OutTakes host Laurie Baker just did a fresh interview this evening with Lane Davies, our own Mason Capwell of "Santa Barbara," on BlogTalkRadio. In the chat, Davies talked about his new gig on the brand-new web soap "The Bay," as well as how he first met Gregori J. Martin, producer of the series, which is now in its 10th webisode.
"I was actually hooked up with Gregori by a reporter," Davies said, explaining that he received a call on his cell during a show night at last summer's Tennessee Shakespeare Festival (see our BRBTV glimpse of the fest in the July 21, 2009 post). "She told me a bit about Gregori and what was involved. ... I thought, this sounds like a fun thing. So there we are."
So what's happening with Det. Mackenzie Johnson, the "Bay" character that Davies is taking over from former fellow "SB" cast member John Callahan? "I can't reveal too much, it being a soap, without spoiling some stuff. Suffice it to say, he's sorta tied in, in several ways, with several storylines, and being a cop gives him opportunity to throw his weight around."
Though the series also includes another former "SB" cast member, Nicolas Coster (Lionel Lockridge), Davies said he hasn't shared any scenes with him yet. He is intrigued, however, with this whole web soap thing, seeing it as a sign of changing times.
"I think it's clear to anybody that's really paying attention that there is a conversion on the way between the web and television. ... It's all going to be one giant entertainment information world. Your television will just be a giant computer, as they are now, for all practical purposes. It will no longer simply be cable and network. ... The future of television is converging with the Internet. It's a much more cost-effective way to get a show off the ground."
How does the experience compare to the regular soaps in which he spent so many years? "It's way more like shooting an independent film," he said. "For one thing, we're not shooting nearly as much material in one day. We're shooting single camera as opposed to multiple cameras."
The Southern Davies says the commute to California for shooting hasn't been that bad. "Now that both boys are in college, I'll be spending a little more time on the West Coast anyway."
Great -- more time there. But how about more time in these little episodes we get only once a week? Well, the cast and crew of "The Bay," he said, agree that more material needs to be posted. "There was a time when people would go to the movies on Saturday afternoon and see an installment of 'Superman.' ... You'd have to wait a week to see what happened, and it kept people going to theaters." But fret not -- there will come a time soon, as more money comes in for the show, Davies said, when more episodes will be posted per week.
Davies also reminisced, with the help of submitted fan questions, about his days on "SB." BRBTV's bud Tracy, in Davies' hometown of Dalton, Georgia, asked how much of his witty banter with the Julia Wainwright character was ad-libbed.
"We rarely improvised once the cameras started to roll," he said, "but we were given a fair amount of freedom with tweaking scripts. ... We sorta knew the characters better than they did, because we'd been playing them so long. ... I was always inserting Shakespeare and other literary references."
Speaking of Shakespeare, what's coming up for Davies in this summer's festival in Tennessee?
"I will direct 'The Comedy of Errors.' I probably won't be in it, because it just sorta exhausts me too much to do both. Unless it's a role I've done before, I'm very shy about directing myself."
Hear the whole interview, now archived, at BlogTalkRadio. The next episode of "The Bay," meanwhile, will be posted on Thursday, January 13.