Sci-Fi News exclusive interview with Fraser Coull the creator of web series Cops and Monsters

Sci-Fi News exclusive interview with Fraser Coull the creator of web series Cops and Monsters

Fraser Coull formed his own production company "Silly Wee Films" in 2007 after working in the industry for several years as a production management assistant/runner with the BBC. Having wrote, directed and produced several projects he is now turning his attention to his latest project, the Scottish based Cops and Monsters, a new web series which launched earlier this year.

Cops and Monsters is a 6-part series with 20 minute episodes written by Fraser Coull, Amanda Kane and Ian Smith. Set in an alternative Scotland 5 years from now, the country voted YES for independence but didn't count on vampires, werewolves and zombies emerging from the shadows, all asking to be a part of everyday society.

So Fraser, where did the idea of Cops and Monsters come from?

I was at Collectormania Glasgow last year, an event where for two years previous we had been promoting our feature film "Night is Day". It felt strange not being there promoting anything and being a "civilian". I bumped into a supporter of that film and she told me to just "Make something!" and from there I started forming this idea of a team policing vampires, werewolves and zombies.

When you launched the project on indiegogo, what were your expectations and had you ever had experience of crowd-funding before?

This was the 3rd crowd-funding campaign we had did and our 2nd completely successful one. It's such a gamble and I always feel cheeky asking strangers to fund my projects but here in Scotland there are so few opportunities to make our work. I'm very grateful to everybody who put in a £1 or £100 to help us make our mini-sode as it helped us ensure the cast and crew got paid. You can't really go in with expectations because your project is either going to connect with people or it won't. We were very lucky that Cops and Monsters seems to be going down well with people.

You must be proud to be working with great names from Doctor Who, Torchwood, Waterloo Road, Taggart, River City and Burnistoun, did you find it difficult to attract cast members with the series being crowd-funded and not backed by traditional corporations?

It's very reassuring that these fantastic actors have agreed to give us their time to work on our project. Of course having these names attached can only help raise our profile but first and foremost they are talented actors and right for the roles they are playing. Plus it means fans of these shows get to see their favourite actors in something new and something a little bit different. If a traditional corporation would like to back us we wouldn't oppose. (he laughs)

Now you have finished filming the Cops and Monsters minisode "The Weapon", what reaction have you been getting from both the public and professionals in the industry?

The public seem to really enjoy it and want more. We gained a good chunk of new Twitter followers after screening it at Em-Con and even received some donations for series 1 so I think that says a lot. The professionals have been very encouraging. The team know there are elements we can improve on as we've had conversations so now we will move onto the series with notes from industry professionals and aim to make the best show possible with the funding afforded to us by members of the public.

You have been doing a lot of promotion at events and conventions up and down the country, do you and the cast enjoy getting to meet fans of the show?

It's nerve-wracking! People who make shows that are on TV can read people's reactions online, where we can see it on their faces... so that side of it is slightly stressful but this show IS for the public, it is for people who like Doctor Who, Being Human, Torchwood, Supernatural etc., so it's nice when people tell us they enjoy it. The cast love it too because they get to pose for photos and get feedback.

We hear you have just launched a new crowd-funding campaign to fund the main series of Cops and Monsters, can you tell us about it and how much you are hoping to raise?

It's a whopper, I won't deny that. Our minisode was shot in 1 day and we needed £2000 to pay everybody, rent the equipment, make the costumes, buy the props and pay for the makeup. We're shooting 6 episodes in 12 days, with each episode being 20 minutes long. We've got a lot more of everything we need to pay for this time so we are asking for £29,110. O2's Think Big kindly granted us £300 and we will be looking into sponsorship from businesses who want their brand advertised within the series etc.

Being a digital series opens up so many opportunities for us - we're not just going to be screened in the UK; we've got the world open to us. If you've got the internet and can access YouTube you can watch our show.

If 966 people pledge £30 each then we'll hit our target and they'll get unique perks in return.

So... Tell us something no one else knows about Cops and Monsters!

Our teaser episode, "The Weapon", was originally a 2 minute trailer with Eve (played brilliantly by Kirsty Strain) pretending to be drunk walking through one of the dangerous zones in the country, where a vampire would try to take advantage of her and bite her, only for her to turn it around and corner the vamp, his cronies would arrive and Eve would fight them, soon to be joined by the rest of the PITS team (Paranormal investigation team Scotland). It showed off the main characters a little bit but it wasn't working and so we completely re-wrote it and it changed into a 9 minute episode.

Sarah Louise Madison recently agreed on Twitter that the team at our parent company UK Conventions Limited should be her Vampire Gang in the upcoming series, when do we sign the paperwork!?

If you can get to Glasgow in June or July you're more than welcome to be in the series. We've got "Be a Monster" perks where you can be a vampire, werewolf or zombie! What are you waiting for?

Finally, what can we expect from Cops and Monsters in the future?

At the moment we've planned the initial 6 episodes, we ask a lot of questions and answer a fair amount but the writing team (Ian Smith and Amanda Kane) and I have discussed where it could go next. In an ideal world we might get picked up by a digital platform (Netflix, Amazon) or STV/BBC Three, where we will be afforded a bit more of a budget and can make either more episodes or longer episodes. There are so many wonderful actors out there that I am just dying to work with (David Tennant, Zachery Levi, Cirstin Miloti) that I would love to get involved.

Thank you for your time, I know we can't wait to see more of Cops and Monsters in the future and hope the new crowd-funding campaign is successful. Anyone wishing to find out more about Cops and Monsters can visit the official website at copsandmonsterswebseries.wordpress.com and support the series on crowd-funding site indiegogo at www.indiegogo.com/projects/cops-and-monsters-supernatural-digital-series.

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09:49 pm (GMT) 09:49 pm (GMT)
Author :
UK Conventions
News Team
Date :
5th April, 2014 Time :
06:26 PM (GMT) Category :
General
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