Jessica Hutchinson and Lucinda Bruce set their sights on Seoul Webfest with ‘Strings Attached’

'Strings Attached'.

When Melbourne creative Jessica Hutchinson travels to Seoul Webfest next month to represent the nominated web series Strings Attached, it will mark the first time she’s been face-to-face with her fellow collaborators.

Hutchinson produced, acted, wrote, directed, and coordinated the eight-part dramedy alongside British actor and showrunner Andy Wolf and German actor Marie Förster, with the trio having executive produced across international borders for the past two years.

Featuring the contributions of more than 30 actors, writers, and directors, Strings Attached explores how people connect in disconnected times via a collection of short stories from a fictional online dating site.

The smartphone-filmed series, which spans eight countries and six languages, was initially created as a short film by Wolf, whom Hutchinson and Förster met in a virtual acting group in the first half of 2020.

Hutchinson told IF the potential to expand the concept was clear from the outset.

“The film was about online dating and I told him there were so many other stories that he could tell, to which he said, ‘Yeah, this is something we need to make bigger’,” she said.

Jessica Hutchinson, Andy Wolf and Marie Förster.

“So Marie and I came on as producers, writers, directors, script editors, and coordinators, and turned the whole thing into a series.”

After each writing episodes, Hutchinson, Wolf, and Förster sought to incorporate more voices from across the globe, reaching out to their respective networks to provide opportunities for other creatives stay connected and working amidst lockdowns and pandemic restrictions.

Förster said working with an international team was “as challenging as it was rewarding”.

“It gave me insight into how all stories are unique and different yet at the core all of them are about the fundamentals of life on this earth – love, connection and identity,” she said.

“Being part of the team behind Strings Attached has been a pleasure – so many dedicated artists joined forces to make this unique series possible and I am so thrilled with the results.”

As the project began to grow, Hutchinson also brought in Australian producer Lucinda Bruce (Evan Wood) as an executive producer, with the two having met at the virtually-held 2020 American Film Market.

Lucinda Bruce

“I really wanted to make sure we had that extra level of professional support for the team, particularly because this is only the second project I’ve ever produced,” she said.

“We had known each for about four months and I told that I thought she needed to come onboard because she was an amazing individual with a great track record.”

The creative team was about to finish the final episode in April when they began submitting the series to different events.

In the months since Strings Attached has been accepted into 17 festivals and been nominated for awards at the Indie Short Fest and Phoenix Monthly Short Film Festival.

It will compete for Best Dramedy at the Seoul Webfest, which became the first web series festival to be held Korea and Northeast Asia when it was founded in 2015.

Hutchinson said she and the other producers were “staggered” by the response so far.

“It seems that every week or two we’re getting another selection, or are up for another award, so it’s really wild how much the show has resonated with audiences,” she said.

With post-production now complete, Hutchinson and co are working with a sales agent and are in discussions with multiple international platforms in regards to a release.

Bruce said there was “high international interest” in the series, which she also hoped would find an audience locally.

“We are definitely interested in looking for a domestic release, whether that be on a network or somewhere else,” she said.