Sunday, 13 April 2014

Inteview With Scott Fogg, Writer, Filmmaker, Whovian and Podcaster

I had this really great intro written up to tell you all about Scott (well not ALL about otherwise why bother having all these questions and answers below, right?) and somehow I managed to lose the file that I wrote it up on. Real smooth, huh? 

That's ok though because really all you need to know about him is two things: 1. He has a cool name. Scott Fogg? That's like some kick-ass pulp detective/action hero name. Fogg, Scott Fogg. See? Cool name. I'm jealous. 

Oh yeah and the second thing? He has cool ideas. Seriously. Phileas Reid and the Institute of the Impossible? WAY cool. You don't even need to know what it's about to know that it's awesome. The name ALONE is worth buying it.  

So yeah. That's what you need to know. But here's some questions and answers that will tell you what you SHOULD know about the man. Fogg, Scott Fogg. 
(so jealous...)

1. Hey Scott, thanks for taking the time to do this interview, why don't you give the readers a brief background on who you are and what it is you do?
1.) Absolutely! Thanks for reaching out to me! For those of you who don't know me (which, I'm guessing, is everyone reading this except for my Mom), my name is Scott Fogg and I'm a storyteller. I've been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. From my Transformers and GI Joes, to my Legos, and all the way through film school, I have been telling stories. I've written plays, short films, feature films, web series and last year I began a new chapter in my life as a comic book writer. Also I have two dogs, three cats and a 19 month-old baby that keep me very busy.

2. Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone was where I first came across your name, a Kickstarter that was run in the later part of last year. I loved the art, the concept and especially the tag line of Phileas Reid and the Institute of the Impossible (man, I wish I had come up with something that sounds THAT cool) and so did 267 other backers. For the folks who aren't familiar with it, how about you tell them what the book is about and how it came to be? Why a comic book/graphic novel?

2.) Wow, thanks! I'm really excited about it too! Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone is an all-ages graphic novel about an alien invasion set in 1963 and the four characters that have to band together to save the world. It's a story I've been trying to tell for years now. Sitting on my computer is a screenplay version of it and a novel version of it. Neither of them made me very happy. Everyone who read them really responded to the story, the characters and the ideas presented in the story but everyone (myself included) all agreed that there was something missing, there was something wrong. It wasn't until I was talking to Vito Delsante about it that it clicked with me that this story needed to be a comic book or a graphic novel. That was what was missing. I was working with the wrong medium.

3. As we mentioned, the Kickstarter was a success, do you have any plans in place for doing a second volume or another Kickstarter?
3.) I recently completed a detailed outline for the second novel and have a pretty good idea what the third will be about. I am waiting on writing those, however, until we have completed the first one. I want to get this first book in people's hands. I want to know what they liked about it. I want to know what they respond to (the good, the bad and the apathetic). So I guess I feel like we're only half way through this process. I want to see the whole process from beginning, middle, and end before I decide how to bring Book 2 into the world.

4. How was it you came about finding the people to work with on the book?
4.) The magic of the Internet! For a network of tubes that is 83% cats and duck lips, it has done more for me and my career than any other tool at my disposal. It started with Dean Trippe (writer and author of that wonderful Something Terrible). Back in December of 2011, I interviewed him for my podcast Movies You Should Love. What I thought would be a 30 minute conversation turned into an afternoon-long nerd-out/geek-fest. We became fast friends and went on to launch our own podcast together, The Last Cast (which comes to us from the future, so I guess we stay friends for a very long time). He introduced me to Vito (the aforementioned writer who convinced me to make Phileas a graphic novel). And together the three of us found Marc (via Tumblr) and now Marc and I are thick as thieves, texting each other late into the night with story and character ideas and generally nerding out about all the things grown men should be nerding out about.

5. When I look at the art and the fact that it's an all-ages book, would you ever consider taking this the animation route? Or do you feel that graphic novels are best suited for the Institute's stories?
5.) Oh I hadn't thought of it as an animated movie! THAT WOULD BE THE BEST. With it being such a visual story, it's very easy to imagine it as a film for me. That being said, I always imagined it as a live-action film. But now you have me dreaming of an ongoing kids' cartoon in which the Institute finds itself exploring all the mysteries of the universe in episodic adventures that I could binge watch on Netflix after Fox cancels it after thirteen episodes (despite it clearly deserving six seasons and a movie).

6. What do you have lined up next for Phileas Reid?
6.) I want every book to go in a different direction. The first book is a sci-fi romp in which we discover the nature of the universe. It's about looking ahead and doing what you can to make tomorrow better today. The second book will be more archaeological in nature and will be about coming to terms with the past. You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it and hopefully you'll learn from it. Sorry. That's purposefully vague. 

7. I did some digging and it seems you're into a lot of different things one of which is being the co-host of The Last Cast. What can you tell us about that?
7.) I co-host two podcasts! I co-host Movies You Should Love with my long-time friend and film school veteran Loren Small and sometime in the future I'll co-host The Last Cast with the ghost of Dean Trippe! Both are available on iTunes and both are, if I do say so myself, pretty fantastic. They're both about celebrating the things we love and discussing what makes them great. 

8. Another thing I noticed is that you are a Whovian. Seems to be more and more Dr.Who fans these days- which is your favorite Doctor? And if you had access to the TARDIS, where or when would you go?
8.) I hate picking. I really do. We've had thirteen faces to one really fantastic hero who has continually thrown himself between us and danger. But if I had to . . . If you held something sharp or something ballistic to my head and made me choose . . . I'd have to say Matt Smith. In his run as the Doctor he was not only the kind of hero I love but he was the kind of man I hope to be. I say that as a huge, huge fan of David Tennant. And Patrick Troughton. And Peter Davison.
And if I had the TARDIS . . . I could do anything, go anywhere in time and space. I never knew my grandfathers. One died the summer before I was born the other passed away when I was five. Both died of heart attacks. I would have liked to have known them. I'd go back and spend some time with them. After that, I'd be sure to meet Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Jesus, Magellan, Cole Porter, Baroness Emmuska Orczy and the inventor of Red Vines. 

9. Recommend something that our readers should give a try- whether it be comics, books, movies, etc.
 9.) That thing you've been thinking about doing? Do it. We live in an age where absolutely anything is possible. The only thing standing in your way is you. Life is short (it doesn't always feel that way, but it is). And at the end of it you can either have experiences or excuses. Only you get to decide which you'll have more of. I realized that after reading Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman. So if I could recommend one thing to you, it would be All-Star Superman and whatever dream you've been toying with pursuing.

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