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article imageNikki and Nora (N&N Files) is back and ready for a Season Two Special

By Erin P. Capuano     Mar 11, 2015 in Entertainment
Nikki and Nora actresses Liz Vassey, Christina Cox and Writer/Director Nancylee Myatt are back and crowdfunding for Season Two.
It’s that time again, Nikki and Nora creators and cast are raising money for a Season Two of the smash hit web series starring Christina Cox and Liz Vassey who filmed an unaired pilot that UPN had passed on in 2004. The pilot was the first lesbian themed drama series in consideration for a network TV spot. The fans and the creator Nancylee Myatt never gave up on it even after it wasn’t picked up by the studio. Throughout the years they’ve kept it on the table waiting for just the right time to reemerge. That time was in 2013 when they began their Indigogo campaign to bring it back.
You may remember Christina Cox from a LGBT indie film called Better Than Chocolate, who can forget the body painting scene. And Liz Vassey you know from her time on CSI Crime Scene Investigation as the hottie lab tech Wendy. Both actresses have played a wide range of rolls on screen and have really embraced their LGBT fan base, given their talents and great looks they make a perfect pair on and off the screen. Armin Shimerman who plays Nikki and Nora’s boss acted in a little cult television show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer; yes people Principal Snyder is back!
The team raised $65,050 through donations, well above their $50,000 goal, showing that even after all these years their fan base was still hungry for more. Season one aired on Tellofilms.com. Tello produces and distributes high quality web series with a lesbian focus. They are the distributors of web series such as Cowgirl Up, #Hashtag and Kiss Her I’m Famous starring Tracy Ryerson of The Real L Word.
In a world full of the gay baiting Rizzoli and Isles, isn’t it time the Lesbian community had a show that was truly for them? Now looking for a season two their budget just got higher, they are asking for $95,000 for this new season and have raised a respectable $26,570 so far. There’s a great deal to love about this story and the actors who’ve committed to bringing these characters to a lesbian fan base that is so desperate to see themselves portrayed truthfully on television. The truth is making a series of this magnitude takes way more dough than you’d expect and even while cutting corners you’re still looking at a cool $100,000 just to make the show, pay the staff, actors, travel expenses, etc.
Christin Baker of tellofilms.com, Nancylee Myatt, Christina Cox and Liz Vassey were gracious enough with their time to answer a few questions about the show and its future.
Christin Baker is a Producer at tellofilms.com where she has her hand in just about anything and everything lesbians want to see. I Hate Tommy Finch is one of my favorite items on their menu and she’s also involved in 3Way, #Hastag: The Series and of course Nikki and Nora: The N&N Files.
Erin: Tell me a bit about Tello Films, how it got started, who's involved and what the company's ultimate goal is?
Christin: The company is made up of myself and Jessica King and Julie Keck. Our ultimate goal is total lesbian media domination! Well kinda- we want to make content for the lesbian community and support those who make content for our community. We want to empower female filmmakers and give those who want to make lesbian content a place to distribute it and make money on their creative output.
Erin: What is the process that goes into figuring out what series or films you will produce, what would be the criteria for a Tello production?
Christin: We use a dart throwing system- Just kidding! We think about interesting and compelling and complex characters and ask - would people want to watch this? Are the characters interesting to get to know better? Also the lead has to be a lesbian.
Erin: Nikki and Nora has been such a groundbreaking web series, why do you think that is?
Christin: Talent, talent, talent, and hard work. Nancylee Myatt and Paige Bernhard are amazing writers and Liz and Christina are amazing actresses and have fantastic chemistry that people can see when they watch.
Writer and creator of Nikki and Nora Nancylee Myatt has been writing and producing primetime television for over 20 years. Nancy is best known for Living Single, South of Nowhere and most recently Cowgirl Up and 3Way. She has an eye for what viewers want to see on their screen and she’s taken that talent to the internet.
Erin: What was your inspiration for the Nikki and Nora script?
Nancylee: The original idea came from then President of Regency TV, Gail Berman, who went on to become the President of the FOX network. I had written several pilots for her, and she thought I was the right person to create a television series version of the “Nick & Nora – Thin Man” movie franchise of the 1930’s. Only Nick & Nora would be a lesbian couple, Nikki & Nora.
Erin: The script eventually wound up at Warner Bros Studios and Laura Ziskin’s Company who produced it for us at UPN. We could not have had better advocates for “Nikki & Nora” and shooting in New Orleans than that team. UPN wanted their version of a cop show, so that's when the tone got darker and N&N became undercover cops on the NOPD. But now, thanks to Christin Baker and Tello Films, ten years later Nikki & Nora have returned to their origins of a fun loving crime solving couple.
Nancylee: Not having the pilot picked up by UPN 9 must have been a tough blow, why do you think it's been kept alive all these years?
“Nikki & Nora” is alive today because of the Internet. It was kept alive by a faithful and underserved international fan-base, who took the pirated UPN pilot and posted it on places like YouTube and Dailymotion. They edited together love-letters to Nikki and Nora, montages set to empowering anthems and love songs. Meanwhile, fan-fiction writers took matters in their own hands, creating thousands of pages that kept the stories going in Nikki and Nora’s New Orleans.
It makes perfect sense that this re-boot of “Nikki & Nora” was made for the Internet and paid for by the fans that kept it alive.
Erin: What can fans expect from season two and the added budget?
Nancylee: In truth we spent over $100K on Season One. So what we are asking for this time is really what we need to maintain the good quality of the production and cool locations, and also bring a great cast and crew to New Orleans. What's going to make the biggest difference this time is scheduling - we are adding an extra day to the shoot, which will give us more on-screen time with Nikki & Nora. With additional funds and time we are going to be able to show some truly New Orleans local fun with costumed scenes and parties.
The series takes place in New Orleans, which in and of itself is a character in this show you can’t help but be taken in by the sights and sounds of a bustling French Quarter alive with art, music and fabulous food. Nikki and Nora now private investigators take up clients who by all accounts are the little guys the ones who need someone to take a chance on them. Throughout the show you see their ups and downs and begin to delve deeper into each woman’s past while watching how they develop in their personal and professional lives together. Their relationship is such a great role model for the lesbian community, they are fans of one another they respect and love one another in a way that makes them likeable and not your clingy lesbian stereotype. Both are very strong willed women who while in love could clearly do just fine if they didn’t have each other.
Liz Vassey who plays Nikki Beaumont has been acting as long as she can remember performing on both stage and screen. She’s best known as Wendy Simms a sexy nerd lab tech on CSI Investigation. She’s appeared on Two and a Half Men, Necessary Roughness, Tru Calling she’s basically been everywhere on your television screen. Talented, funny and intelligent she’s the entire package and the perfect woman to play Nikki. Nikki Beaumont is the sexy sultry lady who can kick ass and sing a few notes as well she’s the softer side of the duo who always finds a way to get what she wants.
Erin: What was it about the Nikki and Nora script that made you say, I have to be in this?
Liz: Honestly? For me it was like the “Tell Tale Script.” I had just gotten married and I had zero desire to move anywhere out of LA. But that damn script kept haunting me. I could not stop thinking about it. I have this theory that if it’s your job, ain’t nothing going to keep you from doing it. It was like that with “Nikki and Nora”. With the benefit of hindsight, I can tell you I knew immediately I’d do it – even while I was listing all the reasons why I shouldn’t. I knew in my heart it was worth any ensuing logistical complications.
But also, I think the show sends out an important message, and I responded to that in a big way. Not a boring, after-school, “don’t get drunk on Robitussin message” — but the message that women can be strong, sexy, and powerful. All at the same time! And even (gasp!) if they fall in love with another woman! In this time of “Real Singing Housewives of Schenectady Idols who Bake Cupcakes while Diving”, it’s nice to see two female characters who just want the good guys (and girls) win. And who are smart enough to make that happen. These are two women who show little girls that “tough” and “female” don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms. And that “heels” and “foot chase” don’t either.
Erin: What did you do to prepare for the role Nikki?
Liz: I made out like crazy with Christina Cox.
I’m kidding!
Or am I?!!
Truthfully, I had just played a cop in a pilot the year before, so I’d done a lot of reading about the topic and a few ride-alongs. But once we were in New Orleans, Nancylee gave us helpful books to read. CC and I also went to the shooting range with a member of the New Orleans PD. And we cavorted around the French Quarter telling people we were a couple. And that we were in the middle of adoption proceedings. And that our Cambodian baby would be arriving soon. Once the general public bought us as a couple, we felt like we were going to be okay.
Plus we made out a lot.
Erin: What are your hopes regarding your character in season 2 for Nikki and Nora?
Liz: My hope is that Nikki can fly, shoot laser beams from her eyes, and turn kale into chocolate. My hope for Nora is that she gets her damn monkey already! CC has been championing that idea for years. Seriously – I just want to see more of the same. I love these women. And I love the fact that we’re playing two people who have been in love -- and also working together -- for over ten (!) years. We talked at great length about how to convey and portray that as gracefully and realistically as possible. Personally, I dig watching people co-exist in longterm relationships – gay or straight – because I think the magic is in the details.
Also, I’d like us to have an Aston Martin and a pet unicorn.
Nora Delaney played by Christina Cox has a strong willed take no prisoners attitude, she’s the Lacey to Nora’s Cagney and the shoulder for Nikki to lean on. A veteran in the industry Christina has made a name for herself being one tough chick and we couldn’t have asked for a better actress to play this role. Christina was nice enough to spare some time and answer some questions.
Erin: Nikki and Nora seems to have come back at the right time, the LGBT community is represented more on television now than ever before, what do you hope fans see in Nikki and Nora that they don't in other shows?
Christina: I hope the fans see characters that are real, honest and relatable to their own lives. No network approved sly glances that hint at possible chemistry between two women. Get on with it! Let’s see the reality of life and love and commitment in the long term. With a little action and a crime here and there of course.
Erin: What would you like to see in the script in Season 2?
Christina: Nora?
Erin: Is there anyone that you'd really love to have guest star on the show, anyone that you'd just geek out over?
Christina: I don’t know that I really “geek out” over people. I really prefer opportunities to work with friends, like being able to spend time in NOLA with my best friend Janina Gavankar. That being said, many moons ago I did a pilot with a very talented young actress and as happens we fell out of touch after the pilot went in to the vaults. So imagine my delight when I tuned in to watch Gotham and BOOM there she is, killing it; Victoria Cartagena. We’ve gotten back in touch and I think she’d be a great and badass addition to our humble little show.
We’ve come into a new era of entertainment and great strides have been made for the LGBT community and civil rights in this country. Viewers want to see real life people they can relate to on film, they want to embrace characters who are around long enough to see how they evolve. People are tired of premature exits like Exes and Ohs or many other great shows that never got their chance to flourish. The time is now to indulge in what technology has to offer and the internet has given us so many options when it comes to watching TV shows and movies. Head over to the Indiegogo campaign page and donate if you can, even $25 helps just get this show made. Not only are you making an investment into production of this show you are making an investment into the future of LGBT filmmaking, be a part of what’s happening now.
Watch episodes one and two of Nikki and Nora free on tellofilms.com.
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