The Jane Games was created by two friends with a fondness for Jane.
I was introduced to Jane Austen when my Mom and a friend of hers from book club took their two daughters (my friend and I) to see the Emma Thompson adaption of Sense and Sensibility in the movie theatre. This same bunch got together a few months later when the 6 hour BBC mini series of Pride and Prejudice was airing on TV. These multi generational events combined with the power of the Austen characters cemented what would become a life long love of all things Austen. I poured over the novels, the movies, and the spin-off books though they be filled with vampires, zombies, and Darcy decedents. I was an easy sell; anything to do with Jane had my interest.
The funny thing I realized is that it would become a kind of divining rod for a friendships compatibility; if I met a girl and found out she loved Jane, we were most likely going to be friends. If I met someone and (shock!) the had never heard of her...well, there was still hope, but we weren’t going to have a lot in common. What I was surprised by is just how many people really like Jane. Eyes light up, and smiles form, and people instantly bond, so I thought with so much invested emotion it's no wonder there are so many off-shoots created. People want them, they want their good friends, the characters, to have a longer lives, and more adventures so the audience can get to know them even better.
So I started thinking up what I could write about Jane and all of her characters. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it but I knew I wanted to combine characters from different books. I mention it to my “Jane Loving” friend, Jen, as we were waiting for independence day fireworks to start, and she said “what we might have here is a web series” So we sat there and sketched out “The Jane Games” and by the time the fireworks started, our minds were already crackling with the excitement over this project, and they haven't stopped since. I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making The Jane Games.
I found Jane somewhat later in life, but once we became acquainted, I was hooked. It began innocently enough with Price and Prejudice, and an undying love for Bridget Jones' Diary, but then I discovered that all 6 novels could be had for free on my Kindle. Never one to turn down free books, I uploaded them all, and soon found myself reading my way through the canon. There is just something to be said for the world of silly sisters, over-involved mothers, and men whom you fall in love with while dancing with them. In fact, I think we should really insist on bringing back social dances as a regular part of life.
One of the things that I really love about Jane's world is that her characters aren't perfect: they all have flaws to overcome in order to find their happy ending. I think that is the main reason so many of us identify with at least one of her girls. We see ourselves in them and hope that we too will be able to find our happy endings, despite (or even because of) our own imperfections. I think at the end of the day, that is what makes her work so universal, and is the reason why there are so many modern adaptations and spin offs.
Our version of Jane's world began one summer day, sitting in a park waiting for the fireworks to begin. It started as a pet project, just something to have fun doing together, and has blossomed of its own accord into something so much larger than either of us anticipated. The more we delved into her world, the more we wanted to share it, and everything we love about it with a modern audience. After all, the language and styles may have changed, but we hope to show that the stories are universal. And perhaps, if our wits do not fail us, even make a few Jane Austen converts ourselves.