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They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same."

It begins again.  Eight months later, I’ve gone back to the island with the knowledge of everything that is to come.  While re-watching the pilot, I paid close attention to two elements: Introductions and the concept of fate as applied to the castaways.

1. Introductions – I wanted to keep a close eye on who latches onto who first.  Boone and Jack saved Rose’s life.  Jack paired Hurley with Claire so Hurley could keep her safe.  Sayid enlisted Charley to build a fire.  Shannon took care of herself and her own needs.  Locke, on his new magic legs, rushed to help Jack pull people from wreckage.  And when the dust had settled, Jack wandered off into the woods like a hurt cat so he could tend to his own wounds.  That is when Kate comes walking out of the forest to complicate the rest of his life.  And, of course, the Smoke monster was heard but not seen going for a walk through the jungle.

"Kate, meet the Smoke Monster. Smoke Monster... Kate."

2.The Idea of Fate – The first night on the Island Charley writes the word FATE across four of his fingers on pieces of white tape.  People often associate fate with something bad.  The phase “accept your fate” carries with it a connotation that you have to accept something less than desirable.  This is because so few of us actually have a fate in store for us that is something like, say, King Arthur.  He needed to accept his fate after freeing Excalibur, but of course his fate meant he got to be king, marry Guinevere and rule from Camelot.  His fate also entailed his wife cheating on him with his best friend, having an incestuous bastard child, and then killing that child.  It was a tough life and a sorry fate but a grand fate nevertheless.

While paying attention to the featured characters in the first part of the pilot, I noticed that regret and acceptance are huge plot points.  They all seem to have a guilty look about them as they tend to their wounds.  What do they have to feel guilty about?  Well, maybe EVERYTHING!   They all think the crash is their fault in some sort of karmic way.  Hurley believes that the cursed numbers crashed the plane.  Sun believes that her cheating led her to this place and she deserves all the horror of the island.  Claire thinks that she is on the island because she chose to give her child away.  Kate is on the island because she is running from her crimes.  Locke believe this was the price to regain his legs.

Then there is Jack.  Jack carries the literal weight of the world on his back.  He is the King Arthur of this story right from the start.  He might not believe that it is all his fault, but he believes he can fix it all.

In an ensemble story, it is always important to introduce your characters early.  If I’m writing a screenplay I like to get all my primary characters into the first five to ten minutes.  Sometimes it is difficult to do that.  To convincingly weave all of your characters into a story efficiently and quickly might feel contrived.  One tool that I used recently was having all the primary characters in their various homes, jobs, offices, all watching the same television program about the main character of the story.  So, I was able to link all of their interests and knowledge of the subject, and as they meet, it is already established that they have this common thread.

Lost introduced all the primary characters with organic ease.  All of their quirks and traits were prevalent right from the start.  Using the crash as the event that relates all the characters is brilliant in that the writers can constantly go back to that one moment and tell another character’s story of who, what, where, when and how they found themselves on flight 815.  All at once it is simple and brilliant.

I’m going to have fun re-watching.

I have a new Lost theory…  I know it doesn’t matter anymore…  but who cares.  I’ll share it after watching part two of the pilot.

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Lost is over.

Some think “The End” suggested there were more tales to be told. Hurley and Ben remaining on the island was the equivalent of a western hero riding off into the sunset. You as the audience know there are still wrongs to be righted, evil to be fought, mysteries to be solved. But, we’ll never see these fights, because for us it is over. It was over right when they all crossed over into the great unknown in a Poly Faith sacred building.

I’ve embraced my other two blogs and have a new focus for the next few months—-Zombies!

Bite m--- I mean---Click me to read about zombies

I think we can all agree that the final season of Lost is one of the most argued about seasons of television ever. People are ravenous about how right they are and others are just wrong wrong wrong. If you’ve ever wandered through a Facebook message board on the subject of Lost, then you know what I’m talking about. I posted a link to one of my blog posts once, and it led to the near criminal level of harassment by a man ( I think it was a man) who conspicuously had the same name as a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy character, and even more conspicuously, looked just like Lou Feriggno. That was the first time that I saw how crazy this show was making people. This person decided that he was absolutely right about everything and was willing to take time out of his day to literally hunt down people on the internet and insult them via Facebook, Twitter, and any other venue he could uncover. I followed his harassment of other people for one afternoon and was amazed how crazed this person was.  It got pretty personal. I had no desire to be beaten up by the Hulk. Although he probably looked more like this guy though.

CYBER BULLY!

So, my point. People, not me, but people, are dissatisfied with the end. Certain people have pointed me in the direction of fan fictions that would have played out the final season in an entirely different manner. I looked at two of them. They weren’t horrible, but I enjoyed the final season more than these ideas.

I began writing a response to one of these hypothetical endings. It was only supposed to be a paragraph. ONE paragraph.

That wasn’t enough space to say what I needed to say.

That paragraph opened up to a one-page treatment of sorts. Still not enough.

That treatment then expanded into an outline with character descriptions.

Some of the scenes needed dialogue. So I wrote it. When I was through, I realized I had written fan fiction. Shit.

What I had written was an alternative “B” storyline which could have been in the place of the Afterlife/ Purgatory / Sideways / Happy Ending storyline. I don’t know how this happened, but it did. And (embarrassingly) here is the first couple parts:

What if this were season 6’s flashes?

Episode 1 – We open on a young man that we do not know (or do we?) on a small two-person sailboat in a large harbor full of giant cargo ships. He is looking for a crew to help him find a mythical island said to hold the key to the origins of mankind. He has no family. He is an orphan.

He has recurring dreams of violence and darkness. In these dreams a group of people are battling for their lives on an island that isn’t an island. This dream always ends with an explosion of pure white light that is engulfed in a cloud of darkness.

He wakes from the dream and walks up into the city from the harbor. He enters a bar, where a heavy-set man makes fun of him for not being old enough to drink, “Maybe you should go back to your mommy little man.”

He continues to the bar where a woman’s voice speaks to him from behind, “You’re Aaron, right? I’m Anise.”

He turns.

“Do I know you?”

“No. But I know you. I dreamt about you.”

Episode 2 –

Aaron repeats, “Do I know you?”

“I’m Anise, and I’ve been dreaming about you since I was a child”

In her dream, Anise is always standing with Aaron, and holding his hand as the white light explosion erupts towards them.  They establish that they remember each other from when they were children.  They remember being on a plane, then on an island.

Next time—–  They find a charter and a man named LaFleur.

If you happen to be a Lost fan, (well what would you be doing here if you weren’t?)  and you are  in New York on Saturday September 25, at 4:00PM, the 2010 New York Television Festival will be hosting a series of events around the city, amongst which is an event entitled Creating Character: A discussion with Michael Emerson.

First Appearance - Season 2, Ep. 14 "One of Them"

Michael Emerson took a guest  appearance and became one of the most compelling characters on one of the best shows in the last decade.  He would consistently surprise in a show full of surprises.  His technique and mastery of his innate creepiness is something to be admired.  He can crack his voice as he raises an octave and create a tension most actors  never come close to achieving.   When Ben enters a room you never know if he’s going to hug, stab, converse, shoot, or just shake hands.  He is a wild card in a deck full of jokers.

Here is a description from the NYTVF website about the event:

The character of Ben Linus on “Lost” is one of the most memorable in the history of the medium. The actor who embodied him, Michael Emerson, was cast as a result of his Emmy winning turn as another indelible character: William Hinks on “The Practice.” Join us for an actor¹s point of view on how to create memorable characters.

I will gleefully be in attendance to bask in the presence of one of TV greatest villains.

Oh yeah!  The best part is—– It’s free!  Go get  tickets while you can! at this link :

http://www.thefestguide.com/nytvf2010/Creating_Character.html

Hello. You want to hang out and create character?

Now, we all know that Polar Bears do not belong in Hawaii.  It is not their natural habitat.  The Dharma Initiative had them for their studies, and at some point, they teleported the Bear off the island, using the Donkey Wheel.  I guess.  I never thought about that until now.  How did they get the bear to turn the wheel?  Hmmm.  Strange.

I think there was a second polar bear though, and he was teleported to Kenab, Utah.  How do I know?

What is behind me?

A few days ago, through a series of random events, a room full of drunken people applauded me for my love of Lost.

Here is how it happened.

Last Friday, it was HOT. We had a few days in a row of near 100-degree temperatures. On a day like that, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove. So we went to the bar for dinner and a beer. Sitting on the patio in back, I noticed that the furniture is similar to the IKEA furniture I bought a week ago. That gets me thinking.

Five days earlier than that, I was in my backyard water-sealing our new patio furniture. It was really hot that day as well. At one point I went inside for a glass of water and noticed that the TV was on. My hands were covered in sealant, so I carefully picked up the remote to turn it off. I decided to check the DVR. It was nearly at capacity. The largest file on it was the Lost finale recorded in HD. (Yeah, I haven’t erased it! Big Whoop!) I wondered if I should erase it finally. I tossed the remote on the coffee table, and the finale picked up from where I left off at last viewing. The final ten minutes was playing in beautiful HD. I was mesmerized. I sat down and watched.

My wife came in to see where I was. I turned the TV off. I looked guilty. She was outside in the hot sun doing work, and I’m drinking ice water in the living room watching Lost. When I said “Lost–,” She said “Oh. Ok.” And accepted that I got distracted and it was beyond my control.

Back at the bar, last Friday, I made all of those connections in my head and began talking to my wife about the finale for the umpteenth time. She asked how did I just go from “isn’t this great patio furniture?” to “Jack stumbling through the bamboo forest.” I began to explain, when a man walked up and interrupted “Are you guys here for the high school 20th reunion?”

I told him “No.” I should have asked, “Is there an open bar?”

He smiled as he walked away, but then he stopped.

He approached us again with a weird smile on his face and said “I know you from someplace. You look just like that guy from that TV show.”

My wife laughed out loud, because people constantly mistake me for someone else.

I asked, “What show?”

He said “Lost.”

My wife said “Daniel Faraday?”

He said, “Yes!”

I said I was not he.

Then about a half-an-hour later, I walked to the bar to settle my bill. I walked past the reunion party, when the same guy pointed me out to the crowd. He declared, “See! I told you Daniel Faraday was here!” And I was applauded by a room full of 37 and 38-year-old drunk people.

Through a random series of events: Ikea, water sealing, a full DVR, a heat wave, my love of beer, and my chameleon-like ability to look like other people, I was applauded for Lost. Weird.

13 Noms! Who Will Win? Who will lose? How will Ben use this to his advantage?

The Emmy nominations are in, and there is a lot of love for my favorite TV show. If I had my way, I’d cancel the broadcast and just ship all the awards to Cuse and Lindelof, but I am not in charge. Luckily they are not up against Glee in any categories. Unfortunately they do have other tough contenders. There is Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, who uttered my favorite line of dialogue in the past six-months during the penultimate episode of this past season, and all he said was “Run!” In addition, there is Treme, Mad Men, True Blood, and the list goes on and on.

Here are the categories and individuals nominated for Lost:

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Damon Lindelof, Writer

Carlton Cuse, Writer

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Jack Bender, Director


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series


Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Terry O’Quinn as John Locke

Michael Emerson as Ben Linus



Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Michael Giacchino, Composer

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Stephen Semel, Editor

Mark J. Goldman, Editor

Christopher Nelson, Editor

Henk Van Eeghan, Editor

Outstanding Drama Series

Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Outstanding Special Class Programs

ABC’s LOST Presents: Mysteries Of The Universe – The Dharma Initiative •

abc.com/lost • ABC Digital Media

Christopher J. Powers, Producer

Ted Bramble, Producer

Agnes Chu, Producer

Gregg Nations, Producer

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Thomas E. deGorter, Sound Supervisor

Joe Schultz, MPSE, Sound Editor

Paula Fairfield, MPSE, Sound Editor

Carla Murray, MPSE, Sound Editor

Maciek Malish, MPSE, Sound Editor

Lloyd Jay Keiser, Sound Editor

Geordy Sincavage, Sound Editor

Allen Mark, Sound Editor

Robert Kellough, Sound Editor

Chris Reeves, Sound Editor

Gabrielle Reeves, Sound Editor

Alex Levy, Music Editor

Adam De Coster, Foley Artist

James Bailey, Foley Artist

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One

Hour)

Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Bobby Anderson, Production Sound Mixer

Ken King, Production Sound Mixer

Frank Morrone, Re-Recording Mixer

Scott Weber, Re-Recording Mixer

Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series

Lost • Ab Aeterno • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Zack Grobler, Production Designer

Matthew Jacobs, Art Director

Carol Bayne Kelley, Set Decorator

Good Luck Lost!

Unexplainable pseudoscience technology has been the MacGuffin or catalyst for many good character driven sci-fi stories over the years. Storytellers have formulated hypotheses regarding the future of mankind ever  since Verne and Wells first wrote their tales of trips to the moon, time travel, underwater adventures, etc. I recently watched the film TiMER, starring Emma Caulfield of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. TiMER is a film set in a very near future, in which Scientists have been able to break down our auras, or time-lines, or pheromones, or something, so they can pin-point the exact day in your individual future that you will meet your honest to goodness soul mate. A TiMER, seen in the above picture, is then implanted in your wrist, which will count down until that day.

Damn it! I'm thirty!

The concept of the TiMER, in the wrong hands could have easily become a Logan’s Run, as thirty-year-olds obviously rebel against the stigmas that goes with age. Instead, it is a wonderful character film, which does–actually— like Logan’s Run, follow 29-year-old Oona as she approaches her thirtieth birthday, and worries that she will be alone forever. You see, Oona’s TiMER is blank. Which can mean one of three things: 1. Her soul mate doesn’t have a TiMER. They both need to have one for some reason. 2. She missed her chance. Or 3. She doesn’t have a soul mate.

The opening weekend gross of ROTK was strategically placed in the news scroll placing the intro of the TiMER in 2003.

The technology in TiMER is handled in such a wonderful and simultaneously ‘as a matter of fact’ way that it really needs no explanation, just an introduction.  The film opens with a series of news clips introducing the TiMER circa 2003.Through this montage, we arrive at the future, or rather the present of the film and a TiMER TV commercial, which markets the TiMER eerily like an  Apple product. Now, I do love my Mac, but it did not introduce me to my wife— who also has a Mac— Oh crap. Did we meet because of the Apple Corporation?! Digressing too far. The technology is simply stated at the beginning of the film to be what it was. Nothing else was necessary. The rest of the film is character driven.

Like the TiMER, Lost introduced several technologies and sciences that were simply stated for what they were. Like Han Solo declaring that the Kessel Run record-breaking ship the Millenium Falcon is the fastest ship in the Galaxy because it has a hyperdrive.  We just accept these scientific impossibilities because a character told us it was so, and it has been established in their universe that these things are possible. Some of these pseudosciences in Lost were as follows:

  • An Arctic Station to detect and pinpoint specific EM radiation bursts with amazing accuracy.
  • A Rat that is bathed in radiation so it’s mind travels into the future and it knows a path through a maze that it never ran before.
  • A magic button that will release magic electromagnetic energy every 108 minutes, thus saving the planet and maybe universe from annihilation.
  • Healing waters of a jungle temple protected by a hippie cult.
  • Time and space shifting donkey wheels.
  • Teleporting Islands.

Some Lost Science

But, my favorite was the time travel and characters becoming unstuck in time. The characters accepted the Time Travel with such ease, that I as a viewer accepted it as well. One day they were wandering the present day jungle, a flash of white light washed over them, and they found themselves in the 70’s. They accepted the shift, why wouldn’t I?

Another recent viewing, which, while amusing, could have played up its reality shifting goodness A LOT MORE, was Hot Tub Time Machine. I mean, come on, lets talk about a ridiculous time travel technology. They spill an illegal russian red bull called Chernobly on the controls of a hot tub, and their consciousnesses travel in time like Elly the rat! Whatever, I buy it. That is what I came here for. I rented this film knowing what I was getting into.  The only real problem I had with this film was that it felt like it was written by some kid that never experienced the eighties. He or she was probably a teen in the nineties and just wiki’d the eighties.  So they included the highlights of the 80’s, i.e. “Where’s the beef?, Poison,  Jessie’s Girl, flourescent clothing, etc.  There was so much more to the 80’s to make fun of.   Since it was at a Ski resort, I was hoping that Cusack’s character Adam would run into Lane Meyer, whom Cusack played in 1986’s Better Off Dead, another 80’s ski comedy.  That meeting would have been like a triple paradox!   Instead, they created way too much drama for four characters (A broken marriage, a suicide attempt, a shattered Cusack who ominously says “I didn’t do anything”) when it really should have been hilarity right through the whole thing.

80's things to make fun of: Sweat bands, John Travolta, One-man-army films, John Hughes, Ollie North, a Character that might be a Communist, a shopping montage, a training montage, someone randomly breaks into dance, nerds become cool, nerds get the girl, Jocks are evil, Principals or Deans are the devil, The Brat Pack, a robot with personality, and it should have ended with the entire resort gathering around someone doing something truly good and heroic and they would all applaud.

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