Well that was real mature...

Well that was real mature...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pilot Playhouse (With a Little Help from My Friends)

I don't like to discuss stuff until contracts are signed since, lets face it, in the entertainment industry anything can can happen. Projects fall through all the time even after pages have been inked with one's John Hancock. However, I am making an exception. My three television pilots Jigsaw World, Exodus 7 and Atlantis Rising appear to have found a home at GloverzoneDL Pictures. Normally I would keep mum, but since they are sure enough to post them as in development on their website (see the bottom of their list here: http://gloverzonedlpictures.com/t-v-projects/) I figured, what the hell? Worst case scenario, it falls through and I go back to shopping them around. 

Exodus 7 is a pilot/series proposal I wrote several years ago when the digital comic I was writing was stalled so the artist could do a pitch for a publisher. I had ants in my pants to do something different in the down time and so I started bouncing ideas off my dear and old friend Bud Shinall who partnered with me in this endeavor. Over the years the two of us would hit the local bar and grills and talk about the scifi shows of the time over potato skins and blooming onions. We really believed we could carve out a space sci-fi concept that would be budget conscious and dramatic. Not only was Bud the best man at my wedding, he is my best sounding board. If I come up with an idea, he improves on it. If he comes up with an idea, I can add texture and depth to it. We laugh, we create, and we make what we want to see as fans. So, together, we fleshed out the plot and first season arc, developed the characters and finally I scripted our plot. The show focuses on the Exodus missions to colonize far off worlds. The crew wakes to find their ship off course and damaged and hilarity ensues. 

Atlantis Rising dates all the way back to a comic book script I wrote back in 2007. It revolves around the U.S. reverse engineering the alien technology with an eye toward taking over the world but, Atlantis rises from the ocean introducing magic to the world at large creating a cold war between the two nations. I always believed in the story and thought it would make a great television series.

Jigsaw World is another comic book concept from back in 2007.  It the two (of four) issues sat idle for years until an artist agreed to work with me on a pitch. We shopped the first issue along with the second issue script and outline around to no avail.  Later the artist asked me to write his webcomic and, again, during idle time when he was not producing, we put up the first issue on the website. We parted ways so I adapted the first two comic scripts and rest of the outline to a pilot script. After getting some press from our other digital comic work, we decided to resume working on it with the intention of self publishing via Comixology Submit and I adapted the pilot script back into issues three and four of comic book, but the collaboration was short lived and the comic was never finished or published. Again, I always believed in it and thought it would make exciting tv (or comic). (UPDATE: Some one pointed out I didn't mention what this series would be about. The idea is kind of Flash Gordon meets Sliders. On a version of Earth from a parallel universe, scientists try to save their doomed world by pulling pieces of Earths from alternate realities to create a new patchwork planet. Our hero is on of of those pieces and gets to explore his new world in search of technology that will stop an alien infestation that was on one of the pieces and is now infecting the whole new world.)

I hope everything works out and one day you can see these stories on television. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention fellow writer Tommy Bryant. Tommy has been a big cheerleader and help in my transition from comics to television. Once, I worked with an artist who refused to give me the name of an editor he worked with when I wanted to send out some inquiry letters (to be honest he actually claimed he could not remember, which was not true, who forgets the name of their first editor). It wasn't like we would be competing for the same jobs, so it was kind of strange. Conversely, anytime Tommy comes across a production company he forwards them on to me. Sure he COULD think "if they like his stuff they may pass on mine." But he doesn't play that game. He realizes that there are a million reasons why a project may get selected and a million why they may not and that his success is in no way related to mine (and vise versa). He loves the job. No, strike that, he loves the CALLING of being a story teller and not only needs to feed it within himself, but in the others around him. That kind of love of the craft is hard to find in the struggling circles. We would be a better community if more thought like him. I know if my shows go to series, one of the first calls I'm going to make will be to Tommy. Writing a season of television is a lot of work. I know I'll need a solid stable of storytellers to get the job done.

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