In which Jess waxes nostalgic when talking about the best animated adaptations… and our many criteria for choosing them!
I have a new obsession and her name is Yulin Kuang.
That sounds creepy, but if there’s one thing I think I can trust internet fandom with, I hope it’s understanding that stage where you have just discovered a new creator and then must proceed to watch everything they have ever created. This has recently happened to me when I came across Shipwrecked‘s series Kissing in the Rain.
Kissing in the Rain is a transmedia YouTube project of the Shipwrecked team that includes Yulin Kuang, Sinead Persaud and Sean Persaud. It’s first chapter has just concluded and chapter two is due to begin May 5. Chapter one followed actors James and Lily, played by Mary Kate Wiles and Sean Persaud, as they are frequently cast as romantic leads in films that have them kissing in the rain. Each episode starts with the movie scene leading up to the kiss and then the director yells cut and the couple reverts to the actors awkwardly trying to fill the post-kiss silence.
The transmedia bit comes in with the encouragement and canonization of fan fiction. With each episode Yulin Kuang releases a companion drabble to add to the story of the two actors and then fans follow her lead. After going through the related tumblr tags and reading what the fans come up with, Yulin decides what to canonize and it gets reblogged on the official Shipwrecked tumblr and is official canon from that point forward.
If you’re interested in starting to watch, there is a very helpful post that pulls everything together here. There’s just a week until chapter two starts which will be following a different set of actors, Audrey and Henry, played by Sinead Persaud and Sairus Graham.
But at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, that’s not all! After I got caught up on Kissing in the Rain, I needed more, so I moved on to a previous Shipwrecked series called A Tell Tale Vlog where Sean Persaud takes on the role of Edgar Allan Poe as he vlogs, writes poetry of questionable quality and gets haunted by Lady Lenore played by Sinead Persaud. EA Poe tends to bring to mind thoughts of a rather somber nature and Shipwrecked expertly takes advantage of that, turning somber into hilariously awkward. There’s even something of a crossover in the last episode with Kissing in the Rain episode 4, which just happens to be my favorite.
And if you thought that I stopped there, you haven’t been paying attention. After finishing A Tell Tale Vlog, I moved on to Yulin Kuang’s personal YouTube page where she has a series called I Didn’t Write This and various other original projects, including a trailer for an upcoming short film called Irene Lee, Girl Detective. But since this is a blog that focuses on adaptations, I think I should at least try to pretend that is what I’m doing.
In I Didn’t Write This, Yulin creates visual representations for poetry such as T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and excerpts from novels like John Green’s Looking For Alaska. A personal favorite of mine is her adaptation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and among the few videos that I haven’t watched yet is an excerpt from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl as I fear the potential spoilers. Even if poetry isn’t your thing, I seriously suggest watching and continuing to follow this series. Yulin’s videos are gorgeously created and will make you feel things, just like the rest of her work.
Finally, Shipwrecked used their week off from Kissing in the Rain to release their newest project- a music video featuring Mrs. Rochester from Jane Eyre as she sings a parody if “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled. Titled Bertha’s Attic Song, Sinead Persaud plays Rochester’s neglected wife as she toes the line between her distress, her insanity and her obsession with fire. They even work in a little crossover at the end with Alysson Hall of The Autobiography of Jane Eyre web-series.
If you’d made it this far, I do hope that something on this list of creations has caught your eye enough for you to delve into the world of Yulin Kuang and Shipwrecked. Everything that I’ve seen so far has been impeccably executed with an obvious passion for film making and that sense of fun which keeps you wanting to see more.