On April 15th, the same day as Supernatural hits its 100th episode landmark, the first spinoff from the show, Ghostfacers, will premiere with new webisodes on CWTV.com. Jasminka talked with Ghostfacers stars AJ Buckley and Travis Wester while visiting LA and shares her report.
They are our favourite clumsy nut jobs in tv-land. Apart from being ever jealous of the Winchester â€˜douchenozzlesâ€™, they have become ghost hunters that have to be reckoned with. They have a knack for slapstick, over-engagement, drama and finding the perfect moment to put their foot in it. However, it has paid off, it seems. Theyâ€™ve grown in paranormal competence and public presence.
Upcoming April 15th the new original shortform series extension of Supernatural is set to premiere on the CWTV.com, coinciding with the 100th episode of our favourite show.
At the L.A. Salute to Supernatural Convention March last, I was honoured to sit down with the self-anointed greatest ghost-hunters on the planet at a round table for the press and talk about this new instalment they are immensely proud of. In contrast to the somewhat nutty guys who would appear on the convention stage later, I met two humorous men who happen to take their craft seriously and actually are capable to utter sensible sentences. In fact, they were eager to talk about their own show, albeit not giving anything away.
From the first episode the Ghostfacers appeared on Supernatural on, they became favourites with the fans, and justly so. They provided in emotionally taxing episodes a comic relief and were a pain in the ass of the Winchesters, getting pranked, too. We never learned, however, what happened to the stinking fish in their carâ€™s trunk or how they got to Hollywood, but letâ€™s assume they did well, as now they are able to promote their very own digital series.
Developing the webseries, as Travis Wester described with pride, felt organic to them after having been popular side-kicks in the CWâ€™s hit show Supernatural and it should stand on its own, as an independent show about the exploits of the Facers. Actually, the concept of the webseries goes a couple of years back and took a lot of brainstorming work till they were able to shoot it a few months ago, with the executive production of McG, Peter Johnson, Jeff Grosvenor, Eric Kripke and Phil Sgriccia. Names that epitomize high quality television. This showâ€™s writers are AJ Buckley, Patrick J. Doody, Chris Valenziano and Travis Wester. Get ready for some serious (come on, seriously?) fun.
The episodes will air as couples, the first two launching the series on April 15th, followed by two additional episodes each Thursday for the following four weeks. They will tell us about the new adventures of the Facers in documentary-style fashion, beginning with the investigation of the haunting of a local theatre by the spirit of a young starlet (Kelly Carlson), who, according to legend, was murdered in front of her dressing room mirror.
Upon being asked which episode the fans would like in particular, Travis wasnâ€™t able to leave even one of them out. He exclaimed (without giving away any spoilers, cool guy) why we would love the first episode which was a necessity to understand episode two, and if we liked episode two we would have to see episode three, and episode four was crucial for the whole seriesâ€¦. In short: donâ€™t miss one single episode.
â€˜Letâ€™s put it this way: if I was a fan of Supernatural, and I loved the Ghostfacers episodes, I would love the web series. If you hated the episodes, youâ€™re still going to like the web series. Trust me,â€™ Travis stated. Of course we trust him, donâ€™t we?
The web series will bring back the enthusiastic leader of the operation, Ed Zeddmore (Irish-born AJ Buckley who can also be seen on CSI: N.Y. and founded his own production company Fourfront Productions) and Harry Spengler, the teamâ€™s co-founder and tactical specialist (Travis Wester, who was lately to be seen in various episodes of tv shows like Dirt, Cold Case and Bones). They are joined by Maggie Zeddmore, Edâ€™s adopted sister, tech-genius and (maybe) Harryâ€™s love interest (Brittany Ishibashi, to be seen in Notes From The Underbelly), and videographer and occasional shaman Kenny Spruce (Austin Basis, also known from Life, Unexpected, Curb Your Enthusiasm and NCIS). A new intern is also to be found, played by Mircea Monroe.
Travis had nothing but praise for her, especially as she brings some spice to the show: â€˜Sheâ€™s really hot. It creates tension. Coming from personal experiences of being a total geek and stuff, when Iâ€™m hanging out with all my geek buddies and then a hot chick rolls up, thereâ€™s a real intense tension because no one knows how to act around a hot chick. I think we kind of wanted to explore that.â€™
At the L.A. Supernatural Convention they shared a glimpse of the web series which raised a roar of excited joy from the fans attending the convention. Unfortunately, there were no spoilers of the web series, which is logical â€“ with episodes being three to four minutes in length, an actual scene of a minute would probably give away too much. So, people, tune in and watch the show.
Whoever misses the show on the CWTV.com will have another chance, since all 10 episodes of Ghostfacers will migrate to TheWB.com on Monday, June 7th.
Listening to the stars rave about their very own digital show was pure joy. AJ Buckley, who arrived a bit later to our little press meeting, explained the arc of their characters as this: â€˜We wanted to laugh with the characters and cry with them and be afraid with them, all kind of the same time. Each character has its own journey. Thereâ€™s the light heartedness of the Ghostfacers, but they have real scares and real drama and real stakes. Thereâ€™s this whole bit that we tied into losing Corbett and how that affected each characterâ€™s dynamic and what that means. If another one of our Facers is in trouble, how much higher are the stakes?â€™
Travis added: â€˜We donâ€™t want Ghostfacers to just be this slapstick â€“ laugh out loud thing. Theyâ€™re real people with real emotions, and theyâ€™re facing real tension: killer ghosts. You can be funny to a point, but at a certain point itâ€™s time to face up and take a look at what youâ€™re dealing with, and itâ€™s intense.â€™
This is essential for any actor if he wants to bring across a real person â€“ no matter how crazy the character might appear (and weâ€™ve had crazy spelled out in Ghostfacers a few times within Supernatural), he needs to understand the characterâ€™s intentions and emotional life and take that seriously, even if the character is a total geek. Also, the guys really seem to like their characters which comes across and will enhance the show even more.
I was wondering how much of the Facersâ€™ scenes in Supernatural were actually improvised (as they come across immensely spontaneous) and had they ever been at liberty to ad lib, and AJ described that they often improvised during rehearsals and that some of that found its way into the script.
They are hoping, of course, to expand this web series with even more episodes and another stint in the sixth season of Supernatural, but there is no official information about the return of the Facers to Supernatural as of yet. As soon as the producers confirm any of it, weâ€™ll let you know. I doubt there is one fan out there who would not like to see Ed, Harry & Co. return to Supernatural.
â€˜I think, honestly, Kripke will be the decider,â€™ Travis said, â€˜theyâ€™re doing a pretty intense story arc, so obviously we live in the same universe, and we make reference to the bigger show, but I think should this go further â€“ and hopefully weâ€™ll get to continue â€“ then weâ€™ll sit down and really figure some stuff out.â€™
Upon being asked which urban legend they would like to encounter, should there be any more episodes for them, AJ and Travis gave away to not be experts on that subject. Okay, guys, buckle up then and read your mythology books in case you donâ€™t want to rely on the Winchester douchnozzles again.
At this point I told them that there were many fans on our site rooting to the appearance of a zombie alligator, and AJ eyed me with surprise. He liked the idea and I asked him to pass it on to Kripke. Should he really do that (which, of course, I have no chance of knowing), we might get luckyâ€¦ Letâ€™s hope for the best.
With what they were at liberty to give away itâ€™s safe to assume that the webseries will be nothing but a success, as there are hardly more endearing ghost hunters to be found anywhere on the web or on TV.
Thanks to WBâ€™s publicist Chris McLaughlin for graciously answering many of my questions at the convention and later via email, and to Danielle Turchiano who most generously shared her notes from the press meeting with me as my notebook (with a couple of other books) vanished from my luggage and I had not enough mental notes to draw information from. I highly appreciate this classy gesture.