A Story Told Over 150 Years – Writing Space Command by Elaine Zicree and Marc Zicree
Film Courage: Going back to the idea for SPACE COMMAND, how long have you actually been working on it since the very idea, the inception.
Marc Zicree: Since like 1832.
Film Courage: [Laughs]
Marc Zicree: No the initial idea for SPACE COMMAND came about in 2012. So it was a few years. But it was really germinating in my head for a long, long time because again because I wanted to create a hopeful vision of the future. I wanted to do for the modern audience what Star Trek had done for me as a kid. So I really was starting to put the pieces together and also I was collecting actors. As in my career in television, I was working on a lot of science fiction shows and gathering a lot of actors that I really wanted to work with again and write roles for. I recently wrote a book for Guillermo del toro and I won the Saturn Award a couple of years ago and I saw this amazing guy in this Victorian coat, this tall, thin guy, really remarkable looking. And I went up to him at the Saturn Awards to congratulate him on the coat and how he looked and it was an actor named Doug Jones. And Doug is in pretty much everything Guillermo does. He played Pan in PAN’S LABYRINTH and Abe Sapien in HELLBOY. He’s in the STRAIN and pretty much everything, CRIMSON PEAK and he’s been in a ton of other things. He’s the lead alien in FALLING SKIES. So we had lunch, really hit it off. And I told him I was going to write a role for him, a lead. And that’s what we did in SPACE COMMAND.
So the crowdfunding campaign was in 2012 and that along with the investment share that we sold and still continuing to sell gave us the money to open our own studio. And as I said, I wrote the first 8 hours of the show and outlined hours 9 through 12. And Elaine and I have actually been co-writing on this. And so that was this great tapestry, this great canvas and so it just kind of grew and grew as I started to know who those characters, were and what that story was. I knew I wanted to tell a multi-generational story and I wanted to have a multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-racial cast. The actors are white and black and Asian and Latino. Our actors come from Venezuela and Pakistan and Sri Lanka all around the world. And I cast many famous actors but we also had a talent search where anyone, anywhere in the world could download the audition scenes and audition for two of our leads. We got 7,000 inquiries and 1,200 videos. We ended up casting 6 actors from those auditions, including two of our leads from Wyoming and from New York, from Iowa. From all over the place.
SPACE COMMAND kind of came together in bits and pieces. It’s funny because once you start shooting something, the actors and their performances and the chemistry between them also is something that starts to alter your vision. It becomes a dialogue between you and them if you do it well. And so you say “Oh, here’s an interesting way of doing it. Here is an interesting way of having it pay off.” (Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
About Marc and Elaine:
Working both together and individually, writer-producer-directors Marc Scott Zicree and Elaine Zicree have sold over 100 teleplays, screenplays and pilots to every major studio and network, including landmark stories for such shows as STAR TREK– THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE, BABYLON 5, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FOREVER KNIGHT, SLIDERS, LIBERTY’S KIDS, SUPERFRIENDS, HE-MAN, REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and SMURFS. Their work has been nominated for the American Book Award, Humanitas Prize, Diane Thomas Award, and Hugo and Nebula Awards, and they’ve won the TV Guide Award, prestigious Hamptons Prize and 2011 Rondo and Saturn Awards. Fans of their work include Steve Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Ray Bradbury, Damon Lindelof, Frank Darabont, Joss Whedon and millions of fans around the world (Read more here).
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