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Emma Caulfield Gets Ripped with CBR

21 November 2011 Leave a comment

“BUFFY’S” EMMA CAULFIELD GETS “RIPPED”

By Steve Sunu, Staff Writer

Wed, November 169th, 2011

You’ve seen her in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and in the web series “Bandwagon.” You’ve read her premiere webcomic “Contropussy,” now being published by IDW Publishing. Now, writer, actress and creator Emma Caulfield is set for her next project. Fresh on the web with new pages every Tuesday and Thursday, “Ripped” is an original idea from the minds of Caulfield and her frequent collaborative partner Camilla Rantsen involving the origins of Jack the Ripper in the 1800s Victorian Age. The webcomic sets its sights on four men involved with the University for Psychic Advancement with art by “Contropussy” artist Christian Meesey.

Caulfield took some time out of her schedule to discuss “Ripped” with CBR News, the characters involved that could become Jack the Ripper, her collaborative process with Rantsen, a few tidbits about some lessons learned from creating “Contropussy,” and her extremely successful Kickstarter campaign.

CBR News: Emma, tell us a bit about “Ripped.” What’s the general concept behind the series and what was the inspiration for its release?

Emma Caulfield: The concept is what happened before Jack became the Ripper set against the backdrop of psychic phenomena in London. Camilla Rantsen and I wanted to tell the story about someone you think you know, explore otherworldly powers and figure out a way to combine the two. I think we’ve done this successfully.

Who are the key players in the story and how do they interact with the world that you’ve built in the 1800s Victorian Age?

The series revolves around four men — Teddy, Frederick, William and Callum — who are affiliated with the University for Psychic Advancement in one way or another. There is also a woman named Gemma who figures prominently but we haven’t introduced her yet so I can’t say much! There are other players to be sure but those are our core.

The comic deals with Jack the Ripper and the psychic phenomena of that era. How historically true to these events is the comic?

We take a lot of liberties, as I think we can, since so little is known about Ripper. The facts of his victims when we go into that, will stay as they are. But for our purposes, “Ripped” is the story of Jack before he became the Ripper. It is about how our core characters are intertwined and how they are connected karmically and spiritually. As far as psychic phenomena, we know that there was a university established at the time to help people explore their gifts. Just knowing that existed gives us a lot of room to play and imagine what was going on behind closed doors.

Why do you think “Ripped” lends itself well to the webcomic format? By the same token, why did you decide to go the webcomic route for your first phase instead of, say, traditionally publishing it in the single issue format.

We would have loved for it to be published. You know — have a big splashy release. But we didn’t explore that route. We didn’t take our ideas and look for a distributor. We started our first project, “Contropussy,” off on the web and now it’s being released by IDW. Could “Ripped” go down that same path? Maybe, maybe not. But what we do know is we have so much freedom in this format and we can really interact with our fans with is a lot of fun for us.

The pages you’ve posted so far have got a really unique artistic flair to them. Can you tell us about your artist, Christian Meesey, and how you started working together?

He’s a genius. We worked together on “Contropussy.” Christian Beranek, who served as “Contropussy’s” production manager, introduced us and were blessed that we could get him a second time around. His rate went way up since we first started! Thankfully for him he can command that rate because people in the industry are seeing how amazingly talented he is. He is also super nice and a great collaborator, so there’s that.

You’re once again working with Camilla Rantsen, your collaborator on “Contropussy” and the “Bandwagon” web series. How has your creative process developed together over these projects and what has your process been like so far for “Ripped?”

Well Camilla and I have been friends for years so we have a great short hand, you know? From the moment we began working on screenplays we worked seamlessly together. One of us begins writing (usually her) and the other continues. This process continues on until we are finished. We will have writer meetings and discuss where things are with the story as we are writing to ensure a smooth through line. We will sometimes see things unfold and get re inspired by something we thought we would be a minor touch and then expand upon it. Really we just laugh a lot and bask in our genius and wonder why more people aren’t seeing what we are seeing. After that we congratulate ourselves on our modesty.

peaking of “Contropussy,” the series is set to be released as a graphic novel from IDW later this year. What can you tell us about the collection?

We are very excited about that. We can say we have been published. We will have unused sketches and other cool Meesey art as well as the finished arc of what we started on the web. I don’t know whose idea it was to not finish it online but instead finish it in the [collected] book, but it’s awesome. As for whatever else IDW has in store, I couldn’t tell you.

What did you learn from developing “Contropussy” that you applied to your process doing “Ripped?”

Well once you do something once it only gets easier with each passing try. We knew nothing about the comic world when we started and now we have a lot of tools and knowledge under our belt. We had always set up the format for iPad and we continue to do that. We are proud that we were one of the first to do that, actually. We were tech savvy and didn’t know it. We also knew we needed to make the site pop and attract people to stay around. We are very proud of the site Jen Sylvester and Mark Ford put together. As for people sticking around? Time will tell…

“Ripped” is just one of your projects launched to great effect on Kickstarter. “Ripped” raised a little over $21,000, three times its original goal. Why do you think Kickstarter is a good platform to launch these projects and how would you measure its success as relates to “Ripped?”

Thank God for KS. Kickstarter is like Starbucks. They got in early, branded themselves and became the go to place for crowd sourcing. There are others that I’m sure are great but I haven’t worked with them. They know what they’re doing. What else can I say? As far as our goal I’m so grateful we raised so much more than what we asked for because we underpriced everything! Like every dime is spent and then some. We also underestimated the cost of shipping out all the incentives. Things aren’t cheap! “Ripped” was a big success story on Kickstarter and hopefully we can continue that success in action.

What are you working on beyond “Ripped?”

We only just started “Ripped” and have such high hopes for it to continue on in television. I also have a web series called “Bandwagon” that we are in the process of securing funding for the second season. Then of course acting in outside projects like “Once Upon A Time” which I just finished. Who knows what life has in store. All I can hope for is that it pays my bills and allows people to view me as I wish to be seen. And that is as someone who can do it all…

“Ripped” updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Original interview at Comic Book Resources

Emma Caulfield Talks Jack The Ripper with Newsarama

13 November 2011 Leave a comment

EMMA CAULFIELD Takes On Jack The Ripper in New Webcomic

By Troy Brownfield, Newsarama Columnist
posted: 04 November 2011

Emma Caulfield knows how to get your attention. Whether she’s lighting up the screen in scene-stealing performances in television (most famously, perhaps, as Anya on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), film (Darkness Falls), and online (Bandwagon) or subverting your expectations by dropping previous webcomic Contropussy with collaborators Camilla Ransten, artist Christian Messey and letterer Thomas Mauer, she’s always doing something interesting. Now, Caulfield, Ransten, Messey and Mauer have reteamed for Ripped, a new webcomic that asks “Who is the Ripper?” but does it in a surprisingly fresh way. We caught up with Caulfield (who has appearances pending on “Prime Suspect” and “Once Upon a Time”) to ask a few questions of our own.

Newsarama:Emma, I’m sure some of the fans that know you from television and film might be asking, “Why comics?” What drew you in?

Emma Caulfield: Why comics? Well, we needed to explore these characters in our crazy brains and we were wisely advised that this medium would allow us the freedom to do that. We began with Contropussy, which recently was acquired by IDW, and now with Ripped. Full disclosure, we didn’t know anything about the comic world when we began, but that has changed a lot since then.

Nrama: With Contropussy, was it strange for you as a well-known presence in another medium making the transition over to creating comics?

Caulfield: I didn’t find the transition to be difficult moving from one medium to another. In fact quite the opposite. I found that my fellow geeks are welcoming regardless of the medium. 

Newsarama:Emma, I’m sure some of the fans that know you from television and film might be asking, “Why comics?” What drew you in?

Emma Caulfield: Why comics? Well, we needed to explore these characters in our crazy brains and we were wisely advised that this medium would allow us the freedom to do that. We began with Contropussy, which recently was acquired by IDW, and now with Ripped. Full disclosure, we didn’t know anything about the comic world when we began, but that has changed a lot since then.

Nrama: With Contropussy, was it strange for you as a well-known presence in another medium making the transition over to creating comics?

Caulfield: I didn’t find the transition to be difficult moving from one medium to another. In fact quite the opposite. I found that my fellow geeks are welcoming regardless of the medium. 

Caulfield: Well we were playing around mainly…just having fun. We were like kids in a candy shop with no one putting rules and restrictions on us. That was something I had never experienced creatively so I embraced it fully. Contropussy was a big learning curve for us in many ways. We were being introduced into a world that could have frozen us out but didn’t. Simultaneously, we were learning how to navigate that world without alienating anyone. The format took a minute to get used to as well. We had only ever written screenplays which map out their beats quite differently. In many ways the comic format has become my favorite in which to write.

Nrama: Now that you have the band back together for Ripped, how did the ball get rolling on the new series? And why did you choose a Ripper story in particular?

Caulfield: Camilla and I wanted to tell the story of Ripper with fresh eyes and propose theories that hadn’t been talked about before. We are also surrounded by friends who have varying degrees of psychic abilities and how and why they can do what they do is endlessly fascinating. To give Ripper as a story point the background of a psychic university, seemed like a natural evolution in the story we wanted to tell. Plus, we like to explore the dark, thematically, and who better to do that with than good old Jack?

Nrama: You have quite a large section devoted to your Kickstarter friends on the site. Please explain how you brought Kickstarter into the process, and what that’s done in terms of the creation of the series.

Caulfield: We used Kickstarter to raise money to make the comic. It was pretty simple really. We knew we had to do things differently this time around and everyone’s rates had gone way, way up since we first worked together. I whored myself a lot to get that money (laughs). In fact I’m STILL putting those incentives together as we speak. Thankfully we had so many people want to help us bring this to light and our thank you section reflects that.

Nrama: What’s the work process like for you and Camilla? Does the whole team plot together, or do you have a definitive flow for the step-by-step?

Caulfield: Camilla and I work seamlessly together. She is the most prolific writer I have ever met. We bounce ideas off each other. Then one of us writes for a little bit and then the other one takes over. We do that for as long as it takes for us to finish whatever it is we are collaborating on. Once she and I have the story mapped out and the strips written (we call them episodes actually), we hand them off to the rest of our brilliant team who make our words and ideas come to life. It astonishes me weekly just how gifted Christian Meesey is as an artist and Thomas as a master of finding places to hold all our words. And we like to say a lot!. In the end, we try to be at least two to three weeks ahead of the dropping dates, just in case other things come up, which they always do.

Nrama: How long do you expect Ripped to go? Do you have a projected end-date in mind for the series, or is it open-ended? Could the audience influence that?

Caulfield: We have written out in broad strokes a four season arc for this. We have always viewed this as a television series that ran four years so in that sense, yes, it has a strong end. We want the audience to be really invested in these people. Without a rabid base, we won’t be able to do anything with this. It will be this great concept that went nowhere. Hopefully, that won’t be the case and we will build a loyal audience that pushes us and the story forward. You would think it would be a hit right? Ripper, psychics, period, gore, part history but mainly crazy fiction. I know I would watch this show and read this comic, but I am biased.

Nrama: Much has been made lately about the number of female creators in comics. Do you feel an added responsibility or pressure as a female creator?

Caulfield: Sadly the number of female writers/creators is tragically low in comparison to our male counterpoints in all creative genres. There’s this notion that there aren’t as many of us out there. I think the powers that be comfort themselves with the false belief that women just don’t have the drive that men do to pursue that line of work. That’s total bullshit, if I may be blunt.

The fact is that we aren’t given the opportunity to show what we can do. I know that women are becoming more vocal and are having more of a presence in the comic world, and while that is great news for women, it really is great news for everyone. I mean, I can’t tell you how many men have said that Ripped is so dark, edgy and violent that they are shocked two women wrote it. For us it’s like, you have NO IDEA how far down the rabbit hole we can go. You just have to be willing to let us show you. We really can talk about things other than our periods and whether the guy is going to call. Although we can talk about that for hours (laughs).

As far as pressure, I feel pressure all the time to prove myself. I have to. For every one opportunity I get, my male counterpart gets 10. If you bring a man into a meeting, the suits naturally direct their questions to him as if he is the final say. It’s quite defeating really. The only thing I or any female writer creator can do is be good and hustle and hope that the audience gives us a chance. And really we all, men and women alike, live and die by the audience.

Nrama: You took part in a lively discussion on Twitter that was kicked off by editor Janelle Asselin. Everyone agrees that new readership, particularly female readership, is vital to the ongoing healthof comics. In your opinion, what can the industry do to increase the amount of female readers?

Caulfield: Yes, that was a lively discussion. And a fun one too… I think if the industry wants more female readers, they need to promote the female writers/creators that are out there. Entice them. They have to be willing to eat crow a bit and show up for an audience that has been ignored. In the end, it should only be about the work and not about who created it. It’s nowhere near that point right now, but it’s my hope that one day it will be.

Nrama: Before you go, what do you want the readership to take from Ripped?

Caulfield: Both Camilla and myself want our readers to be excited and engaged in a way that they feel like they know Jack the Ripper better than anyone else. We want them to see our history in a different way and believe for a minute that it could have gone down the way we are suggesting. We want that water cooler product, you know? That back and forth debate about who Ripper really is and WHY they think they have figured it out. A modern spin on the oldest “who dun it” tale and you’re left scratching your heads and screaming NO WAY! Is that asking too much? (laughs)

Original Interview at Newsarama






Very Aware Interview Emma Caulfield

16 October 2011 Leave a comment

INTERVIEW: BUFFY ALUM AND BANDWAGON STAR EMMA CAULFIELD

JASON TABRYS OCTOBER 10, 2011

You know her best as Anya, the reformed vengeance demon from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER whose character succumbed to Joss Whedon’s famed “Pen of Death” more than 8 years ago but in her time away from Sunnydale actress Emma Caulfield has carved a unique and impressive path in projects as diverse as the sci-fi/rom-com TIMER, the screamtastic DARKNESS FALLS, and the web-comic CONTROPUSSY.

In this exclusive interview we touch on some of those projects, her time on BUFFY, a possible BUFFY musical, Joss Whedon, her web-series BANDWAGON, her pursuit of both critical and mass success, the Peach Pit, and her actual take on bunnies.

Can you describe BANDWAGON in three words or more for the sadly un-initiated and will there be a 2nd season?

EC: Satire. Mocumentary. Comedy. The focus of this first season was “Emma’s” quest to help shed light on the disparity between black Hollywood and white Hollywood by teaming up with African American actress Tracie Thoms (DEATHPROOF).
As this is a satire and of course on trend, what better way for her to do that than through a musical (GLEE) featuring a black and ethnic cast (Urban). In typical Hollywood fashion, the network decides that it’s lead needs to be white and to add insult to injury, has zero talent.

We are in the process of securing funding/branding and or distribution for a second season. In a sense we are waiting to be “picked up” as they say in the world of television.

There is this history of actors who have created their own projects because they are dissatisfied with the projects being offered to them. Is that a part of how BANDWAGON, both the movie and the web series, came to be?

EC: Yes, some of BANDWAGON came out of a dissatisfaction with what I had access to. I’ve felt for a long time, that I was quite far way from my end goal. However, I also seek to better myself and grow as an artist and business woman. I want to participate in my own creative empire rather than just be a gun for hire.

Can you go into some detail on what it takes to pull together a web based project of this magnitude and how involved were you in the casting process?

EC: Its been an undertaking but a thrilling one. I was working on LIFE UNEXPECTED last year, and I believe it was around November when the other creators (Camilla Rantsen and Karri Bowman) and I started talking about bringing the project to the web. We’d shot BANDWAGON the film in 2004 I believe, and though we did well in the film circuit, it didn’t get distribution. We shelved it and we all went on to focus on different things. As it is with us, we all felt a pull back toward this basic idea of an actress with terrible follow through and nothing to lose and said, “let’s play again“; let’s take advantage of the web and the freedom it offers and bring BANDWAGON back to life.

Once we settled on a story for “Emma” the rest came pretty easy in terms of casting. We basically cast our friends, many of whom are actors or who excel at being ridiculous. Yvette Nicole Brown was completely new to the circle…I stalked her on Twitter and thankfully she agreed to play with us.

Ok, the short film HOLLOW freaked my stuff up and out (to put it genteelly). DARKNESS FALLS too, but then there’s TIMER and BANDWAGON, so you’re clearly able to play in both worlds. Do you prefer comedy over horror or vice versa?

EC: Answer: Hmmm…I prefer neither really, but I am most at home with comedy. I guess it depends on what part of my psyche needs tending too. Sometimes I want to dive into the darkness and I end up doing something like HOLLOW, or RIPPED. Other times I want to challenge and maybe even offend, so BANDWAGON fits the bill. If I can pull them all off, well then I am happy.

You’ve acknowledged the cult appeal of BUFFY before and both BANDWAGON and TIMER are subtle and maybe too clever to find wide commercial success. Do you think that kind of success is overrated and what matters more: the response to the work or your opinion of it?

EC: Both. Ahahaha…Look I don’t want to do crap and God knows I’ve done plenty of it. Sometimes it was simply about keeping the house and not about artistic integrity or fulfillment. I want to be commercially viable and be in things that cross genres. There is a coolness to being a part of a cult club, but at the end of the day I want it all. I want my DARK KNIGHT or my INCEPTION or my LOST…artistic endeavors that were both commercial and independent from the norm. I want to be able to move from commercial to off the grid.

I look at TIMER and think it should’ve been a huge hit in theaters. It wasn’t. It opened and closed. But low and behold a year later it is this huge underground hit that found a life on Netflix and Showtime. I am a hit, but behind closed doors. If BANDWAGON does the same, well that is out of my hands. But I think it is not too insular and good enough to find a wide reach.

What’s a favorite memory from your time on the set of Buffy? Keep in mind I will award you bonus points for any reply that includes ample curse words and/or pseudo embarrassing revelations about the impossibly proper seeming Anthony Stewart Head.

EC: I don’t have one specific memory. I grew up in many ways on that show so it is really what I remember of my life during that time that I take away with me. I have worked with a lot of great crews but that crew was special. Just stand up, funny, talented people. I made some great friends who I still see today and some I have worked with on other projects.

Funny that you mention Tony as he has been very helpful in getting another project of mine called RIPPED into the right hands. RIPPED is about the early days of Jack the Ripper and the rise of psychic phenomenon in London. It launches as a graphic novel on-line on Oct 25th. Maybe that will be my Inception. Time will tell…

“The Body” is one of the best episodes of television I have ever seen and there are two scenes that really stand out: Buffy discovering Joyce and Anya’s breakdown in the dorm room with Willow and Xander. What does a scene like that take out of you and how did you feel about the material as you were filming it?

EC: That episode impacted a lot of people and really they can all thank Joss. For me, all I could think about during that scene was that we were in meal penalty because we were shooting into lunch and I had to go to the bathroom. There was no real thought to my performance at all. I winged it that day and went on instinct. Throw in a full bladder and dollar signs ticking and there’s the performance. I would love to say there was more to it than that but there isn’t.

Joss has said that a Buffy musical “belongs” on Broadway and the characters obviously still live on in comic book form, though not Anya because that evil man (Joss) killed you. As someone who was a part of the show, do you care about its life in other mediums? Also, if a Buffy musical happened would you rather be on stage or in the front row?

EC: That was a period of my life that I am grateful to have had and it helped shape me in many ways. But it’s over and anything creative that I had to give I gave it then. I have no doubt that if Joss put his mind to it, he could make a kick ass musical of it or out of anything he has created. Personally I think a Firefly musical would be a welcome addition to Broadway.

TIMER says a lot about how we seek love, what we think we want versus what we feel we want. Bandwagon takes aim at people who seek to validate themselves through good deeds. What’s the message behind your new film, TELLING OF THE SHOES and when will that see the light of day?

EC: TELLING OF THE SHOES is about telling the truth no matter the cost. Beyond telling the truth to others, it’s crucial to be honest with oneself. It explores the cost of that lie. Beyond that I can’t really say much more.

In all actuality are you pro or anti-bunnies?

EC: I have no issue with them.

You’ve appeared on SAVED BY THE BELL, the O-G BEVERLY HILLS 90210, and of course BUFFY. What’s the better hang-out spot: The Max, The Peach Pit, or The Bronze?

EC: The Peach Pit. Better food.

Has there been any drawback to your involvement in BUFFY?

EC: Yes.

Original Interview at Very Aware

Emma Caulfield To Guest on Once Upon A Time

16 October 2011 Leave a comment

Emma Caulfield has been cast in new ABC series, Once Upon A Time. Emma will play the Blind Witch from Hansel and Gretal in the 9th episode of the series which premieres on 23rd October 2011.

Source: TVLine

Emma Caulfield on Nerdist Podcast #129

9 October 2011 Leave a comment

Nerdist Podcast #129: EMMA CAULFIELD

by Chris Hardwick on October 1, 2011

Emma Caulfield

Bonus Episode!!! The lovely and hilarious Emma Caulfield joins us to chat about transitioning out of “Buffy” and into the business of building her career as a producer and actress with “Bandwagon” and other cool projects. Plus! Chili talk! Also, weather with Sunny Showers and traffic on the ones…[jingle] “K-N-R-Deeeeeeeeeeee!!!!”

Find Emma at bandwagontheseries.com and whoisripper.com!

Listen to the podcast at Nerdist

Emma Caulfield Joins Red Scare Web Series

24 August 2011 Leave a comment

Emma Caulfield has joined the cast of Red Scare a “comedic murder mystery web series.”

The series, set in 1956, tells the story of ten strangers hiding in a fall out shelter who discover one of their number is a vampire, but which one?

Emma will play a “June-Cleaver-esque housewife” called Vivienne Lee.

For more details on the web series, which starts filming next week, go to their kickstarter web page

 

 

Pop My Culture Podcast with Emma Caulfield

23 August 2011 Leave a comment

PMV 50: Emma Caulfield

Cole, Vanessa and the stunning Emma Caulfield (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Bandwagon”) talk bunnies, the Teen Choice Awards, TiMER,  a new Lifetime Movie, comic books, Sci-Fi, the JLo/Marc Anthony split, Cash Cab, True Blood, Ripped, The Land of the Lost, Truckbeef, mysterious lotteries, Tubie, hubs and clouds, and Emma’s crazy cool Kickstarter reward.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (The first nickname you had and how you felt about it) on our website for a chance to win–yep, a BUNNY–signed by our guest!

Listen the podcast at Pop My Culture

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