Kate Green is no stranger to the industry with over 17 years of film and television experience under her belt. But this time around she's ready to take on the world of web series and she's already making a splash. Green is co-creator to NarcoLeap, a sci-fi series starring Chelsey Reist and Nicole Oliver. Learn more about the series with our interview with Green and as always, be sure to watch, share and like the trailer!
netTVnow: The trailer keeps audiences captivated and leaves them with a million questions, what can you tell us about the series without giving too much away?
Kate Green: Heather Atkins has never been very remarkable. Things don’t get any easier when her persistent teenage lethargy escalates into full blown Narcolepsy. As if things weren’t bad enough she begins waking up from these vivid dreams screaming. The dreams are always in different places but have a recurring theme; being trapped in someone else’s body. With the help of her only friend, Antony, she investigates what is happening to her only to learn that she is actually commandeering the bodies of real people across the globe. Heather soon discovers that her ‘superpower’ is something the military wants to use as part of a covert operation turning people that can astral project into trained assassins. It isn’t long before Heather is on the run fighting to stay alive and to stay awake.
NTN: Where did the concept for the series come from?
KG: I was working with a young writer, Donald Auger, and I mentioned that I was looking for a project in the sci-fi genre to develop and direct. We had also had some brief discussions about how important it was for me to have strong female leads in the projects that I produce and direct. A few weeks later Donald came back to me with an idea about a woman who had narcolepsy and could astral project into other people. At that point there was no title so when I suggested NarcoLeap it felt right. We began fleshing out the storylines and characters and once I was accepted into Women in the Director’s Chair the project began to really take shape into what it is today.
NTN: You've previously mentioned that the series was developed through the Women in the Director's Chair program, can you tell us more about that?
KG: The WIDC Story & Leadership Program for directors was one of the most career defining training opportunities that I’ve ever had. Only eight mid-level female directors from all across Canada were chosen to participate. You had to apply with a project and over the course of a two-week intense boot camp style and three months of follow up, each of our projects went through story notes, acting workshops, casting workshops, fight choreography theory, character analysis and much more.
NarcoLeap has benefited immensely having gone through this process. The characters are deeper, the stakes are higher, and the series engine will keep the audience coming back for more.
NTN: Before jumping back into NarcoLeap, can you share a bit of your background in the industry?
KG: I’ve been an independent producer and director for many years and have worked in both fiction and non-fiction. My ‘day’ job is usually working in the factual, documentary, reality television world which I love. Having experience in this sector of the industry has been really pivotal in strengthening my story telling skills. When you are in the trenches anything can happen, so you have to know your story. You have to be able to direct people and you have to make your day. You learn to be very creative and even when you are working on a large network show you still get to have an impact on the final product even as a producer.
NTN: Is this your first web series? If so, what made you pick this format versus others?
Yes. I think as a creator and director, you are really challenged to tell a clear, engaging story within this format and I love a challenge! As a producer, I find there are more opportunities within the business model for financing short form content.
NTN: You've mentioned rounding out your team with some kick ass women, how important is it to you that more and more women are getting this exposure and well deserved recognition in the industry?
KG: This is of huge importance to me right now. I feel like women are standing at a moment in time in this industry, where it’s ours for the taking. Training is great, but now it’s time we get out there and do it! We can only do that if we create opportunities for each other. We must stick together and we must support each other’s projects.
NTN: Have you worked with IPF before? If not, how did you hear about them?
KG: No I haven’t worked with the IPF before but I’ve known about them for a few years now. We were lucky enough to have Andra Sheffer, CEO at Independent Production Fund, Cogeco Program Development Fund, to come and speak as one of our mentors through Women in the Director’s Chair.
NTN: That's amazing! What was it like putting together the trailer? I've found that a lot of IPF submissions have created trailers specifically for the series, instead of clip together a few scenes from the whole series itself, what was the process for you?
KG: Well, it was a bit of a scramble to be honest. I had a lot of conflicting schedules to work with and no money. However, I did mention that I love challenges, and these are the elements that force you to be creative and tell your story the best way you can with what you have. I did have an amazing producer too, Emily Keller. Emily really brought it all together and found us an incredible location. Our crew was so great too and it was awesome having people on set and in post that believed in the project and wanted the best for it. And of course, Chelsey (Reist) and the actors showed up ready to work and give it their best. I’ve known Chelsey for many years and am always blown away by how hard she works to give you what you need.
FUN FACT: I met Chelsey when I cast her as the host of a travel show I was producing & directing 10 years ago. It was a fun little show with a fun little budget, which meant Chelsey and our crew of three, myself included, traveled all over British Columbia and Alberta in a rented RV Camper. Cramped quarters leads to lots of bonding!
NTN: Where do you hope the web series community will be in the next few years?
KG: I hope that it continues on the path that it is on because that will mean more connection, and more great content.
NTN: Why do you think more and more creators and even more well-known actors (like your cast) are turning to web series?
KG: There is an immediate or perhaps closer connection to your audience and fans with web series. Especially if your audience is a younger demographic. I also believe there is a little more freedom creatively and more opportunities to be involved in more than just one role. For example, Nicole Oliver, is playing Heather’s mother, and also guest directing one of the episodes. Something like that may not happen on a large network show.
NTN: What are you most excited for in regards to NarcoLeap?
KG: Wow! Where to start? I feel so lucky to have had two amazing actresses come on board already, the team in production and post starting to be attached, and the fans that are showing their support online. We do have some really great bonus content planned for VR as well.
People who know me also know that tenacity is my middle name, so even if the IPF doesn’t happen I already have a few other options up my sleeve. But we’ll save that for another interview!
NTN: Any other upcoming projects you'd like to share or anything else you'd like to add?
KG: Yes, thank you, I just completed a short documentary called Melting Stars about the star fish along the west coast from Alaska to Mexico turning into white goo. It is the largest species die-off in recorded marine history. The film is premiering at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival on the 31st and more screenings will be announced on our Facebook page.