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INTERVIEW: Sam Sawyer

Hi Sam, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

1. Hi! I’m doing very well! Very busy and loving it.

How were you drawn into the world of animation?

2. I come from a comic book background and started appearing at comic cons. I met my executive producer at a comic con where we began talking about animation! The rest is history.

With many formats you could go, like comics or film – what made you want to go for a TV route?

3. It sort of happened naturally. There were so many other paths I could have taken but going the animation route just felt right. The kindness and creativity in the animation world really led me to fall in love with it.

How did you come up with the idea for SALEM: The Secret Archive of Legends, Entertainment and Monsters?

4. SALEM came about from a drawing I did in middle school. I wanted to tell a story from a monster’s perspective, something that people hadn’t seen before. I started doodling ideas and concepts, and as the characters developed, the story fell right into place. 

What made you want to name your character SALEM?

5. The character’s name came from the acronym. I felt that the story title was meant to be the main character’s name. 

With such a popular character already existing as its case of the hysterical pet of Sabrina – did you think about this or it never crossed your mind?

6. It did cross my mind, though the name Salem actually means “peace, safe, and friend” in Hebrew. We felt our direction, story, and art are so different that people should have no problem differentiating the two.

What would you say makes both Salem differently from each other?

7. One Salem is a cat where as our Salem is a humanoid cryptid/monster. Their attitudes are also very different from each other along with their genders. 

Did you approach this character also as a non-binary hero from the start?

8. Salem never truly had a gender to begin with. Their species (which you’ll find out later), does not reproduce, so there was no need for something such as gender.

As we know non-binary people don’t identify as females or males – did this actually help on your favor when it came to picking up the gender of the lead for the voice of the character or you actually had someone in mind from the beginning?

9. When we cast our voice over talent for Salem, we based our selections on what sounded right. Even though Salem may be non-binary, that does not mean they have to be androgynous. With Salem, we simply chose the best actor for the job. 

What was it like work with such a big cast of voice actors?

10. It was amazing! Working with these actors has been a dream and a huge learning experience as well. 

Were you any nervous on working with some of these legends?

11. I was very nervous being around such incredibly talented people. But once we got into the booth and began recording, it felt so natural, all the nerves went away. 

What would you say was the most challenging aspect of running this show?

12. The most challenging aspect was that everything was new to me. I have been learning as I go, taking as much advice and criticism as I can. Learning how to be a leader and how to create the vision the show needs was also a challenge. But it’s been so rewarding. 

When and where can people catch on the show?

13. We are currently in Kickstarter and when the Kickstarter concludes in two weeks we begin production. We want to have our first episode out no later than October 2020! 

What else is happening next in Sam Sawyer’s world?

14. I am releasing my new tarot deck: “The Reigning Rouge Tarot” to my Etsy shop “My Sincerely Sam” this November. I am attending quite a few comic book conventions (which you can keep up with by checking out @samsamsawyer on twitter and Instagram). I also plan on releasing a book perhaps in the spring. And of course, Salem! 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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