In season 1, we had 12 of 13 scripts written by the time we went to camera.

In season 2, we had 9 of 13 scripts written by the time we went to camera.

As we head into season 3, it looks like we’ll probably have 8 of 13 scripts written by the time we go to camera.  And that’s being optimistic.  A couple of reasons for this:

1. SCHEDULE: We’re starting production earlier.  In season 1, we started in early January.  In season 2, we started in early December.  This season, we’re looking at a mid-November start.

2. THE ROOM: In our first year, Paul and I were joined by Martin Gero.  We broke all 13 episodes over the course of two and a half weeks!  In our second year, we managed to break 9 scripts.  This year, we succeeded in breaking all of 7 (ish) scripts – some more detailed than others.

3. REWRITES: Holy crap!  THIS is the biggest challenge of all.  Unlike other season where rewrites would mostly involve tweaks to the first drafts, these season 3 rewrites have been brutal, big, and time-consuming.  5 out of our first 7 scripts have seen full passes.

We’re still in great shape; still ahead of the game.  I’ve heard horror stories of productions that have prepped off outlines and, in one case, a writer’s pitch (!). Thankfully, that’s a situation we’ll never face (I promise).  Still, it can be both frustrating and exhausting fielding 11th hour curveballs when you’re in meetings, prepping, revising, finishing off first drafts and, oh yeah, perhaps most importantly, have a fairly well thought-out narrative plan in place that you spent the better part of three months putting together.

Ah, show business.

Hey, wanna see something really cool?

November 10, 2016: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Try, Try, Try Again!

Concept art by Henry Fong.

15 thoughts on “November 10, 2016: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try again!

  1. Cool pod!

    Why does the show start filming earlier each year? Is it the production company that decides these things, or is is based on when things are available cause of other productions going on?

  2. I ruined my media fast pretty early this time by habitually clicking on Facebook.

    My election theory is the Clinton camp is so quiet because a Trump spy keeps stealing their words. Someone stole Clinton’s speech, they quickly reworded it into an acceptance speech for Trump, then she couldn’t give a speech. The Trump camp has been doing something similar with the wording of all Clinton press statements, too. I base this on no substantial evidence, but it’s fun to imagine.

  3. You are a creative genius, a true artiste, and a gentleman. I have no doubt you’ll handle it like a champ. These are the challenges that ignite the creative fires, and make it all worth while, no? Show business!

    And, cool render! Mag-Lev pod?

  4. On an unrelated topic, and I apologize if this has been mentioned or shouldn’t be, but those who want some SF TV while waiting for Dark Matter season 3 should check out Brad Wright’s show Travelers on Showcase in Canada and Netflix in the USA (others… ?). I’ve just watched the first show, and I’m interested.

  5. Only 1 week until production starts……

    Love Henry Fong’s concept art. Are these escape pods, and maybe connected to the Maglev Platform?

  6. Intrigued by these big, brutal and time consuming rewrites. Who requests them? Is it from the same origin or are they due to all sorts of different reasons?
    Just curious ….

    Yay! Yet more design eye candy.
    I’m never disappointed.
    So who used this/these escape pods I wonder?

  7. Following on from @DP’s election theory … I just have this image in my head that the first thing that came into Trump’s head when he’d heard he had won, was …… ‘Oh, CRAP!’

  8. Now I see it’s no accident that DM seasons are so tight; you actually have it plotted ahead of time. I read about the chaos Ridley Scott creating by starting filming Gladiator with no script.

    Does early production mean you’ll air that much earlier, or does it mean more production time?

  9. @TheOtherOne: I know that’s the first thing that came into my head.

    Hey, if the writing pressures get too much, just hop in that escape pod and hit the “LAUNCH” button. Or maybe at least the LUNCH button.

  10. [Color me confused :-\ . Your “REWRITES” are going more smoothly :

    “Unlike other season where rewrites would mostly involve tweaks to the first drafts, these season 3 rewrites haven’t {as in have NOT?} been brutal, big, and time-consuming. 5 out of our first 7 scripts have seen full passes.” ? ]

  11. @JeremyTarone I can’t wait for Travelers. It’s not on the US Netflix until January though.

    @DP That’s funny to imagine, too. But it also sounds plausible.

    @TheOtherOne Funny you should say that. When I watched him take stage for his speech, he looked like he was walking into a funeral. Now, granted maybe that is his “serious” face, but I read it as “I guess the system is not rigged–now what do I do? I don’t want this job for 4 years!” Then 24 hours later I have a conversation with my sister in NC and she said the same thing without any prompting from me. Then today she sent me a link to someone who actually wrote about it.

    I am also curious about the reasoning behind all these intensive rewrites.

  12. I know Martin is busy over at NBC but tell him to take a break and have him pen a “later” episode for DM S3. Maybe a Blindspot/DM crossover. Alex could show his tattoos.

    Wonder if that escape pod is from a station we know, EOS-7 perhaps, or maybe an Imperial Cruiser, oops Federation Cruiser?

    Relax Joe, you’ve got this, you perform best in a pinch. You just need some sake and a pen.

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