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Blood Kiss: Vampire Noir, Starring Amber Benson & Neil Gaiman

IN THE June 8 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMovies,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Blood Kiss is a vampire/noir movie written by award-winning writer Michael Reaves (Batman The Animated Series, Gargoyles, Star Trek TNG). It also stars Amber Benson of Buffy fame and writer Neil Gaiman in his first real acting role (where he’s not playing himself).

Michael, who is in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s Disease, wanted to see this film made and didn’t really have the time to wait around for it to happen in the more traditional route, so he decided to try crowd-funding through KickStarter. Their initial goal of $50,000 has been met, but they are now hoping to raise even more during the few days left of the campaign, which ends on June 14, 2013.

There is also a Blood Kiss graphic novel in the works by well known artist Tom Mandrake (Batman, The Spectre, Martian Manhunter). The graphic novel will expand the story beyond the film and features Mandrake’s remarkable pencils.

Tom Mandrake Sketches of Amber and Neil

Buffy fans will be thrilled to hear that not only is Amber in something involving vampires again, but she finally gets to sing again! For Neil Gaiman fans, it will be fun to see him play something other than himself. Below you will find more info on the crowd funding campaign and how you can help, and you can enjoy some fun videos from Amber, Neil & Tom.

But first, we had the chance to ask Michael, Neil, Amber, and Blood Kiss co-producer David Raiklen, some questions about Blood Kiss.

KRL: Can you share a basic synopsis of the plot?

David: Ruby Day is a world-famous chanteuse who hires hardboiled Detective Joe Belicek to protect her. He investigates and discovers her dark secret. But too late, he’s already in love with her. Set in Golden Age Hollywood with vampires.

KRL: Why vampires & detectives?

Michael: The private eye vs. vampire just seemed cool; they both had so much in common. And when I decided to make it period, then noir was a natural.

KRL: How and why did you get involved in this project?

David: Michael asked me to join an amazing group of creative people including Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson, Michael Reaves, Tom Mandrake, Daniela Di Mase. Plus a unique story, one that could stand out in several genres.

KRL: Who are the different characters involved & who is playing them?

Michael: Joe Belicek is a former LA Homicide Detective turned private investigator. Not cast yet.

Julian Cross- Neil Gaiman plays an eccentric Hollywood director. Neil and I have been friends for around 15 years. solicit his opinion on stuff I’ve done every now and then, and this script was one of those. He liked it, and it was only then did I realize that he’d be perfect for the part of Julian.

Ruby Day- Amber Benson because I loved her look on Supernatural as a vampire, and she proved she could really belt out a tune on the Buffy musical. Plus she loved the script.

KRL: How is this movie going to be different from other vampire movies/stories out there?

Michael: The biggest difference is that there’s nothing supernatural about these vampires. They can’t transform into bats or wolves, nor do they have any problem with crosses, mirrors, or the like. They have toxic shock reactions to silver and sunlight, but everything’s explained in terms of biology. This has been done before in books, but I don’t think it’s been done all that often in ?lm. Then there’s the film noir elements, the private eye, the vamp, the night.

KRL: How does the graphic novel tie in to the movie? Will they be released at separate times or at the same time?

David: The graphic novel will come out ahead of the film and expands on the universe.

KRL: How did the graphic novel idea come to be?

Michael: The graphic novel was first a way to get the movie made, now it’s a extension of the Blood Kiss world. One of the editors at DC hooked me up with Tom, who’s a terrific artist and a very nice guy to boot. Plus, he’s got one of the best names ever. I mean, with a name like Tom Mandrake he had to be either a graphic artist or an international spy. He also loved the script, and his work has certainly been inspirational to us.

KRL: Where does the story of the movie take place?

David: Hollywood 1940.

KRL: Will this movie hit the theatres, indie festivals or go straight to DVD?

David: We’d love to have a theatrical run.

KRL: Once your KickStarter campaign is over, when do you foresee this project being completed?

David: Like the campaign says, by August of next year. It takes a while to make a good movie.

KRL: This is for Neil or Amber, how and why did you get involved in this project?

Neil: What first attracted me to the project was Michael telling me he’d written a part for me. And that it wasn’t a writer. (I’ve played lots of variants on myself now, which is fun, but isn’t challenging.)

KRL: Neil, what made you decide this was the project for you to make the leap to acting?

Neil: Michael Reaves asked me as a personal favor. And there are things you don’t say no to.

KRL: Amber, I hear you are finally going to sing on screen again! How do you feel about that?

Amber: I will be singing for sure! I’ve been relegated to my shower for most of my singing days post Buffy, so Michael asking me to actually sing in front of human beings/vampires was both titillating and frightening.

KRL: Michael, my father had Parkinson’s so I have seen first hand what it can do to someone. I so admire you for pushing forward and completing this project. What about this project inspired you to push through the hardship of your illness?

Michael: Thank you. I wanted to see this film made.

Watch for more updates on Blood Kiss here at KRL & please consider helping fund this movie! There are several different levels of funding and some include some really awesome Blood Kiss rewards! You can learn more here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2126085206/blood-kiss
And you can check out some brand new added rewards here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2126085206/blood-kiss/posts/500490

Editor’s note:
I lost my father to Parkinson’s Disease so this project has a special place in my heart beyond just the fact that I love vampire’s and mystery–I greatly admire Michael for taking this on with his disease and not letting PD stop him from seeing his film become a reality.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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