EXCLUSIVE: ‘Ships in the Night’ Creator Shares Insights on the Making of the Series, Inspirations, and More

Ships In The Night

New Zealand’s first BL series, Ships In The Night, started airing its 15-episode run on Tiktok last June 23, 2023, and has since completed said run. With Johnny and Manaaki’s story behind us, K-Ci Williams, who created the series, has shared some insights with BLTai regarding its creation, inspiration, and more!

In terms of creating a BL for Tiktok, Williams noted that users of this app will typically scroll away from a video if it fails to catch their attention within a few seconds. In addition to this, it was the aim of the team behind this series for each episode to simultaneously serve as a standalone story while also contributing to the overarching plot. While Williams isn’t quite sure if he was able to get these things right, he noted that he is happy with the final product and that it can serve as a springboard for more ambitious stories to come out of New Zealand.

Major sources of inspiration in the creation of ‘Ships in the Night’ include various queer stories from across the globe. ‘Heartstopper’, the hit Netflix series by Alice Oseman, served not only as the inspiration for the series but also helped in the pitching of the series to producers thanks to its widespread popularity and commercial success. 

Another notable inspiration was the Thai BL series ‘Bad Buddy’, specifically in the scenes taking place at the beach. Williams referenced an article he had previously written for Teen Vogue in which he discussed the use of beaches as a setting in queer stories, describing beaches as places of freedom, safety and so much more.

Korean BL series ‘Blueming’ also inspired the love scene in the 13th episode of ‘Ships in The Night’. Regarding this, Williams described love scenes as one of the things he loves about the BL series as they can be “beautiful, rough, soft, or anything the consenting parties wish and this scene was an opportunity to depict Johnny and Manaaki’s passion in the way ‘Blueming’ did.”

When asked what fans of ‘Ships in the Night’ can expect from him in the future, Williams answered in three simple sentences: “More queerness. More stories about existing at the intersections. More of New Zealand culture on screen.”

 

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