Behind the Fangs of SYFY’s Van Helsing

Photo Credit: SYFY

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of getting to interview one of people behind SYFY’s kick arse, deliciously wicked show – Van Helsing. For those of you not yet familiar show…you are greatly missing out.

Currently in it’s third season, Van Helsing takes it’s fiends on a, fly by the seat of your pants, adventure every single week. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Walking Dead. But trust me…VH is definitely different. It introduces a refreshing addition to the vampire mythos.

Thanks in part to the wonder of the Twittervese, I reached out to Jackie May – she serves as a co-executive producer/executive producer/staff writer/director on the show.  I sent her a message and was happily surprised that she was on board to answer my questions.

**Note: This interview will not include any spoilers for upcoming episodes – those answers will be posted after the episode airs.**

Without further ado – enjoy! ***
Stay 2uned: How did you become involved with “Van Helsing”?
JM:  “I wrote a lot of a show called “Strange Empire”. It was a dark, violent female focused western. One of those scripts got me in the room.”
Stay 2uned:   How long does it typically take to make an episode from beginning to end?
JM: ” That’s a little tough to answer.  We meet for a few weeks and break the general shape of the whole season and divvy up who’s writing which episode.

  Then we work for a day or two on each ep coming up with the story in more detail and breaking it into scenes. Then the individual writer(s) writes an outline and we all give notes.

Then a draft with more notes. Then notes from the networks. But as the season goes on, we get to meet as a team less and less and are spending more time spread out all over the place.

One writer on set in the forest, one in the writer’s room writing a future up, one in prep on the next ep. meeting with directors and designers.  So it’s hard to say how much time in spent on one individual show cause it’s all happening at the same time.”

Stay 2uned:  Do you have a favorite character on the show?

JM:  “Well I wouldn’t say favorites. But I really love writing for Sam. I wrote both Sam-centric eps this season and last.   I love the challenge of getting the audience to care about him, especially after killing Susan.

And Chris brings so much to that role that everything you write comes alive. I love writing for Vanessa because Kelly has such strong emotional range, from vulnerability to rage in seconds.

And Flesh has always been close to my heart. Vince gives everything he has to the character and I’ve always believed that fighting to stay human after committing horrible acts is the heart of the show.  I didn’t get to write for him this season because Jeremy and Matt really wrote the bill of Denver.”

Stay 2uned: Why should people watch Van Helsing?

JM: “Because it’s about fighting for humanity, both internally and in the world at large. It’s about forgiveness and learning to go forward after horrible mistakes.

And I think we are all facing these issues all over the world right now. But also because it’s kick ass fun!!”

You can follow the wonder Jackie May on Twitter @Maynlcan.

Once again, I want to thank her for answering my questions. And don’t y’all forget to join your fellow fiends LIVE every Friday night at 10:00 PM for brand new episodes of SYFY’s Van Helsing.

Photo Credit: Neil LaBute via Twitter @VHshowrunner

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