January-February, 2021 – Well, as we’re writing this on February 3rd, we can look back at the first month of the year. Despite the Pandemic, 2020 was actually quite productive, with the audio play completed, hour one of Space Command completed and released on Mr. Sci-Fi, with over one million views and 97% thumbs up, another two-hour episode done from scratch (“Ripple Effect”), the Greenlighting Yourself book over half-written, Mr. Sci-Fi reaching 79,000 subscribers and millions of hits. The studio and all our team kept on salary and moving forward. And the first new scenes of Forgiveness Part Two shot, while many of the 900 VFX shots on Redemption Part Two are completed. Also got many new pages of the Space Command graphic novel, and sent off Maya’s Space Command novel to the backers. Also wrote the Sweet Haven script and cast it. And wrote and recorded the Grizzled Space Jockey story. Also built most of the alien spaceship interior and one of the creatures.
During January and into February, we kept working on all of this, readying soon to complete VFX on Redemption Part Two, finish all the rest of post and ship it on Blu-ray to all those who have ordered it. Sadly we lost Mira Furlan in January, so we’ve had to restructure her role in Space Command (she was slated to appear in the run of the series, but now we’ll write her out gracefully) and rewrite and recast the role she was to play in Sweet Haven.
In February, we got actively busy pursuing the investment capital for The Showrunners Network, and brought aboard legal counsel for this. In addition to Rockne O’Bannon, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, Joe Dougherty came aboard the project. Also passed the two-thirds mark on the Greenlighting Yourself book.
Continue prepping for Forgiveness Part Two shoot – alien ship and framing story.
March, 2021: Writing this March 31, 2021. This month, we continued to prep the one-month Kickstarter Campaign to launch in May. Continued writing the book, raising money for Showrunners Network and Space Command. Continued prep for Forgiveness Part Two.
We also had the first table read of Sweet Haven (the show I’m creating with Rockne O’Bannon), adding Marta Kristen (Lost in Space) and Veronica Cartwright (Alien) to the cast. The reading went very well, with Mark Fergus, Rockne O’Bannon and Joe Dougherty in attendance via Zoom, who loved the reading. Launched the Prophet Worldwide Talent Search for Forgiveness Part Two. Brought VFX supervisor Mitch Suskin back to aid with VFX on Redemption Part Two, which is continuing to get completed. Kept posting to Mr. Sci-Fi, which remains popular, with over 84,000 subscribers. Finished and shipped the Showrunners Network Pitch Deck, with Laura flying to New York to meet with potential investors. Released animatic with first half of the visuals added in. Worked on special Mira Furlan issue of the comic book. Commissioned Tehani Farr to do the cover. Busy with Elaine revising Sweet Haven for upcoming Second Table Read.
April, 2021—Writing this April 26, 2021. In past few months, got in costumes from Fifth Element, Red Planet, Twilight Zone and Starship Troopers, to use in Space Command, as well as awaiting set pieces from Thunderbirds. Held second Zoom table read on revised Sweet Haven script, with our cast and crew in attendance, which went very well. Finished first draft of the Greenlighting book, which I’ll be sending to my publisher at the top of May, once I’ve read through it. Mitch Suskin is aboard as our VFX supervisor and has been coordinating with David Bartlett, Dave Edison, Tom Kam, Cristian in Chile, Joe Lawson and our other VFX artists, with the immediate goal of finishing VFX on Redemption Part Two in the next few weeks (all but a few scenes at the end are done). Then on to complete the rest of post. Just sent Mitch the assemblage of Forgiveness Part One, plus the script for Forgiveness Part Two and all the other Space Command stories that have been completed (prequel, etc.).
In terms of the Showrunners Network, am continuing forward to prep Sweet Haven and lock down personnel and projects. Am in conversation with Serling family and estate on Rod Serling’s After Twilight project. Had a great Zoom meeting with Amazon exec, who awaits our pulling the trigger to meet with Amazon’s entire science fiction and fantasy team. Follow-up conversation with my fellow showrunners went well.
Also, Elaine’s Mafia pilot script for Massimiliano Trevis rolled camera this month and has only a day or two left to shoot. Agent/distribution team aboard and network conversations beginning to sell the show.
Moving forward, the new Kickstarter campaign for Space Command will launch this upcoming Friday! Looking forward to a great rest of the year!
LAYING OUT THE REST OF THE YEAR:
May, 2021 – Kickstarter campaign launches. Greenlighting book sent off to publisher. Finish first Creature and test it. Fog and lighting test on Alien Spaceship set. Lock down Rod Serling’s After Twilight rights. Begin laying out and writing rest of Space Command Season One. Reach out to other showrunners for potential projects and participation in Showrunners Network. Lay out plan and timetable for selling Space Command and the Showrunners Network. Get methodical about PR and also reaching out to other sci-fi YouTube Channels and podcasts to cross promote.
June, 2021 – Conclude Space Command Kickstarter campaign, and continue selling Space Command shares. Complete first creature and build second one. Keep writing. Start planning shoot of Sweet Haven pilot. Post finished on Redemption Part Two. We finish the DVD and Blu ray extras.
July, 2021 – Second creature completed, alien ship set completed. Prep in full swing to shoot Forgiveness Part Two. Redemption Parts One and Two DVDs and Blu rays shipped. Complete writing the rest of Space Command Season One. Space Command graphic novel completed and readied for release.
August, 2021 – We shoot the rest of Forgiveness Part Two. Invite Amazon, Netflix and other execs to observe us shooting at our studio. Celebrate our 142nd birthday.
September, 2021 –Put together the first assemblage of Forgiveness Part One and Forgiveness Part Two combined. Launch Kickstarter campaign for Sweet Haven shoot. Continue forward with Space Command and the Showrunners Network. Start planning the other Showrunners Network pilots. Lay out how we’re going to continue shooting the rest of Space Command.
October, 2021 – Campaign concludes. We start prepping Sweet Haven and shoot test scenes. Continue planning the other Showrunners Network pilot shoots.
November, 2021 – Everything keeps moving forward.
December, 2021 – We shoot Sweet Haven pilot. Then celebrate and rest.
Here’s the Big Vision moving forward…
In my perfect world, we would have multiple soundstages with standing sets, all shooting pretty much continuously, with sets being redressed and repurposed for maximum efficiency and utility.
Additionally, we would have ongoing in-house VFX and Art Department/Set Building and Redressing teams.
Initially, these would be for Space Command. We would write and shoot the entire first season, cross-boarding it for greatest use. We would have a minimum of company moves. On our stages, we would have the following aesthetics and spaceships:
1. Human – United Planets and Space Command. Drawn from what we’ve built and acquired, endlessly moving the pieces around like Legos.
2. Y’maa – Primarily Dor Neven’s ship, constructed from existing pieces and augmented with new pieces drawn from Carlos’ designs and blueprints.
3. Psarra (Spiny Cat Monkeys/Odin Sekander’s flagship) – Our current “Haunted House” Alien Ship set, augmented with additional pieces to accommodate Odin Sekander’s flagship in Great Solar War.
4. Harvester – Essentially a black space with big image screens hanging in mid-air.
Beyond this, I’d very much like to see if we could use LA Valley College as multiple settings. And I’d also like to find realistic sci-fi cities and landscapes from Deviant Art that have not been overused, that we could acquire for a minimal amount and add moving elements to (spaceships and so forth) to utilize as establishing shots.
We would shoot the entire rest of the first season over a period of two to three months in this way.
At the same time, we would be ramping up to shoot the other pilots of the Showrunners Network, beginning with Sweet Haven.
I’d like to try shooting with iPhones or other run and gun equipment, to see how cinema verité we could stylistically do things. I think shooting a sample scene as a try-out would be a good idea. Probably Mike Harney confronting his twin at the survivalist hideout.
We would continue to build the size of our audience and backers, and continue pursuing securing representation and selling of our series.
And so on to 2022 and beyond…