may not know who Robert Chapin is, but I can bet you've seen him or
at least seen his work. Robert has been featured in “Hook” and “Army
of Darkness” and has done visual effects for films such as “X-Men
II” and “The Chronicles of Riddick”. Mr. Chapin is an actor, stunt
coordinator, and fantastic swordsman who has created his own online
horror series called, "The
Ring of Steel|
Think of The Hunted as Highlander
and/or Buffy the Vampire Slayer being filmed by the crew from FOX’s
COPS. Then add in a couple scoops of comedy and you have a funny
butt kicking, vampire fiesta. The first season of the show looked as
if it was trying to find a voice, but the second season really
delivers on both a great amount of action and comedy. It was a
refreshing spin on the Vampire mythos.
Fan Film Follies
and The Comic Book Bin are both proud to introduce
you to another regular feature as we talk to the people who create
these fine -Fan Film- offerings! This month let us talk to Robert
Chapin about his great internet offering!
BIN (through Christopher Moshier): My dog threw up
this morning. He just didn't throw up in a couple spots he
threw up in a span of the bedroom door to the bedroom bed.
After mowing the lawn and cleaning my office all day I had to tackle
Why the hell am I telling you
I watched "The Hunted" season 1
& 2 between shampooing and cleaning the carpet. I thought
I would share that tender moment with you.
CHAPIN: Hmm. I wonder how that came to
mind. Let's see, what can I do whilst I clean up dog
vomit? Perhaps there's a marketing strategy I hadn't thought
CBB: First I
treated the carpet then watched season #1 and your incite into that
season. Then I steamed the carpet then watched season #2 and your
incite into that season while waiting for it to dry. So my day was
lawn, cleaning vomit, and "The Hunted". You must feel a special
internal fuzzy knowing this!
RC: Something internal. Not
sure if I would call it fuzzy.
I must say I didn't get it first season out. I really didn't
get the show until the first episode of season 2 (The
Stalker). Pretty funny stuff. Season 1 to me seemed like
a bunch of friends going out and filming like I used to do with my
high school buddies years ago (of course without swords). But
season 2 clunked me over the head enough to "get" the show or maybe
it was the fumes from the carpet cleaner! I'll have to
re-watch the first season now.
RC: These episodes were meant
to get our feet wet before we shot the pilot episode which explains
everything. Unfortunately, more episodes presented themselves
and after 16 episodes I still have yet to shoot the pilot.
CBB: I've read the
interviews on the Hunted site about you and really don't want to
rehash questions that others have asked.
RC: Fire away.
CBB: Is it Chapin
like chapped lips or Chapin like Chopin?
RC: Chapin like as in Harry
Chapin - actually a distant relative.
CBB: Should we
address you as 'Dr. Bob' Chapin?
RC: I see someone has been
looking at IMDB. Dr. Bob was a high school nickname which I
used on "Armageddon." Not sure if anyone from my high school
actually saw it.
CBB: This struck
me while you were driving and late for a vampire appointment in the
episode "Rendezvous". The "405"!?! I picked up on
this immediately being an online movie fan. I take it you were
talking about this 405 The
RC: I was hoping someone would
pick that up - especially since it's a breakthrough film when it
comes to internet content.
CBB: I understand
there is a new "cable" channel coming along called the Martial Arts
entertainment group the MAC
Experience. I think this would be a great
venue for your show. Have you considered or even heard of this
RC: Haven't heard of it.
I imagine that there's going to be tons of channels out there soon
enough - not just on cable, but on satellite, digital broadcast TV,
and the internet. That's one of the reasons I started the
show. There are more channels out there than there is
CBB: This is going
to seem bizarre, but in one of your episodes it took place at a
Renaissance Festival. Do you know of Don Juan and Miguel. I have
seen them many times at the Sterling, New York fair and I know Don
(Jose Granados) helped form "The Ring of Steel" that was mentioned
in one of your interviews so that is why I ask.
I know Don Juan and Miguel from when I started swordplay back in
'82. And yes, I got my start at renaissance fairs. The
show at the beginning of "Faire Warning" is a show I toured
with for several years on the west coast called "The Fyne Arte of
Enough with my silly questions! Let's get to the meat.
Normally I would ask how you came up with the concept, but you've
answered that on other sites so I refrain.
CBB: This is how I
see the concept so correct me if I’m wrong. Your character's
name is Bob (go figure) and you were bitten by a vampire, but have
recovered from your blood lust in turn forming a support group for
others such as yourself. In turn this group helps others by
fighting off the really bad vampires in form of various guest
RC: Never heard it put that
way, but that's close. Vampirism in this show is akin to
alcoholism addiction, so it's something that you never completely
recover from. I actually had Jess Cail (a psychology
professor) come up with a clever medical explanation which compares
it to rabies.
As for our guest stars being the
bad guys, I think they all wanted to be vampires.
CBB: Tell us about
"Mikey", a running gag of the show or thee gag I should say is the
RC: Many prime time shows had
used this device - the character who is never seen: the next door
neighbor on Home Improvement, Nile's wife on Fraser, Karen's Husband
on Will and Grace, all the way back to the Dick Van Dyke show where
we never saw his boss.
I'm not sure the character has ever
been the cameraman, but everyone who has played Mikey has had a
blast. Mikey serves several purposes. It allows us to
break the fourth wall and talk directly to the camera, it justifies
the occasional crappy camera work, and it gives us, as you say, a
CBB: The first
season seemed to be taking the content seriously compared to the
second season where you went the more comical route. In my
opinion that works better for the format of your show. How did
that transition come about?
RC: That's pretty much the
same story for every show that has survived a second season on
TV. Hercules, Xena, Buffy, all got campier as the show went
on. Strangely enough, the shows that start out campy such as MASH or
Family Ties end up getting all serious. It became a cliché to
hear the words "next week, on a very special episode of
CBB: HA! HA!
How will the first two seasons
compare to the pilot you will be putting together? As I
understand it these are practice episodes to find the show's
niche. Have you found your niche and what will the pilot be
The pilot episode introduces the world of the Hunted through the
eyes of a newbie. As for how the pilot will compare with the
episodes, that depends on how much money we have. I can always
shoot the pilot the same way we've been shooting the episodes - with
no money, but I'd prefer to set up a deal with a cable channel such
I think our niche is to fill the
void left by Buffy and Angel with ties to reality TV (which is
somehow still going strong). I also intend the show to
continue with it's own internet content so that the cable show can
support the internet show and vice-versa.
CBB: After the
pilot how will the "actual" show compare to the existing Webisodes
we can catch on your website?
RC: The webisodes were
originally intended to be strung together to form a half-hour show
(a-la Cops). Hopefully, the cable show will allow us a bigger
budget, better production quality, and more room for cool effects,
cameos, and more elaborate scripts.
CBB: You mentioned
a crossover with Dark Commando in one of our correspondence.
Can you elaborate? I think that would be awesome and
beneficial for both franchises.
RC: I think it'd be cool to
work together with other internet series - especially of the same
genre. That way, we can cross-pollinate audiences and pool our
resources. I've talked with the creators of both Dark
Commandos and Amanda Hades about crossover episodes. I
accidentally ran into Sean at Cinesite when I was working effects
for X-Men 2. I've done several feature films, but he
recognized me from The Hunted. I had actually gone so far as
to write a script for the Amanda Hades crossover, but Cinesite went
out of business before we could shoot it there.
CBB: "The New Guy"
was a great episode. Maybe I was just in a goofy mood, but it
was really funny. This episode was shot by another
group. Is there an open door policy for your show? Can
others make their own "The Hunted" show for your site?
There's a few pages on the site called "Join Us / Slayer Central"
with information on how to shoot your own Hunted episode.
There are several web shows out there doing this - having the
audiences actually come up with content to support the site.
The format of The Hunted makes it fairly easy to shoot your own
episode. You don't need a fancy camera or lighting, just a
clever script (which I approve) and the guts to just get out there
and do it. I actually do all the editing, adding foley, music,
Brad Komishke as Jack Darkstalker|
CBB: How did the
people behind "The New Guy" and "Film at 11" get in contact with you
or how do you know them/know of them?
RC: Troy Rudolph found me
online and already knew some of my friends who had been shooting a
show called "Mythquest" in Calgary. He wanted to shoot an
episode and had some great resources including the Valentine
Armouries, so we came up with a script to make it work. After
editing the episode, I realized we needed narration to explain what
was going on and I brought in an improv artist to become the voice
of Jack Darkstalker, which added a whole new level to the
CBB: You have an
impressive resume of films dabbling in fight choreographer, visual
effects, and acting. Will you be adding more visual effects as
you continue with The Hunted?
RC: I'm glad I didn't get
carried away with visual effects for the Hunted. The danger
that most internet shows run into is that they try to shoot beyond
their means - coming up with elaborate sets, props, makeup, or
costumes they can't afford. They end up running out of steam
(and/or money) after just 2-3 episodes. But yea, I can't wait
to add more cool effects. People really don't expect to see CG
on reality TV.
CBB: How has your
past experiences helped with producing a show among the obvious,
fighting, people you know, etc and perhaps the not so obvious that I
RC: I came up with the idea of
shooting the Hunted after realizing what I really wanted to do was
to start a production company. This was a great way to get my
feet wet and use everything I had already learned about directing,
acting, writing, fight choreography, editing, and music. It
also forced me to learn more about the internet - creating the site
and compressing video for the best content delivery available.
CBB: I know
finding an investor is top priority and of course a necessary
aspect. With all the scripts, pitches, fan films, online
films, comic books etc how is The Hunted going to stand out to make
someone invest in the concept?
I already have an investor actually. My hesitation has been
finding a distributor. I'd hate to spend someone else's money
and my time producing a show which I may not be able to sell.
There's a ton of ideas and pilots out there, but like most things in
Hollywood, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how good
the concept is (look at some of the shows out there), it has to do
with timing and who you know.
Buy "The Hunted" on
The beauty of this is that I don't
have to sell the show. I can keep producing episodes on the internet
and wait for someone to come to us. At the moment, I believe
we're one of the longest running internet shows around. And
it's because we have no one to answer to, we don't work beyond our
means, and no one can cancel us.
There's going to be lots more fan
films out there before you know it. It's now incredibly easy
to shoot and produce your own content. At first glance, The
Hunted may look like most of the other content out there (low budget
home movie), but I feel that the scripts, acting, action, cameos,
locations, and concept set it apart from the flood of internet films
out there. As far as shows like Dark Commandoes or Amanda
Hades, it's nice to know that other folks out there are trying the
same thing, but the fact that there are so few long-lasting shows
gives you a clue how difficult it is.
CBB: Have you
considered offering some of your better episodes to an Atom Films or
an IFilms website?
RC: I've thought about coming
up with a short specifically tailored for IFilm or Atom films, but
I've actually avoided doing too much promotion on the site. I
figured I'd eventually go all-out when I finally shot the
pilot. My plan is to then pull all of the episodes offline and
release them once a week interspersed with new episodes.
CBB: How will you
be promoting the show?
RC: The beauty of the internet
is that when you have a good product, it markets itself.
Virile advertising has found this out and I'll probably figure a way
to make that work for me. In addition, I'll probably hit up
more banner advertising and cross-links along with the specialized
shorts for sites like Ifilm and Atom films. I've thought about
going to conventions, but I've seen other internet shows get so
wrapped up in advertising that they forget about their content -
which is the heart of what they've got to offer.
CBB: What are the
most up to date happenings with The Hunted and the career of Robert
RC: The Hunted DVD was a huge
undertaking and I'm glad to finally get that out. I still have a few
episodes that need editing, but I want to focus on getting the pilot
done however I can. Unfortunately, I also have to make a
living and I've been overwhelmed with the amount of work I've been
getting as a visual effects artist and supervisor. Currently
I'm supervising three shows for MTV and two independent
CBB: Just a
comment...The Ultimate Deathmatch
Workout. Funny stuff.
RC: My first leap into
home editing with Premiere. It was also the beginnings of The
Hunted - realizing that I could use the resources I had to start my
own production company.
CBB: Thank you so
much for taking the time to interview for the Comic Book Bin. I
offer an invitation to any of your cast or crew for interviews for
RC: Sounds cool. I'll
put it out there. Maybe one day we can entice you to shoot an
You can learn a lot more about The
Hunted on the official site where you can find Robert’s other
interviews. Dr. Bob also has an official website at http://www.robertchapin.com.
As of this writing several of the
cast of The Hunted has contacted Fan Film Follies so
expect to learn more about this show and the people that make it
work in the coming week.
If you have any suggestions for articles or want
your fan film spotlighted on these here pages or just want
to say hello please email me at email@example.com.
You can also visit the Comic Book Bins "Fan Film
Flinks" for many more links to fan films and beyond by going HERE.
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