It’s time to catch up with our production designer, Rebekah Shafer!
Month of the Novel: What’s your role in Month of the Novel?
Rebekah Shafer: I’m sort of a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve helped with brainstorming, writing, costume and visual design, acting, and even cooking.
MotN: From what you’ve seen of the scripts, what do you like about Season 2?
RS: I really like the slightly more “fleshed out” feel of Season 2. The level of detail we were able to bring into this production was so much fun, and really helped take it to a new peak.
MotN: Do you have a favorite episode from Season 1? If you had to pick based on the scripts, which episode of Season 2 do you think will be your new favorite? (You can pick your own.)
RS: For Season 1, I’d get stuck between The Trap and the episode with the omelets. Season 2… ooh, hard to say. *digs out scripts* *brushes aside spaceship drawings* I think I’d have to say Episode 8. *peeks under costume designs* Well… no, we’ll go with Episode 8 for now.
MotN: How about a favorite character from Season 1? Is your favorite the same this season, or have your loyalties changed?
RS: The Jester was one of my favorites from Season 1. The poor dude couldn’t decide which side he really belonged to. (Of course, as costume designer, his super-cool cloak kind of biased me in his favor anyway.) My new favorite, however, is the Computer. (Good grief, this is like asking me which kind of Izze is my favorite flavor.)
MotN: Now, of course, Month of the Novel isn’t the only thing you do. What else are you up to?
RS: These days I’m working on a drastic overhaul and (tragically) down-sizing of the craftroom, and tentatively daydreaming about taking kickboxing lessons. I’m also polishing up an urban fantasy short story with an eye toward submitting it for publication.
MotN: Season 2 is going to be sci-fi themed. What do you like about the science fiction genre? Do you have a favorite sci-fi book or movie?
RS: I’m kind of an odd-one-out in the sci-fi department. In fact, most sci-fi creeps me out to no end. My personal preferences lean toward a more fantasy-feel version of sci-fi—less of the medical stuff and scientific torture and people becoming less than human.
Now, all that to say, my favorite sci-fi movie so far is The Matrix. Book-wise, my most recent favorite read is The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. (Yes, the whole stack of them—some adult content, be warned.) I’ve seen some Star Wars, freaked out in the middle of a Star Trek episode, and have a barely nodding acquaintance with the concept of Doctor Who. See why I feel like the odd one out in all things sci-fi?
MotN: What’s your process for writing an episode of Month of the Novel? Does it differ from your process for writing other things?
RS: Month of the Novel writing process… Step one: panic. Step two: write down ideas and panic some more. Step three: resign yourself to the fact that you do not have the same space as a novel to relay your ideas and must trim them down. Five or six repeated steps later, and there’s the script for an episode! Ta-da!
Most everything I write begins with a sudden tumble of ideas, images, and vague feelings. They sort of lock together into an “inciting incident” or the heart of the story or episode or poem or whatever, and the rest is filling in details.
MotN: What’s the hardest part about writing for Month of the Novel?
RS: Thinking visually and very concisely. I don’t have the luxury of a few thousand words with description; I have to put the punch where everyone can see it.
MotN: How about the best part?
RS: Knowing that, if I do a good job, the script will become a reality. It’s not everyday you get to write something knowing it will be turned into what it is meant to be. And that you’ll be involved in the process.
MotN: Where do you draw your inspiration?
RS: For the Month of the Novel, it’s mostly pulled from classic writer’s gags or conundrums. The rest I get from my imagination, which has been trained to recognize ideas springing from almost any source. (Thank you, Lord, for a vivid sense of ideas.)
MotN: Have you ever done NaNoWriMo yourself? What was your experience with it?
RS: I did NaNo for the first time last year, and won! I even finished the novel at a whopping 53,000 words. It was a fun experience, and I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as a person as well as a writer. The tendency to give up runs strong with this one.
MotN: Just for fun, do you have a favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
RS: Well, it used to be an amazing German pear torte, but I can’t eat it anymore, so let’s go with a tie between Indian curry (chicken) over rice, and Chinese take-out.
MotN: Is there something positively unique about you that you could tell us?
RS: Wouldn’t everything about everybody be positively unique? (HA! Got you there.)
If you want to find out more about Rebekah, you can follow her on Twitter.