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Posts tagged ‘TV’

PATTERNS = Memos from the Muse

September 15, 2015



Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…

In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns. 

Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:

(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)

Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???

And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.

Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.

How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?

So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.

Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.

I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.

I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.

I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:

The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.

Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project

‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.

Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’

I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:

A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.


A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch —  ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’.  I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.  

You can probably guess what two words were exchanged. ;)

That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.

Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.

Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…

To be useful in this moment.

Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!

The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!


What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?

And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?

Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…

Because WHIMSY!



December 7, 2014



Happy December, kittens and cats!

With the Holy-days in full swing, it felt like high time for a wee creative break from all things bookish…you know…at least until the Boxing Day deals kick in.

I’ve been a fan of spoken word pieces for a few years now — good storytelling is good storytelling, and it ain’t useful being a slave to format or genre.  But truthfully?  I’ve never had to guts to perform one live.  Live audiences can be insanely hard to impress, particularly when you have a world champion spitting hot truth in your backyard.

Still, the itch remained.


I’ve been quietly nurturing a vid channel for a while now; mostly it’s for short films and animations, trailers, and the odd caffeinated rant, and subscribers seem to dig it.  But now, thanks to some solitude, a little tech, WWW image searches, and a pair of mirrored shades..?

It time to get slammy.

There are currently three pieces live.  I hope to post a new one monthly throughout 2015.  Sure…I won’t be approaching Epic Rap Battle’s turf anytime soon…but, if this thing catches on, I’ll (eagerly) begin taking topic requests.  Huzzah.

Peace on Earth, and goodwill to Men…and Women…and furred and feathered friends.



IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! 7 Must-haves for the TWIN PEAKS Revival on Showtime

October 7, 2014



(by Brooke Burgess)

I am full of secrets. It’s true. But there’s one thing about my journey as a storyteller that has never been a mystery:

Twin Peaks was (and is) one of my biggest creative influences. Ever.


You want proof?  These things I tell you will be true:

  • I watched the whole series when it aired. Live. Yes…yes I am dating myself, but this old Owl is not what he seems.
  • I saw the feature film – the much maligned, yet now overwhelmingly respected slice of suburban horror, Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) – six (6) times in the theatre. At least one of those viewings was sober. Honest.
  • I’ve since owned every available edition of the pilot, collected series, and film (except for Japanese laserdisc. I know, I know…slacker).
  • The TWIN PEAKS Entire Mystery BluRay is on my Christmas list. If Santa doesn’t love me, I will steal a player just to see the 90min of delected scenes from FWWM, which I have signed four petitions to help bring to life.
  • I wrote an award-winning Fringe Festival play in 1996 whose climax paid direct homage to a scene from the film. People gasped in horror. There was weeping, and much gnashing of teeth. I was happy.
  • David Lynch’s obsession with creating mood and tension and surreal ‘hyper-reality’ states with audio became my own. I did my darnedest to slip some of his tricks into early game work at Electronic Arts.  Maybe you should try hunting down one of these
  • I attended the 1998 Twin Peaks Fan Festival in North Bend, WA. I had donuts, cherry pie, and many a mug of coffee. Oh…and I spent a whole night with this man from another place, learning to speak backwards.
  • BROKEN SAINTS, in many ways, was a 10-hr homage to Mark Frost’s serialized storytelling chops, and Lynch’s A/V style. If you think that’s an exaggeration, then you haven’t seen the intro to this.
  • My new children’s fiction books – THE SHADOWLAND SAGA – are structured like a limited run TV series peppered with quirky characters, absurd humour, a layered mystery, and chilling otherworldly dreamscapes. The first book (The Cat’s Maw) has no fewer than three nods to Peaks dialogue. And yes..there will be a contest.

Read more


June 3, 2013




The Red Wedding hurts because it’s real.

We know what should happen.  The Hero’s Journey archetypes have conditioned us into comfort and expectation.

Yet our lives have shown us, too many times, what will happen.

We see the evil in men’s hearts.

We learn that ‘good guys’ rarely win.  That honour no longer holds sway in the world at large.

We face the heavy truth that Love is ill-equipped to ‘conquer all’.

And yet..?

We endure.  We accept.  We transform.

Bad things happen every day.  Terrible things.  And all that we hold dear is eventually taken from us.  Parents.  Lovers.  Friends.  Children.  Beloved pets.  Each are destroyed by the selfish, frightened, power-mad hands of another.  Or the ravages of Time.

It’s how we react to these tragedies that defines us.  How we are shaped by them.  Bettered by them.  Like I’ve said a thousand times, if I’ve said it once:

We are taken to the forge, battered and burned and beaten some more…thrust in the flames to the point of dissolution…

…until we become a Sword.

Do not weep for the Starks on this day.

Do not curse the gods, or abandon all hope in the unseen engines of Fate.

Instead?  Say a prayer for the survivors.  Send them strength, so that they may emerge from their pits of suffering and sadness. With fire in their bellies, courage in their hearts, and minds sharpened like unholy razors.

Winter is coming.

And, may the Seven have mercy on any soul who has been marked for Her wrath.

What’s YOUR Story?

June 6, 2012



Special thanks to Hulo Films for the shoot/edit, and Tobias Tinker for the tunes!




PLATFORM(S):  Graphic Novel / TV Pitch / Web

GENRE:   Sci-Fi

CLIENT:  3Brane Entertainment

Collaborating with established producer and IP creator Nastasha Baron (Kingdoms of Grace) to package her exciting new sci-fi graphic novel project, and capitalize on its transmedia potential.  With two completed issues (available in print and digital), we focused on the following strategy to get the property ready for the spotlight:

  • Working from existing bible outlines, breaking out a story arc that would clearly showcase what an initial ‘season’ of television would look like.   This would be then be adapted to a ‘stand alone’ graphic novel, comprised of five acts/issues.
  • Building a ‘tastemaker’ presence on Tumblr, employing daily genre posts (focusing on mainstream projects with similar themes and appeal) to engage her core audience.  In less than 6 months, her ‘geek oasis’ has received countless post reblogs and likes, with regular mentions of Grey Seal increasing brand awareness well ahead of any official release.
  • Consulting on all aspects of packaging including: logline, series summary, comparative analysis, broadcaster pitches, indy fundraising, and long-term transmedia strategy.
  • ADR direction of Tamoh Penikett (BSG) for the Grey Seal motion comic trailer.


Lt Commander Trevor Jones.  US Navy Seal.  Decorated veteran….and paraplegic.  A man trapped in a sweeping conspiracy on this world — and a puppet for forces from another.  Follow his struggle to uncover the truth behind haunting flashes of ‘missing time’, a powerful alien artifact, and the mind-bending possibility that he’s much more than human:  he’s the GREY SEAL.


Wapos Bay Logo

TIMELINE:  2010 – 2011

PLATFORM(S):  Web, Videogame

GENRE:  Animated Children’s content (stop-motion)

CLIENT:  Karma Film

I was contracted to implement a ground-floor imagining of the design, interactive narrative, production management, and creative direction for a multi-pronged digital experience for this beloved Gemini Award-winning stop-motion animated children’s series.

  • Designed user experience and overall media campaign strategy
  • Produced/directed all in-studio production, technical assets, and audio/visual contributions
  • Steered marketing strategy and ensured overall project timeline/budget adherence
  • Secured additional national funding for ‘PHASE 2’ of the web experience:  a Mariokart-inspired videogame, featuring hundreds of unique series characters and assets.
  • Designed, produced and directed the game – Wapos Racerz to completion with my recommended development team.
  • Consulted on production and design for the Wapos Bay iPAD experience, now available!

Experience the heart-warming world of Wapos Bay HERE.  (Flash required)

Chipping at narrative marble…

November 9, 2010


If only you could make sense of this...

Early work on what is potentially one of THE coolest transmedia campaigns yet conceived…

And the real beauty of it?

You’ll have no clue that you were sucked in until it’s over.  Fact.

I'm gonna get you soooooooooooo good...



July 26, 2010


Work/Play in Progress...


Stuck behind a desk?

I will think of you fondly

as I play with dolls



May 24, 2010


As most Geminis tend towards, I’m of two minds regarding the LOST finale.  After 6 years and 100+hrs of direct viewing investment – not including discussion forums, fan films, ARGs, and more than a few diluted attempts at transmedia extension of the property – we the audience craved Resolution.  And now, on the DAL (Day After LOST), a lot of the show’s Followers (Christian Shepherd, indeed) are of similar mind:

“Intellectually disappointing…yet emotionally fulfilling.”

And I agree with this to a certain extent.  It nagged at me throughout the broadcast, this ever-present specter of Unanswered Questions.  The canyon-sized plot holes of tail-eating logic.  The long-dangling threads of era-splintering Mythology.  Big Moments – imbued with seeming importance for many seasons – now dissolved like so much dirt in the glowing heart of the Island Washing Machine.   My rational mind – my scientist – kept pursing his lips and shaking his head and scoffing at cracks in the Design.

But then came the Sum of all things…

Read more


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