Indie TV: “Back Stabber”

It ain’t easy, this being human thing. But all is takes is a couple of minutes with the trailer for the Amazon Prime series Back Stabber and you know that creator Ryan Zamo and company are really working their humanity for all that they – and humanity in general – have got.

The series is genuinely indie, through and through, and the signs are there – uneven sound levels, uneven acting, uneven focus – but in a world of superficial showbiz perfection, this TVWriter™ minion found that to be part of the charm.

As Zamo himself tells it over at Advocate:

My show, Back Stabber, was first envisioned years ago as a final project in film school, but the message it carried was always something I fought for; acceptance, equality, and loving people for who they are — regardless of age, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

I spent six years knocking on doors all over Hollywood to try to get it produced, and I was not stopping until I saw it happen. Last year I realized I had my own equipment, so I decided to grab some friends and produce it myself. No funding, no backers, no sponsors — I produced the series for under $2,000, refusing to not see it through.

I watched YouTube tutorials on how to make blockbuster movies, and I did everything myself — special effects, CGI, audio, editing, coloring; literally everything. And for the past 366 days, I have worked on this project, with no help from anyone — besides my wonderful actors, who also worked for free, and stuck through it with me for the past year because we all believed in this message so much…..

Back Stabber and its storylines were written from real events that I and people in my life have gone through….In the story are two gay kids, Isaiah (played by me) and Sam. Isaiah is loud, eccentric, and boisterous. Sam, on the other hand, is the shy, smart, nerdy type; I actually wrote Sam into the pilot just days before filming began. I wanted to show the contrast with Isaiah and break the stereotypical image of gay guys that society projects.

The two characters face battles of being accepted by society and their families, and struggle with self-acceptance as well. I wrote Sam and Isaiah as “the cool kids,” because I wanted people to start embracing the thought of having gay friends. And despite all the drama and backstabbing, the testosterone-driven straight guys are still there standing up for the gay friends when they’re bullied and attacked.

…I really hope our show can help make even a slight difference, and I truly think with such relatable stories, we can drive home the fact that at the end of the day, we’re all just human.

Read Ryan’s entire commentary HERE

Watch Back Stabber on Amazon Prime