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An Interview with Michael Coulombe, Writer of Safer-At-Home

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2020

Films written by Michael Coulombe on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new webseries Safer-At-Home - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Safer-At-Home is the story of Jacob and Melissa under quarantine at their apartment in the early stages of Covid-19 in Los Angeles. Melissa’s friend Shannon joins them to watch a movie, but is forced to sit outside and watch through the window as a precautionary tactic. What they do not know is that Shannon didn’t show up alone. Something came with her….

 

So how did the series come into being, and how did the idea emerge to film a series under lockdown conditions?

 

Basically Adam Cabrera (who plays Jacob) mentioned to Alex Henderson (the director) that they should take advantage of the downtime and create something that dealt with the pandemic. It is something we are experiencing globally after all. They approached Harold White and Katelyn Chunn, who in turned created an idea and came to me to write it. So essentially, we are all creators!

 

Do talk about the series' co-creators for a bit, and what did they bring to the table?

 

Well I suppose I did just answer this in the previous question. Adam and Alex create a lot of content for Alex’s YouTube channel The Installments. Harold and I have helped them create projects as well, including The Lady and Santa (which hit 1.3 million views on YouTube in 3 months). So we all had history together and we knew that we worked well together because we already had a proven track record. On set, we can bounce ideas off each other. Since I wrote the script – and I also direct – I like to be around set to help generate positive creativity. Harold is there as well to help in guiding the story. That frees up Alex to direct and Adam to focus on acting.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing Safer-At-Home?

 

In all honesty, I personally didn’t have a specific inspiration. I was sitting at home, bored and frustrated and terrified about the uncertainty of everything. So when I sat down to write the pilot episode I tried to think of a couple who have been stuck together, day after day after day. You can definitely tell they care about one another but you also know they would be okay with a day apart. That is definitely very true to what I imagine most people are experiencing during the pandemic. It isn’t until Shannon arrives and all hell breaks loose that the real fun begins!

 

A few words about Safer-At-Home's approach to horror?

 

Well the interesting thing about this project is that is about an experience that literally the world was experiencing – that made the situation of the film very REAL. We weren’t just writing about two people living through a pandemic… the audience was experiencing it as well. So the fear and anxiety of the situation is visceral… and we as filmmakers just wanted to enhance that. It really is just WHAT IF?-statements. Like, WHAT IF this happened while people were quarantined, or WHAT IF this happened when someone was alone, or WHAT IF this happened when they all met. And the best part about horror is how cathartic it is as a genre! 

 

What can you tell us about Safer-At-Home's director Alex Henderson, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Ha, well Alex is a man of few words both behind and in front of the camera.  He and I have different styles when it comes to directing. I think in a lot of ways we learn from one another. It is easy to collaborate with him. He trusts Harold and I to come up with stories and a script, and we trust him to tell that story visually. And he and Adam are really good friends, so they have a mutual understanding as well on set.

 

Especially considering the lockdown situation, what were the challenges of bringing Safer-At-Home to the screen from a producer's point of view?

 

The biggest challenge was trying to film as safely as possible. The sets were VERY small and minimal. Since everyone was already friends and/or roommates it was easy to keep the set small and practice safety. Harold and I did not come to set until Episode 7 was filming. By that time the restrictions in Los Angeles were loosened. I wore a mask and used hand sanitizer frequently. We all respected one another and kept our distance when we could. Plus, this a labor of love among friends, so we kept the crew VERY VERY small.

 

What can you tell us about Safer-At-Home's cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Well due to the pandemic, we needed to use actors that were already around one another frequently. Like I said before, this is a team of people who work together and create constantly. So it made sense to us and it made sense for both the project and the restrictions placed on everyone.

 

Given the lockdown, did you have any chance to attend any of the shoots, and if so, what were they like?

 

I did not. I did not attend set until Episode 7. I really wanted to but both Harold and I knew that we needed to respect the actors and crew. Safety was very important to us. Even when I went to set the first time I was still very cautious and safe. We all were. But to make up for it, I wrote myself a small role in Episode 7 (perks of being the writer AND a producer).

 

The $64-question of course, where can Safer-At-Home be seen?

 

Well all episodes are available on The Installments' YouTube channel BUT I also created an entire show page on my website to keep all the information and each episode, as well as our press in one place: https://michaelcoulombe.com/projects/safer-at-home/

 

As far as I know, you're still shooting new episodes for Safer-At-Home as we speak - so what's in store for the series? And should the lockdown ever end, would you at all consider continuing it or even do a second season under "normal" conditions?

 

Yes, at the time of this article we are shooting Episode 7. Our goal as of now is to shoot 10 episodes and see where we are. But more than that, we would like to edit the show together into a feature film and present it to the audience that way. I would love to visit these characters as well as the lockdown ends and life goes back to normal. But that is what Season Two (or a sequel to the feature) is for!

 

Your/your series' website, social media, whatever else?

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
will take you
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Find Michael Coulombe
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Michael Coulombe here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

There is no social media for the show at the present moment, BUT I can give you the socials for the creative team:

Michael Coulombe – Instagram @mcoulombe

Harold White jr – Instagram @haroldthewhiteguy

Alex Henderson – Instagram @theinstallments

Adam Cabrera – Instagram @Capricious_cabrera

 

And again you can check out all information regarding the show at https://michaelcoulombe.com/projects/safer-at-home/

 

Anything else you're dying to mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Nothing specific. We hope you enjoy the show… and leave comments on YouTube if you enjoy a specific episode. We read them all and love responding to the fans. And spread the word. We are proud of this series. We took a chance and we are very happy with how it is turning out!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD