What inspired the Anna Banana Series?
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
People have been asking me for months, "but like, how did you come up with this?"
I love answering questions about the series, but I wish I had a more succinct response for this one! The idea came to me in pieces. It was like a little movie in my head.
As a writer, I often catch myself daydreaming about unusual scenarios. Much of my writing starts with a "what if?" question - the first episode of Anna Banana was inspired by this: "what if your celebrity step-sister published a super embarrassing video about you and it got millions of views and retweets from the Kardashians?"
But at first, the Anna Banana idea was not as concrete. It was just a series of images.
I pictured a young woman, walking down the street. She's arguing with someone unseen. Her voice is rising. Splotches of bright pink cover her cheeks as she gets increasingly flustered. The argument reaches a peak as she shoves her adversary, hard, into the street.
We pan to the left and see...
A giant Banana falling off the curb, hollering at the young woman.
I was so intrigued by this little movie in my mind's eye, I kept replaying it and replaying it. I journaled about it constantly, writing page after page of quivering cursive on my hour-long commutes on the B-train. Some days were better than others, and I felt incredibly excited about the project.
But other days, especially early in the writing process, I struggled with the script too. I had so many ideas for how and why this Banana might be in this woman's life, and what she would do about it. It was hard to commit to one choice. Because each choice you make when writing a script cuts off certain possibilities later.
I always knew I wanted Anna to team up with someone else. At one point, I imagined her and Rex forming a support group of people like them. I have no shortage of character names -
Polly, who hallucinates a parrot
Ted, who's followed around by a giant bear
Elizabeth, who is stalked by like a huge iguana or gecko or something
Leo, a yellow-bellied fellow who's followed around by an imaginary lion
Abby, a grumpy girl who hallucinates a giant crab
I can keep going! But ultimately I was most drawn to the flourishing friendship of Anna and Rex, two misfits who must help each other through a difficult time. I love that they are the only two people in the world who have this problem. And I think it's really moving to watch these two loners lift each other up and grow together.
I am so excited and proud of all of the progress we've made on the series. We are making plans to shoot the first episode in the next few months, which is just so incredibly thrilling. I owe a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supports our project, who reads our website, who donated to our fundraiser. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And I just can't believe that all of this came about just because I had an unusual daydream about a giant talking banana.
What a world!