Everybody reaches a point in life when luck simply runs out. It’s one of humanity’s greatest virtues that we have the strength to pick ourselves up and keep on keeping on, in search of greener pastures. Who knew that a self-storage facility could provide the path to that greener pasture? Kimberly Trew and Julie Mann did. We were lucky to have the chance to chat with these creators, writers, producers and stars of “Self Storage,” a hilarious, quirky, storage-centric web series directed and produced by Scott Keiner.
Julie and Kim, both experienced actresses on- and off-screen, met and came up with the idea for the series while working as spokespeople for a car company in 2009. Part of their job was moving vehicles in and out of a storage unit, which somehow proved inspring. Less than a year later, they’d written and begun shooting the first season of “Self Storage.”
“Self Storage” follows the adventures of two ladies who naturally turn to self-storage as a solution to their recent homelessness. Shoshanna (Kim) is the cynical realist with some unique substance abuse issues.
“With Shoshanna, I kind of just look at whats going on with the economy. It makes me angry, and that’s a big driving factor with her character.” Kim reflected. “I think her overriding thing is that she really wants to find love, and she’s in kind of the worst situation to go about pursuing that.”
Dana (Julie) is the free spirit who stays positive despite their turbulent financial situation (often made more turbulent by her sleazy entrepreneurial boyfriend, Rafael).
“I feel like I’m definitely more assertive in real life, and getting to play someone who is happy-go-lucky is an interesting experience,” Julie said. “There had to be someone who thought the situation was totally great.”
Together, the pair embarks on a storage-facilitated “life ride,” as Dana calls it in the series pilot, running into side-splitting encounters with characters and situations one could only find in the storage world. Run-ins with hoarders and eccentric employees provide the backdrop from which the show’s smart, edgy and heartfelt humor emerges.
“When you’re dealing with people and their belongings, there’s always going to be some sort of human story,” Kim said. “Even just being around the facility shooting, we had a million crazy things happening.”
For season 2, they teamed up with Storage Outlet (the folks behind Storage Treasures) as sponsors, with Lance Watkins as Executive Producer. Between Julie and Kim’s collaborative writing efforts and Scott’s guiding hand, Kim said the creative process is coming along swimmingly.
“Self Storage” was able to establish an extensive fan base through social media, which Kim said was greatly bolstered by the nurturing self-storage community. They were surprised at the amount of support and connectivity they were able to find online from the industry. Perhaps the storage world has long-awaited such a fun, compelling view of self-storage. The show isn’t immune to a little raciness— drugs, cursing and sexual references occasionally make their way onscreen.
“We definitely pushed buttons this season,” Scott said. “We might even take things a little further, that’s for the audience to decide. We’re looking forward to feedback.”
While “Self Storage” has built quite a bit of popularity online, it has also received critical acclaim from organizations like Stay Tuned TV, Clicker, and the L.A. Femme Film Festival. Plans are to continue with the show, with hopes of someday reaching a mainstream TV network. For now, you can enjoy all past episodes and stay caught up with new ones at StorageOutlet.net, and check out Dana and Shoshanna’s hilarious tweets at @DanaandShosh.