I realized from a young age that I never wanted to be just a princess. Sure, I loved the gorgeous dresses (and still do), but I was always more intrigued by the characters who could hold their own in a fight. I didn’t have too many to look up when I was little. But things are slowly changing. We are beginning to see a change in your standard hero archetype. It’s time to see some heroines. And the ladies behind Soiled Doves couldn’t agree more.
TeamRAD is a trio of ladies dedicating to sharing and creating stories about women. Consisting of Verity Butler, Rebecca Holopter, and Darby Kennerly, these women have been working on Soiled Doves, a western/supernatural series, for six years! Their dedication to the project is inspiring, and to be completely honest, I don’t think they’re overselling when they say that Soiled Doves will be our next favourite show.
“Soiled Doves is a Western set in 1887 told from the perspective of 3 women who live in a ghost town located in Death Valley, California. A supernatural presence is infiltrating Barlowe Springs, and the three women must come together to save their town and the ones they love. It’s Twin Peaks meets Deadwood meets three complex female characters.”
[It’s] similar to Westworld in that it’s a mixture of another genre with the Western genre. Where Westworld is more a sci-fi western, with the incorporation of robots into the west, our show incorporates the power of nature inspired by the lore of the Shoshone tribe that is indigenous to Death Valley. We’ve focused on grounding the supernatural elements in nature so that it’s more subtle and could possibly have a logical explanation….We didn’t want it to be a “freak of the week” type situation. We wanted the supernatural elements to be connected to the dangers of the time and place.
“In westerns, generally female characters fall into several archetypes; the prostitute, the damsel in distress (who needs to be rescued by a man), and the woman who wants to be a man — dresses like a man and shoots like a man. Maybe at first glance our characters are that way: Annette is a witty prostitute, Rosemary is a newcomer to town who is more fragile and feminine, and Dee runs the saloon, which is typically a man’s position. But our show goes beyond those stereotypes, and you really get to see who these women are, why they are the way they are, and how they fight to defend their town and the ones they love. So we are going below the surface of the stereotypes.”
“Writing a role you feel so connected to allows for more individuality and nuance. We brought pieces of ourselves to these roles.”
“We came to recognize that our story is about three women and it should be directed by a woman! There is a unique perspective that can only be understood if you are a woman living in this world. We had a reading of our pilot, and we invited female directors. Then we interviewed many of them, and WOW! They were all so unique and inspiring. We narrowed it down to Lauren Tracy, who was really in tune with our script, had wonderful ideas to bring to the table, and was all about female empowerment. She is co-founder/creator of Blue Fever, an online streaming platform for the best female content — basically a Netflix for women. She also is a part of an amazing network of female artists, which is very much in tune with our line of thinking — providing opportunities to the many talented ladies out there!”
“We’ve had literary managers and producers interested in selling the show,” said TeamRAD, “but they wanted star actors in the three leading roles, which is understandable. It is a business. However, our show is very much an ensemble piece. There are a ton of characters. So if a production company or manager require star names to be attached, there are plenty of excellent roles for them to fill. We have other scripts we have written together that we would be happy to sell and let go of any creative involvement. But Soiled Doves is our mothership, our passion project. We are dedicated to it and will stay attached as the actors, and that is something that is non-negotiable.”
“1. Work really hard. Since we funded our previous shoots from our own pockets, we didn’t always have the money to pay for every position we needed. So we had to DIY a ton. From location scouting, to sewing our costumes, to craft services, to licensing and permits–there’s always a way to make it happen.
2. Build a tribe around you that is passionate about the project. We are super lucky to have met incredible artists who have helped us flesh out the world of Soiled Doves, and given us new perspectives on the characters.
3. Give yourself a pat on the back! Creating a project alone is a tremendous feat and takes more time than all the tangible results. If someone tells you “You’ve been working on that a really long time,” accompanied by a Stank Face, just say “Thank you”!”