Decisions, decisions...
Decisions, decisions…

When I sat down to write yesterday’s blog entry, I hadn’t really intended it to be a rant about the state of the BC film & television industry – and the willingness of the standing provincial to help out in the least.  I had planned to write about my dogs, but once I started writing I got sidetracked and, well, it was a rant long overdue.

Who dat dog?
Who dat dog?

Anyway, what I had wanted to say yesterday was that, when it comes to work, it’s not as simple as just picking up and moving.  I have other lives to consider.  A couple of years ago, when I was working in Toronto, I ended up having to make two trips to fly all four of my dogs cross-country in cabin (because it’s dangerous for pugs and french bulldogs to fly cargo), had to find an apartment that allowed dogs, had to move from that apartment to another apartment that accepted four dogs, had to find a doggy daycare for them, had to find a good local vet, had to drop them off and pick them up from their daycare every day, took them out (down the elevator, around the block to the park and back) three times a day, and, when my Maximus was diagnosed with a metastatic tumor, ended up doing the 90 minute drive to the Guelph small animal hospital (and 90 minute drive back) every Wednesday for his treatments.  That’s in addition to their regular vet visits, feedings, and meds (The tracrolimus gel must be applied directly onto their eyeballs.  It doesn’t get any easier, trust me.).

Lulu shares my affinity for uni
Lulu shares my affinity for uni

And I’m just talking Toronto.  Heading down to L.A. offers up a host of other complications.  Namely…

The happy couple = Akemi and Bubba
The happy couple = Akemi and Bubba

Akemi just got her permanent residence card.  Now she must reside in Canada for roughly 3 (36 months) out of the next 5 (60 months) years. That’ll prove a little tricky if I’m working in the U.S.

Dressed up for dinner
Dressed up for dinner

Of course, these are all problems I’d be more than happy to stew over if and when one of these shows gets picked up.

And I’m not the only one.  Despite her hip dysplasia, Jelly is just as eager to get going:

36 thoughts on “March 28, 2013: Other not-quite-production issues!

  1. Wow Joe, yah that’s a lot of lives to consider. Moving is never easy, even under the best of conditions. You’re in my thoughts and prayers Joe, hang in there, it usually all works out in the end and worry really doesn’t accomplish anything ( easier said than done, I know).

  2. Crazy life in Entertainment. It’s a mobile life for sure. Long running series do afford some stability. Moving is tuff on the entire family. Many have chosen to commute via plane and spend weekends at home. Good luck with all the choices.

  3. Wait and see what happens. Good points against moving though. Commuting would suck. How about telecommuting?

    Sweet Jelly. If those back legs stop holding her, I wonder if she might adapt to one of those doggie carts? I’ve seen one paraplegic dog do great with it.

  4. yes, your last sojourn to toronto was pretty stressful. Though it would solve the issues of Akemi’s residency. I guess we fans will have to invoke whatever spirits, karma, gods, or mojo we can to provide you an optimal outcome.
    another year gone by, another spring offering the hope of better times to come. I hope the news next week exceed your wildest expectations….

  5. I hope for an outcome that is good for all. Just when Carl comes back, you may be leaving. 🙁

    Lulu has the cutest little legs! Just like my beagle. She is long bodied and short legged. 🙂

  6. Joey, let’s face it. It’s time for you to become a full-time novel writer. Forget tv that may toy with your emotions for months, even years, on end – go for the instant (?) gratification. Write a freakin’ book.

    Some tips…

    1. Don’t make it too long. The object of your first book is to grab the audience and leave them begging for more.

    2. Write about what you know. Sure, you know all about sci fi and fantasy and horror because you read the shite out of that stuff. But I’m talking about things a bit closer to home – Vancouver, Tokyo, food, dogs, tv production, Italian families – you have a lot of material to start with right there!

    3. Consider cheap e-books. I know a fella from the Bendis forum who self-published a mystery novel, offering if for .99 cents a pop on e-books. It became a chart-topping hit and he landed himself a real gig with a real publisher. People are not necessarily looking for epic, they’re looking for cheap, quick reads. So stop thinking ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, and start thinking ’50 Shades of Grey’. It is a sad commentary on the state of the modern reader, but it is what it is. I’m not suggesting you write a bad story, but in today’s world sometimes less is more.

    4. Consider a genre you don’t normally read. You like horror, you like sci fi, you like all of that stuff and there’s a danger of subconsciously just rewriting something you’ve read before. So try a genre you don’t read, or one that you feel needs a different twist – the mystery genre, perhaps. Here’s an area where you won’t be in as much danger of borrowing ideas from others, while you can also make improvements in the areas you found lacking. It would be a challenge to write a better mystery, and I think you may like such a challenge.

    So, here’s an idea (that you can’t have because it’s my idea!). You could write about a detective (police or private) in Vancouver. He could, perhaps, be of Japanese descent. The crimes could all take place around the food industry, from lunch carts to fine restaurants to food processing plants. Since he’s Japanese you wouldn’t have to worry too much about fancy wines, but instead he could be obsessed with green teas…all sorts of green teas. Also, give him a dog. People love stories where the hero’s companion is four-legged. How about a good Japanese dog – I would suggest a Shiba Inu for a smaller dog, or Akita for a larger dog. Someone he can talk to at night. Since the detective is Japanese you could tie elements of Japanese mythology or even pop culture into the stories, perhaps even as the basis for the plots. Each book could have a clever foodie title, like ‘Cod Sperm and Other Delights’, or ‘Foie Gravitas’. Oh, you can come up with something better, I’m sure. Anyway…that’s what you should do. Forget anything too complex (like a historical novel – research inhibits flow!), or too unconventional. You need a hook, you need to get name recognition, then you can hit ’em with the real stuff. But first, go for the fluff. 🙂

    das

  7. Speaking about the book subject, a lot of books are being adapted for TV these days, in most cases the author is either involved with the production or has some kind of creative influence. The only problem really there is that to get that lucky, it’d be a huge risk/shot in the dark lol

  8. Can we make the detective an albino? With long hair? And a supernatural katana? 😉

    das

  9. Joe, I was thinking about writing short stories for ebook. I have various fields of work from which I can develop the stories and just everyday life happenings over the years that folks might relate to in their lives. I do have an idea for a fictional character who’s a PI by profession and wants to continue his ‘sport’. 😉

  10. Hey Joe, long time no be here! Hope is all ok… need to catch up with what’s going on in yours and the pugkids’ life! I see Jelly is doing ok… need to move the bookmark up higher in my list 🙂

  11. Moving house is hard. Moving countries is harder. Would you consider leaving Akemi and the dogs in Vancouver and commuting to LA? It might be hard if you’re also the show runner as there’s a lot of work to be done “on location” but if you’re just writing for the show then you could do a lot of that remotely. Although I know that spitballing in the writer’s room is an important part of the process.

    Which reminds me, have you seen this? http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/03/spitballing-indy.html

  12. And I would definitely read it.

    Especially if the detective was a long haired albino, with or without a supernatural katana. The whole supernatural weapon thing has just been done to death.

    No, no. I don’t want a match-maker’s fee. But at your first book-signing for your best seller you can give me credit for suggesting that you team up. 😉

    Gotta go to work now. (the “O” just stuck on my keyboard and turned now into “noooooo” which is actually how I feel about it).

  13. Das: That is a good story line. I’d watch it. Sounds like it would be better than a few on air now.

    Mr. M: I was actually suggesting “video conferencing”. Once you have your initial meeting “where ever” to get things set up. Is video conferencing an option?
    If you have to move back to Toronto, at least you know what buildings allow pets. And you already know which vet you like. Maybe you could buy a condo there. It could be a work/vacation home. Next time, you could find someone to split the cost of a charter plane. It would cost a bundle but think of the hassle/time you’d save.

    Did you hear Netflix is going to produce a Sci-fi series? http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/27/netflix-goes-sci-fi-with-its-next-original-series-sense8/

  14. Whew-ee, Joe! Lots of variables there concerning Akemi, the doggie babies, and keeping up your working partnership with Paul. Am praying for a solid, fantastic decision from your PTB next week, one that won’t change because of election results in May.

    Warm thoughts go out to everyone celebrating Passover or Easter this week. Prayers for joy-filled times of faith, family, and friends, and new beginnings, too. Remembering especially Deni, Das, DP, Tam Dixon, JeffW, Ponytail, Sparrow_hawk, gforce, shawna, and our Joe & Akemi.

    What is everyone cooking/baking for their celebration meals? I’m making pickled eggs & beets (purple hard-boiled Easter eggs!), and pineapple upside down cake. We’ll also have spiral-cut ham, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pistachio ambrosia. Yum!

  15. for the love of Beckett: Where do you live and what time should I be there for dinner? 🙂

  16. @ anniefromfremantle – Good to see ya!! *waves*

    @ Sparrowhawk – I was jokin’ about the katana. 😉 But wouldn’t an androgynous Japanese albino be a bit done to death, too? Or mebbe not. I’ll have to discuss it with my agent (e-mail me 😀 ).

    @ Tam Dixon – But would you read it? 😉

    @ ftloB – Thankies, ma’am! 🙂

    das

  17. @for the love of Beckett: Happy Easter to you! Passover here was quiet, but good! I want summa dat cake, ok? xoxo

  18. http://www.k9carts.com/ I know a cart wouldn’t be good for Jelly now. She needs to build up her muscles by walking but ….. I saw a Dachshund wear one of these and it was a beautiful site to see him “running” around with ease. Brilliant idea!

  19. @for the love of Beckett:

    Happy Easter to you too! And Happy Easter or Passover to those celebrating!

    Tonight is pizza (eating out because my workday was too crazy to get the dough made on time), but for Sunday we’re planning roast leg of lamb (with mint sauce!), my wife’s yummy potato salad, salt crusted baked potatoes, garlic spinach, and by request, a cherry cheesecake. If I get enough spare time during all of this, I’ll upload some pictures of it all to the blog on Sunday.

    Now I and the crew are off to a pizza joint and then on to a good Friday service at our church.

    P.S. Joe/Das I’d read your book too; I already know I’d enjoy it!

  20. Das is right, Joe! You need to write a novel or series. We’d read it. Your short story Downfall was great. Incorporating life details made it even better. Do that again, whatever you write. 🙂

    Hey, did your stove ever get fixed? The comic stories add a lot to narrative, too.

    Tam Dixon — Dinner is in Indy, Sunday at 12:30 p.m. 😀

    Deni — Would love to send you cake! I like it, but don’t need to eat it on Monday, Tuesday, etc.

  21. Awww, puppers!

    I too think writing e-novels is a good idea. My niece has one out, but don’t have a Kindle, so I don’t think I can read it. I need to see what I can do on this supposedly smart phone.

    Hmm, we don’t celebrate Easter, but I’m thinking ham sandwiches and homemade baked beans. And something something with eggs. I do like deviled eggs.

  22. Love Das’ ideas!! Write a book Joe. Get a good recurring character going. Das, can the Detective’s dog talk? Just to him of course. It could be a girl detective named Dasndanger. That would be cool!!! She would be a sassy lady! Seriously Joe, go for it!

  23. @ for the love of Beckett – Right back at-cha babe! Sounds like you’re gearing up for a special day. I cook a big meal for my elderly parents every Sunday (got to make sure they eat right), so it’s just more of the same for me. My menu sounds suspiciously like yours. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean caserole, a green salad, and an orange jello salad in place of your pistachio ambrosia. (That sounds better than mine.) My menu sounds a lot like Thanksgiving. I’m taking a small spiral ham for them to eat during the week. If I didn’t have to cook, I’d be looking for your house! 😉

  24. dasndanger has a good idea with the writing a novel thing. i was thinking you could do a fictional version of your time in the business. but then that might be “too close to home” for some people you know. and everyone here would probably demand to know who the characters are based on.

  25. BTW, remember when we were coming up with ideas for you about a new show pitch and I mentioned something about there not being any cannibal storylines out there in –serial killers yes–but cannibalism, no. How wrong I was. NBC is putting out Hannibal. I am NOT watching. The Following is giving me nightmares but oddly all the nightmares are about zombies trying to hunt me down (but I always escape, win, etc.). I must be trying to run away from something (not really sure about that because things are pretty good except when Patrick gets overwhelming.

    So yeah, that are a lot of things to consider, but as people had said, you kind of know what to expect with Toronto and it would allow Akemi to fulfill her obligations to permanent residence card. I guess that would be best case scenario even though it would be a hassle moving the dogs. Toronto did have an upside. Even though you had to drive 90 minutes there and 90 minutes back, you got to have more time with Jelly at a place that specialized in exactly what was needed. Maybe fate intervened for you. Since all the acting jobs are moving to Toronto, you may have more friends there than last time.

    If you don’t have to physically be on set, Skype or Microsoft video conferencing (Not sure what the husband calls it) might work just as well. People don’t have to be physically in the same room anymore. On Monday Mornings, there was this cool robot that was controlled by the surgeon who was in one place to help walk through a medic in Afghanistan. It wasn’t just a camera. His face was on the robot and he could move the robot around the table and zoom in when it was necessary. Maybe you could use the same technology to look at drawings and okay them, or be on set. Robots are taking over the world. Let me see if I can get a screen capture of what it looked like for you.

    Of course if you have to move to LA, it would be like Toronto all over again but better weather. A lot of people know people in LA, and I’m certain people could get you some recommendations. But remember–traffic there is a BITCH.

    Love the idea of a novel, too. I’d buy it.

    @Das — You are very clever indeed.

  26. How about a What would Joe Do/ What would Das Do take on a Choose Your Own Adventure-style work?

    (a) Consult accountant
    (b) Hug-tackle

    Where those stories de-immerse the readers by turning resolution into a coin flip, modern tech lets you re-invest them in continuing your series by letting them win Farmville tokens. For millenia, sound story-creation involved getting the audience invested in the characters’ outcomes. Be innovators and get the audience invested in their own interests. Books + Gambling + Leveling Up.

    And there’s lot of screen-tapping.

    Happy Easter to @ftlob and all!

  27. Staying in Van would be ideal, but at least you know where everything is in Toronto, and Carl is from L.A. I’m sure he can give lots of recommendations if it comes down to that. Is he commuting back on weekends? House swap?

    K

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