Scream Queens and rewatching Buffy and thought I could write a killer hybrid that would be funny. I love writing women and I love writing comedy and the frat/sorority life is just full of things to make fun of.
Was there an intentional decision for it to be on a college campus dealing with college students in greek life? If so, why?
Emilie: College campuses can be a perfect microcosm of “real life.” It’s a beautiful framework for a web series, especially one that comments on the current state of humanity. Also, Greek life is literally a perfect representation of the evils and pervasiveness of the patriarchy
Hannah, How did directing the series feel? What did you gain from it?
Hannah: Directing this was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had. I rarely get the chance to have creative control in the way I did for this project. I think all anyone ever wants in life, especially as an artist, is to be trusted with something, like, listened to, respected, the whole damn thing. I felt trusted from day one- which at this point was over a year ago. Addison was a complete stranger, and if it wasn't for Em for talking me up I doubt this project would've even happened the way it did. I've been interested in directing most of my life, but I think I always put myself on the back burner because of my own doubts. I mean, everyone gets to soon publicly judge my abilities, but that doesn't take away the amount of fun I had making this thing happen. We are all just hoping this is the start of many more collaborations and projects that defy genre, structure, and of course, heteronormativity.
Emilie: It was such a domino effect. Addison wrote this incredible script, I thought I could help bring it to life, Hannah took a chance on it, and then all of a sudden we had the most bad ass film crew in the city.
Addison: Literally Kappa Force happened because I hired women who were smarter than me.
That's become my mantra.
Emilie, tell me about your character!
Emilie: My character is named Chartreuse, and she isn’t in Kappa Force. She’s a normal (kind of) chick with a gothic/cool girl style and a very sharp tongue. She’s the stereotypical “freak” archetype, but Kappa Force gives her a voice and some depth and eventually she has this dope fight scene that will probably be the peak of my acting career.
Tell me more about “Kappa Force” and the fraternity we're dealing with
Addison: So Kappa Force is a secret sorority crime fighting group in a generic sorority. We keep things generic because I love not getting sued.
Emilie: The series opens with the youngest member of Kappa Force being abducted by The Douche, the frat king of Sigma…
And then there’s the boys of Sigma, led by basically a men’s rights activist named The Douche. Ironically The Douche is the most popular man on campus. #Relevant
Addison: In the first season we focus more on the superhero aspects and less on actually sorority and fraternity life. The story focuses more on a new girl in school, Jen who will eventually become a new member of Kappa Force. College life is new and exciting and hot and cute and it's through Jen's eyes we see everything.
Hannah: Yeah - we definitely play up the early 2000s collegiate rom-com V HARD
Addison: There are several people dressed in cargo shorts and velvet and things from Hot Topic
What are some tough topics you explore aside from, y'know, women being oppressed by the patriarchy?
Emilie: Being closeted! Toxic masculinity!
Hannah: I think friendship is a big one too!
Emilie: And friendship yes. One of my favorite things about the show is that the two popular girls (Jen and penny who are literally MODELS) become really close and tender with the archetypal “freak” Chartreuse. Platonic love is so important.
Obviously there are a lot of queer people behind the scenes. Queer romance y/n?
Addison: Oh yeah.
Hannah: But of course. Finally made my dream of directing two men kiss come true.
Where do you want the series to head in / what are your hopes and dreams?
Hannah: I mean, I just want people to notice the hard work that went in. We can make a really cool project with a bunch of 20 somethings and not much money. Like, frickin HIRE US ALREADY.
Addison: Ideally Jesse Bradford watches it when we post it on Vimeo and his production company which I assume he has makes it and then we get picked up by the CW and he ends up in it playing hot professor. First name hot, last name professor.
Emilie: My hopes and dreams include having people realize that young artists are the future and we deserve to have a platform to come together and play and create
I’m so sick of the politics of art. This project was a dream because we all had respect for each other. The end goal was the same for everyone—a badass piece of work that we could be proud of.