Exciting news from B movie maven Lola Rocknrolla: Nefertitty, everybody’s favorite neo-blaxploitation superhero (whom we’ve written about here) is now returning in her own tv show. (Check out the trailer here). The pilot episode is being screened tonight at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue) at 8pm. We spoke with the daring auteur recently, and here’s the straight dope on the new series:
1. How long is the pilot?
The pilot is 24min with credits. We are pitching to various networks [see below] so it may change to 22 or 27 depending.
2. Is it just the pilot now (with hopes a network or or streaming platform will pick it up) or will you launch a whole season right away via Youtube or something similar?
We made the pilot to pitch. We are hitting up various places in the fall. We have been talking to a few companies. I am going to the American Film Market in Santa Monica as well.
3. Is it episodic? Like, is each episode a stand alone story? Or a serial, with each episode a separate chapter and the whole season adding up the story?
It is episodic but characters and some themes continue throughout the season. Much like Arrested Development we hope to have jokes that come back years later for our audience to roll their eyes at.
4. Is it the same plot as the Nefertitty feature?
This is an entirely different script. Now Nefertitty fights real racists. In the previous Nefertitty movies she was up against albino space zombies, cocaine crackers etc. With the current climate in the US we wanted to hit racism head on, with Nefertitty delivering that ass kicking.
5. What will be different about the series given the political era? Is Nefertitty plugged into the resistance? Or is she totally mercenary, like many a blaxploitation character? How are you approaching the ugly new world as writer/director?
Good question. Nefertitty is definitely down with the resistance but sometimes she has to take matters into her own hands. As a gay Gypsy Jew it is very important to me to stand up to Nazis, racists and fascists….I guess just as a human actually we all should do that. Regardless, I really wanted to hint at the Alt-right movement and their rebranding of their hate group.They are still KKK, Nazi fucks, just with a new logo. In our story they are the”Neo-Honkeys” and they are about to get the thumping of a lifetime. I think it’s important as creators to do our part to shine light on the shit that is seriously wrong with our country…the hardest part of writing the script for me was trying to keep it funny when all this racist crap was spewing from the villains (which was just a hint of how terrible these people actually are, including President Cheeto)…I used Mel Brooks’ “Springtime for Hitler” as a guide. What do Nazis hate most? Being made fun of…so it’s our job to do just that.
6. We’re totally psyched that Kevin Brown (Dot Com from 30 Rock) is on the show! Got any inside dope on how he came onto the project?
One of our producers Sibyl Santiago is friends with him and she got him on board. He is the sweetest most generous guy in the world. I wanted to bear hug him all the time. His character “Velvet Hammer” had so much ridiculous poetic dialogue that once we were done I think it was hard for him not to talk in metaphor. He even got his daughter to play Baby Titty! I will forever love Dot Com for all he brought to the project. His comedy timing is sick, he had us all rolling on the set. The chemistry between him and Maine [Nefertitty Star Maine Attraction] was phenomenal. In another life they may have been married.
7. Feel free to talk about other cast members and creative staff, as well. (e.g. I am a major league fan of the theme song, and costumes, art direction, etc); any aspect you wanna plug.
Maine Anders comes back once more as the beautiful, tough, take no prisoners, ass kickin’ Nefertitty. She and I have been friends for forever and I basically wrote this for her (my lifetime crush on Pam Grier didn’t hurt either). Maine bases the character on her mother…lovingly known as “Mama Titty”. In Nefertitty and Nefertitty in Space Maine plays a bunch of different characters. In the tv pilot she is just Nefertitty. Maine is a master of disguise and accents so in future episodes she is going to go undercover as various people; a Hassidic Jew, a white cop, a drag queen, etc.
Basil Rodericks comes back as Double Daddy. Basil usually does Shakespeare so we are happy to unleash his inner camp as he tries to be Superfly. Basil also has a crazy soul singing voice (like 4 octaves) so we rope him into the soundtrack as well.
Sergei Franklin was the cinematographer and that guy is incredible. He is like a film robot god with his Steadicam becoming part of his body…I couldn’t have made this without him.
Karl Ruckdeschel was the costume designer. He did all the costumes for Nefertitty in Space for a thousand dollars…which looking back I don’t even know how he pulled that off. This time he had triple the budget but also triple the people. Karl is basically a superhero, no one can do what he does.
In addition we had David L Byrd doing all the badass animated graphics and Gina Volpe my long time composer and collaborator doing the soundtrack. Gina Volpe was of course the guitarist and songwriter for the Lunachicks and front woman for Bantam. Gina and I wrote Homo: The Musical together. Gina makes all the music and plays every instrument and records in her home studio. She is a force of nature coming from rock and making Curtis Mayfield-esque music for us. She also does all the poster design and graphics…anytime I tell her how talented she is she just replies “Aw mom…you are embarrassing me!”
8. How has the funding process gone? Easy? Hard? Any big backers step up to the plate?
The funding was a bit tricky we had a Indiegogo that raised some money (thanks friends!). I got a little from an outside investor that wishes to remain nameless and I basically funded the rest myself. We had an amazing cast and crew that worked for barely nothing and shot the thing in four days (We should’ve taken two weeks). I am a warrior of B-movie independent film so once it was shot I did the editing myself to save money then raised a little more to put into post. Much like most of my work I always look back and think…how the hell did I actually pay for that thing?
9. Anything else you wanna throw into the pot!
Nefertitty is a blaxploitation comedy that deals with modern day racism. You tired of the shit that’s goin on? Well Nefertitty is here to right the wrong!
More info is at the Official Nerftitty Website. And deets on tonight’s screening are below. There will be a Q & A session, and those who dress blaxploitation will gain free admittance. See ya there!