"Redwood" - Series Poster
If you’re a fan of all things vampire, then you’re going to love the new web series “Redwood.” This fresh spin on the genre centers around a vampire keeping a sickly human alive by feeding her his blood, instead of the standard sharp-toothed feeding frenzy.
From creator/actor Alisha Peats and producer/actor Jasmine Hester, “Redwood” was selected to screen at the upcoming Holly Shorts Film Festival on April 8th. But, if you can’t wait…the good thing is you don’t have to. This dark and gritty drama, directed by up-and-comer Michael Willer, premiered online back in January and has been rolling out its first season over the last several weeks at: link
I recently had a chance to catch up with Alisha Peats and Jasmine Hester to find out more about the first season of “Redwood,” their roles both in-front of the camera and behind the scenes and what’s next for this new supernatural vampire series.
HOLLY: Tell us about your new supernatural vampire web series, “Redwood.”
ALISHA: Redwood is a dramatic vampire genre web series. The story centers around Skylar Jones, a young woman who is dying from an allergic reaction to medical vampire blood. Days from death, she meets a young vampire who seems to show up out of nowhere with a potential cure for her fatal illness: his blood. He agrees to feed her his blood, but nothing is as simple as it seems, and the resulting battles, both emotional and physical, put Skylar and everyone she loves at risk.
Almost all of the episodes are around 10 minutes long so we really give the audience a little bit to chew on (no pun intended.) A lot of web series today consist of a bunch of short little comedy skits. That’s not us.
HOLLY: Are you a huge fan of vampire dramas or what made you steer towards creating something in this genre?
JASMINE: I personally have always liked vampires, and the sci-fi/fantasy genres. I have a huge imagination, so it’s intriguing to be a part of making a vampire-based drama. As an actress, I’ve never had the opportunity to play a character like Ana, let alone be a vampire, so it was a very interesting and exciting experience.
ALISHA: I have always been a fan of vampire dramas. Growing up, I never missed an episode of Buffy or Angel. And more recently I’ve become a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and Being Human. Name a vampire show and I’ve probably watched it. That said, I was very hesitant to make my own vampire show because I was worried we would instantly be compared to all these amazing shows that have way bigger budgets than us. Obviously we can’t have people getting thrown through brick buildings or vampires exploding into blood and guts when they die. Our stunts and special effects are limited by our budget. But I love vampires. So I decided to write a show that had vampires in it but was more ABOUT the human struggles. Vampires are, after all, humans who have simply lived way too long. It has to wear on them emotionally. And let’s face it, exploding bodies and awesome stunts are great, but watching someone struggle with emotions and insecurities that we feel every day is what compelling television is all about. It’s a powerful thing. That said… we do have some awesome choreographed fights!
HOLLY: You both act in the project as well as creating and producing. Was it hard to wear that many hats all at the same time or is it easier because you understand what you want from a scene?
JASMINE: If I said that it was easy, I’d be lying to you. Alisha and I have never produced anything, so this was our first go at such a big production, it was definitely a “learn as you go” experience, we made some mistakes, and learned from them. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make a production run smoothly, so a lot of the time, we found that this would have to be our focus, but as actors who are very passionate about their work, at times we found it difficult to balance production, with building our characters, and doing “homework” on our script. However, when it came to actually shooting Redwood, it became a little easier because we were pretty good at making sure the other one took off their “producer” hat while acting, and we were there to remind each other of that for the duration of the shoot, so that helped.
ALISHA: Yes and yes. It is challenging to wear multiple hats. I think over the course of the first season Jasmine and I wore about 40 hats each. It could be quite overwhelming at times. I think I developed multiple personalities: producer, writer, and actress. I may or may not have had some Gollum moments. That said, by the time we started rehearsing Redwood, I knew pretty well how I wanted to portray Skylar. So the acting came easy.
HOLLY: What’s next for the series? Are you thinking of a second season?
ALISHA: Yes! A second season is in the works. It will be longer than the first season and it will introduce some awesome new characters and plot twists. I can honestly say if someone enjoyed the first season, they will LOVE the second season. The story gets intense. The plan is to start Season 2 pre-production this spring and hopefully shoot this summer.
JASMINE: Well, as of now we are going into our season finale for season one! We have a few film festivals that Redwood will be screening at, so we’re really excited about those. We’re currently trying to research other ways to get Redwood on a bigger stage, so that we can expand our audience, and of course there will be a season two!! It is currently in the writing stages, and we promise it will have lots of new plot twists and new characters… it’s going to be phenomenal!
HOLLY: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers? And, how can audiences watch this new webseries and keep updated on future episodes?
JASMINE: Just want to take the time to acknowledge the many people who helped make “Redwood” what it is. We had an amazing cast (Mark Barry, Laura Soares, Jeff Torres, Alli Miller, Rane Jameson, Joey Kloberdanz and our hikers!), extremely talented crew (Michael Willer, Doniella Davy, Charlie Murphy, Harry Morrison, Matt Sanders), and a very helpful stunt coordinator (Eric Shamm Watson) and of course our friends and family who helped us on kickstarter, Alisha and I wouldn’t know what to do without your help, and we’re extremely grateful.
There are a few ways to view “Redwood”…
We have our website: link
We also have a youtube channel: link
Both of these places have episodes, cast interviews, or “Talk to us Tuesday” segments, as well as other behind the scenes footage. “Redwood” can also be viewed on link
ALISHA: We would be nowhere without these amazing people. Also, regarding our social media sites, we are always on our Facebook and Twitter pages so it’s a great way to connect with us. We always respond to every comment and tweet, and we love hearing from people who are enjoying the show. Plus (you didn’t hear this from me) we give away a lot of free stuff. ;-)
Alisha Peats - on-set of "Redwood"
Jasmine Hester - on-set of "Redwood"