Hard to believe we’re already back in the production offices, prepping Dark Matter’s third season.

Even harder to believe we’re about a month away from the start of principal photography on Year 3.  But here’s proof.  Swinging by the office today…


Lead Set Dresser Frank Consiglio.


Costume Designer Noreen Landry.

We’re getting the band back together!

Well, most of the band.  We lost sax and oboe to Star Trek and percussion to Designated Survivor.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been working with our casting director, the lovely Lisa Parasyn, on preparing the breakdowns for Episodes 1-4.  We’ve got a call-back for the Solara Shockley character next week, then first round auditions for Teku Fonsei, Adrian Maro, and a couple of guest stars including one we haven’t seen since season 1.

On a show biz-related note – don’t you hate it when people don’t get back to you? It’s especially galling when THEY work for YOU.  Makes you somewhat…less inclined to dial them in to any decision-making – and more inclined to wash your hands of them when the times comes.


It’s amazing how quickly my interest in football has waned alongside the fortunes of my fantasy team, the Snow Monkeys.  Thanks for next-to-nothing to my 2016 draft picks: Carson Palmer, Dez Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate, Devante Parker, Thomas Rawls, and TJ Yeldon.

On the bright side, Akemi is absolutely thrilled at the prospect of spending Sundays with me again.

Hey, NFL, see you in December.



Woke up and liked/hearted/thanked all the well-wishers on Facebook, twitter, and instagram.


Cleaned the dog poop off the patio (Note: I originally wrote “Cleaned poop off the patio” but ultimately felt it was advisable to be specific).


Had lunch at Schmaltz Appetizing.


Took a stroll.

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Picked up substitute birthday cake.


Heard from two of my favorite Germans.

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Dinner at Piano Piano.

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Quality time with my girl!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  The celebrations will continue throughout the week!

I was leaving the farmer’s market when I ran into an old friend.  It had been years since I’d seen her and, clearly, much had changed.  She was married, had a son, and had just moved into a new house.

“We should go out for dinner and catch up,”she said.

“Great,”I said.  I loved the idea of reconnecting after all these years.

“You’ll love Travis,”she said, referring to her hubby.  “He’s a real foodie.”

“Let’s pick a date,”I said.  Then, glancing over, noticed how her three year old son was completely smitten with my french bulldog Lulu.  “Hey, your son seems to like Lulu.”

“Oh, he’s obsessed with dogs.”

“Do you have a dog?”

“Oh, no,”she replied.  “Travis hates dogs.”

Travis hates dogs?  She may as well have said “Travis steals from charities” or “Travis just got out of prison for killing someone he was trying to rob” or “Travis is an executive for Air Canada.”  Travis hates dogs?  Well why the hell would I even want to meet Travis? And why the hell would I want to go out with someone who married a guy like Travis?

Needless to say, I did not get her number.

It reminds me of a couple I knew.  My ex had gone to school with the wife.  The husband became our financial advisor.  They had a dog who they kept in the garage from 9 to 5 while they were at work.  One day, I learned they had put the dog down because he had been destructive – as, I imagine, anyone would be if they were kept locked up alone without any interaction for 8 HOURS A DAY!  “It wasn’t fair to him,”they explained as though killing him had been an act of great largesse on their part.  Needless to say, I pulled my accounts.  The husband was upset, lamenting the fact that he had already dispatched their annual corporate Christmas “Thank You” gifts.  In retrospect, my feelings toward him and his wife were about a bad as that bottle of white wine he sent.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.  People who like dogs are generally goodhearted folks, while those who don’t are jerks at best and serial killers at worst.  In both of the aforementioned cases, I cut my losses before I could find out which.


All good on the dog front.  Lulu gets her “zipper” of stitches/staples out next weekend.  She looks like a chihuahua in a french bulldog costume.  Bubba, meanwhile, is the toast of the neighborhood whenever he goes out for a stroll in his goofy hat or Hawaiian shirt.  He’s the McGarrett of downtown Toronto!


Last night, Akemi and I had dinner with Melissa O’Neil and Vanessa Piazza.  We went for sushi and I over-ordered.  Even more than usual because I mistakenly assumed I was only ordering single pieces of sushi.  Halfway through our meal, when Akemi asked the waitress what else was coming, the waitress replied: “Tuna, eel, and more.”  Uh, yeah.  Thanks for clarifying.  The same waitress seemed utterly perplexed later on when Melissa ordered the cantaloupe sorbet, bouncing a look of utter incomprehension between Melissa and the dessert menu.  Cantaloupe sorbet?  No one’s ever ordered the cantaloupe sorbet!!!


Too much sushi, a bowl of matcha ice cream, and a couple of carafes of sake later, I headed home for a good night’s sleep.  Because our frenchie, Lulu, is still recuperating from spinal surgery, we’ve taken to sequestering her in a little pen downstairs to ensure she doesn’t exert herself by climbing stairs, jumping off the bed or practicing her tae kwon do unsupervised.  I’ll turn off all the lights and work at my laptop until late, then hop into her playpen and pet her until she drifts off (roughly 1100 pets) before slipping quietly upstairs.

Nest cam view of my demonic frenchie

Nest cam view of one demonic frenchie

I fell asleep at about 1 a.m.  I was awakened an hour later by the sound of Lulu coming up the stairs.  Somehow, the little Houdini had managed to slip out.  I picked her up to bring her downstairs and, upon our arrival, realized she wasn’t feeling well.  She had messed her blanket, two dog beds, and the floor.  So I cleaned her, then the floor, then rinsed down the dog beds and blanket in the bathtub before popping them in for a double wash, then took a nice hot shower.  I rejoined her downstairs and repeated the bedtime process, patting her until she eventually drifted off.  By the time I got back to sleep, it was a little after 5 a.m.

Surprisingly, I got shit done today despite the lack of sleep.  Finished a pass on one script.  Tossed around some ideas with Jay.  Sat in on an Art Department budget meeting (so far, so good!).


And reconnected with some of the old gang.  Pictured above: Props Master Victoria Klein presents Akemi with a frenchie-themed tote bag.  What a sweetheart.

Hmmmm.  Apparently the new Star Trek series is in town shooting for, oh, ever, which has cost us some crew and construction personnel.  Anyone out there have any experience building corporate guard garrisons or diabolical research laboratories?  Lemme know!


Status: Worried?


The Dark Matter Whisky/ey Club is back in session!


Line Producer Norman Denver and Executive in Charge of Production Robbie David – all chummy and smiles.  For now.


Script Coordinator Alison Hepburn got me a bottle of hot sauce from Barbados!


Fantasy Football Consultant/Exec Producer’s Assistant Elliot Sokolsky stays hydrated and caffeinated.


The Locations meeting!  Next week, we check out old warehouses and a place that manufactures anchors.  Ah, show business.  Living the dream!


I assume this won’t be the last time we see Robbie adopt this look of sheer terror.


Norman: A) Ordering a pizza, B) Playing Angry Birds, C) Has forgotten his passcode

Well, we’re back at it.  Today, we kicked prep off with the customary “Raising of the Red Flags” as we prepare for yet another challenging year of making the most of our budget.  Fortunately, we have a plan that involves – but isn’t limited to – shipboard mayhem, intrigue at the Ishida court, nefarious labs, time jumping, some pre-mindwipe flashbacks, and a few colorful guest stars.

Had a great lunch with Executive Producer Jay Firestone over which we discussed arcs big and small, character moments, production efficiencies, and directors.

Locations! Locations!  Locations meeting at 3:00 p.m. was well-attended.  We discussed the general game plan, the attack on those first three episodes (Looks like we may block shoot Episodes 1 and 4 first, shoot 2 in the three-spot, then come back from the holidays and shoot 3 in the four spot), Art Department builds, and recurring characters (Hello Commanders Truffault and Nieman in addition to…others).

Tonight, it’s dinner with actress Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter’s TWO) and then back at it, juggling seven scripts simultaneously.  Whew.  I’ll be glad when production starts so I can finally relax.

Alright Fandroids, 2Crew, 5Hive, 4Clan, 6Pack, 3’sCompany – prep on Dark Matter’s 3rd season officially gets underway tomorrow!


We kick things off with a 10 a.m. Season 3 Overview meeting which will, I suspect, consist of our line producer sounding the alarm on how overbudget we are on our first three episodes.  Fortunately, the back half of the season will basically be a massive 5-parter in which our crew sit around the ship and discuss their feelings.

At noon, I have a lunch meeting with Jay to discuss the season 3 creative. Whereas season 1 was all about uncovering backstories and the mystery of who wiped their memories (among many other things), and season 2 was all about the Blink Drive and our crew taking a more active role (among many other things), season 3 will be all about the Corporate War, the conflict with their former crew mate Ryo Ishida, and a certain little conspiracy we’ve been quietly building for two year now (among many other things).

Then, at 3:00 p.m. (That’s gonna be some lunch!), we sit down for a locations meeting to discuss the season as a whole (the Ishida palace, the cruiser, the lab, the munitions factory) and Episodes 303 and 305 in particular.

Okay, I’ve got my bottle of sake on standby as I attempt to get some work done on this script tonight.  Wish me luck!

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-34-29-pmBubba’s on vacation!


Well, after a fitful night’s sleep, we woke up at 3:45 a.m. this morning so that we could catch the first Westjet flight to Toronto.  Bubba and Lulu were even less happy about it than Akemi.

We once tried taking the red-eye with Jelly in the mistaken belief that she would be tired and sleep through the flight.  Instead, she cried up a storm and kept the other passengers from sleeping. And so, this time around, we thought = Let’s go as early as possible so that the dogs won’t be as hungry on the flight (wrong!) and hopefully be tired as well (wrong!).  While Lulu was her usual laid-back self, Bubba moaned and wailed every time the food tray rattled by.  By the time we got into Toronto, Akemi (who was up in her seat and down on the floor consoling him through most of the flight) was even more exhausted.


I also got another ten pages (of dubious quality) complete in my addled state.  Our assistant directors love the low scene counts (as does our line producer Norman as it usually makes for easily boardable, highly affordable episodes) and, as I started Act 4 on a very economical scene 42 I thought “They’re going to love this script”! And then I realized that I don’t really have a fourth act.  Damn these 5 act structures!

Spoiler Alert!

We finally made it to Toronto.

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