Now that Treme is filming its last hours, it seems that it might be relevant to list those ongoing projects for Blown Deadline Productions that are in development. For some of these — those still in the reporting and research stages — we are interested in hearing from individuals who might have first-hand knowledge or experience with the specific topics.
To be clear, these projects have not been greenlit by HBO or anyone else and there is no budget. We are not in the mode of being able to pay consultants for material and/or guidance, so if you need to be compensated directly in order to sit down and share recollections it’s understood and acceptable, but we are not at the point of doing so. In the event that these projects go forward into production, it is possible that we will be maintaining a small coterie of consultants to help us with matters of detail and accuracy. But again, there is no guarantee of such and when it happens, those positions are reserved for those who can provide continuous and detailed insight to the production on specific realities. But we are a long way from that and no one should engage us at this point on the premise of a payday.
LEGACY OF ASHES: A history of the Central Intelligence Agency, based on the book by Tim Weiner
We are currently researching and writing the period from 1945 and the end of World War II through 1953-1954 and the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran as well as the CIA-sponsored coup that same year in Guatemala. Understanding that certain discussions of the agency are subject to confidentiality restrictions, we would be interested in hearing from anyone who was engaged in American foreign policy, either with OSS, the CIA, the State Department and the FBI counterintelligence functions during this period and specifically, with American involvement in Germany, Italy, Guatemala, Iran, Japan, Vietnam, China or Korea during those years. We are interested not in classified secrets so much as in achieving accuracy and nuance in our portrayal of fictional and non-fictional characters, in dialogue and in physical depiction both. If you are interested, and you have direct experience with the subject matter, send us a brief explanation of your history in email form with “Legacy of Ashes” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIMES SQUARE: A history of midtown Manhattan from the early 1970s to the late 1980s
We are currently researching a narrative that parallels the history of midtown’s rise as a porn-and-drugs demimonde to the point where it came to dominate the culture and economy of central Manhattan. If you were engaged in any way in the criminal aspects of midtown Manhattan in those years, or the nightlife of Times Square, if you participated in the porn industry during those years, or if you policed or prosecuted that world and you have distinct memories that you would be willing to share, we would be interested in hearing from you. We are as or more interested in the economic issues of the adult entertainment industry as in the overt sexual aspects, so if you were involved in the real estate, or the economic or criminal control of Times Square, or its surrounding neighborhoods from any point between 1972 to 1987, we could use your insight or assistance. Again, send us a brief explanation of your history in email form with “Times Square” in the subject line to email@example.com.
SHOW ME A HERO: A miniseries based on the book by Lisa Belkin
A six-part series depicting the housing desegregation fight in the 1980s and 1990s that tore the city of Yonkers and its political leadership apart and resulted in more than a decade of political trauma and racial divisiveness. Working off the material in the book and other interviews, our research is complete and we are completing script work. No additional research is being undertaken.
THE GOOD FRIDAY PLOT: A miniseries based on the books “Manhunt” by James L. Swanson and “American Brutus” by Michael W. Kauffman
A nine-part series that begins with the second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln and concludes with the trial and execution of the Booth conspirators, making allegorical reference to the recent post-911 period. Research is based largely on both books and script work is underway. No additional research is being undertaken beyond the material in the two books, along with other historical documents and research already completed.
THE AVENUE: Book project, Henry Holt Books
In conjunction with William F. Zorzi Jr. a history of the rise of heroin and cocaine as mass-market enterprises in Baltimore from 1951 to the cocaine epidemic that begins in the late 1980s. If you were directly involved in the Baltimore drug trade — particularly in West Baltimore — between those years and we have not made contact with you over the last four years, and you wish to offer your recollections on the rise of the drug trade from back-alley vice to mass-market drug corners, we would love to sit down with you, understanding that for most criminal activity, the statute of limitations now protects the conversation. This is a work of non-fiction journalism and as a work of journalism, we cannot pay sources for information. In addition to those directly engaged in the drug trade during those years, we are interested in speaking to law enforcement officials, political functionaries and attorneys with strong recollections on the subject matter. If you would be willing to sit down with the authors and talk, please email an explanation of your history with “The Avenue” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, with the exception of the book project, none of these projects have been greenlit and therefore they are unbudgeted and haven’t been scheduled for production. Those familiar with the entertainment industry will understand that everything at this stage of development is speculative and many projects never proceed to production for any number of reasons. Nonetheless, if you were a player in the worlds that we are trying to recreate and you are willing to share your recollections, we would love to hear from you if for no other reason than that we want to get the details right.
Thanks for your interest and patience.