Behind The Scenes With Snapchat Original Series 'Pillow Talk'
The talk show's second season premieres April 25 on Snapchat's Discover channel with new host Poppy Jamie.
The set of Snapchat original series Pillow Talk is the bedroom of your teenage dreams.
The bubblegum pink and Snapchat yellow room is adorned with colorful fuzzy pillows, a brightly patterned round bed and photos that would be at home among the pages of Tiger Beat. Sitting in the room is a bit like traveling back in time to the days of living under the careful watch of parents, pining away for the teen heartthrob of the moment and worrying about a date to the prom. And that's by design.
"We actually brought all the stuff from our own childhood bedrooms," explains Rylee Ebsen, Snapchat's media production director and creative vision behind the talk show. "It's a bit of a cross between Pee-wee's Playhouse and Clarissa Explains it All."
Pillow Talk returns to Snapchat's Discover channel on April 25 with a retooled second season featuring new host Poppy Jamie and a slate of guest stars that include Jamie's real-life roommate Suki Waterhouse and DJ Dillon Francis. It's part of a lineup of Snapchat originals that include comedy Literally Can't Even from Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, which was recently renewed for a second season, and private concert series Under the Ghost.
The series is a talk show for the Internet-connected generation. Each episode features a guest well known among the under-30 set and features silly questions and games designed to loosen people up. It helps that everyone who appears on the show is asked to come wearing pajamas.
On a recent Monday morning, Jamie trots around the set in a set of purple PJs printed with palm trees and coconuts. Her guest, Francis, is wearing a blue onesie. "I feel like I have a lot of mobility here," Francis says as he jumps on the bed. After filming has wrapped he proclaims, "I'm wearing this all day."
The pajamas are an important part of the show, explains Jamie. "We want to create a show where people feel comfortable answering questions that aren't just about who you're wearing on the red carpet."
Pillow Talk is truly a digitally-native show. Segments are cut together into short videos that showcase only the best and funniest moments, creating an energy and pace common among YouTube's vloggers. The series is also shot with cameras that have been placed vertically so that the video is designed to be viewed on a phone in portrait mode. "We designed the set to keep in mind that we are shoot vertically," says Ebsen. "This is a multi-cam talk show with a whole new direction. We're setting new standards."
The crew is also young, clearly in the same demographic as the audience they are trying to reach. "We are young people making stuff for young people," says Jamie. "I've never experienced anything like it."
That's key to the identity of the content that Snapchat is creating. Young people aren't consuming media like their parents, so Discover, which launched in January, brings the media to them. Channels from established brands such as CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN and Yahoo bring news and pop culture to Snapchat's audience in a medium designed for them.
"I get all my news and content through my phone," says Jamie. "So this is the perfect platform for this show."