First off, any WB lawyers: it wasn't me.
Second: sorry if I'm behind on e-mails, folks, got a vicious deadline just popped up on a script.
Third: Well, Global Frequency is out on Bittorrent.
To say emotions are mixed on this getting exposure, well ... I haven't written a lot on GF not getting picked up. Primarily because that one, of all of them, broke my goddam heart. A year and a half of writing and sweat and production disappeared down the TV pilot hole, not to mention some truly incredible work by Josh Hopkins, Aimee Garcia, the young woman who every geek guy I know said "Oh, hey, the new Gillian Anderson, congrats" -- Jenni Baird. And, of course, Michelle Forbes as Miranda FUCKING ZERO. You can't look at her in this role without saying "Holy shit, that's Miranda FUCKING ZERO!"
Everybody, from director Nelson McCormick to the producer humans (RACHEL!!!) to the FX guys slaved away on this, and what was wonderful was that for all of them, you could tell, it was a labor of love. I've done my share of pilots, boyo, and the vibe on this one was different. Warren, that black-hearted bastard, touched something deep here, and I was lucky to be the guy to try to get it out to the masses.
What happened? TV happened. Even Mark Burnett (who was pretty cool, AND can kill you with his thumbs) couldn't beat it this time. Despite having some great execs, and even testing pretty well, we got hit by a change of network presidents in the middle of the shoot. I know, every guy in the industry just instinctively winced when I said that. David Janolari was a gent about it, but between some differing creative visions and network/studio gunk, all the best intentions in the world weren't going to get us there.
Also, in completely honest retrospect, what the hell was I thinking? It's a show about how the institutions around us have failed us, and we live in a world of chaos and death, held back only by borderline sociopaths. The HAPPY ending is our hero shoots an innocent man in the face. Oh yeah, slot us right in after Gilmore Girls.
Is it perfect? Shit no. There are a bunch of cuts I've rethought, and if we'd been picked up I'd go back and reshoot that damn alley scene -- it was backlot for scheduling, and as great as Nelson and our DP were, as heroic as the design guys were, they couldn't beat the look of it. Aleph's Control was intentionally smallish and real-tech -- we were going to build it out into that open space as the show progressed, to show how the Frequency was expanding. Dead honest, if it weren't my show, I'd give it mayb a B+. Some of you, I'm quite sure, are going to hate the guts out of it.
But, you know what -- we had something there. I had a line of writers (at one point, essentially the entire ANGEL staff) ready to go -- each and every one chomping at the bit, some ready to start work for free if need be. We had a five year plan, with a goddam MORAL, not some flash pilot and wing it out as we go ... but most of all, we had that concept. Warren Ellis's beautiful, crystalline find. In a TV wasteland, we had the one show that wasn't just about stories, it was about SOMETHING -- faith in us. Not faith in the treacherous fat white men in suits, not power, not money -- faith in US. It's not four camera redneck jokes or horny housewives or sexy rich teens with troubles or venal everymen cutting each other's fucking throats to win some trumped up Skinner show, but it's something.
And seeing as I'm way too busy actually working to do any serious blogging for the next few days, I'm just going to post some shots I took during production. Nothing from my copy of the pilot, of course, that would be wrong. But these are personal rehearsal shots, so in short, anybody with a problem with this can really, really bugger off.
One quick story: There's a sequence in the show, when Aleph gets everyone on the Frequency, and they figure out what the problem is. All these citizen-experts, pitching in to save strangers' lives. To get a good feel for the timing, all the actors were kind enough to show up on that shoot night (Aimee shot separately) at 3 am and do their parts LIVE. So it played out, just like on the show -- the call went out, people responded, voices chiming in, all in one, long flawless take ... like it was actually happening.
It was incredible, one of those alchemical moments were it stopped being television, stopped being a performance, and actually took us to another world.
Nelson calls "cut". I step into the set, basically this glorified warehouse, and realize that there's a weird silence. Cast and crew are spooked. Some people are tearing up, I actually hear a little sniffling. I turn to one of the show staff and say "Hey, you okay? What's wrong?"
And she bursts into tears. "I was just ... what if it were real? Wouldn't it be beautiful if people could really ..." And she fades out, wipes her eyes. Whispers: "It would just be so amazing if it were real."
That's right. For two glorious minutes in a waterfront shed in Vancouver, the Global Frequency was real. And it destroyed people. For just the chance at that, I'm glad I tried.
ADDENDUM: Please see this post. And new summary of all posts on this subject here.
(a reminder -- GLOBAL FREQUENCY, all plots and characters and the logo thereof, are property of DC Comics, and the TV pilot script and broadcast production of GLOBAL FREQUENCY (etc. etc.) are property of Warner Bros. Television, as far as I know. Nothing on this site is to be considered a challenge to that copyright)