Some of you may have already noticed that in H+ The Digital Series there is a repetition regarding the name Francis and its variations. But what you may not know (unless you’re REALLY studied up on the series) is that it’s actually become very serendipitous during the making of this series.
I suppose it starts with the fact that Cosimo De Tommaso’s sister is named Francesca…
Which definitely inspired the character Francesca Rossi and perhaps subconsciously Francis Peters.
Then we cast actors named Francesca Fanti and Francesco Martino completely by coincidence… as well as Caitriona Balfe who has a brother named Francis (which is particularly serendipitous if you’ve really studied this series well).
A few members of the H+ crew have the name (ie, Francisca Torres, Matthew Francis Wilson) which certainly wasn’t lost on us during the shoot itself.
So what’s up with this?
It’s a very Catholic name, that’s for sure… and H+ certainly has its fair share of Catholic themes. Clearly, we wanted to tell a story that looked at the two most prominent ways humans have been trying to understand their universe… science and religion. But we weren’t specifically looking to infuse it with these types of strange symbolic coincidences.
Most people who know me, know that I’m not religious. Not at all. But I was raised Roman Catholic and so I do remember a great deal from my youth. I’m sure there was plenty that ended up in this story that was an unconscious flashback to my upbringing in the Catholic Church. How could it not. Over the past 25 years, however, I’ve grown into a very analytic thinker… very skeptical of anything that can’t hold up to scientific inquiry.
And yet with the first Pope in history just now taking the name Francesco, a serendipity seems to persist surrounding our work on H+… a piece of predictive futurist fiction, after all. And it’s one that’s hard to ignore or explain other than saying, “it’s just coincidence, move on”.
But I don’t want to move on. I want there to be a significance.
That doesn’t have anything to do with the scientific method, though, does it?
Yeah… I guess a lot has happened since my last post in July. And well… it’s clearly pulled me away from blogging in a major way.
I launched a series online this year that’s been going pretty well. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s called H+ (H+: The Digital Series if you dig on formalities). And it’s been a wild ride, to say the least. I’ve even picked up a few other projects along the way. I’ll talk about those in the coming week and months, I’m sure.
But yeah… busy year. Not a lot of time to just write for the hell of it.
And yet, I’ve really missed the blogging… writing for no other reason than to hear the clicking of my keyboard. It’s something I’ve been eager to start back up again for a while now.
So I’ve decided to hell with it, I’m coming back. And it feels right. I actually began blogging for the first time in 2008 as we started working on the script for H+ at Warner brothers. Now that we’ve begun work on H+ Season 2, what better time than now to return?
Some of you may also remember that this blog was really jump-started by a passion I had for writing about the TV shows I was watching at the time… and the occasional cartography that went with it. In fact, I’m sure many of you who have seen H+ can detect several of its influences.
I also talked a lot about social media back in those early blogging days, and that’s changed a lot since 2008, huh?
I told funny stories. Rants. Sometimes just straight-up blogging the depressing funks I was in (cause I like to keep it real). I shared stuff about the projects I was working on. Stuff you could see me in (I used to be an actor).
So yeah. You can probably expect more of the same. I’m just gonna stick with what I know. I even went back and reread my first post ever in order to get some inspiration for this one. So I’m really serious here.
Let’s see… I’m watching Breaking Bad right now and trying to catch up before Season 5-Part 2 starts (I’m on Season 3). I’ll likely blog the hell out of that show when it starts back up again. Game of Thrones for sure. Homeland. These are currently my jams.
My life has lots of weird things happening right now. A big turning point, I feel. So I imagine I’ll have some fun stories about my journey out here in La La Land.
And of course, I’ll also have a bit of sci-fi geekery for any interested parties… the kind of geeking some of you have seen here in the past. Only this particular sci-fi I know very well…
An H+ Community
You see, I’d also like to use this blog as a place for H+ fans to engage me directly about all things concerning the series. Many already do on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+… but I’d love to form a discreet little community for the series here. I think it’ll inspire us as we work on H+ Season 2. And in exchange, fans can expect insight into the series on a whole, our development process for H+ Season 2, and any other breaking news.
Now, for those of you who are happy to hear about the blogging return but not particularly interested in H+ Season 2 (or 1 for that matter), fear not. Any post dealing strictly with H+ will be labeled as such. And I’ll do my best to keep some variety.
So that’s about it.
Oh! Wait, no! I have to mention our great news! H+ won a Streamy this past weekend! Best Sci-Fi series on the web! Check out our acceptance speech below.
Two years of Comic Con in a row with a project I was promoting. That happened. Back in 2010 I didn’t think I’d see one Comic Con under those circumstances. But now I’m writing this post feeling… well… kind of like a Comic Con vet. What?
Some of you may remember my post from last year (hell, some of you may even remember seeing me AT the Con last year). Well this one was very different for me.
This year, I was there promoting the series. I know there were instagrams of me downing a few cocktails, and yes, I did party pretty hardy. But mostly I was there on a mission: to get this show on the radar. Not just teasing it like last year. We’re talking, on the floor shillin it, taking photos with random people (who somehow saw Brian Fuller under the hat and sunglasses… which, by the way, are prescription), signing frigging posters, panels, press junkets, you name it. I was this close to selling Sean Gunn to a group of teenage girls in exchange for helping me pass out fliers… but I was worried Warner Legal might have a problem with it… not selling Sean so much as the fact that the girls kept calling it HP.
H+ at Comic Con REDUX
Last year we were in the Indigo Ballroom talking to a room of like 2000. And let’s be honest, not really talking much about it. Just sort of talking around it.
This year, however, we were a part of the YouTube Fan Lounge, which probably saw about 5000 peeps over the course of the three days. We had a booth set up that was meant to be a testing facility for one of the important corporations in the series. Not sure how many people picked up on that. And I’m not really sure how many people actually subscribed to the channel after visiting the booth, but anyone who did got one of these naughty boys.
This is a one of a kind H+ collectible. This right here is gonna be mad worth one day, yo. It’s a USB bracelet, and it is awesome. I know you want one. Especially because there is a video on it we made especially for Comic Con. We shot it a couple weeks before the Con. And what was most exciting about that was knowing we can create more stuff like this for you guys throughout the run. Want to see that video? Okay… check it out:
I have to say, aside from all the promotion, though, there were some serious highlights during the weekend.
Okay, so I’m gonna paint a picture here for you. Close your eyes.
Oh shit. Open them, you have to read this.
Oh shit, you can’t hear me. Okay, I’ll just wait.
So we walk into the IGN party on Thursday night, the first night of Comic Con (it was me, Jason Taylor, Sean Gunn, and David Rogers), I look up at the stage which is, like, about 30 meters away, and who to my wondering eyes should be freestyling? The RZA. I’m like, “is that the friggin RZA? That’s the RZA!” And it was the RZA. It was the friggin RZA.
Comic Con, man.
After that, I feel like something magical happened… cause it was just nonstop bumping into people I knew the rest of the night. The rest of the Con really. Including folks who I had no idea were even at Comic Con. It was as though the RZA had this magical power to bring people together. It was beautiful. I was expecting my mom to suddenly appear. How crazy would it have been if my mom had appeared onstage with the RZA. Close your eyes and imagine that. Oh shit, sorry open them.
The Good Stuff
The Wired Cafe was of course another highlight of the Con this year. Although, last year the theme was True Blood and they had blood inspired drinks. I didn’t go near the bar because of it. This year, however… Game of THRIZIES!! Three specialty drinks: White Walkers, Wildfires, and Ice & Fires (lazy name that last one). White Walkers were basically just vodka, so they were a good palate cleanser. The Wildfires, though, became my drink throughout the weekend, and they were delicioso… oh-so-good.
Anyone who has been to the Wired Cafe will tell you, it’s hands down the best party at Comic Con. For several reasons.
1) It’s every day.
2) It’s all day.
3) It’s free drinks all day.
4) If you’re staying at the Omni (which we were, both this year and last) it’s in your hotel. That means you can wake up and just go down there in your pajamas.
But best of all, it’s loads of free stuff… and like good stuff.
Last year I got a wooden back for my iPhone. Not a wooden case. I had the back of my iPhone removed and replaced with a beautiful piece of hard wood. I love it still, to this day, and hope Apple doesn’t change the iPhone design too much that I can’t put it on a future phone.
I am officially addicted to Nanodots. I play with the 64 dots I was given, like, every day… even though 64 dots is NOT ENOUGH. I can’t even begin to list all the unfinished masterpieces I’ve had to abandon. I need more dots. I was considering taking a hole puncher to a couple of refrigerator magnets just to finish this cobra I was working on. I should be getting a new set soon.
Bodymedia is a system designed to give you an understanding of your daily physical activity… so that you can adjust it if you notice something’s a little off. The armbands normally cost $200. But not at the Wired Cafe! I started wearing mine within minutes of arriving on my first day there. And boy is it accurate. I was wearing it for about 4 hours on that first day before checking the data. Sure enough. It told me that I had been standing around drinking for the past 4 hours.
I really dig it though. I’ve been wearing it a bit since returning. I’m especially fascinated (read: disturbed) by the feature that tells you how well you sleep. I don’t sleep very well apparently. Not quite sure how to adjust that, though.
We did a signing for H+. That was fun… but also a little odd, since I’m sure no one there knew what the show even was. Seriously, I think we could have signed left over snickers wrappers and people would have lined up to get them. The truth is, most folks were there to say hello this this guy:
But one of my favorite things about the Con this year was getting to hang out with and meet some of you for the first friggin time! Again, thank you RZA. I met a bunch of folks this time… some of whom have been johncabrera.COMing it for years.
Jules “Gitterbubbles” Fishwick, you are awesome. You nearly broke a rib when you hugged me, but man was it long overdue. I also got to meet Jennifer Felder, Courtney Klems, and although we’ve already met, it was nice to see Amrie Cunningham again. By the way, those are the sinister eyes of Sean Gunn peeping over our shoulders in the picture above.
It was great. Just all around great. I must have talked to a good 1000 people while shilling H+, and in the process I made some awesome new friendships.
New York Screening
After Comic Con, though, we flew directly to NYC for more H+ promoting. We did another screening of the series which was equally as exciting and very well received. I was, however, exhausted. I have no idea how movie stars do promotional tours that are more than just one city. How the hell do they survive that?
Anyway, this was our panel after the screening. I really wish we could have shown it in more cities before launch. I’m just so jonezing for you guys to see this thing.
I also got to spend some quality time with my family. Cousins on both sides of the tree attended the show. The coolest part about that was how amazing both those dudes are despite how different. They’re also grown men now, and most of my memory of them was from when they were just little guys.
My sister also lives in New York, and some of you know from past posts that she and I are really close… and that we have been cut off from each other for years while she was living in Greece. We actually got to hang out all three days that I was there, which was so good for me. So needed.
And hopefully for H+ too, because I gave her a bunch of flyers to hand out at Times Square over the coming weeks.
What?! That is a totally acceptable request of a family member.
By the way… um… can you please click on one of the links below thanks?
So… if you are reading this very special H+ post at or around the very special time when it published (i.e. 6am), I am fast asleep and likely will not be awake for another several hours.
I was told by the good folks are Warner Premiere that by now they will have released info on our series to “The Wires”. I’m still not totally clear on what that means except people in the media are supposed to have access to it. All I can think of is the show “The Wire”, which I haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but I know it’s supposed to be good.
Anyway, bottom line… the info should be out by now. I say “should” because, who knows… maybe it’s not. I can’t be sure, because as I said, I’m sleeping right now. shhhhh.
What I do know is that I was given permission to schedule the following post with all of the same information that will appear in that press release. So at this point, there’s no turning back.
Here we go:
H+ Premiere Date and Series Rollout
We will be premiering H+, a series many of you know has been in my life for six long years, on…
August 8th, 2012
Actually now looking at that date, I’m realizing it’s been a little over six years. Wow.
It will be premiering on a premium YouTube channel designed solely around the series… and its URL will go by the name of: http://youtube.com/HPlusDigitalSeries. At the time I was writing this post, that channel was not yet live… but I was told it would be live when the press release went out. Is it live now? Don’t know. I’m sleeping.
That channel will be releasing episodes of the series every Wednesday. The episodes are short, so we’ll be releasing multiple at a time. We’ll also be filling the channel with lots of other forms of content relevant to the series. That stuff will go live Mondays and Fridays and include things like interviews with cast and creators, behind the scenes, recaps, teasers, clues, breakdowns, and extra story content to enrich the experience and help piece together the series mystery.
In fact, the moment that channel goes live, you could say we are unofficially launched, because over the next month we will be releasing a bunch of exclusive content that’ll get viewers prepped for the story. I’ll have my hand in all of it, so it’ll definitely be a part of the larger mythos. So what are you waiting for?! Subscribe to the channel now!!
… oh, it’s not live yet? Um… okay well, then wait a few more hours… then subscribe!
We’ve got a bunch of incredible talent in the series. Here are some faces you might know well:
David Rogers (Jane by Design)
Alexis Denisof (Buffy, Angel)
Hannah Simone (The New Girl)
Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls)
Amir Arison (Homeland, American Horror Story)
Samuli Vauramo (Beauty and the Bastard)
Hannah Herzsprung (Vier Minuten, Der Baader Meinhof Komplex)
Caitriona Balfe (Super 8)
Lela Loren (Lost)… I don’t think she knows this, but I geeked out pretty hard when we cast her… she played Jacob and Smokey’s biological mom.
And we’re gonna be at Comic Con again this year. This time, we’ll be part of a special 3 day Google/YouTube event featuring several (I think it was like 5 or 6) premium YouTube channels in the geeky Sci Fi realm… channels like Machinima, Geek & Sundry, Stan Lee’s World of Heroes… and us! The venue is slightly off site, not far, at 315 7th Avenue, San Diego.
I won’t lie, I’m excited to meet Felicia.
What? I get star struck too.
We’ll have a panel on Friday, July 13th (Yes, I threw July in there for a reason dammit… I’m superstitious as hell!) at 7pm. Our panel will consist of actors David Rogers, Alexis Denisof, Sean Gunn, director Stewart Hendler, producer Jason Taylor and lil’ole me. It’ll be moderated by Matt Atchity, Editor-in-Chief of Rotten Tomatoes. I know, all dudes. It’s just how it went down PR wise and schedule wise.
The panel will last a little over an hour and since the capacity of the space is small, if you’re at Comic Con this year and want to check it out, you should come early. Our booth should be interesting, so I hope you guys do stop by if you’re there. We’ll be looping some series content on a TV at the booth itself, and during the panel we’ll be showing some of the episodes. We’ll also be giving out some swag. Something very special actually… relevant to the larger story that we recently created especially for Comic Con. Have I piqued your interest? I hope so.
H+ Press and Public Screenings in LA and NY
Last call to get on the list for one of the two exclusive screenings of the series. We have one coming up in LA next Monday, July 9th and a second in New York City on July 16th. They both start at 7pm. People have asked me whether these are fancy events. No they are not. These are screenings, not red carpet premieres. So if you’re interested in getting a sneak peek, email me at email@example.com. I’m going to be turning in my last RSVP list at noon on Friday, so if you haven’t gotten in by then, you’ll have to wait until August when the series finally premieres online.
And I think that’s it.
If there’s something I didn’t address here, ask me in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll answer if I can.
And please please please, click one or more of the links below. Oh go on, click’em all! I know there is absolutely no reason why the Pinterest community would ever be interested in an apocalyptic Sci Fi series, but man, I so look forward to someone finally clicking that particular button. Just so I can say it happened.