Belleville resident Shawn Chevalier has been acting for more than 20 years, and now she wants to give producing a try with a project she affectionately calls "the little webseries that could."
The name of the webseries is "Intervention," and Chevalier said she started the script a couple of years ago, setting it aside after a run-in with writer's block.
She picked it up again recently, and decided the story was too complicated for the big screen.
"It wouldn't work as anything but a webseries," Chevalier said.
The series will spotlight two women who have been close friends for 20 years despite being complete opposites. One, with her perfect husband and children, has a dark side in the form of sex addition. The other, with her abusive husband, has struggled through life, but has never really done anything wrong.
Chevalier said she was inspired by the lives of some of her friends when she created the lives of these women.
Now in the process of filming, Chevalier and her actors have run into one problem after another.
Filming began during tornado season, and with actors coming in from Indiana, Oklahoma and Chicago, a flooded location was disastrous. Chevalier said she had to find a new location at the last minute so that her actors' trip to Belleville wasn't for nothing.
Then, during a scene in which Chevalier's character is being beaten by her husband, Chevalier suffered an accidental blow to the face, which resulted in a trip to the emergency room.
"I looked like the Joker," she said.
Just when things were getting back on track, one of Chevalier's actors, playing a main character, decided to leave the project, which forced Chevalier to reshoot all of the episodes she had.
Chevalier said, even though all of these incidents seemed like signs to stop the project, she is determined to reach the finish line, especially after receiving word that her brother in California, a fellow actor, had stage four cancer and would be coming home.
"I want to dedicate it to him," she said.
The series will contain 22 episodes when completed, with 10 episodes in the first season. Chevalier said she will start releasing episodes after she completes the fifth or sixth one on KoldCast TV or YouTube as a last resort.
The first episode, titled "Initial Shock," will set up the entire series with both women being kidnapped by a crazed preacher.
"Think Westboro Baptist kind of religious guy," Chevalier said.
The preacher's motive for kidnapping the women is to punish the sex addict for her unholy ways and to punish her loyal friend for being an accomplice to her actions because she never intervened in her lifestyle.
Chevalier said the series isn't meant to be suspenseful; it's more about the women's relationship and how they remained friends for so long.
While they are being drugged, they experience flashbacks spanning their 20-year relationship to show audiences everything they've been through together.
Chevalier said the project is low-budget, but it will be produced at the highest possible quality.
A website to promote the webseries is in the works. She is also working with local movie theaters to premiere the completed project.
Chevalier said she is always looking for extras, and will continue casting for main roles for future episodes. Anyone interested in being a part of the project can reach Shawn Chevalier at firstname.lastname@example.org.