Queens Producers Create Zoo ‘Dramedy’
BY JESSICA LYONS
The members of a Queens-based production company used their experiences working at New York City zoos to inspire a television comedy entitled “Living in Captivity,” which was recently part of independent pilot competition at the fourth annual New York Television Festival (NYTVF).
The three women behind the show are creators Nicole Greevy, Uma Incrocci, and Erica Jensen, who formed the production company Living in Captivity Productions in Queens. They first met in 2000 while working as actors in a program called Wildlife Theatre, performing in zoos such as the Queens Zoo.
“We started discussing what a good setting [it would be] for a workplace comedy,” said Incrocci, who currently lives in Sunnyside.
Greevy added that people are always interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look and that through their work they “came to discover zookeepers are really interesting people.”
In 2001 they began writing “Living in Captivity” as a dramedy, using both drama and comedy in it. Later on, in 2007, they were contacted by someone interested in producing it, which is when the three decided to make it a half hour comedy instead. What followed was “a pretty intense year” as they did rewrites, filmed and got the show ready.
Some of the filming for the pilot was done at the Queens Zoo.
“The Queens Zoo was amazing to us,” Greevy said. “Everybody was very interested and very helpful.”
Incrocci added, “It’s like you step in there and the whole city falls away.”
As preparation for the show, the creators even sat down to interview zookeepers, who gave them a great deal of insight. They said that, although the zookeepers were surprised at their interest, they were still very excited about the idea.
The pilot for “Living in Captivity” was one of 36 selected to participate in NYTVF out of about 400 entries. When the festival was formed in 2005, founder Terence Gray said that it was to create something similar to Sundance “to give a platform to independent television artists.”
While selecting participants, Gray said they were looking for “obvious creativity,” along with other qualities such as production value, execution, and concept.
“We were so excited,” Greevy said of making it into the festival. “This was our goal. This was the festival we wanted to get into. When we got the news I was just on cloud nine for the entire week.”
Greevy said that writing the show with Incrocci and Jensen was an amazing experience and that the whole process was fun. Incrocci also said that the shoot went very well and was moved to see how everyone involved was so willing to help, even when it came to pitching in clean up trash after a scene was shot. They said that everyone believed in the project as much as they did and that there was a family feel to it.
For more information on “Living in Captivity,” visit www.livingincaptivity.tv.