Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

Behind the Scenes: Gnarlhawk-ja vu?

February 15, 2009

Earlier this week, Fortuna Favors the Bold readers were in for a treat when they met Daisingdale’s newest resident – Dr. Gnarlhawk Sinclair. A maverick iconoclast, debonair man-about-town and dedicated physician, Gnarlhawk has been an instant hit with fans, but long-time blogudrama enthusiasts may have realized that there’s more to the good doctor, than meets the eye. We sent Katy Zopf to find out more.

Katy Zopf: I’m here with associate producer Clyde Hastings. Thanks for talking to Behind the Scenes Clyde.

Clyde Hastings: Thank you Katy. You can go ahead and italicize that ‘you’.

KZ: I’m already hitting ctrl+i, ha ha ha-

CH: I’ll stop you there Katy. Like most intelligent creative people Katy I use a Mac. That’s probably a PC reference?

KZ: Um, yes. Sorry, I think for you it’s the button with the apple on-

CH: The command key.

KZ: Yeah. So command key and i.

CH: Oh I see, but the remark’s not terribly witty is it?

KZ: Not really. But I can cut this out-

CH: No no, it doesn’t reflect poorly on me. You can ask the first question now dear.

KZ: Well…. the question on everyone’s lips is, what is so familiar about Dr. Gnarlhawk Sinclair?

CH: Familiar? There’s a number of ways I could answer that question. In the archetypal sense, Gnarlhawk is known to even those who have never encountered him directly.

KZ: Could you please talk about the other Web site he was on?

CH: Rather a leading question. Very well. Gnarlhawk is new to the Fortuna mythos, but the character himself has been around for quite awhile.

KZ: You’re speaking of course about the short-lived Web site Gnarlhawk Sinclair P.I. M.D.

CH: You shouldn’t include ‘of course’ in those sort of declaratives dear. It’s patronizing to the listener. And short-lived is a relative term.

KZ: Well, again I can leave it out of the-

CH: No, please. You’ll learn this way. Yes, Gnarlhawk Sinclair P.I. M.D. was one of the first Web projects I worked on. It was another time, we had a certain naive enthusiasm about the possibilities of Web drama – this was before the term blogudrama even existed, you understand – every second word was hyperlinked to some convoluted subplot point. I remember, quite fondly, a remark from an ex-classmate of mine from Brown – where I graduated magna cum laude – he said that reading an average episode of Gnarlhawk was like trying to decipher Goethe’s original notes for the Urfaust. Ha ha ha!

KZ: ….So, the main character was a private detective and a doctor?

CH: I think that’s quite obvious from the title dear.

KZ: And what happened to the… Short. Lived. Site? Would you imagine that it’s total failure was the fault of anyone in particular? 

CH: Indeed not. I’m sure the experience of ‘not getting it’ isn’t something completely alien to you dear. Any commenter worth his salt would conclude that the internet-viewing public, at that time, had not matured to the extent that a work like Gnarlhawk would find it’s readership.

KZ: No one read it?

CH: Many people read it.

KZ: But they didn’t… like it?

CH: They didn’t appreciate it… What say we move on to something more interesting?

KZ: I’m sure that’s what many of them were thinking at the time.

So there you have it – Dr. Gnarlhawk Sinclair, an exciting new character for FFtB readers, and a veteran of the world of blogudramas – the doctor will see you now 😉

Check back soon for more exclusive insights from FFtB’s Behind the Scenes.

Everyone here at BtS wishes Katy well in her job search.

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Behind the Scenes

January 22, 2009

From time to time we’ll take you behind the scenes of Fortuna Favors the Bold to let you see what it takes to bring each exciting episode to the Web. In this installment we meet Head Researcher Gloria Frenkel.

BtS: What’s your role on Fortuna Favors the Bold?

GF: The writers come to me with a script, either a first draft or something more fleshed out, and ask me to have my people look it over. We’re on the look-out for anything inconsistent, maybe something that contradicts a previous episode, and all the fact-checking too.

BtS: Was the run up to FFtB’s launch a difficult time for you?

GF: You have no idea. The guys here hate me for having them working round the clock, but that’s the dedication that it takes to bring something like Fortuna together. The worst moment came when Pierce [Mulholland, of the writing staff] took me aside, and remember this is when we were totally snowed-under doing all the background medical work for the Stockton coma story, and he said, 

‘Glo. Episode 3 is gonna be in Morocco.’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s unheard of to do overseas episodes so early in a run, and I told him! But once Pierce has his mind set on something there’s no shaking him. So there we were, with less than a month to know Rabat inside-out.

BtS: What kind of things did you have to learn about the place?

GF: Everything. One of the key principles that Fortuna is based on, is complete authenticity. We had to know the city better than the Rabatians themselves. Had we had more time I would’ve gone over with my people, taken in the atmosphere for a week or two – but Fortuna’s release schedule doesn’t allow for that. So I sent Jacob [Noth, a junior researcher] over for a few days. To note down every detail – the little things you don’t pick up from academic sources. He did a lot of legwork and more than none of the credit should go to him.

BtS: David Manning of the Ridgefield Press has called Episode 3 a ‘triumph’. He said ‘readers will be whisked away to a Morocco more engaging, more visceral and more tongue-bitingly real, than anything to appear in Western fiction to date.’ How does that make you feel?

GF: I was really touched when I read that. Researchers are the background people, the ones you never hear much about. To have that kind of attention paid, that recognition. It’s really something special. And it’s even more meaningful coming from David Manning, who I know was the Ridgefield Press’ North African correspondant for many years. So he lived in these places. I believe his second wife was actually a Moroccan.

BtS: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

GF: Yes.

Next time on Behind the Scenes, we’ll pull back the curtain a little farther and meet another one of FFtB’s talented creators.