We asked series writer Ben Donovan for some background on the new season and his words of advice to other online content creators.
1) How did you come up with the idea for Hot Girls?
LisaNova, KassemG and I came up with the one-off video “Teen Cribz” for The Station at the end of last summer. We wanted to parody some of the content on MTV and “Teen Cribz” was one of the most ridiculous shows we came across. Lisa and Kassem created two hilarious characters that really resonated with our audience. The parody ended up being one of our most popular videos and was so much fun to make we decided to turn it in to a six episode web series on the LisaNova channel which Michael Gallagher of Totally Sketch directed. After the success of the first season, we decided to try a second season, which I wrote and directed.
2) How did you get KassemG, ShayCarl and so many other YouTube stars involved?
Kassem, Lisa and Shay are all founding members of Maker Studios and The Station so they naturally wanted to be involved. Also, as I mentioned, Kassem and Lisa created the characters. I think after the success of Season 1 it was easier to get other YouTube stars like Ryan Higa and Timothy Delaghetto to participate because they knew what it was and were interested in working with Kassem and Lisa.
3) What are the components of a great web series?
First and foremost: great characters. Without relatable, engaging characters, you have nothing. The audience really connected with Ariel and Jazzy. I feel like they would watch them in almost any situation. That combined with a good story, fun guest spots and high production value go a long way to making a quality web series.
4) With over 5 million views to Hot Girls Season 1, what advice would you give to other web series creators looking to build an audience like yours?
I'd say to have a successful web series with a large audience on YouTube you probably want to hire some of the big YouTube stars to be in it. They're essentially the "movie stars" of the Internet and have real, committed audiences that want to see them in various projects.
5) Can fans expect a Season 3? If so, how do you see the series evolving?
Obviously, we have to wait to see how Season 2 is received before deciding on a third season, but we definitely have some fun ideas on where to take the characters. We shot on location in Las Vegas for part of this season, which was challenging but also a lot of fun. It'd be great to take Ariel and Jazzy on the road again. The possibilities for story lines really are endless.