Hello, again. As usual, I was determined to keep up with this blog, but life got in the way. So a few quick updates…
I finished my work on the new season and it’s now in the hands of Mitch Hurwitz. We want to preserve surprises, so I’ll only say if you liked the other seasons, I think you’ll really like this one.
I shot a pilot for a new cop comedy for the FX network with Denis Leary, Jim Serpico and Tom Selitti — my producing partners on the project. I love it. We’re waiting to find out if FX is planning to move forward with it. We shot in NY (my favorite city) and had a great time. Fingers crossed.
We’re really doing this thing. Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely and I are off writing the new season of ARRESTED to premiere on Netflix in 2013. The original cast is back. There are offices and parking spaces. We’re shooting this year. I wish I could give more specifics but, for the moment, even the schedule is being kept under wraps. But it’s happening and it’s great to be back with my pals from the show. More later as it becomes okay to release further details…
First in a behind-the-scenes series on writing for TV.
There’s something insane at the heart of every TV show. I’ve worked on a lot of them. Some were commercial hits (MY WIFE AND KIDS), some were critical hits (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT), some were admired but died an early death (413 HOPE STREET) and some were not admired and survived longer than anyone thought possible (‘TIL DEATH).
I recently was talking with a fellow writer in the TV salt mines, bitching about how impossibly difficult a show was (which is something all TV writers are great at, by the way — bitching) and I realized that I’ve never worked on a show that didn’t have something loony about it. I call it the center of crazy. [...MORE]
The question I get asked most often (right after “where do you get your ideas?”) is “how did you break into the business?” For me, it started with a little zombie named Johnny Dingle.
I went to NYU film school from 1985 to 1989. While I was there, I wrote a comedy about a high school kid who’s so in love with a girl that, even after getting shot and killed in a convenience store robbery, he comes back from the dead to take her to the prom. Unfortunately, being a zombie, he now has a terrible craving to eat the flesh of the living (which he finds morally and ethically reprehensible). To make matters worse, he’s beginning to decay — in fact, body parts that might otherwise have come in handy on prom night are starting to fall off. On top of all this, everyone in town hates him — he is, after all, one of the undead. [...MORE]
I ended up writing FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 9: JASON GOES TO HELL (hereafter referred to as JGTH) because I was friends with the friend of the son of the guy who directed the first one. Yeah, I know. But you have to believe me when I tell you that those kinds of loopy coincidences are how most people end up getting their start in the movie business.
My friend was Adam Marcus and I knew him from New York University where we were both film majors.
Adam holding Jason’s heart
His friend was Noel Cunningham, the son of Sean Cunningham, the director and producer of the original FRIDAY THE 13TH (and many other horror movies.) Adam brought Sean a script I had written in college called JOHNNY ZOMBIE (later made into the movie MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK, which you can read about in its own section.)
Adam was hoping to get a job directing MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK. He didn’t. What he got instead was a job directing JGTH — sort of a consolation prize. Didn’t matter, he was just as excited to be working on it. [...MORE]