We spoke to the producer of Neighbors & Friends
The show follows a well-known friend group at FSU
Neighbors & Friends, a new reality TV show highlighting a friend group at FSU, has recently made waves on social media.
The show’s trailer was released last week and quickly went viral among FSU students, reaching 400k views in three days.
We spoke to Yofray Ray, the show's writer, editor, and one of the producers, ahead of the first episode’s release tomorrow.
Ray was inspired to create the show when he started watching MTV’s Siesta Key, a South Florida-based reality show featuring one of his friends. “I followed it through the season and just kept always thinking to myself ‘There's nothing to this show, I could do this myself.’"
He bounced the idea off his good friend and now Executive Producer Bosse Rosas, and the show came to fruition a few months later. “On a car ride to Gainesville I wrote a six-page treatment for a full season of a non-scripted FSU debauchery based on a week in Tallahassee with a group of friends," Ray said. "One season shot jampacked into one week, each episode being one day.”
Ray, creator of I'm Shmacked and College Weekly, said they wanted to take everything they liked about Siesta Key and make it even better. “I knew that if I took the things that make it good and added some things to make it better that it could pop off…we just needed the perfect cast,” he said.
The perfect cast came in the form of the Olos, a prestigious social group comprised of Greek life members with an unwavering friendship. They eat together, sleep together, study together and party together, which makes them prime stars for the show.
"I've never seen a group of guys and girls that are so close with one another," Ray said. "They have the kind of chemistry that allows all of them to do what they want, say what they want and be exactly who they are without caring what other people think because they only hangout with themselves.”
In terms of how he thought the show would be received by the FSU community, Ray said, “I know for a fact the people of Tallahassee will talk down on the show and put a negative spotlight on it because they believe their town should be portrayed a certain way and that this show will perpetuate stereotypes about the area and University.” While that may be the case, he said that’s not the intention of the show and he’s purely trying to showcase an unfiltered and raw representation of a tight group of friends in college.
His plan is to get as much attention from Season 1 as possible and then try to get the show picked up by a network. “I have zero doubt in my mind we will strike a deal with this show and already have meetings lined up in LA for after the New Year so it's full steam ahead.”