Big Kids Coming to the Small Screen

Daniel Abramson as Phillip in the forthcoming web-series "Big Kids"

If you haven’t heard of Big Kids, a web series premiering this fall, you will soon. The series is already making a splash on social media and entertainment news outlets long before its YouTube premier.

   Big Kids follows three college students: Andi, Tina and Phillip, as they engage in six episodes of summer shenanigans. On the brink of adulthood, they try to make the most of their last summer before senior year.

   “We knew we wanted to make it about college because it’s what we know,” Co-Creator, Writer and Director Payton Williams said. “It’s really about finding your friends and finding your family within your friends, and growing up together.”

   For Williams, the series is the fulfilment of a long-time aspiration to work on a production with friends.

    “One of my close friends from freshman year, Emily Hughes, was in LA doing the UTLA program and she specifically came back to Austin because her and I had always talked about writing something together,” Williams said. “We had just never knew what we were gonna do or if we were capable of doing it. So she came back the first week of May and I said ‘let’s do this, lets write a web series.’”

    Williams and her colleagues filmed the series over the summer for six weeks, while simultaneously launching a social media campaign to promote the show’s premiere in the fall.

   “They were very well organized,” said Daniel Abramson, the RTF Junior who plays Phillip on the show. “They had a game plan for when they were going to release X, Y and Z and their social media campaign. They’ve spent a helluva lot of time doing the right work. It’s gotten a lot of attention as far as college projects go, and I’m taken aback by how much attention it’s gotten.”

   Big Kids has generated a lot of hype throughout its production. The shows social media campaign coined the hashtag “justbigkidthings,”which has made its way onto the twitter timelines of friends and strangers. The show’s Facebook page is nearing 800 likes, and the Big Kids crew did a Podcast interview for Shuffle, a media news blog. 

   “We were extremely intentional about social media,” Williams said. “One of our producers, Kian Gass was the huge mastermind behind social media. He’s been working all summer on and off set to market and build our brand. Social media is always this kind of unknown monster - you never really know what’s going to happen until it happens. At this point all of us are just in shock- we’ve been very intentional, very adamant about having a presence on social media, but we had no idea that it would grow to be as big as it is. They were able to build a culture; I’ve seen people tweet ‘just being a big kid’ or ‘feeling like a big kid today’ and it’s so weird because it’s definitely been a culture that we didn’t create, but we put a name to it.”

   Through social media, the creators of Big Kids have been able to promote the shows content to an audience they hope will relate. Big Kids is an attempt to portray a realistic college experience - the humorous day-to-day experiences that are chronicled on Twitter but rarely on television. 

   “Any kind of college show, I feel like they hit on a lot of clichés of college, but I think with our show the biggest goal was to kind of show the mundane: because nobody really shows what happens on a Tuesday night when you just want to drink a boxed wine and watch Netflix,” Williams said. “Being able to make that stuff funny and interesting to our demographic was a challenge. We definitely all have stories where we’re like ‘only in college, that would only happen in college’ and I think those stories are not being told. I think that’s one of my favorite things about the show- we’ve taken a lot of our source material from just stories that we’ve heard from friends.”

   The students behind Big Kids hope that the show will find an audience that tune in week after week to watch their light and fun summer story.

    “I’m excited to see where we start with episode one and where we end with episode six and I hope everyone else stick around for that same ride,” Williams said. “I would like to ride that roller coaster with as many people as possible because I think feedback is the most important part of this process. I really can wait to just sit back and see what people think about it. If it can still make people laugh and it can still give people enjoyment then I’ll think I’ve done my job.”

   Big Kids premieres this Sunday September 7 at 9/8 p.m. central on YouTube. To check out more #justbigkidthings, follow them on Twitter @BigKidsSeries, or like their Facebook Page.