Interview with “Emma Stahl” Producer Sandra Uredat

Originally published at cherrygrrl.com, October 25, 2010 – Read the full text here

When normal police work fails, Emma Stahl is the hero you need. A tough-as-nails super spy trained in the arts of combat, firearms, and womanizing, she gets the job done. Originally conceived to go where no other webseries has gone before, the relatively large scale show garnered attention in a similar vein to Anyone But Me, casting sexy, talented female leads and putting them in the situations that the lesbian community wants to see. CherryGRRL spoke to the producer, Sandra Uredat, about the inspiration behind the series and the need for a lesbian super spy in the United States.

CherryGRRL (CG): Thanks for the interview, Sandra. Emma Stahl is obviously a very unique series in many ways. Where did the idea originate from?

Sandra Uredat (SU): I was bored by all those “girl meets girl” movies, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like romance. I also like a good story. Usually you have to make a decision: do you want to see thrilling action? Well, then the gal gets the guy in the end. Or do you want hot girls? Then your movie will lack an interesting story. I wanted thrilling action AND hot girls.

CG: What do you think makes the series unique in comparison to other espionage or thriller-themed shows?

SU: There is no other thriller/action/crime heroine–at least in the last 10 years–who not only loves adventure, but also women.Emma Stahl – The Web Series will be slick, sexy and enthralling.

CG: How important is it for you to tell this story to the world?

SU: Isn’t [storytelling] the intention of every filmmaker? No, seriously, Emma Stahl – The Web Series is not a political statement, it’s entertainment. I don’t want to change the world with the story. I want to entertain as many people as possible with this show.

CG: What are the challenges of creating a series of this magnitude?

SU: The money! To get the money to shoot the series… that´s the only real challenge.

CG: What is the freedom of putting a series on the web?

SU: When you try to sell a series like Emma Stahl to TV, there are so many people who want to tell you how to do the series. They tell you that they know what the viewer wants and in the end you have to either give in and have a completely different story or they just won’t buy it. So when you put a series on the web, there is only you, theviewers, and no one in between. And the biggest advantage of the web is that you can reach people around the world so easily. Women from Nebraska in the U.S.A., to Burkina Faso, Africa, can watch this show.

CG: Who do you want your audience to be?

SU: Besides the girls from Nebraska and Burkina Faso, I would love to get the same audience as Castle, 24, Dexter, C.S.I., etc. You name it! I wanted to create a lesbian heroine without any concessions to Joe Sixpack and his friends, but why shouldn’t they also like the show?

CG: What have the reactions been from people about the series?

SU: Even at the very beginning when we only had a very poor website, which I made myself, people got hooked. We got lovely comments from our first supporters. Very quickly we had a small, but devoted, fan-base. I consider myself to be very privileged to have those supporting and caring fans. Even my mother-in-law loved the idea, and she is very picky.

CG: How many people are involved in creating the show?

SU: That depends on which stage we are talking about. While shooting the teaser, we used about 30 people. For writing the script, we shrunk to me, my co-author Uwe Repschlaeger and our lovely PR rep Daniela Zysk. When we are going to shoot the first season, we will be about 40 – 50 people; with the extras maybe 70 or more, on some days. Producing a web series is not really different to producing a TV series or a movie, except that you have to do it on a smaller budget than Spielberg.

CG: What LGBTQ shows or movies inspire you?

SU: There are a lot of lesbian-themed movies I like, but I didn’t start Emma Stahl because of something I liked, but because I was missing something.

CG: Who are your LGBTQ heroes?

SU (below, right): I don’t think that you can find LGBTQ heroes in movies; only in life. Heroes are the ones who stand up against their bullies, who fight prejudices and try to make the lives of others better. In Germany, we are very privileged. We have an openly gay Foreign Minister. Berlin, our capital, has an openly gay mayor. Lesbians and gay couples can have a legal partnership and in TV you won’t find a daily soap without a lesbian or gay couple. But time wasn’t like that 20 or 30 years ago. My LGBTQ heroes are the many unknown people in the 70’s and 80’s who had the courage to come out and fight for our rights.

CG: With that said, you’ve heard about all the trouble we’ve had in North America with bullying and the homophobic vitriol being spewed. Can you send Emma here to “take care of” all the bullies?

SU: I heard of the amplifying hate crimes in the U.S. I think it’ll take more than one super-cop to get rid of those homophobic bullies, but if Emma can be of any help, I will send her.

Emma Stahl is currently accepting sponsorship/donations for the filming of their first season at: http://www.emmastahl.tv/. You can also follow the series on Twitter:http://twitter.com/emmastahl. If you can’t offer your support via a donation or merchandise purchase, watch the trailer and spread the word! This is one series we’d love to see made! (And we’ll keep you posted on how Emma is handling those bullies!)