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Why NBC’s Dracula is Great

Note: This post contains NO spoilers for Dracula.

I’m not going to lie – I hated, HATED the pilot episode of Dracula. I was going through some kind of withdrawal from my last favorite show, Siberia, and desperately awaiting news of its second season (which we still do not have…) But that’s another story.

Last week, I tuned into the second to last episode. I loved it. I mean, it was FANTASTIC. And that opening sequence? That definitely deserves an Emmy for Best Title Design (or whatever it is.)

Just from last week’s Episode 9 and this week’s Season Finale, I can say I love the show and will be tuning in to a second season. But like most of my shows, it has about 2,5 million average viwers according to Nielsen ratings (both Siberia and Hannibal also had similar rating in their first seasons.) So it’s unknown if NBC will decide to renew it or not.

I would recommend watching Dracula. I plan on catching up to the 7 episodes I missed. It’s available at: Hulu.com/dracula; NBC.com/dracula; and probably numerous other sources.

Note: There is a petition for a Season 2; It has 5,331 signatures as of this post. They’re growing by about 100 by the hour. Click HERE to go to it.

raise your expectations, because it’s getting places

About 90% of my spare time is taken up by “Lost Colony,” whether it be writing or just thinking about it, thinking about ideas. It’s made a big change since I had this full concept back a few months ago around November 2013. Then, I had this magical cool-sounding concept that literally could be a great pitch for it, but it couldn’t get anywhere when it came to the real writing. So I ditched it.

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… into the garbage can with it

The entire concept has gone through so many shifts since I started it. First there was phase one, Antimatter, which I’ve mentioned in other posts; it was a pretty rough unoriginal concept about people who witnessed an antimatter test and there was this evil scientist and yada, yada. Then it went into it’s next form, Lost Colony, which started out unrelated and as I developed it, every, I mean every good thing in Antimatter came into it. Then, I lost the Lost Colony. It never really was anything, somehow trying to throw in this Roanoke thing with everything else. Because that started as something different. As I brought back Antimatter elements, it just lost it’s purpose. So… I ditched that too.

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At this point we reach the third phase, which I’m not even bothering to name right now. I’ve given up on trying to write this perfect “high concept” and just threw myself into the writing of it. And it’s gone so much better than everything else. I don’t know if  I’m working backwards? Before I was trying to make the characters, outline the plot, make up the mythology, everything, before I started writing. Now I’ve started writing with a lot of what I had, and I’m just developing it all as the story goes along. So basically I’m reversing what I was doing. And to be honest, it’s working a heck of a lot better for me. I’m getting these great ideas all the time, keeping a mental notepad for it all.

So I’m sure this isn’t the last major change the story is going to see, but I’m getting a lot more that I just don’t want to let go of. And I’ve decided to just spew out all these little writing updates as I go along, because how else will I get any kind of following? It’ll be a lot better to have people excited for it before it comes to fruition rather than wait for people to notice the finished product. So this has been Alex, with a writing update. Feel free to comment or share this. 

What Siberia’s Second Season Should Have

Introduction

Anybody who even vaguely knows me knows that I’m the biggest fan of NBC’s Siberia; a low-viewed yet amazing show who’s Season 2 fate is currently hanging in the balance while we await news of renewal or cancellation.

Siberia is a science-fiction series presented as a unique play on the found footage genre –  it’s about a so-called “reality” show in Tunguska, Siberia, that goes horribly wrong when the contestants are abandoned by their production. Further developments show the existence of the Evenki tribe and their enemies, the rarely-seen Valleymen. And the weird dome that causes the sky to turn green, and the fact that the “reality show” seems to be more of a horrible human experiment.

Without further ado, here are my opinions on what should happen in Siberia’s (hopeful!) second season.

Out-Of-Show’s Universe

More episodes written by Matthew Arnold.

Series creator Matt Arnold wrote a few episodes and alone directed the first 6 episodes of the season.  The best episodes are the ones that Arnold was involved in writing – and typically the scariest. Hopefully Arnold will write more of season two and we’ll get more scary moments.

More promotion, less preemption.

NBC promoted the show before it started – I remember seeing quite a few ads for it. However, when the show debuted in Under The Dome’s highly-rated shadow, NBC cut out all promotion of it. Then the royal baby was born, and they preempted episode 4, which caused them to have to cut together episodes 11 and 12; not to mention completely dumping episode 13; which means we lost about two hours of footage. Who knows what we lost – we won’t know until the initial episodes are released later this year.

NBC better step it up next season with heavy promotion and no more episode-cutting. After all, many websites and critics have reviewed it as better than Under the Dome.

As for the promotion, NBC should stop trying to hold up the reality-show illusion that chased so many casual viewers away. I might even go so far as to hope for a marathon of all 13 of Season 1’s episodes before Season 2 starts.

Move it to a better timeslot.

Siberia was great in it’s Monday-night time, except it was directly competing with the summer’s biggest show, Under the Dome. Even if they just moved it back an hour, it would be an improvement for viewership.

In-Show’s Universe Ideas

I don’t doubt anything about Siberia’s plot, but I have some theories (as a fan) that the second season could take.

Prisoners

I would so much love to see Annie wake up in a cell being held by the Russian military-like folks that gunned her down. And in the adjacent cells? The other contestants that tried to leave. (Berglind, Harpreet, Victoria, George.) After a daring escape, George would be killed and Victoria horribly injured. On their way to find the others, they’d discover Esther’s dead, Valleymen-eaten body clutching her bag of money she stole from the Revealer.

Clones

I have no doubt that clones will work their way into the plot (Sabina did find her own skeleton!) but I have this specific idea in my mind of how it will show up. They group found Natalie’s body after taking her for dead for a few episodes. Now imagine next season, right at the beginning, Natalie follows Buckley in to his apartment, right after his famous “You aren’t supposed to be here” statement. She’ll be excited to see the group, who in turn will be shocked to see her.

I’m not sure how the Buckley plot will play out, but Natalie will have left the show, ready to fly home, only to find out that she couldn’t leave yet and would be forced to stay with Buckley while they can make arrangements to get her home. Except Buckley wouldn’t be planning that, he’d be planning… well, something horrible.

Of course the other body would’ve been of Natalie’s clone, similar to how Sabina found her own skeleton.

Both of these could happen in unison, but to be honest, I hope they don’t happen. I want to be surprised, and besides, they aren’t as good as Siberia’s real plots.

I HIGHLY recommend watching Siberia, even if you know the spoilers for it. It’s available at thedarewall.com/tv/siberia. Fingers crossed for a season two!

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News! (insert generic news music here)

So… it’s been… awhile?

OHMYGOSH I WAS SO BUSY. Okay. I got that out. I don’t even remember when I last posted. Happy New Year! Merry Christmas! Happy Thanksgivakuh! (Thanksgiving and Hannakkuh were on the same day; hence Thanksgivakuh.) 

TO THE NEWSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Sorry. That was an unnecessary amount of S’s. Anyway. Writing is going great; but now I’m back to school and I won’t have as much time but IT IS PICKING UP! Seriously. Every little story or idea or whatever I’ve written in the past year or so is all coming together in Lost Colony – not that that name is exactly as relevant to the story as it was (plot changes!), but still. I actually think I can get everything wrote by summer and then ON TO FILMING! And then after filming like a thousand years of Post-Production, but let’s not get to far ahead of ourselves. Whatever. 

Luckily I have most of the means for filming Lost Colony. Camera? Check. Camera skills? Check. Location? Got most of it figured out. Musical Score? Can do. Cast? Uh… yeah. We’ll work on that. Eventually. Even if it means *shudder* communicating. Yes, I’m getting ahead of myself because I barely have a script right now, but it’s good to think ahead… right?

THE END!

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Episode 1 officially outlined!

After about an hour of writing and weeks of ideas, I’ve officially done the whole outline of Episode 1 of Lost Colony. I’ve been bouncing ideas around for quite awhile but nothing was actually wrote down. I used Google Slides and used it as sort of a storyboard for each scene/act. The first episode is basically done, but it might (definitely will) have some changes done to it. The good news is that progress is being made!

Update to the blog layout!

I know most people just follow my blog from WordPress and any post I make probably just shows up on their “Blogs I Follow” page, but I’m still pretty obsessive about how my blog looks.

I switched to the new “Twenty Fourteen” theme; it has great features like multiple menus, featured posts, and a thing to easily display photos or videos on a sidebar. 

The blog is now super easy to navigate by category. You can look at news on my writing project under Writing News, reviews under Reviews and Stuff, etc etc. The home page will display 3 featured posts on the top, which is pretty cool. 

Recent photos are displayed on the right-hand sidebar.

I know this seems like a bit much for a small blog, but this really gives the the ability to go crazy and post all the time, since everything I want to be displayed is displayed, and everything is easy for everybody to see and get to.

Check it out!

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Now for a real post – update on the writing process.

Note: the project is currently named “Lost Colony” as a WIP title. I’m not sure whether or not this name will stick around.

Now that I’ve cleared my head with my crazy rant post, I am going to do what I came to do. Anyone who’s following my writing process is sure to be wondering what’s going on with it. Well, honestly, not a lot in the matter of the script. I’m delving into the idea of the actual idea of the story. Like multiple interlacing story arcs, and  the idea of the story format.

Here is my first official idea (the base idea, details will probably change.)

“A conspiracy-theorist journalist stumbles upon a secret series of experiments and seeks to save the latest group thrown into the experiments. Along the way he receives the help of an FBI officer and they study the individual cases of each person involved the experiments and they try to uncover the clues of the conspiracy. Meanwhile, the experiments suddenly go wrong and set off a chain of events that throws the test subjects into a time loop that sends them back to the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Island colony. As both teams grow closer to the truth, a building catastrophic event threatens their very existence, and may forever halt the uncovering of the truth.”

That sounds… great, right? But that’s literally the full extent of what I have written, with the exception of anything containing too much spoilers. I actually added a little bit while writing this post. I pretty much have the full idea of the first season (planning it as a web series,) and now I just have to go into the actual work of writing the scripts.

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Innovating Sucks

Inspiration from innovators is easy.

Anyone who follows my blog at all knows that I’m writing a movie script/screenplay/whatever-ya-call-it. And like anybody writing, I want it to be completely amazing/made of pure awesome. To do that… I need to do something original. I need to be an innovator.

I mean, look at The Blair Witch Project. That started as just an indie film, but ended up being widely successful and brought a new genre of horror to the public – found footage. Their key to that success was being innovative. Well, I’m sure found footage existed before that point, but the creators of Blair Witch worked hard and made something quality out of found footage. Karma for working hard, they had huge success with the film. 

Matthew Arnold did the same thing with Siberia and Shadow People. He just found these real, unexplained, crazy things, and just made these amazing crazy stories out of them. Not to mention his video style with Siberia. Reality-style (and later in the series, documentary-style) found footage? Genius.  NBC did a bit of a fail at marketing it, which is why it wasn’t so popular. Nonetheless, it was innovative and it was  very good quality. If you watched it, you’d know how great the writing was. It’s like you fell into this abyss of mystery, where nothing made sense, until the very end when questions were answered. Like a puzzle coming together.

So I’m taking those as inspiration, especially the way that Matthew Arnold makes things based off of crazy real things, and I’ve realized that to get anywhere in the writing world, I need to innovate as well. I don’t want to be another cheap ripoff of any old film.  I can write out a plot, but there isn’t anything too original about it. And I’m not even sure where I’m going with it right now! The only definite thing I have is a character who spent her life being experimented on yet doesn’t remember it (she also has to deal with the strange effects of the experimentation.) 

So in conclusion, innovating kinda sucks.

Wyoming – I’ll be back on 10.22.2013

I’ll be in Wyoming for the next week or so. Leaving tomorrow.

I’m going with my dad and my cousin on a hunting trip (we go every year). During this time, I won’t have internet, because I’ll be on a mountain above a town of 300 people. I won’t be posting during that time (duh), but I will be working on my writing. 

Also I might freeze to death depending on how much snow is left after the Atlas storm. Probably a lot.

Expect pictures! Lots of pictures.

Writing is the new thing, apparently?

So I’m apparently not the only one writing…

My best friend is writing a book called “Wimm.” My parents thought that was so cool, how she’s writing, and I’m like, “Yay I’m writing too!” The want me to write super girly crap like my friend is writing. (Not criticizing… it’s just… so… girly.) Because in what I’m writing, the antagonist (bad guy!) has made an antimatter weapon. The good guys are trying to stop him! They want me to write what I used to write, which was either cat fan-fictions, or about birds (talking birds who live in a castle. Redwall, much?) Yet it’s still crazy because it involves a weapon! I’m still super into it, though, despite my parents  being all “AHH ALEX IS CRAZY CALL THE SANITARIUM,” about it. 

I’m planning on making a web series out of it, with lots of special effects and stuff. I think it would be really cool. If my parents got it out of their head that there’s a BAD GUY and a PLOT LINE with some minor VIOLENCE, maybe they could get the point if it. Seriously they told me that I can’t write that because the NSA will come after me. So… the guy who wrote Angels and Demons is being held by the NSA? No… what about the guy who wrote the pilot episode of The Blacklist? Nope…

Well, I’m done ranting. (fjsajfgagagydguyebcvjs!) I will continue writing. Apparently having conflict in a story is a BIG NO-NO. (now I’m done ranting.) I’ll keep writing it and then show it to them. I don’t really care if they like it or not. I didn’t ask their permission. (This is still ranting…)

I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON THE WRITING PROCESS!

Is it really necessary to ever be serious?

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