We’re excited to share a new limited series on based on a book by Days of Our Lives Executive Producer Ken Corday, Ladies of the Lake, stars some of your favorite daytime soap stars, premiering on Amazon Video tomorrow!
Ladies of the Lake premieres on Amazon Video May 15th!
We spoke with Michael Caruso, who is the screenwriter, adapting the book to make this digital series for Amazon Video. Scroll down for our interview and to check out more about this fun new series! Be sure to tell your friends and tell us how you like it!
Question: Tell us a little about this new 4-episode mini series premiering on May 15th on Amazon
Michael Caruso told us...“Ladies of the Lake is based on the novel by Days of Our Lives Executive Producer Ken Corday. It’s about four women who live in the ultra exclusive gated community of Avalon in Southern California. As the story unfolds the audience discovers that each of these women have a painful past that comes to light, as the women grow closer to each other when a series of “accidents” begin to occur in Avalon.”
Question: How did you get involved in this project?
Michael Caruso told us...“My co-Executive Producer on the project, Kyle Lowder, whom I’ve known since college, reached out to me when Ken had first told him about the novel. We had worked together before on my first series DeVanity, and he’s basically like family to me. We had a really great dinner meeting and we decided that we could do something really fun with the novel. We both agreed that this would be a the perfect project for the digital space. We sat down with Ken Corday, and he really liked our ideas, and he was kind enough to let us run with it. I went off and wrote the screenplay adaptation of the novel, and roughly two weeks later Ken gave us the green light to begin pre production. He gave us total creative control which as any person in the industry knows is a gift in and of itself, and now here we are!”
Question: Your series is premiering on Amazon Video, can you tell us a bit about that journey from challenges and victories in bringing this indie series to this video platform?
Michael Caruso told us...“When I first started out in the digital space there wasn’t a platform like Amazon available to indie creators. I really applaud Amazon for creating something that embraces and showcases the work of independent production companies like mine and makes our work available to a wider audience. I think the biggest challenge in general with any series is getting your foot in the door and not only finding your audience but getting them to take a chance on you and come along for the ride. Some fans still get a little freaked out by shows that are “online”. Luckily as technology has advanced with Smart TVs, newer streaming devices, etc. it is easier than ever to click a button and watch new shows. Amazon Video makes things far more user friendly than in the past.”
Question: You have created and produced a few other series with daytime actors, do you think about who you want to cast while you are creating the characters?
Michael Caruso told us...“This project was unique to me in the sense that unlike my previous work, Ladies of the Lake was based on a pre existing novel so it wasn’t about creating characters so much as adapting them in a way that was cohesive for the screen. I always tried to be hyper respectful of the source material. Adaptation requires a unique balance, because you’re trying to add your own voice while being faithful to the source material. The novel is a really fun beach style summer read and I didn’t want to lose any of that. I also wanted to make sure that the women, while doing horrible things, were still likable. I think it’s always important to find authentic traits in extreme characters, so the audience can connect as much as possible.
I have been so fortunate to work with some truly incredible daytime and primetime performers. I always try to write with a persons voice in my head, and after years of working with daytime stars I was very lucky to choose from a pool of actors that I knew would be perfect, having worked with them in the past. It was also wonderful to make some new discoveries along the way and hire actors I had never worked with before. At the end of the day, both Kyle and I were thrilled with the talent on the show. Everyone was a perfect fit.
Question: What was your favorite moment in creating this mini-series?
Michael Caruso told us...“I know everyone says this in interviews but that’s almost an impossible question to answer. We filmed over 15 days and it was one of the closest sets I’ve ever worked on. It’s lovely when you take a look around on a project and it is abundantly clear that everyone wants to be there and is present, and grateful, and kind. It was a team effort all the way in front of and behind the camera. We had a killer crew on this. The design element is also really fun. Creating a physical world or these characters to inhabit is always one of my favorite elements.”
Question: The costumes that are worn by characters in your projects are amazing – do you have a hard time finding the look or do you have a great costume designer that is your go-to for these projects?
Michael Caruso told us...“Thank you!! My wife and I did all of the costuming for Ladies. In our early days we never had the money to hire people for things like costume design or set design so we literally trained ourselves to do it, and even though circumstances have changed slightly we just stick to doing the jobs we know and it’s nice because that’s become part of what we are known for. It’s a lot of plunking down in Barnes and Noble and going through fashion magazines to teach yourself about style. We also really enjoy doing it. Ladies is HYPER stylized. We wanted to create a world where everyone is terrified of looking less than “perfect” 24 hours a day. It’s almost got a modern Stepford quality to it but tripled. These characters wear dresses and makeup like armor going into battle. That was always a very deliberate character choice. We also try whenever possible to schedule a day with each actor to show them what we’ve already purchased as well as take them out so they can add their own voice to the character. It bonds them to the project in a different way.
The Series Stars
- Martha Madison as Vivian Montgomery
- Lilly Melgar as Angelica Louis
- Marie Wilson as Morgan Firestone
- Jessica Morris as Crystal Amhurst
- Jillian Clare as Cassidy Montgomery
- Arianne Zucker as Clara
- Kyle Lowder as Detective Shawn Daniels
- Patrika Darbo as Dorothy Nolan
- Ian Buchanan as Alphonse Louis
- Wally Kurth as Hudson Montgomery
- John-Paul Lavoisier as Jonathan Amhurst
- Gordon Thomson as Sheraton Firestone
Question: What other projects are you working on?
Michael Caruso told us...“I wrapped another project after Ladies which I’m not allowed to discuss yet (I know that always sucks when people say that in interviews) and I’m working on a couple of other things including a Christmas movie which is something I have always wanted to do. Right now though 100 percent of my attention is focused on getting Ladies out there and helping it find an audience. We have gotten a ton of support and are so grateful for that, and my hope is that people have a good time and give the show a chance. It’s really fun and I’m proud of everyone’s work.
Be sure to follow them on TWITTER: @LOTLSERIES1
Check out their website at www.ladiesofthelake.com