[Kevin Boston is the producer and director of the web series The Blue Line; here is a link to his website:
Q: What is The Blue Line about?
Q: What inspired you to make The Blue Line?
A: Actually, The Blue Line was made accidentally. About 2 years ago, my co-creator/co-producer/co-writer David Yee moved to LA and asked me to shoot a reel for him. I didn’t charge him, but I did ask him to rent out a RED camera and a sound guy in exchange. In the scene we shot, David was playing an L.A. cop. Wes McGee and Jorge Luis Pallo were also in the scene. While we went over rehearsal and blocking, I asked if they could pull off a Boston accent just for fun. To my surprise, everyone was pretty good, so we decided to change the setting to Boston. Since David was paying to shoot on the RED, I wanted to take advantage of the camera, actors, and crew if we had any extra time after we shot the scene for his reel. I started to brainstorm some cool ideas of what would happen after the director called “Cut”, and what if these intense actors were just a bunch of goof balls! I gave them the premise for each scene and everything was pretty much improvised. Once it was all edited together, I knew we had something good but we needed to do more. In the next few months, David and I wrote the pilot and shot it. Episode One, which is online right now, was originally made for David’s acting reel!
Q: What sort of day jobs have you had and how do they influence your work?
A: I produced and directed music videos- that’s my bread and butter. It has influenced my work, especially on The Blue Line, because I see everything from behind the scenes to the final product so I really get hands-on experience of set life! I think that’s what really made me interested in creating that twist on the show.
Q: Why are cop shows so popular?
A: Simply put, Good Vs. Evil! Combine that with great storyline, characters, and plot twists.
Q: Do you feel cops are accurately portrayed on crime shows?
A: To be honest, I don’t watch a lot of TV shows, or cop shows at that. But I do love cop movies like The Departed, Training Day, Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon, End of Watch, etc. You can’t just write any cop show without doing some research, I read somewhere that the CSI series has been so popular because the writers actually pull real cases and re-wrote them with a twist.
Q: I knew a lady who was a forensic investigator, she told me that most murders take place in the middle of the night and hence, she had gone to many a crime scene in sweats and a pajama top, with no make-up. On TV the female forensic investigator will arrive to the crime scene in full make-up wearing a business suit. Why do they feel the need to be unrealistic about the way an investigator is dressed at a crime scene?
A: Sex sells! Just kidding! I just found that out, so I don’t think a lot of people are aware of that. I think the audience at the end of the day just want a good story, good characters, and to be at the edge of their seats, trying to solve the case before it’s revealed. I think that’s the beauty about cop shows/movies and from a director’s stand point, the goal is to be a few steps ahead of your audience.
Q: What do you think the best cop crime show on TV is and why?
A: As I mentioned before, I don’t watch too many cop shows, but from ratings CSI is a huge success with its multiple spinoffs. That is probably due to the fact that they use real cases and then add amazing writers and you have all the ingredients for success.
Q: What is your background in the entertainment industry?
A: I’m a self taught director and producer. Originally my background was in acting. After moving to Los Angeles and spending a year doing background work and playing stereotypical role as an Asian Triad/Cook, I took a look in the mirror and asked myself, “Is this what I’m going to do for the next 40 years?!” It’s tough being an Asian American in Hollywood; there just aren’t enough roles for us. So it was either pack my stuff up and go back to Boston or figure something out quick! I started to intern for a few successful music video directors (Todd Angkasuwan, Ethan Lader, Dan Dobi) who all took me in with arms wide open and let me come on set to PA and help out. While doing that I stood on the sideline and started to take notes on how to shoot, light, edit, direct and apply those lessons with my other acting friends. Ever since then I have dabbled in production in every aspect. Depending on the day, I’m working on a video promo, club promo, product placement, red carpet events, a web series, pilots, epk, casting, editing, or music videos. With each step of the way I sharpened my craft and networked with every client I came in contact with. As I progressed I focused more on directing and producing, and now that’s all I do.
Q: Why do you think 30 Rock is so popular?
A: To be honest again, I actually never saw a full episode, I heard about it and found out it was behind the scene of a show in the studio. I’m still not sure, but when I presented The Blue Line, people mention it’s similar to 30 Rock in that you get to see the actors on the other side of the camera.
Q: What is the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen on a crime show?
A: Sorry again- I don’t to watch too much TV, I know, how ironic, right? I don’t have cable or even the basic channels. For the past 6 years in LA I’ve only had Netflix, and I get my news on Facebook and Yahoo!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)