Interviews

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Ben Dobyns- Head of www.zombieorpheus.com

Q: Zombie Orpheus- There are a ton of webseries under that umbrella. Fill me in on the projects.

We’ve grown from a company creating a single webseries, JourneyQuest, to a cooperative of producers who work together to help everybody succeed.

JourneyQuest is the brainchild of Matt Vancil, a fantasy comedy set in the fictional world of Fartherall. Launched in 2010 under a new distribution model, the show was released for free online under a Creative Commons license. Fan contributions paid off all season one expenses in under a year, allowing us to launch a season two Kickstarter campaign that raised $114,000, an unprecedented amount for a web series at the time. Season two expanded the size of the world, introducing new characters, epic new locations, and  a major leap in production values. Continuing the Fan Supported, Creator Distributed model originated in season one, season two saw Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods) and Bob Sapp (Conan, The Longest Yard) join the Seattle cast.

In addition to JourneyQuest, ZOE produces a semi-weekly webseries entitled Rude Mechanical, which fictionalizes the backstory of our production company, allowing all of us to play warped mirror versions of ourselves as we keep the fans up to date on happenings at the company. Featuring a transdimensional traveler named Zoe Adastra, who brainwashes the members of Zombie Orpheus into believing that she founded and owns the company, the show is a unique blend of news and farce, like 30 Rock with 100% more aliens, academic adventurers, and off-the-wall sci-fi.

We also provide production resources and help co-produce several local shows, most notably &@, the literary id of the World Wide Web, which just premiered its most recent masterpiece, &@ Hamlet.

Beyond ZOE’s productions, our cooperative of shows has grown to include

  • Standard Action, a self-aware fantasy comedy produced in British Columbia
  • Transolar Galactica, a sci-fi satire produced in Spokane, WA
  • Chop Socky Boom, a comedy about the making of a web series produced in Seattle
  • Aidan 5, a revolutionary sci-fi noir produced in Columbus, OH
  • GOLD: The Series, an RPG drama produced in Los Angeles
  • Gamer Chick, an RPG romantic comedy produced in Chicago
  • The Collectibles, a superhero office comedy produced in Seattle
  • Glitch, an 8-bit comedy produced in Seattle
  • Brothers Barbarian, a fantasy comedy produced in Kentucky

Although each is produced independently, the ZOE collective promotes each others shows to the fan base, shares booths at conventions across North America, uses a common base of technology and a common cooperative philosophy, and operates FanSupported.net, a fulfillment resource that offers the best net return to producers for sales on the web. With the idea that equal cooperation can reduce costs, the group has been able to drop the cost of fulfillment below the amount it would cost for each producer to handle independently, putting those additional revenues back into more production.

Embracing crowdfunding and giving the fans the power to keep shows that they love alive, ZOE cooperative shows renewed so far for second (and third!) seasons by the fans include JourneyQuest, Chop Socky Boom, Standard Action, Transolar Galactica, Aidan 5, and Gamer Chick.

Q: What makes Zombie Orpheus different from shows on Hulu or cable TV?

Our shows are entirely ad-free. We focus on creating a phenomenal viewing experience for the fans, who show their support with contributions that far exceed what traditional advertising pays per thousand impressions.

Additionally, our shows are entirely owned by their creators. No third party exists who cancel them, empowered the fans to keep the shows they love alive. Our motto is No Studio, No Network, No Cancellation, which is our promise to the fans that we won’t put the fate of our shows into the hands of third parties. This gives the creators of each show an unprecedented freedom to produce with a unique and unfiltered voice, rather than attempting to appeal to a mass market.

Q: Journeyquest 2 City of the Dead just hit DVD April 24th. Can anyone pick this up and follow what’s going on?

Yes. We designed the season carefully to stand on its own, although people familiar with the first season will certainly have more of an investment in the characters and ongoing story. We highly encourage people to check out Season One for free online.

Q: What was it like working with higher profile people like MMA fighter Bob Sapp and Cabin in the Woods star Fran Katz?

Bob and Fran are both collaborative and giving professionals. Working on set with them was a joy. Fran especially, with his massive television experience, was able to lead by example and teach us a ton about how to keep the filmmaking process fun and cooperative within the context of quickly paced shooting schedules.

Q:  Why do you think the fan support for your projects has been so strong?

Support has been strong because we explicitly empower the fans to support content that they love. So many people were burned in the prior decade by the cancellations of beloved shows. We participated in the time and effort that fans put into saving doomed series like Firefly and Jericho and, from that experience, learned that there is no reasoning with studio and network executives. By putting the power to keep shows they love back into the hands of the fans, we show that we trust our fan base, that they do have the power to get an entire story told, and that the process can be mutual and collaborative, rather than run by top down decree. Also, we’re producing quality work with a unique and appealing vision. Our production values are outstanding for the budget level at which we work. We take the time and care to get the scripts right, to craft extraordinary performances, and to design and build immersive and believable worlds. And despite the fantastic genres in which we work, we keep everything grounded in accessible and honest human emotions and desires.

Q: What projects or developments should people pay attention to in the next 6 months.

We’ll soon be launching ZOE Phase II. In the works for over four years, this is the next step in crowdfunding and sustainable support. Taking the lessons we’ve learned from accepting direct fan contributions and through our four successful Kickstarter campaigns, we’ve created a support model that will allow us to remain in production constantly without becoming a financial hardship to our fans and supporters.

In conjunction with Phase II we’ll be launching a number of exciting new projects:

  • A JourneyQuest roleplaying game campaign setting
  • Several web comics, including Demon Hunters, Strowers: Argonautica, and more
  • Regular production of Rude Mechanical
  • Preproduction on JourneyQuest season three

Q: What is the one geek related item you possess that you would fight 16K Bob Sapps for?
We wouldn’t fight Bob Sapp for anything. But we might stare sternly at him if he ate the last cookie at craft service. Or go make more cookies.

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He’s known to a few but has gained a place in comic book history.  His name is Mario Gully and he is a comic book artist with a very inspiring story.

mario

In  1996 he was convicted of robbery in Florida at 19 years old. The youngest child of a family of six, Mario started drawing at an early age. While incarcerated, His life  was changed forever. “One day,”Mario recalls.”I was looking out the cell window and I noticed a tiny ant crawling on the window sill”. “I was feeling so bad”. “That my life was over and I was so ashamed, I wanted to disappear.” I felt like that tiny and I wanted to trade my life for his”. Filled with grief, his cell mate encouraged him to draw to pass the time. What happened next is nothing short of amazing.

“I turned that Ant into a superhero in my head.”Mario says, I wanted to better my life so I decided to draw again.”

Draw is what he did and the character ANT was born. A red hot sexy female with razor sharp antennas that could block bullets!

Mario was a huge fan of comic books and especially Todd Mcfarlane the Creator of Spawn.  “He was my idol, my focus”.The young artist recalls.  Trying to get Mcfarlane’s attention wasn’t an easy task. Mario’s character was turned down by Image Comics and many other publishers.

One publisher saying “A idiotic idea for a character that nobody is interested in”.

Not being deterred, Gully kept trying for 8 years! Even getting financing from a friend to get better color and variant covers from comic book superstars for a better package.

“Finally, when I exhausted all my resources, I received an email from an small publisher in Canada”. My wife kids and I were living with my dad in a small apartment because money was hard to come. I was working at an air conditioning helper in Louisville KY. One email from Arcana Studios. That’s when it all started.

ANT launched in 2003 and the book sold out in 9 days. Ant was legitimately a hit. “I cant say I was surprised”.Mario says, “or I may have been in shock, “I’ve always believed in my characters”. “I just think they are cool that’s all”. “It was fantastic to see other people believing they were cool also”.

“I think Mario is one of the best talent I’ve worked with…brilliant!”Publisher for Arcana Studios Sean O’Reilly

Mario’s story gets even more interesting! Gully finally got excepted by his mentor Todd Mcfarlane’s company Image Comics!
ANT was now published at a major publishing house! The publisher at Image Comics Erik Larsen brought his book aboard with skepticism.

“I wanted it bad”! Mario say.”I wanted to prove I could play with the majors”!

ANT played with the majors an issue#1 sold out now under a huge publisher. “I talked to Erik Larsen (the publisher) and he told me the numbers.  “I cried”. “I fell down and cried because it was a huge accomplishment for me”

ANT was in the starting line up and was one of the top selling independent comic books. Selling on ebay for over 100 dollars a issue for a specific retailer cover.

“Ant is one of the most iconic, original characters created in the last 20 years”!-Comic book veteran and a founder of Image Comics Erik Larsen

Later Mario continued his success drawing books for many other publishers including comic book powerhouse Marvel Comics! Drawing special illustrated books and working with a comic book legionary writer Roy Thomas!

 “Hey,this is another great – looking batch of pages”! “You gave us some great action – packed pirate scenes with real drama”. “I’m very impressed”. “You continue to get better on all fronts”. “And you keep such a wonderful schedule”. “Glad you’re a big part of this fine effort”!-Senior Marvel editor Ralph Macchio

It would appear that this artist had everything he wantted. A Creator owner title, drawing a new series for Marvel Comics.  A promising road to success?

“It was difficult behind the scenes”. “With all I’ve been through and how very hard I fought to get my chance to fight..I’ve kept battling with publishers about my ideas”. “I had to change Ant’s story for Image Comics to publish the book”. “I believe the originally was her story not her costume”.Gully bellows.””Also,many comic book creators didn’t except me”. “I guess they felt that I wasn’t qualified enough to be where I had gotten to in my career”. “Rather me being self taught and not being groomed by Marvel or D.C comics before I became popular like most creators were.. or being a black dude”. “I can’t be honest and say I didn’t feel that animosity”.”One time, I was even asked to not stand behind the Image Comics booth at San Diego Comic Con”! “I felt very bad”. “That was like crushing my dreams all over again”.

There were also the vultures circling Mario’s success. People that promised movie deals and video games that ultimately took Gully for a ride.

“That was my biggest problem”. Mario’s recalls. “Most of these people I met didn’t have the resources they pretended to have”. “I would try to help develop my characters in other forms of entertainment but it was a lot of work”. “In addition to penciling,writing and producing a monthly title at Image”. “It was hard”. “I was very worried that if I passed up an opportunity a deal I was looking for could fall through”.

It became difficult for the artist. Having a wife and 4 kids things because hard financially and they couple decided to file for a divorce after 14 years.

Gully: “Thats was the darkest time in my life”.we separated and I have my 4 children”.  “I left Florida to move to Nevada to start over”. “Our Marriage was bad for 3 years before it finally ended. I tried everything even going to church and I even taught Sunday School while going to seminary”.  “I wanted to save my family”. “It seems it went from bad to worst”. It felt like God was laughing at me”.

More tragedy struck Mario when on route to Nevada he was in a serious car accident!

“The car I was in flipped a couple times on route 66”. “I know for sure I could have been killed”. “I almost rolled into a semi truck in the snow.”

The relocation to Las Vegas Nevada was anything but smooth. Mario would eventually become homeless with his 4 children!

“It was very..very hard”.” I literally lost my mind”. “I felt like so many people I helped wouldn’t even return my calls”. “I couldn’t draw because I was so depressed”. “I thought about suicide one night very seriously”. “To this day it was the lowest point I ever been”. “I got locked up because we got evicted because I brought a puppy for my daughter”. “The place where we were living wanted a pet deposit or us to vacate”. “I didn’t have it. “It was less then 200 bucks”. “I tried to steal it”.

This can be one of the best come back stories in comic book history. Since then Mario Gully has changed his name to O.M.G and he’s more determined then ever to live the dream he always wanted!

O.M.G: “O.M.G stands for Original Mario Gully”.  “It’s that guy that I wanted to be that follows his heart and march to his own drum beat”. “I feel I’m my original self”.  “My honest self”. “After all I’ve been through, I draw better now then I ever have”.  “I’m more focused then I ever been”.

O.M.G has creations he’s been developing for years.  He is looking for one investor that can help make this story the beginning of his new life!

O.M.G: “I just need one chance”. “One shot to do a few books my way without the restraints or any of that jazz I get from publishers every day”. “I only need one investor”. “I’ve done a lot with very little experience and very little resources with Ant and my career.

I’ve learned a ton”. “I’ve worked with so many great people in this biz”. “Now, I want to show the world I’m ready for round two”! “I know I’ve got a golden opportunity here”. “I’m ready now and I’m disciplined!

O.M.G is offering a percentage of his characters for life as well as a return on the investment!

O.M.G. “I know I’m a sure investment”. “I’ve proven most wrong about my characters all my life”. “I’ve had time to develop my strategy and marketing plan”. “I know with certainly this is my destiny.

I asked the amazing artist does he has any thing to say to anyone looking to invest in his new venture?

O.M.G:

Yes. This is to my possible investor. All my life I felt I was meant for something. I know in my heart it’s to inspire people to be better today then you were yesterday. To show kids that no matter what obstacles that are in your path you can overcome them with hard work and dedication.  Sometimes everyone needs just a little push to take off and fly higher then one ever has.

Help me live the life I was always meant to live.

Wow. A truly amazing story that has an ending waiting to be written!

Invest inquires can me made to Creator / artist Guru O.M.G by contacting him here:

Mariogully@gmail.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mario.gully

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from Image Comics:

The creators of Image Comic’s January Release Todd The Ugliest Kid on Earth took a moment to answer some behind the scene questions about the book and themselves. Please feel free to republish the interview. If you do run with this piece, please make sure to throw me a link on the coverage so we can cross promote.

About Todd The Ugliest Kind on Earth:TODD, a collision of comedy, sex, and violence, follows the misadventures of America’s most dysfunctional family as they go head-to-severed head with an Oprah-loving ax murderer, a cult-crazy soap opera star, and a neo-Nazi prison gang. The full-color four-issue mini series will hit comic stores January 16th in both digital and print formats.

Ken

About co-creator Ken Kristensen:  Award-winning writer and comic book junkie. One of the greatest moments of his writing career was working with his hero Pulitzer-prize winner Michael Chabon on The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist (Dark Horse). He is a member of The Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

mk About co-creator M.K. Perker:
Eisner-nominated comic book artist and writer whose work includes Cairo (Vertigo/DC), Air (Vertigo/DC), Insomnia Café (Dark Horse), as well as runs on Fables (Vertigo/DC), and most recently the Unwritten (Vertigo/DC). He is a member of the Society of Illustrators.

1. What was the origin of the Todd The Ugliest Kid on Earth story?

Ken: A few years ago I was working for film auteur Todd Solondz – I knew MK was a big fan of Solondz’s satirical masterpieces Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness. Films that deal with the ugliness of human behavior in suburban America. One day I invited MK to the set to meet the director. The three of us talked for a long time. We talked about the kind of things you talk about with Todd Solondz –comics, film, and anti-psychotic medication.

Around the same time, my 4-year old nephew, came visit me in New York City. Remarkably, my nephew had a knack for interpreting all the terrible stuff you see on your average stroll through Times Square in the most innocent and beautiful way. I mean, he’d see someone lying in a pool of blood and he’d point at the scene and say, “look, that guy tripped and spilled cranberry juice all over himself.” And you’d see a cranberry juice bottle lying in the gutter and understand how that kid’s brain took the most beautiful approach to the world based on the clues he had. That’s a direct quote, by the way.

Those two experiences were integral to creating the character of Todd, an innocent kid caught up in the ugly realities. Once we had our core character it was a matter of pushing the boundaries of his world to the extreme to make it even more funny and heartbreaking.

M.K.: Right after we came back to the New York City from the set of Palindromes, I did a sketch of Todd. Not the director but our character. We used to have regular brainstorming sessions with Ken at my Harlem apartment before he moved to LA. Still today we do those sessions on the phone and take notes and develop ideas either we turned them into a project or not.  It was very close to Columbia University and Ken was studying film at Columbia at the time. We looked at the sketch and thought this character could become something. Todd was so strong that all the side characters and side stories came with it naturally. Our love for pop culture and its icons found away to come out the surface with Todd. In those days, Ken’s nephew Erik — who was so little at the time — was in NY, visiting Ken. We threw a big birthday party for Erik and the theme was “Spider-Man”. At the end of the party, as me and my wife were  leaving, Erik came to me and pitched me a comic book series about robots and monsters. Then, like a 60-year old Hollywood mogul, he says, “All right M.K., we’ll talk more about this, but you’ve got the idea, right?” I felt like  Barton Fink in front of 4-year old Erik and said, “Yes sir”. On the spot,  Ken and I knew that Erik was our model for Todd.

2. Do you see yourself in Todd?

Ken: Everyone who has ever felt like an outsider will see themselves in Todd. One of the fascinating things about working with a character who you never see without a bag over his head is that you imagine that when and if that bag comes off…he could be any of us. I think that helps connect the audience with the character. Unconsciously you say to yourself — “When that bag comes off… will the face I see be my own?”

M.K.: I absolutely see myself in Todd. I grew up in a very dangerous neighborhood in Istanbul, surrounded with thugs, thieves and all kinds of criminals and soon-to-be criminals. I was always drawing, reading and into movies. And I was the only one who was like that among my friends. I had a huge collection of Russian classics. One of my friends had one leg shorter than the other — and he was pumping iron all the time because he wanted to be strong and move up in the gang world. And because he had one leg shorter than the other he had problems keeping his balance while he was weight lifting. So one day I gave him my copy of War and Peace to put under his short leg so he could keep his balance.  This was a very naive act on my part, but these tough guys accepted me for who I was. I kept reading books and became a professional comic book artist at the age of 16. And that friend of mine with the short leg is in prison today. Many of my childhood friends either died or went to prison. I later came to realize that the only thing that saved me was the world I was living in — the fantasy world in my head. I was not in the same world with them. Just like Todd.

3. How did you get started in comics?

Ken: As a lifelong comic fan and comic book collector (my collection hovers around 15,000) I’ve wanted to work in comics as long as I can remember. In fact, the very first time I was published was in a comic letters page when I was a kid. The dialog that comic book writers and editors had with readers via letters pages was what first alerted me to the idea that writing was a career option. When I was in film school at Columbia University I was fortunate enough to have a world renowned artist doing storyboards for my student films. His name was….MK Perker. MK had been working in comics in Europe, but he had recently moved to the U.S. and was living in Harlem — near Columbia. We met through his wife — she was managing the coffee shop I used to write in. She saw me every day writing screenplays and one day she approached me and asked if I needed a storyboard artist. I was blown away by MK’s work — at that time he was illustrating regularly for the New York Times. But what he really wanted was to break into American comics. After working on a few short films together I told him we should go to some conventions and meet with some publishing companies. MK had submitted a 4-page story to Heavy Metal and got word from Kevin Eastman that he was buying it. So when we went to San Diego Comic-con for the first time we went right to the Heavy Metal booth and met with Kevin, who was really gracious. Throughout that convention we cornered a few editors — IDW, Oni, Image, Dark Horse, and others. MK blindly submitted his portfolio at the DC booth and he was one of two artists selected through that process that year. Our first big champion in the business was the lovely and talented Diana Schutz at Dark Horse, who we also put into a headlock at a convention. We would eventually work with Diana on Michael Chabon’s Escapist book.

M.K.: Back in Istanbul. I was like a golden child of comics when I started working in the field. After moving to the States I had to do it all over again, though.

4. What titles are you currently reading

Ken: I’m devastated that Vertigo’s Scalped has recently come to an end. For me, that’s a masterpiece. I really hope Jason Aaron develops another creator-owned book soon. And R.M. Guera — it was announced recently that he’s the artist on the Django Unchained adaptation, which is a brilliant choice. Chew is endlessly entertaining. And I’ve just finished the trade paperback of Saga, which is a ton of fun. I’m also a big fan of Kick Ass. I’ll buy anything by the Luna Brothers, Howard Chaykin, and Robert Kirkman. And would someone please hold a gun to Greg Rucka’s head and get him to write more Queen and Country?

M.K: I always liked Vertigo books and almost all Vertigo titles are in my reading list.

5. What type of reader will like your book?

Ken: When our publisher, Eric Stephenson, announced the book at New York Comic-con he declared, “If you like Chew, you’ll like this book.” We couldn’t be more flattered. Todd is edgy, irreverent, politically incorrect — but there’s truth in every page. Growing up I was heavily influenced by the absurdist comedy in Keith Giffen’s work, and MK has worked for Mad magazine and many European humor magazines, and I think we’re bringing all of those influences to this project. And obviously the humor of Todd Solondz. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are also to blame. The story and characters of TODD will appeal to anyone who appreciates those antecedents.

M.K.: Anybody who likes South Park, or old movies, TV Shows or crime movies would enjoy Todd. Anyone interested in crime culture — those people will recognize that Eddie Bunker is a character in our book. Crime culture tends to creep into everything we do. Incidentally, Ken and I were obsessed with Richard Kuklinski long before his life became a movie called Iceman. So, nerds of comics and movies and underground culture like us are the target readership.

6. Most treasured comic in your collection is?

Ken: The most treasured comic in my collection was destroyed the day I lost my virginity. I wasn’t old enough to drive, but my girlfriend was 18. Talk about nerdy — I would ask this poor girl to drive me to the comic book store every Wednesday. And it wasn’t one of those nice clean stores like Jim Hanley’s Universe or something. This was one of those dark dusty basement joints, staffed by crabby bearded guys who haven’t seen the light of day since they came out of the womb. As soon as you enter your olfactories fill up with equal parts ink and B.O. — I didn’t know a hell of a lot about women. So there I was making this beautiful 18-year old Irish catholic girl drive me to this dungeon! And to add insult to injury I would make her wait while I browsed. Well, on this particular day I walked in and… I don’t know what came over me. I remember turning to my girlfriend and saying, “I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.” And she got this hopeful look on her face, and she said: “Yes?”  And I said: “I’m going to buy Giant-sized X-men #1.” At that point I wasn’t paying much attention to her, so I can’t attest to how she reacted. I was drunk with a kind of ecstasy I hadn’t felt before. This was, without a  doubt, a Holy Grail comic. As one does when making bank-account-shattering decisions, it probably took me two hours of haggling with the store owner, but I managed to talk him down by at least five dollars. Crabby bastard. Anyway, I walked out of there absolutely shaking, my ATM card had steam coming off of it. Fifteen minutes later we were at my girlfriend’s house and I was fawning all over the book. At a certain point– I can’t remember exactly because I was drunk on Dave Cockrum’s pencils — I looked up and she was standing there completely naked. I think I remember her saying, “You owe me.” One thing’s for certain — I was drunk on Cockrum and she took advantage of me. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing and she flung me all over the room till we heard her mother pull in the driveway. That’s when I found out that the tensile strength of paper and staples is no match for the beast with two backs. We’d been rolling around on top of Giant-sized X-men #1! Page 12 was completely ripped out! The cover was creased in a hundred places! Her mom came into the living room and I pretended to be reading the comic — which was difficult because it had become a four-color sponge of back sweat. She was one of those moms who would take great interest in you — really talk to you like an adult. She saw the price tag on the mylar bag and she got this look her face like a teenage boy had just spent hundreds of dollars on a comic book. She said, “Kenneth, do you think spending that much money on one comic is wise?” And I wanted to say, “You’re right, I should have spent it on condoms.” But instead I just looked at her and said, “I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”

M.K.: Many years ago I found a rare print of Moebius’s Incal in Paris. It had a limited printing of 100 signed copies. That’s the most important piece in my library.

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From WatchTheGuild:

 

Five years ago today – on July 27, 2007 – the very first episode of The Guild was uploaded to YouTube.  It’s hard to believe how far the show has come, and as always, on behalf of the show we want to thank the fans for the incredible support which has made the show the success it is today.  Today the show is widely available on many platforms for free (YouTubeXboxMSN/BingHuluBlipZune) and for purchase/with subscription (NetflixiTunesAmazon DVD or VOD).

All next week we’ll be celebrating the past five years – and looking ahead to more with the recently announced sixth season, which will come to Geek and Sundry (subscribe now) this fall .  Connect with us via social media as we have some some cool stuff planned including giveaways (LOOT!).  Check out the post on Geek and Sundry for details on the giveaways, which start at 1pm today!

Here’s THE GUILD’S TwitterFacebookGoogle+, and Tumblr, and here’s GEEK AND SUNDRY’S TwitterFacebookGoogle+, and Tumblr.  And please join us for more discussion on Geek and Sundry’s new discussion forums.

We asked the producers and cast to give us their thoughts on those early episodes, and the growth of the show over the last five years.

What do you remember about the first episode?

FELICIA DAY: I remember emailing 12 hours a day to blogs I read about gaming and geek stuff, introducing myself as an “actress from Buffy” and please spread word about my show.  Most of them ignored me, but a few picked it up. Some of the first fans we had were Veronica Belmont and Alice Taylor withWonderland blog. Without their spreading word of the show we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much traction as fast with the online community.   But I remember refreshing the video and seeing people actually comment about our work, and realizing that THAT was what I wanted to do with me life, make things for people to react to immediately.  It was a whole new life when we uploaded that episode.

VINCENT CASO: When that first episode went up, I didn’t think a whole lot of it. I mean, it was cool, and a lot of fun to see myself in this production, but who had any idea it would turn into this?

AMY OKUDA: The Guild was my first acting job, and my first day of shooting was me and the webcam so I was talking and acting to a blank computer screen and I remember thinking, “wow this is a lot harder and less fun than I thought” but the day we all shot together for the first time at Cheesybeards changed everything for me. It was the “aahhh, this is what acting is, it IS fun” moment for me.

ROBIN THORSEN:  I have to be honest and say that when I auditioned for The Guild, I really had never heard of World of Warcraft…during my audition I actually said something like “AKFing,” like it was a real word instead of A-F-K-ing.  I remember  Felicia said  after I finished, “That was good!  Let’s try it again and it’s A-F-King” I was like oooooooh! Now, I think that after five seasons I have become a little more seasoned with all the game lingo.

 

There’s lots more where that came from so go check out The Guild’s website to read the rest of the interview and check out some great photos.

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from WORMHOLERIDERS:

We are pleased to announce our next special guest host, a very gifted actor, the talented and warm hearted Mr. Cliff Simon!

As previously reported, on Sunday March 18, 2012 6 PM Pacific and 9 PM Eastern time, Cliff Simon will chat with his fans about one of his greatest passions, the benefits of Dog Rescue and adoption, his new guest starring role in Days of Our Lives in April, and if we behave ourselves, perhaps some Stargate too!

Join us and learn about Cliff Simon’srecent decision to join Twitter on Friday March 16, 2012 and more including his wonderful efforts with Karma Rescue during our human interest radio program this Sunday evening.

 

See complete article at WormholeRiders

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from The Nerdist:

See 35th anniversary edition of Wizards in Anaheim; win it from us now.

It’s fitting that Ralph Bakshi is known for his take on Mighty Mouse, because in a world where animation is still perceived as being mostly for kids, here he comes to save the day. Wizards, his darker, racier take on Tolkien fantasy, sees release as a 35th anniversary Blu-ray today, and we’re giving two of them away. But we also got an earful from the ever-entertaining auteur in a no-holds-barred interview.

NN: Back in 2008 there was some talk of doing a Wizards sequel. Is that still in the works?

RB: I wanna do a sequel because it was written for a sequel; it was written as a trilogy. I had just finished reading Lord of the Rings when I wrote Wizards…I think it’s another franchise like Rings or Star Wars. But I won’t do it for a million dollars – I need a budget that’s bigger than a million. I’ll take a million and a half.

NN: Was it a struggle for the PG rating at the time, or have we just backslid in what we tolerate?

RB: No, because basically they were just happy to see me stop cursing! I’m dead serious – they were so happy, they thought I’d reformed, that I’d changed my wicked ways from Hey Good Lookin‘ and Traffic and Street Fight…they were so pleased I was doing fairy tales that they let it slide. I don’t know how the hell I got away with that.

Conjure your way to our full-length interview with Bakshi, then enter to win the Wizards Blu-ray. For extra chances at the magic, journey to our Facebook and Twitter.

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From The Nerdist

If you’ve read a comic with hard drinking, heavy cursing and a staggering body count, there’s a good chance Garth Ennis was behind it. His twisted take on the superhero genre, The Boys, may be coming to an end, but the Irish writer has plenty to say about tackling an iconic comic property, Hollywood, and why he hates superheroes so much.

Nerdist News: You seem to have something of a penchant for turning the superhero paradigm on its head, especially with The Boys. What is it about the genre that makes you want to approach it from this angle?

Garth Ennis:
 A total lack of respect.

NN: After a powerhouse run, The Boys is coming to a close. Do you feel a sense of relief, an eagerness to move on to the next project or are you sad to see it go?

GE: 
In this instance, I’m a little sad because I know I’ll never write Butcher and Hughie again. When I finished Preacher I was happy to walk away, job done, nothing more to be said- and everyone got their happy ending. This time… you’ll have to wait and see

NN: Next up, you’ll be taking on a comics legend, The Shadow. Is it a challenge to tackle such an enduring character? What do you think gives a character like this staying power?

GE: 
It’s no more of a challenge than anything else, because I never really consider that side of things. He survives because he’s a great-looking, mysterious, slightly sinister – and occasionally lethal – character.

Be sure to click through to read our full interview with Garth Ennis, in which truth bombs are dropped.

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From  Her Universe:

As the voice of Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ashley Eckstein lives the fangirl fantasy. Running the online store Her Universe, she hopes to fulfill some of the wishes of others. We caught up with Ashley to talk gender differences, Ahsoka’s arc, Special Editions and even The Brady Bunch.

Nerdist News: Do you ever get guys complaining that they want some of your designs in male sizes?

Ashley Eckstein: We have, actually, and I take that as such a huge compliment! I’ve heard several people say, “Well, what about ‘His Universe’?”, and I say, okay, look on the convention floor. Go to San Diego Comic-Con, and pretty much the entire convention is “His Universe.”

NN: Do you see any major differences between male and female fans?

AE: Sometimes the male fans are really into the action and adventure and the battles, and we female fans become emotionally attached to the characters. You literally envision your relationships with these characters. I don’t even mean in a romantic way; you just view this character as if they’re another family member of yours.

NN: Can you give us any hints about where The Clone Wars is going?

AE: I just beg the fans who gave up on the show after the movie and season one to give it a chance now, because it’s a completely different show. Dave Filoni is a fan: he cares so much about the show and the storyline…Season two was when it really took off, and I think he’s turned it into what the fans wanted it to be all along.

Catch up with our full Ashley Eckstein interview, then check out her wares at Her Universe.

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The Worst Thing She Ever Did

I recently read The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers. It’s the story of a young girl name Sophie who went through a traumatic event and is having trouble going on with her life after it. While my own traumatic events weren’t quite the same as Sophie’s, I could definitely identify with her struggle to express herself and find not only the missing words to do so but discover who she is now that everything in her life has changed.

The Worst Thing She Ever Did is a young adult novel written as Sophie’s journal, so you see inside her head, into what she’s thinking and feeling, as she attempts to open up on the blank pages. At first, the entries are brief with little detail of her daily life and they are spaced days apart. As the book continues, you see her slip a few bits and pieces of the past in as she more fully details her days.

Because a strong theme of the book is finding ways to get unstuck so you can open up and express yourself, I asked if Alice Kuipers could share a bit with us about how she gets unstuck and finds inspiration to get her lost words flowing again.

I’m really glad to be guest blogging for you. Thanks. You asked me to share a few writing tips and so I thought I’d blog a bit about how to get inspired when you’re stuck and you don’t know what to write. In my novel The Worst Thing She Ever Did, the main character, Sophie, is completely stuck with what to say in the face of her suffering. She is lost for words and until she gets unstuck she can’t move on to her future. Turns out, for her, writing is the way forward.

Writer’s block can be something quite terrifying. The blank page stares at you, or more likely the blank screen. That little cursor blinks impatiently. How do you get ideas? Well, there are lots of sources of inspiration so here are five ideas to get you unstuck and get writing.

  1. Read magazines and newspapers especially if you’re writing SciFi because thrilling and weird innovations and events will get your imaginative neurons firing. I saw an old article about giant sinkholes in Guatemala the other day — that could inspire anything from serious melancholy poetry to wild exotic fantasy.
  2. Think of a hero of yours and put them in a challenging situation. What would they do? The harder the challenge, the more difficult the situation, the better the story.
  3. Take a line from something you’re reading and use it to inspire you — it could be your first line for a story or the finishing line that you have to reach.
  4. Put on a piece of music you haven’t listened to for a while but that you used to love. Let the memories the tune inspires get you writing.
  5. Imagine you’ve left every thing and every one you know somewhere far away. You’re in a totally unknown place. Are you still you? What happens? Sometimes writing what you don’t know (as opposed to the old adage of writing what you know) can get you fired up and over being stuck.

Getting unstuck is one thing. But being inspired is just the start of discovering yourself as a writer. It took me several years to find the way I wanted to tell the stories I want to tell.

For me, taking my time was the best way to discover my voice, so I have one final piece of advice on finding your voice:

Experiment with every form and genre you can imagine (and read widely to discover forms you’d never heard of) until you find the one that suits you. You might surprise yourself and discover you’re a sound poet, or a comic playwright, or maybe you’re a screenwriter for children’s movies. The more you write, the more comfortable you’ll be in your writer skin.

I have loads more tips and prompts and links on my website alicekuipers.com for emerging writers.

Come and see me there!

Ali

More Alice Kuipers Links:
Browse Inside The Worst Thing She Ever Did
Alice Kuipers’ Official Website
Alice Kuipers’ HarperCollins Canada Website
Alice Kuipers on Twitter
Alice Kuipers on Facebook

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Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being on set when some friends of mine shot the pilot for an upcoming web series. While there, I met a wonderful group of talented people, several of whom worked on a Chattanooga based web series called The Steps. While I usually watch sci-fi and fantasy shows, I am a huge advocate of indie films and web series in general so I checked it out. While I was at first really just curious to see what kind of production value I could expect from the project we were working on together, what I found was so intriguing and impressive that I was immediately a huge fan. The look, the feel and the sound of the show was beautiful and unique and I was immediately hooked.

The Steps is the story of Charlie Madison, an P.I. from L.A. who is now hiding out in Chattanooga, living under a fake name. He’s trying to flee his troubled past but trouble seems to find him. It’s a gritty, intense, high-quality crime drama with a touch of film noir, dash of mystery and a pinch of thriller.

Tim Cofield, who was director of photography for The Steps, put me in touch with series creator, writer, director and star Dylan Kussman. You might recognize him from his long career in film and television including Dead Poets Society and Leatherheads. He was gracious enough to take some time to answer a few questions for me about the show.

ÜberSciFiGeek (ÜSFG) What were your inspirations while creating the concept and writing The Steps?

Dylan Kussman (DK) I was inspired by two things. One was my own physical move from Los Angeles to Chattanooga in the winter of 2008. My wife and I moved here to be closer to her family, and while I have personally enjoyed the transition, I enjoyed conceiving of a character who wouldn’t. The second source was the story of Anthony Pellicano, the infamous “P.I. to the Stars”, who is in jail for extortion and blackmail. You can read about him in several places online. I liked the idea of someone who worked for him having to flee Los Angeles in order to escape Pellicano’s legal fate, and what that person might have to do in order to hide out for a while in a small town.

(ÜSFG) Did you write the story and then decide to make it for the web or did you decide to make a web series and then write the story?

(DK) The second one.

(ÜSFG) Why did you choose the web?

(DK) The Web just proved to be too tempting to me as a distribution platform. It’s just… there. And I knew I could shoot something and put it up on there and someone on the other side of the planet Earth could watch it. For free. That’s just… nuts. It is a vastly powerful tool that we’re still trying to figure out how to use. It really is, in a sense, the Wild Frontier. How any of us filmmakers are gonna make any money with it I have no idea. But you gotta start somewhere, and for now, it’s allowing a whole new generation of artists to cut their teeth and explore their talents for very little money, and then have their work seen and commented on. That’s amazing to me.

(ÜSFG) The Steps had a really ambitious marketing campaign with Space Truffles Entertainment. What did you do that is different than most web series marketing and how do you think it paid off for you?

(DK) I suppose the most interesting thing we’ve done in terms of marketing is put up a few ads on the back of some Chattanooga city buses, promoting the series and the free wi-fi on all the bus lines. Other than that, we’ve been out in the scrum with everyone else, looking for online reviews, getting active on Facebook and Twitter and Digg and whatnot. I’d say our efforts have paid off with a solid, supportive fan base, one that we’re working every day to expand. It’s a step-by-step, day-at-a-time process, it’s slow, it doesn’t go viral while I’m in bed, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I’m learning a ton.

(ÜSFG) You’ve been acting since the mid 80s, appearing in some very well known films and TV series. When did you start writing? Have you always wanted to write and direct?

(DK) I’ve written all my life. I wrote my first feature in 1990… it’s called Burn, it won a grand jury prize at Slamdance but never found distribution, so you can’t see it, so I can tell you that it was pure, unadulterated genius. I’ve been directing shorts since high school, but this is my most ambitious project to date, no doubt. I’d like to do more. I enjoy it immensely.

(ÜSFG) Who were your influences in filmmaking?

(DK) Wow. There are so many filmmakers whose work I admire. I’ll list a few… Akira Kurosawa, the Coen Brothers, Billy Wilder, the David Simon-Ed Burns writing team (the writers behind the HBO series The Wire) was a huge influence on me as I was writing the show, Robert Rodriguez, Werner Herzog, John Cassavetes. That’s far from a complete list, but it’s enough for now.

(ÜSFG) The Steps received some praise from big names in Hollywood right from the beginning. I imagine that made you feel pretty good. What kind of feedback have you been getting since the launch?

(DK) People have been really positive. I had hoped that we would fill a void in the Web series world by doing a drama, a mystery, a neo-noir with an anti-hero at the center of it, and I think that’s been the case. We’re appealing to an online audience that hasn’t been catered to yet, and it’s been a pleasure to find those people out there who are into what we’re doing.

(ÜSFG) You wear a lot of hats in The Steps. Writer, creator, director and star. How did you juggle everything? Is the end result what you had in mind all along or has it gone through changes as it went into production?

(DK) First of all, I couldn’t have done any of it without my cast and crew. Their dedication and hard work is what made it possible for me to get this thing done, period. For me, it has been an absolute thrill watching my vision get realized. I can’t even tell you how close the end product has come to the one I initially conceived at my writing desk, and that has been such an incredibly powerful and humbling experience. Sometimes I don’t know how we pulled off what we did. I am continually amazed at everyone’s contributions, and I’m so grateful for them.

(ÜSFG) In addition to the episodes, Charlie has a vlog with additional backmatter included. What made you decide to do the vlog in character?

(DK) That idea came from Executive Producer Adam Paul and also Gennefer Snowfield at Space Truffles, and it stemmed from their belief that Web series have got to offer personal, highly immersive subsidiary content in order to engage viewers, who increasingly demand more in-depth, more interactive ways to experience a story online. I did it for them, but I ended up having fun with them. They’re little mini-episodes that I can do by myself late at night when I’m wondering why my episodes don’t have a gazillion hits each yet like The Guild.

(ÜSFG) We’ve learned a bit about Charlie. Will we eventually learn any back-stories of the other characters?

(DK) I hope so. I probably could have done a better job in that area. But the shortness of the format, and my overriding desire to propel Charlie’s story through each of the installments, just kinda shoved the other characters to the periphery, to a certain extent. I think we’re learning something about Doris in these latest episodes, and I’ve enjoyed watching that develop. But as for more… might have to wait until next season.

(ÜSFG) Did you hold auditions or are you working with a group of actors and crew you already have a history with?

(DK) No auditions. I cast local actors I had done theater with in the area, ones that I knew could fill out the roles, take direction, be human beings on camera. In not a single case was I disappointed. The crew formed organically around us through Tim’s and my professional networks here in Chattanooga. We reached out, asked for help, and people climbed onboard. Some were performing their jobs for the first time; but there’s nothing like on-the-job training in the filmmaking world. If you’re smart, and you pay attention and listen, you can grab on for the ride and you come through the other side with a head full of knowledge and experience, maybe even a little confidence. I liked watching some of my actors and crew go through that, it’s one of the joys of the art form.

(ÜSFG) Once you decided to put it together, how long did it take to make it happen?

(DK) Well, we did some initial shooting in the Fall of ’08, and we’re still in post on episode 10, so… a year and three-quarters and counting, I guess?

(ÜSFG) What are your hopes for The Steps, both as a series and as a vehicle to other productions?

(DK) I want to shoot a fully-financed season 2. Barring that, I’d be happy to transform the idea into an hour-long cable television show, I think it could do really well in a format like that. I’m also developing my first feature to direct, which I’m really excited about.

(ÜSFG) Any news on if there will be a season 2 yet?

(DK) I’d love to do a second season, I’ve got a bunch of good ideas for where the story can go, and for how much deeper trouble my old friend Charlie can get into.

Additional The Steps Links:
The Steps Official Website
The Steps on KoldCast
The Steps on Facebook
The Steps on Twitter

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Infamous

The online network KoldCast.tv hosts a myriad of web series and has an ever-growing sci-fi and fantasy selection. One of those series is Infamous. (I discussed Infamous recently on the KoldCast blog.) For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s a morally ambiguous contemporary sci-fi series featuring secret organizations, action, intrigue and mutants. I spoke with the team behind Infamous and asked them a few questions about the inspiration and aspirations for the series. Greg Washington is co-creator, producer and the actor who plays “John”, John Chambers produces and plays “Solomon” and Joey Barto is co-creator and director of the show.

ÜberSciFiGeek (ÜSFG) What were your inspirations while creating and writing Infamous?

Greg Washington (GW) Our inspirations were comic books and movies as well as video games with anti-heroes.  We really wanted to create a world where people could easily slip in and out of fantasy and reality; a little something for the cynics and conspiracy theorists as well as the action and thriller junkies. Wolverine was probably the seed that spawned the Infamous web series. The most fun we had creating honestly was Solomon and hopefully it shows through the character that John Chambers has brought to life.

Joey Barto (JB) X-Men had a lot of influence, being one of my favorite comics as a kid. There are so many complex relationships and characters in the series, Wolverine being one of the darkest. The characters, both good and bad, were almost always flawed, and that’s what makes it possible to identify with them.

John Chambers (JC) Solomon is pieces of some of my favorite villains and anti-heroes. Many of his mannerisms have come from the many great Number 2’s in the series The Prisoner. The world they created there is very much like that of Infamous. Those who are fans of the show will know which Number 2 is my favorite (Leo McKern). From the heroes side, I really enjoy some of the flaws presented in the character of Michael Garibaldi from Babylon 5 and that of the Clint Eastwood anti-heroes of the old Westerns.

(ÜSFG) Why did you choose the web?

(GW) We chose the web for a lot of reasons. One specifically being the fact that we could make the show we wanted to make and the fact that it’s where television is headed.

(JB) It is the delivery medium of the future. Its instant accessibility is the main reason. Also it’s great to have such immediate response and gratification to what we’re doing. In any other medium, we’d have to wait weeks or months before airing. Now we see the response to what we’re doing almost immediately.

(JC) I think on all fronts the web offers what is being termed as New Media. It is cost effective, gives a wide range to what we can do independently, opens us up to a larger market, and provides us with something that few series have… the unknown use of the web. When I say unknown, [I mean] there are many out there that are trying to find a place in this New Media for both the productions and the products. There is no set game plan for marketing, it is completely open and with that… and a little desperation to create something… it all leads to inspiration and success.

(ÜSFG) Did you write the story and then decide to make it for the web or did you decide to make a web series and then write the story?

(GW) We decided to make a web series and then wrote the story. We wanted something quick that could get out to people in a hurry. Kind of like the mix-tape in hip hop. We wanted to create something stylized with the tools we had and let word of mouth and that home grown experience build our audience.

(ÜSFG) You’ve got a very interesting cast of characters with very distinctive personalities. How much of that is scripted traits and how much freedom do the actors have to create their characters?

(GW) The script laid down the foundation for the direction the characters would travel but everyone has raised their character by 10 times. I don’t think I ever pictured Solomon being as dark as he is because I have known John for years and have never seen that side of him. He is really creating something special. James Palmer is fascinating to watch because he is a perfectionist, but also loves to laugh and joke so seeing him so frantic and disjointed on camera is great to watch. Liz as Morgan, we really couldn’t have found a better person. She’s athletic and beautiful and she is adding that hint of straight psycho to her character. I could go on and on about our cast, we have a great group of people and an incredible organic atmosphere for everyone to create on both sides of the camera. It’s great on the shoot days of Infamous.

(JB) Greg pretty much summed it up perfectly. We are BEYOND lucky to have such a talented cast. The fact that they are so dedicated to this series, it really blows me away. The characters they’ve created are beyond anything I could have thought up, they really are amazing.

(JC) As an actor on the series, I believe there is a great deal of organic nature to all of the characters. It seems that while the scripts and situations lend themselves to certain choices for the characters, overall, those are many times thrown out and something new is created as Greg and Joey let the actors make real choices. This opens up a wide variety of options for the actors. It is sometimes beautiful… sometimes a bit crazy and we have to be pulled in a bit. Overall, it is one of the more expressive shows I have ever worked on.

(ÜSFG) Will we eventually learn any back-stories of briefly occurring characters (such as the poor woman in the beginning of Genesis, Chapter 2) and how they tie into the big picture?

(GW) Yes. Our structure is built to throw tidbits in whenever we can to give a little closure to things we have already shown. It will all close out very nicely and hopefully it will make audiences go back and watch it all again to get the bigger picture.

(JB) We really want to expand the story into different mediums through both minisode vignettes and ARG interactive elements. I’d really love to creative an immersive world for fans over time, create a far more rich story than can be told merely through episodes.

(ÜSFG) From reading your blog, there’s quite a back-story for your production company. Tell me a little bit about how Infamous came together from a production standpoint?

(GW) Joey and I had been dying to do a project together for a long while now. We did a little short together that was someone else’s baby and really wasn’t something that we both enjoyed. We started meeting early last year after work hours to discuss what we wanted to do. After a couple of scripts were thrown on the table and a few more ideas and treatments, we both agreed that we needed that “mix-tape” feel to our first project. Meaning something raw in form but with a look and feel that would get people hooked, more of a calling card for future projects, but we didn’t want to do just any story. We wanted to do something dark like all of the comic books and films we enjoy. Instead of jumping into our main hero and basing a problem around him, we created Solomon. From Solomon we created Palmer and then the world built around them. From day one, we always wanted John Chambers and James Palmer in those roles and were very happy when they agreed. It was actually John Chambers’ idea to make Morgan a woman after reading the pilot. Picking our amnesiac bad ass was very difficult. We had people in mind that had either moved or we felt couldn’t give that kind of commitment so the character was the last to get cast. Once we were rolling, the choices we made for our cast shined through. Its hysterical watching everyone rush to unload equipment then go through the works: wardrobe, hair and makeup, go through the scene, run to monitors to watch playback. Its a whirlwind and everyone does great at it. This project would not have come together if it wasn’t for my friends, the cast and crew of Infamous, and also Fairfield Studios for donating their equipment and staff, Crain Video for all his wonderful space, and Yoboga to keep my energy level up and making me stay in shape.

(JC) On my end, I have always enjoyed working with Greg on set and in the acting world and with Joey. I have been tied to him and production for some time now. It is exciting to be around people with drive and with original ideas and a great sense of Sci-Fi. Once I was handed a script, I had to be a part of it. Then I became part of production and producing staff. All of it has been a wonderful ride with friends and people who I enjoy creating with.

(ÜSFG) Did you hold auditions or are you working with a group of actors and crew you already have a history with?

(GW) We did not hold auditions! We wrote with the actors we have in mind, not really knowing what they would create but knew it would be on the right track for what we wanted to see.

(ÜSFG) Once you decided to put it together, how long did it take to make it happen?

(GW) I want to say October of last year our first few scripts were locked in, I had just started learning basics for new fighting styles, Liz was working on gymnastics and boxing and by November John and James were on board and we were discussing when to shoot the pilot. We were going to shoot it in December but didn’t anticipate the weather, and forgot about the holidays. As a whole, we started principle photography in January, in 17 degree weather. 🙂

(ÜSFG) What are your hopes for Infamous, both as a series and as a vehicle to other productions?

(GW) I hope Infamous has the audience base to go a few seasons. They are fun characters and would be great to revisit with a few more hands on deck that are as eager and into it as the people we have involved now. Once it’s wrapped for this season I’d like to take two weeks off and start brainstorming for the next project and start prepping one that we have already and didn’t think we could do first thing out of the gate. We are learning so much doing Infamous and I would like to show that.

(JB) I hope the audience enjoys the show, and we can get the support we need to continue making the show and pay the ridiculously talented individuals who make this show what it is.

(JC) They are boundless. I would love to work on this for several seasons, to finish the larger arc of all the characters. Other productions… I think… I KNOW they will come as we have many more stories to tell. In the end it would be a joy to just do this for a living, making great shows, working in Sci-Fi (as a fan myself), and doing the craft that I love. If we could fund this, I would work on it for years.

(ÜSFG) How many episodes are you planning for each season and how often can we look forward to them being released?

(GW) Infamous season one will be 12 episodes with the occasional minisode to give a little extra. They can be seen every Monday on koldcast.tv or infamouswebseries.com.

(ÜSFG) What is the overall feeling you hope viewers come away with after watching Infamous?

(GW) A couple of things. I hope viewers think the show is bad ass and enjoy the world we have tried to create and I hope people realize that you don’t need a studio or that big break to create film and television, you just need great friends and an imagination.

(JC) That it’s a hell of a fun story. What is next?!

You can watch watch Infamous on koldcast.tv or infamouswebseries.com. Check out these other great links to find out more about Infamous:

Infamous Creator’s Blog
Infamous on Facebook
Infamous on Twitter
Infamous Zazzle Shop

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(Teaser Clip of Spellfury, Episode 1)

KoldCast.tv is an online network that offers dozens of original series created exclusively for the web in a multitude of genres. One of those web series is a fantasy comedy called Spellfury. I recently offered up my opinion of the show on KoldCast’s blog (you can read it by clicking here). To sum it up, Spellfury is funny and entertaining, and succeeds where many previous attempts at mixing comedy and fantasy failed.

I recently spoke with creator Travis Gordon about his inspiration as a filmmaker and what influenced his creation of Spellfury.

ÜberSciFiGeek (ÜSFG) Who were your influences in filmmaking?

Travis Gordon (TG) George Lucas. Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are my favorite three films.

(ÜSFG) Did you always plan on doing Spellfury as a web series?

(TG) We’d worked for about 6 years on a feature-length film called Mass Stupidity that we’re submitting to festivals now so I had lived with this heavy burden of carrying this huge film from script to post production and I told myself I wouldn’t be doing another film for a long while so I decided I wanted to do something easier. A web series provides more freedom for a writer, a film is very structured, a series can be a little looser, I do have the characters and story arcs worked out for the show for a few seasons but a web series allows the characters to grow and take on a life of their own. I can watch an actor play the character and go, oh, that was interesting, I’d love to see more of that and try and work it into the storyline. There’s a lot more collaboration with the actors, I have more flexibility in the storytelling, I’m enjoying that.

(ÜSFG) You have several other projects that have gotten some acclaim. Tell us a little bit about them.

(TG) We received a Bronze in Dramatic Shorts at The Houston International Worldfest Film Festival in 2008, it was very exciting for all of us, it was the first time we had won an international award for filmmaking. It was for a sci-fi short called Revelation about a woman struggling with her predetermined destiny, it also starred Julie O’Halloran, Robbie Drebitt and Penu Chalykoff from Spellfury and was shot entirely in front of greenscreens.

(ÜSFG) When can we expect more episodes of Spellfury?

(TG) I’m going to wrap up episode 9-12 in the next few months and that will be the end of season one. After that I might take a little break and make a DVD with extras, commentaries and lots of behind the scenes stuff and then start into season 2.

(ÜSFG) What are your hopes for the future of Spellfury?

(TG) My hopes are we can grow our audience and actually make a profit on the show in season 2. My dream is that the show can be sustainable enough that I can actually start to pay the actors and crew for their hard work, they’ve been so supportive of the show from day one! That’s the trouble with making a web series, there isn’t enough money coming in to pay for the episodes. I think things will change soon though. More and more people are watching video online nowadays, the advertising dollars are shifting from television to online.

(ÜSFG) For anyone watching Spellfury, what’s the one thing you most want them to take away from the experience?

(TG) I want them to think “wow, that was fun”.

You can watch Spellfury on the official website and at KoldCast, then check out these other links:

Spellfury Official Website
Spellfury on KoldCast
Spellfury on Facebook
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