The import of thought

A minor digression from the usual updates on where the writing’s at, character bios, short stories, etc. Today I want to share some thoughts about the intellectual basis for the Tomekepeers Project. One of the core themes of this project is the attitudes different factions have towards information: how it’s valued; how it’s distributed; and how it’s gathered. While I’ve written about Factor 46 and Asclepius, I haven’t really talked much about the process of how both came to be. I’m not going to give away any spoilers here, but I am going to talk about the greatest enabler for Asclepius.

The single most powerful thing that any human being can do is to think for themselves. However, that’s also a brave thing to do. To see a problem, think about it and come up with a solution is hard.

In Australia, the USA, the UK and other nations around the world, our most important institutions are trying to tell us that we should be afraid; that we should trust their lead; that we should not make a fuss; that we should accept their truth as our truth.  There is a trend towards the doctrine that there is greater value in “simple” answers that can be consumed in the form of a sound bite, a pithy sermon, a news report that presents conjecture as fact.  That kind of trend is dangerous for our democracy.  It’s dangerous because it gets us used to a pattern of thinking that stops us thinking about and solving problems of genuine importance.

Orville Braithwaite is able to create Asclepius because he’s unshackled by the kind of thinking that says the problems of our world are too hard or too complex to be solved. The problem of providing universal healthcare to all of mankind is complex, but not insurmountable.  Orville also has some other ideas about problems to be solved. Poverty. Hunger. Access to education. Scarcity of potable water. Housing. Reforestation and climate change. Computing resources and internet connectivity for the billions of people who can’t afford a computer or a mobile phone, but have no less need for the resources on the internet to survive and thrive. He’s not focused on how tragic these things are. He’s focused on how to fix them.

We need more people in our society who say “Can do.”  We need more people in our society who are unafraid not only to speak up against inequality and injustice, but also to take positive action to defeating the forces that create them. We need to stop framing the debate in terms of how much things cost, but in terms of how much our nations and our civilization as a whole benefits when we fix the problems in front of us.  We need to stop talking about risk in terms of what we could lose, and start talking about risk in terms of what we might not gain. At some point, we just need to hook in and start getting these big jobs done.

In the Tomekeepers, forces who act to advance complacency in the broader population will be those who suffer the most ignominious defeats. Institutions that fail to keep driving the human race forward will be replaced by ones that will, or renewed from within by people who are worthy of that trust. In short, the Tomekeepers is not just a story that I want to tell, but a personal mission statement.

The call to action from this post is simple. Think. Research. Gather your own knowledge. Don’t take other people’s word for things. Don’t take the easy options and challenge your decisions. Take action to advance not only your personal status but that of everyone around you. Be a citizen of the world, not just a citizen of your own nation. Dream. Share. Live. Love. Be true to the moment, and true to your role as a sentient being in a world where a lot is going wrong.

The current work in progress – a quick summary.

For those of you who are interested, the piece I’m currently writing is part of the TV series canon, but is not strictly speaking part of the TV series itself.  I do have a place in the series 1 outline where I could tell this story, splitting into 2 or 3 episodes – or even interspersing a couple of scenes per episode through the first season of the TV series, but I think it needs to be created and scripted as a standalone feature-length movie.

The basic idea of the story (without too many spoilers) is that it outlines the history of the co-founders of Braithwaite Bio-Med (genius nano-technologist Orville Braithwaite, supported by Mike Sherwood on the money side) through the first public release of Asclepius, then diverges into a Faustian bargain in which a young journalist is offered her greatest desire.  When the devil comes a-knocking, Orville helps her turn the situation around and puts her back in control of her own destiny.

Core themes are the use and abuse of nano-technology and new models of capitalism being used with world-changing results.

“About” updated

Hi folks,

I’ve just updated the “About” page with some more contemporary information about the Tomekeepers project.  It should give you a good idea of where we’re at right now and where we now think we’re headed.

Cheers

Jeremy Huppatz
Tomekeepers Producer/Creator

It’s a Ten Page Night…

Cue the Beatles tune…

Well this has been a productive night!  I set myself a target of 10 pages worth of screenplay writing and I’ve hit the mark nicely.  The beat that I wanted to hit has been clubbed well and good, and I have a nice little cliff-hanger for myself to think about for the next day or two before I put fingers on the keyboard again.  The total word-count for the screen play is up to around 11,100, and I’m up to a total of 50 pages of actual script (i.e. doesn’t include the title page).  Yes – there may have been a few rounds of Battlefield 4 between the first five pages and the next five, but sometimes the creative juices need some dopamine inhibition to really start flowing.

MOOD: Satisfied.

Screenplay Progress and Other Updates

Hi folks,

Just a few quick updates for you all.

Firstly – I’m about 45 pages into a feature-length screenplay for “Chameleons” – originally a standalone story and now a “Prequel” for the Tomekeepers milieu, which might get split into a couple of episodes of TV.  That puts me at roughly half to a third of the way through.  With the story beats still to go, it’s probably closer to a third.

Secondly – a huge thank you to those of you who have already voted for our entry in the MyRodeReel 2015 People’s Choice awards.  For those of you who haven’t voted yet, PLEASE DO SO NOW!  If you believe in what we’re trying to do here, please also consider asking your friends and family to check out this blog, like/share our page on Facebook and go cast their own votes for us on MyRodeReel.

Finally – I’d like to invite anyone interested in writing on this project to step forward.  Sadly, I can’t dedicate my efforts to this project full-time, so I need some other people around me who can work collaboratively to build out the Tomekeeper’s milieu and populate it with fully realised characters and action.

Episode themes and outlines will be provided, and as long as people are willing to stick to the premise of the show, I’m not likely to be too heavily critical of whatever people produce as long as it’s in an appropriate screenplay format and can be shot on what passes for a budget in our project (which currently amounts to a lot of goodwill and an occasional pizza).  On the upside, the deadlines for this work will be pretty flexible – typically up to 2 months per script, which is a lot more than writers would get on a fully-fledged TV show.

I also reserve the right to do some editing and polishing on the final product, but the primary credit for the script will go to the person who writes it.  If (and hopefully when) we do get picked up for a network/streaming production deal, I’ll make sure people are recompensed accordingly.

To be clear, I’m primarily looking for screen-writers.  The “show-runner’s bible” is in progress and already has a lot of meat on the bones.  However, good suggestions that enhance rather than redirect the direction of the show will always be considered.  What this show is NOT about:

  • Vampires/Werewolves/Marvel-style Mutants
  • Teen romance/adventure – we’re producing a show for an adult audience that some teens might find watchable, not a teen show that adults might enjoy
  • Aliens, alien invasions, alien contact – that’s a shark we’re not yet ready to jump.

What this show IS about:

  • The human and organisational relationships between politics, media and technology
  • Examining in a meaningful way how a post-pandemic society can go from surviving to thriving
  • Considering different attitudes to value and access to information
  • Exploring group dynamics and conflicts in an interesting and thoughtful way
  • Following the lives of a group of young adult (20s) survivors in a frontier world full of modern technologies.
  • Exploring the impacts of emergent nanotechnology and its implications if not properly governed

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in helping out with, sign up on the Tomekeepers Supports Group on Facebook and post a message to that effect.

That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading.

The Tomekeepers: NightFall #MyRodeReel2015 Entry is now official. NOW WE NEED VOTES!

Hi folks,
Our entry has been officially accepted into MyRodeReel. Please activate your networks of flying monkeys and use your powers of persuasion, coercion or telempathy to make them click the VOTE button at the link below! Voting closes on July 3rd, and IP addresses are logged (1 vote per household, in other words) – but the people’s choice award is worth the effort, so please spread the word!

GO VOTE!!!