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Space Company as a drama television show

Posted by: FerrisValyn - Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:24 am
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Space Company as a drama television show 
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Space Walker
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Post Space Company as a drama television show   Posted on: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:24 am
Hey everyone,

I was thinking about how to help sell space to the average person, and a thought hit me - what about doing a drama based on a fictional company thats pursuing space? I know this was kinda tried in the 90s, with Nasa and the television show The Cape, but I think people would be more receptive to this (Maybe I am being delusional, but I think they would).

The main characters I was thinking so far (yea, I started to flesh this out a bit) are as follows

The engineering pair - 2 engineers, 1 an emotional train wreck waiting to happen and another who is obsessed with X-Files/conspiracy type stuff. Both are fairly recent college graduates. Not actually related to each other. Have been friends for a while

The intial financeer - He made decent money during Internet boom, founded the company with the engineering pair, but didn't really having the money to get far - ended up seeking outside investment.

The patriarch (might be matriarch)- Older man, made significant money, was born into significant money, came in when there was a minor financial crisis, interest in space seems minor, but in fact runs quite deep - bit of a hard nose.

Test pilot - female, is actually a daughter of the patriarch, always looking for a rush (recurring character, not necessarily major character)

Accountant - female, also daughter of the patriarch - has love/hate relationship with test pilot (feeling is mutual) no real love of space, brought in after an accident in pilot to keep things honest

Thoughts?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:37 am
Why not base a series of programmes on Armadillo, showing what ordinary guys are capable of?

You could compress what happens over say an 18 month period into a few hor documentaries which culminate in a successful suborbital flight like they did for Scaled's Black Sky programme. The difference would be that the people involved are not being paid to achieve this they are all volunteers.

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Post The problem with documentaries is   Posted on: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:42 pm
Ultimatly, they are short term, and, well, they are percieved as boring. You aren't gonna get NBC, CBS, ABC, or Fox to do any sort of documentary.

The reason I was going for a fictionalized company as a drama is that you can get in all the gritty details that really make for a good story, in the sense of most tv shows, like Lost, or West Wing, or Gilmore Girls, with sex, betrayl, all the usual stuff you'll find in normal dramas.

I enjoyed Black Sky, and the Horizon that focused on Space Tourism - I just don't think you'll reach that many more people with another documentary. This has the potential I'd think to reach a lot more people.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:32 pm
Black Sky was great, but to reach the masses, indeed we need something fictional. Black Sky is cool, if you have some personal interests in it.

I hope a fictional serie, would "create" more interests for documentaries like Black Sky etc.

A fictional Story can be written with details, to make it popular for many more people. And it can have a lot more content, building upon it, without each time new actors/people, as in a documentary.

I think the main problem is... who's going to provide money to make it... or to invest a lot of time.. to convince those people...

Btw, FerrisValyn, Welcome on the forum :)

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Post Well, one place to pitch it   Posted on: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:54 pm
would be to some of the new Companies. Talk about great PR. As far as convincing people, I think it could be done, and, assuming I do go to the ProSpace thing in DC (I plan on it, but there are a few issues to work out), I intend to talk to some people there about it. Admitadly, its a little distance from Hollywood, but you know what they say about strange bedfellows

Also, I'd love to suggest this to Peter Diamandis.

BTW, thanks for the welcome.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:24 am
Hello, FerrisValyn,

it seems to be a little off your idea but it might serve as a catalyst: What about trying to involve SS2 into the movie? far as I remeber the production of movies costs around one million - so it might be possible to involve an actor doing a suborbital flight as passenger of SS2.

On the other hand this involvement could be considered as PR for Virgin Galactice - PR because advertisement this way would be against the laws (in Germany at least)

I shortly considered an orbital flight by Soyuz too but this will be significantly off a budget for a movie.

What do you think?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:48 am
Well, 2 things - as I said, this would be a television show ie series, not a single movie. Single movies suffer from the same problem that documentaries suffer from. However, as far as it goes, I'd be all for that. In fact, that is the reason I said pitch it to the new companies - If you could take it, to say, Virgin Galactic, or SpaceDev (I have to admit, I think the dreamchaser is kinda pretty), or Armadillo, or Da Vinci, or any of em - I mean, talk about the potential for pr.

Of course, they would have to understand - they would get no say in the character development. The people in the show aren't gonna be based on Rutan, or Carmack, or Branson, or Bezos, or any of those guys. But, assuming that a particular company signs on, and agrees to provide most/all of the flight shots for the show, then that would be the vehicle that the fictional company is using (and you could always end with a thank you message to the people of Company X whose providing the specs and the vehicle shots), and it would do only what the real company says it can do. That sounded a little off, but I hope that last sentence made sense


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:30 pm
We just need an asteroid strike somewhere to scare the public into understanding that space is a very real part of their lives.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:15 am
publiusr wrote:
We just need an asteroid strike somewhere to scare the public into understanding that space is a very real part of their lives.


Thats naive, publisher, at least for Americans. One would think with all thats been thrown at us in the past 5 years, we would've been scared back into sanity. That clearly hasn't been happening, given the fool we've relected, the slant the press has taken, and as Bill Mahr put it "scuse me, but Jude Law is banging the Nanny, and that is diverting us from whats really important and that is going on with Tom and Katy."

The only way to get people interested in it is that space has to become wraped into their own ego. which can most likely happen by sex appeal, or money appeal.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:33 pm
Maybe we need to use some of the resources that are searching for extra terrestrial intelligence to search for terrestrial intelligence.
.
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Oh who am I kidding; that would be a waste of time since there is none!


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:10 am
So, now that we've traveled off path, can we get back to the topic of a Space Drama tv show? Suggestions? Ideas? Thoughts?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:55 am
G'day.

Just having a show that dealt with a rocket startup would have the same problem as The Cape. It would be far to limiting. A TV show needs to have endless story potential. There was a lot of drama with the Spaceship One launch, but I doubt you could have spun it out into a TV series. Movie yes. TV show no.

You need to take a broader approach. Have a TV show that realistically dealt with the whole of the Space enterprise. NASA, alt.space, military, even to paranormal. But don't make it a science fiction show.

Here is my proposal.

Three astronauts get kicked out of NASA . They think they have treated badly by NASA but instead of fighting NASA decide to get back at NASA by
showing them up.

The three astronauts are 1) An older experianced pilot astronaut who has been into space several times.
2) A younger, hot shot pilot who has never been in space and
3) a scientist mission specialist who has flown on the ISS

This gives you the classical 3 story archtypes -Emotional person, Rational person and the Spiritial person.

They form a company called Astronauts Inc. and hire out their services.

In one episode they can help an alt.space company fly its rocket. In another they can do secret work for DOD. They can chase stolen Mars meteorites and prove/disprove UFO stories. There would a never ending story posibilities.

Scientists as heros are now in on TV. Consider the success of the CSIs and Numbers. I'm sure such a show could work.


ta

Ralph


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:20 pm
Ralph Buttigieg wrote:
G'day.

Just having a show that dealt with a rocket startup would have the same problem as The Cape. It would be far to limiting. A TV show needs to have endless story potential. There was a lot of drama with the Spaceship One launch, but I doubt you could have spun it out into a TV series. Movie yes. TV show no.


Only if you demand that every episodes main storyline be directly and always about space. However, if you take the appoarch that many of the storylines will not just be about space, and make it an arc, you aren't stuck with those problems.

Look at West Wing, or at LA Law, or Murphy Brown - Those shows were about a group of people positioned at a place of work. This would be the same sort of show. The key is not trying to make the show about space, but make it about people at a particular company.

A good chunk, if not most, of the show would be the usual stuff about relationships, ie who is sleeping with who, betrayl (this would really come into play for the sisters) and other non-space stuff

For example, a big part of season 1 as I see it could be about the complete nervous break-down of one of the engineering pairs.

Ralph Buttigieg wrote:
You need to take a broader approach. Have a TV show that realistically dealt with the whole of the Space enterprise. NASA, alt.space, military, even to paranormal. But don't make it a science fiction show.

Here is my proposal.

Three astronauts get kicked out of NASA . They think they have treated badly by NASA but instead of fighting NASA decide to get back at NASA by
showing them up.

The three astronauts are 1) An older experianced pilot astronaut who has been into space several times.
2) A younger, hot shot pilot who has never been in space and
3) a scientist mission specialist who has flown on the ISS

This gives you the classical 3 story archtypes -Emotional person, Rational person and the Spiritial person.

They form a company called Astronauts Inc. and hire out their services.

In one episode they can help an alt.space company fly its rocket. In another they can do secret work for DOD. They can chase stolen Mars meteorites and prove/disprove UFO stories. There would a never ending story posibilities.

Scientists as heros are now in on TV. Consider the success of the CSIs and Numbers. I'm sure such a show could work.


ta

Ralph


Now, see, that I could see as a mini-series, but I don't see how you could make that into a larger show. It would come off as too preachy, at least IMHO.

You've got to make a show about people, not the business. Those are the shows that tend to flop.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:42 pm
It seems as if Fox have been reading this thread...

Quote:
Fox on Feb. 1 gave a green light to the SF drama pilot Beyond, from writer David Self (Road To Perdition), Variety reported.

Twentieth Century Fox TV and Imagine TV are behind the thriller, which takes place at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A global crisis helps launch a new race to space as the show opens, the trade paper reported.

Self will executive-produce with Imagine's Brian Grazer and David Nevins.


http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.ph ... 0&id=34467

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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:28 pm
Could be interesting - I'd want to hear more details before I'd say this is inline with what I am thinking.

Of course, I have to admit, Im annoyed that its fox, but I'd take it, if its well done


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