As you might have guessed, we’re pretty interested in seeing how the CineCoup competition wraps up. While it’s a Canadian contest, I really hope that theaters across the world take notice of the amazing content, talent and attention this competition has drummed up out of the indie market. It’d be great to see other theaters take up the challenge of supporting up and coming talent.
As the competition draws closer to the end, I thought I’d check in with the WolfCop team to see how things are shaping up for them. Just recently they managed to get into the CineCoup’s Top Ten and in just two days they will be competing for a spot in the Top Five. From there the winner will be decided by a panel of judges and then be given a million dollars and a guaranteed showcase in CineCoup theaters across Canada. It’s the ultimate prize package for any small production team.
Director Lowell Dean (13 Eerie) talked with us about what the competition has been like, the nature of the challenges, and what’s going on with WolfCop. You can check it out below. If you missed our first interview with the WolfCop team, you can check it out here.
With the CineCoup contest nearly over, how would you describe your experience with the competition?
The competition has been overwhelming and all consuming, but a great experience. It feels a lot like a political campaign, which inspired our current “Vote WolfCop” imagery that we are using. We are running a grassroots campaign, trying to hammer home our message of what WolfCop is all about and why people should support it. We are shaking hands and trying to make sure WolfCop doesn’t bite any babies. But – unlike with politics – the agenda we are pushing on the masses is a werewolf cop movie, so it’s a a fun idea to get behind and sell.
Every week your team, along with the other CineCoup competitors, had to go head-to-head in different challenges. What would you say was the most difficult challenge to complete? Do you have a favorite?
They are ALL difficult missions due to the short turn around from idea to final product – often less than a week – but I’d say the most difficult one for us was “The Pitch”. It was the very first mission, and we literally had no idea what to expect! How should we introduce ourselves? What would the other 92 teams do? The point of that first mission was to talk about your three person team, and since one of our team members was out of town for work, we decided the most appropriate thing for our campaign would be to hint that WolfCop had killed her. In retrospect that first mission presented us with quite a few challenges (!) but it was very rewarding, too.
In terms of favorite mission I would say “Spin Off” because we got to hint at all the fun ways we could explore the WolfCop universe beyond just the feature film (video games, graphic novels). We’ve already been dreaming and talking about these ideas for a while, so that challenge excited us.
WolfCop seems like a movie that would be hard to sell to people and yet the concept has really caught on. Were you guys surprised at how well people took to the idea? Why do you think there has been such a positive response to it?
I am very surprised and motivated by the response. I spent a long time thinking I was the only one who would like the idea of WolfCop; well myself and my producers at Echolands Creative (Bernie Hernando, Hugh Patterson). They really got behind the idea from the start and encouraged me to make it my next project. I feared it might be too high concept. I knew walking the lines of horror and comedy would be hard. We designed our concept trailer to really sell the tone and set up and that first extended look at the character to make sure viewers knew we could pull it off! The fact that our trailer has been embraced by our core audience and beyond feels pretty amazing!
When it came to the top ten, did you feel like you had it in the bag or were you anxiously awaiting the news?
I was very anxious about the top 10 announcement. I am always anxious, because you never know! You want to THINK people will like your idea, but you can’t climb into all their brains and inception them into supporting you. Believe me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work. It just gets messy.
All you can do is present your message as clearly and as passionately as possible. I am flattered we made the top 10. Top top 60, top 40, top 15, top 10; each step has been an exciting milestone.
In the Spin Off challenge, you were asked to create different ways WolfCop could be marketed. Among the ideas thrown around were a kids cartoon, toys, comic books and even a retro style fighting game. How did you go about creating the different mockups?
We are lucky that we have a talented team behind us. Emersen Ziffle who does the special effects makeup forWolfCop designed the prototype action figure. I should also point out that he will NOT let me play with it. He’s worried I might break it, and perhaps rightly so. So I’m patiently waiting for us to have the financing to make some more. He also designed the graphic novel image based on a scene from our feature.
Richard Jestadt, a talented graphics artists (he does digital special FX for feature films) lent us his talent for the Mortal Kombat style mock up video game. Again, we only have a week for each challenge so their contributions are even more impressive when you think of it. I just imagine what type of WolfCop games, merchandise and story expansions we could create if we had a longer stretch of time. The possibilities are limitless!
At this point, what’s going on with the actual WolfCop film? Are you guys working on it now or does that come after the results of the competition?
We are still in development. We have optioned our project to CineCoup. I’ve written the script, and been refining it for the past year. Right now we are basically putting all our energy into the CineCoup campaign, trying to win so that we can get that guaranteed budget and the opportunity to have our project in theatres all across Canada. If we don’t win, there is still a chance WolfCop will be made. I’d like to think a good chance based on all the feedback we’ve been getting from both on the CineCoup page and sites all around the world.
When it comes to the violence in WolfCop, are you looking to capture something that’s over the top and fun or a more visceral and raw experience?
I think violence that seems real and raw will illicit the best audience response, so we will aim for reality as much as possible. That being SAID, since most of our violence involves a big angry monster (!) I’m sure it will feel pretty over the top at times. Especially when he uses those sharp claws of his. Some over the top stuff is bound to happen! We will approach each moment in the film with as much reality as possible, because I think that makes the outcome all the more absurd. I hope that answers your question.
If people want to vote for WolfCop where should they go and what should they do?
Please, don’t make me inception you! Just join the CineCoup web page. It’s free and very easy (especially through facebook). Here’s a YouTube video on getting started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMrvj68XW-U&feature=youtu.be
Earn as many votes as possible on the site. Here’s a brief run down made by Bernie, one of our producers, on some quick ways to earn votes: http://www.echolands.ca/2013/05/25/top-10-quickest-ways-to-earn-votes-for-wolfcop/
Then, between May 30 and June 2nd uses those votes for WolfCop: http://www.cinecoup.com/Wolfcop
If we make it into the Top 5 we might have an honest shot at actually geting WOLFCOP into theatres nation wide. That would be a dream come true for myself, our whole team, and anyone who wants to see a kick ass werewolf cop movie up on the big screen!