Rose Parade

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Friday, June 16, 2006

The door is open

So sometime in the past year the trades announced that a deal had been struck with the author of this incredibly creative and seriously spooky website: The Dionaea House, to produce a film based on the story told on the site. In addition to loving the hell out of the story and website, I was sickeningly green with envy that I had not thought of it first. My ultimate compliment: "I wish I'd written that." But after a few envious reads I kind of forgot about it. So this week at the mind-numbing/slow period for us office job, I get the email containing Production Weekly, a terrific weekly (duh) listing of projects greenlit and in development. In fact, I'm going to admit to being really pathetic by mentioning that the arrival of Production Weekly in my email is one of the high points of my week. Like when the office supply delivery arrives pathetic high point of my week. Anyhoo, a mention in PW is triggered by a change in a project's status - casting or director announcement, change in start date, new producer on board, and most importantly, a change in status from in development to greenlit. The point is, if your project is mentioned that means there's movement. And that has to be a good thing, because there's nothing worse in this business than being dead in the water. Since I work on the television side of my corporate entity's many subdivisions I scan PW for TV projects, be they pilots, series, MOWs or miniseries. But today, while browsing this week's report I spot a mention of The Dionaea House. I remember it and am happy that it's still in play. It's listed in development with Warner Bros. and Heyday Pictures (aka David Heyman, producer of - among other things - the Harry Potter flicks). It has a director attached. I find the website and relive the mystery and horror of the killer tract house. Don't laugh, it works. Terrifyingly well, in fact. And best of all, it's been updated. Intrigued, I look it up on imdb and discover it's been retitled "Sanctum". I do not consider this to be a good thing. "The Dionaea House" is a much more interesting title IMO. "Sanctum" could be anything. Then I get off my title high horse and check out the message board. Imdb message boards are not generally the place to find brainy artistic discussion, but I quickly find a post that makes me feel momentarily bad about my snobbishness - a post linking to a Yahoo group founded by the film/website's creator, Eric Heisserer. I join on the spot and discover that the inclusion in PW may not be a good thing in this case - according to a recent post from Eric on the Yahoo group MB, it has gone from fully staffed and within days of going before the cameras on location in Canada to having the plug suddenly pulled by WB. In one of his posts Eric makes the mistake of mentioning that all the emails he's received mean a lot to him, so of course I email him with my complements, observations and questions about the current status of the project. And God bless him, he responds with a few hours. Hell, I'm still working on a response to a lone comment to my net neutrality post from Wednesday. I would love to post his response now, but I'm going to check with him first to make sure he doesn't mind my sharing his comments. Long story short, WB is no longer involved, but the project has been picked up elsewhere and is still very much alive, and in Eric's own words these developments may be the proverbial blessing in disguise for Dionaea. And I'm inclined to agree with him. Bigger (as exciting as it may be) isn't always better, especially for a project like this. So if you're reading this, go back to the first paragraph of this post, click on the Dionaea link, and indulge in some serious storytelling. Then go here, join, and jump on the bandwagon.


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