For Love and Money

New York Filmmakers Take to the Web

The story is a sweetly mundane one of two ordinary girls, Alix and Claire, whose best-friend relationship is, typically, fraught with love, jealousy, shyness, envy, and longing. It emerges obliquely from the notes and from other elements of the site, which include Alix's online journal, modeled on those of real girls; a bathroom where visitors can join threads of conversation about each segment; and a locker room where, by clicking on each character's virtual locker, viewers learn more about each of the kids in the story.

Lipstick letters: Web filmmaker Maya Churi creates a girls' world in Letters from Homeroom.
photo: Pak Fung Wong
Lipstick letters: Web filmmaker Maya Churi creates a girls' world in Letters from Homeroom.

Churi, who admits she's not a frequent visitor to other online film sites, didn't even know HTML until eight months ago, when she learned it to create Alix's and Claire's Web sites, which are part of Letters From Homeroom. Unlike the FilmSnacks crew—whose plans include creating a Dynasty-esque serial for a department-store site where viewers can interrupt the story to buy clothing sported by the characters—Churi hasn't patented her concept and doesn't expect to make a lot of dotcom dollars. Instead, with the grant money and whatever else she can raise, she intends to take the story of Alix and Claire into their junior year. And she hopes people will be watching.

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