Vampire Mob is an indie TV series which is audience-funded. Yep. We enter the age of crowd-funding and audience participation financially before we can get to good ol' Hollywood. The times... they are a'changin'. Vampire Mob is an indie comedy series about Don Grigioni (played by John Colella), a mafia hitman who thought he had the solution to his problems, who becomes a vampire. After biting his wife Annie, (played by Reamy Hall) who then bites her mother, Virginia (played by Marcia Wallace) Don's problems get worse when his mother-in-law moves in -- for eternity. It's written, directed and edited by award-winning filmmaker Joe Wilson with whom I had the bloody pleasure of interviewing. He tried to bite me but, alas, was a gentlemen and allowed me to leave the room still human. Darn. I was hoping for my 'Twilight' moment.
Alexandra Holzer: You've turned the bloody hot topic of Vampires and minced them neatly with hitmen and mob-oriented folk. Brilliant! How did you come about the idea for your indie TV series called Vampire Mob?
Joe Wilson: Thank you! I was working as a private investigator and a case I was on had me thinking about the mafia. I said to someone that there's lots of vampire stories and mafia stories always coming back, where's the Vampire Mob story? I pitched it to actor John Colella with the caveat that this wouldn't be a dumb mafia comedy with caricatures and puns. I hate puns. When I was a bartender in Boston I had a few regulars who were, reportedly, members of the mob and they definitely came in handy writing this story. We've now completed two seasons with 22 (and one dog) actors including Emmy-winner Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons), Tony-winner Rae Allen (The Sopranos), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Chris Mulkey (Boardwalk Empire) and Retta (Parks and Recreation).
Vampire Mob cast members Rae Allen, Kirsten Vangsness, Marcia Wallace and Reamy Hall after shooting "Dinner for Six."
AH: Who are you and where did you come from?
JW: Hi, I'm Joe. I come from the northeast part of the United States, I currently live in Los Angeles and I tell stories.
AH: How difficult is it to create an indie Web series with the influx of today's YouTube sensations and competitiveness to be seen, heard and sold?
JW: Creating an indie series is far easier than getting an audience to watch. Just like in network TV, the battle for attention has never been more brutal and with the oncoming content tsunami of even more shows to watch online, it's only going to get harder. Making something good is the smallest part of indie storytelling online. Anyone can put up a show, which is a good thing and a bad thing.
Rae Allen and John Colella
AH: What advice would you give future and/or current filmmakers on their own utilizing crowd-raising funds to continue on and not feeling to quit?
JW: You have to love the story you want to tell more than you want to get paid to tell it. I've seen a lot of people make the mistake of throwing up a trailer for their project on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and never actually talking to their audience; that's a mistake. Why should someone give you money to tell your story? That's the question you need to be answering constantly. Being realistic about how much you can raise and knowing that it's full-time, seven days a week, to raise money, that's what you really need to know. You just don't ask and it happens; it's work to raise money for a project -- a lot of work. No network would give me this much freedom to tell this story and no writer/director in TV gets final cut. That's also what you're working for -- creative freedom.
Andrea Cansler & Chris Mulkey
AH: What can your fans expect for 2012 with Vampire Mob and is there anything else in the pipe lines you're working on and/or desire to do?
JW: I am just finishing up a music video I made with Mindi Abair, which was a lot of fun to make. Season three of Vampire Mob is still in the planning stages at the moment. I love telling stories and after years of being told 'no' by the entertainment industry, it's amazing to finally be able to tell one and hear from who matters most -- the audience. That's what I plan to keep doing.
Season Two of Vampire Mob launches! Cast from Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Criminal Minds & Parks and Recreation.
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