I’m a big fan of fan created media, so when I saw a film focusing on my three favorite Batman villains I knew that I had to spread the word and hopefully direct some attention toward it. Gotham City Sirens will bring Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn to life and it only needs to raise $900 via it’s Kickstarter to do so. It’s a female led superhero (or, in this case, super villains) film, which is something that major studios always seem a bit iffy about pursuing. When they do attempt it, they often miss the mark and those failures are held up as proof that female-led superhero films will never work. Considering how many people are dying for there to be a Black Widow film, there’s definitely an audience for it – it just has to be done right! What also struck me about this project was how well made the trailer alone was, especially given the small budget the creators are asking for. Terrell Culbert is obviously talented, and I hope to see him break into Hollywood with projects like these.
Terrell was gracious enough to answer some of my questions regarding the project. After talking with him it’s clear that he understands the comic book world and has an enormous talent when it comes to film projects. He also gets how to create a strong female-led film, which is something the vast majority of Hollywood hasn’t quite figured out yet. We need more Terrell Culberts in Hollywood!
Selina Kyle (Catwoman) began her story in another fan film called The Catwoman. Will fans need to see that film to understand this one? If so, how can fans get access to that short film?
Yes you can find that fan film on my website. Will they need the first film to understand the current project? Absolutely not. Gotham City Sirens will be a stand alone film. The film before this one is just a bonus. Fans of the first film get to see that Selina is taking her secret identity to the next level with a new suit and weapon! Yes, weapon – she dawns her trusty whip in this film.
What drew you to this particular set of villains from the Batman universe?
The diversity. I love the fact that this motley crew tells their own story almost immediately. Selina is a villain with the possibility of one day becoming a hero. Ivy is a boss in my book! She’s got that perfect blend of insanity and leadership abilities. Harley is a mash-up between the Joker and Billy the Kid. Nuff said!
This film is very heavily female oriented. All three main characters are the most notorious female villains in Gotham City. Yet most major superhero films that make it to the big screen focus on the male leads. Do you think a superhero (or super villain) film that focused on the female leads could do well on the big screen?
Yes I do, if [it is] written well. Most directors can’t seem to find that balance between badass and interesting. Most of the time when I see a female lead as a gun-toting badass, the director seems to leave out her best attribute: personality. As a writer you can’t be afraid to let your female lead tell the story you’ve established. Yet as a director you must know the strengths and weakness of your cast. I was lucky enough to find three women who can emote pain, fear, and strength – the three elements that bring the Sirens to life in this film.
Judging by the trailer, this film looks to be an incredible quality for a fan film, but your budget is extremely reasonable. How do you manage to keep costs so low?
Most of the cost in film production is due to equipment. I think I have amassed enough decent gear over the past couple years to forgo that expense. All I am really looking to get out of this fundraiser is enough money to pay my awesome cast and hopefully gain a bigger fan base.
I have to ask: who is your favorite Batman villain? I’m a Harley girl myself, so I’m really excited to see you bring her to life. I’m already impressed with the design you’ve highlighted on your Kickstarter page.
Thank you. Catwoman is my favorite out of the trio. While I love the complexity of the other two vixens I can relate more with Selina. She’s like a rare diamond submerged within a dark pit; the task of writing just how she does – or does not – escape it really intrigues me.
Thanks for talking with me Tyrrell. I hope your project gets funded and I look forward to the finished result!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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