Are you a fan of mystery, suspense, romance, and the supernatural? If you answered yes, you will love Bennington Gothique. Writer/ director Gregory Connor created this unique supernatural mystery, an up-to-date version of Dark Shadows and The Edge of Night.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Mr. Connor about his project.
Can you tell the readers about the process of filming a web series?
This whole process started a year ago. So be sure to dedicate a year to your production. Make sure your script is doable within whatever restraints you have, especially budget. Know that you will have to do re-writes, sometimes even while filming.
Prepare a budget, but know that you’ll go over it (every production usually does, even the big ones). If you can get backers, get them, just know you may have to use your own money in the initial phase of your production. Show them what you can do and that your project is worth their contributions.
Surround yourself with a dedicated production team and get yourself a talented, dependable cast. SAG-AFTRA has a New Media Contract for web series which enables independent productions to cast SAG/AFTRA actors. There is no cost and you can get non-union actors into the Union.
Join organizations like L.A. Film Independent. They are great resources.
Check out other web series and compile a database of Web Series Festivals and Channels.
Research film permits before you decide to shoot without one. You will need insurance and you can get it for short term productions within reason.
Feed your actors and crew, they will appreciate it and keep showing up.
Above all, planning is very, very important. Before you do anything, make a checklist of your goals and everything that needs to be done – everything – no matter how small. You’ll be glad you did.
How did you come up with the script?
Being a writer, I have folders full of material. I had many separate notes with story and character sketches. I wanted to tell a story with star-crossed lovers, a thriller with supernatural creatures and a set of “human” characters with complex motives. So was born Bennington Gothique.
History is very important in writing a series — the past informs the present. It’s especially important in this genre. I had to first write the history of Bennington House and its generations before concentrating on the present-day action. Bennington House is the focal point, but Whitney Prep, the Marshall Estate (which neighbors the school) and the town of Port Whitney play very important roles.
It definitely references shows like Dark Shadows, The Edge of Night, as well as As the World Turns and Gossip Girl. Further, films like The Children’s Hour, The Innocents, and the 70s horror films of Hammer were influential in this creation. All were influences, but Bennington Gothique stands on its own as a modern thriller.
Can you tell the readers about your cast members, and how you were able to determine who would play what role?
The cast is international from the U.S., Australia, South Africa and Germany. The casting process was a bit unique and actually influenced some elements of the story. Instead of one vampire, I decided to have a coven of vampires – three very distinct personalities, yet all very deadly.
You hope when auditioning actors for such a large cast that if an actor/actress is not right for one role, they would be better suited for another. Luckily, this was the case. Ultimately, it’s about chemistry and I have been lucky that my cast has it. They play off each other very well.
I understand it is very expensive to film a web series, and you are doing a fundraiser to come up with funds to finish filming. Please tell the readers about the fundraising process and what it entails?
At the moment, we don’t have studio backing or a slew of sponsors, this is an independent production in every sense of the word. We have shot some really good footage and performances much of which I have funded out-of-my-own-pocket. We definitely need help in completing our first season.
I chose to start an Indiegogo campaign for the simple reason that even if we don’t reach our target goal we receive what we’ve raised (minus 9%).
We are still actively seeking sponsors and donors outside of the campaign so if anyone wants to contribute outside of Indiegogo, they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have all sorts of cool perks (t-shirts, music EPs, exclusive content, producer credit and more).
If you are reading this interview and you would like more concrete information about this exciting project you can check the following places. To learn about the fundraiser Please go here. More information are available on Bennington Gothique’s Website , Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Channel.
My wish is for the reader and public to fully understand and see as much as possible about this one of a kind project. To get a better understanding of the characters you can visit Tash – Michele, Liza-Brittany-Yumi, and Joshua-Robert-Mark
Do you have a set date in mind as to when Bennington Gothique will be released?
The first episode will premiere in October before Halloween on the Bennington Gothique website. Don’t miss it! Be sure to visit the exclusive new trailer I have created for a sneak peek of Bennington Gothique.