Some of you have seen the poster to an upcoming POWDER RIVER feature, called THIS SIDE OF FURY. I thought I would write a short note on how that came about.
There is a celebrity that I would like to work
with as a guest star on POWDER RIVER, and I was going to be meeting with
him; however at the last minute I realized that presenting a script
would be better than "talk" - so on a Wednesday night (I was meeting him
in three days) I got the bright idea that I could write a feature
length production in three days. I phoned Exec Producer Mark Vander Berg
who thought it was a good move - and also crazy, and then I called
Deniz Cordell and told him my plan - he also saw the wisdom of
presenting a completed script, and also that it would be a back-breaker
to do (A feature length script is about 90 pages). I shanghaied him into
service and we kicked around some possible ideas.
already had the title; "This Side Of Fury," which was planned as the
opening episode for Season 10 - however the storyline I had in mind for
that episode would not work as feature since it ran off of the Season 9
finale - so I would need to get a new title for that episode, and create
a new storyline for the feature length "FURY." After about an hour,
Deniz and I had come up with enough to get started, and off I went!
through the night new scenes developed and I sent the pages to Deniz
for his two cents and ideas - there was not going to be any wiggle room
for re-writes at a later date, which is how it usually goes. The sun
came up on the next day and I saw the kids getting on the school bus
across the street as a new pot of coffee was brewing and the story
continued to develop all day long and into the next night.
lines were changed and re-done - a new idea would come into play which
meant a new "lead in" would need to be written (and another re-write). I
had a music meeting scheduled with our composer Jeff Gage for Thursday
afternoon, which I canceled because I needed to keep going; happily he
was okay with the last minute change! At this point I was fifty pages
into the script. Deniz would read them and send back thoughts and ideas,
and the process continued.
Thursday night came
along, and more coffee was brewing. The story had taken a remarkable
turn that not only played into the back story of the entire series, but
had that "edge" that will shock the fans and at the same time is totally
probable and obvious. We both started to get very excited about the
story and where it was leading .... but it could not be rushed ...
pacing is important.
I was lucky that Deniz was
on the other end checking the script not only for typos but for story
development; this one did not have the luxury of having a story outline
for development and a second draft after completion.
arrived on Friday morning and the kids got back onto the school bus as
the story was plowing forward, and continued to do so all day Friday.
writing stopped on Friday evening as we had two episodes of ROYALL
HOUSE that needed to be recorded. The session took three and a half
hours, and soon after that I went into the WBZ studios in Boston to do
THE JORDAN RICH SHOW and a 1AM appearance with Flint Dille and David
Marconi to promote AGENT 13. I got back home from the show at around
three in the morning, and continued to work on the script until almost
It was now Saturday morning.
But we were done.
delivered the script to the actor who I am hoping will guest star. I
have doubts that he will do it - however in the end I think we have one
of the more exciting POWDER RIVER adventures to date, and the fact that
it was done so quickly, in a 72 hour marathon, makes it all the more
We'll record it (even if the guest star we
pitched to declines), release it, and see what the PR fans think ... but
no matter what the reviews are, it was something that I can't believe
we pulled off .....
.... and something I'll never forget and hopefully will never have to do again!