Meredith Kadlec, Vice President of Development for gay TV channel here!, talks to us about the series she’s developing, the trends she’s seeing in gay and lesbian movies, and why she thinks there are so few good lesbian scripts out there.
AfterEllen.com: What were you hired to do at here!?
Now I’m really just focused on development, from finding things to dealing with what comes in. I have two readers that work for me, as well as my assistant, but there’s enough work for us to double our size.
I remember the first day I was here, I asked “what’s your process for keeping track of all the scripts you receive?” and they handed me a box of scripts, and then I looked behind the couch, and there were more there. It was just a few people doing all of it themselves.
AE: What are you looking for?
Initially we were looking for scripts that could be shot sooner than later, that didn’t need a lot of development. But that’s shifting a little, now that we have a lot of content we can use now. Now we’re willing to be a little more patient with projects that contain good ideas, but maybe need a little more work.
AE: What kinds of scripts are you getting?
It’s interesting to be serving an audience that’s constantly in a state of flux. I remember the days when people used to line up around the block to see Jeffrey, but it’s really hard to get people out to see those films now because there are so many more images of gays on TV, like Queer as Folk and Will and Grace.
AE: What kinds of lesbian projects are you seeing?
There are many scripts I have on my shelves that were pitched to me as lesbian romantic comedies, and they’re really talky. A lot of lesbians have told me they’re really over that. Finding something different is really difficult. If I had something like Bound, it would have been made already—it’s such a great script, and although it’s low-budget, it’s so well done you can’t tell. Something like that would be great.
A lot of the projects we’re looking at have that sort of noir, thriller feeling, where you have a lesbian or gay detective or cop, dealing with a crime to solve or insurmountable obstacles. I have found a few things like this, but there aren’t very many that truly feel different.
AE: Why do you think these kinds of projects aren’t being created?
I also think a lot of the people who are writing lesbian scripts happen to be lesbians who feel like they have a story to tell, but aren’t necessarily a writer first, and are still learning the craft of writing. So you don’t have a lot of established writers choosing to write lesbian scripts.
I have one TV show we’re developing called The Complex—the name might change—but I’ve only received a few other lesbian series—and one is a very integrated cast that includes lesbians. I don’t see a lot of people writing lesbian series. (laughing) Of course, now that I say that, I’ll probably be inundated with them!
AE: Which TV shows do you think have done a particularly good job with gay characters?