In this exciting era of projects that are sometimes funded by committed individuals that wish to be part of an artistic venture, Indie GoGo and Kickstarter rule all others. There are a dizzying amount of projects to contribute to-so how do you decide which piece of the action you wish to grab? This usedview.com had the opportunity to talk the team behind the very original and exiting graphic comic book and future film entitled, Clan of the Vein. The team consists of actor, artist and musician, Neil D’Monte, published writer, Neo Edmunds, publicist and press agent, Molly Celaschi and Neal Fischer who is a film producer at Davis Films.
Clan of the Vein tells the story of one Ian MacBane who is considered the world’s deadliest and most proficient vampire assassin who is a vampire also. MacBane has hunted and killed vampires all over the world and believed he had succeeded in the extermination of his kind. He lives in an ancient castle believing that all vampires have been vanquished, but events prove that he has fooled himself as a deadly squad of vampires storm his stronghold in the search for an ancient artifact that MacBane himself has forgotten.
This synopsis only hints at the action and profound themes that the graphic novel will tackle. What are the origins of Clan of the Vein? Actor, writer, artist and musician, Neil D’Monte begins, “it is an idea I came up with a couple of years ago. It focuses on a vampire character who is an anti-hero. He gets trapped in an all glass resort which is at the base of the Russian mountains. A lot of the guests are human and are being held captive by a group of vicious vampires. They are trying to extract information out of MacBane because back in the recesses of his mind is the location of the blood of the vampire queen that he killed many, many years ago. They are basically holding the hostages until they can make him remember where the queen’s blood is!”
Clan of the Vein cleverly incorporates a number of disparate genre elements in its story-line. There are flourishes of horror, action adventure, science fiction and even, romance. D’Monte reveals, “I grew up on the old Dark Shadows and Kolchak: The Night Stalker shows. I grew up on Hammer Films also!” Neil excitedly continues, “in the 80’s, I got into The Hunger, Fright Night and Near Dark. It is like a psychological thriller also. You have all this happening at an all glass resort located in a frozen tundra where there is nothing for miles! The bad guys are on a time clock and the good guys are on a time clock. If they don’t resolve their differences by the time the sun comes up, then they will all die!”
Neo Edmunds is a professional full time writer who has been the best of friends with Neil D’Monte for several years. Edmunds recalls, “when Neil initially brought this project up, he had a lot of amazing artistic ideas and a basic story concept. What he didn’t really have was a spine of a story that would carry it from beginning to end! We literally sat in a Starbucks together for a week solid. Hours and hours and hours trying to break down the story and figuring out each character ties in and what is going on.” Edmunds had a profound thought which became one of the key points of the Kickstarter campaign. Neo exclaims,”the whole time through it I kept thinking that it is Die Hard with vampires! It became our driving idea and the more we thought about it, the more excited we became. There was a lot of knocking over story ideas and trying to build a deep mythology and a whole new world. We are not just creating another vampire hunter story.”
One of the most intriguing story ideas that Neil D’Monte created for Clan of the Vein is that there are a number of unique vampire races that will be seen in the graphic novel. Neo Edmunds details, “what got me really excited was that Neil was talking about multiple species of vampires and not just the typical Dracula style vampire that you stake in the heart. He gave me this encyclopedia of all this different vampire lore and these different species. Each species has to be killed in a unique and different way. It really creates a real interesting way to push the action. It really complicates things for our hero and that what makes is so unique.”
Writer, Neo Edmund brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience to this project. His background as a novelist and comic book writer will enhance this graphic novel project. Neo proudly states, “I loved reading comics, I grew up reading comics and I used to spend my lunch money as a kid buying comics! Growing up on that stuff heavily influenced me! It definitely influenced everything-probably my whole life.” Edmund concludes, “I love story and I love writing in all the different mediums and I don’t want to limit myself or be confined to one.”
The third member of the group is publicist, Molly Celaschi who heads up the public relations firm called, Malena Public Relations. Molly’s tale of joining the project is also very similar to that of Neo Edmund’s. Celaschi begins, “I have been friends with Neil D’Monte for about ten years now. I heard about Clan of the Vein years ago when he was first drawing the artwork and first had the initial concept. He would bounce ideas off of me and I told him from the beginning it was a great idea! I told him that I would help him with anything he needed!” Molly continues, “I personally watch a lot of horror films. I like vampires and I love action movies! There is a lot of action in it and that appealed to me, but also there is a love story at the core of this that MacBane has forgotten in his past. His wife and that comes out in his dreams. What he sees in his dream he paints and that is how he becomes rich-later!” Molly explains the Kickstarter goal, “we are trying to raise twenty-five thousand. That covers the final coloring of the graphic novel, the printing costs as well as some of our marketing costs.”
The final major player of the group is development producer, Neal Fischer. Fischer is a heavy hitter in the film world and he is quite remarkably omnipresent in his position. Indeed, Fischer can clearly claim to be owner, Samuel Hadida’s right hand man at Davis Films. Neal speaks, “I like to call what I do at Davis Films–IP Integrity! I head Davis Films and I develop projects, I look for new projects to buy and invest in. I look for scripts from C.A.A. or William Morris. I give script notes, pretty much everything from deciding on a project, developing it, working in pre-production and production which includes following through whether the film will have a soundtrack.” The films that Davis Films have worked on include, Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Amazingly enough, Fischer is also an independent producer where his latest project was the fan favorite, Sushi Girl.
Neal Fischer’s background gives him a unique vantage point of which to judge the potential success of the Clan of the Vein. Fischer pointedly states, “I grew up with Blade, Dracula and reading Anne Rice novels. Those were vampires! The whole point of Clan of the Vein is to make this a graphic novel series that returns vampires back to the glory days where vampires were cool and deadly!” Fischer further elaborates, “the main character is very heroic vampire in the sense that for a thousand years he has been hunting his own kind as a protector of humanity. What attracted me is that it is almost like Highlander in the sense that you have a modern day stories that are relevant and flashbacks to ancient times.” Neal teases, “who did MacBane meet during the Renaissance? Was he on a Viking ship? Did he fight in the Trojan War? These are all story lines we can follow up on!”
The immediate future looks very bright for this team that consists of Neil D’Monte, Neo Edmunds, Molly Celaschi and Neal Fischer. The Kickstarter for Clan of the Vein is in full bloom and is progressing to the goal. This columnist has encountered an amazing amount of projects that solicit the public for funds, but this project is one of the finest I have ever encountered after extensive examination. Neal Fischer throws out the final pitch, “I think the goal right now is that we will obviously do some promotion at San Diego Comic-Con, but I think our official release will be for Comikaze.”