The inspiration for CAM GIRLS struck when a 23-year-old Joelle came home early from work to find her then-roommate, Michelle (*not her real name) in a precarious position in front of her laptop. Shocked, Joelle asked Michelle what she was doing. Michelle pulled her aside and told her she was having a hard time online dating because the website she was on featured several “cam girls.” Joelle had never heard of a Cam Girl and wanted to know more. Michelle explained these were girls who set up webcams and stripped, masturbated, and sometimes just chatted with guys in exchange for money.
Immediately, Joelle thought that this could be an idea for her new pilot script. She asked Michelle if she could observe her in action and learn more about these fascinating women. Michelle introduced her to a “successful” Cam Girl who had created her own site and was making more money than she knew what to do with. This Cam Girl explained to Joelle that often times her viewers would want a more “privatized experience” in exchange for high-end items that the Cam Girl would setup on her “Amazon Wishlist” and sent to an untraceable P.O. box. She told Joelle that within the first week of her setting up her cam site, she had received three HD-TV’s from some of her special fans. “This is where the real money comes from,” she explained.
Joelle set out doing research, reading as many articles as she could about Cam Girls. She was surprised at how much control these women had and how often times the viewers weren’t even interested in sex, but simply wanted a “girlfriend experience.” Many of the women were able to keep their “cam identity” and “real identity” separate leading to a freedom and control that strippers and prostitutes aren’t necessarily privy to. And there seemed to be a Cam Girl for every kind of demographic imaginable: skinny, curvy, plain, sexy, nerdy, frumpy, every single race, and even some cam-boys. In fact, the most famous “cammer” at the time was Justin Berry, a 13-year-old boy who had made nearly half-a-million dollars before turning over his material in exchange for immunity.
Joelle started writing the first draft of CAM GIRLS, and when she was finished she sent it to her friend, David Slack, for feedback. David’s response was: “This definitely has show potential, and someone will make it someday,” but he encouraged Joelle to write different versions to find the best possible story. Several drafts and years later, Joelle and David got together for coffee and he told Joelle that he and his wife, Kate Bond, were starting a production company and looking for material for a web series. Joelle had just finished a new version of CAM GIRLS featuring the current cast of characters. She sent the pilot to Kate, and for the next several months Joelle and Kate re-conceived and developed the show into the web series. And that was how CAM GIRLS the web series was born!