Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman on the final “steamy” season of “Carmilla”

After a year-long wait, the final season of the YouTube smash web series Carmilla, debuts. The show has become an AfterEllen favorite, and I can say that, personally, it’s a show I carry in my heart. Hosting last year’s finale party was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I know many fans also hold a very special connection to this brilliant, funny and often deeply emotional show. 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Carmilla stars Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman to discuss Season 3, their wonderful cast and crew, and of course, saying goodbye to the beloved show.

CarmillaIII_0766All photos by Jasper Savage/Smokebomb

AfterEllen: What was it like stepping onto that Carmilla soundstage one last time?

Elise Bauman: It was really emotional! I mean, it’s been such a massive part of my life, our lives, for the past two years. It kind of felt like the playoffs a little bit. Like everyone was there in spirit together, working as a team and we all knew what our goal was, and we were all going after the same thing. But there was also a definite air of finality to it. It was definitely really emotional and really pretty epic. It was also really great. I think a lot of really awesome work got done this year. 

Natasha Negovanlis: For me, it just felt like coming home.


AE: Simple as that?

NN: Yeah, I don’t even know if I have much more to add to that. It felt like coming home. There’s such a family vibe, and this feeling of family with our cast and crew that I think is very unique. Because so often you’ll shoot something and you make connections with a few people on set and maybe run into them at auditions later in the future. But everyone is just so connected—every person—I think we are just so much more aware of that no that we have more projects under our belt as well. Yeah, there was definitely this sense of melancholy, but also it’s just my happy place. Like, it’s the place where I’m happiest in the world.  



AE: The production value has changed considerably this year. Did that change anything for either of you performance-wise?

NN: It’s funny because we keep hearing that, and the production value is no higher than it was for any other season. It’s all smoke and mirrors.


AE: [laughs]

NN: I keep hearing that, and it does look fantastic. I think the only difference, this time, is we shot in a studio vs. on location. So I think it has a little bit more of that “Hollywood” look to it because there’s a bigger lighting rig and things like that. In terms of budgetI mean, Smokebomb is so great at making something fantastic out of very little.


AE: It definitely looks amazing from the trailer, and I’ve seen every single episode numerous times, and it looked like a completely different show based on the trailer [laughs] so…

EB: I mean, that’s just due to—everyone’s been such hard workers and so talented over all the seasons, but this year, every department just working under the same crazy four to five-day shoot conditions. But every department was just so incredible this year. The art department did such a fantastic job with this set. Everyone was working overnight. Everything ran really smoothly and people, just like every other season, were putting their heart and soul into every little minuscule detail. As a whole, it all came together really nicely and looks pretty fantastic.