Nerd News Social Sits Down With the Creators of “Deadly Class”: Mick Betancourt and Miles Orion Feldsott

One of the hottest comics at Comic-Con this year was Deadly Class written by Rick Remender and illustrated by Wes Craig. The live action TV adaptation of the comic book is executively produced by Miles Orion Feldsott and Mick Betancourt for SYFY channel. Don’t forget to check out the pilot.

The story is set in the 80’s and follows Marcus, a teenage boy living on the streets. His reputation gets to Master Lin, played by Benedict Wong in the TV adaptation, who is the principal of King’s Dominion. He recruits Marcus into his elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. You can imagine the adventures and chaos are unlimited between the various crime cliques and assassin classes such as AP Black Arts and Beheading.

We got a chance to sit down with Miles Orion Feldsott and Mick Betancourt. Here is what we asked him.

Lindsay Garber: How are you guys enjoying the convention?

Miles Orion Feldsott (Executive Producer): Doing Excellent, it’s surreal.

Lindsay: Can you believe how many people are here right now?

Miles: It is crazy, Rick and I for the last three years have been working on translating this for a TV show, and the whole time we were like, “They’re never going to let us do this.”

Lindsay: Well, there are a lot of dark elements, and a lot of backgrounds to the characters. Can you tell us about a couple of the things that you can’t put into the TV?

Miles: As far as the way we are approaching that, there isn’t anything that we are essentially saying that we can’t put on TV. We have a lot of backstories for the characters, and we want to preserve the stories of the characters, that Rick created. We also have to be sensitive to the world. So any time there is violence, we have to make sure that we are saying something, and not just being salacious, and that there are active ramifications around it.

Lindsay: One thing I thought was really awesome about the comic was the monochromatic look from sequence to sequence. It would start off with blue, to blood orange, to red, based on the things that were going on. Are we going to see that type of lighting in the TV series, or does it not translate well for television?

Miles: The approach that we took was to mainly offer a cinematic look, but you will see in Kings Dominion, there is a very monochromatic look, but when you get out into the 80’s world, we embrace this gritty cool look of the world. The model that we were chasing was like David Fincher. Our Director, Lee Toland Krieger, as well as Tim Ives, the director of photography, did an amazing job translating the world. I love Lee Loughridge coloring that he does in the book, that is certainly an idea that we are going for in certain moments.

Lindsay: Speaking of the 80’s, especially in the comic book series, there is tribute to bands like Morrissey, are we going to hear more of the music of 80s culture, I know some of the outfits are 80’s in the series. Can you let us know if we are going to hear some of that music and be true to the 80s?

Miles: Yeah 100%.

Mick Betancourt (Executive Producer): There certainly will be needle drops. Which will probably bring you back that will bring you to a specific place. We’ll introduce you to a band you’ve heard of due to the series in specifics. But is also a homage to people who are a fans of that era of music, or B sides that only true fans of bands of that era would recognize is an homage, and a tip of that hat to their fandom.

Miles: When we drop the pilot, the pilot is a straight up mix tape from Rick Remender. You guys will get a lot of everything. We have punk, hip-hop, it’s going to be great. As far as 1987, we want to do what Mad Men did for that time period. We want to show you a side of 87 that you may not get in a Steven Spielberg movie, which we love, but we are exploring the other side. Which is the sub cultures, like the punk, the hip-hop and all the metal kids that need their stories told as well.

Mick: This is not euphoric recall, we aren’t repainting that era with some wonder light. It’s grounded, it’s real, and it’s nuanced. When it’s ugly, it’s ugly and we are going to sit in it a little bit.

Lindsay: Being a fan, there are some amazing classes that the students will be taking, such as Beheading and Assassinations Psychology to name a few. How common will these classes actually be in the series, and do you have any favorite classes that the kids will be taking?

Miles: I have one that I want to tell you guys about so bad but we aren’t allowed.

Mick: There are some interesting classes, but it’s not necessary a class of the week. Not an assassination a week, just a story about young people in their lives, through the prism of this heightened world. Really it’s just about them and their emotions, their friendships, their interactions, and everything else just elevates that. There is no trickery, were we are using that and then we are going for the human moments.

Miles: We use the class to show the kids interacting, what they’re talking about when they are supposed to be paying attention in class.

Lindsay: It’s also a way for viewers to connect with them on a level, because they know someone like that. I may not have taken an assassination class, but.. these are the things we go through. How much of you, and your school experiences have you been able to put into the series? Or is there something you relate to most of all in the series?

Miles: When I first read the comics, this is four plus years ago. What drew me to it wasn’t the heightened world, more the clicks then the Yakuza and the Cartel. I felt like Marcus in my life. So there was a truth and authenticity that was created, that felt like… well I never went to a school of assassins, but I remember how this felt. And I remembered how it felt when a girl did “this”. And I remember how it felt when I sat on the steps by myself and no one would talk to me. That universal truth is what makes the show special, and not just the fact that they are back-flipping and kicking and doing all that. What people are really going to connect with it, is the humor and the relationships, and the real authentic emotion that you remember from that time.

Lindsay: If you were in this world, what click would you guys be in?

Mick: I was a part of the Chicago punk scene in the 80s, and from June of my seventh grade summer till November of my freshman year, I had no parents. So I panhandled on the streets, and stole food in my life. I relate to Marcus and his life on a fundamental level. I always had a place to come home to, I never lived on the streets, but it was an empty apartment. I relate to the rebellious. I relate to being a loner no matter where I go, and having to survive day after day. Then having to learn more over time, that as I’m exposed to people and trusting them a little more, I hung out with the skaters and the punk rockers.

Lindsay: That’s amazing.

Miles: I can’t follow that.

Stay tuned for more information about when the Season will be premiering on SYFY!

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