Author Topic: Union Dues may be coming to television!  (Read 46345 times)

Swamp

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Union Dues may be coming to television!
« on: January 08, 2010, 06:45:00 PM »
Here is a transcript of Steve's big announcement regarding Jeffrey R. DeRego's Union Dues universe on Escape Pod ep. 223:

Quote
I've been going crazy trying to keep quiet about this one, but they finally told me I can talk about it.  So, a while ago, I was contacted by Doug Nabors, one of the producers for the T.V. show “Monk”.  He and his associate, Darren Bell have optioned the T.V and film rights for the Union Dues universe from Jeff DeRego, and are pushing hard to pitch this as a major television series.  This is not a far out theoretical.  They’ve hired concept artists who’ve worked on stuff like "Farscape" and "Fallout".  Darren Bell was a visual effects producer on "Watchmen".

They’re putting this in front of agents and writers and studios, and at the core of their pitch is the fact that Union Dues already has an existing fan base, thanks to this podcast.  I got to contribute a paragraph or two about this myself.  So the project is real.  That’s not the same as “yes, there will be a series.”  A lot of cool stuff gets pitched in Hollywood and goes nowhere, but it could happen.

And they’re asking for your participation and feedback.  There’s a site being developed at 1800gounion.com. and you can follow Union of Supers at Twitter, and of course you can comment on our forums.  Doug asked me to tell you that they welcome any fan art, suggestions, favorite characters, and most importantly, comments on the following question:

(This is a direct quote)
"Historically, costumed hero shows have failed, or have been perceived as juvenile camp.  Why have they failed?  What content/story/ angle can Union Dues provide that other live action super hero shows have not been able to?  Although "Heroes" has been a commercial success, it has failed critically.  We are pitching this series as the antithesis of this type of glossy, bubblegum hero fiction.”  

I’ll have more to say about this later on I’m sure, and by the way, just to make clear, their option is with DeRego.  If this succeeds, he makes money.  Escape Artists doesn’t stand to get any benefit financially from this at all.  It would be good publicity, but mostly I’m promoting this because it would be So Damn Cool.  If you agree, help spread the word.

So what do you think?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 01:14:24 AM by Heradel »
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gelee

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 08:38:07 PM »
Wow.  This is beyond awesome.  Not only is this phenomenal for Mr. Derego, it's great to see someone out of Hollywood actually pursuing quality work material.  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for this to go to production.  Consider me a pre-built viewer.

Zorag

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 09:31:30 PM »
I've already started whoring it up on Twitter.  Let me know anything else I can do to make this happen.
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Swamp

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 09:56:49 PM »
I just talked it up on my blog.
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Zorag

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 10:08:15 PM »
What do you want for attribution, Swamp?  I'm thinking about just copying and pasting your blog.
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Zorag

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 10:11:15 PM »
We need a hashtag for Twitter so we can make it a trending topic.
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Swamp

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 11:39:31 PM »
What do you want for attribution, Swamp?  I'm thinking about just copying and pasting your blog.

Consider it creative commons.  Do what you want with it, just don't change it, or sell it, and make sure to state where you got it from.  :)
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Talia

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2010, 01:07:01 AM »
Holy crap. Awesome. Crossing my fingers. (and gonna tweet about it).

Zorag

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
Am I the only one who actually dialed 1-800-GO-Union?
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jrderego

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 01:18:48 PM »
Am I the only one who actually dialed 1-800-GO-Union?

LOL, no. When All That We Leave Behind was first published, several others did as that's the first mention of the Union recruitment hotline. Strangely, I never dialed it but I've heard it's a sex chat line.

Sorry about that.

Also, join the Union Dues fanpage on Facebook :)
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FamilyGuy

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 02:14:44 PM »
Following on twitter, fanned on FB, awaiting website!  Congrats!
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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 02:38:30 PM »
Wow! I've been a fan of Union Dues since the very first story when I realized that it was very different from the standard "super heroes" story. I'm absolutely thrilled for you, Mr. DeRego, and I can't wait to see it on the big screen (my TV is large :)).
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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 05:17:41 PM »
We've been building the presentation for the pitch for the past three months. 

As Steve gracefully mentioned, the value in this property is that it has a loyal fan base that has already been established here at Escape Pod.   It is obvious to  us all why we love the Union Dues stories.  The challenge is translating that love to those who may not have been exposed to the UD world.

Our attack is two-pronged.

1. Activate and energize this fan base, and INVOLVE them in spreading the word, creating buzz, and turning this grassroots following into a raging wildfire.

2. Developing a pitch with accompanying concept art,   talent attachments, and a unique angle on the  subject matter.

The combination of these two fronts is what will peak interest in Union Dues as a television concept, and entice networks (on-air, cable or otherwise) to sit up and take notice. 

Selling a show is very much like pulling the lever on a slot machine, and hoping for cherries.    Currently, we're trying to rig the game a bit in our own favor- and your favor.

In the near future, you will start seeing concept art, an interesting web concept, and notifications of our progress.   We really need your help in maintaining the momentum.






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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 06:17:54 PM »
I didn't listen to the episode, but I went back and listened to the outro and I wanted to wish the best luck with this to Jeffery and Doug and anyone else involved in the project. I've made no secret here in the past of the fact that I don't find Union Dues particularly to my taste, but I certainly can tell that it has what is necessary for an excellent television series. I probably won't watch it, b I have several friends who I think would love it; once there is something a bit more developed on the web I will direct them to it.ut

CryptoMe

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 12:36:19 AM »
I would be very curious to see how Union Dues stories play out as a TV series. Good Luck!!
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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 02:46:26 AM »
Joined the FB group (saw BDoomed there ;).
:D
'course I joined it, a UD tv show would quite possibly be one of the coolest things ever, especially since I'm part of the community that nurtured it's growth.  I've loved UD since the first story aired, and seeing it culminate into a television show would blow my mind.
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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 07:44:45 PM »
RE: Feedback on television show concepts

One of the big strengths of the Union Dues series, in my opinion, is the way the characters find themselves so often helpless.  I think "The Shield" and "The Wire" would both be good models for running a Union Dues series.  Basically, a cop show with superpowered people rather than a "superhero show."  Colorful costumes and whiz-bang villains just don't translate well to the screen. 
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Zorag

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 05:32:35 PM »
How to make it a good show? 

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 05:53:39 PM »
Zorag (and others) has a point that I'm going to take a step further. Perhaps the question should not be "How can we make this a good SUPERHERO TV show?" or "How did the other SUPERHERO TV show(s) go wrong?" but "How can we make this a good TELEVISION SHOW, period?"

Here's a big tip: The audience is quite a bit more astute, in tune, and intelligent than most of Hollywood seems to understand.

Consider: For years, all we had for sci-fi were things like Star Trek or Quantum Leap or Sliders. Almost every episode wrapped up nice and neat, with a bow on it, and the "reset" button was pressed so that the viewers didn't have to remember much of anything from episode to episode. Worf mad at Dr. Crusher? Not after this one episode, he won't be. What that said to viewers was "Don't worry your pretty little head. If you miss one--or two, or ten, or thirty--episodes, it won't matter. You can pick it right up without any difficulties." And maybe that was true when we didn't know any better.

But! Then along came Babylon 5. With a FIVE YEAR arc. With characters who lived and died. And Farscape. And Firefly. And Battlestar Frakking Galactica. (I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out. Stargate Universe...is trying. We'll see how it works out.)

What those shows did RIGHT (IMHO) is to treat their viewers with a little damned RESPECT. "You actually have an attention span!" those shows cried. "We can ask more of you!" And ask us, they did.  They gave us characters with more than one dimension. Who had problems and flaws and, by golly, FAILED once in a while. They had episodes separated by weeks or months that referred back to events in prior episodes.

That being SAID, as good as Mr. DeRego's stories are, it would be a mistake to try to turn them into a cavalcade of special effects at the expense of the STORIES. That would be an hour-long "grit-com" with no substance.

How do you get us to get behind the show, should it eventually come to pass? Make us CARE. Treat us like intelligent people.

</soapbox>
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deflective

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Re: Union Dues may be coming to television!
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 06:10:32 PM »
another good model would be dressing room scenes from Mickey Rourke's the wrestler.  outside they put on outrageous larger-than-life personas but behind the scenes we see the human damage.  one of the hardest things to do in a show like this is to create emotional sympathy for a massive bodybuilder in fabulous tights, the wrestler is a good place to start.

visual queues that show a character is in or out of the union persona could be effective.  this is used in both st:tng and bsg, when Picard or Adama are off duty they undo the top button on their uniform (costume equivalent of loosening a tie).  masked heroes that push back their hood when behind the scenes would give more full face exposure without always having to create silly excuses for it (really, how many times did spiderman lose his mask during the movies?).  characters that choose to always keep their costume intact, like Johnny Toruko would, gives another kind of insight into the character.

in order to be taken seriously most shows like this tone down and darken the costumes (as per x-men & watchmen), i'd be interested to see if it's possible to take it to full on florescent tights and still pull it off.  maybe use filters to really make the colours pop during media event scenes, create that shiny shampoo commercial effect used in aeon flux & the island, then dampen back to reality when the characters step out of the spotlight.  the costumes could even be made from some unrealistic material (in show) that looks great in performance but quickly smudges and picks up dirt in practical circumstances.  i like me some visual metaphor.