We have another SYFY Q&A that we wish we could have taken part in (curse the weather), this time for Bitten. Having read Kelly Armstrong’s books, we’re certainly eager to see how this translates to the TV screen. Bitten begins on Monday.
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Syfy Conference Call, Bitten. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Monday, January 6th of 2014. I would now like to turn the conference over to Gary Morganstein. Please go ahead.
Gary Morgenstein: Welcome everyone. Thank you for joining us. On Monday, January 13th at 10:00 pm Syfy's delighted to premiere the new series Bitten starring Laura Vandervoort—who's here—the series based on the bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's novels. So, welcome both of you.
Operator: Our first question comes from the line of Tim Holquinn from ScreenFad. Please go ahead.
Tim Holquinn: I'm a big fan. First to Kelley. I wondered - I noticed that the show runner, Daegon Frynklind -- she wrote the pilot. I thought she did a really good job. I probably murdered her name there. But IMDB also gives you writing credits. I wondered if could confirm that and perhaps tell us how many and which episodes coming up that you wrote -- if any.
Kelley Armstrong: And no. I have not written any. There was talk of that early on. They had asked if I wanted to. And I definitely did. Nothing came of it, but maybe at some point in the future.
Tim Holquinn: Okay. Great. Just a quick follow up. Let me thank you for the inclusion of the martial arts aspect. I really enjoyed the sparring scene with Elena, Nick, and Clay. I thought that was great.
Laura Vandervoort: Oh, great. Yes.
Tim Holquinn: For Laura, I know you have a background in martial arts. Are you glad to be able to exercise that skill in this role? And was it part of your audition process in any way?
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. I grew up doing martial arts. So Elena feels like, you know, the other part of me. I relate to so much about her. Obviously, not the werewolf part, but the fact that she can take care of herself physically.
And I think it was great that the writers wrote in some extra hand-to-hand combat scenes. And especially in the finale -- we have this epic fight that I just had a great time doing. And we had great stunt coordinators that help us so as incorporate the animalistic side to the fighting.
It wasn't a part of the audition, but, you know, I think it definitely benefits the character. The fact that most of the actors on the show are physically able to do the fight scene sequences.
Tim Holquinn: I agree. I also found them really enjoyable. Well, I have more questions, but I'll get back in line. Thanks.
Kelley Armstrong: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Erin Willard with SciFi Mafia. Please go ahead.
Erin Willard: Hi. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I hope you both really for a good long run with this show because it is really terrific. And my husband enjoys it as well -- which is not true of every supernatural show I watch. So it's great and I really love it. Thanks so much. But my question is for both of you and would like to know how you each began your involvement with Bitten. So for Kelley, what was your inspiration for the book series? And for Laura, how did you first get involved in the TV series?
Kelley Armstrong: Okay. For the books, Bitten actually came out of an X-files episode. I was in a writing group. And as part of a writing group you're expected to actually write new stuff. I was trying to come up with an idea, sat down and watched X-files.
It was way back in their first season. Their one and only werewolf episode. It was your typical big guy who changes into some beast like thing and goes around slaughtering people under the full moon. And I said that's not how I would do werewolves.
And for a writer, that then sparks how would I do them? And I wrote a short story with this character named Elena and I loved that world so much that I wrote a book.
Erin Willard: Great.
Laura Vandervoort: I had no idea it was the X-files. That's really cool for me to know as well.
Kelley Armstrong: Which goes to show you how long ago I started writing Bitten. It was the first season of the show; it is old stuff.
Laura Vandervoort: I actually - yes, I love the X-files. Like I was watching that as well. So that's cool to know.
Erin Willard: And Laura, how did you get involved?
Laura Vandervoort: I actually received an offer for the role -- which was amazing, first of all. And ended up speaking to J.B. on the phone just to get an idea of the premise of the show and how it would look and how the wolves would be done.
And so we spoke for about an hour. And I heard how passionate he was about the project – he's our executive producer. And it just sounded like something I'd really been looking to do—such a layered thing—and the character who is both flawed and strong.
And so I read the books. I read Women of the Otherworld and Bitten and did a bit of research. And as soon as I realized the amazing quality of what was there I jumped on. And we did some auditions and chemistry reads with the guys and we just sort of hit the ground running—no pun intended.
And I mean it was the most challenging six months I've had thanks to Kelley and the writers. Every day was a challenge for me. And there were days where I didn't know if I'd be able to handle the emotional side of it or the physical side of it or just being in every scene. And I did. And I'm so grateful for the experience.