Who’s your favorite character to write? Why?
My favorite character is Sara. She is a solid individual. She is compassionate, humane, intelligent, and a badass.
But, ultimately, all of the characters are wonderful. When I started creating the characters for Almost Dead, I put a lot of thought into it. I’ve seen these characters in my mind for many years, and there’s many great characters in the first season. Every time I create a character, I focus on their life and what lead them to that moment in our story. I use pictures of real people, and I put them in a collage, almost, and then I think about their hair and their eyes and their noses and their expressions. Then, I make that character come to life. I introduce myself to that character. Then, at that point, they become part of the story. If the character is not ready yet and hasn’t been introduced to me in a way that I feel fits the story, then I put them in the back lot. Of course, I’m gonna use them, but not at that moment. That’s the process of character creation and building for me. I spent over two years creating and developing the characters. Once I was ready to introduce Ryan Benjamin to the characters, I gave him every single image and bit of info that I’d put together pertaining to them: their characteristics, their life story, their clothing everything that you could possibly think of and then Ryan took all of that and spectacularly created that character within the story. Like he says: he sees with his hands, his hands are an extension of his mind. I always make sure to give him as much detail as possible, because it’s very important to me and I hope you all fall in love and connect with every one of characters.
Why did you choose 2005 as the time setting for “Almost Dead”?
I chose 2005 because it’s a period in time where smart phones-such asthe iPhone-haven’t taken over. Professionals used Blackberries back then, which had messaging and some apps, but it was very archaic compared to today’s iPhones and smart phone technology. We’re currently carrying a personal computer in our pocket with the world in our fingertips, but in 2005 it was a simpler time. YouTube had just launched in 2005, and, that summer, one of their videos received over 1 million views. That is nothing in today’s world. The Internet wasn’t as fast in most places, and in some cities and towns people still used dial-up or very low-level cable Internet. This really affects the use of technology.
I wanted to give the story a chance to go on without using too much modem- day technology, and introduced some things that we don’t use today as well as some that are part of our lives now. It’s the beginning stages of many amazing things that we don’t use anymore, so it’s a good timeline for me. I think the early 2000s to me is that time, when technology still hadn’t taken over our lives and people still went outside to enjoy the world. Yet some advances started to show up, it’s the beginning of what we use today. So, I thought it would be cool and fun to do that.