November 17, 2018: The Projects, Poll, and Fried Chicken Update!

Well, this past Thursday afternoon, we pitched Untitled Awesome Project to a broadcaster.  As you may (or may not) know, I’m especially excited about this one as it’s a notion that (like Dark Matter) was many years in the making.  And by “many years in the making” I mean that, like Dark Matter, I came up with the concept and main characters quite some time ago and put them on the back burner, allowing them to bubble and stew while I focused on the projects at hand.  In the case of Dark Matter, it was almost seven years between the time I first came up with the idea (while working on Stargate) to when the show finally got that elusive green light.  In the case of UAP, a show I first conceived while working on the first season of Dark Matter, the timeline may (just MAY) be a little shorter.  I received word late last night that the pitch went over well and, should the right dominos fall between now and end of next week, I may soon be starting work on a pilot script.  Of course we’re talking development, still a ways from a green light, but it’s a crucial step in a positive direction.

Expecting notes on the preliminary series overview of that comic book adaptation later this week as well.  I have much love and respect of the series writer and artist and am looking forward to their feedback.

And, also this week, I’ll be getting together with one of my very favorite horror authors to start the wheels turning on our adaptation of one of his novels.  This one’s going to be a lot of fun.  And very, very unsettling.  I started describing the project to Akemi who was so freaked out she asked me to stop.  She bemoans the fact she won’t have the nerve to watch it when the time comes.

Finally, I’m just putting the finishing touches on the Episode #3 script for UF which I hope to deliver Monday or Tuesday after which I can set my screenwriting software on standby until it comes time for me to write the Episode #10, season finale.

Oh, hey, the results are in on our Which Vegetable Would You Excise From Your Diet For The Rest Of Your Life? poll and the winner is…

With 28.89% of the vote, edging out surprising second-place mushrooms at 20.44%, is – zucchini!  Congratulation, courgette.  Now get the hell out!

Perhaps equally not unsurprising is the fact that potatoes received the fewest votes at a mere 3.11% of the total tally.

So, last night, I had dinner at THE BEST place for fried chicken in Toronto: Home of Hot Taste, aka Buldak.  There, we enjoyed five fantastic varieties of fried chicken – and a spicy squid platter for Akemi.

Fried chicken with green onions, Snow Chicken (with powdered cheese), five spice, garlic, and sweet and spicy wings.

I’ve been doing my research, putting in the long hours and trust me, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better fried chicken experience in this city.

November 12, 2018: Distant Dark Matter Rumblings

When Dark Matter was cancelled a little over a year ago, I was left somewhat frustrated, kind of annoyed, a more than a little pissed.  For various reasons.  I was frustrated because I wouldn’t be able to complete the story I’d mapped out, annoyed by what I felt was a petty and vindictive decision, and more than a little pissed at how it all went down.  In the end, it was a Clueless Exec Sucker Punch to the show’s cast, crew and, chiefest of all, its fans who had supported the series for three seasons.

An ensuing online campaign to save the show proved ultimately (frankly, surprisingly) unsuccessful and so I redirected focus to other projects.  Whenever fans have asked me about the prospect of a Dark Matter revival, I’ve been honest with them.  It’s unlikely, but I still hold out hope for a mini-series that would allow me to wrap up as many of those narrative loose ends as possible and, hopefully, offer fans some closure.  That, I honestly felt, was the best case scenario.

Until today after my conversation with a very determined individual with connections to a group of equally determined, forward-thinking individuals who have proposed an atypical but very intriguing approach to getting it done.    And the more they talk about it, the more convinced I become that, maybe, the odds of a fourth and fifth season of Dark Matter may not be as long as I’d initially assumed.

Ambiguous, no?  Alas, for now, all I’ll say is that the wheels on a resurrection are – surprisingly – in motion again.  There is, of course, no guarantee that anything will come of this, but the strategy is crazy-brilliant and certainly worth pursuing.

Anyway, I followed up this afternoon’s call with an email outlining the game plan, the questions we needed to answer, and my proposal for a schedule moving forward.  Conversations to follow.

Let’s just file this one away for now but I’ll leave you with this.  Prior to this afternoon, Magic 8 Ball said “Outlook not so good”.  After my chat, it had revised it’s prognostication to: “Ask again later”.  Read into that what you will.

October 12, 2018: And that’s a writers’ room wrap! PLUS the season finale verdicts!

Yep.  That’s a wrap.  Now, we all go our separate ways to pursue other assignments.  For Courtney and I, it’s writing the pilot and episode 2.  For Nicole, it’s Hollywood-bound to pitch her original new series.  For Alejandro, Andrew and Natalia, it’s off to parts unknown to help stage a military coup with their fellow soldiers of fortune.  Still, we made the most of our last day, one marked by much hilarity, desserts, and booze punctuated by occasional show discussion.

So, what was the verdict on the outline for our big season finale?

I’m going to miss this crew!

 

 

The New Show Update! Presenting R.T. Thorne!

The second week of the writers’ room has drawn to a close and not only have we made great progress, but we’re picking up steam.  Following a week of world building, we started talking stories and managed to get the first three episodes broken.  I’m trying to complete all three outlines for Monday (two revisions and one first pass), but find myself struggling with a short fourth act.  It’s always the way: You distribute an outline, receive great notes, then sit down to implement them only discover your fourth act is now short.

And it’s ALWAYS the fourth act!

So, I’ve been pretty cryptic about this new series to date simply because we’re in the early stages, the production company has yet to establish a social media campaign, and, admittedly, I like to maintain an air of mystery.  But today, it gives me great pleasure to reveal the man behind the show: director, writer, producer, and just one of the smartest, most collaborative, good-natured individuals you could ever hope to work with on a new science fiction series: R.T. Thorne.

Filmmaker R.T. is so over the “Canadian look”

In the room.

On the road.

Always grasping for that ever-elusive je ne sais quoi.  Call it inspiration, ethereal epiphanies, or floating ghost marshmallows.  He will NOT be denied.      

And it turns out we have a mutual friend – none other than Writer/Executive Producer (Stargates SG-1, Atlantis, Universe, L.A. Complex, Bored to Death, Blindspot, etc.) Golden Boy Martin Gero.  Small world!

Anyway, just a good, good guy – and a major part of what drew me to this project.  Can’t wait for you to get to know him.

In the meantime, head on over to twitter and follow him: @directedbyRT

Who knows?  Maybe he’ll offer a few hints on what we’ve been working on…

Inside the U.F. Writers’ Room – Part 2!

Can you feel the magic?

R.T. is adamant.  NO telekinetic chipmunks!

Ivon focuses on that third act twist.  That or his fantasy football team.

Everyone pretending to get along.

Sam with the kugel assist.

Birthday gal Courtney gets some donut love from Natalia.

Alex under pressure to come up with some good ideas.

And now the hunter has become the hunted!

We’re all out to lunch!

 

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Researching for our Harlem Shake video.

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That’s a Friday wrap.  You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.  

A Sneak Peak Inside the U.F. Writers’ Room – Part 1!

Story Architects At Work!

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R.T. has the floor.  And table.

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Lakna, not paying attention to the crucial fourth act discussion.

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Ivon and Andrew offer insights on characters journeys, story arcs, and fantasy football.

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Natalia seems be having fun.  Let’s revisit her in three weeks, shall we?

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A concerned Sam checks his notes.  It’s not looking good for that third act out.

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R.T. with the deep thoughts.

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Courtney, all numbered up and ready to roll.

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Alejandro is just humoring you.

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Alex pitches his Dachshund Detective spinoff.

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Nicole throws Courtney her patented “your second act is going to be short” look.

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Go ahead.  Pitch us your “brilliant” idea.

It’s been one year since Dark Matter was cancelled…

It’s been approximately one year since Dark Matter was cancelled.

Truthfully, it’s hard to pin down an exact day because syfy never gave us a “Thanks for three years” official announcement, but I like to peg the date at around this time last year when, buoyed by the show’s relatively strong overall viewership, I sold my home in Vancouver and moved to Toronto to finish up what I assumed would be the final two seasons of the show – only to learn on the day I arrived, jet-lagged and exhausted, that we were done. Read more

Night out with the guys and gals!

I love reunions!

So, a couple of weeks ago, Roger Cross (Dark Matter‘s SIX/Griffin Jones/Kal Varrick, and every other show’s everyone else) sent out a Toronto-wide text to let everyone know he’d be in town shooting one of his innumerable productions. Last night, we finally got together for a feast of steak, sides, steak, wine, steak, Yorkshire pudding, steak, dessert, and more steak!  In attendance, from left to right: Robbie, Stephanie, Akemi, Joe, Ivon, and Roger. Read more

The Perfect Storm Approacheth!

Here.  We.  Gooooooooo!

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Looks like we’ll convene the writers’ room sometime in September.  Before then, the show’s creator and I will map out the first season game plan covering all ten episodes, character and story arcs.  We’re also aiming to have the pilot co-written by then.  After that, it’ll be smoooooooth sailing!  

All that will be left to do is get those nine other scripts written, rewritten, prepped, shot, then have the episodes edited, mixed, color corrected and delivered…and we’re done in time for Sanno Matsuri.  Yeah! Read more