July 4, 2019: Super Secret Projects Revealed!

Finally.

Over the course of the past few months, I’ve been making vague references to a total of SEVEN different projects I’m currently work on, all in varying stages of development.  There’s that comic book adaptation and that horror novel adaptation and my (formerly) Untitled Awesome Project and that small-town horror and that BIG comic project and that other original comic book series and the near-future sci-fi.

Well, today, I can actually start referring to the first three by name as they were mentioned in a recent article for Playback magazine authored by the amazing Kelly Townsend, a piece that profiles former Dark Matter/Lost Girl Producer Vanessa Piazza’s upcoming development slate.  Among the projects are no less than THREE with yours truly…

That comic book adaptation…

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Crosswind by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman. A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife. When an inexplicable event strikes these two random strangers, their bodies, souls, and lives are switched—to potentially deadly effect.

As a longtime fan of Gail Simone, I was positively thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to collaborate with her on this, one of my very favorite of her originals.  It’s a terrific high-concept, character-driven series that offers not only suspense, action, and humor, but a provocative and thought-provoking narrative.

You can get the book here: Crosswind at Comixology

That horror novel adaptation…

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Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

A trio of mismatched mercenaries—Micah Shughrue, Minerva Atwater, and Ebenzer Elkins, colloquially known as “the Englishman”—is hired by young Ellen Bellhaven for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven, where a clandestine religious cult holds sway. But shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. There are stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—and above all else, the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust soon grip the settlement. Escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral toward madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. All present here are now forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is marshaling its power—and it wants them all…

Five years ago, I picked up a novel called The Troop because I liked the cover blurb.  I started reading and was immediately drawn in.  The writing was exceptional.  So exceptional, in fact, that I was confused.  This random horror novel I’d picked up, written by an author I’d never even heard of, had no business being this good.  I’m talking Top 10 horror novels of all time good.  So I went ahead, did a little research, and discovered Nick Cutter is actually a pseudonym for award-winning Canadian author Craig Davidson.

I read and loved his (Cutter’s) next book, The Deep, and the one after that, Little Heaven.  The latter, I thought, would make a great series along the lines of The Haunting of Hill House or Castle Rock.  So I reached out to Craig and, over a beer or two, gauged his interest in collaborating on an adaptation.  Approximately one year later, here we are.

You can get the book here: Little Heaven at Amazon

And finally, my (formerly) Untitled Awesome Project that actually now HAS a title…

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Yes!  In the spirit of the time travel-themed episodes I have written (SG-1‘s Window of Opportunity and Moebius Part 1, SGA‘s The Last Man, and Dark Matter‘s All the Time in the World and Isn’t That A Paradox?) comes this series which, a lot like Stargate and Dark Matter (and, quite frankly, Star Trek, Farscape, and Guardians of the Galaxy) is – at it’s heart – all about camaraderie, friendship, and family.  And, also, VERY colorful characters.

It’s Guardians of the Galaxy meets Dr. Who by way of Back To The Future .

And an insane amount of sci-fi fun.

So, there you have it.

I’ll hopefully have more details on these, and the other projects I’ve been working on, in the coming months.

Discuss!

January 10, 2019: Back in my old stomping grounds!

A bittersweet trip back to the site of my previous series, Dark Matter, today as we start early prep on this new show.  I have, to the best of my ability, sought to reassemble the same behind-the-scenes team that made DM such a great experience.  If all goes as planned, I’ll be moving back into my old office and those 65+ bottles of whiskey will be adorning the shelves once again.  But FIRST – we have a lot of work to do.  9 of the first season’s 10 scripts are in play (Yours truly will be doing the honors on the finale, but only after those first nine are in solid shape), and all of the pieces of the production puzzle are slowly coming together.

On this day, we did a walk-thru of the stages with Production Designer Ian Brock and Rick Fernandez, Construction…

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 Awww.   I missed these three: Production Manager Kathy Lang, Rick, and Ian.

These phone and lamp collections have coming along nicely since we vacated the offices.

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Happy memories.

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Hard to believe this space once held the infirmary, mess hall, and training room.

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Production Designer Ian Brock has a plan.

This area feels so cavernous and empty without The Raza.

I had very mixed feelings about this visit.  It’ll be nice to be back in production with familiar faces and on familiar ground, but I won’t be satisfied until we return to shoot that proper Dark Matter finale.

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.

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.  

The Suji Show!

Quelle excitation!  A few days ago, Suji got the first-page feature in a Japanese dog magazine.  The Aiken No Tomo profile offered insight into her past (rescued a little over a year and a half ago), ailments (some rear leg weakness), likes (treats and walks), dislikes (vacuum cleaners and loud noises), and her Instagram page (newoldpugsuji).

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At the same time, she was being spotlighted as part of a dog rescue pop-up event in at one of the major Shinjuku department stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Calm Before the Storm!

Yep.  That’s what it feels like to me.  There was something in the air this weekend – the sense of burgeoning buzz, a storm cloud of activity looming on the horizon.  What lies ahead?  Well, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…with kindness and ask you not to tell anyone because I may be totally wrong.  Still… Read more

New Look Blog! 2 Guys Don’t Win the Lottery!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, recent upgrades to WordPress have made managing my existing background theme more challenging.  I’m no longer able to control the size of the photos I post, and the classic easy-to-navigate features have been “improved” to a more, uh,  counter-intuitive alternative.  As a result, after many years, I am changing things up here.  After going through 288 possibilities, I have finally narrowed this blog’s new look down to five candidates. Read more