Something CLANDESTINE from SyFy

Whoa, do you know how long it took us to come up with that headline? A little applause, please? Pretty please…? Anyway:

Calero and Stashwick writing Clandestine pilot for Syfy (ComicsBeat)

While you often see comics getting optioned for film or TV, you don’t usually see the creators of the comic involved in working on that project for film or TV. So here’s an exception: Dennis Calero and Todd Stashwick are writing a sci-fi pilot called Clandestine for Syfy. Calero is best known as an artist on countless comics from COWBOYS & ALIENS to X-MEN NOIR. Stashwick is best known as a actor on things from Heroes to The Riches. The two met on the set of Heroes, when Calero was doing art for the show and collaborated on the webcomic Devil Inside, which was optioned by Syfy and eventually led to them being assigned to write the pilot for this entirely new project.

The story was described as “What if Han Solo had to pretend to be Captain Kirk?” by Calero in a phone conversation. If that logline doesn’t grab you, it’s basically about some space-faring ne’er’do-wells who have to pretend they are in charge of a ship in an intergalactic fleet.

Calero further noted that he had realized that there was more opportunity to write in TV than film and so had concentrated his efforts in that direction as a way to expand his career. And now he’s writing a TV show. Good work on that. He also has a mysterious project with Stephen King in the works, Variety notes, so we’d say Calero’s career path is doing very well.

Another concept that sounds so much like FIREFLY that it makes us want to…cryyyy…

The Clearest Guide to Outlining for TV Writers Since the Last Clearest Guide

JK Rowlings’ outline for some book she wrote about a kid named Harry Potter

There’s an awful lot of “How To Write A Good Outline” info out there, not only on the web but also in books. The section on outlining in our very own LB’s Television Writing from the Inside Out comes to mind. But until we can get him to condense the info and put it on this site, here’s what we believe to be the next best thing:

How To Save Tons Of Writing Time – By Using A Complete Outline – by Marina Brito

A few months ago, it was the Christmas season and I was out shopping for Christmas presents for my family.   I found my shopping trips to be inefficient, long-drawn, and incredibly frustrating. So much for the Christmas spirit!

But why did shopping have to be so frustrating? I realized that it was because I hadn’t planned it ahead of time and I had to figure out what to buy on the fly.

This frustration while shopping reminded me of my frustration while article-writing

My article-writing was also inefficient and long-drawn.   Just like my shopping, it was not planned ahead of time and I had to figure out what to write on the fly.

But I was in the practice of outlining my articles. So why was I still struggling?

I struggled because I often sat down to write my articles with a half-outline.  What do I mean by a “half-outline”?

A half-outline is one which only has questions in it

The questions that I’m talking about are the ones that I use to construct my outline such as: “how”, “why” and “what”.  I can also have other points that I want to cover in my article, but in a half-outline they’re just a list of points to cover.

The problem with the half-outline is that there are no answers to go with the questions or the points.  And that’s why I practically had to write every article on the fly and it was such a long-drawn and frustrating experience.

Fortunately, I found a solution:

The solution is to have a complete outline

A complete outline adds answers to the questions and to the points in the half-outline.  This is probably easier to understand through an example:

Let’s see how to use the complete outline on an article

Read it all

And when you do continue reading, be sure and mentally substitute “Teleplay” for article so you can properly welcome the epiphany to come.

Cold War Spy Drama Coming to FX

Because our current political situation is so hopelessly boring. Or, more likely, because FX is afraid of slugging it out toe to toe with the contemporary spy drama HOMELAND.

Whatever the reason, FX has announced that they’re committed to 13 episodes of THE AMERICANS, created by Joe Weisberg, who also will be the Executive Producer/Showrunner.

Oh, yeah, there’s already some casting here. Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Noah Emmerich. That’s Keri and one of those guys (oh, yeah, Rhys) in the ’80s kitchen above.

Thing is, the show’s concept sounds intriguing because our stars play not Americans but KGB spies posing as a married couple in suburban Washington during the Reagan era. According to the press release:

The arranged marriage of Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Russell), who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan (Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counter intelligence.

Look for it sometime in “early 2013.”

EDITED TO ADD THIS WRITERLY NOTE: The press release includes this charming utterance by the Pres/G.M. of FX Networks, which we must share:

We’re…excited to welcome Graham Yost’s talented young Padawan Joe Weisbereg as Creator/Showrunner. He joins a long line of gifted writer/producers who have taken their first shot at greatness on FX.

Graham Yost? Padawan? Sounds like a big reach just to sound hip and/or pay back a friend. And they almost got this so right. Let’s hope the series can stay clear of arcane references to STAR WARS and Canadian writers.

Are Private Eyes Back in Style on TV?

Word around town (that’s L.A. to everybody who isn’t “in” that particular town) is that CBS Studios has optioned Michael Koryta’s novel about private investigator Lincoln Perry,A Welcome Grave for a TV series to be produced by the Kennedy/Marshall Company.

We find this report refreshing because, taken on its face, it means that Kennedy/Marshall thinks this should be a series and convinced CBS to put up some money for them to develop it. Because they wouldn’t dream of using their own money…because if it’s at all possible production companies never do. They always pass the hat to a network.

So kudos to Michael Koryta for getting some money in his pocket, and kudos to the P.R. people who’ve announced this deal for telling us the truth for once.

Film and TGV options have long been added income for writers and their publishers, to be sure. But considering how few of the options actually get picked up as full-scale rights purchases, and how few of those actually get made into films or TV series, we’re curious about whether anybody has ever, like, made a living on through option money. Anybody out there know?

The Last 9 Minutes of SHERLOCK’s Season Finale – Performed by Legos

Another example of how to do your own series yourself. As the Googlebots say, “Humans are so overrated…”

Via Tuzarsfilm