SJimbrowski here. I had an opportunity to interview Felicia Day (THE GUILD, DR. HORRIBLE SING ALONG BLOG, EUREKA) at San Diego Comic Con. Be sure to check out part one of this interview and then scroll down to see how it all ends...
SJIMBROWSKI (SJ): What are your thoughts on the MORTAL KOMBAT webseries?
FELICIA DAY (FD): I think MORTAL KOMBAT was awesome.
SJ: What’s your feeling on there being more corporate money coming in?
FD: Yeah, I think there is. We entered a lull and now we’re coming out of it, and I think advertisers are really seeing the depth of the 30 second ad and if they spend $5 million on that including the cost of making it and the ad buy, isn’t that better spent making material that has maybe a backend with other spinoffs or sequels or comics or anything? Isn’t it smarter to do that and you’re reaching a targeted audience? The audience is degrading everywhere. You’ve got millions of channels vying for your attention. A blog entry is on the same level as a video on the internet. So how are you going to reach that audience? Mass audience is going to be extremely hard to get so why not aim toward a niche and be able to advertise directly to the people that are going to buy your product? Like Sprint and Xbox know that our material overlaps with their demographic and the people who like what they want to consume on an Xbox platform and Sprint in a sense paired themselves with what we do even though they don’t really force product placement on us at all.
SJ: Which is nice.
FD: They’ve actually seen an uptake in the key demographics they were looking for through the show. So they keep sponsoring us. I’m sure that the MORTAL KOMBAT web series did well for Mortal Kombat. And hopefully DRAGON AGE will raise awareness of Dragon Age. The creativity and the creative freedom in all this is a lot more I think than the traditional mediums.
SJ: It seems like the Wild Wild West.
FD: Nobody knows an answer. I don’t know it. I just keep doing the things that I think as an internet viewer I would love to see and that’s always my touchstone. If I don’t think people are going to want to watch it there’s no use in investing time in it.
SJ: Well, considering your interests I mean I’m surprised that you haven’t branched out into making your own cat videos.
FD: (Chuckle) I love cat videos!
SJ: There’s nothing wrong with it!
FD: Well, there’s nothing wrong with it. If a cat video can get 2 million viewers, that’s the world we’re living in.
SJ: And I appreciate your Twitter feed of constant updates of cat videos.
FD: Yeah, well you know that’s why I love what I do on the internet. Not only do I make content, but I do feel like hopefully I provide curation and entertainment through what I like to share with people because I genuinely love to share things with people. And I don’t do it in a jaded, markety way—hopefully people don’t think that because I really do. If I was going to IM something to my brother, I’m going to share it with everybody. So, if it’s a cat gift—you’re gonna get a cat gift.
SJ: (Laughing) Do you foresee most of your projects going forward, you know, besides THE GUILD or DRAGON AGE? Do you foresee them to be either properties that already exist, or that you’re going to be able to get some corporate backing for them?
FD: I have a couple of projects that I’m interested in doing—small and large. You know, to me I’m interested in staying in the space even though I could make a lot more money doing a TV pilot. This is what’s interesting to me, and I mean, it could be hard. I don’t know where the market is going. I’m not a swami but as long as people are asking…
SJ: Yeah, but people keep asking you because you’re the one who’s the poster child!
SJ: So everybody keeps asking you even when you’re like “I don’t know?”
FD: I can only do what I feel is right and it felt right to do DRAGON AGE even though I don’t own that property. It felt right to retain the idea of THE GUILD. On my next project it depends on the economics. If it’s a large budget I can see where you would give up some rights to your property.
FD: If it’s a small budget and you could make it in your house you’ve got to really know that the trade-off is going to be worth it with not only money but with distribution, advertising, PR and all those things to be able to get your audience. Cause that’s really the hard part.
SJ: Do you have any idea on the distribution model for DRAGON AGE?
FD: I’m not in control of that. I can only be advising them on what I know. They’re really smart people. We’re going to know soon where that’s going to end up.
FD: My main goal with the piece is to get people to watch it and be aware of DRAGON AGE and to disseminate it as widely as possible. I want to make web content that doesn’t reach millions of people—it just reaches a certain demographic or it’s important to me to drive traffic to my site. There are a lot of different priorities you have to think about when you make web content. You don’t need to have those millions and millions of views on a video to get what you want from that content. So you know it’s really interesting to see what plan we come up with for DRAGON AGE but I think it’s going to be very innovative. And I think it’s going to be something never done before.
FD: Or I wouldn’t have done it.
SJ: Are you ever going to do other internet musicals? Not necessarily DR. HORRIBLE, but what about your own?
FD: I would love to do …actually that’s on my list of, like, why am I not singing? I mean I’ve ruined my voice here a couple times. I would really love to sing and nobody has asked me to do it so next year might be the time I have to do my own.
SJ: Yeah, do your own!
FD: There’s only so many hours in the day.
SJ: Yes, yes very true.
FD: But it’s definitely on the short list of things that I want to continue doing.
SJ: DR. HORRIBLE has the Joss imprint of wonderfulness on it. It was just one of those projects that just took on a life of its own.
FD: Yeah, Joss is a phenomenon and I really hope they make another one and I would love to be a part of it.
SJ: I’m just wondering if you would consider doing your own.
FD: Oh! Well, me on my own yeah absolutely…Jed Whedon from DR HORRIBLE did a music video with me a couple of years ago and it’s up to like 17 million viewers now. You know, it’s kind of hard being…I’m reaching a point where I can’t do everything.
SJ: You are certainly very busy.
FD: I’m full time on a series. I’m doing two web series at the same time. I’m writing comic books and I don’t really have a life, so, but I really want to. I finished LA Noir and it was like the best thing ever. So I really am reaching a point where I really have to decide what I want to do and I’d be able to reprioritize my life so I could just make sure the quality of content remains really high. So it’s like picking out a couple of projects I really want to accomplish by next year that I can juggle with all my professional acting. Definitely, singing or playing the violin or doing something that I know is unique to myself is on the short list.
SJ: Well, you have to delegate a little more.
FD: Well, I try to delegate as much as I can but we’re still in a web series so it’s hard. We’ve almost reached the complicated level that we’re as complicated as a network or a production company, TV production company, but we don’t have the resources to pay everybody. But we’re learning slowly but surely to build the team to be able to move up and juggle more projects without going crazy.
SJ: I know you are busy but I wonder, is there a plan to do an actual THE GUILD series with the Dark Horse comics?
FD: I did the first three that was Codex’s journey and all the other characters, they all culminate in season one episode one. We just finished season five which is rolling out now and our contract is up, so I need to make a decision where I want to do with the show to go, the next step for the show storywise where we are going to be. I would have to do a comic that would not interfere with my ability to continue with the webseries. So it is just a story problem that I have to work out because I love working with them and love writing comics, I feel like I worked really hard to learn the format and I have invested a lot of time in it and I would hate to “OK I did that” and lose it, it’s like riding a bike. I’m going to take the next couple of months before the end of the year and figure out a way hopefully to continue the series in a comic book form.
SJ: Would that be as a series or one shots?
FD: The goal would be great to do a series, but I don’t know how to do that while simultaneously timing it so it would be a lot of planning to be able to time the release of the comic book at the same time the webseries to complement it versus be confusing. The lead time with comics and the lead time with film production kinda make it a little difficult to be able to supplement the video story which is something I would be interested in doing.
SJ: Did you enjoy writing the comics?
FD: Yeah I did, but I hated the first couple. It was very tough for me.
SJ: I would think those would be the easiest one’s to write.
FD No, because my character is always the hardest one, she is the one I always have to dig a little bit deeper and find a lot more conflict with her, she is more of a passive character, so it’s problematic in that she’s a more challenging character to make a story happen around--things happen to her but that is not good storytelling. It was also a very personal journey for me, those first three--the rest of them where much easier for me. I still had to figure out interesting ways to tell the story and I had to dig deeper with them but at the same time it was so well defined the way that I’ve drawn them and the way the actors fill them out it was a lot more whimsical to be able to throw a lot more comedy into the one shots than the first three, which is kinda a journey of a girl who gets lost in videogames. It was really good and I do want to do more, it’s just figuring out storywise how to do it with the video, and not closing any other doors for me is hard.
SJ: Wonderful to meet you.
FD: Well, nice to meet you!
SJ: It was a real pleasure to meet Felicia in San Diego, and she is in fact just as much of a sweetheart in person as you might expect.
FYI, The CLARA one shot comes out Sept 21st.
And you can catch up or watch The Guild here!
Check out Bug’s panel Horror on the Paneled Page in its entirety from the con!!!
Ambush Bug announces his new werewolf comic LUNA on FAMOUS MONSTERS panel!!!
SJimbrowski brings back a ton of webseries news from Comic Con—Felicia Day’s DRAGON AGE REDEMPTION! MORTAL KOMBAT! & Bryan Singer’s H+ THE DIGITAL SERIES!
Bug sits for a lengthy chat with Marvel CCO Joe Quesada!
SJimbrowski reports from Felicia Day’s THE GUILD and Joss Whedon’s panels!
Bug talks with DC top brass Dan Didio & Jim Lee!
Bug talks with Fear.net’s TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL star Jason Mewes!
Bug talks with Zenescope’s Ralph Tedesco & Raven Gregory!
Bug talks with writer/artist Menton3 about his new IDW series MONOCYTE!
Bug has his annual chat with Radical Publisher Barry Levine!
Bug talks with Writer of Stuff, Peter David!
Bug talks with the only Caped Crusader that matters, Adam West!
Part one of Bug talks turtles with TNMT creator Kevin Eastman!
Part two of Bug talks turtles with TNMT writer Tom Waltz!
SJimbrowski reports from the CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & NTSF:SD:SVU panels, plus a review of THE MERCURY MEN Webseries!
Bug talks with Johnny Ryan, the twisted mind behind PRISON PIT!
Bug talks DAMAGED with Sam Worthington, John & Michael Schwarz of Full Clip Productions!
Bug talks about everything from THE GOON to GODZILLA with Eric Powell!
Bug talks about the success of WITCH DOCTOR with series creators Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner!
Bug talks with Anne Rice about the new SERVANT OF THE BONES comic, vampires, and her new werewolf book!
SJimbowski interviews Felicia Day on THE GUILD and DRAGON AGE: Part One!
Keep an eye out for more interviews and special reports from SDCC 2011!