Interview with NarcoLeap Executive Producer/Director Kate Green
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with the director and executive producer of Narcoleap Kate Green. The story follows a young narcoleptic woman who discovers that, during her lucid dreams, she’s commandeering the bodies of real people across the world. KGP Films Narcoleap Season Two is now available. The cast includes Chelsey Reist, Madison Smith, Austin Eckhert, Nicole Oliver and Aleks Paunovic. Season two of Narcoleap also includes Cameron Bancroft and Nhi Do.
1. Can you describe how you came up with the concept of NarcoLeap?
I had been looking to direct narrative work and started collaborating with a new writer on various short film ideas when I expressed my interest to him about doing a sci-fi series. I knew I wanted to do something that had a female lead kicking butt and I also wanted to work with Chelsey Reist. It was important to me to tell a story about coming of age and learning to navigate life and relationships from a female perspective. Unfortunately, the idea that the writer came back with was too similar to Stranger Things. I had then been accepted into the Women in the Director’s Chair Program and decided to re-work and create the series that NarcoLeap is today.
2. Do you have any tips for writing a script?
Don’t underestimate the importance of developing your concept and series outline before heading into the script stage. Executive Producer Jon Cooksey came on board for season two and it was a pleasure to work with someone who is so experienced and giving with his encouragement. Jon is really meticulous about hashing out the story before even writing a line of dialogue and that made our job easy. By the time that Jon, David Schmidt, and myself went to write the scripts it was very clear on where each episode was going to start and finish.
3. Were there any challenges in your journey going into Season 2?
Yes, a lot. I had received some funding right off the bat and I figured that was going to trigger the rest. Unfortunately, it didn’t. I had planned to make what we could with the money we had which meant probably only four episodes. Then the pandemic hit. Production was shut down and we kept pushing it until things opened up again. It was a major stress not knowing if our actors, and some of our key crew, would still be available. COVID also added a lot more expense to the project that simply wasn’t budgeted for. As an indie production you don’t have the financial backing of a studio so we had to figure out where that money was going to come from. I perhaps foolishly forged ahead anyways. I was determined to get it in the can. Then about two weeks before we went to camera The Bell Fund came through with the remaining money. I felt like I had gone to Vegas and bet the house and won. It made the last two weeks of prep madness; however, I had an incredible co-producer in Amber Orchard who is basically a goddess of organization.
4. What was it like filming during a pandemic?
As a director, I realized that I use my face and expressions when talking with actors a lot. It was a good exercise in articulation and learning to be more succinct with direction. It definitely slowed down the process, but everyone knew the importance of taking precaution. We also decided to re-write some of our scenes so we could work outside as much as we could so the actors were not confined to small spaces.
5. Do you have any advice for future female filmmakers wanting to work in the film industry?
Whether you’re a man or woman, my first piece of advice is always be nice to everyone. You never know where that PA or coordinator will be in a few years. They could be the one who you are asking a job from before you know it. As a female director, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to listen to my gut. Everyone on set will have ideas and it’s great to collaborate and listen to them. Ultimately though, you are the director and if you have a vision, stick to it. From my observation, I think women may struggle with this more than men. Find your voice and use it!
6. You have quite the interest in Sci-fi. Some of your favorite shows include Star Trek: Next Generation, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica and Quantum Leap. Who was your favourite character from each show and why?
Wow! You’ve done your homework on me. Here it goes;
Star Trek: Next Generation; Picard – I love Patrick Stewart and sometimes I wondered where Stewart ended and Picard began. However, I love that Picard is intelligent, logical, very moral and a master of diplomacy. I loved the Borg episodes the best.
Fringe; Dr. Walter Bishop – Played by John Noble. Again, I loved the acting and I think it was the portrayal of a highly intelligent but slightly mad scientist. Ultimately, Walter just wanted a relationship with his son and that made him so endearing to me.
Battlestar Galactica; President Laura Roslin, Number Six, and Starbuck – What can I say, I like powerhouse ladies!
Quantum Leap; Ugh, so tough…I’ll have to go with Al – I think there’s always room for comedy within sci-fi and this is a great example.