WTFsutter VIDEOBLOG

WTFsutter

Loading...

Friday, February 04, 2011

BACK IN THE ROOM

I'm back with my writers on Monday to begin breaking season four of Sons of Anarchy.  Crazy, right?  Feels like yesterday that I started this blog about the process of running a show.  Wow.  Once again, I'm reminded that I have the coolest job in the world and that even though I blow hard, I'm a lucky and grateful motherfucker. 

I have a pretty good sense of where we will begin season four and a half-complete sense of where we will finish.  Basically, I know the mile markers, I just don't know how or when we will get there.  That's the meat that I hang with my very talented writers.  Who are my writers, you ask?  They are, in order of sexual favors, Dave "Squeaky" Erickson, Chris "The Cleaner" Collins, Regina "Tornado" Corrado, Liz "the scarier twin" Sagal, Marco "Polo" Ramirez, and Brady "I'm not your fucking" Dahl.  Like their showrunner, they are the most dangerous scribes in Hollywood.  Most of them I've pulled from prisons and asylums, except the ones repped by CAA, those I found masturbating in public restrooms.

Where was I... This season, I'm trying to approach the room with a looser grip on story.  Season three, the story drove the characters more than the characters drove the story.  That was my intention.  It's still up for debate as to whether it was better or worse than previous seasons, but I knew coming into season three most of the details of the Ireland narrative.  This season, although there is a big story that will drive a lot of the episodes, I'm hoping that character will move the episodes forward as much as story.  By character, I mean the emotional lives of Jax, Clay and the others, and their relationships to one another.  So the season will be about the shit they feel, as much as the shit they do.     

I always knew our guys would be heading to jail at the end of season three or four.  Most of the bikers I've met in the outlaw life have done prison time.  I always thought it would be a cool, organic device to have a long passage of time.  One that allowed us to reboot the narrative and prevent the mythology from folding into itself too soon.  I felt one of the story traps we faced on The Shield was that Vic's machinations began to turn inward on him after season three.  So we were always faced with the dilemma of keeping his karmic history ever present and yet not so close that it inhibited him from being proactive.  I mean, when you begin a series by killing a cop, there's already a steep, downward trajectory.  Of course, Shawn navigated the show brilliantly so the story never collapsed, but it was a big writer challenge in the later seasons.  We had nearly as many charts and graphs as Lost.  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point... a lot of dirty details and dead bodies.

So this season on SOA, I am not encumbered by any narrative loose ends (like a baby in a boat).  Yes, there are historical, emotional and familial connective tissue, but story-wise, I get a reboot.  It's a blessing and a curse really.  It's much easier, creatively, coming into a season with a narrative that's already on the ground running.  You plug in and pick up where you left off.  Rebooting means that you have to really do the homework on each character's life over the passage of time we've missed.  What happened, how have they changed and how do you communicate those changes to the audience without belaboring a premier with buckets of exposition?  But I'm really looking forward to that game.  Anything can happen in fourteen months.  Bobby grows an afro, Tig decides celibacy is the answer, Happy smokes so much weed he thinks he's both Simon and Garfunkel, Juice gets booty implants and a weave, Gemma becomes a Scientologist and decides she's gotta "clear" Tara... it's fucking endless.  

Stay tuned...

48 comments:

Princess Aurora said...

Sons of Anarchy has become my and my husbands Monday night Ritual! Thank you SO MUCH for giving us an amazing show! We haven't loved a show so much since HBO's Oz !!!

Wicked Courtni said...

I would say that last season was the best simply because of the fact that you developed the shit out of each and every character.

For a true fan, it meant feeling like we were bonding with them and that is a great feeling.

I cannot wait for season 4.

wzychee said...

Man, just reading about season four gets me all wired. SoA is literally the only show that I watch live instead of DVR'ing, and, as a writer, I appreciate the time you put into blogging about the process.

Rock on, brother, and keep the censors on their toes this season. I'm on the edge of my seat already.

My only request is that you don't give Tara anymore half-assed moments like when she didn't pop her kidnapper when she had the chance. She's becoming one of my favorite characters on the show, and is also the best social experiment that the show's got going on now.

Ryan Murray said...

I was drooling at the aspect of what could possibly occur with a time-jump in the narrative. It allows you to not have Tara be pregnant for an entire season, so on and so forth. It allows you to drop some new ink on the guys from being in jail without having a tattoo scene. So many little things can be done with the jump that it really allows you to have fun with it, and the actors as well. I'm sure Boone will come up with some new tattoo ideas for Bobby.

Storytelling wise, I'm fascinated and compelled. Like you mentioned in the blog, it seems like only yesterday you were starting the blog, or even writing about the Season 3 premiere. All of these emotions and changes over the last year (award winner, HIYOO!) and it really amazes at how much CAN go down in a year...and having that power of creativity over this world you've created will be a fun ride.

Has the new alliance with the Mayans stayed true for the entire 14 months? Has someone reared their ugly head in Charming while the Sons were a little weaker in presence? Have any old enemies returned from abroad? How has the time apart from Jax either strengthened or shattered Tara's confidence in a better future for herself and their (soon to be born) child? So on, and so forth. Untapped potential in every corner of Charming, 14 months of life either subtly or drastically altering what we've known.

I can only imagine the wipe-board and the storyline breaks, and I really hope you guys can film a bit of it for the DVD release. It's that imaginative process and bouncing of ideas that fires up my own imagination.

Best of luck.

Danielle_Jones said...

You all are doing a kick ass job on Sons!! Thank you for letting us read your process through this next season. I do like Odie being in a relationship but hopefully she doesn't get pregnant again. Jemma is doing great and showing all of us mothers and wives no matter what "club" environment it is, to always have trust in our men while they are at work. And to step in and kick some ass when she sees fit.

The Sons fuckin rocks and I am highly anticipating the next season! Good luck to you all!

Danielle Jones.
NAS Lemoore, Ca

Anonymous said...

why do the jokes at the end sound like something you would actually write? oh, its because i watched season 3.

Big Bev said...

February had been the month, in recent years, to watch the Super Bowl, then wait for pitchers and catchers to start Spring Training. Now, I have something better to salivate for...the return of the writers to the SOA Story Room. :) This show has been my favorite for three seasons now, and I can't wait until September to see just where you and your team are taking us.

Flore said...

I love the final ideas !
I love the three season, and I think that the new one will be crazy because the season final was awesome and let me think about a lot of things !
Thanks for this incredible show !!

BIKER81F said...

WELL BROTHER KURT,
I HAVE REALLY ENJOYED EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE WITH THE SHOW SO FAR.
SO I FEEL DEEPLY INSIDE THAT YOU AND YOUR PEOPLES WILL DO AN ELITE JOB ON SEASON 4. HOW COULD IT BE A BAD THING WHEN YOU ARE LOVED BY BILLIONS OF MANY WALKS OF LIFE ?!!! I FOR ONE, AM A BIKER AND I LOVE THIS SHOW TO THEE MAX !!!{It is so familiar to me}. GOOD LUCK AND FEAR NOTHING DUE TO IT WILL BE ANOTHER GREAT SEASON !!! LOVE & RESPECT TO YOU ALL !!! BRENT. CO.CO.COUNTY CAL.

Kimberli Lethbridge said...

My husband and I and our local friends are waiting impatiently, lol. Right after Christmas, it starts: "why can't this be a 12 month show?" lol. Fabulous job. I think season 3 was DEFIANTLY better than season 2.

Anonymous said...

What about the dead porn star wife of otto? Nothing ever happened to the guy that killed her? Or am I wrong? That is a loose end.

Karina Kantas said...

Thanks for the update Kurt. Very excited for you. Happy writing. xxxx

Jo-Ann said...

Shit, what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall in the writers' room! As excited as I am about S4, I can't wait to read about the process of getting there from start to finish. Good luck and happy writing!

barriesuddery said...

Glad to hear there's going to be a season 4 (not that there was much doubt).

Do your comments mean that we won't be seeing any of the crew in jail at all? I was looking forward to seeing how Clay manages SAMCRO's increased weapons deals from the inside.

Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to seeing how the crew deals with all that's happened over the last year, especially when Jax gets to read those letters from his dad to Maureen.

When does season 4 air?

Jennie said...

Can't wait to see what you have in store for us! We in the audience needed a reboot too. It was a long 9 months waiting for season 3 and what would happen to Abel. Now, for season 4, I'm just excited to get the characters back and see what they have been up to. Have fun on Monday!

crazypegohio said...

KURT YOU FUCKEN CRACK ME UP!!!! IM REALLY LOOKIN FORWARD TO SEASON 4 I HAVE WATCHED SEASON 1,2,3, SO MANY TIMES I CAN SAY THEM VERBATIM YOU ARE A GREAT FUCKIN WRITER AND PROPS TO THE WHOLE WRITING CREW!!!! PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK AND WE ALL WILL KEEP WATCHING.THANKS FOR MAKING SOMETHING WORTH WATCHING.

Anonymous said...

I'm always impressed by the work that you put forth,it's a testament that you care about the product. Some shows,well,you can tell that they don't care,and it shows in the work. Btw,I don't kiss ass on a regular basis,I just know a good thing when I see it. Whatever goes on in S4,I'm sure that it will be just as amazing as the past 3 seasons.

Helen the Felon said...

I think lose ends in television, cable and film writing are the future. I feel it's artistic maturity. Good Luck on Season #4 and Bobby's afro. In the mean time I will sit on my hands waiting patiently.

Robyn Banx

Indianacat aka Lowecat on Twitter said...

To quote Happy, as far as your request to stay tuned, "Oh yes I will!: And I have a feelin' you're gonna read that line a lot. Sorry. It's become as much of the lexicon as "He/She/It's dead, Jim"

What you did with S3, in this creative purrson's opinion, was art. Pure and unadulterated art. You took us out of the comfort zone and what a Helluva ride it was. Yeah, there's people out there in the world who look at me like I've grown an eye in the middle of my forehead. Their problem, not mine. I - enjoyed - Season - 3. So shoot me (ducking from the bullets).

I'm glad you've already said you don't want to do SOA goes to OZ, and not the Frank L. Buam OZ. There's only so much you can do with a fourteen month incarceration. Let's face it, there's little opportunity for the guys to meet up with Big Otto in the exercise yard, eh?

Basically, we know what will happen in 14 months; Gemma's on house detention; the guys are locked up, Big Otto is lookin' at serious repercussions for killing the pudnucker; Tara's preganant, and the club on the outside amounts to two prospetcs, Chibs, Piney, Opie, and possibly a noamdic Kozik (frankly, I can't see Kozik bein' taken back into Tacoma after wantin' to transfer, but that's my warped vision).

So, moving the timeline forward to where things are either right after or just before they get out of jail makes a lot of sense. That's what is takin' you - the showrunner/creator - and the writin' staff outta YOUR comfort zone.

I'm sure all y'all are gonna be able to rise to and above it, and provide us with another wild ride.

Frankly, darlin', I'm havin' one hell of a hard time waitin' for September to come! It's like anticipatin' the 'Red Ryder semi automatic BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time' waitin' under the tree for ya.

And I know you're not gonna disappoint me (unless Tig opts for celibacy. Like tuggin' on Superman's cape, there are some things that just aren't done!).

Is is fuckin' September yet?

Anonymous said...

Is it September yet!?!?

phyllis said...

Can't wait for next season! Happy a fellow alum from St. John's followed their passion and has done amazing things with their talent. Mr Jeffries says "hi"!

Jacob Cristobal said...

Anything can happen in fourteen months...

Oh please let all of those things happen, if anything on a special spoof/lost episode on the DVD release.

Michele Robinson said...

So looking forward to Season Four! Loved the Ireland story line in Season Three!

Anonymous said...

Kurt - you fucking rock and anything you come up with is just gonna blow me away. love the convoluted intelligience you emit every time you post. I'll wait while you write. Do it up good, ok?

WI_Debi said...

Happy smokes so much weed he thinks he's both Simon and Garfunkel <---- THAT made me laugh out loud...Last year you had me cheering on heinous murder and before Season 4 has even started you're making me laugh. You are truly one sick evil genius rat bastard (no offense to your mom).

Thanks to you all for busting your asses for us. Your peers may not appreciate you all but your fans do.

Get your ass back to work! ; )

A Scott said...

I think Tig should start watching an episode of GILMORE GIRLS to jerk off to and end up trying to stalk Amy S Paladino. He runs out and buys the complete series box set and becomes obsessed with watching the show so much that he starts fucking up is responsibilities. Of course then everyone else will start leaving him BonBons, Saved by the bells, Hanna Montana discs and tampons.

Watching him trying to convince an entire biker club to sit and watch the show would be hilarious and only Kim could pull that off.
Then finally he would be given a UK disc of Queer as Folk and tease Jax that it could be his twin ;)

Anonymous said...

Before last season began, my daughter, a friend who came to stay for a week and never left and I sat down and spent a weekend watching all of seasons one and two. We finished up just in time to see the series premier.

Then we got busy, missed a couple of episodes and then DVRing SOA became a habit. At the end of the season, when my husband was home from one of his sojourns, we ended up having another SOA marathon, this one with all three seasons.

Here's what I discovered: everyone should have to watch the entire story to date from beginning to end. Intended or not, the story has meaning. The collective voice of the characters is a symphony of humanity.

You get Bobby-Ewing-stepping-out-of-the-shower moments when you come back from vacation and pick up where you left off. You get stories like SOA when characters move through their days doing the best they can to master each moment they're in.

What makes SOA good is that it's life loudly lived. I don't ride a motorcycle or own a gun, but I can relate to your characters because they struggle with the same fundamental issues all of us do; family, loyalty, jobs, survival...

SOA is so good because you keep the back stories real. Seriously... grab some friends and a big box of Pop Secret and spend a weekend immersed in Charming. You'll know exactly what everyone has always been going to do next.

Thank you for a wonderful show and for this blog.

Svetlana said...

I love your blog, its so funny and I find your honesty really refreshing. I just discovered your show a few weeks ago and since then I have watched each season about 5 times and the phenomenal season 3 finale at least 20 times. You've honestly ruined every other show for me. It is by far the best show on tv! I love the whole cast(except I'm not really a fan of the new prospects, they don't really fit the show for me). I just hope you keep the rest of the cast intact and don't start killing off cast members every season like a lot of lesser shows do. I can't imagine what the show would be like with even one member of the "Sons MC" gone and I hope we don't find out. The chemistry everyone has is so amazing and it actually seems like they're a real club. The addition of "Kozik" and making "Happy" a member are perfect. I hope we see a lot more of both of them. Charlie Hunnam is brilliant and gorgeous and much more talented then the "superstars" Hollywood shoves down our throats! Ron is great and Katey is so beautiful and a total badass. Kim Coates, Ryan Hurst and Tommy Flanagan are amazing and equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. I also love how the guys hug on the show, they do it with such affection and realness and it makes me smile every time. I'm curious if that's something you tell them to do or the actors do it on their own? It's little details like that which makes your show better and much more authentic then the rest of the crap on tv. I also hope you do more topless, bare-knuckle boxing scenes. So hot! Preferably featuring Charlie and David LaBrava:) Thanks for creating such a fantastic show with the best acting, writing and music on television.

Chris said...

Can wait for season 4, SOA is by far the best and most original show on TV. I find the other shows lacking in comparison between seasons. Thanks for giving us some originality to lose ourselves in for and hour or so.

Liz said...

SO happy for Katie's well-deserved award. And it's exciting to read you'll soon get back to working on the show. I've gotten every one in my house addicted to the show, we simply adore it.

Could I please ask for a bit more Chibs this new season? And please get Juice a girlfriend?
Much love, me.

Alyzza said...

you're amazing. and for writting if you don't mind me asking it can be pretty twisted huh? as far as whatever is needed for an idea to grow right? not looking for work or anything just want to actually write. im driven by a lot of s*** that's happened to me. and i personally think the story's pretty f****** cool. the plot is sorta weird and twisted and possibly taboo from my prospective.

Tempest said...

I learned during season two that the Sagal twins had the show Double Trouble back in the 1980s. I liked that show a lot and did not know they were Katey's sister. I see Liz Sagal in the credits of each episode. The actress who plays the hospital admin, her real-life last name is Sagal too, but I don't think there is any relation.

Either way--SOA is a family affair!

Dee said...

More Grim Bastards and Jax's ass! Preferably not in the same scene.

Doselle Young said...

Great show. Smart show. Really enjoyed the POV shift ending of Season Three. We've usually spent our time 'inside' the family circle and, while a few of my peeps took issue with it, I felt that ejecting us outside the inner circle a bit was a perfect way to keep the drama going 'til the very last moment.

dirtywater22 said...

I'm ready for the fall season and will recap season three this summer. Great update!!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE do NOT 'clear" Tara!!!!

Grim Arena said...

Hey Man,

I love this show! I don't have any acting experience or anything like that, but if you ever want someone who could be related to JAX then I might be your man. I bare a resemblance to him so I'm told by a lot of hot girlies. :)

I have great passion and desire, feel free to email me if you're interested in learning more! LOVE THE SHOW, and I just bought myself a Reaper Crew hat! Thanks!

Thud said...

I had some problems with the portrayal of Ireland and the present situation there but season 3 on the whole was great....more please.

Anonymous said...

The road to September begins, I'm anxious to see what's in store for this season. A year from now we'll be hearing about season 5. It's odd how much time passes when you have fun.

derekrbell said...

First time on yer blog--my wife and I love the show...right up there with my other favorites, the Wire and The Shield. not sure I understand the critcism about season 3 at all--the story arc and the performances were terrific; the finale was absolutely outstanding, but wouldn't/couldn't have hit that mark without story that unfolded throughout the season.

Anyway, can't wait til September. I do have a cameo request--how bout bringing in James Hetfield as Clay's brother or something. The circle, at least for me, would be complete.

Amber said...

Thank you so much for the insight! I started watching this show 2 weeks ago and I loved all 3 seasons! I have to admit I have a total crush on Ron Perlman! I can not wait to see where you take Clay this season, he's my favorite. (hint hint please dont kill him!!!)

Keep us updated on this season, we are all going through TOTAL WITHDRAWLS!

Congrats to your wifey on a well deserved Golden Globe!

Sarah_Pank said...

I'm so pumped for season 4! I just got done watching all 3 seasons for the second time since season 3 ended. A bit obsessed I know, but barely being employed allows one a lot of down time.
One of the things that I love about the show is that each time you watch it you can pick up something you didn't notice before. It allows you to get a better grasp on the narrative, understand the characters more and their development as the series progresses, and even catch little details you didn’t before. Being able to get something new from it every time that really reiterates what makes this show so great, and the writing is absolutely amazing.
I bet the first day back with all the writers had to be amazing because of all the possibilities regarding the storyline, and how to show what happened over the last 14 months. Look forward to reading more as you get working on season 4. Best of luck!

Side note: I follow you on twitter and I’ve been voting for you on the Shorty Awards because you’re fucking hilarious and tell it like it is. I think you have some amazing fans because you’re only about 200 votes behind first place, and attack of the show has over 100,000 followers.

Kbird said...

I love this show. I have lived in a buddhist community, rarely watch tv. I have never riden a bike and would never dream of owning a gun (I am Canadian) - in fact I was pretty judgmental of people who chose to live their life like this. But since the birth of my child, SOA has been my guilty pleasure. Initially it was for the eye candy ( Jax) but then I fell in love with all of the characters. I love peeking into the world of bike clubs. Seeing the primitive but complex moral code they live by as well as the depth of loyalty they have for one another. The women also fascinate me, especially Tara. Of course, Gemma is incredible. Thanks keep it up - Can't wait for next season. PS your blog is great as well.

rob grandison said...

hey dude
Thanks for a great show i am toatly hooked on soa it has even inspired me after 15 years to start riding a bike again unfortanantly for me thats in london closed spaces and the coldest dam winter we have had for years but i did it anyway and it was awesome.we have not had season three yet here but looking forward to it its been a real battle not to watch it over the internet but dont want to ruin the experiance i must say the message the show delivers apart from the crime is good i can see its about family, comunity and brotherhood which is sadly missing in our country if there was a london chapter of soa i would be prospecting right now
thanks again for the show looking forward to season 3 and reading about 4
rob

candilane said...

Love, love, love the show. Its the first time i have i felt intrigued to watch a show from the first time i saw a "up-and-coming" preview commercial... not to mention that i love boys on bikes...so not only have u givin me something to look forward to throughout my mundane work week....but something to think about on the times im alone and need to "entertain" myself....keep it up...fuckin aye...lol

joe said...

What a show Kurt! I too have had my experiences with MC's and i must say you have done an amazing job of bringing the realities of life for an outlaw MC. Everything you have shown, i.e. patchover etc, was a thing not many knew about which adds to the authenticity of the story. Here in England, MC's are pretty much the same as the Son's. One question though, Is this a world with no H.A.?

Anonymous said...

First off, great show and use of classical literature as a framework for the SONS. You do have a the best job in the world and I could only dream of writing for a show like the SONs. I'm wondering what happened to the tape recorder that Luisa played with Hales proclamation that he has hired Hector to "rough up" Lumpy and ends up killing him? If Hale is accused and convicted the Sons could fall back into the towns favor and the town could take a step backwards from corporate "Disney Land" that Clay said it would become, with Old White Money further corrupting Charming and the sheriffs' taking over law enforcement duties. Perhaps the tape allows for all the changes in the town to somewhat be mitigated?

wendyin illinois said...

hello my name is wendy i along with my whole entire family watch SOA we are eigther sitting in our family room or in our own rooms my son has seen your show and he says when he grows up he wants a harley he has had two battery powered ones and he says mom i am in soa lol but anywho i love all three seaons and look forward to seeing season four i am hoping that you write in more family dinners nd stuff like that and ima i think tara should get to rough her up in season four for what she did with jax but i know you will do a great job no matter what you write keep up the good work only two months left thank god love this freaking show and your blog