My writing partner, Paul, came over for Day #2 of our spinning session for the new pilot script we’re working on. Next to starting a script and, perhaps, passing a kidney stone, there’s nothing more painful than outlining a story, especially in those first few days. Ideas are pitched. They’re shot down. The story is discussed in the vaguest of terms. Plenty of questions are asked; hardly any answers given. Frustration mounts. Breaks are taken. The conversations go off on unusual tangents. And, all the while, we sit, staring at the big white board. It looms before us, intimidating in its pristine perfection – unblemished, not a magic markered stroke to mar its clean surface. We could break the ice by jotting down a title but doing so would necessitate a task even more daunting than breaking the story: actually coming up with a title!
And so we sit. And think. And wait. As if the creativity will eventually get fed up with our procrastination and suddenly manifest itself in a bright, colorful burst of act breaks, suspenseful beats, and a brilliant end of episode solution to the supernatural manifestation.
Yes, writing is a painful business. Positively excruciating at the spinning, breaking, outline, script and rewrite stages. But incredibly satisfying when you complete work on a first draft. And, to be honest, that satisfaction only lasts as long as it takes you to type in FADE OUT and deliver the script. Savor it!
But today, we did manage some progress. Three solid acts, albethey peppered with TBD’s (a writerly term for “to be decided”, those annoying little speed bumps that slow down the process and inevitably get shuttled away for later consideration, usually sometime between lights out and REM sleep). What is our Holy Shit third act break? I’m sure Paul will come up with something.
Hey, this afternoon I dropped by my local comic book shop to pick up the latest issues of Iron Man, The Ultimates, The Punisher, and an intriguing new title, Rose & Thorn, and noticed THIS sitting amongst the new releases:
Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, writers on Stargate, from SG1 through to SGU, bring their latest science fiction epic to comics in Dark Matter. The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they go on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination-a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone! With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. Will these amnesiacs turn their backs on history, or will their pasts catch up with them?
Yep, it’s the trade paperback collecting all four issues of the first chapter of SF Dark Matter, our comic book series. I didn’t expect it to come out until October (Thanks for the heads up, guys!).
Some reviews: Dark Matter: Rebirth Graphic Novel is Solid Sci-Fi Fun – Examiner.com, Sequel’s Blog: Dark Matter Vol. 1: Rebirth TPB – Review!, and Dark Matter Vol. 1 Review (On the one hand, they spell my name incorrectly; on the other hand, they had nice things to say about the book).
Speaking of Dark Matter, our attempts to get it to the small screen progress. We have broadcaster interest but now require the money to do it properly. One of our partners has some meetings lined up at MIPCOM (MIPCOM – The world’s entertainment content market – MIPWorld) and, if they go well (and fingers crossed), we’ll have a solidly budgeted 13-episode first season of our twisty, turny, suspenseful, high-flying, humorous, character-driven, scifi action space opera.
Continuing our trip down Stargate Atlantis memory lane. Let’s reflect back on:
Who would win in a fight between Teal’c and Ronon? Well, if you ask Chris Judge (which I once did) he’d reply: “Ronon. Teal’c is still doing that wushu shit.” Still, we weren’t satisfied with that answer and so, Carl Binder put
pen to paper finger to keypad and wrote this all-out actioner in which Ronon and Teal’c team up to battle a wraith incursion. And also throw down. And who wins? Why, it’s a draw, natch.
Early in show’s fourth season, we wanted to do a scene with Carter, back at Stargate Command, leaving behind the life she knew for a fresh adventure in the Pegasus Galaxy. We wanted to scene to be grounded in the world of SG-1 and felt that the best way to accomplish that would be for Sam to have a conversation with one of her SG-1 teammates. I approached Chris Judge about doing it but told him we wouldn’t be able to afford his episode rate for the single scene. Chris just shrugged in response and happily offered his services for a nominal fee. I thought that was a stand-up thing to do and this episode was a repayment for that kindness, an episode guest-starring Teal’c. And, yes, Chris got his full episode rate for this one.
Jason Momoa and Christopher Judge had a blast shooting the episode, especially the action sequences. And there were plenty. The episode also boasts some terrific guest stars like Bill Dowd, Dean Marshall and Ben Cotton who return to reprise familiar roles.
Today’s entry is dedicated to luvnjack. Good luck with the adoption caseworker tomorrow. Hope you land in a good home!