Cargo 3120: The Making of a Sci-Fi Franchise

CARGO3120Entry 2 – From Ambition to Film School… to the U.S. Army?

by Daymond C. Roman

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Story So Far starts HERE)

So, we finally realized that ambition can only go so far; we needed a film school. And after researching all the schools that were accessible to us we decided to go to The Academy of the Arts in San Francisco. I was sold when they said they had everything at their facility to make Jurassic Park! Only, there was no way that me or Aaron could afford it. And neither of us qualified for financial aid, each of our families made a little more than what would qualify. Again, like our last blog states, we just missed the cut.

But like I said, we really aspired to create our stories and had serious ambitions about making our dreams come true, which is why we made the decision to join the U.S. Army. They had a college fund that would more than pay for our tuition.

Sadly, Aaron and I did not keep in contact while we served in the military. I misplaced his home number (1996, no cell phones) and our leave dates never lined up. Also, I did little to nothing in the pursuit my show biz goals. I allowed myself to get side tracked, until screenwriting was only a notion in the back of my mind. I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it when I have time”. But, I never did.  And as time went on, I met the mother of my kids and even reenlisted for another term. All the while, I was still feeling unfulfilled and continued to feel that way until I decided to write again.

After film school was a bust, and allowing life to distract me I ultimately realized the important thing I should have done all along was write. It’s like they say: writers write, all the time. So, keep writing.

Next Week: Picking up as adults where we left off as kids

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 10/24/14

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Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Not one, not two, but three failed movies intended to be long-running franchises are moving to TV even as we speak: RESIDENT EVIL, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, and PERFUME. (No writers are attached, so if you want to write some crap that will get you into the WGA and maybe even make you some royalties, it’s time to call your agents, fast. Tell ‘em Timothy J. Muncher sez to get him – as in moi – a gig too. There, I just cut you for a big career move. Whatcha gonna do fer me?)
  • David & Alex Pastor (THE LAST DAYS) are writing a Syfy pilot called INCORPORATED about the bad shit multi-nationals do. (Sounds like a winner to me. Well, except for that Syfy connection. Now if this was going to AMC…)
  • Josh Safran (once a big honcho at HBO) is writing a U.S. version of a Swedish legal thriller which is scheduled to emerge as the crowd-drawing CBS jewel called BLACK WIDOWS. (Why is a suit writing it instead of a writer? C’mon, y’all know the answer to that. Cuz every suit reaches the point where s/he is abso-fucking-lutely certain s/he can write better than any of the writers s/he’s worked with, and it’s my munching guess that’s what happened here. Dood’s wrong, of course. They always are. Contact your agent for the rewrite gig – ASAP.)
  • Oliver Goldstick (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS) is writing the pilot for a drama to be called THE TOWN over at The CW. This one’s based on a UK series created by Mike Barnett where a guy looking into his parents’ death discovers that their whole town was, as the press release says, “culpable.” (But if we know that going in, why do we want to watch the show? Huh, The CW? Nuh? Huh?)

That’s it for now. Write in and tell munchilito what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Another Reason Why Every Good TV Idea Turns to S**t

How many times as LB told his students, “No matter what your job title, you’re a salesman?” Thousands of times, that’s how many. Still, many talented and hard working writers refuse to accept that basic tenet. Okay, salesperson deniers, whaddaya say about this:

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AMC Network Narrows Field Of Drama Pilot Contenders With Producer Meetings
by Nellie Andreeva

With a renewed focus on original dramas as AMC  just exited the unscripted space, the network is ramping up development. It had been an AMC tradition to hold annual script showcases, called by the network producer meetings, where the writers/producers of scripts that had been identified by network brass as top pilot contenders, lay out their vision for the shows beyond the pilot. Those producer meetings, which continue to be referred to as “bakeoff” in agency jargon, have traditionally been taking place in the spring, followed by pilot pickups. Sometimes, there has been a second round of producer meetings in the fall, which is what happened this year.

I’ve learned of seven projects from AMC Studios that were featured at the meetings held this week. Their settings span from present-day Birmingham and Mumbai to 1950s Argentina, and they tackle issues ranging from civil rights and pandemic to alien contact.

Additionally I hear that Preacher, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin’s adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s controversial 1990s comic book series, from Sony TV, was not part of the presentations but also is heating up for a potential pilot order.

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The WGAW is hard at work for Interweb Writers

In case you’ve been wondering what the Writers Guild of America has been up to, interwebwise, wonder no more, bunky. The Guild is proud to announce it’s gotcha covered.

Sorta:

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But, see? It’s a good “sorta.” If you’re just on the web, doing your own thing, nobody from the Writers Guild of America, West is gonna bug you. And if you end up working for the BigMediaMeanies, hey, they got your back.

Herbie J Pilato: New “Bewitched” Will Twitch On NBC!

EDITOR’S UPDATE: More to come on this from other voices of TVWriter™, we’re sure.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This just in from Contributing Editor/Classic TV Fanatic Herbie J Pilato (AKA Our Man at the Front Lines:

by Herbie J Pilato

Congratulations to NBC for landing Sony’s new take on Bewitched!bewitched-reboot

According to Variety, the network has granted the green light for a pilot production commitment to sequel to the original classic series that featured the iconic Elizabeth Montgomery as the lovable “house-witch” Samantha Stephens who married advertising mortal man Darrin Stephens (co-played by Dick York and Dick Sargent).

The new series will center around Samantha and Darrin’s granddaughter, an idea conceived by writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, and overseen by the talented team of Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, who head Red Wagon Entertainment.

The “granddaughter” approach is a fresh start!

A WONDERFUL idea!

CBS & HBO’s Standalone Streaming Websites – New TV Paradigm or…?

Yesterday we posted an assessment of CBS and HBO’s announced forays into interweb subscription streaming and thought that was the last word. But lo and behold – just when we think we have Deadline.Com pegged as a voice of conservative H’wood, along comes a big breaking curveball. Namely, this wonderfully cynical analysis of the recent announcements that CBS and HBO are going to offer paid streaming on the web:

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by David Lieberman

Do you think that Big Media companies are about to blow up one of the greatest rackets in American business – one that accounts for the vast majority of their profits? The New York Times apparently does based on its geewhiz front page storythis morning (in sync with a lot of trendy commentary this week) pegged to new initiatives by CBS and Time Warner’s HBO to offer some of their programming online to people who pay them monthly subscription fees.

The announcements indicate that a “new era of à la carte television arrived in earnest this week – seemingly all at once and more quickly than many industry executives and television fans had expected,” the Times says. “And with it, the virtual monopoly that cable, satellite and telecommunications companies have had over TV programming is dissipating.” It adds that the “moves signal a watershed moment for web-delivered television….Rapidly fading are the days in which people pay an average of $90 a month for a bundle of networks from a traditional provider.”

The slippery wording keeps it from being technically inaccurate. But the main thrust of these observations represent a fantasy. HBO and CBS want to strengthen the status quo, not help to tear it down.

The companies — and other powers including Comcast, Disney, Fox, Discovery, and Viacom — thrive because they act as an oligopoly. They help themselves, and each other, by insisting that distributors only offer channels in bundles. Consumers justifiably hate having to pay for channels they don’t watch. They grudgingly pay the ever-rising monthly bills because that’s the most efficient way to keep up with news, sports, and the latest entertainment.

Execs don’t want to mess with that: If consumers had the freedom to choose, about half of the revenue in the TV ecosystem, about $70B, “would evaporate and fewer than 20 channels would survive,”  Needham Co analyst Laura Martin concluded in a widely read analysis last year.

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