Had a phone conversation re: our comic book series, Dark Matter. It was actually a prelude to a much bigger conference call scheduled for next week, a creative discussion with a network rep. To be honest, the notion of doing Dark Matter as a feature has also been floated and, while I certainly wouldn’t say no to the idea, I would certainly say: “Okay – provided we’ve exhausted all other possibilities.”. Creatively, I feel strongly that DM would work much better as a television series or mini-series because of its serialized nature. Realistically, if it goes the feature route, I can’t expect much involvement (outside of the occasional set visit), so all the more reason to produce it for television where I’m in my element. Of course, having said this, who knows? Everything is a longshot in this business, which is why it’s always a good idea to diversify…
This weekend, I have to sit down and write up pitches for a couple of the series ideas Paul and I came up with last week, identifying the concepts that would, hopefully, be a good fit with the network we’ll be approaching. While I honestly don’t mind doing it, I doubt the potential for making a sale based on a pitch (unless, of course, you happen to be J.J. Abrams). More often than not, what happens is you pitch out an idea, the network representative imagines the worst possible execution of said idea, and that’s that. I’ve always preferred to go out with a finished script as proof of how the idea can be realized. Of course, even that doesn’t guarantee a sale. Still, at the end of the day, even if it doesn’t sell, it offers you a calling card in the form of a writing sample.
Exacerbating matters is the fact that, sadly, Stargate is relatively unknown in Hollywood. Few are familiar with the show and those that do know the show aren’t anymore receptive. In their years at the helm of one of the biggest, most successful science fiction franchises in television history, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper made the studio tons of money and helped build a network. Why these two haven’t been signed to some sort of an overall deal is altogether bewildering.
The more I think about it, the more I believe we really should be down in L.A., taking meetings, getting to know people, making connections. On the flip side, I’ve grown comfortable in Vancouver and, after those 11+ years on Stargate, it’s not as if the dogs are going to starve if I elect to stay where I am. After over a decade working on Stargate, followed by a truly dreadful year in Toronto, 2012 is an opportunity to unwind, relax, travel, write some scripts, and push thoughts of producing to 2013. But, in the next 4-6 months, I’m going to have to make a decision. Do I want to continue to push or am I content with where I am and what I have? Or is there some other, totally different, opportunity I may choose to pursue?
Picking up where we left off on our trip down SGA memory lane…
For some reason, at some point in his Stargate career, Carl Binder got pegged as “the ghost writer”, possibly because it seemed that very second episode he wrote happened to involve otherworld apparitions or a variation thereof. Aurora. Echoes. Pain. In Phantoms, the ghosts are hallucinations that, beside offering the usual serving of suspense and high adventure, also allow us some insight into Sheppard’s past (specifically regarding his time in Afghanistan and the actions that resulted in charges of misconduct) AND gives us a nice little twist in Beckett’s story (one which I thought was pretty damn well executed).
Longtime Stargate mainstay Martin Wood directed Phantoms, the type of episode we termed a “run and jump” for its heavy action and movement, elements that played to Martin’s strength as a visually dynamic storyteller.
Sad(?) news from Cookie Monster’s camp. His people report that monster has been unable to get his furry blue mitts on a copy of The Specials, this Monday’s Supermovie of the Week Club selection. As practically every single on of you know, this blog hosts a weekly Supermovie of the Week Club in which, every week, a different superhero-themed movie is screened and reviewed – by guest reviewer, Cookie Monster. Last week’s movie, X-Men (2000), received the first passing mark (8 out of 10 chocolat chipppe cookies!) in many, many weeks of supermovie viewing. I have a feeling the trend was NOT going to continue with The Specials, so maybe it’s just as well we skip it in favor of Spiderman (2002). Watch/Re-watch it, then drop by Monday and weigh in with your thoughts when Cookie Monster offers his learned opinion.
To check out Cookie Monster’s past reviews, head on over here: Film reviews by resident film critic Cookie Monster
Reviews to date:
X-MEN: Wowee! Watching dis movie like eating an Oreo after a steady diet of Grover’s moms “half de sugar” shortbread cookies (taste like dry sadness)… (X-Men)
MYSTERY MEN: Awesome! Fantastic! Amazing! All words monster use to describe The Mystery Men. Soundtrack. Some terrific tunes in dis movie. Terrific! On de other hand, words monster use to describe de aktual movie =… (Mystery Men)
STEEL: Making fun of dis movie be like taunting Grover’s cuzin Edwin, de one who eat candles and walks into walls. Too easy. And where de fun in dat? Well, okay, still some fun…(Steel)
BATMAN AND ROBIN: Batmand and Robin be de filmic equivalent of explosive garden vegetable diarrhea. Exciting, sometime pretty to look at, but it still crap. Dis movie be Joel Schumacher’s master piece (of shit). (Batmand and Robin)
THE PHANTOM: Or, like me prefer to call it: Purple Unitardo and de Temple of Doom! (The Phantom)
SPAWN: Ever have it when you need to write skript for movie, but tings are going slow so you invite Count and Big Bird to your place for drinks but you do too many jagermeister shots and one of girlz Count bring wit him slip roofie into your beer chaser and you wake up next morning wit no pants, no wallet, but finished skript you wrote in drunken, drug-addled, three hour stupor? No? Well, monster suspekt screenwriter of Spawn VERY familiar wit dis scenario… (Spawn)
THE SHADOW: Who knows what evil lurk in de hearts of men? De Shadow knows! How he know? Search monster. Me having hard enough time trying to make sense of dis movie. (The Shadow)
BATMAN FOREVER: Batman Forever. Well, at almost two hours running time, it sure feel dat way. After box office suckcess of first two Batman movies, studio reward Tim Burton by replacing him as direktor and… (Batman Forever)
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: Most superhero movies me have reviewed so far make monster so angry he want to go back to video store and punch and slap around employee, den kick him in de grapes. But dis not de case wit Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie. Instead, me just want to go back and punch and slap. Not as much grape kicking. (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
FANTASTIC FOUR (1995): Dis movie nowhere near fantastic but, all in all, not de worst fan film monster have ever seen. (Fantastic Four (1995))
BLANKMAN: Calling dis movie “a comedy” be like calling orange soda “juice”. Blankman aktually offer less den 5% of de daily rekommended serving of laffs. (Blankman)
METEOR MAN: Meteor Man written and directed by Robert Townsend. To be honest, me prefer his Chinatown. (Meteor Man)
BATMAN RETURNS: Batman Returns remind monster of solid gold eggz Big Bird get by mail order. Nice to look at but empty and when send complaint, company stop taking your callz and it all end wit director filing restraning order against you. (Batman Returns)
CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990): From direktor of Kickboxer 4: De Aggressor and Nemesis III: Prey Harder and producer of Breakin’ 2: Elektrik Boogaloo and Super IV: Quest for Peace (uh oh) come Captain America, de greatest American hero since Superman. Oh, and de Greatest American Hero. (Captain America (1990))
DARKMAN: In his most understated performance since role of Rob Roy in movie me can’t remember name of… (Darkman)
THE ROCKETEER: Zzzzzz. Snort. Hunh? Me awake! Sorry. Monster up all night trying to finish Rocketeer for todayz review. Movie is trowback to old cereals from de 30′s and 40′s your grandpa used to love. (The Rocketeer)
BATMAN (1989): Finally, a supermovie dat not completely suck. Only partz involving wet noodle main charakters, a butler who can’t keep a sekret, and bad guyz dancing to Prince. (Batman (1989))
THE PUNISHER (1989): Monster really looking forward to not seeing dis movie. So looking forward, in fakt, dat me make planz to visit Wildwood New Jerzey for jellyfish mating seazon instead. (The Punisher (1989))
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: Hoo boy. Take one good idea wit promise, sell out and make it for kiddiez to cash in on merchandizing potenshul, den make movie about it but don’t bother paying for decent script.… (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
SUPERMAN IV: Wow. Superman IV VERY impressive. It achieve someting not even General Zodd and Leks Luthor able to do = kill off Superman. (Superman IV)
SUPERGIRL: Blargh! Supergirl most nauzeating movie since Big Bird sex tape released online. (Supergirl)
SUPERMAN III: Superman III so bad it make Superman II look like Superman I! (Superman III)
CONDORMAN: After terruble Superman films, Condorman a nice change of pace. Not so much terruble as trooly horruble. It be movie made for kidz – at a time when kidz not know any better… (Condorman)
SUPERMAN II: Superman II is great movie for kidz! Rotten, notty kidz who you want to punish but not allowed to spank, so dis torturus movie next best ting. (Superman II)
SUPERMAN (1978): When time for Monster to sit down and watch Superman movie, he select Speshul Edition because, letz face it, me very speshul. But monster not realize dat “speshul edition” over two and a half hours long! (Superman: The Movie (1978))
HERO AT LARGE: Kwestion #1: When is superhero movie NOT superhero movie? Answer #1: When hero in movie NOT have any superpowers. Kwestion #2: So why monster watching dis movie? Answer #2: Becuz somebody (ie Joe) tell him to watch for Supermovie of de Week Club. Kwestion #3: What de deal with Bert Convy hair? Answer #3: No answer to dat one. (Hero At Large)
BATMAN (1996): Many not know dis but Monster on short list to replace Simon Cowl on Amerikan Idol. Deal almost closed (with jenerous chocolate chippee dressing room rider) when show hire Cookie’s bitter enemy = Jennifer Lopez! (Batman (1966))
SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN: Cookie Monster come down with flu – or maybe bug picked up from Grover jacuzzi party – and not feeling one hunerd persent so sorry if dis review make less sense den movie.… (Superman and the Mole Men)
And a couple of non superhero-themed film reviews:
THERE WILL BE BLOOD: Dere Will Be Blood. Eventually. But it take a while. A loooong while. Almost two and half hours! (There Will Be Blood)
SNAKES ON A PLANE: Snakes on a Plane be good, old-fashioned fun popcorn movie. Minus fun. And not very good. Or old-fashioned. Also, no popcorn. (Snakes on a Plane)
Today’s entry is dedicated to Birthday Boy Carl Binder!