When people hear Friday The 13 they immediately think 80’s slasher exploitation movies; a madman with a machete chasing girls in crop tops.
And that’s what we thought when we were approached about reimagining the series of movies into a televisions show.
And yes, – we will have blood and violence and the occasional crop top, but what makes us passionate about writing this pilot is elevating F-13 into something people DON’T EXPECT.
A series with intelligence, humor, weird surprises, all within in a character-driven, horror/crime thriller series, grounded in an ongoing sophisticated mystery in the vain of True Detective (Season 1) mashed up with the odd, paranoid, who-can-you-trust vibe of a Twin Peaks-on-acid.
An expansion of the mythology designed to please diehard puritans and a blank canvas to appeal to a whole new generation of viewers to the story.
We’ll tell this tale through the eyes of an accessible hero who comes to a cursed city to find his missing brother and ends up uncovering a massive series of secrets in the bizarre place known as Crystal Lake.
In our vision of Friday the 13th, Crystal Lake has grown up and so has the franchise itself. It’s time to probe the deep dark depths of the movie’s mythology and explore the mind-blowing secrets under the surface – secrets centering on three men whose lives have been on a collision course.
Our series is about the all the things you don’t know about Friday the 13th – Jason was a very important piece of the horrific events that have defined this community – but he was (and is) just the tip of the iceberg of madness hidden under the surface.
Over several seasons we’ll explore the hidden mystery of murder and madness, secrets and lies of Crystal Lake and its inhabitants.
The series will be built upon the emotional core of a new homicide detective, Ky Morgan, surrounding the search for his younger brother (also a detective), who vanished while digging into the mysteries surrounding the notorious killer Jason Voorhees.
A killer thought long dead or gone – until the murders begin again.
A stranger in an even stranger city, Ky quickly realizes his only course of action is to complete what his brother ,and find out the truth about Jason.
A bit about Crystal Lake in 2015…
In the movies, all we ever saw were a few broken down gas stations, a diner, and a laughable police department.
In F13 the series, it’s imperative to expand the world of the mid-sized city adjacent to the lake – expand out the people who live there.
On the surface, Crystal Lake is a bucolic blending of old and new; the people who’ve been there for generations, juxtaposed with the nouveau-riche tied to CL tech boom, living in their hillside mansions, looking down on the toiling population of small town folks, and the purveyors of higher learning at the local college whose lives they have transformed, like it or not.
While on the surface, this seemingly peaceful contradiction of a community goes about life in a carefree manner befitting its 21st Century reality of progress, there is something unsettling that bubbles underneath; something that reaches back into the last millennium, born out of terrible secrets that are still festering, growing and building to the day when these secrets erupt and changes the lives of all who’ve denied their very existence – secrets consuming a town that is a nexus between evil and good.
Crystal Lake has one black eye the city elders have been fighting to bury in the dustbin of history, one they don’t want to be known for… the unsolved series of gruesome murders that happened there years ago. All of which will be a big problem when Ky arrives and starts uncovering that nothing is really as it seems on the surface.
And that is really what the show is all about. Jason is a monster who wears his mask openly. The people of Crystal Lake all have monsters inside that they hide with masks of virtue.
Peeling away those masks, uncovering their secrets is the key for Ky to find his brother – and he will do that – or die trying.
We’ll have more updates along the way – including rumored ties between Crystal Lake and its inhabitants and characters that live in another city named after a body of water – a cove known for it blue waters in a place called Delaware.
Steve Mitchell Craig Van Sickle
Where Did You Go, Little One?
Like many dads and moms, when my children, Aridae and Wills, were each wee tots, I’d tuck them into bed. Just before I’d sing or hum The Beatles’ lullaby to end all lullabies, Good Night, I would playfully throw the sheet over their heads and ask the question, where did you go, little one, then fuel their nightly giggles at this routine with tickles. It was bonding. It was a now moment, every night, shared with the stars and the crickets. It was a loving life ritual that just was.
And now, so many years later, another ritual is upon me.
In exactly six weeks, I will take my son, my six-foot-four baby boy, off to college. As this ritual moment grows closer, I find myself pondering the night again with the crickets and stars, humming Good Night to myself now, anticipating this rite of passage for him, his mother, and me, the voice inside my heart whispering a familiar question: where did you go, little one?
Wendy and I are blessed with two great children. We dropped our daughter Aridae, our oldest, off at college four years ago and I can honestly say that it was the hardest day of my life. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you I don’t even do well with good-bye scenes in movies – heck, I cry every time Steve Martin says good-bye to John Candy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
I remember vividly pulling up curbside at the Tucson Airport that evening. Wendy was staying back an extra day to help Ari finish the college settling in process, and Wills and I were flying back to LA. The car stopped. I climbed out into the 105 degree Arizona heat, but didn’t even notice it. From the back, I tugged out my suitcase that felt so heavy in that moment, Wills grabbing his own bag. My beautiful daughter got out of the car, and at that moment, I could hear, see, sense nothing else around me except her. Nearly tripping over my bag, I grabbed Aridae, pulled her close and likely whispered something father-wise in her ear, what, I can’t recall. I’m sure I told her how much I loved her, but she already knew that. I told her to work hard, but she knew that was the plan. I told her I would always be here for her, but I’m sure she already knew that too.
In those final seconds where broken hugs expire and good-byes are born, we basked in the glow of our smiles – those unspoken words of silent understanding summing up the years now behind us, flowing freely between us. Then I felt my emotional damn breaking. Yes part of it was her good-bye to me and mine to her, but mainly it was the realization that this was, as the cliché goes, the first day of the next chapter of the rest of my life. I fumbled for my suitcase handle and bee-lined it into the terminal with my son. Wills looked over at me. I was crying like a baby. And while he may not have been able to grasp the emotional magnitude of it all for me, he was in that moment, my rock.
Where did you go, little one?
Aridae, like my son soon will, went to where life slides into a new realm and where Dad’s inevitably ponder their own existence under a full moon, with stars and crickets.
It took many a full moon for me to get a grip on Aridae’s absence in our home. I’d peek into her empty room on many an occasion just to say a quiet hello where noise and laughter once ruled. But still, I knew she had gone to where she was meant to – into adulthood and her own adventure.
Now it’s Wills’ turn. It’s been a busy couple of months for him- and all of us- and I couldn’t be more proud. He finished his second season on the Varsity golf team (golf was very bonding for us), earned his Eagle Scout award (I’m proud to say I was in scouting with him for many years, since my Cub Leader days) and he graduated high school with honors (I had nothing to do with that). Now it’s July and he’s basking in the leisure his hard work has earned him – hanging with his buds, chillin’ on his own terms – living the last summer of his childhood.
Where did you go, little one?
I am certain of very few things in my life, but one of them is that I have been a pretty good dad (you’ll have to confirm this with my children, of course). Oh sure, I have the doubts every parent has had- the things not said, the moments missed, but overall, I feel pretty good about my place in the standings. And now the season of being a dad to children is ebbing away. In six weeks I will say good-bye to my son. No, thankfully he’s not going off to war and God willing we will have many more beautiful times together. As I ponder the moment of his last childhood hug from me, I find solace in the fact that I have no recollection of the moment I hugged my parents good-bye at age eighteen and so I know in my heart the melancholy of this rite-of-passage is more mine than his.
And so, in that very same Tucson heat, he will smile at me, he will tell me that he will work hard and be safe. His six foot-four-inch frame will engulf me. I won’t want to let go, but will, knowing in my heart he‘ll move on and become the exemplary man I’ve always known he can be. And in that moment he will tell me that he loves me – will again be my rock – because he’ll know, intuit, sense, feel, what is going through my mind…
Where did you go, little one?
Craig W. Van Sickle
Author, producer and writer. Craig has become a trailblazer in Trans-media.
Ok. So. The first time I fell in love with a boy, I was three and a half years old, in the front seat of my daddy’s white Chevrolet, and my 2-day-old baby brother was placed into my lap. It was love at first sight! I was allowed to hold him in my lap for the entire ride from the hospital to our house. Were my parents crazy?? There weren’t even seatbelts in the car! But I held him tight and talked to him and cooed at him all the way home, and decided he was a keeper. I was going to boss him around (some things haven’t changed), he was going to worship me and do everything I told him (not exactly how it went) and we would get along forever (ish). Steven Long Mitchell, or “Shot,” as he was called when we were little, is a writer/producer/director, yes. He is also a champion barbequer, woodworking fool, bourbon connoisseur, baker of fruit cobblers, and a pretty damn good brother (now that we are adults, anyway). As a kid…well, that’s another story… and one that I will tell here on this blog as I go along. Believe me, I am going to tell some stories about Steve from childhood, and I feel pretty confident that I don’t have to worry about retaliation, because, as I understand it, he is technologically challenged and just this side of hopeless when it comes to figuring out how to work his own blog site here. He has to have others spoonfeed him every step of the way, and he has blocked most of the memories from those years. Also, fun fact– I went to high school in Lexington, Kentucky with Pretender guest author, Mark Dodson, back when he had a gigantic blond afro. And I started my acting career with Craig Van Sickle in an improv group in Los Angeles many years ago, so these guys are family to me. I love family. Part of what I love so much about being an actor is the family aspect. With every TV show, film, commercial or theater piece, a family is created. Family is a big reason that I am so excited to be writing the young Miss Parker series. I’m thrilled to have been invited into the greater Pretender family and hope you guys will welcome me. The first book, entitled, Shattered Doll, is set in France where an eighteen-year-old Miss Parker is attending the Centre university known as CIT. You’ll get to watch her develop from the young girl in Blue Cove, Delaware who lost her mom, into the brilliant, sexy, wünderkind operative that she became. Sydney has a line in Rebirth (and in the Pretender Pilot) that he says to Miss Parker, “You were such a happy little girl. What happened to you?” That question (and many more!) will be answered in these books. Questions like…who was her first lover? Did she ever let anyone into her heart? What did she see the day her mother, Catherine, died? Who taught her about eyeliner and stilettos? And what about Jarod? What new things will we learn about the relationship between Miss Parker and Jarod? And most importantly, I welcome your input!!! If there are any questions you would like to see addressed, let me know. And if you catch me misquoting or misrepresenting something, call me out. I will post things here as I go along. And I look so forward to getting to know y’all.
May 6, 2014
I’m not sure what it was, but something really weird happened to me last summer. It started like this: I’m taking a sip of coffee when the woman smiles at me, slightly tilts her head and answers my question by saying, “When I tell people what I do for a living they think I’m crazy and zone out.”
“What is it that you do?”
She said, “I teach classes about communicating with your higher energy entities.”
Unable of coming up with an appropriate response I just raised a Spock eyebrow.
She grinned, “I’m an Angel Whisperer.” Then her eyes twinkled. Real twinkles. Just like in the movies.
“You’re a what?” I asked, taking a sip.
“An Angel Whisperer. I can communicate with the heavenly spirits.”
Trying not to blow French roast out of my nose, I smiled back and said, “Why would they zone out when you say a bat-shit-crazy thing like that?”
Now, I didn’t say that out loud.
I said that in my head.
Out loud I said, “How fascinating. What exactly does that mean?”
She twinkled again, then rambled on about how she asks questions to angels, listens to their answers and then repeats them to those of us who can’t hear.
While she was saying this I wasn’t hearing her, or angels; all I could hear was my voice in my head yelling at my wife for roping me into helping her teach a communications seminar for a women’s networking association on how to sell their businesses in 3 minutes or less. Essentially she’d conned me into using my 25 years of storytelling experience as a television writer and novelist to help these women narrow down what they do in a way to hook people so they will listen to their pitch. Sort of what the short scene at the top of your favorite TV show does to make you watch the episode.
Little did I know I was the one about to be hooked.
Anyhow, as Angel Lady meandered on about how what she did was based on energy vortexes, time continuums and other dynamic forces, it all turned into Charlie Brown adult wonka-wonk speak and I was no longer listening. I was thinking about how frustrated I’d been with my father and his declining health and that he hadn’t planned for anything and how we had just had to move him into a home that was costing a fortune.
Still I did my best to plaster on a happy face. But the fake smile shattered when I suddenly zoned back in when I heard myself saying to Miss Whisperer, “Are you outta your effing mind?”
Now, I think I also said that inside my head – but to this day I’m not positive, because she immediately commented. “I used to think I was out of my mind.” As she said that I noticed the twinkle fading from her eyes. “Especially while I was growing up.”
She then told me the following:
“When I was sixteen I was driving through Laurel Canyon on a misty afternoon when I heard a male voice in the backseat say, “You should get in the right lane.” I looked around, even though I knew no one was there. I’d been hearing voices my whole life and people made fun of me, so I had told myself not to listen anymore. But a few seconds later I heard him again. “Get in the right lane!” I shook it off and kept driving, and then all of a sudden, he screamed: “GET IN THE RIGHT LANE!” I swerved right and the second I did, a dog ran into the street from my left, right in front of a truck in the opposing lane. He locked on his brakes. I slammed on mine. The road was slick and the truck spun 360 degrees into the left lane right where had I not swerved, we would have hit head on. Instead we came to a stop inches apart. Stunned, I looked up to see the dog touch its nose to my bumper. As he wagged his tail and ran off, I again heard the voice. He said, “You can drive in the left lane now.”
“I knew he was an angel.” The whisperer finally looked at me. “Since that day I decided to ‘listen.’”
It was suddenly very quiet in the room.
And in my mind.
I felt something – peculiar – in my chest.
But this wasn’t the weird thing I was going to tell you about. In fact, this was only the tip of the weird iceberg that would float through my summer. Anyhow, I stammered something about how when people ask what she does – tell them that story.
They will want to know more.
I know I did.
So I decided to take her class.
I should state right here I’ve never believed in psychics, or mediums or mysticism. So to justify doing this I told myself, “Hey – I’m in television. For years, along with my partner, Craig Van Sickle, I’ve written a show and now a series of novels about characters, some of which have an ‘inner-sense’ that guides them. Maybe there is something I can learn from her that can help me with that. Who knows, there might be a series in this Angel Whisperer stuff. Yeah, that’s it. That’s my reason for going.”
A few weeks later I’m driving to the ‘seminar’ with two things on my mind. One, how ridiculous this will probably be. And two, the guilt I was feeling for hardly ever visiting my father in his care facility. Maybe it wasn’t guilt, maybe it was frustration, but whatever it was it was eating at me.
See, the truth is I never really knew my father as a father. My folks got divorced when I was three and I have no nuclear family memories. As a child he was a pleasant enough guy on the occasional weekend and summer vacation. And as a young adult, a fun person to go to football games with. But he was never really a father. Then one day, as a real adult with kids of my own, my father left his third wife in Texas and came to visit – and the irascible bastard never left.
Now I was forced to take care of a man who’d never taken care of me. I was lost deep in my head thinking about how bizarre that concept was when I pulled up in front of the little house in Burbank.
I decided to put off thinking about dad until another time.
I had some Angels to Whisper with.
The class consisted of me and five middle-aged women. All of these ladies were very serious about the spiritual encounter we were about to have and clearly looking for some answers to fill emotional holes in their souls. Looking around this group of women you could easily find in any strip mall in the world, I suddenly found myself saying, “What the hell am I doing here?”
I said that on the inside; on the outside I said, “Hi, my name is Steve.” So, as is my nature when in semi-uncomfortable situations, I immediately found myself slipping into my typical class clown persona, flirting with the ladies to get their minds and mine off the subject at hand.
And I wasn’t even sure why I felt that way.
I won’t go through the class beat for beat, but it started with a prayer about opening yourself up to your angels and their guiding voices. After the first prayer, and my fourteenth joke, I felt myself feeling – well, scared.
Then something weird began happening.
It’s not the really weird thing this story is all about, but it’s part of it.
I started hearing something from the voice in the back of my head. It started as a whisper, then full voice repeating the same word over and over and over again.
The word was ‘listen.’
I shook my head, chalked it up to psyching myself out and tried to tune it out and focus on what the other students were saying, but it kept echoing, until it drowned out even their voices.
At that point my fear turned to a bit of dizziness.
So I wrote the word ‘listen’ on a single piece of paper on my pad to make it stop ringing in my head. About 20 minutes later the lady leading the group passed around a booklet for us all, in the order it came to them, to read a page from. When the book was placed in my hand, I turned the page to my reading – which was entitled – ‘listen’.
Which of course completely freaked me out. All of a sudden Mr. Jokester wasn’t so cynical.
I showed the group of women my pad with the same word written on it so they too could share in my – ‘whatever the hell it was’ that had just happened.
The ‘listen’ thing seemed to resonate particularly strong with the woman sitting next to me. From the first instant I got along with Melissa as if we’d been old friends, which made me feel very comfortable with her.
What happened next – not so much.
We were instructed to ask our angels a question and then ‘listen’ and write down exactly what you heard their voices say. I won’t go into great detail here except to say I sarcastically ‘asked my angels’ to clarify for me just how ridiculous this whole thing was. The voice I heard laughed and said it was some kind of ‘bullshit weird.’ Now, I assumed the voice wanted to say ‘weird bullshit’ – and had just transposed those words – yet following the instructions, I wrote it down exactly as I heard it.
Asked for a volunteer to read aloud what we’d heard, the class clown raised his hand. But while I read my cynical answer to my cynical question – complete with the words transposed, under her breath I heard Melissa say – “oh wow.”
She’d said “oh wow’ for a reason – for when it was her turn she read what she’d heard ‘from the angels’ it came out she had written down the exact same sentence with the same words “bullshit weird” transposed.
Melissa seemed to have a very strong spiritual connection to her inner-sense. During the rest of the class, she repeatedly surprised the other ladies with what their angels were telling her. She had an uncanny knack to connect to what the specific holes in their souls were, especially about deceased loved ones. She spoke to them in freakish detail along with objects she saw around them – with a specificity that seemed to astonish everyone.
Somewhere along the way it all caused me to feel nauseous.
She hadn’t seen or heard anything associated with me, as far as I could tell, yet after the class I felt compelled to talk to her. So we went and had coffee.
While sipping a latte at a Starbucks in Burbank, (where angels are not commonly known to hang for an afternoon jolt of caffeine), she suddenly got this odd look on her face and then began relating things she said she was hearing regarding me.
What she told me about myself was dead on. They were things I’d never told anyone. She then told me two things I will never forget: that ‘forgiveness’ was something I had to get in touch with.
And that I had to pay for the coffee.
I sort of slept off the novelty of the day, and in the days that followed either let it go or buried it in my subconscious. While the Angel Whisperer day had been unique, I’d convinced myself the strange things that occurred were merely coincidence and that there really wasn’t a TV show in it. I went back to the typical day to day of real life. Writing the novels, trying to avoid my pain in the ass of a father who, the more his health deteriorated, the more I found myself more resentful towards, hoping not to be asked to help any more women learn to communicate their businesses and generally sliding back into the routine of life.
But a few weeks after I’d left it all behind, Melissa emailed me.
She said she’d been having recurring dreams about me and asked if we could meet for coffee again to discuss it.
Before we met I found myself ‘hearing’ the word ‘listen’ again.
It seemed to be in my consciousness no matter where I was. It was driving me crazy. And while I was still discounting everything – I also found myself compelled to delve into the forgiveness concept. I didn’t know what it was, so I Googled it and found myself staring at prayers on the subject on the Internet.
That search occurred this past Sunday.
On Monday I saw her again and she told me that for days and for nights, over and over, she’d ‘been told’ by the angels that she must reiterate to me the need for forgiveness in my life. She then pulled out something she’d brought me – they were forgiveness prayers for that purpose.
These weren’t the same prayers I’d found on the Internet, but the idea of her bringing what I’d looked up just the previous day got me a little uneasy. All of a sudden I started to feel the same fear bubbling up as well as a bit of the nausea I’d experienced in the class.
Then if that wasn’t enough – on Tuesday, my wife, out of the blue says to me, “You have a lot of unresolved anger toward your father and I think it’s really important that you forgive him.”
Of course I come back with “Have you been talking to those ladies at the class I went to? Melissa and the other junior whisperers?” My wife had no idea what I was talking about, but when I told her what had transpired she said – “Maybe you should ‘listen.’”
Okay – two or three times is a coincidence – but this is like I was being shouted to from on high. “Okay,” I thought, “I’m listening, I’m listening.”
The truth was I had a lot of unresolved animosity with my dad. He was not the father I hoped he’d be as a child, nor as a young adult and now as a grown man. I had a particular and focused amount of anger that had been bubbling inside me toward him.
So Wednesday morning I go up to my office and I decided to do the forgiveness prayer Melissa had given me for my father and for myself regarding my feelings toward him.
As instructed, I spoke to my angels and then said the prayers three times with as much feeling and conviction as I could.
And strangely enough afterwards I felt – calm. Like all of the anger I’d had about him not being the father I had always wished I’d had somehow lifted. Now I’m not saying I heard angels – but I felt like someone or something was looking down and smiling on me.
Thirty minutes later I got a call to say my father had died.
He’d passed twenty minutes earlier – peacefully in his sleep – literally within minutes of my prayer.
That’s the really weird thing that happened.
Regardless of your relationship, saying goodbye to a parent can never be easy – and yet I found myself strangely at peace about it.
Maybe because I listened, maybe because I forgave him, maybe because I’d forgiven myself. Or maybe everything weird that happened to me that summer was a coincidence.
I don’t really know what those inner voices are.
But I’m going to continue to listen and I hope you also listen to yours as well.
You can follow Steve on twitter @pretendersteve