What does the future hold for young people looking for love? Bhaveek Makan and Pooja Patel have an idea that will give you goosebumps – like the kind you get when you fall in love at first sight. Makan and Patel are creating a web series of a futuristic romantic comedy wherein at the age of 21 you can consent to having a chip implanted behind your ear. This chip allows you to live in a new reality where, with the aid of special contact lenses or glasses, you can ‘see’ the kind of stats you’d find on a dating profile suspended in air above the person’s head. This type of information would be available to you if you downloaded the app, Lux-Me. What would that look like? Watch it in action in their video pitch for STORYHIVE.
By way of being voted in by the public and judged by TELUS, Makan and Patel were granted $10,000 by STORYHIVE to produce the pilot episode which will be available in March on TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand and STORYHIVE.com. Now they are 1 of 30 BC and Alberta finalists in the running for an additional $50,000 to produce 5 more episodes. Fans are invited to vote for their favourite finalist starting in February 2018; stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.
While we shared more of the premise of the web series with you here, we recently had a chance to speak with Makan and Patel to learn about this project’s backstory.
According to Makan who is the project lead, director and writer, the idea actually came to him in 2009 and from the beginning he had a strong sense of wanting to write himself into the characters. Growing up in rural Newfoundland, Makan was not exposed to the South Asian culture. The people around him were mostly white and spoke English which became his only language. Despite the fact that he didn’t identify as ‘Indian,’ Makan never felt like he totally fit in with the rest of his peers in Newfoundland. When he and his family moved to Calgary, he experienced a kind of “culture shock with [his] own people” where he “couldn’t fit in with the Indian” population. It was then that his eyes truly opened to the fact that he was part of a culture that he didn’t even know existed.
Bi-Cultural: Being A Little Of Both
And this is how the Millennial generation largely identifies: not quite one or the other. In Makan’s case, not quite brown enough and not quite white enough. In addition to that, there isn’t a media or arts platform that exists for people who identify as bi-cultural, like South Asians who grew up in North America. There’s Bollywood and there’s Hollywood. But what about something in the middle? Makan and Patel hope that this platform they create will be a place where bi-cultural people can see themselves.
At It’s Heart, Lux-Me Is A Romantic Comedy
Along those lines, their cast represents a diverse population and they would like this to just be the norm. Instead of being a web series about South Asian people, they would really like this to be a show about young people looking for love. The leads just happen to be South Asian. “They have this little bit of a backstory that South Asians can resonate with as well but the cultural identity is not the core characteristic of the person. We want to see South Asians being the prototypical human without identity being thrown in your face,” Patel noted.
It’s Really About Humanity
Patel explained, “[This show is about] what we crave, what we aspire to. It’s a social commentary on society and how we are obsessed with looking cool online. We’re obsessed with social media, flexing for the ‘gram.”
When asked how they came up with the name of the app, Lux-Me, Makan and Patel responded that they wanted a name that would resonate with South Asian people and everyone else. In the series, this app was created by a South Asian man who named it Laxmi after the goddess. This app then comes into the hands of a North American company that changes the name to Lux-Me. This is a little calling out of the tech field where the intellectual driving force is often people of colour, particularly South Asians, but the actual people don’t become household names.
Join The Cast & Crew On Facebook
Bhaveek Makan, Pooja Patel (Design and Story Coordinator), Sumeet Kumar (Producer) , Jashan Makan (Camera, Editor), and Bhavesh Chauhan (Producer) would love you to ‘like’ their Facebook page to stay apprised of the updates. Wouldn’t it be great to have a futuristic Surrey spotlighted in a web series? Good luck to the Lux-Me crew!