“As the Ram Turns”: A Fordham Snapchat Soap Opera


Fordham’s favorite Snapchat soap opera has ended. (COURTESY OF NICHOLAS ENDO)


In a time when everyone can be a photographer and film director on Snapchat, three Fordham students had the distinct idea of creating episodes of a Snapchat soap opera that Fordham students and outside viewers could easily watch on their cellphone. The soap opera, co-produced by Nicholas Endo, Fordham College at Lincoln Center FCLC ’16, Molly Hellauer, FCLC ’16, and Laura Paone, FCLC ’16, utilizes social media platform Snapchat’s short video filming technique to combine short clips into a drama about the enticing mystery of the dead character, Winona, played by Hellauer.

“As the Ram Turns” tells the lives of Chives, played by Nicholas Endo, his fiancé Winona, and their best friend Lola, played by Paone. The first episode starts off with the death of Winona, and then flashes back to three months earlier to determine the murderer. The comedy revolves around the affair between Chives and Lola and the troubles they caused, conveying the theme of love, loyalty, betrayal and scandal in a hysterically funny way.

The co-producers Endo, Paone and Hellauer met each other during their sophomore year when they were all orientation leaders. Paone and Hellauer have been roommates for four years, and the deep friendship among the three students allowed them to put a rigorous team effort into the production.

The trio’s theater experience varies; Paone has been a theatre minor and Endo has been involved in the Splinter group, theatre club, and took a role as the entire ensemble of Into the Woods. Though Hellauer has never acted before, her talent impressed the team, including her ability to play two different roles. She plays Winona and her evil twin, and can change her wardrobe really fast for every shot, in order to show the story in a chronological order on Endo’s Snapchat.  

Endo has always had the idea of doing a Snapchat TV show until his idea was further inspired when Paone showed him Kylie Jenner’s fake soap opera on Snapchat of her and her sister playing themselves. Endo and the team immediately invested in the production the next day.

“We were thinking what if everyone is now doing all these Snapchat soap operas? We don’t want to seem like we are hopping on the bandwagon,” Endo said. “Let’s do it real quick before it gets too popular.”

The production team spent a lot of time into the story’s plot. They started off the soap opera with the episode of the dead body, and then filmed the next episodes week by week. Though feeling lost about where the story was going at some point, they managed to put together all the storylines inspired into a tempting plot.

“The rule or how we try to write up the episodes is to always end up in some sort of dramatic clip hanger,” Endo said.

“As the Ram Turns” has been attracting a rising viewership across Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. The team often gets questions from audiences who follow the show.

“I have a friend who I haven’t talked to a lot since high school. She is abroad in Italy and she’s a big fan of the show. She watches every episode, comments on all the links we post on Facebook, and really wants to know who killed Winona,” Paone said. “Everyone is trying to get us to tell them the secrets of the show, [but] we can’t disclose anything before the finale.”

“We do love there’s a rising viewership because as we go on and it comes a little more demanding, we just remember we are doing it for our fans,” Hellauer said. “In all seriousness because people love it and it brings them joy and that makes us happy.”

The team films with Snapchat because they find many possibilities on the application. Endo even thought of creating more media and content for Snapchat, or a Snapchat channel if they have enough time.

“I feel like Snapchat, as opposed to Facebook or Instagram, there are so many different possibilities and opportunities,” Paone said. “People just do selfies, or some people film videos with their friends, but I feel like there’s so much more you can do with it that people don’t take advantage of. And I would just love to go crazy with Snapchat if I have more time.”

Though the production technique is not the most advanced, the team thinks that it is about having fun, a spirit they would always want to have in “As the Ram Turns” even if the shots aren’t perfect.

“It wouldn’t be an episode of ‘As the Ram Turns’ without a continuity error,” Hellauer said.

Though it is sad to end the show because the three are graduating, “As the Ram Turns” offered an opportunity for them to get together to produce something memorable for their last semester.  It shows off a Fordham pride to the audience, joining together many they know by inviting them to be guest stars, such as Daniel Holmberg, FCLC ’18, playing James St. James and even hiring a prop intern, Kayla Wolf, FCLC ’19.

In regards to the finale of “As the Ram Turns,” the team felt unexpected and thankful towards all the support.

“From the moment Nick walked into our room and said ‘Guys I got an idea.’ I had no idea that it would really go this far. It’s kind of like an extended bit that really went a lot farther than I thought it would,” Paone said. “But it’s really one of the most fun thing I have done in my time at Fordham.”

All episodes of the soap opera “As the Ram Turns” are now available on YouTube. Audiences can also check out the hashtag #WhoKilledWinona to find out what happened in the finale.