Monday, April 26, 2010

insomnia and season 4

Can't sleep.

Can't sleep and don't know why. Have Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" stuck in my head and don't know why.

I've been thinking about Remnants a lot lately -- the big picture, I mean. Season 2 will complete the story began in Season 1 and while the big picture story will continue rolling forward, Season 3 will be a very different web series than Season 1 and 2. What I mean by that is that in Season 1 we're introduced to the Fisher family and through them we learn of Libertas. In Season 2 we actually get to meet Libertas and we generally wrap up the Fisher family story. Season 3 will be all about Libertas and will be all-out war. The involvement the Fishers have with the war is up to them and I'm going to discuss that with the actors playing the Fishers.

I have plans for the Fishers and want them in the entire series. I want to see the war through their eyes, but I understand that since Remnants is not a paying gig, a great multitude of things take a higher priority.

And today I had an idea for Season 4. It would start with a game-changer that I'm not entirely willing to reveal at this moment but it's not entirely dissimilar to the start of Season 2 of LOST. That was the beginning of the insanity. Sure, there were questions all throughout Season 1, but there was no Desmond! I'm pretty willing to post whatever on this blog, but there are somethings I'm not going to reveal just yet.

Don't worry, faithful reader. You'll know first. Before anyone else, I'll clue you in.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

makes an ass outta you, not me


I hate that I had to do it. I had to do it, there was no way around it, but that doesn't make me like it any better.

I just posted an announcement via Facebook that season 1 of Remnants isn't going to premiere on May 2, it's going to premiere on June 6th. I hate it. I absolutely hate it. It feels like defeat. It feels like a broken promise. It feels, like my dad would say, "bush league." It feels like failure. I feel like I stood in front of the Alamo, drew a line in the sand, and no-one crossed it.

It couldn't be helped is the most maddening thing about it. My very dear friend Loren, who directed the entire season* and who has been working hard on editing the episodes (as well as sound editing, color correcting and all the other truly wonderful things that belong in the world of Post), found out maybe two weeks ago that he has diverticulitis. As if that wasn't enough, a short time later, he discovered (to his joy) that he also had pleurisy. The combination of the two have been so painful that he hasn't been near his computer and has actually turned off his phone so that he doesn't also have to deal with the outside world.

I didn't know this for the first week of his suffering. When he didn't return my texts, e-mails, Facebook messages and phone calls, I assumed one of six things was happening:

  1. He finally ran away to become a pirate. It was only a matter of time, really.
  2. He was abducted by aliens. This was most surprising because it was going to force me to completely reevaluate my opinion of the universe.
  3. He was fed up with me and didn't want to talk to me.
  4. He was avoiding me.
  5. I was calling him at all the wrong times: During Burn Notice, during Happy Married Life Time, or during a quest on WOW. He couldn't or wouldn't interrupt those, promised himself to call me back, and then would promptly forget.
  6. He had been sucked into a wormhole and/or a blackhole and so all of my messages were actually going into the void, unable to be heard or returned by anyone.

When he finally summoned the ability to get in touch with me, I (of course) tore him a new one. Then he told me what was going on and (without meaning to or trying to) exposed me as the ass I am.

Even if he can kick this thing in the next week, there's no way we're going to be ready for the premiere of May 2. Technically, we could have the first episode ready. But that's it. No music has been scored for the rest of the season. I'm not even sure how many episodes have been edited, since they're all up in Nashville right now.

So . . . yeah. Grr. Ugh. Oh well. All that being said, what I've seen, looks really good. Too good, really. So good I'm questioning whether or not I actually had any part in it. I think you'll do the same when you finally get to see it. "This is really good," you'll say, "how did T Scott Fogg have a hand in this?"

So, June 6th! 6/6/10. Maybe it'll be better. 6 has always been my lucky number.

*Except for one awesome sequence involving a book, a sword, a lot of chocolate, and a Spartan helmet. That one was all me. And Evan, who brandished his mad improv skills.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

one of those days

Woke up late.
Woke up slowly.
Woke up groggy.
Upon entering the kitchen, realized I forgot to refrigerate the BBQ chicken leftovers.
First mug I poured coffee into was dirty.
Poured too much coffee in and spilt it all over the counter.
Dropped water bottle on my way into work.
Forgot to take allergy medication.
Felt sick most of the day.
Dropped water bottle on my way out of work.
Forgot to fill up the gas tank.

Just one of those days. Yay.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So, Back Story

So I'm working on this talking animal story. I wrote the first chapter, flung myself into the second chapter and realized that I couldn't proceed a step further into this world until I had a better understanding of it. I had a lot of vague basics floating around in my head, but I absolutely had to nail them down and define them if I was going to do this world, and its story, any justice.

So I just wrote a three page outline of the back story of this world and I think it has changed everything. While the beginning and the end are likely to be the same, I think the back story I came up with completely guts my planned second act -- which part of me is completely okay with and the other part of me is running around the house right now, screaming at the top of his lungs and searching for hair on his body to yank out (and there being so precious little of it, it's a Tolkien-sized quest unto itself).

So, you know. Grr and Yay!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Here, There Be Dragons

I have not so thoroughly enjoyed a book in a long time. I do a lot of my "reading" in audiobook format and often I'll listen for an hour or two, walk away, come back the next day, listen for a little bit until I realize my mind has wandered and I don't remember how Ender got to where he he was and I better stop now or else I'll be completely lost.

Not so with Here, There Be Dragons. It was a short audiobook, a wee seven and a half hours. I could not stop it. I could not pull myself away from it. I don't think I talked to anyone at work today. I was glued to my iPod. I am going out and searching for the rest of the series now.

It's one part rollicking British adventure and one part loving tribute to the writers that James A Owen obviously cherishes. I don't want to give too much away, because all of the twists and turns the story take really ought to be experienced first hand. I'll just say that if you enjoy and/or like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and more recent fantasy adventures like Harry Potter, then you'll feel right at home with The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica -- the first book of which is Here, There Be Dragons.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good Night

There's nothing so satisfactory as a productive night writing. The world is different now. A chapter of a book now exists in the world that did not exist just a few hours ago. Sure, it's just a rough draft of a chapter. Sure, it's just a rough draft of the first chapter. Sure, it's just a rough draft of the first chapter of a book that will require many, many more chapters for it to be any kind of entertaining or interesting.

But hey, it exists.

It's my talking animal story. I cracked its code this afternoon. Well, part of it at any rate. I know the big picture of the world now. I know how it begins and I have a vague idea of how it ends. It's all the little bits in between I am absolutely clueless about. But with this particular story, that doesn't bother me. With most of my scripts (I'd say all but this book proves that I can't), I outline the entire thing, scene-by-scene, before I ever start writing. Outlines are easy to change. Scripts are in stone (until we get on set, then we throw the scripts to the wind and let the actors improvise their way through it). But with this story, I'm going to wind my way through it. I'm going to let the world and the characters tell their story to me.

I haven't written anything like this in over ten years. It's kind of exciting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mystery of Inspiration

I cannot explain how my brain works. I don't know if anyone can. I know there's electricity (or perhaps just magic) running around up there, keeping things going, but how that lumpy grey matter gets some of the ideas it does, I'll never know.

Sitting in the Ryman, watching a live recording/performance of Prairie Home Companion and listening to the Dave Rawlings Machine, my brain wanders off and conjures up the image of two girls walking down a sidewalk late at night. One's in flip-flops and the other is carrying her red high-heeled shoes. They're dressed up like they just came from prom. It's the end of the school year and beginning of summer and, really, the beginning of the rest of their lives.

No idea where it came from, but it seemed to be its own little vignette, unattached to any other bigger story (other than the story of our lives) and so I wrote it down as a short story and posted it at my meager little outlet for writers, Stories From Happy Valley.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fascinating Distractions

Listening to Nickelcreek and trying to get some writing done before I have to go work. I need to leave in an hour and in that hour I need to make myself a lunch, take a shower, figure out what I'm going to wear and, if time permits, finish writing The Orion Trail's prologue. It's so hard to get work done nowadays. There's just so many fascinating distractions at my finger tips.

I wonder if writers of yore would have accomplished half their writings if they had the Internet? Would Shakespeare have finished Hamlet if he could watch stupid people do stupid things on YouTube? Would Wilde have written The Importance of Being Earnest if he could keep up with all of his friends, fans, and strangers on Facebook? Or perhaps the more interesting question would be, how would those works have been different if today's technology was available to ye olde writers?

I have this fear that if Facebook existed way back when, we wouldn't know the name of Oscar Wilde or CS Lewis or Orson Scott Card. And likewise, I fear that I may be the Aaron Sorkin That Never Was.

I come to my office with the best of intentions. "I am going to finish X today!" Let me check my e-mail, my Facebook, my Twitter and CNN real quick and then I'll get started . . . ooh, what's Neil Gaiman saying over on his blog . . . ooh, what theories on LOST are people postulating today . . . I wonder if Spider-Man has gotten better yet . . . four hours later . . . "Well, time to head off to work and/or bed!"

The solution to this, of course, absolutely terrifies me. I could buy a typewriter and seal myself off in Spare Oom. Far, far away from the Internet and her Siren call of Fascinating Distractions. "No!" My brain says, "no, don't be absurd. Discipline is the thing! Moderation!"

Now I have 45 minutes till I have to leave for work and I still need a shower and I still need to make lunch and I still have to figure out what I'm going to wear.

Guess the prologue is going to have to wait.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

another sneaky peek

The Remnants website is up! You can go clicky-clicky right here, or go down to yon Adventures of Links and look it up there. Only the teaser is posted for now, but we have all sorts of goodies headed that direction soon -- including, but not limited to, actual episodes!

The website was created by web guru Jon Lachonis, who's also responsible for creating and maintaining TVOverMind, DocArzt's LOST Blog and who authored the book LOST Ate My Life.

The only other thing to say is: Stay tuned!

Oh, and yes, that is the awesomest wallpaper ever. I know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Whirlwinds & Dissonance

Is it really only Monday? How can that be?

I'm listening to Muse's The Resistance, an album Ryan highly recommended and I can see why. It plays like a soundtrack. There's so much to it, the songs have layers. I listen to it and see three or four different scenes playing out to each song and on top of that, each song inspires three or four different scenes and/or stories as well as conjuring up images from TV shows and movies that have already used the songs in their advertisements. It's good stuff. I'd recommend it. It's good writing, driving, relaxing and/or living music.

I've got this sci-fi I'm struggling with. It's tentatively titled The Orion Trail, but I'm nine-tenths sure that it won't stay that way. It's a little too punny. There is something, however, about being able to sum up a book's entire plot with three words. Because it is, after all, shaping up to be the Oregon Trail in space. The problem is, of course, that is just the setting. I'm not entirely sure what the story is, other than it leads directly into the book Oasis, which was the original idea until I realized I needed to explain how the kids got abandoned on that dust bowl of a planet. So now I'm telling the story of the kids' parents and I have a lot of disassociated ideas rattling around the ol' brain box, just nothing coherent yet.

Then there's the talking animals. I have this image -- or should I say, "I was struck with this image." I'm not sure where it came from or who they are or what it means, but I see a little girl, maybe ten or twelve years old. Red hair, braided pigtails. On one side of her is a frog. The frog is wearing a vest and is holding a rapier. On the other side of the girl is a grey rabbit. He also is wearing a vest, but his ears are pulled back and tied together (like a ponytail). On top of his head is a tri-corner hat and he's brandishing a flintlock pistol. I think his name's Ignatius Rabbit. I can only assume this trio is some sort of Talking Animal Freedom Fighting Force who live in a children's book of the future, but I can't say. I don't know their story yet. But they just showed up and are taking up space in the brain.

Meanwhile, Michael's turning in music for Remnants. It's beautiful. Music is something I absolutely love and absolutely do not understand. But he's put together this theme for the opening credits that sounds like a discordant fiddle. It sounds like the song used to be patriotic, but now it's just sad. It's eerie. Listen to the opening titles of John Adams, by Rob Lane. It sounds like that song's nightmare. It's perfect.

Blimey the 11th Doctor is going to be fun. I'm going to miss the 10th, but the 11th looks like he's going to be a lot of fun. And we loves Amelia.

Also, there's a voice in the back of my head saying I should take another pass at the runners' story. It could probably be tighter. Or different all together.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

summer specials

I very much like the idea of doing "specials," little short stories that would take place between the seasons of Remnants. I very admittedly got the idea from Doctor Who, a fantastic show that has had a history of doing Christmas specials (as well as other national and bank holidays). Sometimes the shows set-up the next season or introduce a new character that will come back later. Other times they're just fun one-shot stories.

Remnants is a pretty serious, dramatic thriller of a show. It might be nice to have little moments in between the seasons that contribute to the overall story but are generally lighter in tone -- dare I say "fun?"

I've already written the first one, a three-part love story involving messengers (in the tradition of Pheidippides). Now it's all about finding the right time to shoot it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

a sneaky peek

What is this? The rough edit of Remnants, episode 1?

I am filled with glee and excitement.