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.
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.