The new web-series
fighting the patriarchy,
one frat boy
at a time
Kappa Force is a satirical web series about a crime-fighting sorority that takes on the evil El Douche of Sigma Sigma Epsilon.
Director Hannah Welever and writer/producer Addison Heimann’s Kappa Force is having its hometown premiere on Sunday, July 29th at the Logan Theater at 8 pm. The Chicago premiere is set to take place just a week after its screening at the 14th annual New York Television Festival.
With dozens of extras in the background, fully developed superhero and villain costumes, extensive action sequences, cinematic camerawork by Taylor Russ, and a complex audio soundtrack by Noisefloor, Chicago’s Kappa Force looks, sounds, and feels more like a network series or Marvel off-shoot than what is typical of an eight-episode web series.
Welever and Heimann’s creation is a stylistic marriage between the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, feminist theory, and college humor.
“When I started brainstorming… Scott Pilgrim, that was a big reference for me,” says Welever.
She elaborates, “That was a great example for my actors, the wardrobe, but also the visual effects guy. We could all get on the same page of let’s have fun and be silly, but also have a really unique style that doesn’t look like anything else.”
Despite the series’ deep attention to detail in every shot, Welever reveals, “We shot for seven days straight last August… We ran a pretty tight ship.”
Welever credits the vivid script, professional crew, stellar cast, and ideal location for the series’ ability to pull off the crisp and clean look in such a short period of time.
Welever remarks, “The script is very much alive. Addison Heimann has a great strong voice when he writes a script. And that is kind of what intrigued me to the project in the first place, the more voice in a script, the easier it is to visualize the tone of the story.”
As for that tight ship, Welever explains, “Everything was planned, and we had a great team of people to make sure that we could be as efficient as possible… I work in the film industry full time and this is a cool way for me to bring a lot of people together who also work full time in the industry but rarely are production heads.”
As for the solid cast, Kappa Force stars Madeline Weinstein of the Netflix film, Alex Strangelove and Beach Rats — which won major awards at Sundance, L.A. Outfest, and numerous other film fests.
For Welever, it was the casts’ handling of the fight scenes that really stood out to her. Many of the actors had no martial arts experience, and yet they quickly learned the moves and delivered them flawlessly.
“It was a really cool process to see how actors retain information like that,” comments Welever.
As for the location, aside from an exterior shot of a real fraternity house at Northwestern University, the eight episodes were all filmed at Loyola University Chicago in August of 2018.
Welever credits her location manager with the decision to film at Loyola. “My location scout, Madison Ginsberg, is incredible and resourceful,” emphasizes Welever.
She continues, “We scouted (Loyola), and it was awesome and really accommodating to us… We got to shoot the cafeteria, the exterior stuff, and the dorms. That’s all there and that was super important to me to have a real school, and it was beautiful.”
Aside from a handful of directing projects, including a slick Nike Chicago campaign called The Force is Female, the bulk of Welever’s professional experience has been as a director of photography.
In regards to how working as a cinematographer compares to directing, Welever responded, “As cinematographer, all of the attention is to the image, but as director, it goes way beyond that. It was a great way for me to sort of like flex my muscles as a director… it combined my interests of everything into one.”
Besides being a Director/DP on short films and Kappa Force, Welever is also the digital imaging technician for Netflix’s Easy. Her work as the director of four Nike Chicago videos, featured on Instagram, caught the attention of many — including Reel Chicago.
Filled with a unique blend of underground men’s rights activists, cyber-feminists, college humor, LGBTQ humor, super heroes, villains of brodom, and well-choreographed fight scenes, Kappa Force delivers a spiked punch of fun.
For more on Welever’s body of work, click here.
For more information on Kappa Force, click here.