Michael Reaves has written and produced literally hundreds of scripts for various TV series, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone, Sliders, The Flash, Father Dowling Mysteries, and Disney's Gargoyles (the only animated TV series ever to be reviewed in The New York Times). He won an Emmy and was nominated for a second Emmy as a story editor and writer on Batman: The Animated Series. He also won a Howie Award for his H.P. Lovecraft-related work in film, as well as the prestigious Hampton's Award.
Why did you write "Blood Kiss"?
Hopefully so that it would get made.
How did you come up with the title?
Honestly don't remember; it's been that long .
Which character do you relate to the most?
I try never to relate to characters; it keeps me from being objective.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Tom Mandrake is a freelance artist and writer. His work in comic books includes Batman, The X-Files 30 Days of Night, Fringe, The Spectre and Swamp Thing for DC Comics. The Punisher, The Hulk Unchained and various X-Men books for Marvel Comics. Tom has also worked on a variety of graphic novels ranging from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Pat Novak For Hire which is based on an old time radio show of the same name.
Tom has illustrated books such as Wild Cards IV, Aces Abroad, GRRM: The George RR Martin RRetrospective and the young adult novel The Forest King: The Woodlarks Shadow.
Why/how did you become involved with the project?
Several years ago Michael contacted me regarding doing a few samples for a Blood Kiss comic book/graphic novel. I produced 1 page of pencils, fell ill with Lyme disease and begged off at that point. Michael was very understanding, it wasn't that I didn't want to do it, I was just struggling to do anything at that point. Jump forward to a few months ago and I got the e-mail, would I like to get involved with Blood Kiss again, a graphic novel tied to a movie as a Kickstarter! Getting a second shot at a great project doesn't happen very often so I said yes!
Can you talk a little about the "Blood Kiss" graphic novel?
An interesting aspect of the graphic novel is that I'll be creating it at the same time the film is being made. That is something I have never tried before, traditionally you create a comic book/graphic novel with an eye towards a movie later or do a graphic novel to follow up a movie release. I like the feeling of uncertainty I get from this, the idea that I'll have to figure out the process as I go!
What are the differences between working on mainstream and independent comics?
When you find yourself working on a mainstream title, Batman, Spider-Man etc. you have some readers that have been with the character for decades, a built-in fan base! Do a good job and they will appreciate it. You may even pick up new readers, fans whose first introduction to a classic character is your work and they may come to regard your vision of that character as the standard. I grew up reading Marvel and DC books and still get a charge out of being able to contribute to the legends! On the other hand, being in on the ground floor of a new, independent title means flying without a net, no built in fan base and no idea if anybody will give a damn about a project you are totally committed to. I've been in both situations with some successes and a couple...not so much, but it's all good. Both paths are well worth the journey!
What's it like to draw character renditions of Amber Benson and Neil Gaiman?
It's always a little intimidating at first, drawing real people who have fans that want to see the likeness. The important thing is to accept that you will blow it a few times, don't get stressed out and over time you will figure out what makes each face unique. Amber and Neil each have very distinctive looks, that always helps when you're trying to key in on the character.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Please join us on the Blood Kiss journey!
DAVID RAIKLEN AND DANIELA DI MASE
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel. He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail). His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.
Daniela was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela from an Italian decent. Since a young age she had a passion for acting. Early on, she could tell good and bad performances apart and somehow understood the visceral process involved in acting and performing. However, for many years, she denied herself that passion thinking that it was not a respectable career path. At 15, her family moved to Italy where she started exploring filmmaking and storytelling. Filmmaking was the invisible line that still connected her to acting. When she graduated high school she moved to Paris, to study French language, Civilizations and Culture. During this time she began taking film courses in the Sorbonne University and in UCLA.
When she turned 20 she moved to South Florida where she continued her film studies in the University of Miami and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Daniela loved production and all the elements that went into narrating a well crafted story yet she was always restless because she knew that she was not honoring her Truth. Finally one day, she decided she couldn't deny It anymore, so she went to London to study Meisner at The Actor's Temple. That's where she had an epiphany. "Acting was everything I had hoped it would be. It was the missing piece in my life. I traveled the world, explored many cultures and studied languages and yet I found that acting gave the means to explore the human psyche and emotions that I longed for. More than that, there is no better way to be in "The Now" than when you are acting. When I'm immersed in a scene and emotions surge, they become so real that I understand what it is to "live truthfully in imaginary circumstances."
After that revelation, she decided to honor her calling and at 27, she moved to LA where she has continued to study with some of the great acting teachers today such as Janet Alhanti and Ivana Chubbuck. She also continued her studies in Film Production at The Art Institute of California. Currently, she is working on indie projects, balancing herself from behind and in front of the camera.
How/Why did you become involved the project?
David: A mutual friend told me that Michael was looking into crowdfunding a new film and asked me to consult. At first I consulted a bit to help out. But after a while the project became irresistible with a great story, setting and cast. I wanted to work these amazing people.
What other things do you do besides producing?
David: I'm a virtuoso composer and have scored hundreds of projects with everything from electronics to live orchestra and chorus. I also host a successful podcast on soundtracks, the Hugo winning Starship Sofa.
How do you properly pronounce your last name?
What makes the film and" Kickstarter different from others?
David: Golden Age Hollywood with Vampires. Neil Gaiman and Amber Benson. Our videos.
How important is interaction with fans and/or backers when running a campaign?
David: We love all our fans and interact with them every day on Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, interviews. This is a new world and fans get to choose what gets made.
What has been the greatest thing you've learned from being part of the
"Blood Kiss" team?
David: Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson, Michael Reaves, Daniela Di Mase and Tom Mandrake are warm, funny, creative, and inspiring. Every day one of them says or
does something that makes me think, laugh, and do better than I could
What would you do if you ever found vampire living in your basement?
David: Depends- nice and sexy or evil fiend?
Is there anything you'd like to add?
David: Thanks for having us over.
Daniela: Our backers have been amazing. The support for Michael and Blood Kiss has been quiet touching! We want to sincerely thank you all!