View Part Two here!
GateWorld: How long have you known about an interest from SCI FI Channel?
Amanda Tapping: We’ve known of the interest for quite some time, but we were waiting for SCI FI to make the official announcement. We were waiting for the contract to be finished. [I’m] pretty excited!
We’ve been toying with the idea of producing the show for television as well as keeping an Internet interactive component, but actually utilizing the television format as well. SCI FI is the perfect fit for our show. So of all the networks that had shown interest we were the most excited about SCI FI.
It’s a long, drawn-out process. It was a long time coming. We crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s and the announcement finally came out today. We were like “Wohoo! OK, here we go.” Now it’s just a matter of inking the rest of the world broadcast deals, which are all falling into line. So yeah, it’s a really exciting time.
GW: What’s going to happen to Sanctuary as an Internet series?
AT: I think what we’ll do is, ideally in our perfect world, we will create a different and distinct version for the Internet. There’ll be added scenes or bonus features that will appear on the Internet that you won’t get on television. And of course we’re still looking at an Alternate Reality Game model.
AT: I think our intention was to try and launch a completely Internet series, but the model doesn’t work yet to monetize it. The business model just doesn’t work. It’s too easy to pirate everything on the Internet, which we encouraged initially because we thought “At least it gets the word out there.” But it’s too hard financially to make a completely Internet series work of this scale, with this kind of budget.
GW: How will this move affect the show in the long run? The original idea was to get it in multiple markets, from comics to ARG’s.
AT: It won’t affect that at all. This is simply the broadcast model for us. SCI FI is our U.S. broadcaster. They’ll have some of the digital rights that they’ll be streaming it through their site [SCI FI Pulse]. But in terms of all the other ancillary streams that we’re looking at it’s not effected by that at all. It would be much the same as any television series that decides to branch out and do, for lack of a better word, merchandising. So it doesn’t affect that at all.
GW: Take a movie like “Cloverfield.” Not all the information was on screen. You had to go online to figure out all that was happening.
Tapping as the “enigmatic” Dr. Helen Magnus
AT: We want to do it too, in a fun and intelligent way. We want the fans to have to find ways in to the site that make it kind of fun. Helen Magnus may be up on Facebook. Make it fun!
We talked about that back in January of ’06 when Damain was first showing the script to Martin and I about the different ways you could throw this out. And we certainly talked about it last year when we were shooting the pilot. Wouldn’t it be great if Helen was on Facebook? If Bigfoot was on Facebook? So that’s still very much in the offing.
GW:Why do you think they want the pilot retooled? What’s the rationale behind that?
AT: We’re kind of excited about that prospect, to be honest with you, because it does give it a different component than what was on the Internet. Without giving away too much information, they had some interesting notes, some of which initially I was like, “No, we can’t do that.”
With the rewrites and the reworking of it, we’re bringing in a lot more of Will’s back-story. A lot more of the relationship between Will and Magnus. The intrigue between the two of them. Why would he come on board to Sanctuary given that he’s got this whole other life outside?
We learn a lot more about Will in the retooled version. We actually learn a lot more about Helen, too. She’s this very “enigmatic character” but we find out a little bit more about her. She’s a bit less cold. There’s a bit more warmth to her. It’s going to be very interesting.
But I think the way the pilot’s playing out right now it’s very cool. We’re breaking stories. The witches will now be a two-part story. There’s a very cool story called “Mother of the Year” right now — working title. It’s Magnus’s struggle. Sam Egan, who we’ve brought on board as an Executive Producer and writer, has come up with a really cool story called “Harvest” that will probably be our third episode.
We’re in this really heady phase of breaking down the season and creating the stories. It’s very exciting.
View Part Two here!