Interview with Adam Rady
A interview with Adam Rady co-creator of the web series: Walking In Circles. He is a 27 year old male from the USA who likes to entertain people, watch movies and more!
1. Max Pen: Could you tell us a bit more about yourself so the readers know who you are?
Adam Rady: Of course. I’m the co-creator, producer, director, editor, and one of the stars of the web series, Walking In Circles. That’s a lot of hats to wear, but when you are dealing with low to no budget, you have to learn to juggle a lot of responsibilities.
2. Max Pen: Who or what got you into studying for film production? Did you have any other courses in mind you wanted to study for or was being an actor/director and stuff always what you wanted to do as job?
Adam Rady: My journey into entertainment happened at a late stage in life. I was approaching the second semester of my sophomore year in college and I still had not chosen a major. I had never acted before, used a camera very rarely, and knew nothing about producing. I had however, spent an entire lifetime living in daydreams and finding myself escaping into movies or television that I liked. When a friend of mine loaned me the DVD of Firefly, the deal was sealed. I realized then that I needed to be a part of something like that. Shortly after watching all 13 episodes and the behind the scenes available I declared my major. The next day I signed up to audition for the school play: The Count of Monte Cristo. I didn’t get the lead.
3. Max Pen: What did you do for work or stuff related to that after you graduated from Westminster College in 2007? Was it hard finding work at the start?
Adam Rady: After graduating I knew that a move to Los Angeles was what needed to happen. I spent almost two years saving up money for the eventual move. Along the way I convinced my best friend and writer of Walking In Circles, James Rodehaver, to make the move with me. I took parts in community theater both in Cleveland and, after the move, in Los Angeles. The entire purpose of creating Walking In Circles was so that I wouldn’t have to worry about people telling me “no” anymore. It’s difficult to get yourself noticed and even more difficult to get in the door after being noticed. I decided that my approach to being noticed, would be to do it myself.
4. Max Pen: Can you tell us what the 5 most important things are that you learned from studying film production? And also 5 other really important things that you learned from experience?
Adam Rady: I don’t know about picking out what I learned from where, but I can definitely relay a few things that I have come to learn about making film, whether in studying it, or creating it. First: turn the camera on. You can’t do anything unless you put yourself out there and try to make it happen. Second: turn the microphone on. Sound is exceptionally important. Without it, a great film becomes an ok film. Third: do whatever it takes. When filming, so many things can go wrong. Equipment can break, actors can get sick or quit, locations can become unusable, etc. Find a way to push through. It doesn’t matter what it is, don’t ever stop dreaming and come up with what works with what you have, even if it’s just smoke and mirrors. Because that’s what filming is.
5. Max Pen: Now about Walking in Circles, how did you guys came up with that name? Were there any other ideas for possible names for the web series?
Adam Rady: James and I spent a great deal of time mulling over different ideas for the name of the show. Many of them centered around the idea of tabletop gaming, the greatest inspiration for our show, and something he and I are very passionate about. It finally came down to Walking In Circles (Jim’s idea) or mine: Dragons n’ Stuff. We decided to compromise and put the two ideas together, titling it Walking In Circles: An Epic Tale About Dragons n’ Stuff.
6. Max Pen: Did the script or idea behind the series go through many different changes or did it remain roughly the same as how it was from the start?
Adam Rady: The script changed quite a bit in the course of crafting it. Jim came to me with the original episode and that has remained, by and large, the same since the start. We originally had even more dialogue for our “interview room” segments, but choose to cut them down to keep up the pace of the show. I remember very clearly that the Vampire that the party meets in the fifth episode was quickly written out of the script within about a page or two of showing up. I made it clear to James how much I enjoyed this character and wanted him to be seen more. One of the large twists and driving force of season 2, the fact the Krag’s grandfather, Draxx, paid off the dragon to eat his father, was also left out of the original script. It’s fun to think how much has changed and one day I hope to put it all together in a format for people to see how the creative process worked from day one to episode release.
7. Max Pen: How did you guys fund the filming of season 1? Was it difficult or generally easy to raise the amount of money needed for the production of season 1?
Adam Rady: Very difficult. In fact, it was impossible. But, as my father has always taught me, nothing really is if you put your mind to it. Not having any connections in Los Angeles financially or within the filming industry, it quickly came down to realizing it would be up to us to fund the show. James brought up the idea of filming only the first episode as pilot, with the hopes of garnering enough attention to fund the show in its entirety. I felt, however, that the amount of money we would have to spend acquiring the materials to film anything, a pilot or full season, would bankrupt us regardless as we had no equipment with which to film. Thus, I made the choice to go as big as we could. Myself, James, and our friend, Adam Cier put forth large sums of personal money (all that we had) to film. After releasing the first season, we began an IndieGoGo fundraiser to allow us to market the show and create a website from fan donations.
8. Max Pen: Did you expect to find the people you have now in your crew and cast that have done all the work involved in season 1 for free? What do you think got most of them motivated or interested in helping out for free?
Adam Rady: Walking In Circles would never have been possible without the people that are a part of it. Words cannot express how I feel about the people who have made my dreams come true. What more can I say? I dream big, every day, and never in my wildest, could I have hoped to meet, work with, and befriend such amazing people. I know that no matter what happens, no matter if I stumble, fall, give up, or fail them, there is no way they will ever do that to me. The script is what brought them into this project and I can’t ever see myself making it without them or their support. They love it as much as I do.
9. Max Pen: You play Markus, a wizard. What made you choose this character to play and not any of the other 2 male characters? How would you describe Markus in 5 words and yourself?
Adam Rady: I chose Markus because I am very out of shape and I have no musical talent whatsoever. That made him the easy choice. Markus in 5 words: Too lazy to try. Myself: Afraid of not trying
10. Max Pen: Other than being part of the cast you’re also part of the crew. Which do you prefer to do most and which is the hardest? Being behind the scenes working on the technical stuff or being filmed by the camera?
Adam Rady: I love entertaining people. Which is probably why it hurts so much when I don’t. Whether I’m behind the camera, or in front of it, I enjoy it if I think others will. That being said, playing around, pretending to be someone else in awesome outfits, fantastic locations, and with people I admire so much; I can’t find something I would want to do more. I’ve allowed myself too much time in the past thinking about what is hard about the job to worry about it anymore. There isn’t anything too hard that you can’t make work if you take the time to figure it out and use the energy to do it. That’s something that took a lot of bruises and broken hearts to accept, but it’s how I choose to operate going forward.
11. Max Pen: Have you done so far any work you never thought yourself to be doing for Walking in Circles?
Adam Rady: Definitely. Mostly, computer effects. I have, of course, always enjoyed effects and very much understood their purpose, but never thought I would be making them myself.
12. Max Pen: What are some major set backs you and your crew/cast experienced while making season 1 or currently now season 2?
Adam Rady: I think the one that sticks out the most in season one was shooting our eighth episode. The scene called for the party to meet an old man, Aquius, played by James’ father, Michael Rodehaver, to be by the side of a lake. Scouting ahead of time we found a fantastic location for the scene to take place, however, upon arriving there to film, we discovered the water level had risen and our location was now under approximately 15ft of water. Moving on to the second season, our ambition placed us on a course for “bigger and better”. This, in film speak, means more money. Finding creative solutions to a lack of funds has always been our greatest obstacle. Without the willingness of my crew and those people nice enough to lend us time, money, props, or locations, these would not have been overcome.
13. Max Pen: At what locations did you film season 1 and what were you looking for that these locations needed to have? What new locations can the viewer expect to see in season 2?
Adam Rady: We filmed most of our first season in the woods near Lake Castaic, north of Los Angeles. Much of our location requirements only needed woods, but a few were more specific. The Embry Inn, for example, was filmed at a wonderful local restaurant, The Red Lion. For season two, you can expect more expansive wooded areas with much more dramatic views and terrain. We were able to find locations that afforded us the ability to show our surroundings in greater depth. I can say that there aren’t many things that I’m more happy about than the locations we have for season 2 and I’m really excited to show them off.
14. Max Pen: Currently you guys have reached 1,871 of the total of 50 000 dollars you guys need for the production of season 2. How long do you think it will take to reach your goal of 50 000 dollars? If you don’t gain 50 000 dollars how much will this impact the production of season 2 and any future seasons?
Adam Rady: Most people would say: the more money you have, the better show you can create. This is true, to an extent. All of the money in the world won’t make a bad show good though. It will however, increase its production value (ie. the visual spectacle that you see on screen). No matter the money we raised, we knew, in our hearts, that we were going to make a second season. It was only a question of how much can we improve what people saw in the first season if we don’t reach our goal. $50,000 would have allowed us to make the show envisioned from the start without compromise our improvisation. Luckily for us, we are very good at both of those things. Going forward, I hope that people will find that they want to support us in our future as our goal is to make a show that they enjoy. And most importantly, our credit cards have been maxed out for good.
15. Max Pen: How much will the current quality we seen in season 1 increase when we watch season 2? How many episodes do you plan on making? 11 as in season 1?
Adam Rady: We are filming 10 episodes, but that number may change how many are released depending on the edits. The heart of our show will always remain, but I can happily say that you may not be able to believe it is the same show when you see it in season 2. We have boosted our quality to levels that I know people will be happy with. This is thanks, in no small part, to bringing on Jared Hoy (Video Game Reunion, The Guild, Legend of Neil) to shoot and help produce our show. Not to mention, Katie Wilson, who plays Angie, expanding from only acting to now helping us produce the show and making it far more epic.
16. Max Pen: Can you tell us what will happen in season 2? Will there be more animation, special effects, etc …?
Adam Rady: We always wanted the show to have the things that we wanted to see in it. It’s a medieval fantasy comedy and we wanted to see all of those things. Action, adventure, magic, comedy, etc. so we found a way to make them all fit in to our second season, in a way we just didn’t have the means to do for the first season. Expect the characters to become more fleshed out and the story of Krag’s first quest to continue as he seeks revenge for his father’s death.
17. Max Pen: When will the first episode of season 2 become available?
Adam Rady: This is still a closely guarded secret. I can tell you though that we are currently about to wrap principal photography and will be releasing by the end of the year. You’ll know very soon when that will be.
18. Max Pen: What are some of the most enjoyable moments you have had while making season 1 and now season 2?
Adam Rady: Being around everyone is what makes it all worth it. Coming to set, pretending, laughing, and creating something you enjoy are what I love most. Filming the “rock battle” in episode seven was one of those great times that sticks out, but they all have a special place in my heart for one reason or another.
19. Max Pen: What kind of challenges did you face when playing Markus in season 1? Do you think you will overcome these challenges in season 2?
Adam Rady: Simultaneously playing a character on screen while directing others and yourself is always a challenge. Often times it was difficult to gauge my performance without the means to be watching it. I also would forget to eat a lot of the time because I was really busy. Having people I can trust and having the ability to see how I portrayed Markus in the first season have really helped to better shape him in the second. Well…that and the good food that Katie and James made to eat!
20. Max Pen: Finally if you could alter anything from the web series: Walking in Circles, would you go back in the past or let everything remain the same as it is now?
Adam Rady: I’m a firm believer that no matter what you do, good or bad, it got you to where you are at this moment. For that reason, I can say that no, I would leave it as it is, entirely. What I learned, what I remember, and all that I’ve loved about my experience and the people I’ve shared it with mean too much.
Thank you for doing this interview with me Adam. I enjoyed your replies to my questions and I look forward to season 2! -Max Pen