Staci Layne Wilson: For those who are interested in vampires and the Internet (there’s a lot of them out there), how do you sum up this project, and what do you tell people that it is?
Doug Hutchison: Vampire Killers is basically a story about four 20-somethings who are solicited by a faceless entity to hunt down and destroy vampires in the Los Angeles area. It’s webisodic. It’s going to be premiering on our exclusive site, vampirekillers.tv, and you can go there and check out the episodes, traverse the site, navigate the different cool pages with our killers and our sexy, delicious vampire babes, and different things like that.
SLW: Who’s in the show?
DH: The main cast, our vampire killers, are Tim Fields — he plays Johnny – Marco Mannone plays Travis, Kit Paquin plays Nicole, and Nick Heaney plays Orville. Our main vampire, Charlotte, is played by a terrific actress from Russia by the name of Ania Spiering. Who else…? Oh, there’s Ginger Pullman. She plays our fifth vampire killer, but (I won’t give away the secret yet) something happens to her that changes it, which turns five into four.
SLW: Is that the catalyst that really makes them angry in wanting to go after Charlotte?
DH: I think so. I mean, they’re on a mission anyway, but what ends of happening to their colleague, Katrina, I think raises the stakes for them and really turns the heat up. Now they’re not only on a mission to eradicate vampires, but it’s personal.
SLW: In your first episode, you have some real sensual scenes with a lot of beautiful ladies and a lot of sexual imagery… not really hard-core, but something to whet the appetite of the male viewers. How much more of that will we being seeing later on? Because it doesn’t really continue on after the very first episode of the series…
DH: Our premise right now, at least what we’re hoping in the first season, is that all of our vampires are women. We don’t know why. This is one of the mysteries that our killers are trying to piece together and figure out. There is a reason why, but I have cast all of the vampires that you will be seeing, in the first season at least, with some really talented, beautiful, alluring, 20-something girls, and they’re all going to be threaded in the story-line in some fashion, in some way or another. Charlotte is our queen, and the other 12 are her coven — her little nest of vampires.
SLW: Charlotte has a very feline, predatory quality about her. Is this something you were looking for initially, or did the actress, Ania, bring that in herself?
DH: Ania totally brought it to the table. I gotta be honest. I was actually leaning toward another actress for the role, for what we initially conceived. Plus, this particular actress happened to be the fiancé of a friend of mine, so we had a little nepotism going on. Just to play it safe, of course, during the audition period, I ended up auditioning a plethora of other actresses for the role, and Ania came in and just gave us this whole different spin to it, including the feline quality that you’re talking about -– very sensual, very cat-like at times, just very motherly and seductive and comforting. And so it was a really beautiful, ethereal quality she brought to the role. Ultimately, as it turned out, my first actress couldn’t do it. She had to drop out. Actually, she wasn’t even cast. She just called me one day and said, “I’m sorry. I can’t be considered anymore.” I immediately picked up the phone and called Ania. I said, “You’re in, baby!” and she was very excited. I’m so glad it worked out that way because, as it turned out, as you’ll see, she’s just perfect for the role.
SLW: How much of her character will be explored? How much do you plan on getting into the vampires at some point, as opposed to just the vampire killers? I know that’s the name of the show, but I know people are gonna want to be able to see more behind-the-scenes about how the blood-suckers exist.
DH: That’s a good question and, actually, my partner Tim [Baldini] and I were talking about this the other day. One of the ideas we have is that you’re going to see, in the first season, little glimpses and little pieces of our vampire girls. One of them, for example, owns this elusive club in the Silverlake area called “Sinister,” and that’s where a lot of these girls hang out, and we’re going to start experiencing them but, generally speaking, through the eyes of the vampire killers. Then we were thinking it would be fun in season two, where now it’s turned so that season two is actually from the perspective of the vampire girls, and so we would begin episode one of season two with one of our main vampire girl’s characters. Now we’re seeing through the other side of the world, and we’re seeing through their eyes and how they’re seeing their nemesis –- the vampire killers. We’re kind of playing with that idea.
SLW: I think that’s one of the great things about the Internet is that you have a certain amount of autonomy with your story and how you want to take it. Will you be taking fan feedback into consideration? Will there be message boards and things like that on the site?
DH: Oh hell yeah. I actually value that very much. As an actor, I’ve been involved in projects like that with the X-Files and Millennium, and different series like that, and I know that the fans had a huge stake, ultimately, after the series took off, in a lot of manicuring the story lines and what they might like to see, and I think the producers really took that to heart. I’m hoping that the best case scenario is that we get popular enough to attract an audience that is actually invested enough to want to contribute in that regard. Some of the best ideas come out of left field or from a different perspective than when you’re sitting behind a computer tapping out another episode.
SLW: Are these the only ones, or are we looking at a microcosm of a bigger group of vampires and vampire killers?
DH: We’re looking at a microcosm of a bigger group of vampires, definitely. This is just one coven. We have a theory. We haven’t touched upon it yet in the first six episodes, but there are 12 queens. Charlotte is one of the 12, and they’re waiting for the 13h. When the 13th arrives, that’s when something is going to happen for the vampire world, and something potentially bad will happen for the human world. As for our vampire killers right now, there’s just four. That’s it. They want to keep their numbers down. They want to stay under the radar. Who knows? The wonderful thing about a series is that you can add later on. Maybe we will have another vampire killer come in. Maybe we’ll discover another group somewhere else that’s been doing this as well. I don’t know. That’s the fun of the series. It can unfold as you go along.
SLW: You’re just about to launch on the first of October — how will this play out? Will you be running a new episode every week? Will people be able to look at archival episodes if they’ve missed the first few?
DH: People will be able to go to the site on and after October 1st. All six of our episodes will be airing in consecutive order, so you can click on and watch all six. They will be up there forever, so you can go back and watch them as many times as you like. New people can watch them. You can have friends come on and watch them. Our hope with Vampire Killers is that, depending on our popularity and how many hits we may accrue after we launch, we’re hoping to snag a few sponsors — some really cool sponsors that might want to sponsor our sight, sponsor the series, and therefore allow us to shoot more. That’s really our dream, and if that happens, then yes, we’re going to start shooting more episodes. My hope is that we would air a new episode at least every other week if not every week, once we get the ball rolling. That’s the master plan right now.
SLW: Yes, independent little films. I was really impressed with the cinematic look and feel of it, and especially the score. It’s not a really jarring, shaky cam like The Shield can be, even when the characters are just sitting around talking — which I think is good for you, actually.
DH: Good. I didn’t want that at all. In fact, Tim and I went back and forth about that at the beginning because we were debating on the hand-held versus the set-up. We initially decided on the hand-held, but Tim said that we gotta be able to see what we’re seeing, because there’s nothing more nauseating than…
SLW: Sure, especially when someone is just sitting there talking. If they’re running, then okay, I get it, but other than that…
DH: I think Tim did a really nice job of hand-holding and keeping us from becoming nauseous.
SLW: Your lighting, too, is really dramatic.
SLW: Then props to Tim.
DH: I gotta give it up for Tim. He’s a huge fan of film, and he story-boarded the whole thing, and some of it almost looks a little bit like film noir at times, like that shot with Charlotte in the alley where she’s got her hand up and you can see half of her face. I love his style.
SLW: Like I said — very cinematic. Anything else you’d like to add that I may not be informed enough to be able to ask about?
DH: No, I don’t think so. Just pass it around to your friends. We’re hoping it turns people on, and we’ll see if we have a life after six episodes. It would be a blessing, but it’s been a fun ride so far, so we’ll see what happens.