Interview with RICHARD CUTTING (MILGRAM AND THE FASTWALKERS)
I’d like to introduce my friend, writer, producer, director and actor Rich Cutting. He is the creator, writer and director of Milgram and the Fastwalkers which had over 2.5 million views in it’s first season. http://www.fastwalkerseries.com
Victoria – How did you get the idea / inspiration for Milgram and the Fastwalkers?
Richard – Hi Victoria…Thanks so much for the invitation to talk about the show, and of course for your wonderful performance in Milgram And The Fastwalkers!
The show evolved out of a feature film I wrote years ago after a friend told me the UFO subject might be something to look into. He said almost half of the American population believes they might be real. And as a writer, it is always interesting to look at subjects about which the difference of opinions is strong.
So I waded into UFOs with no particular knowledge about the matter or opinion on it. What I found was a very broad field of inquiry with many, many different types of people and expertise’s involved. Aeronautics, propulsion, psychology, intelligence, agriculture, meteorology, physics, photographic analysis…You name it.
I got to know some of the top researchers in the area of the alien abduction phenomena, people with large case files. And I examined the common narrative they were all describing. Naturally, given the compelling nature of this material, I was drawn to telling this story, particularly after meeting many people who claim to have had the alien abduction experience.
We try on the show to do several things. To give our fans and viewers an exciting and dramatic storyline full of quirky and magnetic characters (your character Claire is a good example…). But I also try and stay as close to the facts as I can, as reported by abductees.
Nothing you see in this show hasn’t been reported in some way or other by the abductees and the people around them. We have dramatized a bit, but basically this is what happens. The abductee is under great stress from two sides because they often have incomplete recall of what is happening to them and they feel crazy. And when they share it they are often ostracized.
It is a very shocking thing not only for the people with alien contact, but also for those around them whose lives are immediately impacted when a contactee decides to openly discuss the phenomena. The wives and husband, the children (many of whom are also abducted), the doctors and co-workers. The phenomena deeply affects peoples’ lives. And usually in a very negative manner.
We don’t really know what is happening to these people. And as Dr. Milgram says, “You don’t get post-traumatic stress without the underlying trauma…”
It is a story worth telling. We hope we tell it well, and urge anyone who hasn’t see the show to give us a look at: http://www.fastwalkerseries.com
PS: ALWAYS run from the lights… 🙂
Victoria – After seeing the impregnation of Sally aboard the alien ship, I plan on becoming a master sprinter to run from the lights. LOL
Victoria – 2.5 million views in your first season is an impressive number! How did you do it?
Richard – We were stunned at getting 2.2 million views in the first two months. Part of it was the fact that we were on the KoldCast Network and they promoted the show on the front page of the network once it started to rocket. We were also very active in social media and started to get nominated for web series awards. This year we are nominated for both the HollyWeb Festival and the Indie Series Awards, so people are really enjoying Season 2 as the plot thickens and things get darker !
Victoria – That is really awesome Rich.
Victoria – Season two – the episodes are a lot longer than season 1, most in the 18-25 minute range. Whereas, season 1 was more in the 7-12 minute range. Why did you decide to go with a longer format and what has been the audience reaction to it?
Richard – Going with fewer but longer episodes was completely by design. Several factors were at play. We are now in that part of the story arc where most of the major characters have been introduced and stood up for our fans. Now they are interacting at deeper levels, with more complex conflicts, most of which are quite serious life and death things. It would be hard to properly evolve these dramatic conflicts in the 7-10 minute web series episode form. And we have the luxury of not having to pace ourselves in a given way. So we are at a point in the story where giving characters time and letting them breath into their next evolutions is important. As a writer, this is heaven. I get to tell the story in a sinewy way across the terrain.
The other factor was purely internal…Could we do regular half-hour TV ? And yes, we did do that. And it was very satisfying to produce a half-hour drama (half hour is more often a comedy format), because going from half-hour storytelling to hour-long is not as hard as going from webisodic 7-minute episodes to half-hour. Clearly our by-now seasoned team of crew and cast can do this quickly and very efficiently.
We have two more seasons already written. And we would totally continue with half-hour, and eagerly seek to do hour-long. But what we need is money. That’s the only thing stopping us. This story has at least two more seasons to go. And there is a whole other spin off waiting in the wings, a separate show that is related but involves a separate world of characters.
Audiences really, really like Season 2, and the most frequent comment they come back with is, “I was totally glued to this episode, then it ended. It is like an HBO show that ends too soon…”
Which tells me we are on the right track, having added a certain hypnotic density to the drama and pacing, the special effects and the music…All in the longer format.
Hot on the heels of our Season 2 finale last month, our fans were immediately after us on social media about when Season 3 will debut because they are jonesing heavily for more already. We are so grateful for their loyalty and appreciation of our show. We LOVE our fans, and they interact very frequently with us.
Now we have to figure out the money so we can get back into production. Its really hard to do this kind of quality on silly-small amounts of production funding. People ask me about our budget and I tell them, “Our budget is two bags of donuts and four rubber bands.” It’s ludicrous, we laugh at it. Then we do it again. It’s insane. Ha. 🙂
Victoria – Yes, there are so many moving parts! I also have had fans and reporters asking me to contact them when season 3 is ready.
Victoria – Can you give us an idea about the direction of season 3, without giving away too much, of course?
Richard – Season 3 will pick up directly from the end of Season 2. Sally’s car accident, while not widely known at the time Season3, Episode 1 opens, will reverberate across the lives of every character in Fastwalkers because Milgram will now have to address the events leading up to the accident, what he did and was unable to do to unravel Sally’s dilemma.
Joe’s demise will draw attention, and Dean Savage PI will become more deeply enmeshed on several fronts.
The aliens have an agenda, and Maria, now in the mix, along with Claire’s drawing certain conclusions, will pressurize events and raise the stakes for both Milgram and the hospital.
Season 3 will see a lot of people beginning to freak either from the direct effects of alien intrusion, or its consequences on those with whom they have relationships.
Victoria – Please tell us a bit about the new show you’re writing and when can we expect to see it?
Richard – I am thinking of calling all the next ones by the same title: “Seeking film financing !” Ha, ha, ha…Because that is where things stand now. I have one feature written and ready to shoot, again a sci-fi film, with a really cool setting. Another feature well along the way in scripting, a contemporary noir. And a new series, which would be a total departure from Fastwalkers, but again involving very strong lead women involved in activities we don’t normally think of with regard to women. We have the teams to do any of these, but we are trying to raise the capital to do them.
Victoria – Thanks Rich, it has been a pleasure speaking with you and working with you. You are a talented man and I look forward to seeing more from you.
Richard – Thank YOU, Victoria ! You are a marvelous performer. Focused and delightfully surprising at every turn. Your fans will love where Claire is going in Fastwalkers. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss the show with them !
Do you have any comments for Richard or Victoria? Please post your comments below in the comments section.
For more on Fastwalkers:
Watch episodes at http://www.fastwalkerseries.com
Like Fastwalkers on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Milgram-And-The-Fastwalkers/120760658003208
Follow Fastwalkers on Twitter – https://twitter.com/thefastwalkers
Subscribe to the Fastwalkers YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/Thefastwalkerseries