Six questions with Michael Reaves and the producers of Blood Kiss


The husband brought this worthy project to my attention a couple of weeks ago and, of course, I just had to jump on board.  Noir vampire; how could I resist?

Truthfully, it was Amber Benson and Neil Gaiman who attracted me at first.  I’ve been a long-time fan of both authors/creative entrepreneurs, but when I viewed Michael’s Kickstarter video and realized his contributions to some of my favourite series (I absolutely adored Gargoyles!).  Then, I visited his Amazon page, I realized that though I didn’t know his name, I bloody well should have (!)

Also, I found his struggle with Parkinson’s Disease compelling.  I’ve often said that I’ll be writing until age AND infirmity rob me of the ability, because I’d beat out one or the other alone and still go down fighting, but Michael is the proof that even a disease as debilitating as PD can’t take a good writer out of the game.

So I backed the project.

And got a lovely thank you.

And an email that invited me to blog about Blood Kiss.

So here I am.

WG: Michael, I am inspired by your story, but it speaks so eloquently for you and your situation, I’ll steer clear of the obvious.  I’m a process geek at heart.  When did the idea for Blood Kiss first occur to you and how did the idea find its form as a screenplay?

MR: It started as a novel, back in the 90s. The way I usually decide is from how much inner life of the characters it’s necessary to reveal; past a certain point it just feels more like a book as opposed to a script.

WG: I’ve only dabbled in screen writing, so I don’t know much about the difference between novel and screenplay.  You’ve written both.  How long does it take to draft and revise a movie-length screenplay compared with a novel?  How has Blood Kiss adhered to and differed from that process?

MR: Well, everything’s different. Usually it’s about six months for me, be it novel or script.

WG: I’m going to respect Michael’s time and energy and ask the remainder of my questions of the producers, David Raiklen and Daniela di Mase.  First to you, David.  What attracted you to Blood Kiss?

DR: An amazingly talented team of artists including Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson, Michael Reaves and Tom Mandrake plus our wonderful production team. An chance to make a film noir, a style that every film lover appreciates. And a great story.

WG: You are not only a producer, but an award-winning composer.  How are your musical talents going to translate into Blood Kiss?

DR: More intense and exciting storytelling. A reimagining of the Golden Age sound, romantic and lush, plus scary.

WG: Daniela, you’ve studied film all over the world.  How is that experience going to inform Michael’s script?

DdM: I think that international indie films get very creative in order to execute their visions. Given that it doesn’t get any more indie than a Kickstarter film, we will be able to apply some of that to make the best film possible with the funds we raise.

WG: How did you get involved with the Blood Kiss project?

DdM: We met when he decided to do his film through Kickstarter. I offered to help with that. I was too fortunate to be in the right place at the right time!

WG: Thank you all so much for your time and excellent responses.  I’m even more excited to be a Blood Kiss Backer.

Blood Kiss has achieved its funding goal and I encourage anyone who has an interest to support the Blood Kiss project in reaching its stretch goals.  We all benefit!

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About the Blood Kiss project and team:Blood Kiss by Michael Reaves

Emmy Award winning writer Michael Reaves is creating a new film, BLOOD KISS, and new genre, Vamp Noir. He’s discovered a fresh acting talent to co-star, superstar writer Neil Gaiman. Also starring fan favorite Amber Benson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.

“Michael sent me the script. I told him, “it’s a terrific script.” and he said, “I want you to act in it.” I replied “There’s nobody else I would act for.”–Neil Gaiman

BLOOD KISS will bypass the Studios, going straight to the fans for funding to greenlight the film. Fans who contribute to BLOOD KISS’ Kickstarter campaign are eligible to receive exclusive rewards in exchange for individual pledges ranging from $5 to $10,000.

Because of Michael’s personal struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, Blood Kiss is proud to be associated with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association to promote awareness of the disease.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to see all the surprises we have for Blood Kiss’ evergrowing fan base!

Michael Reaves is amazingly prolific, writing and producing literally hundreds of scripts for various television 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 the Emmy and was nominated for a second Emmy as a story editor and writer on Batman: The Animated Series. He’s also won a Howie Award for his H.P. Lovecraft-related work in film, as well as the prestigious Hampton’s Prize. In addition, he’s been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Writers Guild Awards.

Neil Gaiman is the author of novels, short fiction, comic books, graphic novels and films. His most notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Coraline, Stardust, American Gods, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including The Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery Medal, and The Carnegie Medal. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book.

Amber Benson is a writer, director and actor. She currently writes the Calliope Reaper- Jones series for Ace/Roc and her middle grade book, Among the Ghosts, came out in paperback this past fall from Simon and Schuster. She co-directed the Slamdance feature, Drones and (co-wrote) and directed the BBC animated series, The Ghosts of Albion. Her acting work includes the Steven Soderbergh film, King of the Hill, and the indie feature, Race You to the Bottom, for which she won the Best Actress Award at Outfest. She spent three years as Tara Maclay on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Tom Mandrake is a comic book illustrator whose moody style has made him the perfect choice to depict dark heroes and horror. Titles he has worked on include: Batman, The Spectre and Martian Manhunter (DC Comics); X-Files/ 30 Days of Night ( Wildstorm); Wolverine and The Punisher (Marvel Comics) and To Hell You Ride with Lance Henrikson and Joe Maddrey (Dark Horse Comics).

DavidRaiklenDavid Raiklen is a producer, composer, songwriter, host, and crowdfunder best known for the record breaking film series Space Command. He’s scored hundreds of films, television shows, and games, including Heist (New York Film Critics Choice), I Am Omega, Disney’s Sing Me a Story, Batgirl, The X-files Movie, the documentaries Atlantis and Worth—winner of over 30 international prizes and awards. He’s also won multiple awards including a 2004 American Music Center Grant, three Telly Awards, and the 2009 Park City Festival Audience Choice and Gold Medal. David is host of SciFi Soundtrack, appearing on the Hugo award winning Starship Sofa series. In addition to Neil Gaiman on Blood Kiss, David has worked with billionaire Jerry Buss, Academy Award© winner Elliott Gould, and director John Landis.

Daniela di Mase is a quadrilingual powerhouse actress/producer, originally from DanieladiMaseCaracas, Venezuela. A Meisner trained actress, she has studied filmmaking around the world, including Italy, France, Miami, and Los Angeles. Daniela brings years of experience, passion, and drive to Blood Kiss, and is excited to work with this amazing team. In addition to Blood Kiss, Daniela and her producing partners have four feature length films in various stages of development, including Mirgage with director Fred Keller.

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