Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Coulda Been “Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan”

April 24, 2009

NOTE: If you haven’t already, you might want to check my previous post — Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… Writing Possibilities — before proceeding further with reading the post below.

dtnextgenDuring my tenure as an Editor at IDW Publishing, the opportunity to edit the newly acquired Star Trek license was definitely the highlight — as much as I dug what we accomplished with Transformers while I was there. (Ugh, that last sentence could’ve used an editor.) Star Trek has always been the favorite of my geek-habit “children”. Having the opportunity to contribute to the Star Trek galaxy was — as cliché as it sounds — a dream come true. I felt what we accomplished with Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between, Klingons: Blood Will Tell, Star Trek: Year Four, and Star Trek: Alien Spotlight was something really special. In fact, at one time I was set to contribute as a writer to the Alien Spotlight series, but it didn’t work out. I probably phasered myself in the foot with that one.

After leaving my post as Editor at IDW to pursue the “whimsical” life of a freelance writer I still hoped to keep the dream alive and contribute to the Star Trek galaxy. This included an effort in submitting a few pitches for the second Alien Spotlight series. One of the pitches involved the nasty Nausicaans — which were featured prominently in The Next Generation episode “Tapestry” (Season 6, Episode 15), one of my all-time favorite episodes.

Like most writers know, when you throw pitches and stories up against the wall to see what sticks, a lot of what you’ve entertained ends up falling into a pile on the ground. For whatever reason, for better or worse, the following pitch didn’t stick — but, I wanted to share it nonetheless.

Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan – “A Severed Thread”

Opening scene on two young male Nausicaans, equivalent age to a 10 and 12 year-old—Kier is the younger Nausicaan and Zon is the older of the two. They are in a forest and have come upon a cornered boar-like creature. Zon pushes for his younger brother to take on the creature and slay it with the sword he was just given by their father. Kier balks and Zon calls him a coward—an evaluation that hurts the younger Nausicaan. Two decades later, the two Nausicaan brothers are serving aboard a pirate vessel, and Kier has just received communication that he has a newborn son. Zon teases his younger brother that at least his son will have an uncle to look up to since it is unlikely that Kier will ever amount to his level of superiority. The pirate vessel attacks and boards a merchant transport and the boarding party of outlaws is ruthless as they plunder the cargo and harm the crew. Kier again shows a moment of weakness when he hesitates to finish off one of the transport’s crew—an act that doesn’t go unnoticed by his brother Zon, who belittles his sibling by referring to him as being unworthy of owning their father’s sword. Shortly thereafter, the two Nausicaan brothers, in addition to a third Nausicaan, find themselves at a Bonestell casino where Zon cheats human Starfleet Ensign Corey Zweller. This leads to an eventual fight where Kier, in order to prove to his older brother that he is a worthy Nausicaan, stabs another Starfleet Ensign in the back and through his heart with his sword—Ensign Jean-Luc Picard (ST:TNG “Tapestry”). The Nausicaans are arrested and sent to prison for their crimes. Kier ends up serving fifty years, contemplating the actions which led to his incarceration and the lost opportunity of seeing his own son grow. He is eventually released due in part to an early Nausicaan/Federation treaty brought on by a Nausicaan diplomat—Kier’s own son. Upon his release, the much older Kier travels to Earth and surprises now retired Jean-Luc Picard in his vineyard. Kier apologizes for his actions some fifty years previously, but states that his and his brother’s absence from his son’s life—and the lack their violent influences—may have in fact, led to Kier’s son becoming a diplomat and a new beginning for the Nausicaan and the Federation. Kier then presents his father’s sword to Picard and leaves without saying another word.

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Wild Reason That I Wish I Had A Kid Thing

April 11, 2009

wherethewildthingsare200x200My all-time three favorite books from my childhood are Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, and Where the Wild Things Are — also by Maurice Sendak.

In October a live-action motion picture adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is being released. The film is directed by Spike Jonze (who early in his career directed the brilliant Beastie Boys music video for “Sabotage”). From what I’ve seen in the trailer, I am already sold. The Wild Things look fantastically real — with an emphasis on the “fantastic.” Whenever one of your beloved aspects of your childhood emerges into your adult life as a “remake” or “adaptation” or “re-imaging” you can’t help but have at least a slight sense of dread that it’s just not going to turn out as well as you remember it. I strongly believe that this will not be the case with the Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are.

The Where the Wild Things film has a vibe to it that has me feeling that if I had a kid, this would be the movie that we would share the experience of seeing together. Sure, I’ll be certain to introduce my kid to the other classic films — such as the Original Star Wars, Trilogy (IV, V, VI), King Kong (1933), To Kill A Mockingbird, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder, not Johnny Depp), The Iron Giant, and the movies by Pixar (except maybe Cars). But, dammit, if Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t look like the perfect movie for a parent and kid to hit the cineplex for.

Of course, my kid would already have a familiar knowledge of the works of Maurice Sendak, having owned dogeared copies of much read and much loved Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen books.

This is one time that I’m truly jealous of my friends that are parents who have kids that they can take to go see this film. I’m sure I can talk at least one set of parents to loan or rent me their kid to take to go see Where the Wild Things Are — but it won’t be the same.

And, my kid will definitely wear Max’s footie/hoodie wolf type pajamas. If not, dad will — so damn cool.

Wrong Turn On The Way To The Land Of The Lost

February 4, 2009

landofthelost200x200Alright, let’s get this out of the way… I’ve seen the Land of the Lost Super Bowl XLII TV spot. Though, I’m glad that I didn’t actually see it that day. It could’ve — No, it would’ve ruined what was generally a pretty good day spent with friends.

Anybody that knows me knows that I’ve been a fan of the original Land of the Lost since I was the age of six. Way back in the day, when Saturday morning children’s programming really meant something. They’d preview the upcoming Saturday kid fair with a prime time special. And, it was during the the NBC preview that I got my first glimpse of Grumpy — the terrifying tyrannosaurus rex that would relentlessly torment the Marshall family for three seasons. It scared the crap out of me — but I was hooked nonetheless. During my early days of elementary school I’d struggle through the grind of learning my three Rs — reading, writing, and arithmetic — just to get to Saturday and another episode of Land of the Lost. I also dug Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (not so much when Rip Taylor showed up), Super Friends, and Star Trek: The Animated Series.

I’ve kept it no secret that over the last number of years I’ve wanted to adapt (and even update) Land of the Lost as a comic book. When I heard there was going to be a big-budget motion picture based on the Land of the Lost I had high hopes for something glorious. Then I heard it would be starring Will Ferrell — and a piece of my childhood died. Then I heard it would be a “comedy-adventure” and another piece of my childhood chipped off and fluttered away in the wind. Then online I saw the commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. My heart “plunged a thousand feet below…”

If you haven’t seen it yet… Well, here it is…

Sigh. It looks like the only thing they did get right was the raft plunging down a thousand feet below. The original material was so ripe with possibilities and all kinds of probabilities. Instead, we’re apparently getting a hundred thousand dollar budgeted spoof of a true Saturday morning television classic. Sid and Marty Kroft… I hate you.

Do You Know The Way To Monkey City?

January 15, 2009

My new favorite television show starts in less than a month on Animal Planet… Dark Days In Monkey City.

According to a blurb from a press release over at Monsters & Critics:

Using dynamic graphic novel-style animation elements to accentuate the dramatic and violent reality of the stories presented, the 13-part series is an epic tale based on the Smithsonian Primate Project, the longest-running study of primates in the world conducted by Wolfgang Dittus, Ph.D.

In addition, comic writers Joe Kelly and Joe Casey from Man of Action Studios ( http://www.manofaction.tv ), who have written for a variety of titles such as Uncanny X-Men, JLA, The Adventures of Superman and Action Comics , have brought their writing expertise to the series along with Emmy Award winner Ian McGee.

Finally, Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, known best for his role in the Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings movies, lends his tremendous voice to the series.

I dig monkeys. And, it even gets better when you throw in rival gangs of toque macaques living roaming the streets of a deserted city in Sri Lanka waging war for turf control. How can you go wrong?

Every monkey knows his place… until he’s pushed too far. Dark Days in Monkey City, premiering February 10 on Animal Planet.

Pirat Tales: The Trailer

August 28, 2008

In honor of Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails being featured in the current issue of Diamond’s Previews Catalog (“Certified Cool” on page 291, by the way), I put together a one minute trailer that can now be viewed on YouTube.

This is my first attempt at creating and posting a video to share on YouTube. Well actually, it was about four attempts… It took me awhile to get it right. But, it’s up there now for all to see. I hope you enjoy, and I hope that you order your copy of Pirat Tales: The Legend of the Cat O’ Nine Tails #1. Thank you for your support.

Let Me Introduce You To My Friend, Mike…

July 17, 2008

I’ve been meaning to introduce readers of my blog to my friend Mike Carano for quite awhile. Well, his Five Minutes With Mike video podcasts (or vidcasts, or vodcasts — your choice) to be more exact. I figure that since he’s been committed to this project long enough to post at least ten episodes that I could finally commit a blog post to promote them.

Mike covers a wide range of subjects including: his odd-ball collections, the Wax Museum, birthdays, Disneyland, the largest thermometer, cults, Father’s Day, Spock’s Brain (hence the reason I chose the screen capture displayed in the upper left), gay prostitutes and giraffe heads, and Tom Jones.

Mike has a unique perspective on most things that tend not to only be amusing, but insightful. The real magic of Mike is hanging out with him in said kitchen with a couple of beers during a friend’s kid’s birthday party (see Episode 3 “Happy Birthday”). But, until you find yourself on the Evite list, you can get your Mike Carano in roughly five minute doses via the magic of the internet.

Episode 1 is embedded below. You can find more Five Minutes With Mike at YouTube, iTunes Store, or mikecarano.com.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Serial

June 25, 2008

I thought I’d bet Michael May to this post… It’s common knowledge that the character of Indiana Jones is based on the serial movies of the 1930s. Well, RogerRmjet has cleverly chopped the original Raiders of the Lost Ark up into individual chapters, dropped the color, and added vintage credits to bring us Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Serial, available on YouTube.

This is one editing experiment that works rather well. Apparently the first chapter (“The Golden Idol”) has been posted for about two months, with the latest chapter, number 12 (“Showdown at Sea”) having just gone up about two days ago. Having been around for two months, I’m surprised that I just now came across it. Do yourself a favor and check it out.