Thursday, January 26, 2006


Last night, we had quite a stellar confab for the students we mentor -- actors, writers, directors and producers all.

ROCKNE O'BANNON, creator of FARSCAPE, ALIEN NATION and SEAQUEST, was our featured speaker, along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and INVASION director MICHAEL NANKIN (Rock's on the left of me, Michael Nankin on the right). We also had DAVID SIMKINS, showrunner of the upcoming BLADE TV show and a writer-producer on such hits as ANGEL, BRISCO COUNTY, LOIS AND CLARK, ROSWELL, CHARMED and DARK ANGEL.

Joining them was DOMINIC COMPERATORE, a brilliant actor I cast in the lead role of Cal in the MAGIC TIME scene I directed and who just had a major role opposite GEORGE CLOONEY in Steven Soderbergh's new film THE GOOD GERMAN. Also in attendance were LESLIE SILVA, star of the Showtime series ODYSSEY 5 and a regular face on shows such as ENTERPRISE and CSI; KEN MADER, director of CARNIVORE (and a partner on DEAD STOP, a feature I'm making); and JONATHAN KAPLAN, a talented TV writers with credits including NYPD BLUE.

We spoke on such topics as how to continue to write from your heart and how to survive crushing rejections and setbacks -- something vital for anyone who wants a long-term career in TV and film. It was also fascinating to discuss the changing nature of television -- with Michael Nankin having just written an ABC pilot, Rock about to shoot his fabulous CULT pilot for the new combined Warners/UPN network CW, and David Simkins waiting to hear if his BLADE series is picked up. Not mention my little STAR TREK adventure...

How cool and exciting it is now to making TV drama -- knowing it can air on broadcast television or cable, on computers and telephones, be downloaded onto iPods, play over the Internet, and be seen on a screen anywhere from 100 inches across down to two! (In fact, Simkins mentioned to Michael Nankin that he got hooked watching BATTLESTAR GALACTICA after downloading it from iTunes and watching it on his iPod.)

Quite an evening! Lots of warmth and good fellowship. Truly, a night to remember.



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