Nestflix Creator Lynn Fisher Shares The Inspiration For Her Website Devoted To Fake Movies

Yesterday, web designer Lynn Fisher launched a new site called Nestflix, which organizes fictional movies within movies into a fake streaming service. And it's not just movies: there are fake TV shows from TV shows mixed in as well. Woody's Roundup from Toy Story 2? It's there. Queens Boulevard from Entourage? You betcha. The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening from Schitt's Creek? Absolutely. For pop culture obsessives, Nestflix serves as the rare Internet rabbit hole that's totally enjoyable to disappear into.

The site has rightfully attracted a lot of attention since it debuted, so we caught up with Fisher to talk about the genesis of the project, her reaction to the response, why this idea resonates with people, and more.

The Initial Idea

Fisher, who lives in Arizona, has spent years as a web developer and has created several incredible websites that are pop-culture adjacent. (I encourage you all to check out her portfolio.) The germ of the idea for Nestflix has been with her for a while, but she finally gave it her full attention and spent the past two months doing a lot of work to bring the idea to life and create what she calls "a fun thing you can get lost in."

"I was always looking for patterns, things that happen across lots of different movies and TV that you could make a site about or curate some thing," she told me over Zoom yesterday evening. After seeing lists of "the best fake movies in movies" online and being frustrated by the fact that they were often pretty limited, Fisher thought it would be cool if there was a site that collected as many as possible. (She's well aware that Nestflix is not fully comprehensive.) When the pun title for the site came to her, she decided to make it look like "a fake streaming service, where you could have all the titles and learn more about them. It could be meta in a way, where the actors who are listed could be the fake actors."

The Design

Fisher says she "probably watched every single streaming service that there is" to collect all of the data for the site. There are currently 421 entries on Nestflix, so she had to customize 421 thumbnails inspired by the ones from real services. "I had a big spreadsheet," she said of how the project began. "I watched all the shows and took screencaps of everything and collected all of this data: taking down quotes and who was in it and all of that," making use of Netflix's ability to let viewers watch content at 1.5 speed. "I'm a pretty big movie and TV watcher already, so a lot of it was revisiting media I'm familiar with, which was helpful."

Once she had all of the information in her spreadsheet, the real design work began. "I made a thumbnail, recreated the logo, or created a new one in [Adobe] Illustrator," she said. "Since you can't watch the movies – I was hoping that me putting a copyright for the screenshots would be enough, I didn't want to deal with video – I was like, 'It'd be more fun if there was more than just one image for a thumbnail. I'll include some gallery stills or something.' So I was creating six or so images per entry. It's a lot. When I look at it, I'm like, 'This is just bonkers.' But as I was doing it, it did go fast and it was fun."

Personal Favorites

Some of Fisher's favorite entries include Angels with Filthy Souls from Home Alone, which she says is "the quintessential 'they nailed it' movie within a movie." She's also a fan of the fake projects mentioned in Gravity Falls, Threat Level Midnight from The Office, the ones from The Simpsons, and the fictional movies and shows mentioned in HBO's Insecure, which she singles out as "really elaborate" in their production. "I like the ones where I had a lot to choose from," she said.

The Response

When the /Film staff discovered Nestflix yesterday, it dominated our Slack channels and sidelined all of our productivity for what felt like hours as we delightedly clicked around, discovering more corners of Fisher's creative vision. But we weren't the only ones who took notice. She says that when she's launched sites in the past, the response has varied.

"My little web friend circle, it'll get decently far in that and will die down," she explained. "So that happened this morning, and then I went to go grocery shopping, and my phone was blowing up and I was like, 'What is happening?' The one I caught was Patton Oswalt retweeted it, and I was like, 'Oh, that's cool!' It's been overwhelming, for sure...but it's been really cool. It's interesting: sites like this take so much energy and so much time that while I'm doing it, I'm always like, 'Is this worth it? What am I doing?' But like today, it's like, 'Oh, this is so cool. It resonates with people. They're into it. They get it.' It makes it all worth it."

Feeling Seen

As for why Fisher thinks this topic resonates with so many people, she paused for a moment to consider before responding. "I think movies and TV are so personal anyway, it's like this little in-joke from this piece of media that you love that you can connect [over] with someone," she said. "I have a site called Airport Codes, which literally just tells you what the airport code means. But aviation people just went bonkers for it. It was just this thing: 'Oh my gosh, this thing that I love, that I get – that maybe other people in my life don't quite get it – someone made this website about this thing that I'm passionate about.' I think there's a shared 'feeling seen' feeling when you see it this's a thing that catches a recognition we have. Something that we hold dear. I think it's a cool little shared universe."