Last week you had the chance to ask Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson and the crew of Blood Kiss about the upcoming Kickstarter movie, vampires, and their past projects. The film has reached the initial funding goal with the new target being $200K, making it an entirely fan funded film. Below you'll find their answers to your questions.Overdone?
by Anonymous Coward
Given the plethora of vampire-related media in recent years, do you believe there is still a market for this type of film? What will you bring to the table that has not already been done?
Michael Reaves: Well, how about just plain people, instead of overblown Transylvanian counts? Maybe because they're not constantly reminding their victims that "The blood is the life," they have something of a sense of humor about themselves.
David Raiklen: Blood Kiss is as much detective story as vampire tale and that is new. There's a mix of glamour and fear, classic Hollywood and the unexpected. Plus great characters, each one could have their own movie. And there's nothing supernatural about our vampires.
Vampyres of Hollywood?
by Scott Loving
Without spoiling the plot, what separates Blood Kiss from the Vampyres of Hollywood series of novels?
Michael Reaves: The fact that I've never heard of them. Lemme check out the link .... Hey, is that Adrienne Barbeau? We used to have a lotta laughs at the Batman: TAS recordings. Yo, Adrienne! (Oops, sorry; wrong franchise.)
Thoughts on Vampire rules?
What are your thoughts on Vampire rules; such as classic vampires vs sparkling? Over the decades we've seen Vampires (and Zombies) change and evolve from the classic rules and mythology to a whole plethora of variations. Powers, weaknesses, origins, turnings, etc. Such transitions have been slow, but now we have sparkling vampires made of stone. Do you feel that we should stick more with the classic mythos? Or are you in favor with your own spin.
Michael Reaves: I'm in favor of whatever works. I can't really comment on the "Twinkleteeth" style of vamps, because I haven't seen any, but I might remind you that Hollywood has been embellishing myths ever since George Méliès punched the Moon's eye out.
David Raiklen: It's time to give old myths a new spin. The classics will still be around, and will get remade. The first cinematic vampires were not undead fiends but 'vamps' or femme fatales. So we're actually true to the origins.
Neil Gaiman: I think the joy of being a writer is you use whatever you need for the story that you're on. The only rules are the ones that make that story work. I wrote a bunch of classical wumpires in the new book, Fortunately, the Milk, and wrote a dozen different kinds of vampire in a short story called Fifteen Painted Cards From a Vampire Tarot, with SF, fantasy and horror backgrounds.
Will Lincoln be in it?
I'll only watch if the main character is a popular dead president.
Michael Reaves: Yes, Lincoln will be in it. He'll even have his big ol' shotgun axe. Happy now? (And people wonder why I didn't want studio interference ...)
The Kickstarter page asks for $50K, but considering the apparent costs usually involved in making anything other than the smallest-scale movies, as well as the references in the text of your KS pitch regarding venture capital, I'd like to know how much you *actually* need to get this film made and distributed.
David Raiklen: Please check out our stretch goals on the KS front page. The first goal is to see if there's fan interest, and we are so grateful that you guys want to see this movie! We can make and distribute a good movie for about 200k and hopefully all from fan support.
Abuse of Kickstarter
by Anonymous Coward
Given that you have access to the Hollywood funding machine, why should you be using Kickstarter to fund this project? Shouldn't Kickstarter be used for people who have a good idea but don't have those industry connections? Do you worry that this will dilute the pool for indy film makers who have no other options?
David Raiklen: Actually, KS reports smaller projects get more funding when there's a bigger project active at the same time. The old studios just aren't making many movies and are following formulas more than ever. We've all backed indie films by first time filmmakers and encourage you to try it too. There's room for everyone, and if we protect the open nature of crowdfunding, more freedom for all creators.
Will Amber Benson be singing? Some of us have been waiting a long time for the debut album but will take what we can get.
Amber Benson: I will be singing for sure! I've been relegated to my shower for most of my singing days post Buffy, so Michael asking me to actually sing in front of human beings/vampires was both titillating and frightening.
by Anonymous Coward
Tara was a very popular character particularly in the geek/nerd community. Do you think that character would have been as accepted if she was a gay man instead of a lesbian?
Amber Benson: I think it would've been accepted, for sure. I know that Tom Lenk has experienced the same love and affection from the geek/nerd community that I have - though his character's homosexuality was more implied than 'out in front' on screen in the show. The Buffy fans are an amazing group: smart, aware and open - less judgmental about our character's sexual preferences.
by Anonymous Coward
From the webpage it sounds like you don't relish the idea of acting Neil. What made you decide to do it and what is Mr. Reaves holding over you?
Neil Gaiman: What first attracted me to the project was Michael telling me he'd written a part for me. And that it wasn't a writer. (I've played lots of variants on myself now, which is fun, but isn't challenging.)
American Gods HBO series
Hi Neal - first off I want to say I'm a huge admirer and I can't wait to see you in Nashville this July! That being said, the tour is billed as the "Last US Signing Tour". Say it ain't so! My question: With the upcoming "American Gods" project for HBO, how much creative control do you have over the direction of series? Is there a firm beginning and an end to the story arc, as with the novel, or do you have to keep things open for possible future seasons? Blood Kiss sounds interesting due to the sheer creativity pool involved, although I think the vampire genre is getting a bit washed thin and fraying at the cuffs lately. Hopefully this approach will be sufficiently unique as to revitalize it (entendré completely intended).
Neil Gaiman: Right now I'm just waiting to find out if they like the pilot script. I'll worry about the rest of the things when the pilot episode gets approved.
Series Vs. Movie
by Anonymous Coward
I think the success of Game of Thrones and the fact that most successful Sci-fi or fantasy films unfold over multiple movies shows that people want to get to know characters on a personal level more now than before. Do you think it's still possible to tell a great story with fleshed out characters in two hours or less?
Michael Reaves: Yes; if I didn't I wouldn't be trying to do it. True, TV lends itself better to the "Novel for TV" format -sometimes. But sometimes the series doesn't have enough story to fulfill its time slot commitment, and it gets bloated and boring (yeah, I'm looking at you, Smallville).
Amber Benson: I do think it's possible to tell a great story in two hours. It's just harder than doing it in a serialized/television fashion because people really want to delve into the interior lives of the characters they watch - which is easier to do in a non-film (2 hour) format. I loved the first Matrix movie - I think it stands on its own - sure, it's part of a trilogy, but for me, that first one says it all.