Today, in the first of three interviews, we’re talking with Emmett Furey out of Los Angeles, co-creator and star of the fictional ghost hunter series, Bumps in the Night.
IFP: Tell us about your current project. What is it called?
EF: Bumps in the Night is a cross between The Office and Ghost Hunters, a supernatural procedural comedy following the antics of a group of paranormal investigators who call themselves the “North Hollywood Ghost Strike Team (NOGHOST)”.
IFP: What was the inspiration for Bumps in the Night? Where did you get the idea for playing ghostbusters who were also pool cleaners?
EF: I think I’m going to have to answer “Ghost Hunters” for both questions, to give credit where it’s due. Jason and Grant work for Roto-Rooter by day and hunt ghosts at night, and we wanted to ape that paradigm and give our guys a similarly menial day job.
IFP: What do you want to tell the audience with this series?
EF: On some level, we are parodying shows like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State, but Bumps in the Night is far from a joke at paranormal enthusiasts’ expense. The earnestness of Greg and Emmett’s belief in the paranormal is a tip of the hat to people who want to believe everywhere.
IFP: How do you feel Bumps in the Night fits into the horror/ghostbusting genre?
EF: At its heart, Bumps in the Night is a character-driven sitcom, but the NOGHOST team will find themselves investigating all manner of paranormal entities. And whenever possible, my fellow writers and I try to put a twist on an old ghost story.
IFP: What other projects have you done? What was your favourite?
EF: At the moment, the other half of my focus is on another web series I’m working on, a transmedia superhero musical called “Fury of Solace“. Fury of Solace is told through live-action videos and online comics at www.furyofsolace.com. And fans can delve deeper into the world of the show by interacting with the characters in a Twitter-based ARG (www.twitter.com/furyofsolace).
IFP: What is your favourite genre in television?
EF: Well, my favourite series of all time is HBO’s The Wire, and I guess that speaks to my proclivities when it comes to television. I much prefer episodic television to procedural shows.
IFP: How do you think webseries differ from traditional television and film?
EF: I’ve always been a proponent of writers taking advantage of the medium they’re working in, and there are a lot of unique story-telling opportunities in web television.
For one thing, I’ve found that working in the short form that web TV seems to require is a lot more freeing than I would ever have thought. When done right, web television can deliver a denser, more fulfilling experience than anything you can find in old media.
Moreover, web series are unparalleled in their ability to create a truly interactive experience by taking advantage of social media sites like Twitter. Check out the Bumps in the Night Twitter feed for daily Ghost Hunting tips.
IFP: What do you see as the biggest challenge in producing a webseries?
EF: Monetisation is the easy answer there. In Los Angeles especially, there is no dearth of talented creative professionals who will rally around a worthwhile web TV project and take the pay cuts required to produce it on the cheap. But finding a way to make a web series self-sufficient, and to ensure that all involved get a return on their investment, seems to be the trick.
IFP: Do you have a favourite ghostbusting show?
EF: Ghost Hunters.
IFP: Who is your favourite showrunner?
EF: Joss Whedon.
IFP: What artistic accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
EF: If you couldn’t tell from some of my earlier answers, I feel like everyone creating original content for the Internet are truly pioneers. I’ve never been prouder of the work I’m doing creating shows like Bumps in the Night and Fury of Solace in this evolving New Media landscape.
IFP: If you could be a Lovecraft/Mythos monster, which one would you be?
EF: Let’s say, “Dagon”. I think I’m part-fish anyway.
IFP: What is your favourite Lovecraft/Mythos story?
EF: Sticking with a theme, I’m going to have to go with “Shadow Over Innsmouth“. Heh, and I’m not just saying that because this interview is going on Innsmouth Free Press. I was a big fan of the game Resident Evil 4 and its allusions to that story, and to the Lovecraft mythos in general, were none too subtle. I’d have to say it was RE 4 and a game called “Eternal Darkness” that inspired me to pick up Lovecraft in the first place.
IFP: Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
IFP: What is your dream project?
EF: I’ve heard rumours that Kyle MacLachlan is trying to resurrect Twin Peaks as a web series. I’d say that would be my dream project of the moment.