Film alumnae entertain web with ‘SpaceCatCasio’

Photo by Josh Loeser

ASU film school alumnae Natasha Pirouzian, left, and Hayley Kosan, right, blend their love for film and comedy in their “Portlandia”-inspired web series “SpaceCatCasio.”
Photo by Josh Loeser

Two girls are about to start a rock band.

The catch?

They have no talent.

The other catch?

They are fictional.

They are Casey Anthony and Tuna “Staci” Cannes, the main characters of “SpaceCatCasio,” an upcoming “Portlandia”-inspired web series created by ASU film school alumnae, Hayley Kosan and Natasha Pirouzian.

“They are these self-involved idiots who just have no talent whatsoever, but they just want to be famous,” explains Kosan.

“SpaceCatCasio” formed when Kosan and Pirouzian were still film students. The girls, who both love comedy, first brought Tuna and Casey to life as part of a larger sketch comedy show called Boris & Boris. Kimberly Aiello, who was studying film production at ASU at the time, saw the “SpaceCatCasio” segment and loved it.

Photo by Josh Loeser

The stars of “SpaceCatCasio,” Tuna and Casey, debuted in Boris & Boris, a larger sketch comedy show.
Photo by Josh Loeser

“I thought it was the funniest thing ever,” Aiello says. While the rest of Boris & Boris was definitely funny, Aiello thought this particular segment could stand on its own.

She had so much faith in what “SpaceCatCasio” could be that she pushed Kosan and Pirouzian to develop it further, maybe into a web show, because, in Aiello’s words, “It had everything the Internet loves: two random hot chicks and a cat.”

After the idea to turn the web series into a senior thesis project was turned down, the project was sidelined for a while. That didn’t stop Aiello from wanting to see “SpaceCatCasio” become a reality.

“I called Hayley one day and said, ‘Hey, can I just take this from you and do something with it?’” Aiello says, laughing. Of course, Kosan wasn’t about to hand over all the reigns. But it was this call that brought “SpaceCatCasio” back to life.

Aiello was brought on officially as the show’s producer and the three set to work.

Except, there was now a third catch:

They lived on opposite sides of the country.

Since graduating from ASU, Kosan, Pirouzian and Aiello had scattered across three states: Kosan to Brooklyn, Pirouzian to Los Angeles and Aiello back to Phoenix, after a brief stint in Los Angeles herself.

“It’s difficult,” Kosan says of their cross-country collaboration. “It’s a lot of text messages and phone calls, getting everything together.”

“I don’t even know what the time difference is between us,” jokes Pirouzian.

The “SpaceCatCasio” team credits sites like Facebook and Google Drive for keeping them sane and organized.

They say that the biggest difficulty with being separated is the pace at which they can get things done.

“It’s taking us longer because we’re all in different places,” Aiello says. “If we were all in the same place, we’d be able to move much faster.”

As it stands, “SpaceCatCasio” has been a work in progress since late 2011. They hope to get everyone together in early 2014 and spend two to three weeks filming the entire series, which will then go online.

“It’s been a long time trying to get this going,” Kosan says.

“I’m always trying to convince Hayley to come out here, but that’s like the selfish part of me,” Pirouzian adds.

Luckily, the distance doesn’t stop the pair from working well together. Pirouzian said that, ever since they worked on their first film together at ASU, they have always worked well together. They even helped each other with their thesis films.

“We always got along pretty well because we’re both complete goofballs,” she explained. “Once we found out that other people besides ourselves thought we were funny, we kind of just ran with it.”

That goofball attitude comes across on screen, too. Pirouzian and Kosan, who play Tuna and Casey, respectively, hold nothing back.

“Hayley and I both like to think that we are hysterical,” says Pirouzian.

Photo by Josh Loeser

Finding their humor to ensue laughter and attention, Kosan, left, and Pirouzian, right, are hoping “SpaceCatCasio,” once online, spreads to the screen.
Photo by Josh Loeser

The duo hopes that other people will agree with them. Though “SpaceCatCasio” is only planned to be a web series, both Kosan and Pirouzian have hopes that the series will eventually get picked up for television.

“That’s the dream,” Kosan says.

Reach the writer at tnelso8@asu.edu