In 2011, Michelle A. Daniel, a writer and filmmaker in Atlanta took pen to paper and turned her pain into the number one LGBTQ web series on YouTube. Between Women was groundbreaking and one of the first web series series to showcase the lives of LGBTQ women of color as they navigated life through a maze of friendships, transitions, love, motherhood, abuse and betrayal. From the very first episode, Daniel was never afraid to tackle the tough topics. From domestic violence, to depression, to adoption and even death, Between Women gave you all of the realness.
Between Women is what happens when a group of women decide they are no longer interested in being underrepresented, not just in mainstream television and film, but within their own community. Over 120,000 subscribers and 16 million views later, Between Women is back with it’s third season. The web series promises for a new business model and a stronger determination to be the voice of the community and show up for us, our issues, our families and our lives.
We sat down with the Mama Bear of it all, Michelle A. Daniel to discuss the past, present and the future of Between Women T.V.
Tagg: When we left season two, Miller was arrested, Miller’s daughter came into the picture, Winney was about to have a baby, and Alycia emerged as this devious and sinister destroyer of everything Miller. It seemed to stop abruptly. Did you plan to make a season three?
Daniel: No! And that is my honest and direct answer. Season two of Between Women became very overwhelming for the team both financially and in terms of scheduling. One of our biggest issues was and still is scheduling. During a normal set at least four people are required for a scene. We also have to schedule the hair, makeup and wardrobe crew. So at any given time we have to schedule 10 to 18 people for every shoot. With the budget limitations that being completely self-funded presents, this can be challenging. We are thankful that everyone shows up not because they are paid, but because they love the project and what it stands for.
Tagg: What inspired you to keep going?
Daniel: I never had peace about leaving season two with so many loose ends. I wanted to give closure and answers to the questions our characters left behind. Fans e-mailed us everyday about season three. I owed it to them to give them what they wanted. So in December of 2014, we gathered the team and started the process all over again. I wanted a good season. It was vital that I gave myself enough time to write, film, edit and edit some more until it was perfect.
Tagg: Can you give us the scoop for this season?
Daniel: There are so many setups this season, that I can’t give you a straight answer. I can spill this tea though. There will be another baby this season and you will be blown away when we reveal from whom. And yes, karma will be making a lot of guest appearances. But that is about all I’m going to say. You have to tune in.
Tagg: You present some heavy issues in this season, issues that are very present in our community. From where do you pull your inspiration?
Daniel: Season one was inspired from my group of friends and I have just continued to develop deeper story lines. There’s a lot of my personal stories reflected in season three. The biggest topic we will focus on for season three is depression and toxic relationships. All I have to say is , don’t date a writer, you will become material.
Tagg: Let’s talk about your decision to change platforms and start charging people to watch the new season.
Daniel: I feel that at some point you have to turn your baby into a business. For two seasons I considered Between Women my baby. I sacrificed and all of the funds came from my own pocket. The cast didn’t ask for one penny and they always gave their all. But, I had to realize that a business is not a baby. In order for a business to survive it must have funding. We have a phenomenal, ground breaking show. We have a loyal fan base. We believe that our fans deserve the best production and to give them that, we have to fund the Between Women brand. The film industry is a trillion dollar industry and we deserve our share of that.
Tagg: How have your fans responded?
Daniel: I learned during this process that there is a difference between a fan and a supporter. There was a lot of negativity with the transition, but in order to make this project bigger and better, we had to change our business model. We cannot create opportunity and change within the LGBTQ community if we don’t have funding. If the mainstream film industry won’t open doors for us, I will create them and fight for our community. But I cannot do it without funding. Our supporters understood this and have committed to supporting us.
Tagg: What would you say to those who have had a less than favorable response to this change?
Daniel: Support, support, support.
Tagg: Tell us about the next year for Between Women T.V.
Daniel: There are talks of a season four of Between Women. There is also a brand new series is in development. We have plans for talk shows, documentaries, and short films. We will be the voice of our community on television.
Tagg: How can the community support Between Women and DayJream Studios?
Daniel: Subscribe to our network, pay for the episodes, follow us on all our social media pages and spread the word.
Tagg: Where can we watch the show this season?