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Our virtual season premiere concludes…


And there you have it.  Everything I had planned for Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere.  It would have been a blast.

Well, I feel much better having gotten that off my chest.  Of course, it’s just 1 of the 26 episodes I had burning a hole in the back of my mind since the show’s cancellation.  Still, it was a most satisfying exercise and, who knows, should I ever again have the urge, the motivation, and the fan support, I may well offer up a second installment of Dark Matter’s Virtual Season 4 – Episode 4.02 – somewhere down the line.

Thoughts?

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Our story continues!

Tomorrow = the conclusion to our Virtual Season 4 Premiere!

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Our story continues…

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Our story continues…

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I experienced a range of emotions upon hearing of Dark Matter’s surprising cancellation: disbelief, anger, sadness, and a lot of frustration at the thought of leaving this story incomplete.  As most of you know, I went in with a game plan from Day 1, a thorough narrative blueprint encompassing every story and character arc over the show’s outlined five season run.  Of course, I know fans were equally frustrated given the fact that the show ended on the promise of aliens and androids and their disappointment compounded my own.  Over the course of the eight or so months since syfy dropped the ball (and us), I’ve been keeping busy with various development projects.  I’ve written scripts and overview and takes and, while enjoyable and creatively fulfilling to a certain extent, the process made me miss my show and my characters all the more.  And then, yesterday, while perusing the Dark Matter subreddit, I happen across a thread titled Season 4 Premises.  On a whim, I clicked replied with an overview of what I had planned for the first act of the first episode of season 4.  It was incredibly cathartic.  So, I headed over to twitter, and announced that I would do the same there, in more detailed fashion, offering up a breakdown of Dark Matter Season 4 Episode 401, Act 1.

In truth, it was really just a therapeutic exercise, but the fan response was overwhelming.  And so, I’ve decided to follow up with Act 2 tonight – and Acts 3, 4, and 5 over the next few nights – to give fans a glimpse at what might have been. And, also, to finally get this story off my chest.

Depending on how things go, who knows?  Maybe I’ll do the same for Episode 4.02.  And beyond.  It won’t be season 4 and 5 on the small screen but, hopefully, at the very least, it will offer fans some satisfaction and, most importantly, a degree of closure.

So, what did you miss last night?  Here’s the rundown of Dark Matter Season 4 Episode 4.01, Act 1…

What do you think?  Leave me a comment in the comments section.

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The Hyperion Corps – Pilot – Writer’s Draft 11-1-16

Kira character design by Karl Crosby

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About a year ago, I touched on one of the most inscrutable aspects of film and television production: the mysterious producer credit.  On any given movie or t.v. series, it’s fairly easy to identify the respective roles of actors, directors, writers, camera persons, and crafts service personnel – but when it comes to identifying a producer’s value-input, things get…murkier.  The truth, as I’ve stated in a previous blog entry, is that a producer’s duties can range from almost everything to absolutely nothing at all.  The title can be a distinction that accurately reflects an individual’s contribution to a particular production, or it can be little more than a vanity credit offered to placate shiftless dolts.

Most producers produce, either through the securement of financial backing, closing deals, making sales, bringing talent to the table, casting, prepping, or having an overall guiding hand in a given production.  Occasionally, however, there will be those few producers who will prove more a liability than an asset (or simply just an ass), individuals who must be humored, entertained and, most importantly, contained.  They go by varied official onscreen credits but tend to  fall under approximately five unofficial titles.

For your edification, these are The Five Producers You Meet In Hell…

The Pigeon Producer: So-called because this individual will fly in out of nowhere, often at the eleventh hour, shit all over everything, then fly away, leaving you to clean up the mess.

Dealing with the Pigeon Producer: Ensure they sign off on aspects of production early and often.  Keep a paper trail.

The Hopelessly Out-Of-Touch Producer: This individual will offer production notes and suggestions completely at odds with with the tone of your show – or the era.  Sometimes it will be a totally incongruent “funny” line of dialogue; other times, a tone deaf recommendation for our male protagonist to deliver an affection slap to his female counterpart’s ass as a means of conveying his incorrigible roguishness.

Dealing with the Hopelessly Out-Of-Touch Producer: Remain stone-faced then segue to overt embarrassment in response to all humorous suggestions.  In the case of the inappropriate proposals, gently remind them that their time machine overshot the 70’s by roughly thirty years.

The Post-Mortem Producer: Never to be found during prep or actual production, this individual will invariably appear after the fact to critique decisions made and work performed, bolstering the implicit assumption that –

Dealing with the Post-Mortem Producer: You can argue all you want but these individual tend to be relentless in their Monday through Saturday morning quarterbacking and you run risk dying the death of a thousand cuts.  Laud their tardy acumen and move on.

The Big Idea Producer: Beware this individual with their insupportable creative visions based on dreams, a recent magazine read, or the questionable input of a close family member.  When you hear the preamble “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”, you know it’s time to head for the door.

Kevin Smith’s infamous experience with the Big Idea Producer – Part 1 and Part 2

Dealing with the Big Idea Producer: Attempt to counter with logic.  Follow-up by dialing in other heavyweights (fellow producers, creative executives) in the hopes that the weight of communal bewilderment and the ensuing embarrassment will sink this individual’s giant spider aspirations.

The Clueless Producer: The worst of the worst, this individual enjoys the credit and power of a producer despite their shocking lack of even the most rudimentary understanding of how production works.  The Clueless Producer may, for instance, lament the time wasted on such frivolous indulgences as second unit photography, visual effects, and prep week.

Dealing with the Clueless Producer: You laugh and congratulate them on their sense of humor and discreetly move on.  If that fails to dissuade them, you may have to question their competency and, as a last recourse, their sanity.

“How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?”

– Max Bialystock, The Producers

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