You’re credited as an executive producer. What does that mean as far as your day-to-day responsibilities when working in Castlevania?
That’s a big question, so for me as an executive producer, obtaining animation rights to Castlevania back in the mid 2000s originated with me. Going back then, [I] produced the show with Frederator studios but as an executive producer, I’m responsible for everything creative, the talent, budget, schedule, the animation. Like every aspect of the show is my responsibility.
We’ve heard Warren Ellis has never actually played the Castlevania games, but then Sam and Adam Deats have. How do you balance the directions of keeping its original while maintaining the core of Castlevania itself?
It’s an interesting balance that I think works right. Warren has never played the Castlevania game and I honestly don’t think he needs to. His job as the creative writer is to find those characters and adapt those elements from the games in a way that sort of honors the source material. Sam and Adam, on the other hand, are you know die-hard Castlevania gamers and they know all the lore, all the easter eggs, weaponry, and all of those things.
Creatively we’ve figured out how to allow those elements to work together and to not adversely impact the story, but to benefit the story now. There are examples like in season three, the ball of bodies, the Legion character. That was really something that came from Sam and Adam.
Things like Alucard’s shield and his costume and those types of elements are things that the animation team and the Deats bring into the series.
With all the different agendas and conflicts internally as opposed to our main trio, how are you able to balance all of the motivations and aspects with each other?
Credit to Warren Ellis, he made all of those things work together. I think having a plan for a third and a fourth season, you know with the conclusion, at the onset, and being able to start you know, from the point of you know, I have whatever 20 episodes to get from point A to point B, point C, certainly, you know is helpful but it’s a lot to track and credit to him, especially given that most shows like this right that isn’t animated most drama shows are.
Live-actions are hour-long shows and we’re dealing with half-hour episodes, so being able to track multiple characters’ diversion storylines over two seasons compared to traditional drama format is no easy task and I think he did a masterful job.
Episode 6 of Castlevania Season 4 blew us away. Could you touch a bit on the creative process for that?
We have most of the scripts before we start the animation. We know from past experience with the show that there are certain episodes that are going to be more difficult than others.
Episode six is certainly one of those [episodes]. We plan with the animation team for that from the beginning and I think you see a lot of that reflected in that episode. In terms of the quality of animation, the tender loving care that was put into it…
It’s a big moment that’s sort of the culmination of a bunch of storylines colliding. Isaac comes for Hector and Carmilla resolving the stories for those characters. But it’s not just Carmilla but also the other vampire sisters
It’s a big episode and it’s an important episode we paid a lot of attention to and put a lot of focus on.
By the end of the finale, do you have a favorite character from Castlevania?
It’s so hard, even for me as a producer on the show. I’m a fan of the show and the actors. We’ve been fortunate enough to get so many great and talented actors that you know brought these characters to life. It’s really hard. I guess I’m sort of a fan of Isaac’s story in the series. It’s one of my favorite parts.
Carmilla is great and Lenore was great. There’s a whole sequence in the final episode with Hector and Lenore that is amazing.
There’s a lot to unpack right and I think again that’s one of the reasons why the show has resonated with people and you look online and you look. Wherever and everyone has a different favorite right or someone that they absolutely hate, you know, people who love Lenore… people who hate Lenore… people who love Carmilla… people who hate Carmilla.
We were able to run a character poll with Netflix Anime and Lenore ended up being number four on the list and then Carmilla ended up number nine.
She’s (Lenore) very interesting! Jessica Brown Findlay does her voice and she does an amazing job. She’s a character in shades of gray morality which makes her very interesting so I can understand that.
Thank you again to Kevin Kolde and Netflix for the opportunity. Castlevania Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.