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Creator's Corner » Stacks - Cherie Peters & Kathy Forti
Tell us about your sci-fi web series.
Kathy: It's all about one woman's search for truth in a crazy world of lies and deception. The main character, Cali Cavaleri, is no perfect heroine. She's been known to tell quite a few whoppers to cover her ass, because her life is pretty much a screw up. In Stacks, she finds herself caught up in the intrigue of discovering greater forces at work behind the scenes which govern her world in true conspiracy style. In her wildest dreams she would never have imagined that finding a dead guy's cell phone would open up a whole new reality for her that she would have to make sense of.
Cherie: This is a story of young girl who comes to realize the truth isn't always what it seems. Ironically, Cali Cavaleri makes a living writing lies for the tabloids and finds herself in a 6th dimension of truth...in the LOT (The Library of Truth) where all truth for all time is kept. Only a powerful few know of about the LOT...and Cali soon finds out that the truth can kill.
Where did the idea/concept for your web series come from?
Kathy: One night I woke up from a dream so compelling I had to write it down. It was three in the morning and I couldn't get back to sleep. I had information about portals, inter-dimensional depositories for Truth, even information on the banking crisis and how it would be played out. And, mind, you, all this information came to me before the real banking crisis occurred. It all seemed so real and my head was spinning with what I felt was a very interesting storyline. The concept was turned into a TV pilot I wrote called Stacks, which took place in the real Library of Congress--the mother of all portals. The script won an award at the Slamdance Teleplay Competition, but went no where due to the writer's strike at the time. So I adapted it and down-scaled it for the Beverly Hills Library with a female lead versus a male one. Originally, Zack was the main character.
Name some of your sci-fi influences. Any favorite movies, TV shows, novels?
Kathy: Stargate, The Matrix, The X-Files. I'm really enjoying Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. That really gets you thinking.
Tell us about the technical production of your show. What camera & equipment did you use? Editing software & hardware? For visual effects, etc?
Cherie: We shot Stacks in six days with a crew of five, all of whom have worked on television series and feature films. We shot on the Sony Z1U HD camera and edited on an AVID DV Pro system. We were fortunate to get the visual effects artist who has worked on many feature films including Titanic (Hitoshi Inoue).
Can you tell us any interesting facts or trivia about your show? Any funny stories?
Kathy: Most of it the show was funded on game show winnings that just happened to fall into my lap. I was invited to be a contestant on a new game show called Catch 21 that dealt with blackjack and trivia. I didn't know diddly about blackjack strategy at the time, but I did have a head for useless facts and a fast hand buzzer reflex. To make it even more challenging, I was sick with food poisoning the day they shot the show and felt like crap. I dragged myself in to the studio and all I can say is the game show gods must have taken pity on me. I was sure I'd be toast before the first round was over. Instead, I was the first female winner to win the jackpot. I was told I played a perfect game, so someone up there must have known I would need funds to pull off Stacks.
Cherie: The LOT was shot in a mortuary! We loved the marble floors and high ceilings, put up a green screen and it was created in post! It was a bit surreal filming there!
Eric Martsolf, who played Agent L. Hunter who stars in Days of Our Lives tends to play such serious roles, but he is actually hysterical off camera. He had the crew laughing constantly! He should definitely do a comedy! Sam Vitez who plays Annika has a band (Rough Duchess) and plays the local clubs here in LA. And Jackie Tohn who stars as Cali, entertained us with her humor and song in between takes. She has awesome pipes!
Stacks - SciFinal Page
More behind the scenes from Stacks below:
DP at work
Jackie and Sam shooting on green
Director Paul Peters on location
Setting up a location shot
Jackie waiting for her cue
Sam Vitez getting makeup