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Felicia Day: Appearances

22 January 2012 Leave a comment

Felica Day – APPEARANCES

2012:

17-20 May: Fedcon 

Patton Oswalt Talks Comedy, Change and What Happens If You Never Leave Home with NPR

26 December 2011 Leave a comment

Patton Oswalt On Comedy, Change, And What Happens If You Never Leave Home

by LINDA HOLMES

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Patton Oswalt portrays

Matt Freehauf in Young Adult.

You might know Patton Oswalt as a stand-up comedian, as a writer, as a player on TV shows like United States Of Tara andDollhouse, as the voice of the primary rodent in Ratatouille, or as the New York Giants obsessive in the dark film Big Fan. Now, he’s appearing opposite Charlize Theron in the black comedyYoung Adult.

Oswalt plays Matt Freehauf, who’s minding his own business in Mercury, Minnesota when Mavis Gary (Theron), once his classmate and now a woman spiraling into many bad things at the same time, comes to town to reclaim her high-school boyfriend. The two become drinking buddies, despite the fact that Matt is repulsed by Mavis’ scheming.

On Sunday’s Weekend Edition, Oswalt tells Audie Cornish that he appreciated the fact that while Matt may be a small-town guy, the script (by Juno writer Diablo Cody) doesn’t present the people of Mercury as simpletons. “I loved that the people living in the small town are actually happy and have lives of their own,” he says, adding that all too often in the movies, “the small town, they’re just these harmless potato people who are there to make the hero better.”

In developing the character with an acting coach — the first time he’s done so for a film role — Oswalt says he had to consider the way his life might have gone had he never ventured out into the world as he did when he went into comedy as a young guy. “I really had to imagine the kind of person that I would have been if I had never left my hometown. I don’t think I would have been a very pleasant person.” Not that speculating about alternative futures is ever easy: “I had to go back and reverse-engineer a life that I decided not to live.”

Oswalt also says he’s grateful for getting to play roles like Matt, because like anyone, there are ways he might be typecast. “Definitely the kind of geeky — I’m amazed I haven’t done more, like, nerdy tech guys to the hot leading man in all these action movies. I don’t know why I haven’t been sitting in a van with headphones on, going, ‘We’ve lost the signal!’ … maybe that’s in my future, I don’t know.”

His future has, of course, already seen shifts, some of which Cornish notes are conspicuous across his comedy albums. Oswalt agrees, and says cataloging those changes has been useful. “I didn’t even realize that was my aim, but I’m very, very commited to saying exactly what I feel right now on each album. And I have no problem with people saying, ‘Well, you know, in your first album you say you hate kids and you’ll never get married, and now on the fourth one, you’re talking about raising a kid.’ I’m like yeah, because at the time, that is how I felt. I’m glad that’s been permanently recorded. You see a person changing and growing.”

And change and growth, Oswalt finds, are a useful complement to the constant excitement about youth. “We’re rewarding either the reality or the apperance of youth, which is why you have all these people in their fifties trying to act like they’re seventeen. You know, it’s great to be young. Be young. By all means, be young. But always remember that youth is also kinda dumb, and doesn’t know a lot yet. So what you want to worship above youth, I think, is beauty, and beauty is so beyond just appearances after a while. Because you can be with someone who’s good-looking, if they open their mouths and they’re an idiot, then they cease to be beautiful very quickly.”

It can be particularly useful to have a chronicle of how much you’ve changed, he says, if you happen to have kids. “I like that you see me when I was a much dumber youth,” he says, adding that one day, he may be able to comfort his daughter about her own anxieties by showing her evidence of his own past: “Daddy made mistakes, too. Here you go.”

Original Interview at NPR

Felicia Day Gives io9 an Exclusive Preview of the Next Guild Comic

16 December 2011 Leave a comment


Felicia Day and Sandeep Parikh give us an exclusive preview of the next Guild comic!

io9 recently had the opportunity to catch up with Felicia Day and Sandeep Parikh, the stars of the long-running fantasy gaming web series The Guild. This duo also co-wroteThe Guild: Zaboo, the next Guild tie-in comic book to hit the stands.

Check out an exclusive sneak peek of the comic’s first six pages and learn what’s up with The Guild‘s sixth season.

First off, here’s a preview and plot synopsis of The Guild: Zaboo one-shot comic, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. This issue’s in stores Wednesday, December 28:

Writer: Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Evan Dorkin

Zaboo has loved Cyd’s game avatar Codex from afar since the two first met playing The Game. Just what he’ll do for love comes to the fore as he senses Cyd is in trouble and embarks on a real-life quest to escape his mother and become Cyd’s knight in shining armor.







And here’s our conversation with Sandeep and Felicia about all things Guild-related…


Sandeep, how did you get involved co-writing the Zaboo comic?

Sandeep Parikh: I think Felicia wanted a different perspective. We’ve been collaborating for years, long before The Guild and Legend of Neil. We did improv together, and we cowrote the Bollywood Guild song. In writing, I took everything from my experience as a director and tried to be as visual as possible. We have a page per plot point, and it was great to have Felicia help me through the process.

Season Five of The Guild recently wrapped up this October. What’s coming up next for the show?

Felicia Day: We’re still actually waiting on the pick-up for next season. The show is owned by me, so it’s determined by the best opportunity for it, but I fully intend on doing future seasons, particularly with the cliffhanger for Season Five. It’s really exciting where we can go with the characters and that story. In the next couple months, we’ll see where the series goes.

And what can we expect from future Guild comics?

FD: I have a couple more things on the horizon coming for next year. I can’t talk about them right at this second, but I’m definitely doing comics. The Guild really lends itself to the format, so depending on what happens with future seasons, I really want to integrate comics into the future of The Guild.

SP: The Zaboo comic leads up to first frame of The Guild web series. All of the comic one-shots have been before the webseries takes place.

FD: We added a lot of game aspects to this comic, and this issue brings us up to the timeline of Season 1, Episode 1. The origin story of Codex and the arc of all five seasons of The Guild are filled in with this comic.

SP: If you’re a gamer and you look real close, you’ll see a few shout outs to your favorite games. Zaboo’s perspective on the world is through video games, so page by page sends you to a new world. I like that you can actually play the comic. If you read the margins on the pages, you can learn how to gain XP while reading it.

In Season Five, we saw a flip-flopping of Codex and Zaboo’s romantic dynamic. How did that come about?

SP: I really love what Felicia did with the characters. The best part of playing Zaboo is that he has some of most interesting arcs of the entire show. He really grows and evolves more every season. Our relationship is the same thing. How she handled our relationship this season felt really believable and honest.

Any sort of crazy behind-the-scenes stuff happen while filming Season Five?

FD: In the DVD that’s coming out later this month through Amazon, there’s a behind-the-scenes there that you will not believe. There are two characters who were supposed to be identical twins. So we hired identical twins, but they never made it to set. We have a very awesome, behind-the-scenes piece on how we were waiting for these twins, and we ended up choosing an extra, a Guild volunteer from the Twitter account to become two different roles this season. She had never been an actor before!

SP: She had to level up pretty fast!

FD: It’s an awesome story because she was a fan, and now she’s canon!

What other projects do the two of you have coming up?

FD: I’m launching a new YouTube channel right now called Geek and Sundry. We’re producing a slate of three or four shows right now. Not a very restful holiday, but an interesting next year to come out with some more projects!

SP: I’m actually in a writers’ session right now for a brand new web series that I’m going to create with My Damn Channel. I can’t really say too much, but it’s going to be awesome. It’s right up the alley of fans of The Guild and The Legend of Neil.

Original Interview at io9

Felicia Day Talks About The Guild FCBD Comic & Dragon Age: Redemption with TFAW

14 December 2011 Leave a comment

Felicia Day Talks About The Guild DCBD Comic & Dragon Age: Redemption

Written by Elisabeth&TFAW

Dec 5 2011

Dark Horse Month was too big and exciting to contain in just one month, so we’re closing it down with a “visit” from the one and only Felicia Day, creator/writer/producer/star of The Guild, her wildly popular web series focusing on a misfit group of gamers. We chatted with her about the upcoming The Guild: Zaboo one-shot, her Free Comic Book Day comic (a flip-book paired with Buffy the Vampire Slayer!), her latest web series, Dragon Age: Redemption, and more.

We’ve also got an exclusive six-page preview of The Guild: Zaboo–enjoy!

TFAW.com: Now that you’ve completed both The Guild miniseries and several one-shots, how are you enjoying the process of making comics?

Felicia Day: I feel like I’ve really hit a personal stride, that I actually look forward to working with the format and thinking more visually. The process is a lot more fun now that I’ve gotten my own methodology down.

TFAW.com: Can you give us any hints about what we’ll discover about Zaboo in The Guild: Zabooone-shot?

FD: Sandeep [Parikh, her co-star and co-writer of the one-shot] is a director, so I think this issue is much more visual, similar to the Bladezz issue (which I did with Guild director Sean Becker). The cool thing is that Sandeep is a big gamer as well, so we tried to infuse a lot of gamer ideas into the script and the visuals. There are homages to everything from FPSs to Mario Kart. I’m excited for people to read it.

TFAW.com: Does this take place before or after Season 5?

FD: As are all the one shots of the core characters I’ve done this year, this one is pre-season 1, with the timeline catching up to the web series by the end of the issue.

TFAW.com: Dark Horse just announced there will be a Guild comic for Free Comic Book Day–as a flip book with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How do you feel about that pairing?

FD: SUPER PSYCHED. Ahem, sorry about the caps. I didn’t know they were going to do that, and to be paired with such a great title is an honor for sure. I was excited to be able to get word about the series out and support such a great event.

TFAW.com: What can you tell us about the storyline for the FCBD comic? Will it tie into Season 6 of the web series at all?

FD: It’s a stand-alone for people who might not be familiar with the show and it’s sort of out of time with the series, but canon.

TFAW.com: Have you considered expanding your comics work–writing a Buffy story, or a superhero book?

FD: I would love to fit in other comic projects, but I am really stretched thin right now. Next year is going to bring some big changes though, and I hope to fit in more writing alongside with all the web series I’ll be doing. The idea of creating something new is really appealing to me though.

TFAW.com: Cyd and Zaboo’s relationship has been through several twists and turns: she took a second look at him romantically in Season 5, but that fizzled after a brief experiment. Where will they be in Season 6?

FD: I can’t tell, and if I could I wouldn’t anyway :) . The show is still not picked up, so we have a lot of options with what we can do with the show, actually. I might be interested in doing something different with the format. We’ll see what the new year brings!

TFAW.com: A lot of characters made a quantum leap in Season 5: Tinkerballa (ahem, April Lou) opened up to Cyd, Vork fell in love, kind of, and most importantly, it looks like Cyd has an actual job–with The Game! Are we going to see a more “functional” Guild in Season 6?

FD: Of course not, functional is boring! I am having fun bringing the characters out of their shells a bit, though. Their friendship is making them better people, which is the central story of The Guild, really.

TFAW.com: I just rewatched Dragon Age: Redemption and really enjoyed it. How did you prepare for such a physical role?

FD: It was monumental will power that got me out of bed at 6 am every day for three months, doing two hours of working out, then going to work for eight hours and working on the script and The Guildand everything else I have to do, then training again before I went to bed. I think I almost broke myself, but it was 100% worth it. It definitely made me respect big action heroes more, who literally make that process their life. I don’t think I’ll ever be in that good shape again, to be honest. :)

TFAW.com: The end of the web series left a lot of room for a sequel–is anything currently in the works?

FD: Nothing planned now, but Tallis is, awesomely, a part of the Dragon Age universe. I could only hope she appears again!

TFAW.com: What were the biggest differences (besides budget) between producing The Guild andDragon Age: Redemption?

FD: I think scale was the biggest, we had so many more crew on Dragon Age, it was hard to even look at it like a web series; it was TV-sized. Also Dragon Age had a huge post-production process with special effects and color timing and transcoding, etc. etc. That was a huge learning lesson, how complicated post-production can be when you do a lot of special effects and involve so many people on that end of production.

I think the biggest lesson I took was that I kind of enjoy shooting things with three people more, haha.

TFAW.com: You’ve acted in projects by others, and those you produce yourself. When you’re creating your own material, do you think you make fewer compromises, or just different ones?

FD: Filmmaking is, by definition, a compromise art form, I think, whatever the scale. You never quite realize exactly what is in your head–sometimes you fall short, sometimes other people’s input and talent help you exceed it. That’s the beauty and the frustration of making films.

I certainly have a bit more control over what I produce personally, but wearing so many hats tends to round out the perfectionist corners because it’s simply a lot to take on, especially when we have such low budgets. So really, the challenges always vary from project to project, which is why I love what I do. Variety I what I live for.

TFAW.com: What do you think is the key to creating realistic female characters, both in comics or for web or TV series?

FD: I think creating a character, not a type. We all read characters that jump out as, “MOM,” “GIRLFRIEND,” “GEEK GIRL”–they start from cliches and never overcome them. Moms aren’t always kind, teen daughters aren’t always rebellious. Start creating a character with a unique perspective, interesting past experiences, and then make her female. Then something awesome will hopefully happen.

Our thanks to Felicia for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to order The Guildcomics and graphic novels here at TFAW.com.

Original Interview at TFAW

 

Miracle Laurie’s Music Video Playlist from Examiner

6 December 2011 Leave a comment

Exclusive: Miracle Laurie’s music video playlist

Timothy Cox, Music Video Examiner

November 21, 2011

You may not recognize the name, but 30-year-old Miracle Laurie is forever in the hearts of Joss Whedon fans for her time as Mellie/November/Madeline (you’d have to watch the show to understand) in FOX’s short-lived television series Dollhouse. She’s also recognizable as Elizabeth Chivers in the web series Goodnight Burbank, which will continue as a television series in the future.

Odds are if you haven’t heard of Laurie by now, then you will next year. Next month she begins filming on Lust For Love with many other Dollhouse stars, including Fran Kranz, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, and Maurissa Tancharoen.

Laurie’s wrapped filming on 100,000 Zombie Heads, a project that there’s not much information about. She will appear in next year’s Any Day Now, a movie about the true story of a gay couple who take in an abandoned teenager with Down Syndrome before authorities take the boy away out of discrimination. She’s also in The First Ride of Wyatt Earp, a Western film starring Val Kilmer, that’s scheduled to premiere March 30.

Miracle Laurie has provided Examiner.com with her 10 favorite music videos of all time. Her picks have been influenced by her interests in pop, humor, and an eye for beautiful visual entertainment.

Here at Examiner, we don’t know how Laurie found the time to type up a music video playlist, but we’re glad she did. We think you’ll agree that she’s a very fun and personable writer.

1. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”

“The song is incredible (and I actually just loaded it onto my iPod the other day), but the video BLEW MY MIND…I think it blew a lot of people’s minds.  I just remember thinking that I had never seen anything like it. And obviously, after 17 years for something to stick, it had to be significant.”

2. Michael Jackson – “Remember The Time”

“Michael is on here a couple times because not only was he the king of pop, but he REALLY used the medium of music videos to make little 10-13 minute movies…for every song he did even if the song itself was only 3 1/2 minutes.  haha.  He was brilliant and fun and a fantastic showman and really got what it was to be an entertainer.  This particular video just cracks me up though, and my sister and I spent many an afternoon singing and dancing along and quoting some of the lines from this video.”

3. Michael Jackson – “Thriller”

“Since we’re already here, I mean MJ was absolutely amazing.  A genius and pioneer for so many things.  The whole thriller experience when the ‘making of’ came out and whenever the video was on, I just thought, ‘WOW…it’s all so fascinating and fabulous!’  The little actor kid in me loved every aspect of it and I couldn’t wait to be a part of that kind of magic.

~side note: I realized that every MJ Video could be on here because they were all epically fantastic.  Honorable mentions: ‘Smooth Criminal‘ and ‘Scream‘ with Janet.”

4. REM – “Everybody Hurts”

“This song is perfect in my eyes and the video completely reflects what the song is about.  It’s cinematic and has a strong point and has stayed in my mind all this time.”

5. Blind Melon – “No Rain”

“Three words: Bumble Bee Girl.  🙂  Incredibley sweet video and message, beautifully shot with a beautiful little girl.”

6. Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

“To be honest, I don’t really like this song at all.  haha, BUT the video is so distinct and was parodied like crazy, it would have been impossible for someone not to remember this video.  And quite frankly, upon another watch, Beyonce’s fierceness and dancing and attitude really are something to be in awe of.  She’s a wonderfully strong and beautiful woman and that’s admirable.  Another reason this video is dear to me a little bit is because one of our prop guys during Season 2 of Dollhouse knew the entire video and used to sing and dance the whole thing for us.  It was hysterical.”

7. Dave Matthews Band – “Crash Into Me”

“First let me admit that I am a HUGE DMB fan…like hard core, so I love pretty much anything they do.  The video itself is actually quite interesting.  Aesthetically, they have a lot of beautiful things going on and a good variety of shots and angles and colors and textures…the whole thing is just lovely and flowing.  Secret confession:  A dream of mine is to one day be “the girl” in a DMB video.  I think that would be a whole new level of awesomeness for me.  LOL.

“Honorable mention for DMB: ‘Ants Marching‘ – I LOVE that song and I love how they always have a very clear vision of the message they want to send with their videos.  I also think it’s just a great video to go with a great song.  AND this video pretty much put them on the map for the general public.  (Side note, I just realized upon a re-watch, that ‘Alex’ from Grey’s Anatomy is in this video…hilarious).”

8. En Vogue – “Free Your Mind”

“For some reason ‘Free Your Mind’ by En Vogue stands out in my memory. It’s probably for no other reason than I just LOVED that song and loved to sing along to it.  And I loved watching all those women rock the hell out of that runway and just be the beautiful, strong, fun, talented women they are.”

9. New Kids On The Block – “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”

“Why?  Because I was a kid of the 80’s and in love with them.  I don’t have a better reason other than it still makes me happy to think about them and that time.  haha.”

10. Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity”

“I think Jamiroquai was fun and kinda crazy, and again…when the video came out I thought, ‘wow – I’ve never seen anything like that.’  🙂  It’s a fun song and I think with music videos in general why not be creative and make the most of the incredible medium and showcase it is for your music.”

On top of acting, Laurie also has a ukulele cover band with her husband, called Uke Box Heroes. You can watch Laurie and her husband perform on YouTube by clicking here.

Follow Miracle Laurie on Twitter.

Original Interview at Examiner

 

Miracle Laurie Cast in Lust For Love

13 November 2011 Leave a comment

Miracle Laurie

Miracle Laurie joins the cast of Lust for Love, made up largely of fellow Dollhouse cast members. Also joining the team are Shawna Trpcic as costume designer and Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen are providing some songs for the soundtrack.  The movie has well exceeded it’s target funding of $70,000 and is currently in pre-production.

Source: Lust for Love Kickstarter Page

Felicia Day Q & A from The L.A. Times

11 November 2011 Leave a comment

Q&A: Felicia Day, from ‘The Guild’ to ‘Dragon Age’

October 13, 2011

This week in Felicia Day news: Tuesday saw the premiere of “Dragon Age: Redemption,” a Web series the actress-writer created as an extension of the video game Dragon Age II, and Wednesday that of the downloadable Dragon Age II adventure Mark of the Assassin; both feature Day in the role of Tallis, an elf with killer skills — a skilled killer elf. On Thursday, the fifth-season finale of Day’s “The Guild,” the online comedy about online gaming that made her name, goes wide on the Web. (It has been an ambitious year for the series, with myriad celebrity cameos, a fully staged fan convention and a flying “dirigible boatmobile.”) I spoke to Day, who is also known for her work on “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” Joss Whedon’s Web musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and the Syfy TV series “Eureka,” for a Times profile last month. Here is a Q&A cut of some of the rest of our conversation.

We began by talking about women and the Web.

Felicia Day: There was a really good blog the other day about the huge decrease in the number of women on staff and women show runners in TV. When I go to a Web video meeting and look around, at least half the show runners are women. And a lot are actors-cum-writers, who are frustrated with the situation of being a woman actor in Hollywood and have decided to create their own show. There’s definitely a higher proportion of women in Web series because, I guess the money’s not there. [Laughs.] I think it’s an outlet for people looking to create without waiting for someone to give them a permission slip.

You first wrote “The Guild” as a TV pilot.

FD: I did. I showed it around and got some compliments on my dialogue and my characters. People said, “You should write a spec script for whatever sitcom — you could get on staff.” I know a lot of writers and I knew that being a staff writer wasn’t really what I wanted to do. But [future “Guild” co-producer] Kim Evey, who was actually my first writing teacher — my only writing teacher, I did a sketch-writing class with her — had done a lot of Web video. She had a show called “Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show” that took off a little bit that she sold to Sony for distribution. And after she read “The Guild,” she said, “We should make this for the Web, because that’s where the people who you’re talking to are, not TV.”

You never felt that it was the lesser path?

FD: No, because it was so experimental at the time it was just like a challenge, like, “Let’s mount a play! Let’s make something!” We had all just been sitting around Hollywood waiting for someone to give us what we thought we wanted. I think that’s kind of inherent in this town; no matter where you are you always have this other higher goal you want to get to. It’s sort of an underlying dissatisfaction with life, and it creates a lot of bitter people. The idea of just taking the reins and doing something on our own was terrifying, but the decision to do it, with just what we had in our houses, was so exciting that it became a great creative focus. We were going to make it happen no matter what.

No matter what we needed we had to do it ourselves because we had no money to hire anyone. So I was the one who drove out to Sylmar because somebody on Freecycle wrote they had working electronics on their curb and I was, like, “Well, that would look cool in the background of this character.” And for the background of another character I was, like, “Well, I need a painting that’s iconic for her,” so I took a piece of wrapping paper and I used a Sharpie and I painted this vaguely graphic shape and hung it on the wall. Every single scene that first season was all found objects.

Were you worried about not making it too “insidery”? Of making it for a wider audience than just gamers?

FD: I made it for myself, basically. I never wondered “Is this too insidery?” Season One is probably the highest bar to entry as far as the gaming terminology. I think it started with hard-core people, and then people who knew the hard-core people told their other geeky friends, and then it broadened out to all Internet users. We released one episode a month, which is counterintuitive, but in fact was a huge advantage for the show because we built an audience between episodes. We started so far inside that it gave me the time to think about where my audience was.

Did you have any sort of public profile at the time?

FD: I’d been on “Buffy” — that is an amazing community, the Joss Whedon fans. So that was a little bit of a leg up. And then being able to target gaming blogs, and inevitably a couple featured it. And with Episode Three, I think, YouTube saw the traffic and featured us on their front page. After that we had a lot of offers from studios — there were some big studios jumping into the space in 2007 and 2008, but their traditional model is to own the show’s IP, and I looked at what they were doing with other Web properties, and was like, “Well,what exactly are you going to do that’s better than what I’m doing?” I kept turning down deals, even partial ownership deals with really impressive people, though I got close several times, because in my mind I was doing things slowly but surely, and I didn’t see that they were going to help me out either logistically or financially enough to justify giving up my show. And the week before we started shooting Season Two, Microsoft called and said: “We’re interested in doing this with you. It works with our demographic. We want to do original content, we don’t need to own the IP, and we have Sprint on board to do overall sponsorship.” It was absolutely a dream deal — they introduced us to millions of new people. That was the big lesson, in that with every platform you’re on you’ll find a new audience. We experienced another huge leap when we got on Netflix, which I didn’t expect; and continue to find new audience there as well as on Xbox Live. We just did a distribution deal with Hulu, and again, tons more people just discovered the show.

Do your actors work under union contracts?

Since our first season we’ve been AFTRA. SAG and AFTRA have been pretty aggressive in trying to sign Web series. I guess the challenging part for them is how do you treat a Web series people are making in their house differently from a big company doing a quote-unquote Web series that’s really a direct-to-DVD movie they just want to pay everybody less for. I’ve done a couple of pilots for real networks that have been made under a Web agreement and made, like, $100, yet they’re presenting it to a network to consider for pickup: That’s the company trying to get over the unions. I think more and more the unions are savvy to those plays.

Codex, your character in “The Guild,” is a bit of a shy flower. For “Dragon Age: Redemption” you’ve written yourself as an elf assassin.

FD: I saw all these superhero movies and I knew I would never be that; I could be the waitress that gets killed in one of those superhero movies. And so when the opportunity came to create a character for a world where I could wield daggers, I couldn’t pass it up.

How did it feel?

FD: It felt great. It was a monumental opportunity, but it was definitely taking “The Guild” and raising it ten-thousandfold. I mean, I wrote a $10-million movie on the page, and they were, like, “Well, you should not write a fight sequence for 14 people on a Web series budget, when you have no trailers.” I called in every favor from every person I could to make it more than what I had resource-wise. 

You were approached to make the series?

FD: I had been approached by a lot of people to do another Web series; it was almost intimidating how many people wanted me to do a project with them, and so I kind of put them all off. Because to me it’s all about, “Does it feel right?” Whenever I get out of my own way and make decisions based on my gut feeling I always do well. And when Electric Arts [makers of Dragon Age] called, that was the first call in years that was really like, “Oh!” They asked, “What would you like to do?” and I said, “What properties do you have?” And when Dragon Age came up I was, like, “Yes!” Because when am I ever going to be able to be in a medieval world as an actor? Probably never. So I’ll help create it myself.

This will be the first time that a video game property is a Web series; and the elf is an actual playable character. So my character will be a DLC [downloadable content] piece; if people own Dragon Age II, they’ll be able to purchase an extension pack and play with my character. It’s full motion capture with me, full facial capture, full vocal acting. It’s pretty much the coolest thing I could ever imagine: Not only am I in a game, but it’s as a character I created.

Have you noticed narrative ideas from video games working their way into movies and TV shows?

FD: I would almost say the opposite: The storytelling in video games has gotten so much more sophisticated and well-thought-out — I mean, if you play Uncharted, it’s like you’re living an Indiana Jones movie. And [Dragon Age developer] BioWare games specifically have a depth of storytelling where you feel like you’re living a season of a really good hour drama. You’re able to form relationships with other characters, your dialogue choices influence the story. Just the number of lines that I had to record to satisfy all the player decisions in [“Dragon Age: Redemption”] is kind of staggering. So it’s a three-dimensional kind of storytelling that to me is almost more attractive than passively watching a narrative. I think that’ it’s going to be very interesting to see the long term of it — it’s almost like video games have an advantage over movies in being able to go beyond the traditional barriers of media.

Do you see Web series remaining entrepreneurial as more money flows to the Web?

FD: When someone asks me to help them with their Web series, I’m like, “Do you really want to do a Web series, or do you just want to to a short film? Because if you want to do a short film, make one.” Sustaining an audience with a Web series is an impossible task. You’re starting a company and the video is just one piece of your offering. You have to have a start-up mind, you have to think about the Web design, the trailers, your social networking sites; you need to make sure that you’re consistent, you need to have marketing materials at all times. The three-dimensional way that you have to build a Web series is unique. Some people upload a video and expect to get reviews overnight. “The Guild” didn’t have that. Maybe a couple of stars will have that kind of penetration, but big stars have done Web series that have gotten zero people to watch them. There’s no magic bullet; it’s just persistence and making content over and over again and knowing that you love doing it even if you might not get a million people to watch.

You have to hit harder in order to be able to be spread on the Internet, because you’re not going to hit 2 million people at once like you’re on television. You’re going to hit … whoever you can get access to. Distribution networks like YouTube and Twitter and Facebook, that’s your network. I tweet — I don’t think 100% of my Twitter followers see every tweet I do. It’s a scattered, I like to say, “info-collander”: You pour in the information and it’s going to catch just between the holes. So it’s all about consistence and consistency. It’s challenging for the traditional sort of marketing approach; we invent whatever we can to get our audience.

Do you watch other Web series?

FD: I do. I mean, I try. The last six months have been really challenging to me. But one of my best friends I found online because I admired their work. There was that steampunk series “Riese” and there was a sci-fi series, “The Mercury Men,” my friend did and then sold to Syfy for distribution. There’s a really sweet comedy called “Awkward Embraces.” Especially on the comedy side, there are some really good Web series, and they get more and more polished because the equipment gets cheaper and cheaper and people get savvier and savvier. The storytelling and production values are improving. Certainly Episode One of Season One of “The Guild” is completely different from Episode One of Season Five. We’ve improved exponentially. You’ve got to compete with that Hulu thumbnail of a professional TV show; so you’d better make your Web series pretty good, or who’s going to click on it?

Do you imagine creating series that you don’t star in?

FD: “Dragon Age” was the first step. I could go off into the wilderness and write fantasy novels for the rest of my life and probably be happy; but I always want to challenge myself. So my producing partner Kim and I have several projects in development; a couple of them might have me as an actor, or personality, and others have other people. My goal is to do a whole slate of programs, start small and then end up at those bigger-budget things I really want to do. I also know that as a woman [actor], my face has a shelf life, in a sense, I’m very aware of that. So I just have to be long term about it, and think, you know, that was the time for that and maybe in the future it’s more writing and producing. I tend to not to think too far ahead.

This will all be online?

 FD: Yes. I’m always interested in digital distribution — that’s where it’s all going to end up anyway. I never felt more fulfilled than when I uploaded that first “Guild” video and I saw comments starting to appear; and they were good and they were bad but they were there, and I saw that feedback and I saw people that started using our icons on their page because they liked the show. It’s that interactivity that keeps me interested in doing it; it’s intoxicating in a way. And I always wanted to be part of that community, and the community I’ve formed I’m loyal to. So I want to tell stories to them.

Original Interview at The L.A. Times

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