Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Interview With Gregory Connor, Creator of Bennington Gothique Series

If you haven't yet read my previous post Bennington Gothic Web Series, I urge you to do so.

Creator / Filmmaker Gregory Connor has been kind enough to extend his time for in interview with Gothic Romance Reviews.  Read on as Gregory engages me in discussion about himself and his highly-acclaimed gothic series Bennington Gothique.

Stacy:  As a film maker/ director, can you tell me what motivated you towards the gothic/horror genre?

Gregory:  I love to tell stories that move people whether it's romantic or scary in nature.  The Gothic/Horror genre is ideal to accomplish both of those goals -- old dark house, na├»ve young girl, brooding hero, all set to a sweeping dramatic soundtrack.  I like the mystery nature of it.  Discovering what's behind that locked door.

Stacy:  I know I've already watched it (and loved it!), but can you give our readers a short summary of the web series' plot?

Gregory:  Bennington Gothique centers around, Bennington House, a private boarding school for girls surrounded by mystery and the supernatural.  The story begins when Angela Wentworth enrolls into the school in search of answers to her parentage.  She is confronted by means girls and is warned of danger by a young ghost girl. There has been a fire at the local all-boys' school, Whitney Prep, and the young men of Whitney Prep are temporarily being housed at Bennington House which means plenty of romantic drama. 

Stacy:   Did you ever read gothic literature/gothic horror?  If so, what are some of your favorite books/authors?

Gregory:  I was a big fan of Stephen King and Anne Rice.  My favorites were "The Shining," "The Night Shift," "Interview with a Vampire," and "The Vampire Lestat."  Of course, I was a huge fan of the TV show, "Dark Shadows."

Stacy:    How about your favorite gothic horror movies and films?

Gregory:  On film,  I loved the Hammer Dracula films ("Taste the Blood of Dracula," "Vampire Circus," etc.), "The Innocents," and "Wuthering Heights."

Stacy:   Tell us a bit about your background, your hobbies and interests?  People who work in the film industry, and in the arts (screenwriters, novelists, etc)  are usually the most interesting!

Gregory:  I'm originally from D.C.  I attended NYU for writing and California Institute of the Arts for Directing.  I love all types of music and have done some songwriting.  I also enjoy taking dance classes like Dancehall, Broadway and Pop Video.

Stacy:  I know I was impressed by the show.  As a movie-goer, this film is every bit as impressive as anything I've viewed in theaters, or made-for-tv movies.  I know you've been accumulating quite a bit of rewards for this web series.  Can you tell us about those?

Gregory:  We are very excited at the reception that we have received.  We were awarded "Outstanding Cinematography in a Soap Opera" at the LA Web Fest.  We were nominated for Best Cinematography at the NYC Web Fest and nominated for "Best Thriller" at the Vancouver Web Fest.  We have also been shown at DC Web Fest, Holly Web Fest, Miami Web Fest and BentCon (a GBL&T comic convention).

Stacy:  And, for those of us who are fans and are eagerly awaiting the next episode, when do you feel you'll have new material for our viewing?

Gregory:  The rest of the season has been written and it's got some real eye-opening moments.  Also, we introduce a certain family with a taste for blood.  We can't wait to get back into production.

Stacy:  I know you mentioned funding for the film.  If any readers are willing to contribute, is there a website for donations, etc?

Gregory:  Yes, we are currently running an Indiegogo Campaign.  It can be reached via our website or  Donations start at $5.00 and go up $5,000 with perks like t-shirts and even a cameo in the series.  We  have set a high standard with the show and want to continue giving our fans the best we can and being an independent production, we have encountered funding issues so we've turned to crowdfunding for contributions.  Every little bit counts.
Stacy:  As a creative person who obviously knows a bit about throwing a compelling story out there, what creative advice would you give other writers in terms of ideas and inspiration?

Gregory:  Figure out the types of entertainment you like, then write what you love.  Watch classic films by directors like Alfred Hitchcock ("Psycho"), Elia Kazan ("Streetcar Named Desire"), Stephen Spielberg ("Jaws"), etc.  Read books and plays from authors like William Shakespeare and Stephen King.  There's a lot of great television especially on cable.  Even music can be inspirational.  Essentially become a sponge. Then, let the creativity flow and don't be afraid to rewrite!

Stacy:.  And, lastly, what is the professional advice you would give to those who may be striving to write that first screenplay, or novel?  What is the best way to gain a good following and make sure your work gets seen?

Gregory:  Writers can take their careers in their hands just by creating a blog, making their presence known on social media like Facebook and Twitter.  Also, do your research and find your audience. There are all sorts of groups on Facebook and Yahoo.  Use the World Wide Web!

I'd like to extend a gracious thanks to Gregory for taking his time to contribute this detailed interview with me!  We can't wait to see the future episodes of Bennington Gothique!  

Please continue to check the official page for information and full episodes!