Interview with a Vampire Mob Dude

Posted: October 22, 2010 by gabrielstrickland in Gabriel's Rants
Tags: , , , , ,

Favors. I hate owing favors. We have this woman – an elf field reporter with The Purgatory Press – hanging around the Warehouse lately, interviewing every dead supernatural she can pin down (not a hard thing to do when she’s at least seven feet tall). Well, today she comes to me and tells me she needs me to cover an interview for her.

“You look more human than most around here, and this subject is very human,” she spouts.

“Why can’t you do it?” I sure don’t wanna.

“Well, today I have … women problems … and you’ll have to do it for me.”

Yeah, right, she’s got women problems all right. Her problem is that she’s a skyscraping female hot for a four foot nothing troll. Said troll, Crudo Cushman, is the boss man around here and has a few hots for her too. Just imagining it burns my eyes. Either way, I’m stuck. I owe Crudo for keeping a secret about a sweet pixie named Shirley and me … never mind.

So here I go, me, a double-dead vampire out to have a talk with the human writer/director of the web series, Vampire Mob, Mr. Joe Wilson. Who should be interviewing who? I do like I’m told and go to the Starbucks on Sunset in West Hollywood. He looks like a writer/director, the typical creative type who thinks The Purgatory Press is some fun little ditty created as a Halloween entertainment gimmick. Whatever. When I get there I realize I forgot the tape recorder so I’ll be writing the answers on a napkin. Joe doesn’t seem to notice. I explain that the professional interviewer is otherwise detained and I’ll be asking the questions. Poor dude has no clue he’s been stood-up by a dead elf and is facing a twice baked vampire. This should be interesting.

Me: So, Joe. You make a web series about vampires, right? Vampire Mob. What’s the story?

Joe Wilson:  Thanks Gabe.  Can I call you Gabe?

Vampire Mob is about Don Grigioni, a hitman and vampire, who just found out his mother-in-law is moving in for eternity.

The hitman/vampire is played by John Colella (CSI: NY, The West Wing) and his wife Annie, played by Reamy Hall (Criminal Minds), decides to bite her mother without discussing it.  Now Don’s mother-in-law, Virginia played by Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons  / The Bob Newhart Show), is moving in and needs blood to drink.

The season one cast also includes an amazing group of actors including Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Chris Mulkey (Twin Peaks), Jim Roof (Murderabilia), Andrea Cansler (The Groundlings Sunday Company), Cris DAnnunzio (Chasing 3000) and Elizabeth Beckwith (Curb Your Enthusiasm).

Me: Impressed. That’s some terrific cast but … you think humans … uh people … like to fantasize about vampires? Like they really exist and do things just like humans do?

Joe Wilson:  Judging by books, movies and television shows I keep hearing about, it certainly seems that way, doesn’t it?

I think humanity has always had a need for stories, to suspend disbelief and be dropped into a world with characters they can identify with or are at least curious to see in situations that are nothing like their own lives, or similar to their own lives.

Living for eternity, under the right circumstances depending on the vampire mythology, is inherently an interesting world to spend time in and in the case of Vampire Mob, there is also the mafia to contend with.

Me: Mythology. Right. And, I’m guessing you do all the filming late at night? Aren’t you afraid? I mean, don’t you ever wonder if … never mind. You do the filming at night? (Oh shit, just don’t tell me where, last thing I want is some living, sucking vampire showing up at your … pay attention and write down his answers, you idiot!)

Joe Wilson: You guessed right!  All our exteriors are shot at night but we have done some window blocking for day shoots of interiors.  That wasn’t a problem when we were shooting in a tunnel in a castle!

What’s to be afraid of at night in a dark alley in Los Angeles?  Other then the LAPD busting us for shooting without a permit, that is.

Me: How long is each episode? (Nice safe question, I need more like that.) How long do they take to film?

Joe Wilson: The first six episodes in season one range from about three and a half minutes to a little over five.

I work very quickly and use two cameras shooting at the same time on many of the scenes, which helps speed up the process.  It also helps to work with really talented actors! Our longest shoot day was six hours, but the rest were four hours or less.

Me: Has anyone died during filming? Yeah, yeah, just joking. What kind of things do the fans of the show do to show support?

Joe Wilson: Fans of Vampire Mob, “The VMob,” are one of the most incredible parts of making this show.

At first, they recommended the show to friends and continue to, but then they started doing amazing things like helping with closed-captioning, translating the show into French, German and Dutch, designing web site banners and even a fan web site (  I had cards made for the show and have shipped them all over the world to fans willing to help get the word out, many in other countries like Romania, the U.K, Philippines, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Switzerland and South Africa!

Now the VMobbers are directly supporting the show by donating to our Kickstarter campaign ( to make a second season of Vampire Mob.

We shot the first season with ten-year old video cameras that barely made it through the shoot, one kinda died.  So, there’s new gear needed to make more episodes and pay for things like insurance and feeding the cast of 19!

Me: Where do you get your actors for the series?

Joe Wilson: All of the actors in the first season cast I’m friends with or had seen on stage or screen. I approached each asking if they would be up for playing in the Vampire Mob world.  No auditions, which was especially nice!

I was amazed they all said yes and that I got to work with this cast in our first season.

You look familiar, Gabe, have you done any acting?

Me: Me?  Oh hell no! Hey, thanks for the interview, I think I got everything she wanted me to ask. Uh and hey, be careful out there at night, will ya Joe?

Well that was it. I thanked him on behalf of The Purgatory Press and reporter Glisanna Stinger and let the man leave. Sometimes I really have to wonder about people. Seriously. Don’t they realize they’re all enamored with killers who really suck blood?

Meantime, my literary maker, Deborah Riley-Magnus, who wrote Cold in California (the book I’m in), just informed me that the book is actually being published, and will be available in March of 2011. Why do I get the feeling life’s going to get even more complicated?

  1. Judy says:

    Gabe – you almost spilled the beans! Good job recovering. You may need to keep an eye out for these fellas working late at night 😉

  2. I love this interview! GOOD JOB! Vila

  3. Pamela Dumond says:

    Nice interview, Gabe. Vampire Mob is a pretty sexy show. I’m thinking you’re pretty sexy, too, Gabe.


  4. Natalie says:

    Great interview, Gabe! Didn’t seem like Joe caught on at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s