A Shared House is an Australian online sitcom created by Georgia Woodward and Joshua Lundberg. The series is available for free on YouTube. Georgia and Joshua were inspired by the careers of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey who were engineers in Entertainment and "made their own content".
The series follows Charlotte, a dissatisfied woman in search of her identity, who is stuck with a house under lease and a stack of bills when her long-term boyfriend, Oscar, leaves her. With her housemates – Lucas, Michael and Liz moving in, A Shared House explores experience of a bunch of dysfunctional people living in share houses.
A Shared House episodes were produced in a single-camera setup and were filmed in Sydney.
All four episodes of Season 1 were released on November 13, 2015. Unlike most web series all episodes in Season were released on the same day to take advantage of the tendency for audiences to binge watch.
The series stars Georgia Woodward, David Halgren, Grace Avery and Sonny-Joe Flanagan. All four episodes were directed by Joshua Lundberg.
Season 1 was financed by Georgia and Joshua. The cast and crew consisted of film and media industry professionals – working on the series because they “loved the script”.
A Shared House Season 1 received critical acclaim, winning Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series at the LA Web Festival, as well as being Nominated for Outstanding Actor and Actress awards for Georgia Woodward and David Halgren. It was titled “The best web series of 2015” by web critic – WEB SERIES 2 WATCH (WHAT U WANT TO WATCH), and given a 9/10 Rating by The AU Review.
In early 2016, Season 2 was announced and is set to be released in November 2016 on YouTube.
In 2014 Lundberg was shooting a short film titled Unmanned in which Woodward was the Lead actress. The two felt they worked well together, “We had always shared a similar sense of humour and witty banter– I thought he was a visionary Director; he’s one of those very rare ‘actors Director.” Woodward reached out to Lundberg in January 2015 over a coffee to discuss the possibility of making a comedy series.
Woodward felt that it was an incredible time to making online content because with all the technological advances being made with the internet – “creators are able to make the shows they want to make without waiting for the phone to ring”. Joshua had been working in the online space for a number of years, working as both a creative and Producer.
The two began writing and developing the series through early 2015. Lundberg was studying at The International Film School in Sydney and had two other major projects he was working on, "Operation Eldridge" and "The Last Brush". Georgia was 6 months into an acting degree at Sydney Theatre School. She dropped out in July 2015, shortly after shooting A Shared House. "I had a gut feeling that this show would be a game changer and I needed to wholeheartedly participate, I have never regretted it."
Shooting commenced in July 2015 . Season 1 was filmed in Haberfield in the Inner-West of Sydney. The house was a lent to the production crew by friends. Shooting took place over 10 days in total.
Lacking funds, Joshua and Cinematographer Brenton Cassidy, chose to work with the Canon 5D Mark 2. The film was shot in 1080p HD video using custom Magic Lantern firmware configurations. The rushes amounted to over 12 hours of footage.
The series features a "jaunty" jazz score. The music is composed by Joseph Giuffrida.
The plot of A Shared House revolves around characters Charlotte, Michael, Lucas and Liz who all live in a share house previously owned by Charlotte and her ex boyfriend Oscar. The series features an ensemble cast. The series features four main roles:
Georgia Woodward as Charlotte: Charlotte is a dissatisfied mid-twenties woman of the mid-2010s, constantly searching for a solution to her emptiness by going through phases, hoarding collectibles, and hiding her fears.
David Halgren as Michael: a caring former addict of clubbing in the early 2000s. He is the eldest of the group. He is intelligent, calm and the voice of reason. He is gay, but it is in no way an aspect of his identity that defines him.
Grace Avery as Liz: an incredibly witty, emotional unavailable sarcastic who constantly antagonises volatile situations.
Sonny -Joe Flanagan as Lucas: obsessed with materialism and financial success, Lucas is an early twenties 'entrepreneur'. He is always trying to find a solution for problems that don't exist so he can develop an app that will make him rich. He is very capable, but spends too much time smoking marijuana and concentrating on the idea of success instead of putting in the hard work to attain it.
Lauren Rowe as Emma: Emma is Charlotte’s flirtatious, fun loving best friend, who cares little for Charlotte’s issues but pretends to listen.
Nick Dale as Oscar: A composed, career focused man who is impatient with Charlotte’s erratic soul searching.
Georgia Woodward and Joshua Lundberg worked on the casting of the series. It was decided in the early stages of developing the show that Woodward would portray Charlotte, although she confirmed she had her doubts in playing the role; she wanted to re-cast right up until the week before shooting. Woodward now refers to playing Charlotte as one of the greatest decisions she’s made in her career to date – “She’s a beautiful, ballsy, moody little fire cracker and it’s a joy to explore her many levels”.
The first character to be cast was Sonny-Joe Flanagan who came into audition and Woodward felt like she had “met Lucas for the first time”. The next actor to be cast was David Halgren who auditioned for the role of Michael.
The character of Liz had already been offered to an actress but not confirmed. However after meeting Grace Avery, Woodward asked if she would come in and read for the part. Both Lundberg and Woodward felt that Avery was excellent in the role of Liz and gave her more “emotional depth and humour”.
Season 1 was made available worldwide on November 13, 2015 on YouTube. The Season begins in the middle of a blow up between Charlotte and Oscar where Oscar is confronting Charltote about how much money she spends on all her resent endevours meditating and buying bonsai trees. The fight ends with Oscar leaving and Charlotte left standing in the living room. Charlotte, whilst nursing a confused identity and a broken heart begins a shaky search for housemates. Meeting a whole bunch of crazy folk on the way. Eventually Charlotte decides on Michael, Lucas and Liz and the three move in one Saturday. Charlotte has never lived with housemates before and finds the move in situation confronting to which she takes refuge in her backyard with three jugs of cocktails. Season 1 follows Charlotte’s emotional issues as she is confronted by the housemates as they ask her to make space for them and throw away all the junk she has been accumulating over the years.
We learn of the routines of the four characters and how they clash with each other. Lucas smokes marijuana throughout the house, which distresses Charlotte, Liz stares intently at Charlotte and remains an enigma for most of the first Season. The audience is given brief insights into Liz throughout the Season. She carries around knifes and other sharp kitchen utensils when she is around Charlotte, who she clashes with. Michael is the voice of reason in the house and tries to smoothe over confrontations within the house.
Over course of Season 1 the house mates have two group hangs: a dinner party in episode 4 where Michael brings over a potential career collaborator for Charlotte and when Charlotte’s friend Emma comes over for a movie night in Episode 2 which results in a clash of perspectives on homosexuality and representation in film.
The Season finale Lucas is stuck for an idea for a new app to which he seeks advice from Michael about his creative process. Lucas goes to the toilet reading Forbes and discovers his creative genius comes alive in the toilet. He then refuses to leave the toilet, heightening anxiety for Charlotte, which entertains Liz and puzzles Michael.
Charlotte, Michael and Liz remain locked out of the toilet until Charlotte breaks in only to find out that the door was unlocked the whole time.
Charlotte is on a mission – she feels she has found what she wants to do with her life, to which she also seeks advice from Michael to see if he knows any designers to give her some guidance on her path. Michael invites his designer friend Lucy over to dinner with all the housemates.
Charlotte is eager to walk a new path, Lucas hits on Emma, Liz turns to gin in disgust and Michael is again puzzled.
The Season 1 finale ends open ended with a knock at the door in the middle of the dinner party, that Charlotte answers and the person behind the door isn’t revealed.
Season 2 was funded by the use of crowdfunding and corporate sponsorship. Hustle Productions and Comedy & Co teamed up to produce the all new season. The series begins nine months in since the arrival of an unwanted guest from Charlotte's past and the house is in chaos. It's not all bad news, love will be found and well... meaningful possessions set on fire and flooded. One thing is for sure - it's gonna get messy. .
A Shared House received critical acclaim. It was titled “The best web series of 2015” by online web critics and given a 9/10 rating by The Au/Review. Both Woodward and Lundberg were praised in the industry for what they were able to accomplish within the strict budget limitations.
A Shared House saw a healthy viewership on YouTube for an unknown intellectual property. Season 1 struggled on its first weekend online as it went live on the same day as the November 2015 Paris Attacks.
Despite this the show saw healthy growth and the producers released an additional version with Chinese-Mandarin subtitles in January 2016 in hopes to make the content available to the Asian market.
Best Web Series - Toronto Independent Film Awards, Best Web/TV Series - Chicago Amarcord TV Fest, Best International Web Series - NYC Web Fest, Best Ensemble Cast - NYC Web Fest Best Dramedy - NYC Web Fest, Best International Web Series - NYC Web Fest, Best International Dramedy Series- Miami Web Fest, Best International Comedy Series - Miami Web Fest, Joshua Lundberg, Outstanding Writer, Comedy - LAWebfest, Georgia Woodward, Outstanding Actress, Comedy - LAWebfest, David Halgren, Outstanding Actor, Comedy - LAWebfest, Nick Dale, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy - LAWebfest,
A Shared house kickstarted it’s festival run with an Official Selection at the Los Angeles Web Festival at Warner Brothers Studios in California. It was Nominated for four awards including Outstanding Lead Actor for David Halgren, Outstanding Lead Actress for Georgia Woodward and Outstanding Guest Actor for Nick Dale. The show was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
A Shared House won the Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series at the festival as well as Outstanding Guest Actor for Nick Dale.
A Shared House is similar to NBC’s Will and Grace with it centering around four characters who live and work together. A Shared House and Will and Grace both have a gay lead male character.