For those of you who follow the site you might have seen a new web series from our friends Jason Salazar and Dave Mcguire called Donovan & Simms. Donovan & Simms follows a grown up cop and his pint sized kid partner as they get into some crazy adventures. We’ve been fortunate to feature most of the series here but once episode 7 rolled around, the series kind of took a mid season hiatus. Every show does it these days, just see The Walking Dead for reference. Well at the end of 2014, Salazar and Mcguire hammered out the rest of the season and the intarwebs were assaulted with with the second half of the first season.
To find out more about the series, it’s hiatus and return, we sat down with co-creator David McGuire to get the inside scoop on Donovan & Simms.
Hi David, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and talk about D&S. When we last left off with Donovan and Simms things were just heating up with episode 7, and then it seems you guys took a hiatus. Then at the end of 2014 you guys just dropped the remaining half of the season in one giant salvo of content. Can you tell us a little about how you came to that creative decision?
Thanks for taking the time to chat about D&S! This decision was made out of necessity. Jason and I are just average joe’s, with a love for makingsomething. And when we started working on D&S at the end of 2013, we went hard. We outlined the season. We started writing episodes. We were living in a D&S bubble. Then about May, we started to slow down. Not cause we didn’t love the project, but mostly because maintaining the steam we had and working out day jobs, started to be a bit much. We knew that we wanted to have everything done by the end of 2014, so we had a goal to reach.
One of the things we did when we started this thing was we were writing as we were going along. Which I feel works in some ways; keeps you on your toes etc. But when you’re straddling the real job, with the dream job, it becomes hard, ya know? You stare at a computer screen all day, typing and doing graphs, etc, then you come home and have to sit down and write. Some days were just hard to get that going.
Jason and I actually talked about this alot. This hiatus was a happy accident. You know, the original outline we created was very different than what we produced. So this hiatus allowed us to come together say, okay where are we? What do we need to solve this season and what are we okay with pushing off until next season/thing we do? Are we still on track for the overall arch? Etc. And it allowed us to write out the remaining five episodes that, I feel, help close out a strong first season.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced finishing up season 1?
This season was an experiment.
What’s the story we want to tell? Do we want to do this? How about this? When we started this thing it was meant to be this one off joke. We had originally intended to make this as a fake trailer for an action movie; hitting all the tropes of the genre and that would be that. But as we were filming the trailer we kind started thinking, this could be something more. So one of the challenges was, okay how do you make this into a full series?
Not only that, but how do you create a full series that has about 5-10 min episodes, but still have it tell a coherent story?
I’m proud of the episode entitled ‘You Follow Me’. I was really concerned with making sure there was some light shed on the mythology of the show. I think a lot of people found the show to be weird and unexpected. Which I can understand. It was positioned as this story of a cop with a kid partner.
So cute, right?!
But the questions then becomes how long can you sustain that? So Jason and I created this mythology of how this kid came to be a cop. And ‘You Follow Me’, which has the wonderful Melinda Marks, carrying the episode, for me, helps fill in those gaps of the mythology for the audience. What worked against us for that episode was the hiatus, I am sure of that. But when you look back at the show, you will see that all the episodes work as one cohesive story and ‘Follow Me’ was a nice exposition story and development of Melinda’s character.
I know I sound biased, as I wrote that episode, but that was the most fun to write.
Any moments you wanted to cover but just didn’t get around to in season 1?
There are a few moments, but they are part of the bigger story. For example, I’m sure there are people who are like ‘Who the f*** was that kid with the numbers?” ‘Who the f*** is Vanessa?” ‘The congressman, what was his role?” All these questions were intentional for those that are loyal fans to watch and have be answered in the upcoming event.
Will there be a season 2, and what can we expect to see if there is?
We are still in discussion of that. We both believe there is more story to tell and it’s still fun to make. So we are currently working on what season 2 will be. How are we going to present it? Since we aren’t beholden to a studio / network, we can pick up where we left off and not leave our audience with a ‘Twins Peak’ ending, then come back 20 years later…
We thank Dave McGuire and Jason Salazar for the great web series and for those of you who haven’t seen the second half of the season, we’ve put together a playlist of the second half here. So check it out in all its glory.