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Exclusive Interview: ‘Smoking’ Producer and Star Cat Doss

6 Comments | 24th Apr 2012 | Leave a Comment

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After an 8-episodes long first season, web series Smoking which focuses on a group of LA people in the entrainment industry connected through their addiction to nicotine, is ready to start production on its second season.

Producer and star Cat Doss recently took some time to answer a few questions from Web Series Channel about Smoking. She talked about some of the challenges faced making Smoking, her favorite web series and more.

How would you describe “Smoking” to somebody who had never seen it?

Cat Doss: Smoking is a dramedy centered around a group of friends and family members who, in each episode, discuss their lives over the course of a cigarette break. My character, Kylie is the daughter of the landlord who runs the building where a lot of the action takes place. She’s going through a rebellious period and figuring out what she wants in life. She’s also very musical, which was fun for me as someone who comes from a musical background because I got to play a lot of instruments for the show. Kylie plays everything from the banjo to the drums, none of which, she’s very good at.

How did you get involved with “Smoking”?

Cat Doss: I had worked on a couple projects with Jerome Berglund [Writer/Director/Producer] in the past, including a short film and two politically oriented public service announcements, so we were anxious to get another project going, and Smoking seemed like a cool concept. I fell in love with Kylie’s character immediately. I love getting to play strong female characters who aren’t afraid to be themselves.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced bringing the project to life?

Cat Doss: I would say that budget was our number one concern in getting the show made. It’s very difficult to bring the level of production value an audience has come to expect when you’re funding a project out of pocket. But we were able to make it happen through hard work and a committed cast and crew. Learning to smoke was another challenge for our talent, as many of the actors, myself included, are ironically non-smokers. Next time you watch our show, see if you can spot the non-smokers in our cast. Hopefully it will become more difficult to do so as the show progresses.

As you head into season 2, can you talk about some of the differences in making season 1 versus season 2?

Cat Doss: Season 1 was a learning experience for our cast and crew, and we definitely plan to up the ante in Season 2. We’re also going to focus more on my character Kylie and her storyline. As she matures, I think we’ll see her life start to go in an exciting new direction. There also may be a romance developing between her and Marc, but I don’t want to give away too much.

What are some of the challenges of acting in the series and producing it as well?

Cat Doss: The hardest part about producing a show you’re starring in is taking yourself out of the equation. For example, in the season finale, which I also directed, I had to be very careful to stay in the moment and make it about my character and what she was feeling. When you’re producing your own show, there’s no one to tell you ‘no, you can’t do that,’ so you have to be very careful that you make the right calls.

What has been the fan reaction for the series so far?

Cat Doss: So far, we’ve had very positive responses to our show. It was especially exciting for me when Smoking screened at the Los Angeles Web Series Festival. Hearing people laughing and enjoying our work was just the greatest feeling, like we must be doing something right.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to make a web series?

Cat Doss: I would say, just go out there and do it!

What are some of your favorite web series right now?

Cat Doss: Very Mary Kate and Jake and Amir are two of my favorites. The Guild is another classic. I also really like Book Club, which happens to feature two of our cast members, Gregg Lawrence and Emilio Palame, in prominent roles.

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  • Mary Green

    I love Cat Doss in “Smoking”.

  • Alex

    I’m so proud of you guys! Good job Cat and Jerome!!!

  • Elle

    Cat Doss is “Smoking.”

  • Great Interview with both Questions and Answers. Very Well conducted. Bravo!!!

  • “Smoking” seems to me to be a deceptive way to promote cigarette smoking.

    Do you know if anyone involved in creation or production is being compensated in any way by anyone affiliated with the tobacco industry?

    • Jeff

      It is not. If you’ll note in the article, Cat mentions that most of the expenses of the series were out of pocket. Unfortunately for the production company, the tobacco industry doesn’t need to advertise their product.

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