Brian Buccellato has recently taking over Detective Comics at DC Comics. Starting to define a great run on Batman, Brian launched a Kick Starter a couple of days ago for his creator own project called SONS OF THE DEVIL. A story that would be told through the comic book and film median. I was able to catch up with him and discuss his Kick Starter, his secret origin, and his love for film. A can’t miss interview! and you’ll definitely want to check out Sons of the Devil:
Chris: I am here with Brian Buccellato writer of The Flash, Detective Comics, and Black Bat. You recently started a Kick Starter about a psychological thriller that crosses films and comics. What can you tell us about Sons of The Devil?
Brian: It’s really a trans media thing, I am doing a 32 page comic and a 10 to 11 minutes short. What I am trying to do is launch it in 2 platforms. I would like it to be a digital web-series as well as an on-going comic book. In terms of contents it really explores the cult of personalty of sort of real life evil people who can manipulate others and get them to commit murder or kill themselves. Its heavily influenced by Jim Jones, Charles Mason, and David Koresh. Like I said that cult of personality that exist in our real world. So it’s a real world story with possible supernatural slant to it and I say possible because it is left up in the air. The main character (David Daly) believes that he has made a deal with the Devil that if he sacrifices 99 souls the Devil will be reborn through him. We won’t know if that’ll happen unless he succeed.
Chris: What brought you to this idea? What drew you to start such a comic and what was the passion that drove you to this matter?
Brian: I am drawn to darker topics and also exploring the psychology of why people do what they do. I always come from character first when I am writing and so for me it was really about exploring what if you were an orphan? what if you grew up and you didn’t know where you came from? and then you learn that your father was this horrible human being? What would that do to you? Would you have felt? Would you have rather not known? and what would you do with that information? And then what if that person came back into your life and there was horrifying consequences to having your long lost father in your life? So that’s really where it started.
Chris: That sounds tough to have a father like that, What is the monetary goal to this? Is there a stretch goal?
Brian: The total is $23,000. For that we can pay for the production of the comic book and the art and production of the short film. There will be (stretch goal) once we get closer to our initial goal. I’ll like to push up to $30,000. I would like to be able to do more specialize printing of the comic book maybe a hard cover or something with more material. And of course the more money you get the better your production will be. Whenever you’re doing a low budget film, its really whatever money you have is what you make the movie for. The more money you have the better you can make the film. So I set a reasonable goal and hopefully we’ll get enough money that the production value and the quality will be what I seen in my mind.
Chris: You stated you wanted to make this an on-going series?
Brian: I do! I don’t know if it will be on-going forever but I know where the story is going and I definitely have probably 3 to 4 volumes worth of material of where it can go.
Chris: Ok, So tell me a little bit about the other main character, Travis?
Brian: Well Travis is not a bad person but he has been in some troubles. He grew up in a foster care system. He was passed from home to home and he really struggled with the fact that he believes no one loved him. So abandonment issues are really really strong in his life and they tend to manifest with violent outburst. He is not a villain, he is not a bully but if he is pushed to the edge he will respond with violence. He needs to come to grip with who he is and why he acts the way he does.
Chris: These violent tendencies, is this what drives the character?
Brian: It is! Especially in the beginning. The more he learns about himself the more he is able to channel his emotional energy into other ways. What set up, this is a bit of a SPOILER, is once he learns that his father is alive and wants to complete the sacrifices that he started 25 years ago, then Travis will go on a mission. He has 6 brothers and sisters who are all children of this cult leader and so he wants to find them before his father does because his father wants to sacrifice them.
Chris: Tell me about the artist Toni Infante. How did you find him?
Brian: Actually, I spent a good amount of time googling and trying to find an artist. I had in my mind a style, in my head that I was looking for an artist that fit that mold. And I believe it was on Bēhance, that was the website where I found his art. As soon as I found it, I was like “I have got to get this guy. I have to reach out to him“. So I emailed him and thankfully he emailed me back. He seemed excited to work on it. So he’s sort of unknown in American comics. He is a young guy and I don’t know how many credits he has. He is from Barcelona and I only talked to him via email. We got already some kind of synergy going and we’re both very excited about this project. I can’t wait until the book is put together. I mean ultimately I would love to be able to do an on-going series with Toni as the artist because I think he is amazing.
Chris: That’s great! What exactly about his art drew you to him?
Brian: I think there is an inherent grittiness and reality to his art. It is not like very super realistic but it’s very gestural. For me as a half-ass artist myself [Laughs] I am really limited to what I can do. When I see someone who can draw the human body in motion and it looks fluid, that really impresses me. He definitely has the ability and it is so obvious in every drawing that he does. He understands the human form and he understands how to put the humans in motion and that really excites me. Plus his ability to spot blacks and his inking. He colors his own work, I am a colorist and I don’t think I would color his work as well as he does. So I think I am extremely lucky.
Chris: We are looking forward to seeing more of his art and other things including this project. So this isn’t your first short film. You had done a short film called LowLifes which had a crazy cliffhanger [Laugh]. How does this film (Sons of the Devil film) that you are going to create complement the comic?
Brian: LowLifes actually is a featured length script that I hope to be able to get the financing to shoot that as a feature film at some point. I think doing the digital series is an inter-median step for me establishing myself as a viable film maker to be able to get the funds to a full length featured. So while Sons of the Devil will exist on its own and I am very passionate about that, it is also the duel purpose of allowing the entertainment industry and the world at large to see me as a viable film maker.
Chris: Cool! How did you get interested into film making? Is it something you always wanted to do?
Brain: It’s funny, I got my own origin story. Part of my origin story is that I grew up in New York. I actually interned at Marvel in the 80s and my brother did too. He was a comic book colorist at the beginning of the digital age. I dropped out of NYU at one point and my brother had moved to LA. He asked me to move to LA and would teach me how to color comic books. So that is how I got into comics but once I was out in LA, I did what everyone else does: I wanted to be an actor. So I took acting classes and went out on auditions. Any body who knows what I look like I had a shaved head for 20 years. So I kept getting called in for only gang banger roles. It was really unsatisfying but it did a couples of things: It allow me to meet Tim Story, who is one of my closest friend. He happens to be a featured film director (Ride Along and Fantastic Four). He has done a lot of big movies. I met him when he was just out of USC. I audition for a movie that he never made and from that we started a friendship. We made a featured length film together, an indie film. It allow him to get into music videos and set his career in motion. While I was doing that I learned that I wanted to write. So I taught myself how to write and I wrote a lot of bad scripts. I had a girlfriend that moved away, so I wrote a really bad script about breaking up. I just kept writing and teaching myself, and taking extensive classes at UCLA until I got better and better. Where Tim hired me to write some stuff for him. I did some ghost writing on a few of his films and written some screen plays for him that are in development. That sort of sent me on my way. I always loved movies and I always loved films. It is a passion of mine. So I think that path allow me sort of take my love of film, my love of comics and combined them.
Chris: That’s great, that’s great.You have come a long way, You’re working at DC! Are you going to be doing any films later on? Is that something you want to focus on in the future?
Brian: I think for sure. If I lived in a perfect world, I’ll be writing comic books and directing films that I wrote and probably working on television. I think television is an amazing median for writers. I also think it is very similar in a collaborative way to comic books.
Chris: Hopefully they have a spot for you on The Flash TV show?
Brian: We’ll see [Laugh]
Chris: What advice do you have to give young writers who are also using Kick Starter to start their own writing careers?
Brian: The thing about Kick Starter it’s really mobilizing your source of funds. Crowd sourcing is literal and if you haven’t built a fan base or if you don’t have a large network of friends and families, you might not want to try Kick Starter until you been able to build up a little bit. The one thing you don’t want to do is put yourself out there and then have hurt feelings because you weren’t able to meet your goals. So modify your expectations and don’t ask for more money than you can realistically get. I see a lot of people who don’t fulfill their goals on Kick Starter. I think they go into it high in the sky: “I believe in what I am doing, so the whole world should believe in what I am doing“. I wish the world was that way but it’s not. You need to be able to mobilize the people you know and the people you can reach. Have them believe in what you can do to the point were they are willing to give up their money. I would also said on your Kick Starter make sure that you offer some evidences that you can deliver what you are saying you can. I saw a Kick Starter for a gentleman who was wanted to do a movie. He ask for $250,000. On his Kick Starter page, there was no proof that he had done anything. There was no evidence that he can fulfill any of the requirements of making a film. Consequently he got $85. He asked for $250,000 and he got $85. It is heartbreaking because I know how its like to have a dream and I know how its like to be going for something and fail or to feel like things are in your way. Why isn’t anyone giving me a chance. So I think what you have to do is modify your expectations and go in steps. Small victories are victories. So I would say manage your expectations and keep moving forward.
Chris: Is there anything you want to add about this project?
Brian: I just hope that people take a look at my website and the Kick Starter site. Watch LowLifes and hopefully you enjoy the mood and the vibe. I know that it’s only 4 to 5 minutes and very cliffhangery but I think it says a little bit about me as a film maker and knowing the fact that I did it for $1200. On such a budget, hopefully extrapolate what I can do with a larger budget. I am 2 years older and wiser and I hope that people are interested enough to donate.
Chris: Thank you for joining me and everyone should help Brian’s project because it is pretty awesome. Thank you for joining me.
Brian: You got it man.
There you have it! Help support Brian’s Kick Starter Sons of the Devil by backing his project HERE. If you are a fan of his comic book works then you already know that this project will be amazing and worth backing.