TNC Interview 2019
"After getting consistent feedback after presenting the first HOOKED series, it was a bit challenging to accept the fact that the show needed to be different."
Brittany Portman 
  • White Facebook Icon
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • White Instagram Icon
  • email

Hooked is an original web series that is about a socially awkward girl in college who navigates the dating and social scene. She winds up in bizarre and hilarious situations because of her social anxiety and insecurities about herself. She constantly battles with how far will she go out of her comfort zone to achieve normalcy so she does not lose out (forever) on the chance in having a place in this world?

Hi Brittany thank you for talking to TNC, how's everything been going?

Hi! Thank you so much for having me! Everything has been going great. 

How does it feel to be heading into post-production on your new pilot?

Heading into post-production feels great because there is so much to cover and I’m looking forward to seeing how the product will turn out. 

What would you say have been the biggest differences in your approach to your new pilot?

The biggest differences have been hiring big name talent such as Jon Lovitz, Catherine Curtin, Eric Close and Andy Karl. I worked on the script for six months before starting filming. Last year, it was a much shorter process. It took a lot less time the first go around. 

Can you tell me a little bit about Hooked, how did the project come about?

Hooked is about a socially awkward girl named Leah who grew up in a cult that is run by her mother, Rainey, and stepfather, Connor. Leah wants to explore the outside world and goes to college in Brooklyn with her best friend Clarissa

The project came about from an idea that I had in college based on a true story. The story that inspired the series began when a guy invited me up for tea. He asked me if I wanted my clothes “on or off”. Years later, I was studying at an acting studio where they had a producing class. That’s where I learned everything I needed to know to make this show a reality. 

What was the inspiration behind your script for Hooked?

The inspiration is based on my own experiences in college such as dating and trying to fit in. In high school, I was very shy and I tried to become a social butterfly in college. 

"Take criticism as constructive critique."

As a writer and producer on a project like this is it easy to not get too attached or are you quite flexible with not sticking to script?

When I did the first series last year, the script was heavily based on real conversations and real people. After getting consistent feedback after presenting the first HOOKED series, it was a bit challenging to accept the fact that the show needed to be different. I am very grateful for the critiques because now that the show has changed drastically, there is a lot more room to grow with the show and with the imagination. 

You've got such an amazing cast on Hooked, how did you go about pitching this idea to them?

I had a fantastic casting director named Jen Rudin who really guided me to recruit the talent. Along with a straight to offer letter, I sent over the script, the pitch deck, and the original HOOKED series I made a year ago. 

What was the experience like working with people like Jon, Eric, Catherine and Andy?

They were all such lovely people to work with. They were very invested in their performance and in the story, which felt amazing. 

What are the biggest challenges an independent producer may face on a project like this? And how did you get financing for it?


Hooked was self funded a little bit but I had a great deal of help from family, friends, small investors and GoFundMe pages. The challenge is always how to appeal to wider audiences who don’t know me and that will be something that I will continue to learn in the future. 

The reaction has been amazing with you winning multiple awards for Hooked, did you imagine you would get this type of reaction? 

I had no idea that I was going to get that kind of reaction! I’m honoured. I was just grateful to get into some of these festivals as well. 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

I initially had a passion for acting! I didn’t get into filmmaking until college. Once I started, it quickly became a passion of mine. 

What was the first project you worked on?

The first project I worked on was the initial conception of Hooked called Tea Time. In college, I took a film production class and made the short film and that’s when I knew how much I loved filmmaking. 

How much has your style as writer/producer changed much since you started out? 

My style has been consistent in writing but as a producer it’s changed just from having more experience. 

Do you have any advice to offer any fellow writer/producer?

Don’t ever give up on your ideas! Take criticism as constructive critique.

And finally, where do you hope to take Hooked?

I hope that Hooked gets picked up by a big TV network or a big streaming company.

© 2021 The New Current