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Archive for the ‘science fiction’ Category

So, yes, in addition to the scheduled general meet and greets, I’ll be teaming up with my friend (and former fellow Dark Matter Executive Producer) Vanessa Piazza to pitch Masked while in L.A.  Editor Lou Anders assembled a diverse selection of tales that focus as much on the individuals behind the masks as they do on the superheroics.  The stories are grounded in character, something I’ve always been a firm believer in, from Stargate straight through to Dark Matter.  I envision the series as an anthology in the vein of Black Mirror except that, instead of studying the influence of technology, the focus will be on the social, political and personal effects of possessing extra-normal abilities – the advantages, the drawbacks, the costs.  Two great examples from established comic lore are DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Spiderman.  Batman – the world’s greatest detective, the dark knight, a masked vigilante who protects the streets of Gotham.  And, yet he is, at heart, an orphan, so scarred by the murder of his parents that tragedy fuels his relentless quest for justice.  Spiderman – the web-slinging, wise-cracking defender of New York is, in contrast, a meek, mild-mannered high school student similarly driven by tragedy to bear the weight of responsibility power and fate have thrust upon him.  Batman and Spiderman, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, have always been, for me, the pinnacle of engaging, richly textured characters – at once relatable yet delightfully complex.  And that’s what we’re looking to bring through a collection of original superhero-themed episodes scripted by some of comics and genredom’s heaviest hitters.  Tonally, thematically, I want Masked to offer viewers a show that engages and entertains, but provokes as well.

So who is your favorite superhero/alter ego?  And why?

A couple of years ago, Vanessa was featured in a Hottest Canadian Film and TV Talent You’ve Never Heard Of – But Will list.  There’s a great write up on Vanessa (click the link), and an equally great artist’s rendition accompanying the piece –

Hey, you have less than a month left to get your letters in for a chance to win a piece of Dark Matter…well, a piece of Dark Matter.

Details here: https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/september-29-2017-fandom-start-your-blickensderfers/

Some of the items up for grabs:

Android chip and Victor upgrades.

FIVE’s sketches.

FOUR’s imperial ring.

FIVE’s goggles.

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We are living in the Golden Age of sci-fi viewing.  Thanks to the rise of deep-pocketed streaming platforms, the expansion of superhero-themed properties to the “small screen”, and a long overdue recognition of the value of genre programming, fandom today has more choices than ever when it comes to feeding their sci-fi fix.

But with the power of choice comes great responsibility.   Where do you commit your time?  And potential subscription fees?  Who has the most to offer?

Well, after amassing a sizable show list, from Agents of SHIELD to Westworld, I put each broadcaster to the test, evaluating them across a range of criteria: quality, quantity, variety, and status of their sci-fi slate, support for their sci-fi programming relative to their other offerings, fan outreach, recognition, and respect.  And, when all was said and done, these were my Top 10 Sci-Fi Broadcast/Streaming Homes:

#10. FREEFORM

A lot of love for genre programming in general here, but there’s a definite commitment to sci-fi with shows like Stitchers and Beyond. Ultimately, Freeform lands the tenth slot on the strength of its upcoming series: Cloak & Dagger, New Warriors (Squirrel Girl!), and Misfits remake.

#9. CRACKLE

Coming in at number nine is this feisty digital streaming service looking to make a splash in 2018 with not one, but two intriguing offerings.  First, there’s The Tribe, a post-apocalyptic series that I’ve heard described as The 100 meets The Walking Dead.  And then there’s The Row which focuses on a group of death row inmates who avoid execution by “volunteering” for a deadly space mission.  Killer premise.

#8. BBC AMERICA

Being Human, Class, Torchwood, Orphan Black and, of course, the grandaddy of science fiction television, Dr. Who – BBC America has a solid track record in this arena.  Looking forward to what they have in store…

#7. ABC

They’ve got Agents of SHIELD presently airing its fourth season (with the incredible Ming-Na Wen), Marvel’s Inhumans,  Somewhere Between that focuses on a mother’s attempts to avert the fated murder of her young daughter, and the upcoming The Crossing which sees America becoming home to an influx of refugees…from 250 years in the future.

#6. AMC

Like superheroes, I put zombies in the sci-fi camp if their origins are based in science (fiction) rather than the supernatural, and that’s the case for two of AMC’s entries here: The Walking Dead and its offshoot Fear the Walking Dead.  The high octane Into the Badlands gets the nod as well, as does the android-centric Humans.

#5. THE CW

The 100, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, the forthcoming Black Lightning series.  Need I go on?

#4. FOX

FOX comes in at #4 on the strength its commitment to science fiction, past (Firefly, Fringe, The X-Files, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sliders, The X-Files) and present (The X-Files, The Gifted, The Last Man on Earth, The Gifted, The Orville).

#3. HULU

In addition to going all in on Stephen King’s time-hopping 11.22.63, Hulu aims to follow up on its brilliant The Handmaid’s Tale with a bevy of sci-fi offerings including Future Man, Dimension 404, Freakish, and Runaways.

#2. AMAZON

Amazon’s streaming service vaults into the #2 spot thanks to a burgeoning sci-fi slate that includes The Man in the High Castle, the recently launched Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, and a trio of intriguing upcoming adaptations: Larry Niven’s Ringworld, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and Greg Rucka’s Lazarus. There’s also Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens that is really more fantasy than science fiction, but I mention it for its post-apocalyptic setting.

#1. NETFLIX

And all alone at #1 is the current king of sci-fi programming.  Let’s break it down: Black Mirror, Dark Matter, Sense 8, The OA, Stranger Things, Travelers, 3%, Daredevil, The Defenders, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, The Punisher.  Upcoming: Lost in Space, The Umbrella Academy, Altered Carbon.  And I’m sure there’s much, much more.

Honorable Mentions: The CBS All Access and Stargate Command streaming platforms offer up a plethora of classic sci-fi (Every Star Trek series and every Stargate series respectively), in addition to a couple of exclusives (Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and Stargate: Origins on Stargate Command). HBO doesn’t do a lot of sci-fi, but when they do, they invest in some impressive production values.  Finally, Canada’s Space Channel is home to great content including the aforementioned Star Trek: Discovery, The Expanse, and Killjoys among others but it didn’t make the list because, sadly, if you’re not in Canada you’re out of luck.

So, what do you all think?  What are your go-to sci-fi homes?  What are you watching and what are you looking forward to watching?

 

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So, yesterday I gave a shout-out to the gang at MGM who reached out to me in an effort to save Dark Matter.

Today, another shout-out.  This one for a former syfy executive, Chris Regina, who was the channel’s point man on the series for Dark Matter’s three year run.  He was a tireless promoter of our little show – reading every script, watching every episode, always giving us meaningful input and, more importantly, championing Dark Matter when others may have overlooked it.  We – the cast, the crew, and the fans – lost a passionate, and crucial ally when Chris left syfy in late June.

Chris Regina on set with Executive Producer Jay Firestone

A big thank you to Chris for three amazing years – and best of luck on his exciting new position…which I hope to hear more about when I visit L.A. at the end of the month.

Well, I spent the better part of an afternoon reading about a hundred letters from Dark Matter fans.  All I can say is Wow.  A lot of beautifully written, heartfelt expressions of gratitude for a show that obviously meant a lot to so many of you. It may have looked like I was choking up, but I can assure you that was just the fiery residue of the scorpion chilis I must have got in my eyes.

Anyway, here are a few of the outfits we’ll be sending out to some lucky letter-writing fans…

And more!

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In truth, pretty damn close.

So often, you’ll hear stories long after the fact.  Like how Apple almost brought Stargate: SG-1 back for an iTunes exclusive 11th and final season.  Or how Canada’s Space Channel attempted to save Stargate: Universe.  But in this case, the events are fairly recent  – a last ditch effort to save Dark Matter spearheaded by some old friends.  An effort that, had it been successful, would have seen characters from the world of Stargate crossover into the Dark Matter universe.   Or, technically and creatively, vice-versa.  I kid you not.

Not long after word broke of the syfy cancellation, we had several interested parties reach out to us.  One of the most intriguing of them was was MGM, my former home for 12 glorious years while I was working on the Stargate franchise.   They loved the show.  They were aware of the fanbase.  And they recognized a great opportunity.

Over the course of a week, with the window of opportunity to save the show growing narrower, I had several long and involved conversations with Simon Graty (EVP & GM Domestic Networks at MGM Studios), Kieran Dickson (Editorial Director at MGM), and Jenny Stiven (Consultant, Digital/Social Strategy & Content, Influencer Marketing).  The plan, if successful, would have seen Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere on MGM’s streaming platform, Stargate Command, alongside the upcoming Stargate: Origins series.  Perhaps equally intriguing was the prospect of doing some sort of Dark Matter/Stargate crossover that would rev up the fanbase in advance of further original Stargate programming down the road.

The two things working against us were time and existing contracts, the latter which proved our undoing.  BUT we came so close –

To a fourth season of Dark Matter.

To a sci-fi crossover for the ages.

Ultimately, we weren’t successful, but I want to thank MGM, and especially Simon, Jenny, and Kieran, for reaching out and trying to make it happen.

Today, Ivon and I caught up with a couple of the individuals who orchestrated that attempted 11th hour save (Jenny and Kieran), as we sat down with them, and Gateworld’s David Reed, for late lunch and three hours of reminiscing about the old Stargate  days.

Watch for our interview, and many more, coming to Stargate Command.

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To those of you wondering – Yes, I may be relaxing, but I haven’t given up on giving you an ending to Dark Matter.  While a fourth season isn’t in the cards, I still hold out hope for a mini-series somewhere, somewhen down the line. Alternately, I’ve reached out about a possible comic book continuation of the story and the initial conversation was very promising.

Even though I’m enjoying my time off, taking meetings, considering other opportunities, I’m really itching to write more Dark Matter.  So much so that I’m toying with the idea of writing a script (or two, or who knows?) and releasing it online.  I also heard talk of the the entire cast gathering at a convention next year and doing a table read – and I can’t think of better table-reading material than Episode 401.

Anyway, just keeping you in the loop – as always.  Feeling a little wistful today, so uploading some of my favorite BTS videos from the show’s first season.  Enjoy!

A virtual walk-thru of The Raza bridge:

The very first shot of the very first episode.  Directed by T.J. Scott:

Shooting the pilot’s anti-grav sequence with stunt coordinator John Stead:

The Dark Matter boys’ choir, Parts 1 and 2:

My sneaky reveal of The Mole’s identity – season 1 finale:

Season 1 wrap with director Andy Mikita:

 

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I’m just going to leave this here.  A little present from the Dark Council c/o PBMom:

Thanks to the architects of the Dark Matter fan campaign – relentless organizers of the Friday FTL Drives and tireless promoters of our little show: Hilda Bowen, Tom Gardiner, Kelli Zielinski, Lance Zielinski, Syrine Gouni, Lorena, Molina, and Elise Cochrane.

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@TVjunkie63

Alright, Dark Matter fandom.  You ready to write?

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, Prodigy Pictures President and Dark Matter Executive Producer Jay Firestone has decided he wants to reward the fans. And he’s going to do so by making many of the show’s props and costumes, as well as DM-themed t-shirts and caps, available.  All you have to do for a chance at one of these Dark Matter mementos is write a letter (Yes, an actual letter!) telling us what the show means to you.  Write it longhand on looseleaf or use your computer and print up the results or, heck, use a Blickensderfer model 7 typewriter if you like.  Once you’re done, pop it in the mail and send to:

Prodigy Pictures
124 The East Mall
Toronto, Ontario
M8Z 5V5

And you’ll be automatically entered with an opportunity to win anything from a G.A. badge to a piece of the set.

Deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2017.  Don’t forget to include your mailing address!

@ceresis64

Oh, hey!  Have another script!  This is the final shooting draft of “All The Time In The World”:

DM3 EP304 17_01_06 Script FULL COLLATED YELLOW

Happy National Coffee Day!

 

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