Archive for the ‘Film and Television’ Category

Honestly, growing up, I never aspired to be in show business.  From a very early age, my ambitions were relatively simple.  I wanted to tell stories or investigate crimes or explore outerspace.  Author, Detective, Astronaut – those were my top three choices.  I didn’t even consider scriptwriting until a friend suggested I give it a go after reading the thoroughly middling first draft of the novel I wrote back in college.  Taking his advice, I picked up Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting and learned everything I needed to know, then got to work, magically transforming that mediocre first novel into an equally mediocre first script.  But it was a start.

Over the course of my twenty-three years in the entertainment field, I’ve written over 120 hours of produced television (not including uncredited rewrites), produced over 400 hours, scripted animation, teen sitcoms, action-adventure, drama, science fiction, and comic books – and amassed innumerable anecdotes, from the hilarious to the disheartening to the mind-blogglingly preposterous.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to regale you with some of the more memorable (aka = outrageous) tales of my time in trenches.  Wherever necessary, names will be changed or withheld to protect the childish, the cretinous, and the egregiously egotistical.




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About a month ago, I agreed to take part in a showrunner/director speed meeting event that will essentially involve me sitting down with eight pre-selected directors for 10 minutes each over the course of an evening.  “Wait a minute,”you’re no doubt thinking. “You’re not a freakin’ showrunner!”  Well, while technically true, I was a showrunner and do feel pretty good about my chances of showrunning again in the not too distant future.  So I thought “Why not?”  It would be nice to get to know some people currently not on my radar.

Anyway, I agreed and, last week, was sent a list of over a hundred directors and instructed to choose eight.  Eight out of 120+!

So I sat down, researched credits and reviewed reels.  I crossed off the list the dozen directors I already know simply because I’m already familiar with their work and if they really want to sit down with me, all they have to do is send me an email.

After the first lengthy review, I’d narrowed the list down to 25.  Then, over the course of that afternoon, 16.  Then 10. And, finally 6.  Until I realized I actually needed to choose 8 candidates, so I went back, doubled that number to 12, and then wrestled with indecision for the next two days.

Until it eventually dawned on me that, rather than narrow down my choices to a mere six eight, I could simply reach out to some of the directors on my short list and actually meet up with them outside of the planned event – for LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES!

So I did.  I reached out and ended up meeting three amazingly talented young female directors.  Over the course of a leisurely lunch, we discussed the television industry, their respective backgrounds and longterm goals, and I imparted nuggets of wisdom like: “It’s the small moments that make an episode,” “Don’t be crazy!”, and, most importantly, “Try the grilled octopus.  It’s delicious!”.

I would have reached out to more but I’m amazed by the number of industry professionals who aren’t on twitter.  In some ways, I get it.  I’m not a huge fan of the platform either, but I do recognize its value in providing quick and convenient online connections.

Anyway, to make a long story short (or, more to the point, bring this rambling blog entry to a close), I’ve chosen my eight directors and look forward to learning as much about them as possible – in ten minutes.

In other news.  Hey!  I did an interview for The Digital Fix

Also, the results of my recent online poll are in.  And Akemi breathes a sigh of relief…

Finally – When we first adopted Suji, she could barely get around, dragging her back legs around wherever she went.  Over a year later, she’s such an avid walker that she gets downright angry if we’re ever late for her morning stroll…

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Balls in the air…or, perhaps more appropriately, marbles racing down the track.

Project A: Delivered a first draft of the pilot to the network along with a revised character breakdown for quick reference and perusal.   This one an epic character-driven SF series.  I dub thee…Comet!

Project B: Have been going back and forth on this one, an adaptation of an upcoming SF novel.  I think we’ve finally got all the kinks worked out, are all on agreement on how we’re going to move forward creatively.  Next step is a follow-up call to proceeded by…a pitch deck?  I dub thee…Mocha Madness!

Project C: This adaptation of an SF pulp classic appears to be on life-support owing to a lingering rights issue.  Considering pulling the plug myself, revising it by dropping all of the elements that originated with the source material, and generating an entirely new series based on my original ideas.  Kind of a shame though.  It would have made a killer show.  I dub thee…Pollo Loco.

Project D: That slow-moving horror novel to screen adaptation is picking up steam. Options are being finalized and the deal-making has begun!  I dub thee…El Capitan!

Project E: Well, damn.  The proposed screen adaptation of this heavyweight SF author’s work is dead – at least so far as my involvement is concerned.  Sadly, they were unable to reach a deal on the option.  RIP H2-Blue.

Project F: Another book to screen adaptation, this one for an upcoming SF novel – also D.O.A.  RIP Black Knight.

Project G: Given the radio silence on this small screen to big screen adaptation of that horror/SF film, I’m calling it D.O.A. as well.  RIP Olympia.

Project H (aka Masked): This one has gone quiet as well and, while I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised.  It’s a combination of two elements broadcasters appear to be actively avoiding right now: superheroes and anthologies.  I dub thee…Marbly McMarbleface.

Project I: An original horror concept I pitched as a series that I’m reconsidering pitching as a movie instead.  My prospective new writing partner patiently awaits. I dub thee…Wisp of Darkness.

Project J: Big(ger) budget co-pro SF series in the vein of BSG.  Lots of excitement about this one a couple of months ago when the company execs and co-creators came into town, but things have been quiet since.  Have been told it’s still in play – but who knows?  I dub thee…Summer Sky.

Project K: One of the projects I was most excited about earlier this year was this proposed adaptation of a foreign format.  Ended up watching the entire first season of the original and then pitching my carefully crafted take.  Decision on this one coming in April.  Hopefully.  I dub thee…Snake’s Tub.

Project L: I pitched my take for the live action adaptation of this anime series early this year as well.  I got the sense my vision for the prospective show would be considerably more action-driven, less topical, than what they’re gunning for, but we’ll see.  I dub thee…Quicksilver.

Project M: Earlier this month, I pitched my take for the adaptation of THIS game I’d certainly heard of but never played.  This one feels like a long shot given but, boy, it would be a helluva fun show.  I dub thee…Tarantula.

Project N: A potential adaptation of this clever comic book series is still in its early stages as I attempt to hammer out a take we can all agree on.  I dub thee…Glassy.

Project O: Meanwhile, I’m preparing to pitch my take on this dark, and darkly humorous, horror series sometime next week.  I practiced my pitch on Akemi who covered her face and informed me: “I can’t watch you show.  Too scary!”  If this one goes, it will go fast.  I dub thee…Reflektor.

Project P: Another horror series, this one an original concept (not my own).  No humor, but the horror narrative and the small town setting really makes this one an appealing prospect.  I dub thee…Deep Ocean.

Project Q: Considering going the comic book route with two genre shows too big to be contained on the small screen.  The first is character-driven, near-future, Earth-based SF while the second is a rip-roarin’ ship-based far-future adventure series in the vein of Dark Matter.  Love the idea of writing an ongoing SF comic book series, unhindered by budget and the whims of programming executives.  And I already have a potential artist in mind.  I dub thee…the Flash.

And sundry original pilots in play that will warrant their own designations if and when they grow closer to fruition.

I really need to get something green lit and into production so I can take a break from all this!

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Well, well, well.  If it isn’t Dark Matter‘s Teku Fonsei, actor Andrew Moodie, incognito.

Well, actually, it IS.  And he’s pretty cognito.  The beard is for a play he’s doing.  The crispy pig ear he’s holding?  Not part of the performance art.

Anyway, I was having lunch with Andrew today and thought – I bet Dark Matter fans would love to quiz him about his time on the show, before and beyond.  So, if you’ve got questions for Andrew, please post them in this blog’s comments section.  I’ll gather them up and send them his way this weekend.

Uh, guys.  I think I may be dating a character from Futurama.

FINAL Stargate "Drive To Revive" Campaign Makes Waves On Twitter 3_14_18-2.jpg

Still awaiting word from MGM on The Stargate Initiative.  Adam Barnard offers up a neat summation of the recent #DriveToRevive campaign above.

Meanwhile, there was this tweet response from the official Stargate Command twitter:

I say again.  Hmmmmmmm.

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Following up on yesterday’s dedicated Ships of SG-1 blog entry, TODAY I give you The Prometheus:

And, to conclude, a few recent Stargate-related links:

Stargate Rising: 5 Facts You Need To Know

#StargateRising: Why Fans Are Freaking Out On Twitter

The Best Way To Watch All of Stargate


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Every so often, I get requests for concept work and designs related to the various ships featured on Stargate.  I normally love to oblige but the truth is a lot of these files are scattered over so many folders on so many laptops and portable hard drives, that it’s almost impossible to track them all down.  This past weekend, however, while prepping for the tweet-storms, I came across a veritable treasure trove of Stargate ship-related images.     Combined with a bunch I already posted (mainly on reddit), they make for quite the curated collection.

Today, I present to you some of the Ships of Stargate: SG-1, many of which were designed by artist James Robbins –

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A huge thank you to Stargate fans worldwide who came together over the past 48 hours to blow up twitter – with a little help from some familiar faces…

Yep.  Quite the turnout.  Between the two events, 250k+ tweets and counting the last time I checked.

So, what’s next for #TheDriveToRevive?  Well…

Okay –

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