Bryan Fuller & Hugh Dancy talk about new TV series “Hannibal”

Hannibal Lecter. The one man you never want to see at the dinner table. Named the #1 Villain in film history by the American Film Institute. Since first appearing in author Thomas Harris’ novel, “Red Dragon,” the cannibal with the PhD has appeared in five feature films, including the Oscar winning Best Picture, “Silence of the Lambs.” Now, thanks to Executive Producer Bryan Fuller, Dr. Lecter makes his television debut in the new original series, “Hannibal.” The show features Mads Mikkelsen as the good doctor, Hugh Dancy as FBI agent Will Graham and Laurence Fishburne as Graham’s superior, Jack Crawford. The show debuts tonight (April 4) at 10:00 pm EST on NBC.

To get the word out about the show, Executive Producer Bryan Fuller and co-star Hugh Dancy sat down with Media Mikes to talk about the new show, fans of the films and exactly how much is TOO much?

Media Mikes: In going deeper into Hannibal Lecter, how much new territory did you feel there was to explore given what’s already been written?
Bryan Fuller: Well given what’s already been written, I thought there was a lot that existed that hadn’t been explored yet. So I was really excited at the opportunity to really explore things that didn’t make it to any of the movies. They’ve made a handful of films and because of the limited real estate that you have in doing a movie that we’re doing a television series that gets you 13 hours a season, we were able to get into much more specifics with the character, particularly Will Graham’s character who Hugh Dancy plays so magnificently and wonderfully neurotically. He was traditionally played as a stoic leading man. And what we get because of the really complex psychology of the character that’s in the literature, we get to explore that in a way that nobody has before. So that was very exciting.

MM: Hugh, since Will was already established in the books, what was the biggest challenge for you to make him unique to you?
Hugh Dancy: Well I think the challenge laid is just in the fact that Thomas Harris created, and then Bryan interpreted, such a complicated character. I wasn’t worried about the fact that he already existed on the page. If anything I think that’s helpful to have a blueprint for your performance written by a great writer. You have something to turn to. And I certainly went to the first place after I met with Bryan and we spoke, the first place I went to is back to the novel and really tried to use that as a launch pad.

MM: Bryan, can you talk a little bit about the casting and finding the perfect cast? Why you felt that Hugh was perfect for Will and especially why Mads was perfect for Hannibal?
BF: One of the reasons that Hugh was so ideal for the role is that Will Graham, who is kind of burdened by his own neuroses and personality disorders, could come off as unlikable unless you have an actor who kind of invites you into his vulnerability with those neuroses and with those personality disorders that actually gives you permission to care for them as opposed to being pushed away. And Will Graham is a character who pushes people away and has barriers that he throws up as social defenses. So we needed somebody who had a vulnerability that kind of transcends any sort of barriers that he throws up and takes you into the world and allows you to care for him even though he is so buttoned up and damaged. That was the main reason. And Hugh was unanimous. When we all sat down and we talked about who was our Will Graham. Hugh Dancy’s name came up and it was very easy for all of us to say like “oh yeah, he’s the one. Let’s meet with him and see if we can hook him.”

MM: As far as being visually graphic, is there anything that NBC has told you that you can’t do?
BF: Oh yeah. There’s lots. What’s been really great about working with NBC on this project is that they recognize that they are doing a horror show and the show is called “Hannibal Lecter.” And they have, you know, put us on at 10 o’clock for a reason – so we can maximize what we can show to honor the genre and also provide fans of the genre certain ingredients that they are expecting to see. But there’s absolutely places where they won’t allow us to go. And that’s too far and you need to come back from that. It’s always a push/pull because it’s like “ooh, can we do this” and we show it to them and they’re like “ooh, not that one.” So it’s definitely collaboration and they’re taking it very seriously. They’re aware that they are presenting a horror show and they have to honor that audience. But we’re not necessarily – I would love to be going a lot further. But NBC keeps on reminding me where the line is. And that’s the responsibility as a broadcast network. But they have been very, very supportive in terms of what we can do and going as far as we can without being X rated.

MM: Can you give an example or two? What are some of the things that they said no to?
BF: Arterial spray. There are some episodes where going back through I was like “ooh, you know, I hope we get to release the DVD version of the “Unsuitable for Broadcast Television” collection of the show.” So eye gouging, seeing people’s intestines being removed from their bodies in great, you know, noodly clumps. Those types of things they tend to say, ummm… no.” Which they should because I think, as an artist in the role of executive producing the show, I want to please the core audience more than anyone and it’s NBC’s responsibility that we don’t go so far that we alienate members of the audience who are willing to stick through some of the horror elements but we can’t, you know, drop a bucket of blood on them and expect them to have a good time.

Zachery Bryan talks about producing horror film “Rogue River”

Zachery Bryan is known best for his role in the TV series “Home Improvement”.  He is currently spending his time working on his production company, Vision Entertainment Group. Their latest film is titled “Rogue River” and is a excellent entry to the horror genre.  Media Mikes had a chance to discuss the film with Zachery and find out what Vision has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you become involved with producing “Rogue River”?
Zachery Bryan: I was a child actor for quite a few years and then made the transition into adult acting. My producing partner, Adam Targum, and I were at a Dodgers game talking back and forth about what we wanted to be doing and we were a little frustrated with the creative side of our business. We decided to start Vision Entertainment Group. Right off the bat, we found a script that we attached a director to and sold that project to Lionsgate. We were not very involved on the physical side of that project. For the next project, we raised the money and produced it ourselves. We found a phenomenal investor and we started looking for scripts. “Rogue River” was one that came very quickly to us. We liked this script for a few different reasons. The price point of the film was pretty reasonable as we didn’t want to start with a large budgeted film. We actually filmed it in the Rogue River area of Oregon. We also liked it because it was a script that wasn’t reinventing the wheel from a plot stand point. There were some original set pieces however. This had all the “it’s” that we needed. We are really excited for the film to be coming out.

MG: How would you categorize the film?
ZB: It is definitely horror genre. Our log line would be that the lead character has lost her father and takes his ashes to spread at the Rogue River. Things ultimately go wrong and she ends up being held captive. The film has quite a few twists and turns.

MG: What do you like most about working in the horror genre?
ZB: It’s good from a business sense as there is a great demographic out there. Horror has an extremely strong and dedicated fan base. The film will make its way out there and people will hopefully see it.

MG: What was the biggest challenge of working on the film?
ZB: From a production stand point, I would have to say the weather. We filmed from November in to December in Southern Oregon…and it was freezing. We had things breaking all the time due to the weather. Other than that things went really smooth.

MG: Having grown up in the TV business with “Home Improvement”, how do you compare from producing?
ZB: They are both so different. Acting is much more emotional. Producing is long hours and you are with the project from start to finish and sometimes even longer. I like producing because I like making decisions. I look at it as you are the painter not just the paintbrush. You get to work on every aspect of the project not just one specific part.

MG: What do you have planned next to produce?
ZB: Our next film titled “The Grief Tourist” is not horror at all. This film is a very art house type film about a guy obsessed with following serial killers. The film stars Michael Cudlitz and Melanie Griffith.

Concert Review “Tail Gates and Tan Lines Tour” Luke Bryan, Justin Moore & Lee Brice

“Tail Gates and Tan Lines Tour”
Luke Bryan, Justin Moore. Lee Brice
Date: Sunday, June 17th 2012
Venue: Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

 Luke Bryan’s “Tail Gates and Tan Lines” tour pulled into the Tag’s Summer Stage in the Upstate NY town of Big Flats on June 17th to kick off the venues 2012 concert season. Along with Luke Bryan were fellow country music acts Justin Moore and Lee Brice.

Long lines stretched out the venues gates as the estimated 5,000 concert goers made their way into the medium sized outdoor venue to enjoy a night of music from 3 country superstars. Lee Brice would kick off the night bringing his brand of rock infused country to the already near capacity crowd.

Brice played a number of songs off his latest album “Hard 2 Love” which quickly had fanson their feet and singing along. The set also included a guest performance from Today Show host Hoda Kotb. Justin Moore would take the stage next as the venue reached near capacity numbers and preceded to kick the energy level up a notch.Moore opened the set with the country meets rock song “Guns” before launching into hits such as “How I Got to Be This Way “, “Small Town USA” and closed out the night with the song “Backwoods”.

Luke Bryan closed out the night and immediately took control of the crowd which consisted mostly of cowboy hat clad women and their unsuspecting boyfriends. Bryan opened his set with the popular song “Rain Is a Good Thing” before leading into his latest single “Drunk On You” and the always popular number “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)”. Those in attendance were treated to a great night of music and entertainment as all three acts seemed to put their best effort forward. I highly recommend checking out the tour if it is making a stop in your area this summer.

Justin Moore Set List:
1.) Guns
2.) How I Got to Be This Way
3.) My Kind of Woman
4.) Backroad
5.) Twang
6.) Til My Last Day/I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
7.) Heaven
8.) Beer Time
9.) Bait a Hook
10.) Rowdy Friends/Hank It
11.) Small Town
12.) Ass
13.) Backwoods