Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Hi, guys --

My friend documentary filmmaker Patrick Francis just shot a little mini-doc with me reminiscing about different cool old eateries in Los Angeles (and it has pictures of me as a kid!). To see and hear it, log onto


It's really fun, and a real blast from the past.


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Just a quick entry on the AMAZING lunch I had yesterday.

I first met J.J. ABRAMS a few years back, when I consulted on the TWILIGHT ZONE-oriented episode of FELICITY he wrote. Since then, we’d kept in touch and it has always been a very friendly exchange. He’s quite a nice, hugely talented guy (as ALIAS, LOST and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III demonstrate), with a warm, loving heart (it’s great to hear him talk about his wife and kids).

And he’s a HUGE Rod Serling fan!

So I got the idea of arranging a lunch with J.J. and CAROL SERLING.

We met yesterday in the Rotunda at Disney Studios, an elegant and extremely exclusive restaurant on the lot. It was a wonderful time all round, with J.J. full of questions for Carol about Rod and their life together (Carol read all Rod’s scripts as he was writing them, gave feedback and – as she noted – was “always right”).

We talked about various adventures and projects – including, of course, STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES and J.J.’s new STAR TREK feature, which he’s producing and may direct.

It’s such great fun to associate with such talented people who share so many of my enthusiasms – I just learned that J.J. is a big RAY HARRYHAUSEN fan; we didn’t even have a chance to talk about the four previously-unmade Harryhausen films I’m executive producing and will possibly be writing several of (I’ll have to tell J.J. about that next time).

Then the capper came, the ultimate Hollywood moment. As we were finishing our lunch, BOB IGER, the President of Disney, ambled over with STEVEN SPIELBERG!

Iger, it turns out, went to Ithaca College and was actually a student of Rod’s, who he absolutely adored (who didn’t?). We shared some fond memories of Rod, and I’m mailing him a copy of THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION today.

Best of all, when J.J. introduced me as the author of the COMPANION, Spielberg gave a big smile and said, “I live by that book!”

Holy cow!

Spielberg’s first professional directing gig, of course, was helming the Joan Crawford segment of Serling’s NIGHT GALLERY pilot. “Those were eleven of the most terrifying days of my life,” he mentioned, adding, “And then came JAWS.” JAWS was renowned as one of the most challenging and nightmarish shoots of all time, running over one hundred days. But Spielberg triumphed and it was the real beginning of his stratospheric rise.

Hanging out with these guys while I’m writing a new pilot and a new book, prepping to direct STAR TREK, starting up the MAGIC TIME company, working on the Harryhausen films, signing the graphic novel deals for MAGIC TIME and HELL’S KITCHEN, and talking to Carol about a new Rod Serling project… Gee, it’s a depressing life.

Don’t pinch me, folks, ‘cause I sure don’t want to wake up from this one…


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


What a great week!

First IAIN McCAIG and his gorgeous daughter MISHI – our two WONDERFUL costume designers on STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES “World Enough and Time” – met with our BRILLIANT lead actress LESLIE SILVA (along with my wife ELAINE – a former actress/director Off-Broadway -- who’s serving as World Enough’s drama coach) to discuss her character’s costume.

Then the next day, Iain, Mishi and I met with GEORGE TAKEI and his partner BRAD to discuss his NEW VOYAGES wardrobe. George was incredibly gracious, insightful and entertaining, and he and Iain really hit it off, sharing memories of their travels in the UK and other adventures.

After that, it was off with Iain and Mishi to RAY BRADBURY’s house to share some of Iain’s recent work on a major (and hush-hush) project. Iain brought incredible artwork that blew Ray’s socks off. Joining us was KERRY CONRAN, writer-director of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, who has been working with Iain on several projects. Kerry is a huge Bradbury fan, as is Iain (and myself, of course), so it was a terrific afternoon all round.

Following that, Iain, Mishi, Kerry and I reconvened at Sisley’s, a terrific Italian restaurant at the celebrated Westside Pavilion, where we traded tales of our adventures in Hollywood over beverages and desserts.

Kerry is a great guy and a true visionary, and we shared tales (and enthusiasms) about such diverse subjects as THINGS TO COME, Forry Ackerman, Rick Baker, Rod Serling, MAGIC TIME and much, much more.

Another day to remember, and I hope not the last time I see Kerry Conran… (I’m keeping Iain and Mishi glued to my side as we continue on the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES adventure!)

More to come…