Larry Wilson, best known for his work co-writing and co-producing Beetlejuice and The Addams Family, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a fabulous new web series that’s near and dear to my heart. Why? Because it’s fairytales, but with a twist. Just like I like them. In this new rendition of Cinderella set in contemporary times, you’ve got a mix of reality TV, a fairy godmother with a penchant for “the dust” and a handsome prince that’s a bit past his ball-dancing prime. Check out this Q&A with Wilson to learn more about CINDY and the campaign, which has only eight days left. Also, check out the series’ YouTube channel here.
Q: How did you get the idea to do a fairytale retelling in such a way? Why Cinderella, specifically?
LW: The idea came to me in one of those flash creative epiphanies; as simple as “Cinderella would make a good reality show.” As CINDY developed it actually became about “What would happen if Cinderella was asked to do a reality show?” But the original idea was just all of a sudden there. It happens doesn’t it? The idea for Beetlejuice came to myself and my writing partner, Michael McDowell, in three short phone calls over three days.
Q: Is this your favorite fairytale? Why or why not?
LW: Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are my favorites and I’ve now written scripts (both dark comedies) based on both of them. I have two daughters (Autry, of course, is the star of CINDY). I saw that both Cinderella and Snow White could be about girls getting empowered, rather than girls getting rescued.
Q: How long have you been working on filming? How many episodes are ready for broadcast?
LW: We shot 10 episodes of CINDY over 6 days. They run from about 5 to 10 minutes — so we basically shot a feature length film! Six episodes are edited, all need music and post production — hence the Kickstarter campaign. But I can say honestly, I think we’ve got something really good. We want to be broadcasting in time for Christmas!
Q: How has your experience as a producer with Beetlejuice, Adams Family, etc., colored subsequent work, including this one?
LW: I’ve always worked as a writer/producer and I’ve been privileged to work with some world-class producers (Scott Rudin, David Geffen among them). The lesson is always the same: it all starts with a good script.
Q: Why do dark comedies appeal to you?
LW: I grew up in some fairly dark circumstances and laughter became a survival mechanism. That’s translated into writing dark comedy.
Q: How much money are you hoping to raise with the kickstarter? What will the money allow you to do with the show?
LW: We need to raise just over $18,000 and as I write this we’ve broken the $11,000 mark. Most of the money will go into post-production for CINDY with a bit left over for distribution and publicity.
Q: When will the first episode air?
LW: Like I said, “Merry Christmas from Cindy,” is our goal!
Q: Tell me a bit about the 40-year-old prince, how did that idea come around?
LW: The forty-year-old Prince? As you can see from the CINDY trailer one of our guiding principals was to take all of the conventions of the Disney-ised Cinderella and subvert them in some way. All of the usual fairy tale answers for Cindy are the wrong answers. She’s a girl who ultimately is going to have find her own way.