When Charlie Reeves created a web series, he was looking for strong LGBTQ characters that were missing from most of the sci-fi films and TV he loved as a kid.
Sci-fi for him was an early escape from a difficult childhood, where he bounced between divorced parents in California and Illinois, and after a brief stint in foster care was returned to an abusive mother.
So Reeves wrote characters who thrived despite abuse.
“I was raised by Star Wars and Harry Potter and X-Men, stories with a strong escapist thread,” Reeves said. “Those stories became my family. The Weasleys, the relationship between Luke and Darth Vader, Professor X and his students. Sci-fi wasn’t just a way out, these stories were blueprints to teach me how to build my own strength and my own voice.”
He and co-creator Maria Makenna shot a pilot for a series they call Peacekeepers. It tells the story of young personal assistants who receive texts about the future that give them minutes to avert deadly tragedies around New York City.
The plot revolves around Alana (Makenna), who works for a Peacekeeper. She’s trying to save the world even as she struggles with the bitter memories of an abusive father.
The 15-minute pilot, available to watch on peacekeepersnyc.com or below, was nominated for a Webby Award for Best Drama Series of the Year and Indiewire’s Project of the Year; it was a finalist for a Shorty Award for Best Web Show of the Year, and has been programmed at 13 film festivals to date. The pilot attracted more than 25,000 followers on Twitter, and fans were drawn to Alana, a strong main character with the feminist appeal of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a story with a bit of Sherlock’s mischievous tone and the thrills of Doctor Who.
This month Reeves is on Indiegogo, at bit.ly/peacekeepers, to raise the $42,000 he and Makenna need to complete the remaining five episodes of their first season.
Reeves graduated from NYU with a degree in screenwriting, and is currently the script supervisor’s assistant on the HBO series The Knick. He’s worked production on several high-profile New York shows, including Law & Order, Gotham, and Smash. Last year he co-wrote and story edited the first season of the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed webseries Whatever This Is, and produced The Snob’s Dictionary for Vanity Fair Online and Judging Jewell for ESPN’s 30-for-30 Short Film series. He currently lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
Makenna’s New York theatre credits include A Piece of My Heart and Eclipsed, where she helped produce feminist theatre pieces with more roles for women. She’s currently in London in the masters acting program at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.