The CW has released the first photos from The Flash Episode 3.10 which give us a first look at Stephen Huszar as the expert marksman Plunder. Let us know what you think of Plunder in the comments below.
Episode 3.10 of The Flash is titled “Borrowing Problems From The Future” and is set to air Tuesday, January 24 on The CW.
Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen/The Flash in the series along with Candice Patton as Iris West, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramo, Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West. Season 2 of the series also introduced Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West and the Earth-3 version of The Flash as played by John Wesley Shipp (who also played Barry’s father, Henry Allen) who continue to guest star in the series. Season 3 also features Tom Felton as Julian Albert.
Show me a filmmaker and I’ll show you a person who has lost precious footage due to poor archiving.
Data storage: it’s not the sexiest filmmaking topic in the world, but it is an important one, because most filmmakers have gone through the utter devastation of losing much needed shots, scenes, or even entire projects due to mishandling, data corruption, act of god, or a dirty, dirty thief. Losing your data can be a nightmare, but David Bergman of Adorama shows you a way to safeguard it using the “3-2-1” backup strategy.
Backing things up is kind of a way of life nowadays—I backup my phone more often than I do the dishes. However, ensuring that you have copies of your footage and other filmmaking data is going to take a little bit more effort than simply hitting “sync.”
Was Stan Lee a playwright for the Army during World War II? Which comic book movies were the most pirated of 2016? Why did Matthew McConaughey choose Dark Tower over Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Will the new Agents of SHIELD director become The Patriot or what? Will the return of Jerome on Gotham give rise to The Joker? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.
Today, Showtime is giving its subscribers exclusive early access to the season six premiere of its Emmy and Golden Globe-winning hit drama series Homeland. The Homeland season six premiere is currently available on the Showtime streaming service, Showtime On Demand, and Showtime Anytime, ahead of its linear debut on Sunday, January 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. To start a seven-day free trial of Showtime, visit Showtime.com.
Homeland stars Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Emmy nominee Rupert Friend, acclaimed stage and screen actress Elizabeth Marvel, Oscar winner with Emmy nominee F. Murray Abraham, and Emmy and Tony Award winner Mandy Patinkin. Back on U.S. soil, this season focuses on the aftermath of a U.S. presidential election and the transition between election day and the inauguration for a president-elect, played by Elizabeth Marvel.
Currently in production in New York, guest stars this season include Hill Harper (Limitless), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), Patrick Sabongui (The Flash), Jake Weber (Medium) and Dominic Fumusa (Nurse Jackie).
After she thwarted a terrorist attack in Berlin, season six picks up several months later and finds Carrie Mathison (Danes) living in Brooklyn, New York. She has begun working at a foundation whose efforts are to provide aid to Muslims living in the U.S. Season six will tackle the after effects of the U.S. presidential election, with the entire season taking place between election day and the inauguration. It’s a strange, transitional time in the halls of government filled with anxiety and different competing interests, where a very fragile and complex transfer of power takes place between the outgoing president and the incoming president-elect.
Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, Homeland was developed for American television by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, and is based on the original Israeli series Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff. Along with Gansa and Gordon, the executive producers for season six will be Chip Johannessen, Lesli Linka Glatter, Michael Klick, Patrick Harbinson, Claire Danes, Avi Nir, Ran Telem and Gideon Raff.
Batman: Arkham Knight Hot Toys 1/6th Scale Batman Figure!
In the Batman: Arkham Knight video game, Gotham City is under a terrifying threat as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham and destroy Batman forever. To take down these dangerous villains, Batman is donning an upgraded Batsuit with new gadgets to save the city he is sworn to protect. Today, Hot Toys has announced the 1/6th scale collectible figure of Batman from the game!
The Batman: Arkham Knight Hot Toys collectible figure is expertly crafted based on the appearance of Batman from the game featuring a newly-developed masked head sculpt with interchangeable neutral and angry expression lower faces, a highly-detailed and meticulously-tailored multi-layer and multi-texture Batsuit (V8.03), a number of Batman gadgets, including Batarangs, grapnel gun, disruptor, REC gun, freeze grenade and more!
The 1/6th scale Batman Collectible Figure’s special features:
– Authentic and detailed likeness of Batman in Batman: Arkham Knight game – Highly detailed facial expression and skin texture – One (1) Batman head with patented Interchangeable Faces Technique (IFT) and two (2) interchangeable lower part of faces capturing Batman’s facial expressions (neutral and angry) – Approximately 33cm tall (Approximately 35cm tall measuring to tips of cowl) – Newly developed muscular body with over 30 points of articulations – Eight (8) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands including: – One (1) pair of fists – One (1) pair of gripping hands – One (1) pair of hands for holding Batarang – One (1) pair of accessories holding hands – Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted
Costume: – One (1) highly detailed and meticulously tailored multi-layer and multi-texture Batsuit (V8.03) – One (1) black leather-like cape – One (1) golden color utility belt – One (1) pair of black gauntlets with silver colored accents – One (1) pair of black boots with silver colored accents
Weapons and Gadgets: – Two (2) Batarangs – One (1) grapnel gun with interchangeable Batclaw and interchangeable part to become a remote electrical charge gun – One (1) explosive gel – One (1) disruptor gun – One (1) freeze grenade – One (1) line launcher – One (1) voice synthesizer
Accessories: – One (1) gauntlet projector screen – Specially designed figure stand with game logo and backdrop
Artists: – Head Sculpted by Yeon-sun, Jeon – Head Painted by JC. Hong – Head Art Directed by JC. Hong
Brothers and sisters, we all know the act of writing a story is hard work. Coming up with good ideas. Figuring out characters, Solving plot issues. Confronting scenes that don’t work. Dialogue that won’t come. Losing sight of where we’re going. Sometimes writing can be the very last thing we want to do.
I am here to say… I feel your pain.
I have struggled with my writing the last few days. And then yesterday afternoon as I was pacing around my office deep in thought, I had a feeling…
That you and I could both use a boost.
And so I am here to provide us with a few reminders about beginnings and endings.
Remember when you first came up with the story idea you’re currently writing?
How great that felt?
Let’s take a deep breath and relive the joy of that initial discovery, those first few days and weeks of knowing we’d hit on a spectacular idea for a story. That’s right… take a deep, deep breath right now…
Now here’s another reminder. Remember the last time you finished writing a story? Made it through all the rewrites, that final edit. You clicked on “Print,” then listened as your printer churned out your pages.
Try to remember picking up those pages. Feel their heft, their warmth fresh from the printer. Then lift those pages and breathe in that wonderful smell of completeness… and let yourself feel that incomparable sense of creative joy! You made it to the end!
My friends, a writer’s journey is an arduous one. But armed with a great concept and filled with the knowledge that we have done this before and we can do it again, let us go forth… and get ourselves all the way from FADE IN to FADE OUT!
So here we go: Another blast of virtual creative juju for the entire GITS community. Whoosh!
Reader Question: What should I do if a project sells in Hwood that is similar to a script I’m writing?
It happens more than you think… but don’t give up hope.
From an Anonymous GITS Reader:
Big fan of your site. Easily one of the best screenwriter sites out there for info and inspiration. Anyways, I wanted to get your opinion on something. I was putting the finishing touches on an outline of my current script — almost finished with 1st draft now — when a pitch was sold with the same general idea…
Now I’m used to hearing about parallel development so I pretty much knew that this was going to kill any chance of a sale. However, since I am an unrepped writer my main goal is to get reads from agents and managers so I was curious if you think my target “audience” would still request this script even though a similar idea has recently been sold.
First of all, let me share this sentiment with AGR and anybody else out there who has worked up a story only to see another project with a similar premise get set up:
It totally sucks!
I’ve had it happen more than once. There’s nothing quite like the gut-churning sensation you get when you open the trades and see the project you have been working on just sold to a studio. It gets to the point where you almost hate to read about script deals, always that nagging fear that through some hideous twist of fate, you’re about to discover you just got beat to the finish line by some other writer.
In other words, I feel your pain.
Before I get to your specific question, let me also add this: The simple fact is that this cruel experience is going to happen. You can almost bank on it. There are so many people writing screenplays, graphic novels, comic books, books, pitches, and so on… and only so many good ideas. Steel yourself for the inevitable disappointment.
Fortunately, AGR, you have three things working in your favor:
#1: As we have discussed many times on GITS, Hollywood movie studios operate upon the ‘similar but different’ principle. They are loathe to greenlight completely original stories because they represent big risks (unless, of course, it’s a James Cameron or Christopher Nolan project, their track records effectively minimizing the risk). That risk factor (read: fear of flop) is one major reason why the studios tend to look for stories that are ‘similar’ to other stories. Everything from remakes to sequels to familiar subject matter — those represent a smaller risk because since the original movie was a success, therefore, the logic goes, this new version should stand a good chance of being successful, too. So, AGR, if your script is similar but different than a project which recently sold, that fact could actually help you get your script read. Perverse logic, I know, but hey, if Hollywood knows anything at all, it’s perversion.
#2: Here’s another perverse thing: The mere fact that you generated an original story idea that happens to hew closely to that of a project that recently sold suggests that your creative instincts are in line with what the movie studios are looking for. One of my agents told me this after two ideas on our possible ‘to script’ list sold within a month. When you first hear it, you think, “Well, he’s just saying that to make me feel better.” But when you step back from the blunt trauma of seeing two your ideas snatched away, you realize that yes, you are in sync with the current buyer’s marketplace. So, AGR, as rotten as you may feel, hopefully you can see the broader picture and realize that the sale of this other project actually validates your own creative instincts. Which leads to the third point:
#3: Despite their hard line against reading unsolicited manuscripts, managers and agents actually want, even need to read new writers. And most of them aren’t reading a script with the hope of selling just that script, rather they’re hoping to find a writer they can nurture into a writing career. 10% of a single script sale is one thing. 10% of multiple years of script sales, pitch sales, OWA gigs, TV writing is a whole other thing. So the fact that you came up with a story idea similar to another project which sold could catch the attention of a possible rep. Maybe you’re not just a decent writer, but one who can generate solid original story ideas.
Now if I was in your shoes, in my clever yet succinct query letter, I would include some info supporting my assertion that I came up with my story idea before the other similar story project got set up. For example, perhaps you registered your treatment or outline with the WGA. Then you could include that documentation as proof. Otherwise who’s to say that you aren’t just making it up. But even if you don’t have proof, I doubt it will be much of an issue. Something to consider in the future.
So in sum, I say go for it. Acknowledge to the reps that you’re aware of the other project (this shows that you savvy enough to track the acquisition and development market), point out whatever differences there are, and note that you have plenty of other equally commercial story concepts. And if you don’t, you know what you have to do.
UPDATE: Here’s something from Ryan Mullaney in comments:
Rework the idea into something more original. I had to do it, just like everyone else at one time or another, and I ended up with something better than what I had originally, so there is a silver lining after all.
By all means, yes. Probably the first thing you should do after discovering a similar project to yours (after knocking back a stiff drink). See if you can twist your story concept to make it more different than similar. Even something as simple as switching the gender of your Protagonist can work.
Nate Winslow said this:
Seeing the post Scott put up about DEVIL got me thinking about the number of times Hollywood has “doubled up” on their premises for produced films, which reminded me of the OTHER stuck-in-an-elevator-thriller that just sold.
So, DEVIL got made, DOWN is on its way to getting made, and what are the odds that someone buys two scripts that even involve elevators as a main plot point, much less the major location? (Not to mention they both start with D!)
And then a three or four years ago, again — who would have thought that out of all the genres and premises out their, we’d find two movies released in the same year about…19th Century magicians? The Illusionist and The Prestige came out within months of eachother, if I remember correctly.
Off the top of my head, there are at least three sets of movies covering the same subject that are currently in production/greenlit/racing to the greenlight: competing Three Musketeers movies, competing Don Quixote movies and competing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movies. The trend there with the current ones being that they’re all adaptations, but still. So. Just heaping the evidence onto the pile that already lets us know that Hollywood digs the same but different. And in these cases, sometimes doesn’t even bother with the “different” part.
To which I responded:
You can add K-9 and Turner & Hootch to your list. How about 18 Again, Like Father Like son, Big, and a fourth one that I can’t quite remember, all of them coming out within a year of each other? This springs, I think, from the fear that underlies much of how studios operate. Hard to spring for an original, fresh idea, but if Studio A buys a body-swapping movie, the execs in Studio B think, “Hey, if THEY think that’s a great subject matter, maybe WE should try to find something.” Put out the word to reps, dig through their development trough. The latter is pretty much what happened, as I understand it, with Turner & Hootch — it had been collecting dust at Disney until K-9 sold, then all of a sudden they sprang into action, hiring new writers, and so on.
In other words, sometimes it actually HELPS to have a similar project out there.
Finally Teenie said:
Scott, your reply gives us all hope and when you stop to think about it, it is amazing the amount of similar films or re-makes being made.
Yes, even at times where your project gets blown out of the water completely by something else. I remember reading an interview with David Milch once, where he spent months working up a big TV project set in ancient Rome. He pitched it to HBO. They said, “Sorry, we’ve just bought a project called ‘Rome.’” They liked some of the themes and characters in Milch’s pitch, so he switched it around, and pitched them something else — which became “Deadwood.”
UPDATE: I don’t have empirical evidence to support it, but reading the tea leaves of Hollywood film and TV development the last several years, it seems to me buyers are leaning even more heavily toward similar than different in projects they buy and produce. It’s the same two drivers as discussed before — fear-based decision-making and marketing concerns — but everything is even more competitive than ever. With 430+ movies receiving some sort of distribution in 2016 and over 460 series on broadcast networks, basic and pay cable, and streaming services, that’s a shit ton of content, way more than 6 years ago when I originally wrote this post.
While we still need to bring something distinctive to whatever story concepts we come up with, similarities to preexisting movies and TV series may be more of a plus than ever before.