I’ve moved my blog over to my website so CLICK HERE TO VISIT MY NEW BLOG LOCATION!
There will be no further updates on this part of the blog.
I’ve moved my blog over to my website so CLICK HERE TO VISIT MY NEW BLOG LOCATION!
There will be no further updates on this part of the blog.
New Ronin Entertainment is pleased to release the very first teaser for THE FIXER television series in full 1080p HD. We’ll be releasing a number of teaser/trailers – each one designed to reveal a little bit more of the story and universe that Lawson inhabits. Look for hidden clues, info tidbits, and hints about character arcs and more. Please share this with your friends and family- the more exposure we have, the better! Thank you! (Here’s the direct link: http://vimeo.com/7768282)
Been a while since I last posted anything hereabouts, so let’s catch up, shall we? And just to go easy on my somewhat addled brain, we’ll work backward…
1. I had a nice rendezvous with the H1N1 flu and we battled mightily. It came in hard and took me down for about 48 hours before I was able to mount a counter-offensive that has lasted ever since. Nasty wanker of a virus, this thing. Not to be trifled with. Finally got back into some push-ups today and then spent the afternoon raking leaves. Felt good to be active again after two weeks of pretty much doing diddly-squat.
2. HELLstalkers has gotten some nice media mentions of late. While Vodafone will shepherd the launch across most of Europe, Verizon customers will be able to enjoy the adventures in the US & UK (Vodafone owns Verizon, so that works out pretty nicely.) Additionally, both networks are planning a nice bit of publicity and supposedly, co-author Joe Nassise and I will enjoy some exposure to approximately 250-350 million cell phone customers. Pretty nice, indeed.
3. Along those lines, I’ve signed a similar deal with Blackbetty to release Parallax and Vicarious for cell phone users as well. The deal and parameters are the same as the deal for HELLstalkers and you’ll be able to find both books (y’know, in case you haven’t read ‘em yet >gasp!<) on both the Vodafone and Verizon networks.
4. Been working the ol' buttocks off on THE FIXER. We'd initially been slated to shoot the pilot starting November 1st, but due to some legal issues, we've pushed the production back to January 2010 now. No worries – we're still on-track for a 2010 debut of the series. And it's going to be incredible. The principals that have been lined up are stellar – all of them perfectly suited to the roles they'll play. It's incredible to see actual talented professionals playing the characters that I created on the printed page starting to come to life. Can't wait to get them all in front of the camera.
5. We're working right now on bringing out a brand new trailer for the series. This will be the first of several that we release to help build buzz and anticipation for the series. It was shot on our glorious new cameras (3 of 'em) in full 1080p high definition. The footage is absolutely amazing. The days of bloated production budgets and enormous crews may be coming to an end. The equipment and technology have gotten to the point where a tight group of visionaries can get everything done. We expect to release the first trailer next week sometime, the post production crew is tweaking things right now.
6. Speaking of which, if you haven't been over to the Facebook Fan Page for THE FIXER, then you’ve missed a glimpse of the new logo for the show. Or you could just head over to THE FIXER website and see it there. And yes, the website is currently being re-designed. The new design is breathtaking. Just wait…
7. I turned 40 on October 24th and got an iPhone, which is the monkey’s balls as far as I am concerned. How the hell did I function without this thing for so long?
I’m probably forgetting a few other things, but that will do for now. Anyway, I’m stoked to be almost 100% healthy again. Time to get back to training!
So about a month ago, I got an email from a guy saying that he’d just come across PARALLAX on Amazon, loved the concept, and wanted to know if the film rights were available. Now I get these types of emails a few times a year; Hollywood and I have flirted a lot over the years, but no one’s ever scored a home run. As a result, I was a bit cynical – especially since someone else had written within the hour to ask the same thing. But I wrote back and we started a dialogue. The guy was going on a cruise and intended to read the book while he was. I prepared to wait.
About a week later, I got an email from Mexico from this same guy saying, “It’s good, Jon. Real good.” He went on to say he wanted to pretty much reach everything I’d written, did I have any scripts I could send him, that sort of thing. He also sent along a bio sheet about himself and the company he helped found in Los Angeles. Being the sometimes cynic that I am, I was still finding this all a bit much, but what the hell, it could turn out to be something…
I sent him 30 pages of a script I’ve been tinkering with over the years. It’s not finished by any means, and to be completely honest, it sort of meanders, because I didn’t really have a clear grasp on the story itself. But it’s fun and I like it.
This past Monday, I get a phone call. It’s him.
Without going into too many details, it is exactly the type of phone call a lot of writers dream of getting. And for someone like me, with all sorts of ambitions beyond writing books, it was rather an amazing conversation. Last night, we spoke again – this time he was in Las Vegas where he lives part time due to the fact that he produces one of the most successful shows out there – and finalized things.
I am very happy to announce that I now have myself a manager. Christopher Pratt of Elements Entertainment will be handling my Hollywood career. Christopher and Elements are a young, aggressive talent management agency and I couldn’t be happier. First up is for me to send over an overview of what I’m working on, what I’ve already done, and what I’d like to do. I have a conference call next week with Christopher and another partner as we lay out a game plan for how they’re going to “introduce” me to Hollywood. This not going to be like what happens with 99.99% of authors who get their stuff optioned and then their work lingers in development Hell for years (no offense to those authors, it’s just that I don’t want to earn a few measly grand every so often from options.) Christopher and Elements have a plan and I’m damned excited about the future.
Apparently, I’ll also probably have more “staff” in the near future – including a Hollywood agent and an entertainment attorney to navigate the vast complexity of film & TV contracts (been needing one of those anyway re: THE FIXER). So things are getting interesting, to say the very least. I’m going to be getting a fantastic education and I can’t wait.
Come along on the ride!
Work on THE FIXER TV series continues as we process resumes from cast & crew applicants. We’ve received a lot of them and will be working with a local casting director as well. More details when I have them. Suffice it to say, the pilot shoot is going to be great and we’re looking to have a start date in late-September if all goes accordingly. I have a conference call with the local SAG/AFTRA office this week so we can determine whether it will be better for the project to be a SAG signatory or an AFTRA one. Should be interesting and educational. Also, THE FIXER fan page at Facebook is almost at 700 fans, which isn’t bad for being open less than a week. We need many, many more fans, though, so if you’ve already invited all of your Facebook friends to become fans, thank you. if not, please do so. And don’t forget to interact with us out there. Ask us questions in the discussion area. Tell us what you like. We love it!
I’ve been hinting a lot at a “big” thing and it is pretty much a done deal. I’ll be co-authoring a new series that I think you’ll all get a huge kick out of. My co-author is a great friend of mine and we watch out for each other in “the biz.” The spectacular things about this deal are the particulars, which I can’t discuss just yet (unfortunately!) as our agent works with the publisher to get some last minute things cleared up. But trust me: you’ll be hearing a lot about this deal because it’s quite…innovative, let’s put it that way. As for what the series is about, let’s just say that it will contain elements of what I already write, so if you’re a fan of my work, you won’t be disappointed.
Received a great phone call from Hollywood last night. I may have mentioned that in the past month there’s been a lot of interest in Parallax for film rights, etc. As so often happens with these things, a lot of it fizzles out. But every once in a while, you get the kind of phone call you really hope to get – something that will help propel your career forward in potential leaps and bounds. Last night’s call was just that. I won’t reveal details on that, either. But should be able to let something loose by the end of the week, perhaps. If everything works out the way it should, you’ll be seeing a lot more of my work coming out of Hollywood. So please keep your fingers crossed.
I’m extremely pleased with this apparent convergence of spectacular energy. I don’t often talk about how I reach my goals, because I don’t feel it’s my place to tell someone else how they should be living their life. Living mine is tough enough, why on earth would I imagine I could advise someone else how to do it? (When you think about it, most of the people who do spend their time making judgments about others, do so because they are probably deeply unhappy with the state of their own existence and simply find it easier to cast dispersions rather than try to dig up the courage to change their own lives.) But I am a big believer in visualization and projecting positive intent.
Many of you know that I study Ninjutsu, and that ninja of legend were supposed to be able to bend the universe to their will using a combination of finger-weaving, thought projection, and a specific series of syllables intoned properly. This system of study is known as “Kuji Kiri” and involves a great deal of work. It’s not something I would ever claim mastery of, either, because at it’s core and in order to actually “work,” the person doing it needs to first understand themselves and their motivations with crystal clarity. But you don’t need to study ninjutsu to use visualization. All you need is the courage to have complete understanding of yourself and who you are. You have to be able to look into the mirror and see the reflection for what it is: a representation of you. If you stand there gazing at the mirror and start making excuses, then excuses are all you will ever have. The ability to see yourself for who you are means embracing the positive aspects of your personality with the faults you have as well. You are the sum total of your parts, not just the shiny surface you hope everyone else sees.
Once you’ve grown somewhat comfortable with this process (because, frankly, it is not a comfortable feeling looking deep inside and examining all of your faults to try to figure out how to move past them) then the method of visualization becomes much easier. You understand why you may desire things, what your motivations are and what their underlying foundations are. With this understanding of yourself, you can project the future you want to happen.
This doesn’t mean you have to sit in a lotus position and ohm your way into tomorrow. It simply mans being able to see in your mind’s eye the future thing you want to have happen. By virtue of being able to clear out the clutter that often disguises our true self, the image you conjure in your head will be that much richer in detail and vitality. Then it’s merely a matter of repeating the visualization hundred or thousands or tens of thousands of times until the universe catches up. I’m fond of saying that the universe doesn’t keep the same timetable that I do and our schedules are often out of whack. But eventually we synchronize and when that happens – pow!
This is an example of positive intent being projected out into the universe, which is always a great thing. And we all know that the opposite is also true. There are people in this world who spend their time projecting hatred and negativity out into the universe as well. And the universe, being what it is, brings that energy into existence just as it does the positive. Interestingly enough, projecting negative energy takes far less work than projecting positive. As a result, we tend to see far more negative realizations than we do positive one. The reason? Discipline.
Remember your biology class when you talked about chaos? I’m paraphrasing but at its essence, chaos simply means that any “system” left on its own will revert to that which requires the least amount of energy to maintain. Being a positive force for good in the universe takes a lot more work than being a negative person. Negative people are often masters of projecting their energy because they do it so often. Some of them wander around grumbling all the time. Others attempt to use subtle snide commentary to conceal their venom. Still others play passive-aggressive and others still are pure hatred.
Positivity means being able to confront our negative aspects – what we might call our faults – and accept the fact that they exist. We work to become better people through effort and positive intent. Just taking the time to do that can be enormous. Add to it the future we want to create for ourselves and our loved ones and you can see why positivity requires a helluva lot more work than negativity does.
“Great, Jon, thanks for the mumbo-jumbo talk – what’s your point?”
My point is this: this thing called Life happens (as far as I can tell) but once. My father died when he was 48 years old. I turn 40 in October. So I know what I want to accomplish just in case my card gets punched at the same age. That means the future I have is a direct result of the work I do now. And when things come to pass, do I want to look back and say, “Well, I played it safe but I wonder what would have happened if…?”
I want to look back on my life and say, “Holy shit, that was awesome! I dared greatly, failed often, experienced everything I could, and succeeded when it mattered most.”
I hope those of you reading this embrace the same positivity that I try to every day. I won’t lie and say it’s easy. And you should be able to take a day or two off every once in a while, if for no other reason than to better understand what negativity is like. But don’t stay there. If you’ve got dreams, make them a reality. If someone else doesn’t approve of your life, or how you’re living it, don’t waste your time with them. More often than not, those people are living in a personal Hell they’ll probably never escape.
There are great things out there that you should be experiencing.
Who Dares Wins.
So, we’re well into things on the pre-production front, gearing up for shooting the pilot episode of THE FIXER TV series (based on my Lawson Vampire novels). I thought I’d take a moment and do something of a FAQ for fans and people who might be interested in helping out on the production:
1. Have you cast all the roles for the series?
The short answer is no. The detailed answer requires more of an explanation. THE FIXER will have very few constant roles. We’ve already cast the most-important role of Lawson, who will be played by Brandon S. Stumpf. Aside from Lawson, the character audiences will see the most of is Niles, Lawson’s Control. We haven’t cast Niles yet. Other characters that will “pop in” from episode to episode are Arthur (grizzled ex-Fixer in his 60s from the UK), Talya (Lawson’s on-again-off-again love interest who is Asian/Eurasian and hot as all Hell), Martina (bookish but beautiful blonde who works as the armorer at the Council building in Boston and pines for Lawson). In Season One, there are also appearances by Jack (the Invoker Lawson has informally adopted as something of a son), Benny the Phreak (uber-computer hacker) and a variety of others (some of whom have already been cast). Naturally, we’ll need villains, although the recurring bad guy for Season One has also already been cast. Lesser villains and characters will always be needed, as well as extras. So if you’re interested in putting your face into the mix, you can email me at jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net with your vitals. We are working with a casting director, so any interest will be forwarded to them as well, although since this is my baby, my vote counts a lot because of the way I want this series to look.
2. Are you looking for producers?
No. And I don’t like getting emails from people I don’t know asking about the status of our finances.
3. Okay, are you still looking for investors?
Sure, if you’re interested in coming on-board as an investor and earning a 50% ROI, the minimum buy-in is $10,000. Contact me for details. (Email is in answer #1 above)
4. What about crew?
We’re looking for talented crew members for a lot of positions, so feel free to apply. Email is in answer #1 above.
5. I just graduated and don’t have much experience. Does that matter?
While I hope you know the rudimentary aspects of whatever job you’re applying for, I’m less concerned with experience than I am with your personality and work ethic. A lack of experience (within reason) can be effectively neutralized by a kick-ass attitude and tireless work ethic.
Also, I want to make it absolutely clear that if someone applies for a position and tries to bully their way in to some kind of leadership/control/creative position because they think they’re the be-all-end-all of film/TV production, they will NOT work on this series. Jaime and I want people working with us who fit in and get along well with the people who have been there since the very beginning. If you’re a lone wolf, prima donna, or a bully, this ain’t the set for you. We’ve worked far too hard and long and put too much into this production to even consider seeing it jeopardized by that crap.
6. Is the production union?
It will be as soon as we file all the paperwork with AFTRA.
7. When will the series air?
For right now, we’ll plead the 5th.
8. THE FIXER website hasn’t been updated in ages – what gives?
We’ve been working on other aspects of the production (like finding investors) and will start doing updates to the website soon. Also, our Facebook “group” will be going away and transitioning to a Facebook “fan page” so be on the lookout for that.
9. Jon, when are the Lawson Vampire books going to be re-released?
Soon. But in the meantime, if you’ve got a publisher you think ought to be bringing them out, feel free to contact them and urge them to do a deal now, before they miss out. :)
If you’ve got other questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below! Thanks!