How to Write a TV Pilot

Gray Jones (@GrayJones) hosted a panel on TV writing at Comic-Con and graciously posted it on youtube.


Lots of good information here--actually picked up some new things. Writing an original pilot used to be considered a fool's errand, but times have changed. I've been kicking around a few ideas that don't work as features, so why the heck not?

Breast Augmentation Can Do Wonders

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic plastic surgery performed by plastic surgeons. It enhances the texture, posture, size and shape of the women’s breasts. It is performed on women who desire certain looks on their breasts, body building women and as a corrective measure to congenital breast defects that arise through removal of parts of the breast affected by cancer. Patients visiting their preferred plastic surgeon are guaranteed to get of all these services. Some women know them by simple names such as; breast lift, breast enlargement, breast equalization and breast perkiness improvement.

At local breast augmentation clinics, the plastic surgeons ensure that patient receives desirable results. The patients bare the mental picture of the desired result offering a score card to the surgeon’s implementation. For example, a patient on her first visit to Breast Augmentation San Diego (http://www.breast-augmentation-san-diego.com) is received and allowed to meet a plastic surgeon. The surgeon starts by a data acquisition procedure where the patient is interviewed. Patient’s answers obtained from the interview give information concerning her desire to undergo the Augmentation and the expectation after the process.

The next stage is assessment of data collected. The plastic surgeon compares the present state of the breasts and the desired results as described by the patient. It gives a rough idea of the procedure required to achieve the; results, time requires and charges it will attract. The patient is then given the details and if she ascertains her willingness to undergo the surgery, it is started immediately. Most surgeries take between two to three hours. Always remember that patients views are valued and they are always ready to listen discuss and advise.

The actual surgery process starts by taking the patient to a surgical suite then discussing the appropriate anesthesia with the patient. The anesthesia is chosen based on the medical history of the patient. After it has taken effect, the back of the breast is slit to allow for the modifying implant. The implant is carefully placed to gives the breast the desired shape. After the implant’s placement, her skin is stitched back. Other alternatives include addition of a skin flap harvested from another woman’s tissue. In cases of correction of congenital breast defects surgeons at clinics performs a shape initiation surgery that starts the process of reconstructing the chest region of the affected breast. Follow up is contacted on patients to ensure that the correction done lasts. They allow them to visit the centre back in case of any unusual symptoms.

boobjob

A Child Crying

Fear On Four-A Child Crying http://oldtimeradiodvd.com

The Dead Drummer

Fear On Four-The Dead Drummer  http://oldtimeradiodvd.com

Guillermo Del Toro on Alfred Hitchcock




Stumbled across this great interview with Guillermo del Toro discussing Alfred Hitchcock. I didn't know he wrote a book about him -- probably because it's in Spanish.





Gurley Is Laying Down The Law [Book Review]

Jake’s Law is another great zombie novel by horror author JE Gurley, who also wrote Ice Station Zombie and the Judgment Day series. I am a fan of Gurley’s Judgment Day Trilogy, so I was looking forward to reading Jake’s Law – the book description doesn’t do it justice. It was non-stop action mixed with the right amount of drama. […]

Guillermo Del Toro on Alfred Hitchcock




Stumbled across this great interview with Guillermo del Toro discussing Alfred Hitchcock. I didn't know he wrote a book about him -- probably because it's in Spanish.





Surprise Sequel: Deadland’s Harvest [Book Review]

Deadland’s Harvest by Rachel Aukes is a welcomed sequel. I thought 100 Days in Deadland was a stand-alone, so, not only was I surprised that a sequel was written, but I was impressed with the creative way Aukes continued the saga. She didn’t use any over-the-top theatrics to include several characters from the first book. Based on Dante’s Inferno, but […]

The Journey Home

Fear On Four-The Journey Home  http://oldtimeradiodvd.com

R.I.P. Marilyn Burns

When rumors started circulating on social media late last night that Marilyn Burns had passed away at age 65, I didn't want to believe it. It's always a bummer when death notices come down your news feed, sure, but some of them hit harder than others, you know? And this one hurts, not least of all because for fuck's sake, 65 is much too young.

Ms. Burns was a convention regular these last few years, and so the announcement of her death has prompted countless "I met her at a convention and she was so nice" posts, usually accompanied by a photo of Burns next to a fan. I'll refrain from posting the Polaroid selfie I have of the two of us (oh man, it makes me so happy, though), but I'll echo the sentiment because my goodness, what a sweetheart.

When I lived in Ohio, I went to a convention– Cinema Wasteland, most likely- where Burns was a guest, and I got the idea to ask her for an interview. She readily agreed and I count the whole experience- meeting her, listening to her tales, and continuing our correspondence after- to be a career highlight. If whatever it is I do can be called a "career", I mean.

After the interview, I moved to Los Angeles and pitched the article to Sirens of Cinema magazine, who asked if I had any hi-res photos to include with it. I have no idea if this is standard practice (though I'm thinking it's not...?), but I asked Marilyn if she had any to email me. I got a packet in the mail full of pictures she deemed "ugly"- of course they weren't...well, maybe ugly in that horror movie way, you know? All tears and grimaces and bloodstains. She drew a Sally Hardesty smiley face and signed the letter "love, Marilyn." We emailed for a while after that, and every email was signed "love, Marilyn." (Told you she was a sweetheart.) We lost touch because, you know, we didn't really have anything in common. But I still get a thrill reflecting on it or whenever I spot the photo of the two of us (even though...aw dang, did I have to lean back so much and give myself that double chin??).

Her filmography is painfully short, and none of the genre movies she did after The Texas Chain Saw Masssacre were remotely in the same realm of quality. But to me, at least, the image of Sally Hardesty tied to that goddamn chair– sweaty and bloody and filthy and screaming her head off in abject terror– it's just such a perfect representation...it should be the picture shown in whatever volume of Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia references "horror film". It's as iconic as Janet Leigh screaming in a Bates Motel shower. So thanks, Marilyn, for giving everything you had...you helped make film history.

Here's the interview as it appeared in Sirens of Cinema (I love the Elvira bits!) (click to enlarge!) (right click and open in new tab to super enlarge!) as well as some anecdotes that I left out.

Stacie: [Chain Saw] still really gets to me, even though I know what’s gonna happen. 
Marilyn:  I still jump when I watch the movie by myself- it still makes me jump when I’m pushing Franklin (Paul Partain) in the wheelchair and he goes “There’s a light!” and RARR!  You know? It just makes me jump, which is surprising ‘cause I shouldn’t have any reaction at all. 
S:  From that point on Sally is just, you know, that’s her first…she doesn’t enter the house and think, “Hey, something’s not right here!”  It’s like, she’s pushing her annoying brother in the wheelchair… 
M:  Oh, God was he annoying!  The thing is, that guy’s the nicest guy in the world, but I didn’t know it until 20 years later because he acted like Franklin the whole time, he was like a method actor.  He continued to be just as whiny and horrible when they yelled “cut”.  He’d sit in his wheelchair and say “Someone get me a Coke!” and we’d go “Hey, Paul, you’re not crippled.  Get up and get it yourself.”  Nyah nyah nyah- he’d whine!  And I’m sure someone finally got the guy a Coke.  It was weird.  I should’ve known he was acting, but…it was 20 years later when I talked to him and he said “I felt so bad being so terrible!” and I’m thinking, “Paul, I thought you WERE terrible.”  He was just doing his job, and I mean brilliantly, especially since we were so young then…who would have thought some jerk would stay in character the whole time and be such a terrific guy and you’d not know it until 20 years later? 
S:  Didn’t Tobe [Hooper] kind of set you two against each other to get emotion out of you? 
M: I know right before the flashlight scene, where we fight over it, he said “Paul said this about you” and then he went to Paul and said “Marilyn said this about you”, but it was already set. I mean, the whole shoot was real hard and the more Paul whined as a character the more we went “Oh God!”  But it worked good for the film, because we were ready to kill each other. 
S:  You can really tell in the scene outside the van, before you start pushing him and he’s honking that horn… 
M:  He was so damn…I was…yeah.  I mean, I didn’t really think I could push the guy, especially with all the brambles and brush.  But it made it all funny later.  Ha ha ha.  Later.
... 
S:  You had to go back, right?  After it was over, you thought you were finished, and… 
M:  What happened…we filmed the very end of the show, where I jump in the pickup truck- which kills you if you ever try to jump from the cement into a pickup truck and you’re my size, and flip over…like that was a stunt I do daily!  And your boobs are getting, you know, all parts of you…and who flips over in a truck?  I would never flip over in a truck now.  But anyway, when I finally get in the truck and I had to wear all these stupid clothes full of karo syrup and chocolate and shit and then…I mean, the pants stood up!  They greeted me at the set!  And I thought, “Well, I’ll never have to wear that again!”  I mean, your hair sticks to you and everything, bugs and mosquitoes…if I sat on a chair it came with me…and so I thought “I’m through with that”. 
I don’t know how I did it the first time, I know I was crazy- but the second time, whatever happened there, the girl was just (maniacal cackle) “What are you gonna do to me now?  Are we gonna do it tomorrow?  Are we gonna do it next week?  Are you gonna keep calling me?!”  So yeah, everyone talks about how real that was, and…well, yeah, it would have been!  I hate to tell everybody sometimes, they go “Gee, where did all that come from?”  Well… 
S:  You didn’t have to reach too far. 
M:  Right, I was kinda already there.



R.I.P. Marilyn Burns

When rumors started circulating on social media late last night that Marilyn Burns had passed away at age 65, I didn't want to believe it. It's always a bummer when death notices come down your news feed, sure, but some of them hit harder than others, you know? And this one hurts, not least of all because for fuck's sake, 65 is much too young.

Ms. Burns was a convention regular these last few years, and so the announcement of her death has prompted countless "I met her at a convention and she was so nice" posts, usually accompanied by a photo of Burns next to a fan. I'll refrain from posting the Polaroid selfie I have of the two of us (oh man, it makes me so happy, though), but I'll echo the sentiment because my goodness, what a sweetheart.

When I lived in Ohio, I went to a convention– Cinema Wasteland, most likely- where Burns was a guest, and I got the idea to ask her for an interview. She readily agreed and I count the whole experience- meeting her, listening to her tales, and continuing our correspondence after- to be a career highlight. If whatever it is I do can be called a "career", I mean.

After the interview, I moved to Los Angeles and pitched the article to Sirens of Cinema magazine, who asked if I had any hi-res photos to include with it. I have no idea if this is standard practice (though I'm thinking it's not...?), but I asked Marilyn if she had any to email me. I got a packet in the mail full of pictures she deemed "ugly"- of course they weren't...well, maybe ugly in that horror movie way, you know? All tears and grimaces and bloodstains. She drew a Sally Hardesty smiley face and signed the letter "love, Marilyn." We emailed for a while after that, and every email was signed "love, Marilyn." (Told you she was a sweetheart.) We lost touch because, you know, we didn't really have anything in common. But I still get a thrill reflecting on it or whenever I spot the photo of the two of us (even though...aw dang, did I have to lean back so much and give myself that double chin??).

Her filmography is painfully short, and none of the genre movies she did after The Texas Chain Saw Masssacre were remotely in the same realm of quality. But to me, at least, the image of Sally Hardesty tied to that goddamn chair– sweaty and bloody and filthy and screaming her head off in abject terror– it's just such a perfect representation...it should be the picture shown in whatever volume of Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia references "horror film". It's as iconic as Janet Leigh screaming in a Bates Motel shower. So thanks, Marilyn, for giving everything you had...you helped make film history.

Here's the interview as it appeared in Sirens of Cinema (I love the Elvira bits!) (click to enlarge!) (right click and open in new tab to super enlarge!) as well as some anecdotes that I left out.

Stacie: [Chain Saw] still really gets to me, even though I know what’s gonna happen. 
Marilyn:  I still jump when I watch the movie by myself- it still makes me jump when I’m pushing Franklin (Paul Partain) in the wheelchair and he goes “There’s a light!” and RARR!  You know? It just makes me jump, which is surprising ‘cause I shouldn’t have any reaction at all. 
S:  From that point on Sally is just, you know, that’s her first…she doesn’t enter the house and think, “Hey, something’s not right here!”  It’s like, she’s pushing her annoying brother in the wheelchair… 
M:  Oh, God was he annoying!  The thing is, that guy’s the nicest guy in the world, but I didn’t know it until 20 years later because he acted like Franklin the whole time, he was like a method actor.  He continued to be just as whiny and horrible when they yelled “cut”.  He’d sit in his wheelchair and say “Someone get me a Coke!” and we’d go “Hey, Paul, you’re not crippled.  Get up and get it yourself.”  Nyah nyah nyah- he’d whine!  And I’m sure someone finally got the guy a Coke.  It was weird.  I should’ve known he was acting, but…it was 20 years later when I talked to him and he said “I felt so bad being so terrible!” and I’m thinking, “Paul, I thought you WERE terrible.”  He was just doing his job, and I mean brilliantly, especially since we were so young then…who would have thought some jerk would stay in character the whole time and be such a terrific guy and you’d not know it until 20 years later? 
S:  Didn’t Tobe [Hooper] kind of set you two against each other to get emotion out of you? 
M: I know right before the flashlight scene, where we fight over it, he said “Paul said this about you” and then he went to Paul and said “Marilyn said this about you”, but it was already set. I mean, the whole shoot was real hard and the more Paul whined as a character the more we went “Oh God!”  But it worked good for the film, because we were ready to kill each other. 
S:  You can really tell in the scene outside the van, before you start pushing him and he’s honking that horn… 
M:  He was so damn…I was…yeah.  I mean, I didn’t really think I could push the guy, especially with all the brambles and brush.  But it made it all funny later.  Ha ha ha.  Later.
... 
S:  You had to go back, right?  After it was over, you thought you were finished, and… 
M:  What happened…we filmed the very end of the show, where I jump in the pickup truck- which kills you if you ever try to jump from the cement into a pickup truck and you’re my size, and flip over…like that was a stunt I do daily!  And your boobs are getting, you know, all parts of you…and who flips over in a truck?  I would never flip over in a truck now.  But anyway, when I finally get in the truck and I had to wear all these stupid clothes full of karo syrup and chocolate and shit and then…I mean, the pants stood up!  They greeted me at the set!  And I thought, “Well, I’ll never have to wear that again!”  I mean, your hair sticks to you and everything, bugs and mosquitoes…if I sat on a chair it came with me…and so I thought “I’m through with that”. 
I don’t know how I did it the first time, I know I was crazy- but the second time, whatever happened there, the girl was just (maniacal cackle) “What are you gonna do to me now?  Are we gonna do it tomorrow?  Are we gonna do it next week?  Are you gonna keep calling me?!”  So yeah, everyone talks about how real that was, and…well, yeah, it would have been!  I hate to tell everybody sometimes, they go “Gee, where did all that come from?”  Well… 
S:  You didn’t have to reach too far. 
M:  Right, I was kinda already there.



Dig Into Dulaney [Book Review]

Shades of Gray by C Dulaney is the third installment in the Roads Less Traveled series. The Plan introduced us to a group of people who actually had a Z-plan in place when all hell broke loose. Murphy’s Law showed us how easily the best survival plan can fall apart in a zombie apocalypse. In the third book, Dulaney combines […]

Finally!! Zombified Book 2!! [Book Review]

Zombified: Shady Oaks by Char Robinson picks up several months after Hudson Place. I strongly recommend that fans reread the first book to appreciate how much Robinson has grown as a horror author. The survivors of Shady Oaks just can’t catch a break. Several months have passed since they left Hudson Place, and everything that could go wrong does…almost all at once […]

Between Major Infections…

The zombie genre is much like an actual horde of the undead: it WILL find you, and you WILL be overwhelmed. Whether it’s the books, movies or TV shows (hell, even Maron on IFC spoofed The Talking Dead in its season premiere), you can’t escape the infection. But, as any zombiephile could tell you, “Ain’t NOBODY got time for THIS!” […]

Extant



We're about three episodes in and I still can't shake the feeling that Extant would work better as a feature film rather than a TV series. 

An astronaut returns to Earth from a lengthy solo mission and discovers she's pregnant.

Fantastic premise, but how is this supposed to work past 6-7 episodes? What happens in season three? Molly turns out to be a clone and the real Molly has been held captive on an alien spaceship the whole time? The writers have done an admirable job creating various subplots (android son Ethan, government conspiracy, shady billionaire, etc.) and some cool sci-fi worldbuilding, but nothing seems as compelling as Molly's bun in the oven.

Hey, I could be wrong -- wouldn't be the first time.

Extant is an intriguing mash-up of ideas: Rosemary's Baby, A.I, The Astronaut's Wife, Contact, and Gravity -- in case you didn't notice, all movies. I question its longevity but I'm still watching.  The script was apparently decent enough to get the attention of Z-Listers like Steven Spielberg and Halle Berry so there's that. If the ratings continue to hold up, we might get to see how it all plays out.

Check out this inspirational interview with show creator Mickey Fisher: