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“I was once asked why our vampires can tolerate the sunlight. My answer was, ‘Its to expensive to set an actor on fire.'”

February 16, 2011

Interviews

DarkMedia Interviews Chad Ream:

Transitions is a vampire web series produced by Ream Enterprises based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The series is produced by a cast and crew assembled across the state including William Ellwood who plays Ed Loomis, the recently bitten mortal along with Tudor Dixon who plays Claire the ambassador of the dark secret and Todd Spratt playing Joseph the Elder of the Klein clan. Transitions follows the trials and tribulations of being an immortal in an imperfect world. Only the unfortunate… Transition.

Will you tell us a little about Transitions and how it began?

In the winter of 2009, after acknowledging the tremendous potential that the Internet provides for delivering independently produced content I made the decision that I wanted to invest in and produce a web series. I consulted with Jeremiah Coe, an author of the supernatural genre. He and I collaborated and, in short, Transitions came about. Ed Loomis, played by William Ellwood is one of our principle characters, and Season One begins with his “transition” to becoming immortal. The series follows Ed as he is confronted with the trials and tribulations of such an experience, while introducing us to several other characters.

You’ve said you “wear a lot of hats”. Will you describe what you do for the series, in addition to producing? Which role do you enjoy most and why?

I like to think of myself as the “jack of all trades and a master of none”. Along with producing the show, I have directed and edited the first six episodes. It’s the editing in post production that I enjoy most. This is when I have time to take a series look at the scenes. Its one thing to be on set working with the cast and crew, but when the scenes are cut together that is when we see the “characters” come to life. It’s a big compliment to the cast members, who bring their characters about. I’m very fortunate to be working with several of them.

What, or who, is your greatest inspiration as a producer/filmmaker?

George Lucas, because here is a person who went to the “system” (traditional Hollywood) and while producing a successful film, was snubbed by them. He didn’t want to play their game and made the decision to go out on his own. I respect any person who is willing to try… try again… then when needed find a better way.

When and why did you decide to get into the entertainment business?

Ream Enterprises started in 2001, it was after having been a client of another production studio in town where I had a less than positive experience. I felt I could do a better job so in turn I opened up my own studio. It was not until 2006 that we started working on independent film projects.

Between the era of the silent film (when Nosferatu was the most prominent representation of a vampire) and today, how would you say the vampire has changed? Who would you credit for that change, and why do you think it evolved as it did?

I can’t single out any one individual for the change in the perception of vampires, but I can comment on contributing factors, time and technology. For about 70 years after Nosferatu was produced the general public was always told the same story, but from a different perspective, in my opinion things became predictable. Periodically a creative author or screenwriter would introduce a new element, but starting in the 1980’s, with the advent of CG work film makers were able to start telling their stories with more flare and better effects. The concept of “because we can create it (good cg work)… we will show it came into practice. Then the Internet found its way into everyone’s home and the means of sharing ideas grew rapidly.

Over the past several years, the popularity of vampires in mainstream entertainment has skyrocketed. Is there room for everyone, or do you think there’s a risk of over-saturation?

There is a risk of oversaturation in the mainstream when recognizing that it includes “everyone”, but I feel that fans of the vampire genre are loyal and are open to new ideas. That individual who was a fan or a follower of the subject before the mainstream caught wind will still be around once the luster fades away. Then in 10 years or so the mainstream will take notice again.

What sets Transitions apart from other modern vampire serials? 

The “budget”! We had a hater bash the series this last Summer and I took a step back and took it as a compliment. Here we were being compared to True Blood, which is a multi-million dollar per episode series. The person was very close minded, Transitions is made up of an all volunteer cast and crew and when taking that into consideration I am very proud of what we have accomplished. In respect to our plots, I think Transitions stands out a little bit because it focuses more on the drama and not so much the vampires. In a sense Transitions is a drama that happens to involve vampires and the supernatural.

How would you describe your vampires as compared to those within other series, like True Blood? Do they walk in the daylight? Are they immortal? How did you decide which pieces of the general mythology to include or exclude?

I was once asked why our vampires can tolerate the sunlight. My answer was, “Its to expensive to set an actor on fire for real or with CG effects.”, so that led our vampires having a tolerance. We talk about what is to be expected in Episode 3, but as the series evolves we will go deeper into our interpretation of the mythology.

What would you like the viewer to take from Transitions? Is it pure fun and entertainment, or is there an underlying message you’re hoping the viewer will respond to?

I hope that they are entertained and can identify that with time the series will continue to mature. Give us the support by watching the series and subscribing to our Facebook and YouTube channels. I want our viewers to know that we want to interact with them, let us know what we are doing well, what can we improve on. The stories within Transitions are more than just finding a vampire’s next meal, which becomes repetitive and predictable.

What advice would you give to an aspiring screenwriter or producer? What’s the first step in bringing your vision to life? 

Believe in yourself and your story… who cares what other people think. Do it for yourself first.

I’m looking forward to going back into production for the remaining episodes of Season 1 and with enough support from the fans we’ll be able to bring Season 2 around.

____________________________________

Transitions (Chad Ream) is a Featured Member of DarkMediaCity.

To watch Transitions, visit their website.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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