Film & Media Arts’ Also Sisters launch "Whats Next?" series

March 29 2021

We talked with Film & Media Arts Assistant Professors Miriam and Sonia Albert-Sobrino about their latest project, “What’s Next?” a female-led anthology series

Can you give a brief overview of the “What’s Next” series? 

“What’s Next?” is a female-lead anthology series exclusively created for a social media platform (Instagram) that explores and applies the rules of Mobile-First content creation: sparse dialogue; visually driven narratives; and brief stories targeted for the short attention span of current generations. In brief, “What’s Next” consists of open-ended micro-stories starring women and shot by women. Each episode stars a female trapped in a story that ends on a cliffhanger. With the spirit of promoting an interactive discourse, audiences are encouraged to think creatively about what happens next (thus the title) and post their proposals on the Instagram’s comments section. 

How many episodes of "What's Next" will be released?

Currently, “What’s Next?” consists of twelve episodes, each approximately sixty seconds long or less. The debut of “What’s Next?” takes place on March 8th 2021, International Women’s day, when we’ll release on Instagram the first episode of the series whose longline reads: “All she wanted was… to see a movie”. Through the use of comedy, this piece seeks to encourage women to use their innate power and put themselves first. 

Experimental pieces, action, horror, comedy, and a wide array of genres and styles make up this anthology of stories that sometimes openly embraces cliches, while others seeks to challenge them. 

What inspired you to create this project? 

Very early on, we started to become aware of our own audiovisual consumption patterns, realizing that most of our spare time is spent more frequently on social media than on the larger television screen. Determined to bring content, literally, to the audience’s hands, we decided to take advantage of the way social media frames and presents narratives; and that’s when “What’s Next?” was born. As for the emphasis on women, we have always been interested in telling stories that somehow speak of the female experience in a diverse and rich way. When attending film school, our undergraduate thesis film project was an interactive series starring a woman trapped in a national conspiracy while fighting the patriarchy. Now, that our skillset is remarkably superior to that of a recent graduate, it felt right to take on that attempt and reinvent it for today’s audiences. While it is not the same plot, there are several elements that still stand from that poorly executed, but well-intended project depicting an empowered woman. 

How were F&MAD students involved in the process? 

Most of the pieces were shot during 4-hour-blocks at either the Grip and Lighting course or the Digital Cinematography class. Students were assigned crew positions based on the skills learned throughout the semester. Oftentimes we would hire an actor to play the protagonist or we would invite a female or female-identifying student with an interest in acting to play the main part. The students contributions were remarkable and we couldn’t have done this series without them. We can only hope that the experience of making these pieces was not only educational for them, but also a fun and exciting one. We certainly enjoyed making these shorts while sharing with our students practical examples of how films are actually made. Filmmaking is at the core of our work and we are always determined to inform our teaching with our research and vice versa. 

Where can you see "What's Next?"

To see “What’s Next?” Check our Instagram Handle: @alsosisters, and the official series website where to find exclusive content (including a BTS of each month’s episode) and a breakdown of the credits. Check the second Monday of every month at 12:30pm MST.