That Super Secret Project:

The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.  Especially in the film & television industry.  Particularly when legal departments get involved.  Such is the case with this project that was humming along quite nicely until….  I was contacted, we had our initial discussions, I pitched out what Brad W. used to term “a Grinchy idea”, everyone loved it, everyone got excited, work commenced and then…lawyers got involved.  It’s really a shame.  While, realistically, this project wouldn’t have contributed much in the way of my career, it would have been a hell of a lot of fun to work on and, more importantly, something you all would have really enjoyed. Hopefully, this is just a final hurdle that has to be overcome but if it isn’t, and the projects gets deep-sixed by suits and skewed logic, I may have to release the hounds.  And, ladies and gentlemen, you are the hounds!

That Project in Development:

I’ve never understood why development has to take so long.  I suspect that having to do rewrites on outlines may be a contributing factor.  A little frustrating, but the people we’re working with, on both the production and network side, are very smart and a lot of fun to deal with.  I would simply prefer to have fun and deal with them on an actual first season.  Anyway, I’ve done my pass on the outline, sent it over to Paul who will work on it tomorrow, and it’ll be off to the network before the weekend.  And, by next week, we’ll finally have the go-ahead to go to script.

That SF Novel We Developed and Pitched:

We were hired to develop a series concept and pitch for a novel written by one of science fiction’s greatest authors.  We took it out to some broadcasters in Toronto and, later this week, we’re meeting up with our production partners to discuss taking our dog and pony show south of the border.  Pitching is always a long shot, but we’ve got a great take on the material and some incredibly supportive people backing us.

That SF Novel We’ve Been Asked to Consider Developing for Television:

While I was in Tokyo, my agent phoned up Paul, my writing partner, and informed him that a production company was looking to develop a television series based on a novel by one of SF’s most wildly imaginative authors.  I read (actually, re-read) the book and talked it over with Paul.  It’s a mind-bender – with a lot of potential.  Our agent is setting up a Hi-how’re-you-doin?/Get-to-know-you/What’s-your-take-on-the-material? call for next week.

That SF Novel We Were Hired to Develop for Television:

Paul and I, along with our production partner, beat out a pretty solid series premise complete with major story and character arcs, twists and turns.  Alas, in interim, the project has been temporarily shelved and we’ve asked to shift focus to…

That Action Feature:

Based on an idea by one of our energetic and compulsively creative production partners, we actually spent an afternoon beating out the broad strokes of the story while we were in Toronto a couple of months back.  Once some questions get answered, Paul and I can actually sit down and put together an outline.

Dark Matter:

Our production partner did an incredible job putting all the pieces in place on this one.  We were good to go.  All we needed was the green light.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And finally received word from one of our broadcaster partners.  But it wasn’t “green light”.  It was “pass”.  Wait?  What?!  Apparently, it came down to two projects and, in the 11th hour, the decision was made to go with the other one.  I was…what’s the opposite of “placidly pleased” to hear it.  I was later informed that it had been very VERY CLOSE – which, believe it or not, actually makes me feel worse.  Not to be deterred, our production partner is back on his horse in search of an alternate broadcast entity – or alternate formula that will see Dark Matter get made.  I mean, come on!  Who’s got a hankering for a ship-based SF series?

That Genre series:

When one door closes, another opens – or, sometimes, it’s the same door that’s left slightly ajar because you were quick enough to thrust your foot in the jamb.  Such is the case with this opportunity.  We simply need to agree on a suitable, modestly-budgeted genre series to go in with.  And that has proven a bit of a challenge – not so much the agreement on the project itself but the agreement on a  meeting in which to reach an agreement.

That Urban Fantasy series:

We completed various drafts of a series overview and pilot script until it met everyone’s satisfaction.  And then…it seemed to fall into a black hole.  No more notes.  No word of a pass.  Just radio silence.  I imagine that, some day, it will eventually resurface: tomorrow, next year, in the far future when it is discovered by alien archeologists.

That Southern Gothic pilot:

I’m 17 pages into this one.  I’ve got oodles of research material (provided by Savannah native and technical advisor JeffW – Get well soon, buddy!) and an intervening scene to write.  My partner on this one just sent me her pass on the cafe scene.  It’s great.  I’ll tweak it, write the next scene, and then pitch things back to her – hopefully before week’s end.  But with Thanksgiving (football) on the horizon, I’m not sure how likely that will be.

The Horror feature:

This one made the rounds but, alas, no takers.

The Other Horror feature:

I was pitched the idea for this one by a long-time friend and excellent writer who came up with the devilish premise.  I loved the set-up but couldn’t quite get my head around how to attack it…until, the other week, in my addled, exhausted, food-poisoned state, the solution suddenly came to me.  I wrote out my take, sent it his way, he loved it, and sent me some ideas of his own.  Now, all we need is that crucial, cook, and wholly unexpected (tough to do) turn that will have it all fall into place.  Since my partner on this one has his hands full with actual paid production work, looks like I’ll be taking the lead once we nailed down those final story elements.  Can’t wait to get started.

And assorted others:

Opportunities in the field of comic books (going after the film & television rights to an establish series, launching an original series as a springboard to a t.v. series), other established SF, fantasy, and horror properties we’re considering for development with one of our production partners.

So, yes, on the one hand, very busy which should keep me out of trouble (ie. gang life, the competitive twerking circuit, etc.).  On the other hand, I’m getting a might antsy working from home and if one of these projects doesn’t pop soon, I may just have to bite the bullet and consider staffing south of the border.

No, not telenovelas.  Not THAT south.

41 thoughts on “November 26, 2013: Projects on deck!

  1. Wow. If even someone like you with an established career and lots of connections has so much difficulty getting stuff off the ground, I’m kind of glad I don’t want to be a writer.

  2. I was tired before reading this entry and now I am exhausted. What a lot of things going on. Good luck with all of them.

  3. Who’s got a hankering for a ship-based SF series?

    Me! Me! OMG!! Do you have to ask? I’m starving! What is wrong with these people? Get it done! It surely will be better than most of the crap on TV today. I don’t want reality. I’m tired of talent shows. I don’t want another law or medical show. I don’t even want comedy. Any sci-fi or horror sounds good to me. Actually all of your projects sound good to me. Why can’t you just get together with Paul, Rob, Brad, Carl, and Marty, form a group and do it yourself. I am soooo bored with TV, I have started watching reruns of Starsky and Hutch. Love that show back in the day. It’s my pacifier right now. Help me!! 😮

  4. Damn Joe and I was so hoping to see you on the competitive twerking circuit. Not because I think your career has reached that point because you are far and away beyond that and on the way to much greater things but I don’t know, because, well you mentioned it and I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my head. I am perhaps regretting those questionable pumpkin spice cookies I ate earlier so that could be it too.
    It also seems I too will not be available on the competitive twerking circuit as I have decided to rejoin the workforce. I will be returning to a hospital not near you and using my expensively attained college knowledge to help people get well again.

  5. What about your Austenian/Sci-Fi mashup? Surely you’re still working on developing that. I hear there will be piecaken .

  6. @ Ponytail – I’m pretty much bored with tv, too. I still love NCIS, and I’m sort of watching Agents of SHIELD, but not totally loving it. I have been enjoying the new show on Fox, Almost Human, which means it’ll probably get cancelled. 😛

    Of course, much of my disinterest in tv is because I’m just too busy to invest any sort of time in a series, and because – by nature – I don’t have a lot of room in my brain for endless numbers of characters, plots, and locations. It’s like having too many friends in real life – I just can’t keep track of it all and the more I’m mentally and emotionally spread out, the less I care.


  7. das>/b>, get yer mind out of the gutter! Hey, I finally saw Thor and read the latest Pendergast. We’ll talk later.

    @Joe: just point us at the offenders and we will take care of everything. Mwah hah hah!

    What? No Dark Matter? That’s absurd! It’s inconceivable! I was really lookinf forward to seeing that one come to life. 🙁

  8. @ Sparrowhawk – Wanna join the White Fire discussion group on FB? We’ve had a bit of fun there. 😉


  9. Hey Joe,

    My you have lots of irons in the fire! Here’s hoping one (or more!) of them gets rolling soon. I’m still pulling for Dark Matter, and I’m hoping for a pickup sometime in the future.

    I may have to release the hounds. And, ladies and gentlemen, you are the hounds!

    Letter writing campaign? Covert intelligence gathering campaign for blackmailing purposes? (I can provide the GPS tracking devices! 😉 ) I’m sure we have quite a mix of talents among us minions…opps I mean blog followers 😉

    And thanks for the well wishes! The surgery went well, as far as I remember anyway. When I was rolled into the OR, I remember the anesthesiologist saying “You should start feeling woozie any…” and then waking up in the recovery room with Barb at my side. It was like a light switch, off and then back on again.

    Now I’m laid out on the couch-recliner in our family room with my knee propped up on two pillows and taking Norco (basically Vicodin) pain killers. It’s making me loopy at odd times but so far so good. Using the crutches in the bathroom is a logistical challenge though 😉

    But with Thanksgiving (football) on the horizon, I’m not sure how likely that will be.

    Hey the Ravens are playing the Steelers! Turkey, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, football, and Vicodin…that’ll be an interesting mix for turkey day!

  10. On the other hand, I’m getting a might antsy working from home and if one of these projects doesn’t pop soon, I may just have to bite the bullet and consider staffing south of the border.

    No, not telenovelas. Not THAT south.

    i figured that you meant south of your border, not (most) of ours. although i hear that some telenovelas are being filmed in the US. in miami, i think.

  11. @ dasndanger & @ Ponytail

    Yep, I pretty much feel the same about TV as you both do. I am watching Star Trek and Stargate reruns. The new habit of dividing shows into 2 halves with a lot of time in between has me losing interest, forgetting and missing the episodes; when they reappear. And whatever happened to “Under the Dome” I don’t know where it disappeared to, but it’s not on any more and I never saw the last episode. I hate it when that happens.

  12. Joe, I am so ready for a ship-based SF show…. so I’m ready to go hounding, whenever you’re ready, sir.

  13. Glad all went well, Jeff!

    It’s making me loopy at odd times…

    And this is different…how? 😉


  14. @ JeffW – So you’re not cooking Thanksgiving? Well forget it then. I’m not coming over. You just going to lay around and let them serve you? Good idea. Glad your surgery went well. Rest up now, for later comes the physical therapy. Better save some of that Vicodin for that.

    @ Das – I hear ya. I seem to have the attention span of an ant. Not to mention, if I sit down on the couch I start dozing off. Plus I can’t remember a show I like is on, so I kinda keep missing it. Maybe I don’t really like it that much…

  15. I hope something works out soon, Joe. Like many here, I’m totally bored with tv and can’t find anything worthwhile to watch. I remember Brannon Braga saying something about Star Trek coming back to tv after a rest, but that hasn’t happened. I watch SG Atlantis and get even more annoyed at its cancellation when I see some of the shit on tv. I’m re=watching Firefly now, but that’s good for another two nights and I’m done. And yeah, lawyers can really suck. Maybe I’ve just had a long day, but the thought of what lawyers can do is enough to get anyone in a bad mood (I worked for lawyers for many years). 😉

    Cody finally got neutered on Thursday and has been a pain to try to keep quiet. He split his first e-collar in two, so we bought him an inflatable one. He found a way around that, too. His vets prescribed Valium to try to keep him a bit quieter and it’s like he ate jellybeans for all the good it does. He had to go back to the vet this morning because his empty sack was swollen and bruised, so he got the laser, felt better and we started all over again. He laughs at the kennel, too. Meanwhile, I’m pet sitting a darling little Maltese whose name is Casey. My new dog is Casey, as well. I know I sound insane when I come outside yelling “Riley, Cody, Casey, Casey, come!”

    @Jeff: 😉

    I leave you with this, EXTREMELY cute:


  16. @Ponytail:

    So you’re not cooking Thanksgiving?

    I’m delegating. I’ve already got the turkey in the brine, baked the pecan pan, and prepared the stuffing. My son David just needs to stuff the bird tomorrow night and then load it into the oven on Thursday morning. So Thanksgiving dinner should be good to go. We serve it at 2pm so show up hungry!

    On the physical therapy, I start that a week from tomorrow and I have a refill option on the Vicodin, so I should be ready for that too.


    And this is different…how?

    Slurred speech and short attention span? You can’t see that in writing 😉

  17. Pretty much every day in LA is so gorgeous you can’t imagine leaving, but then there are fires and smoke and traffic that is not so fun. But that weather is dazzling, the pugs would enjoy sunning themselves so much they’d need sunscreen.

    I’d love to see Dark Matter on TV, and you guys know how to do awesome sci fi.

  18. I see you’re already much better. 😀
    I take this occasion before you go South the frontier, 😈 to pitch an idea i have about a Telenovela about an abandoned child grow in poverty and now a femme fatale (Jewel Staite) who returns to torment and get the money of her father ( Robert Picardo) which with the superpower of invisibility, used to commit the perfect robbery and so become one of those banal and filthy rich people who inhabit a world of luxury and superficiality. Maybe there’s also room for a Wraith butler. :mrgreen:

  19. I have this horrible vision of you with pants sagged below your butt (yes, I teach high school and see this cultural phenomena daily) doing competitive twerking against Miley Cyrus – who could sink lower??? (May we never know, please!) Excuse me while I bleach my brain…

  20. Hang in there Joe. All things being equal, you’ll probably see each and every one of your opportunities green lit at the same time.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone south of the border! No, the other border.

  21. Lawyers, bleck! What was their sticking point for the project?

    Anyway, like Ponytail & Das said, there’s not a whole lot on TV right now. I found Dexter on Netflix. It’s a pretty dark show but fascinating. Almost Human has been interesting but like Das said, it will probably be canceled now that it’s getting a following.

    Who’s got a hankering for a ship-based SF series? ME!

    competitive twerking circuit? Just don’t stick out your tongue and you’ll be fine. I suppose it means I’m getting old but I had to look up twerking when twitter exploded with it last month. Times are changing.

    JeffW: I’m glad it went well. You stay so busy normally. Are you going to “blow up” with all the pent up energy from no activity? Maybe the pain killers will help. 😉 Did you freeze a cheesecake for the holiday?

    We are going to make a quick Mom visit Thursday. I’m dreading it. Everyone there is out of work and things are tense. It’s a whole different way of life. A sad way of life and I’m giving out gift cards for early Christmas presents.

    I’ve got to get ready for my shift at the humane society this morning. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

  22. This happened just around the corner from mom and dad – you can even see the lighthouse flashing in the background. Pretty exciting for our local officers – it’s been all over the news, even on CNN (not that anyone watches that…). I know these guys and this makes me really proud of them!


    Patrolman Scott Krissinger’s shift started at 6 p.m. Nov. 25. At approximately 6:02 a call came in that a vehicle was on fire on Sunset Boulevard.

    “Later on,” Krissinger said, “a witness at the scene reported that the truck had been revving high and another witness said it sounded like the engine had exploded. She saw a spark and the next thing she knew, it was on fire. Her daughter jumped out of the car to go look but her mother yelled for her to come back. That’s when they called 9-1-1.”

    When Krissinger arrived, the flames were engulfing the front of the truck. “I saw the fire and I didn’t know if anyone was inside the vehicle,” Krissinger said. Witnesses were also unsure if anyone was in the truck. That’s when Krissinger jumped into action. He ran to the driver’s side window with his Expandable Baton ready to break the glass. Before doing so, he checked the door and tried to open it. “I don’t remember the door being hot,” he said. “When I opened it, I wasn’t sure if there were flames inside the vehicle or not. But there was a lot of smoke.”

    The driver of the truck, Gerald Ferrill, 61, a Mays Landing resident was not wearing his seatbelt. Krissinger grabbed Ferrill, and dragged him from the burning vehicle.

    “He didn’t move or say anything,” Krissinger said. “But he blinked his eyes open for a second and looked at me.”

    Due to the fact that there was so much smoke, Krissinger didn’t know if anyone else was in the vehicle so he ran back to the passenger side once Ferrill was out of harm’s way. “I couldn’t see anything,” Krissinger said. “I was just feeling inside the truck for another person.”

    It was then that Patrolman Krissinger was joined by Patrolman Gus Coll who was running up the side of the road toward the fire. Coll helped Krissinger pull Ferrill even further away from the fire.

    Shortly after that, Sgt. John Bobik arrived at the scene and did yet another check of the vehicle to make certain no one was inside.

    Cape May Rescue arrived with an ambulance and Ferrill was medivaced to Crozier Burn Center for treatment.

    West Cape May Fire Company responded to the call and extinguished the fire. The incident is currently under investigation by the Cape May County Fire Marshal, West Cape May Fire Company and the Cape May Police Department.

    “I’ve watched the video,” Krissinger said, speaking of the video that was recorded from his patrol car. “It didn’t seem like it happened that fast.”

    “The video speaks for itself,” said Cape May Police Cpt. Robert Sheehan. “Patrolman Krissinger acted without hesitation. We are certainly proud of him and are glad he’s part of our department.”

    Video submitted by Cpt. Robert Sheehan of the Cape May Police Department.


  23. Not sure if I’m up to being a hound, but a ship-based show might get me to stir a bit. Woof.

  24. Wow, Joe, I had no idea you were so prolific. With all those ideas in the air, one of them has to pay off. Personally, I’d love the ship based sci-fi show. Doing some research for an article, I have discovered that ship based sci-fi has a very narrow audience and may be one of the most difficult types of sci-fi to pull off. But with your talent, and with the talent of those around you, I have faith that you will beat the odds.

    Congratulations to JeffW as well for his contributions to one of your ideas. I have been to Georgia more than once. It is one of the most beautiful and friendly states in America.

    Joe, will you be doing a mailbag again soon? I have some questions if you are.


  25. @Skua:</b

    Thanks for the well-wishes! I don't really enjoy the loopyness, so I'm trying to limit the Vicodin, plus it makes me a little unsteady on the crutches. 😉

    @Tam Dixon:

    No frozen cheesecakes, but I will be making two cheesecakes for a church Christmas Party on December 7th. Hopefully I’ll be off the crutches by then. I’ll also be making cheesecakes and English Christmas puddings for our Christmas Open House on December 21st. I’ll post pictures…

    As for my normal busyness: Yes, I’m going a little stir-crazy being stuck in the recliner, so I’ve been up on the crutches today, flexing the knee as much as I could stand, and then doing some online part ordering for the Corvette project. Fortunately, there are a lot of things I can do to keep myself busy, even from the recliner.


    Have you been to Savannah? It’s a really beautiful city. I’m generally not a city person (I prefer the country), but I would live in Savannah in a heartbeat. Plus I could get steamed blue crabs and plenty of good old southern food! I’m salivating just thinking about it, so I better stop…it’s chicken soup and crackers for lunch so I need to set my sights a little lower until Turkey dinner tomorrow.

  26. At first glance, I’d imagine that with so many irons in the fire and so many writing projects going at once, it’d be hard to cope with the stress of all that writing that needs to be done. But, after thinking about it a little bit more, having all those projects might make it easier in the sense of when one you start to burn out on one idea/script/outline, you can just switch to one of the others, mentally and physically. Kinda makes it easier in a way, I’d think.

    Well, it looks like I’m firmly planted in the playoffs in one of my leagues and the other one is going to come down to the wire, possibly even down to total points scored over the course of the season to decide playoff spots! It’s gonna be a nail-biter!

    I probably won’t be checking in again until Monday, so, Happy Thanksgiving Joe, Akemi, Bubba, Jelly, and Lulu!

    And a Happy Thanksgiving to all you other blog regulars and you “irregulars”(you know who you are)! 😉

    -Mike A.

  27. I bet you must feel like Teal’c in Window Of Opportunity with the door being slammed in your face thing. Well keep at it Joe, I’m sure all your hard work will come to something good and you will get the greenlight you so deserve 🙂

  28. @ JeffW – You might as well milk it for all it’s worth! 😉

    @ Tam Dixon – Dexter is far too dark for me. I started watching Bones – I’ve always watched it on and off over the years, but never could fully get into it (mostly because the dead body scenes are totally gross!), but in light of all the other crap on tv it’s starting to look good to me. Pretty sure it’ll be over soon (it’s been around a long time), but for now it’s something to watch when there’s nothing else to watch, and I’m familiar enough with the characters for it to be a sort of ‘comfort’ show.

    @ Ponytail – One of my favorite tv show episodes ever is the Starsky and Hutch ep when Hutch is kidnapped and drugged until he becomes a heroin addict. I think it feed into the whole ‘tortured hero’ thing I tend to like. I don’t remember too many episodes of anything from back then, but I remember that one.


  29. Wow you have a lot going on. How do you keep track of who is associated with what and who and when you last spoke to who about what? I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. All the best to you Joe, Something has got to come from one of those projects. What would happen if they ALL took off????

  30. @JeffW – cool news about your knee…stay steady – watch the vicodin, I’m sure Barb will monitor your use of that stuff.

    Poi dog (hound/mongrel/mixed) at the ready sir. Just say the word.

  31. 🙁 I’ve been wondering about Dark Matter – sad to here it was a no-go. I hope someone else will pick it up! I’m starving for another good space opera.

  32. @JeffW Glad the surgery went well, now I will say prayers for your healing and progression in PT. I’m sorry I’m late with the blogs. Busy pet sitting week, but I hadn’t forgotten about your surgery. My sister lived in Georgia for many years. First Marietta (NW of Atlanta) and then Lawrenceville (NE of Atlanta) and I think Conyers (close to there, too). She moved to Asheville, NC. Now THAT is a beautiful area

    @Das Haven’t watched much news this week because of pet sitting, but wow, what a hero!

    @Deni — Awww. Poor puppy. Hope he is doing better. Since Maddie is not here anymore (i.e., no dog here terrified of other dogs), my friend’s dogs who I was caring for this week called me last week about the dilemma she was going to have with contractors that needed to keep working this week. I suggested they stay with us at the house instead of me driving 20 miles round trip 4x a day. It’s a 14-year-old golden retriever and today a 6-year-old yorkie. We just love having them here. It is nice to have dog(s) in the house again and Patrick seems to be doing fine with 2 but these 2 don’t really do any barking which is really what the main issue is, and at 14, the golden isn’t doing any rough-housing either. The yorkie jumps up into our bed at night and wedges herself between my back and Jeff’s snuggle pillow. The golden sleeps at the side of my bed. Today is the yorkie’s birthday. We gave her a small piece of turkey because she is on a grain-free diet.

    Joe, seriously, how do you keep all of those ideas and stories straight? And you are definitely looking better than that last night in Japan. Glad you are feeling better.

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