THE JOURNEY BEGINS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
In his blog “Of Short Films and Series,” Avi gave an excellent picture of how an idea that came to light in 2001 eventually grew into the Cupid and Eros web series. This is what excites me so much about the creative process and how one should never give up on an idea that has been in the back of their minds. It also highlights that you need to surround yourself with people that also have a passion for creating and that share in your vision. Of course the picture may change slightly, as Avi noted that Eros was originally a guy and through our discussions (I don’t recall if I was the one to recommend this change but thanks Avi for the shout out), making Eros female took the idea to the next level and allowed the characters to expand in scope, emotions and conflicts.
So let me digress for a bit because I remember that first meeting very well. The team, Avi, Jo, Jeff, Erin and myself wanted to make something together and this meeting was exciting for all of us because one, well as you know in LA it is hard to get a time where a group this large and busy can get together and two, we all had seen some un-entertaining films, shorts and web series being produced by others in the area and we knew we had the talent to create something spectacular. I don’t mean that to sound conceited as I am a modest guy, really, but if you don’t believe in yourself and your vision then you won’t bring your “A game.”
And so each of us threw out an idea or two and if I remember correctly, Cupid and Eros was the first mentioned. We all immediately loved the idea but knowing the costs of production for a bar scene (extras, a location, lighting equipment, etc), we moved on to other ideas. Well as you can imagine, we’d discuss one idea and then someone would comment on Cupid and Eros. There’d be another idea and then we’d be back to Cupid and Eros. So needless to say, the group ended the night with Avi agreeing to write a draft and if the excitement was still there, we’d look at ways to make it happen. And as you can guess, the script made all of us even more excited.
I think a lot of people not in the production business, and probably some in the biz, think a film happens fast. But the opposite is really true, even for a short or a web series. From the draft we had several meetings to flesh out the character arcs, at one time there was even talk that the story would make a great feature (and I believe it still could). So fast forward a little and when the opportunity for Avi to submit three episodes of a web series to the NYU-Web Series Showcase Avi talked to everyone about the short becoming a web series which would allow us to make a continuing story and really develop the characters in the mortal and godly world.
Working with the constraints of a webisode can be challenging, especially when you need to end on a cliffhanger and you want to make sure you have a clear and concise story arc that keeps your audience engaged while also keeping each episode six minutes or less. Well I have to say that Avi was brilliant because he almost instantly determined that we could present a complete arc over three episodes and with this layout, end each episode on a cliffhanger and meet the running time. So over the next couple of months, or maybe 6 – time goes by so fast, Avi drafted the scripts for the three episodes that eventually blossomed into the finished webisodes that you can see today. As the scripts were nearing completion, I begin the process of building the entire team and other pre-production activities that would allow us to actually make Avi’s visions a reality – I cannot tell you how excited I was. But that’s enough about the production process, from my standpoint, for now anyway. Call me a tease but I assure you that in a future blog, I’ll write about the immense work from the talented cast and crew that went into bringing the episodes to you.