The ALCATRAZ Cast and Producers Preview the Season Finale - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The ALCATRAZ Cast and Producers Preview the Season Finale

March 26, 2012 by  

While the fate of ALCATRAZ is still firmly up in the air, tonight’s season finale seems like it will be answering several of the lingering issues.

What will happen when Rebecca and her grandfather come face-to-face again? What’s hidden at the prison? We’re just hours away from finding out.

But in the meantime, take a look at what executive producers Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt, Jennifer Johnson and Daniel Pyne and series stars Jorge Garcia (Doc), Sarah Jones (Rebecca), Parminder Nagra (Lucy), Jonny Coyne (Warden James), and Robert Forster (Ray) teased after their WonderCon panel…

The two-hour ALCATRAZ season finale airs tonight at 8 PM on Fox.

Related:

ALCATRAZ: Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia and Parminder Nagra Tease ‘Webb Porter’
ALCATRAZ Producers Tease Tonight’s ‘Mini-Finale’-esque Episode
Watch the ALCATRAZ WonderCon Highlight Reel

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Filed under #1 featured, Alcatraz

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One Response to “The ALCATRAZ Cast and Producers Preview the Season Finale”

  1. JJ Abrams on March 27th, 2012 8:03 am

    The ‘Mystery’ of Screenwriting – 10 Stages to Success
    By JJ Abrams

    As the first season of Alcatraz draws to a close, I felt it was finally time for me to share my secrets with a new generation of screen-writers.
    I knew from an early age that I would make it in the TV business. From my humble beginnings I really never thought that I would be able to master the craft and follow in the footsteps of those literary giants who had come before me. That was until I realised that I didn’t have to. You see what I had was an unnatural amount of energy. I watched talented peers of mine wasting time developing their skills and deepening into the mystery of life, while I was churning out an average of 16 new show ideas every hour. My efficiency was legendary. It enabled me to spend the majority of my time hanging out with likeminded TV executives who were absolutely unencumbered by a desire to create something that would actually be loved by an audience. We shared a passion for the science behind what keeps those ratings up. Even at that early stage, I was dreaming of putting together a professional and talented team which had all the veneer of quality but absolutely no direction or purpose.
    Presently, I see so many budding screen-writers out there who remind me of myself but are still really struggling to gain industry adulation. If, like me, your energy levels far outweigh your talent, do not be despondent. You are capable of great things (well mediocre things that a lot of people think are great). Don’t make things too complicated for yourself. These tips are dedicated to kindred spirits:

    JJ Abrams Secret Formula – The 10 stages to Success

    1. Efficiency is the key. Your aim should always be maximum control, minimum effort. Creators who stay involved with the process after the first two episodes are losers, wasting their life. Remember to move on.

    2. Don’t spend too much time on creation either. Remember, if you follow these tips, people will keep watching your show irrespective of how well drawn the situation is. The first step in creation is to pick a scenario or location that people think is pretty cool. Next, scour the internet for conspiracy and secret knowledge websites. Don’t waste time understanding any of them, just pick up enough so you could convince someone with no knowledge of the subject that you kind of know what you are talking about.

    3. Print out a list of Myers Briggs personalities. Copy and paste them into character bios, the production team can deal with details like names etc. If you want to add a bit of polish, just pick a couple of names of famous philosophers or scientists. The most important stage is to get a great casting director. Remember, all we are trying to achieve is the veneer of quality. With our meagre abilities, we know that before long things are going to get pretty incomprehensible. Good actors/good-looking actors can help paper over the cracks and buy us some time.

    4. Now for the most important step. Those of you who have seen my TED talk will know that I am obsessed with mysteries and believe that a mystery brings more pleasure than knowledge. Those of you with true understanding of the art of literary creation also understand that I have completely confused the means with the end and am mired in some kind of narcissistic, self-satisfied sludge. THE CENTRAL MYSTERY is crucial to the success of your show. It must be a mystery that without understanding of, none of the actions of your characters can make complete sense. They must all do weird stuff which necessitates the viewer to keep watching to work out what is going on. In my experience, the viewer will put up with almost anything in pursuit of making sense of a character. All subsequent stages represent clever ways of confusing, distracting and deceiving the viewer into continuing watching despite their strong (and valid) reservations about the series.

    5. Get the geeks on your side. This is the ultimate inoculation against valid criticism and really very easy to achieve. First, lure the geeks. Pepper the series with mystical, literary and pop culture references. They don’t actually have to mean anything but your viewers will certainly try to read into them. They will come up with theories that far surpass your own creative abilities and add depth to the dross that you have served up. You can even cherry-pick a couple of these for future plot development or even future shows. ALWAYS be thinking about the next show! Second, appease the geeks. Do the convention circuits, do endless interviews, release merchandising, multiple editions of DVDs, epic extra features etc.

    6. By episode 7 or 8 of the first season, viewers will be starting to suspect you don’t actually have a plan (although your loyal and growing geek fan army will be vigorously defending you on the net). You on the other hand want to squeeze every drop out of this dry fruit before the furore reaches epic proportions. You should have already moved on to your next project by now, leaving production in the hands of a feckless but enthusiastic writing team. If you haven’t, jump ship NOW! This retains your mystique and your departure can always be correlated with when the show started to ‘go downhill’.

    7. Instruct your writing team to use the following strategies
    a. Always answer a question with a question even if it doesn’t make sense for the characters, the current storyline, the flow of the series or most importantly the sanity of the viewers.
    b. Surgically excise normal curiosity from all characters so they don’t keep demanding answers that any believable character would.
    c. Create “Trojan horse reveals” that look like genuine explanations but on reflection actually embody more mystery. Great ways to do this include using mysterious glowing light, doors behind doors, keyholes behind keyholes, weird looking contraptions, additions of new characters.
    d. Wry looks and maniacal laughter are great substitutes for plot development
    e. Fight fire with fire. Refuse to explain a mystery and simultaneously create five more. As you go along crush the viewer under the sheer weight of unexplained nonsense. All but the most committed will have long given up in trying to understand and tie everything together. If you have done it right you will have manifested a kind of televisual Stockholm Syndrome where viewers cannot reconcile the number of hours they have sunk into your show and will see their only option as to start to ‘love their captors’.

    8. Remember at all times, show utter contempt for your viewing public. They love it.

    9. When the show does finally end (hopefully it will be cancelled abruptly after many seasons so I (my writing team) don’t have to try and wrap up a story that I never had any intention of doing in the first place. Alternatively, ramp up the questions to be answered and sacrifice all the hard work in characterisation that the real members of the production team have put in to cover up your own inadequacy. Write an ending that really makes no sense so that it can be claimed it is open to interpretation. Have fun being extremely patronising to any viewer that actually has taste in fiction and understands that they have been manipulated into many hours of viewing of an empty husk of a tv show, by asserting that they are obsessed with getting ‘answers’ and can’t just ‘enjoy a story for its own sake’.

    10. The tenth and final step is the most important. In fact it’s the most central. Without this step none of the others make sense. At the center of all screen-writing theory there has been a cover-up, one which only a select few of writers is privy to. These writers have been holding this secret for many years and passing it down from generation to generation for reasons that might well be explained below. These writers may be people that you know or maybe completely new people, I’m not quite sure yet but it might well become clear if you keep reading. One of them lives in California, and was, until now searching for a key that was stolen from her by two hooded men with …lets say… dragon tattoos on their forearms. This key opens a trapdoor within her grandfather’s apartment, the grandfather who in a flashback we might discover initiated her into this secret screen-writing tradition. She found the key yesterday and, my sources tell me that she went to the trapdoor opened it and some kind of mysterious glowing light shot out of it to reveal a green trapdoor with phoenixes on it with three keyholes and a scrap of parchment with some kind of … wait a sec, wikipedia’s so slow today… ok… Talmudic code on it. As soon as the first trapdoor opened there was a knock at the door and an orthodox Jew called Herodotus, drenched in rain from a storm looking all dramatic marches in, spies the parchment and says “The Bible code can be viewed as a part of Talmudic scholarship, albeit one of the more controversial parts. Throughout history, many Jewish, and later Christian, scholars have attempted to find hidden or coded messages within the Bible’s text, notably including Isaac Newton” He shoots this mysterious lady in her mysterious chest, she’ s bleeding right now, I’ll tell you later what happens to her. So you see the pieces start to fall together, the secrets of screen-writing have something to do with the most famous book ever, the bible. Is there some kind of code to screen writing? Well this strange event, let me explain to you, I want you to understand and gain access to this mystery. This trapdoor is not isolated. There are lets say 20, no hold on we have a bit more space here 80 …er… ok 90 trapdoors all over the world and when all of them have been opened I will definitely, I promise, reveal the secrets to screen-writing that I hold. I absolutely promise you that if you keep reading my blog posts, watching my shows, that eventually, if you can stay the course, I will, as I get more news, reveal the contents of the trapdoors and unravel the mystery of the bible code, the mysterious Jew, the mysterious chiming sound heard around owl sanctuaries (did I mention that one yet?) and how it all relates to the central mystery of screen-writing of all. The mystery that even I am not privy to. The mystery behind why I keep getting commissioned to do TV series. The mystery that, believe me, no one really understands.