1. Tell us a little bit about what we can expect to see in your new, innovative, Web Series, Gavin Lance...
What we would like everyone to get from Gavin Lance is two-fold: a good old -fashioned mystery in each episode and a resonating realism from each character. We have put forth a grand efford, through the scripts and project's overall development to bring these characters into the real world and make them as relatable as possible to the audience. It's human nature to want to know the unknow and solve mysteries and that's why the detective part of Gavin Lance is crucial. Conan Doyle's ,The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, became a definite influence for me while writing the first seven episodes and I'm sure it will likewise be involved with future scripts. We have done our best to balance the comic book aspect of the project with the mystery and realistic characterization aspects of the story, and I have no doubt that the audience will absolutely respond to that. Moreover, viewers should be ready for impressive performances by our cast including: Brandon Aponte ( Gavin), Sarah Nicklin ( Faith), Michael Reed ( Charles), Matthew Phillion ( McKenner), Caralyne Fondulais ( Irene), Peter Morse ( Det. Ranger) and Sarah Simeone ( Samantha) to name just a few people who are helping to give deep emotion to these characters as well as a soul and a meaning beyond the scripted words.
2. Where did you draw your inspiration for Gavin Lance?
Gavin is basically the product of twenty-something years of reading comic books and graphic novels; ever since I was a kid, I was invested in stories from X-Men, Spiderman, Batman, and about a dozen others. But in all of those, I was always more drawn to the 'everyman' character, whatever the humanistic storyline of the current character might have been. More often than not, it was when the writer would strip away the grandeur of a particular character and expose his inner weaknesses that really caught my eye. You always learn more from a vulnerable character than from an impervious one. Which is a huge character trait of Gavin's, in many ways, his weakness is his strength and vice versa. The whole idea was something that I'd been playing with off and on for a few years now, mostly as an idea for an actual comic book. But when I was in the theatre watching , The Dark Knight, it suddenly struck me, that it could be more than just a comic book and since story arks are delivered over several issues in comics,a series of websodes seem to be a perfect fit.
3. How did your story concepts change over the course of brainstorming from the beginning to now?
The biggest changes happened in the details. Since I had been reading comic books and graphic novels all my life, the basic principals of the story came to me quite easily; I knew the who and where, I just wasn't entirely sure about the why. Once I sat down and delved into the characters themselves and set some ground rules about who they were the story really came into its own. I would have to say the biggest change was for the character of Edmund McKenner ( played by Matthew Phillion) as his character was introduced almost exclusively as a means to an end ( a way to further the main villan's plot); but in writing the character. and giving him a reason for being who he was and why Gavin had to help him, created a completely new story ark for McKenner. Another crucial change, came when the cast was coming together-I find it much easier to write a character once an actor is attached to him or her. Some of the characters' storylines developed in ways that I hadn't even thought of once I could hear the lines and visualize the story better.
4. Why did you pick Providence Rhode Island as your backdrop?
I would say visually is the biggest reason, G.L. is set in a fictional city. Providence has a fairly unique look to it; gothic in some areas, circa 1930s in others which lends itself a great deal to the graphic novel aspect of Gavin Lance.
It also opens up a lot of paths you can take with your story as a writer. One huge factor was it's overall convenience; within 15 minutes you can go from a downtown city location, to a forest or a beach location, making it a producers dream ( almost like having your own studio back -lot as the city you live in). Also, my wife Kate ( director of photography) and I as well as many members of the cast and crew live locally, making it central to all of us and cost effective. We are making this production as green as we can, so having it here means most people can car pool to the set or at the very least , limit their gas usage thus cutting our production's carbon footprint. We may, at times, be taking some field trips into Boston just to expand our look of Gavin Lance and make the city feel a little larger than it is and to add a couple of elements that I want that world to have like the subway or light-rail systems.
5. Do you find it difficult wearing so many creative hats? ( i.e. creator, writer, director, executive producer?)
The difficulty is not so much the amount of hats as it is the timing of them. You have to be self-aware enough to know what job is needed at which time, and that's not always as easy as you would think. Being the creator is easy enough, as long as you are willing enough to let the original story basis grow with the writing. Being director gives you a large amount of control in the project which can be a double edged sword if you're not careful- it's very easy to think your way is the best way and that's that.The largest power struggle comes from being an Executive Producer as well as Director because there is no one above you to tell you 'no'. If you're not careful, you can let your project run over you like a spoiled child. Luckily, my Director of Photography keeps me grounded and on track. All that being said, the really great part about wearing a fair amount of the hats in a project like this one, is that you feel a great deal of pride when it comes to fruition. Not to mention, when people are genuinely excited about being a part of it and seeing the final product. Honestly though, with as many hats as I wear, nothing could ever get done without the dedication of the cast and crew that I have been honored to have.
6. What are you hopes for Gavin Lance?
Naturally, I hope to see it become a huge success and to have it be something that I am proud to be a part of. More than that though, I hope it becomes something that everyone can sit down, watch and enjoy. We have had such a positive reaction about the story and the idea from each person who has come onboard that as long as everyone is enjoying themselves and are happy with the end results , I will be happy. The fact is that a hope of mine has already come true because I have people whose talent I admire wanting to be a part of this. That is a fantastic start!!