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Friday, 16 of April of 2021

Witchville Interview with Sarah Douglas & Pearry Teo

In perhaps a sign that we made it (though perhaps we should wait and see if we get invited to another one), Monsters of Television was approached to participate in a conference call with actress Sarah Douglas (known to some of you as Ursa or maybe as Pamela Lynch or perhaps as Queen Taramis) and director Pearry Teo. They are, respectively, the star and director of the Syfy Original Movie Witchville (which Nick and I live-tweeted when it premiered)

Despite some hiccups with Ms. Douglas’ cellphone (which resulted in me getting tossed back to the end of the question queue), the interview was a successful first outings for us. Below is the entire interview, including the questions from the other participants. Questions from Monsters of Television will be in bold and italics.

Any errors are entirely those of the folks who did the transcription. If you see a glaring error, let me know and I’ll correct it.

April MacIntyre: Hello Sarah. Thank you so much for your time.

Sarah Douglas: Hello, good morning.

April MacIntyre: Hello. Sarah, I’m such a fan of your work.

Sarah Douglas: Thank you.

April MacIntyre: And I wanted to know how you felt about your character, sort of a Darth Vader set in King Arthur’s time. And I wondered if you could talk about how you felt when you read the script to play such a really good baddie.

Sarah Douglas: Firstly, that’s a very, very good description. And I might steal that from you. Thank you very much. That’s very, very good.

I, you know, I have spent an awful lot of my career playing bad guys. What I was really attracted to as far as this particular project went is that we get a little glimpse of another side of my character which is a rare glimpse for me. So without giving too much away, I – that definitely attracted me.

The costumes, the – when I first saw what they had planned for us, and of course the Chinese location which was staggeringly beautiful, it was no hesitation on my – I mean I – the – it’s a good event sort of, you know, medieval fantasy. It’s what I love to do.

And yes, you’re right. Sometimes I look at these roles and I think oh gosh here’s another villain. But this time the villain has a dead eagle on her head, so it was quite a very good costume.

But it did kind of a, you know, it has depth to it. My character has depth to it which I really enjoyed. And I have also – I was very excited about Pearry Teo direct – I had done my homework on him and I knew that he’d – terrific – for this.

And let’s face it, this is not a big budget first of all. So we knew we were going to be up against the odds going off to China. And I needed a director that was going to be very much in control and give us a, you know, a lot of opportunity to divest the character. But we were talking very fast. Really happy to be working with Pearry and I’d also worked before with the producer and she convinced me that this was a good project. So Amy Krell is very much responsible for – I will do anything that she says without (my Street). So it was an easy choice, an easy one, thank you.

April MacIntyre: Wonderful. Sarah where is home base for you?

Sarah Douglas: I’m still Los Angeles based but I’m sending – I’ve been resident here since ’82. Here I am at the moment. I’m spending more time in England at the moment because I have to, and that works nicely for me. You know, it periodically works nicely for me because if I’m in England I can hop off to Europe.

April MacIntyre: Sure.

Sarah Douglas: And a lot of these fantasy medieval things now are being shot in Europe. But this one of course was much further afield, so much more of an adventure. But no, I’m a resident alien in every sense of the word.

April MacIntyre: Interesting. Wonderful. Thank you so much. Pearry, I have a question for you.

Pearry Teo: Yes.

April MacIntyre: Pearry, you’re an interesting cat. I’m just going to say.

Pearry Teo: Okay.

April MacIntyre: I’ve read all through your Web site and I’ve seen many of your films. And I thought it was interesting how you incorporated an Eastern, you know, the Ninjas, and, you know, in with this sort of King Arthur era tale. And I was wondering if you could talk about that and this sort of fantasy horror genre that you seem to love so much.

Pearry Teo: Well actually it – well, you know, aside from the actual genre itself, I think, you know, the big problem was I came in really, you know, late as a director. I probably came in about one or two months before we were actually shooting. So, you know, the idea was that it was already supposed to be shot in China.

And, of course, and I’m reading the script and I’m like this is a medieval script and we’re shooting in China. And, you know, of course it sounds really scary at first because I know going to China, I’m not going to find a medieval cast or like the ones that you see in, you know, King Arthur and all that.

April MacIntyre: Right.

Pearry Teo: So, you know, obviously that became like the biggest problem, you know, for me creatively. So I tried to kind of think out of the box a little bit. And what I decided to do was rather than try to make – trying to look like an England or something, I decided to try and make it into a world that we’d never seen before.

So in essence I tried to blend in, you know, not only the Chinese Eastern culture but decided to blend in a lot of other different look as well. Like, you have the background that looks like China. You have the costumes which were very, you know, Viking, almost computer game Viking kind, you know, based kind of designs.

And, you know, and then you have the weapons that, you know, are purely something that, you know, we created on our own. And, you know, by trying to blend in, you know, different looks and, you know, you know, having some of the characters also look like they’re coming from Persia and things like that, kind of help me create it more of a worldly kind of film as opposed to a medieval film that’s trying to shoot in China.

April MacIntyre: Definitely sounds possible, yes.

Pearry Teo: So, you know, that was how I kind of made it all work.

April MacIntyre: Wonderful. Pearry, you know, it – I – you had such a regimented childhood and, you know, obviously I read your bio. You know, you were in uniform basically from the get go until you got out of the Army. And then you rebelled.

April MacIntyre: And, you know, you got into fashion and you got away from – and I’m familiar with Singapore. It is a very conservative society there.

Pearry Teo: Um-hmm.

April MacIntyre: And I’m just wondering, did you feel at a young age that you really needed to kind of get away from your homeland to really fully live the life that you wanted?

Pearry Teo: No not really. In fact, I never wanted to make films in the United States. That was the funny thing. But I think what it definitely helped this, you know, regimented life was that it kind of allowed me more than usual to kind of play with my imagination more. Like I relied a lot on my imagination, you know, when I was young, when I was in school and all that because there was just, you know, nothing to do but say study and study and study.

They wouldn’t come through the games. They weren’t, you know, I wasn’t allowed comics or anything like that. So a lot of things I had to rely strictly on my imagination to kind of, you know, interest me in my own world. You know, for – so for that I’m actually really grateful.

April MacIntyre: Hmm. Excellent. And what was your favorite scene that you shot in this film that you’re most proud of?

Pearry Teo: Well, we’ve, you know, I really do like other (five inches) because I’m a guy. But actually it had to be the scene where – oh man I really can’t talk about it because, you know, that’s one of the dead giveaways, but…

April MacIntyre: Oh.

Pearry Teo: …it, you know, just Sarah has to actually act for the first time, you know, completely, completely emotional and all that.

April MacIntyre: Oh I know what scene you’re talking about. The one…

Pearry Teo: Yes.

April MacIntyre: …with her – with the king and we’ll…

Pearry Teo: Yes.

April MacIntyre: …say no more.

Pearry Teo: And, you know, it was one of those things – it’s not that, you know, I didn’t believe Sarah could – I knew she could do it but it was just that I have spent so much time with Sarah on being evil, evil self and then for the one time where she has to bear her soul out, you know, it was kind of frightening for me.

But, you know, but, you know, once I got relaxed, once, you know, everybody else got relaxed and, you know, with the scene really got comfortable, you know, I think what we delivered was, you know, you know, very touching indeed. And my only regret was that it had to be cut down.

April MacIntyre: I understand. Thank you so much. I’ll come back.

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Jamie Ruby: Hi. Thanks so much to talk with us today.

Sarah Douglas: Hi there. Hi Jamie.

Jamie Ruby: Hi.

Jamie Ruby: So…

Pearry Teo: Hello.

Jamie Ruby: …for both – hi. So for both of you, what got you started in the entertainment business in the first place?

Sarah Douglas: I’m sorry.

Pearry Teo: Sarah?

Sarah Douglas: I missed that. What got you what?

Jamie Ruby: Started in the entertainment business.

Sarah Douglas: Well I’m – my hometown is Stratford-upon-Avon in England, Shakespeare country though I was brought up very much within the shadow of the theater. Mother worked in the theater and I don’t know what influence it had on me but I was – I myself started – by the time I was 14, there was no question that I was going to be an actress.

And it all fell very beautifully into place. And I was first on the stage at 14 and I continued with my training. And then I was one of the rare ones of – that I went straight into film when I was about 20. And it happened to be a Syfy film which is sort of my genre, Syfy and fantasy. So it was – it wasn’t that it was a given, but there was never, I mean there was never anything else which is – I don’t know how it fell into place but I was always going to be an actress.

Just about all I do other than garden, so that’s about it. I can garden and I can act. Thank goodness.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. What about you Pearry?

Pearry Teo: Well to me it’s kind of like a, you know, combination of a few things. I think my, you know, my biggest thing for me – well, I, you know, I never even though about a career in film until I was like 22. And, you know, that was ten years ago.

But really – for me what really wanted to get me started was, well I was a fashion dropout. You know, I used to design others bizarre, bizarre costume, as Sarah could testify and yet not the most comfortable either.

Sarah Douglas: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Pearry Teo: And, you know, it’s just not applicable to the real world. So for me, you know, what it was was, you know, also creating worlds in films and all that that, you know, I could also show some of my costume designs and, you know, things like that that, you know, I was very pleased with.

And, you know, another factor that kind of made me, you know, want to make films is, you know, the fact, you know, when you see other films that you don’t like or there’s bad films and you’re like saying I can do better, I can do better.

You know, once instead of kind of, you know, arguing or complaining about it, I decided you know what? I’m just going to go out and make my own film and see what it’s like. And, you know, obviously now the stories are different and I’m like realizing it’s not as easy as it sounds to just say this film sucked. So it, yes, it is a combination of a lot of things as well.

Jamie Ruby: Great. How did both of you get involved in the project for Witchville?

Sarah Douglas: Well for me, the producer, Amy Krell, is somebody I worked with before and respect highly on another (unintelligible) Syfy actually. So I know when I get into these things that there’s not going to be a lot of money. There’s not going to be a lot of time. And I know the pressure’s usually on.

And because Amy was at the (unintelligible) the Bold, when I first saw the script. And again, it’s to be, (unintelligible), you know, I’ve done this a few times, this evil wicked queen, yes I have. But this had a twist to it and had a good opportunity for me to actually show some of that training that I’ve had, some of that classical training that certainly didn’t involve, you know, nothing out of (unintelligible), you know, when I was way back there in drama school.

This called for some acting which was good. And I must say, I was very tempted by the idea of working from China. I thought that would be a really interesting challenge which indeed it was.

So the early days I saw the script and it was, you know, I have to say, it was right up my street. It’s what I love to do.

Jamie Ruby: Question for Pearry?

Pearry Teo: Yes. For me personally, you know, this was – the script was sent to me through my agent. And, you know, I kind of read it. And, you know, the first thing obviously, you know, I’m a big War Crack player. I’m sure you’ve heard the game World of War Crack.

And, you know, I’m a big computer game player. So, you know, kind of reading that script, it was very interesting that images of, you know, my favorite game just kept popping in my mind. And I think it was really exciting for me to almost kind of say hey, you know, I can almost make like an homage to my favorite film and – to my favorite video game.

And, you know, to see other characters in there and, you know, I had a talk with the producers and I saw, you know, a few of the, you know, people that they were thinking about and actually Sarah’s name was on there. And I’m like you can’t kill me – get Sarah Douglas, that’s interesting if we could, you know.

So it was, you know, both also, you know, the idea of working with people whom I respect a lot in the industry, you know, as well as being able to just, you know, have fun and, you know, pay homages to my heroes. That, you know, really interested me on this project.

Jamie Ruby: That’s great. One last question, this is for you again Pearry. I was looking through your different stuff you’re involved in. Can you talk a little bit about Siphon? That seems like it’s going to be really cool movie.

Pearry Teo: I can’t tell much about that. I’m sorry.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. Okay well thank you very much.

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Sarah Douglas: Bye.

Lisa Steinberg: Hi good afternoon Sarah and Pearry.

Sarah Douglas: Hi Lisa.

Lisa Steinberg: Thank you so much for speaking with us all this afternoon and glad to have the opportunity.

Pearry Teo: Hello?

Sarah Douglas: Hi.

Lisa Steinberg: My question is for Pearry. I wanted to find out, in the director’s seat, what was the biggest challenge that you faced with filming Witchville?

Pearry Teo: Sarah’s nails.

Sarah Douglas: I may…

Pearry Teo: The nails on her…

Sarah Douglas: I caused more problems with my nails than we even want to go into. Yes, sorry Pearry. Now go on Pearry, be serious.

Pearry Teo: Okay. Biggest hurdle I think was definitely our location, number 1. And, you know, it’s just really hard to try and cover eight pages of, you know, script a day we – we had like 15 days to shoot this movie. It was a very rough schedule which means everybody had to be in tip top shape.

You know, but there are certain scenes that, you know, we, you know, there’s always going to be political problems. There’s always going to be scheduling problems and I think the hardest thing to shoot was probably the one that you saw, you know, the sneak peak on Syfy.com?

Lisa Steinberg: Yes.

Pearry Teo: You know, that was actually shot probably about 700 miles apart. The scene with Sarah and the scene with Luke where they are talking and they are shooting at each other and things like that, they were shot 700 miles apart because, you know, we just didn’t have the location for that.

So I think that was also very tricky for my actors because they were also, you know, having to act and to react to each other and they’re not there because it’s like so far apart. And then by the time that Luke was recording his segment, I think Sarah was already wrapped.

So, you know, she was really nice that she would come down in normal clothes and actually try to, you know, speak it for Luke and to try and help him out with his scene. So, you know, that was actually, you know, really, really good. But definitely scheduling and locations and, you know, working on different terrains that we’re not used to, you know, that proves especially hard.

I mean we were working Sarah what, really muddy conditions, right. We need a…

Sarah Douglas: Oh.

Pearry Teo: …booth and all that. The mud would go up to our like, you know, past our ankles and all that.

Lisa Steinberg: Sarah would you say that was the biggest challenge for you as well besides of course the, you know, getting to work with such a challenge location – your nails you mentioned and the location?

Sarah Douglas: Yes. I think that, you know, the cuffs (unintelligible) perfect, but there was a place where the costumes were – I didn’t (unintelligible) so much but I know the other actors had days where the costumes were still damp from the night before for lots of very valid reasons. But we were working in the damp, in the mud and then we’d have other days that were very hot.

I mean this is more for film making. And I have to say, none of us really, you know, we all took it in stride. But because we, (unintelligible) in particular, (unintelligible), you know – in these boots. Because I’ve sort of got some kind of pecking order on this (unintelligible) forgot what it is. But I actually – bat – my feet both sanked – two bin liners (unintelligible) feet underneath my costume.

So I was – I (unintelligible) bag. I don’t think they even made Pearry a bag. I think he was just in the mud. So, you know, we worked in, you know, ridiculous conditions. But (unintelligible) I think Pearry said was it’s always difficult doing stuff when (unintelligible) for actor and that’s the (plan the) thing.

But luckily professionally we all managed to pull it off. And I think that you can – watching the – (unintelligible) no way that you would know the difficulties we were in a lot of the time.

I have to say, it was one of the best experiences that I’ve had and I’ve done a few in my 37 odd years of acting. Pearry is an absolute joy and a delight to work with and…

Pearry Teo: Thank you.

Sarah Douglas: …and I’m looking forward to the next one. No, my pleasures Pearry.

Lisa Steinberg: And Sarah my last question is just for those viewers who maybe aren’t familiar with Syfy or wouldn’t know about the movie, is there something that you feel that would really draw them in that would get, you know, (unintelligible) and prepare people for the film?

Sarah Douglas: Well what will draw them in is that you’ve got the, you know, you’ve got the gorgeous Luke Goss who I know that he has millions – but I say young fans – millions of young ladies that will go to the ends of the earth for him, so I’m sure they’ll be watching.

Hopefully they’ll be plenty of dads that when they were young boys were in love with me when I was in Superman. And because of the nature of this, because it’s China, because it’s great locations, I’m sure that a lot more people will be tuning in. And I do, I do, you know, I really hope they do.

It’s a fun adventure, you know, medieval fantasy. It’s great fun, some fabulous fighting in it. I’m just sorry that I didn’t get to wield a sword. But I did have very special magic powers. So it’s worth watching just to see fabulous visual effects. It’s really, it’s fun. It’s fun. Go for it.

Lisa Steinberg: Thank you very much (unintelligible) again and I’m looking forward to checking it out this weekend.

Sarah Douglas: Thank you.

Troy Rogers: Hi Sarah. Hi Pearry.

Sarah Douglas: Hi Troy.

Pearry Teo: Hello.

Troy Rogers: Now Pearry I wanted to know, what does it mean for you to be the first director to shoot a Syfy feature in China?

Pearry Teo: Nothing at all. I, you know, personally I think it was just a gimmick. It was a challenge. You know, I think in any film that you do or any film that, you know, anybody does, we are still going to be working conditions like the prisoners in (Kensworth).

You know, we’re still going to be working in swabs. We’re still going to be working in hot desert sun, rainy, rainy days. The conditions are always, always tough. And, you know, I think, you know, shooting in China was, you know, like Sarah said, it was just an adventure on its own right.

But it really doesn’t make a difference on, you know, how a film is being made. It, you know, it’s still made the same way but in China here. The people work a little bit differently but, you know, I think we just got adapted to it really quick.

Troy Rogers: Okay. And since you have a fashion background, do you still have a say in the wardrobe? Are you still keep your hand in that…

Pearry Teo: I tend to – more than most directors I tend to be very involved in my costumes. I choose my fabrics. I choose, you know, I actually sit down and draw it out with the costume designer.

Troy Rogers: Oh.

Pearry Teo: But I make it a point that I am there to choose the fabrics and how it looks, how the light reflects on it, you know, how it complements the character, things like that. I’m definitely much more involved than a normal director would.

Troy Rogers: Okay. And Sarah I wanted to know, working with special effects, what do you picture in your head when you’re filming as compared to what the final thing looks like?

Sarah Douglas: You know, I’ve been asked this question so many times. And I would love to say that I’ve got some great method. I – it really, you know, for me, Pearry just talking about the costume. When I’m in costume, there is something that happens to one or certainly to me. But I feel very, very much in character. You know, for those split seconds where I’m actually shooting, if things are explained well, and Pearry was brilliant at explaining.

You know, and if he had to take – he would explain a particular effect and he had to take some ludicrous object on the set and say now pretend that this ludicrous object is actually, you know, a wonderful shining orb because that’s what it’s going to be.

He was very good at conveying what we were doing. And my job is to believe and to make the audience believe that. So I didn’t honestly have too much of a problem. And if I did have a problem, I guess I wouldn’t be doing it because there’s an awful lot of – an awful lot of time is spent working on these things when you have – you basically don’t really know what the hell’s going on especially when you’ve got a bit of, you know, screen behind you.

So we did found to having absolutely faith and confidence in the special effects team and your director which I did.

Troy Rogers: Nice. One more quick thing I wanted to know. What was it like working opposite Luke Goss?

Sarah Douglas: For me being English, I’m particularly – I know Luke Goss very well from years back when he was such a terrific star in England and Europe and all over I believe with his fans. So I’m a real little groupie. So I loved working opposite him. I can’t say I loved the fact that I was older than him because it made me feel pretty ancient.

But he’s an absolute joy. And I, you know, early morning looking into those eyes was very pleasurable, I have to tell you, so a little bit more of that would do me the world of good thank you. He’s great fun. Great fun.

Troy Rogers: Excellent. Thank you both.

Sarah Douglas: Thank you.

Pearry Teo: Thank you.

Chris Conduit: Hello.

Sarah Douglas: Hi Chris.

Chris Conduit: Hi Miss Douglas. How are you?

Sarah Douglas: I’m extremely well though I’ve got a very low battery so I apologize if I suddenly go dead on you. But I’m alive and well…

Chris Conduit: Well I’m going to go…

Sarah Douglas: But I’m alive and well at the – I’m alive and well at the moment.

Chris Conduit: I’m going to move quickly then okay?

Sarah Douglas: Okay. Okay.

Chris Conduit: First of all, you touched it briefly. Yes, my heart is aflutter. I grew up with a bit of a fan boy crush on you.

Sarah Douglas: Great.

Chris Conduit: So my question actually is, you know, you had mentioned working with Luke. One of the things that I’m excited about with Witchville is the strength – the balance within the strength between the male and female characters. You don’t often see that a lot on network television. It is more common in the Syfy fantasy genre.

But you have, you know, yourself and someone like me on a burring working opposite Luke and the other male cast. Was there an energy or a certain feel that you had while on set, the power that the casting had in terms of the strength of the sexes?

Sarah Douglas: Well I – first and foremost, I have to say that I – it has been a very, very, very long time and I mean a long time since I have worked with a cast where we were so brilliantly cast and we gelled so well together. There really wasn’t a day that went by where we didn’t spark off and relate to each other.

I do think the abject – some of the situations we were in and the difficulties because we were living and breathing and eating be it roasted rat’s tails and goodness knows what else in China, together we did have a – we had enough fluent understanding and it worked very well. I mean MyAnna was an absolute delight. And her – she took on the challenge of the fights and the fight scenes.

There wasn’t a moment really where it just didn’t work. And I’m so glad that you caught that because I’m, you know, I’m really excited about it. I’ve done a few of these things and I’ve, you know, I’ve gone in – wicked outfit on and I’ve done my stuff and I’ve gone home and that’s the end of it.

I feel very, very, very strongly about this particular project which is probably why I’m talking – cell phone talking to you right now when I could be basking in California sunshine.

I really do want, you know, I really do want to get the message out there that it’s worthwhile tuning in. It’s – I think it’s really special and I think that energy comes through. And I – Pearry did a fabulous job.

And the other actors, I mean really, you can’t, you can’t fault them. I mean Simon Thorp and Andrew Pleavin, I mean we (unintelligible). All the guys belong well together. The women we got on. We were all treated – we all (unintelligible) equally and respectfully and it shows because there are things that, especially in these low – lower budget shots (unintelligible) more than you are all getting paid. And there can be a bit of them and us. There was no them and us on this. We were in it together and I think it reflects in the performances. So thank you for noticing that.

Chris Conduit: Well I’m absolutely – yes, I’m absolutely tickled because so rarely anymore do you get to see a film that was made with heart and has a soul about it.

Sarah Douglas: Absolutely.

Chris Conduit: It seems like they’re just churned out. (MC) and she’s here what fun you all had and how much of yourselves you put into it. I’m excited to watch something that was made with a soul and some love. And I appreciate your time. I’m going to move on so that your battery doesn’t die on me.

Sarah Douglas: Oh isn’t that sad.

Chris Conduit: And I’m going to get back to Pearry in a minute because I’ve got some stuff for…

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Chris Conduit: …for him.

Sarah Douglas: Okay thanks.

Jamie Ruby: So you mentioned how the one scene that you liked was shorter than you would have liked. Is there any other scenes that were deleted that you would have liked to have seen kept in the movie?

Pearry Teo: Yes. The, you know, there were definitely a lot of shots. There was one that we couldn’t do just because our visual techs people didn’t have time to do. But, there was a scene where the people were riding into the castle. And originally that shot was not meant to be them riding to the castle. I had another shot planned out for that.

I had an idea and, you know, we were planning for this actually. And we actually shot it too. But again, post productions didn’t leave us much time to actually complete it.

But what it was was rather than just ride up, you know, to the gates of the castle, I thought what would be interesting was the castle was on top of a mountain. And the mountain kind of Mount Rushmore. It’s carved into a giant like humongous monument of a soldier on his knees. And the riders are running up his fingernails, up his arms and to his back where the castle is.

So I think that was probably the most epic shot of the movie that we couldn’t do. And it was a time issue. It wasn’t a, you know, money issue.

Jamie Ruby: Oh. Yes that would have been cool. Well we’ll keep that in mind when I watch that part then.

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Jamie Ruby: So what was your favorite part all in all about the production?

Pearry Teo: You know, it’s really, really hard to answer a question like that just because, you know, when you make everything, you try not to have favorites. You try to treat everything as part of your baby. You know what I mean? And you know, kind of like – I have a son too. And, you know, there’s no favorite, you know, body part of mine of his. It’s really – I love him as a whole.

And, you know, for this movie, I like to look at it as a whole and like to love it as, you know, one of my own. It’s, you know, even though the script was not written by me and all that, every time I make a film, I really, really try to look at it as my baby and I try to do the best I can with what I have. So, you know, despite having faults in certain parts, you know, I’m there if the ship sinks and I’m there if it sails.

Jamie Ruby: Sir, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get into filmmaking?

Pearry Teo: Well, that’s really – a really tough question I guess because all journeys are all different. But I think, you know, the most important thing is, you know, just keep making movies, whether it’s short films, whether it’s little clips on YouTube that you put out.

You know, you really, really want to start honing your craft and, you know, learning about story, how to tell it, you know, how to shoot it out of sequence but then collectively put it together to form, you know, a story that you can tell.

It’s a lot harder than a lot of people think. And, you know, and really, really put yourself and your own soul into it because, you know, a lot of people just want to make films because, you know, it’s such a cool thing, it’s such as glamorous thing that that media has portrayed. But, you know, in reality it’s not. It’s a lot of hard work.

So, you know, really get there, go out and really make the films and really put your heart and soul to it.

Jamie Ruby: Okay great. Well thank you very much.

Pearry Teo: Thank you very much.

Chris Conduit: Hello Mr. Teo. How are you today?

Pearry Teo: Hello sir, back to you.

Chris Conduit: You know, this has been touched upon briefly. I wanted to know if you could go into a little bit more detail in terms of Warcraft and forming your choices in wardrobe. And also talk a little bit about how the principals, how the cast members had some input into their designs because I think that’s something that…

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Chris Conduit: …everyone would like to hear about.

Pearry Teo: That’s a really, really good question (Chris). Well my attachment to it like with, you know, I mean Warcraft is obviously, you know, playing a game like World War Craft where, you know, you have different armors and you have different weapons and all that.

I thought it was, you know, important that my witches were not dressed in top hats and broomsticks, you know, those pointy hats and broomsticks. And, you know, actually kind of like in Warcraft where the warlocks and majors do have their armor and their armor also represents, you know, a certain, you know, hierarchy of the, you know, of the order.

You know, more elaborate armor means, you know, you are definitely more higher up in your level. So I tried to incorporate that into my fashion design as well. And again, for the design of the witch, you know, for the witches and also for, you know, the soldiers, what I like to do is I like to design a base costume and all that the way I like it first.

And what I would do is I would lay out all the accessories. And for like, you know, just one day, have me and my actors just go in, have fun, pick out all accessories, which one they kind of feel attached to. Maybe sometimes have them even tell me a story about this, you know, accessory. Like if you’re looking at Luke Goss, that he wears this necklace that has, you know, all those, you know, bones that are attached to it.

Now it’s not obvious in the film, but it really helps him be more comfortable in a character in the sense that, you know, he has a story behind that necklace in the sense that when he was away from his father he would, you know, hunt animals and all that and it’s just kind of what’s back to the forest, that he keeps, you know, their chief and all that kind of stuff.

I mean he’s got a whole elaborate story that (unintelligible). Now does it play a actual role in the actual story? No. But what it help is, you know, Luke to understand his character a little bit more, not just a prince but also a sympathetic trends…

Chris Conduit: Sure.

Pearry Teo: …who respects life, respect this and that.

And, you know, little props like this while it may be hidden from sight, actually serves as a reminder to him what his character is. And, you know, little – he’ll do like little subtle things that, you know, aren’t even scripted that will kind of give it more of a three dimensional feel as well as a – as opposed as a 2D character that just goes in there, says his line and gets out.

Chris Conduit: Sure. Sure. And just one other quick thing. Once the cast came together was – I mean obviously you had in mind, you had a vision for each of these characters. Were there any little care packages or something that you gave to each character to help inform them about how you interpret their…

Pearry Teo: Packages probably would be the wrong word for it. I think it’s more of like just material. Usually what I like to do is, I like to sit down with each of my actors and I’ll actually, you know, have like a preconceived idea.

And let’s say for MyAnna’s and MyAnna Buring’s chart there Josefa, you know, I had this idea of, you know, a girl who is a kick ass fighter, blah, blah, blah and all kinds of things like that. And then I would try to break down my idea by saying now where did I like this idea, from what source did I see it from that I actually like.

And, you know, it could – it’s a combination of things. It’s a combination of comics, video games, movies and all that. So what I do is I collect all these and then I explain to MyAnna I’ll say listen, this is where I got this preconceived idea for it. So this is how I kind of see the character and as a combination of all this.

Now why don’t you take a look at it, come back, and maybe you have something to add to it as well and then let’s talk about it and all that. And so by the time the production actually start and we actually start filming the thing, you know, we both know the characters really well. We have both contributed. The actor has contributed. I have contributed. And it really feels like this character’s coming out of a, you know, out of love and teamwork.

Chris Conduit: Well thank you for that and most of all thank you for sharing your creative process and thank you for…

Pearry Teo: Thank you Chris.

Chris Conduit: …being who you are. We really appreciate you. (Unintelligible).

Pearry Teo: Thank you very much.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Hi, me again.

Pearry Teo: Yes. Hi.

Sarah Douglas: Hi. Hi.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Hi. That’s all right. What attracted you to the script and did you have to, with your own directorial aims and style, did you have to adapt it to suit your own tastes?

Pearry Teo: Definitely. You know, it’s always – that’s a really tricky question to answer. You know, because, you know, when a script’s not, you know, written by you and all that and especially when, you know, it is a script where you probably have little input on because, you know, it’s already been paced out and, you know, things like that.

You know, reading the script to me was – when I read it what the immediate thing that I thought of was as Sarah had said, was this looks fun. You know, this looks fun to just go out and shoot and be like a little kid. You know, have fun in the world of knights and witches and things like that.

You know, I immediately knew in reading the script that, you know, I’m not going to be making, you know, Casablanca out of this or, you know, I’m not going to be making Lawrence of Arabia out of this.

You know, but what I saw at the very core of this is really fun, you know, action adventure movie that, you know, I, you know, that I could make. So, you know, the very first thing was, you know, to ask myself to make it my own is to ask myself well what do I like, what makes me excited, what makes me, you know, this and that?

And again, it comes back to Warcraft. I know I’m a gamer. But that’s okay. I admit I’m a geek. I’m a nerd. I’m a dork. It’s fine. And, you know, by combining all this elements and, you know, just being really excited about it, I think the cast kind of caught on real quick and, you know, sometimes I would even invite them like, you know, during our days off on Sundays or something other than, come on, let’s come with my room and let’s play a couple of games and things like that.

Sarah Douglas: You never invited me.

Pearry Teo: Oh Sarah you’re here.

Sarah Douglas: Oh I’m here. I’m not – oh don’t you worry. I’ve dropped back right in. I’ve been listening to you Pearry, waiting for you to say something bad.

Pearry Teo: Oh Sarah, I was just afraid of you.

Sarah Douglas: No you weren’t. You were a – well you were a pussycat with me. I must admit you were adorable. You still are adorable. It’s turning into a love fest. I better shut up before my battery goes gone, then sorry.

Pearry Teo: Okay. Well but yes, that was my answer.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Okay. Well my next question then is kind of the flip side of that. How did you see…

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Noel Kirkpatrick: …Witchville working into the Syfy brand of Imagine Greater? Was it something that was on your mind as you worked through the project or was it something that the producers kind of kept nudging you about.

Pearry Teo: No. I think the producers they didn’t need to nudge me because again, you know, film is my passion. I think that anybody who has been around me on set knows that I’m extremely passionate about this. And, you know, I tried to contribute, you know, as a director that, you know, created me the most in the whole production.

I think that’s a given, you know, for anybody working as a director. So it, you know, with the Syfy brand, Imagine Greater, I think it is, you know, it’s just part of an extension of not only me but, you know, the producers and the executive producers to want to do something imaginative, visually as well that, you know, we can all have fun doing.

You know, it’s all about, you know, the films that we saw it, you know, as kids and all that. And since Sarah’s here, we can mention, you know, Conan, you know, things like that. You just look at it and you’re like transported into a whole world. It’s all about imagination.

So it’s not the – a brand that it’s trying to speak of new things. I think it’s a brand that’s trying to say, you know, we’re taking what we have always loved about movie and presenting them in different ways. And in this case, it’s an original movie on TV.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Interesting. Interesting. My last question actually has to do with fans of the Syfy original films. They – the Syfy originals tend to have a very large following, especially on the Internet. And…

Pearry Teo: Yes.

Noel Kirkpatrick: …my question is, how do you guys feel about, and this is open up to both of you I guess, is how you consider how fans react to these films? I mean they can sometimes leave, you know, a few comments or I mean watch them and kind of make fun of them. Do you consider this as a takeaway from the movies or are they kind of defeating the purpose?

Pearry Teo: Sarah do you want to go first?

Sarah Douglas: Well I don’t, you know, I didn’t – I’m not – I don’t feel remotely threatened by any kinds of remarks that might come up. I think the fact that people are interacting and talking about it. I have done one of two other things that I can honestly say I cringe about and I do – I kind of – I have no cringe moments in this picture. I’m proud of everything that went on.

There are one or two things that we all know we would like to have done perhaps a little bit – had a little bit more money and time or perhaps not had to cut certain things out. But there’s nothing. It’s just – I certainly know as far as my fans go, there’s been a, you know, they’ve been whipped up into a frenzy.

And they’re all excited. They all want something with – something to get their teeth into and I, you know, as far as the Syfy channel goes, I think it’s terrific that it’s out there for so many people to view. I mean it certainly boosted my fan club base. And Pearry’s got millions of little fans out there haven’t you Pearry that adore you and love you.

Let them all get – I sit back and I read the comments. And I think it’s brilliant. I mean I just think it’s great the way that they all solve the problem. But listen, it’s not, you know, I had it on Superman. They – everybody rewrote Superman on the Internet for me and they re-cut things. I find it absolutely fascinating because my generation, you know, the computers go – feel a little bit scary to me.

So to witness what goes on and have this instant feedback, how brilliant is that? Absolutely fantastic. No I’m proud. Let them go for it.

Pearry Teo: Yes. You know, for me it’s – I think when you’re making any product for the mass media, I think that there will definitely be people who will love it. You know, God bless them. And there are also going to be people who don’t like it.

And some people can get very vocal about it. But, you know, I think that’s fine. You know, I think that just happens. I try not to pay any attention to it because, you know, ultimately for me, you know, I made this film and I did put, you know, a lot of heart and soul into it.

And really, you know, it was a journey for me as well. You know, it was a journey to, you know, work with, you know, fabulous people, you know, Amy and Luke, Sarah, MyAnna and, you know, all those people. And, you know, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. And hopefully it doesn’t stay once in a lifetime.

Sarah Douglas: I was just going to say no, this is just the beginning for you Pearry. You’re on to greater things my darling. I’ve put – I’m laying money on it.

Pearry Teo: Okay.

Sarah Douglas: I really am.

Pearry Teo: But, and, you know, there are people who are going to be making snide remarks, you know. You know, as far as I’m concerned, you know, even movies like my favorite movie of all time, Nightmare Before Christmas, you know, I absolutely – as a filmmaker, as an audience, I couldn’t find a wrong thing about it but yet people have.

And it just appalls me that, you know, that people can find things like that. But, you know, that’s just how people are. Some people are going to like it. Some people are going to hate it. And I can’t make a movie, you know, to win everybody’s love. I don’t think that’s really realistic at all. But, you know, what I can do is I can take my love for movies. I can take my journey that has been incredible, the people I worked with, and hopefully translate it to, you know, on film.

And whether people want to take it positively or negatively, you know, that’s up to them. That’s their life. I can’t do anything about it.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Right. Right. Well thank you very much both of you and I’m glad Miss Douglas was able to join us back…

Sarah Douglas: Yes.

Noel Kirkpatrick: …and that’s all I have. Thank you.

Sarah Douglas: Yes. Sorry.

Pearry Teo: Yay.

Sarah Douglas: Sorry about that.

Noel Kirkpatrick: Oh no, it’s all right.

Jamie Ruby: Hi. So this question’s for Sarah. Hopefully you’ll stay on the line this time.

Sarah Douglas: Yes.

Jamie Ruby: Can you talk about your work…

Sarah Douglas: No. I’m going to try really hard.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. Can you talk about your work in Stargate [SG-1]?

Sarah Douglas: Yes. You – I – you asked me this question and then the line went dead. And I thought well that’s – it’s highly symbolic. And I, you know, Stargate is one of those jobs that I was absolutely delighted to be involved in it. I did a couple of episodes. I – it was quite some time ago now.

And I had the most fun with a bunch of very, very naughty men that – I mean there’s never been a group of guys as bad as those guys. I mean it was a pleasure and it was a challenge every day to work on it. And, you know, Stargate is – again it’s very interesting, this whole – because we’ve been talking about fans and fan base.

The fan base to Stargate, it’s fascinating. I’ve made some really, really, really good friends. And it’s interesting. It’s definitely, you know, I’m met scientists, mathematicians, doctors, lots of very professional people really seem to get off on Stargate.

If you’re going to ask me about my character, I can honestly say that you need to talk to the Stargate people because they understand it much better than I. I have long since realized that I’m booked for a lot of these jobs because I speak English with an English accent and people think I know what I’m talking about.

But I can honestly say I’m still very confused with the (t’couture) and the this, and the that and the whatever. So, it was a terrific experience. Thank you.

Jamie Ruby: Okay thanks. And one more question for you. As an actor, do you like re-watch your work and criticize yourself or – I know some people have a hard time watching themselves back.

Sarah Douglas: Hmm. I love to catch something suddenly in – I mean I was in Minneapolis this weekend and turned on and suddenly there was a little bit of Superman. And when that suddenly happens, I will sit and watch it for a little while. I don’t – it – way after the fact.

There are definitely jobs that I have not looked at again because I haven’t felt comfortable not so much with my performance, just the whole production. I just had somehow wished it had been different.

So, I don’t have a problem looking at myself because most of the time it doesn’t really look like me. I watched Witchville and will watch Witchville again. And the problem again for me in this instance is suddenly being older than 30 years ago on Superman or Conan or whatever it was.

So watching myself as an older woman on the screen is quite daunting. And watching all the young nubile women on it as well is even more daunting. And as far as watching performance-wise, yes, you know, I’m fortunate enough that mostly I don’t have a problem with the work that I’ve put in. Once in a blue moon I might think gosh I might have done that differently.

But there’s plenty of opportunity to get it right on the set. And so I’m – I don’t really criticize too much. It’s more to do with bad hair days, you know, that is more embarrassing to me. And there’s quite a few of those around, you know.

So – but Witchville is – Witchville was the first time in a while I’ve sort of sat back and I felt very comfortable with being, you know, a little bit older than everybody and being sort of, you know, in that space now. I – the costumes and every – everything was just so great. It’s a pleasure to watch and I shall be watching it again.

Jamie Ruby: Great.

Sarah Douglas: In fact I’ll be watching it on Saturday night. Yes. Sorry.

Jamie Ruby: That’s okay. And lastly for Pearry, can you talk about, a little bit, your work on Gene Generation, just kind of the whole design of the thing. And, it’s definitely different.

Pearry Teo: Yes. Well, you know, for Gene again, you know, I always go back to wanting to create a project just like Witchville that, you know, visually nobody had seen before. Being a very new director, I probably have left say in, you know, a script then, you know, my veteran counterparts which they rightfully deserve.

But so what I try to do is I try to inject, you know, visually, you know, my sense of style and all that. Again, it’s very hard to say what, you know, whether there was a conscious choice in doing something, you know, so much as, you know, I want to come out with something different. So I’m taking elements of what I love both, you know, growing up, not only from my imagination but from things that I’ve seen as a child or recently and try to, you know, put it all together.

So Gene Generation had elements of, you know, you know, something kind of like Blade Runner, you know, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, City of Lost Children, things like that. You know, I try to combine as much elements as I can and, you know, come up with something new.

Jamie Ruby: Okay great. Thank you very much both of you.

Pearry Teo: Thank you.

Sarah Douglas: Thank you.

Sarah Douglas: I’ve got one tiny blip. And let me just apologize for a miscommunication that I was going to be by a landline. So I appreciate you putting up with this mobile phone cell nonsense. Thank you.


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