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The Creators' blog

Read every post. In each one, we write about something that appeals to us. We hope it will appeal to you too.

The Pretender Creator's Blog

Friday the 13th Series

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, –...

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Halloween

Just as I was leaving to Trick or Treat on Halloween when I was 3 years old, we got the call.  I had a baby brother and his name would be Steven. My grandmother, whom we called 'Mom' (which would prove to be confusing to say the least to have both a mother and a...

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Where Did You Go, Little One?

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...

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TIME FOR A CONFESSION

People often ask how it is that we can come up with some many twist and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs when writing the Pretender.  Well, this is a subject that we have been reluctant to discuss for fear of our methods would be copied and duplicated by others. ...

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The Votes Are In!

The auditing team in SL-1 has analyzed, categorized, and scrutinized the votes for the Saving Luke cover… and the results are in!

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Listen!

  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...

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Craig W Van Sickle

Don’t tell anyone, but I figured it out.

Don’t tell anyone, but I figured it out.

I’m standing on the edge of the world,

toes creeping forward for a better view,

cool breeze tickling past my thighs,

me and the night – taking flight.

From above, a glimmer washes over me,

might be the moon or the glow from a TV screen

watching me grow up in the dark.

Grey matter swirling.

Fiction kicking.

Stories teetering.

Tottering together.

A kid living a cartoon,

The twist ending,

A funny infomercial.

Snacking on rollercoasters.

Looping, soaring, plunging, roaring.

Jimmy Crack Corn but I do care.

Free to imagine, death in my sleep.

Up to stars, into shadows,

through time.

Back in the nest when commercials are over.

You know that feeling of being alive?

Figuring it out?

I do.

I’m wed to my head.

Born with a pen in my mouth.

Happy it’s not my size eleven.

I get to pretend.

Get to write the world.

And right the kid within.

Craig W Van Sickle

 

2013

 

Craig W. Van Sickle

Author, producer and writer. Craig has become a trailblazer in Trans-media.

 

Writer

2010-2011

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes)
– Nomad Droids
-Hunt for Ziro
– Evil Plans

2007

Tin Man (TV Mini-Series) (story – 3 episodes, 2007) (teleplay – 3 episodes, 2007)
– Tin Man
– Search for the Emerald
– Into the Storm

2006

24 (TV Series) (written by – 1 episode)
– Day 5: 1:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.

2004-2005

Medical Investigation (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes, 2004 – 2005) (story – 1 episode, 2005)
– Mission La Roca: Part 2
– Mission La Roca: Part 1
– Mousetrap – Little Girl

2004

NCIS (TV Series) (story – 1 episode, 2004) (teleplay – 1 episode, 2004)
– Lt. Jane Doe

2002-2004

She Spies (TV Series) (39 episodes, 2002 – 2004) (written by – 1 episode, 2002)
– Remember When
– Wedding of the Century
– Witness Protection
– Stranded
– London Calling
– The Gift
– Family Reunion
– Leotards and Lies
– White Chollima
– Spies Gone Wild
– Message from Kassar
– Off with Her Head
– Love Kills
– Cover Me
– Crossed Out
– Date to Mate
– Gone Bad
– Manhunt
– Last Man Standing
– Rane of Terror
– We’ll Be Right Back
– Learning to Fly
– Damsels in De-Stress
– The Replacement
– Daze of Future Past
– While You Were Out
– First Date
– You Don’t Know Jack
– The Girl with the Broken Heart
– Betrayal
– Perilyzed
– Spies vs. Spy
– Trap
– Three Women and a Baby
– Ice Man
– Fondles
– Daddy’s Girl
– Poster Girl
– The Martini Shot
– First Episode

2001

The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie)

1996-2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (37 episodes, 1996 – 1999) (writer – 17 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (written by – 4 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (created by – 1 episode, 1997)

1993-1994

Cobra (TV Series) (11 episodes, 1993 – 1994) (created by – 7 episodes, 1993) (written by – 4 episodes, 1993) (writer – 3 episodes, 1993 – 1994)
– Aces and Eights
– Precious
– Lorinda
– Haunted Lives
– A Few Dead Men
– Caged Fury
– Death Dive
– Blast from the Past
– Lost in Cyberspace
– Diamond in the Rough
– Death on the Line
– Playing with Fire
– Something in the Air
– I’d Die for You
– Hostage Hearts
– Mr. Chapman, I Presume
– The Gnome
– Nowhere to Run
– Honeymoon Hideaway
– Push It
– Pilot: Part 2
– Pilot: Part 1

1991

Street Justice (TV Series)

1989-1990

Alien Nation (TV Series) (writer – 5 episodes)
– The Touch
– Crossing the Line
– The Red Room
– The Game
– Fifteen with Wanda

1990

Ski Patrol (screenplay) / (story)

1989

Class Cruise (TV Movie) (written by)

1987

Disneyland (TV Series) (1 episode)

– Double Agent

1987

Murder, She Wrote (TV Series) (written by – 2 episodes)
– The Bottom Line Is Murder
– Crossed Up

1984

Love Boat (TV Series) (writer – 1 episode)
– Aerobic April/The Wager/Story of the Century

Producer

2007

Tin Man  (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer – 3 episodes)
– Tin Man
– Search for the Emerald
– Into the Storm

2007

A.M.P.E.D. (TV Movie) (executive producer)

2004-2005

Medical Investigation (TV Series) (executive producer – 13 episodes)
– Mission La Roca: Part 2
– Mission La Roca: Part 1
– Black Book
– Half Life
– Survivor
– Mousetrap
– Ice Station
– Tribe
– Spiked
– The Unclean
– Price of Pleasure
– Little Girl
– Mutation

2001

The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie) (executive producer)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie) (executive producer)

1996-2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (executive producer – 58 episodes)

1993-1994

Cobra (TV Series) (executive producer – 22 episodes)

1991

Street Justice (TV Series) (supervising producer)

1990

The Flash (TV Series) (producer – 4 episodes)
– Honor Among Thieves
– Watching the Detectives
– Out of Control
– Pilot

Miscellaneous Crew

2000

 The Inner Sense: Part 2 (2000)
– The Inner Sense: Part 1 (2000)
– Corn Man (2000)

1989-1990

Alien Nation (TV Series) (executive story editor – 21 episodes)
– Green Eyes
– The Touch
– Gimme, Gimme
– Rebirth
– Crossing the Line
– Real Men
– Partners
– Eyewitness News
– Generation to Generation
– Spirit of ’95
– The Red Room
– Chains of Love
– The Game
– Three to Tango
– Contact
– The Night of the Screams
– The First Cigar
– The Takeover
– Fifteen with Wanda
– Little Lost Lamb
– Fountain of Youth

1987

The Law and Harry McGraw (TV Series) (story editor)

Director

2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (1 episode)
– ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Himself

2008

Filmnut (TV Series)

Thanks

1999

Twin Falls Idaho (special thanks – as Craig Van Sickle)

 

me on the edge of the world

Email Craig Van Sickle

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Friday the 13th Series

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, –...

read more
Meet Steve and our other guest authors!
Steven Long Mitchell
Steven Long Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
Mark Dodson
Mark Dodson

Steven Long Mitchell

Chiseled into my grandfather’s headstone are the words, ‘He Loved To Tell The Story’ – and he truly did.

Leon Mitchell was a farmer who toiled long hours in the blazing hot Louisiana sun without ever complaining. He taught me to be a man, to work hard and love my family.

He also taught me how to tell a story.

Steven Long Mitchell

stevenEmmy Award nominated Writer and Executive Producer of Tin Man, the highest rated miniseries in the history of the Syfy Channel; Co-Creator/Executive Producer of the hit cult classic TV show The Pretender; Novelist; Graphic Novelist; Speaker; Master Storyteller; and Social Interactive Media Marketing Consultant.

Along with his writing partner, Craig W. Van Sickle, Steven has written, produced and/or directed over 200 hours of entertainment programing, including feature films, TV movies, and has worked on series as varied as 24, NCIS, Medical Investigation, Alien Nation, Murder She Wrote and many more. He continues to expand his brand by creatively interacting and collaborating with his fan base in ways that are redefining fandom on a global immersive interactive level. He has taught workshops, participated on panels and spoken at numerous conferences and Cons in the Writer, Geek, Tech, Entertainment, SciFi, Branding and Social Media worlds.

To reimagine The Pretender brand in this quickly expanding virtual world, Steven has become a trailblazer in Trans-media, or as he prefers to call it, Social Interactive Media/Marketing, SIMM, to grow and engage a global fan base in an immersive entertainment experience. He sees fans as being an integral part of the creative process and not merely spectators. Collaborating with fans from around the world, ThePretenderLives.com now houses a Global Interactive Think Tank, where fans are encouraged to be part of the creative process. This G.I.F.T. has morphed into the engine behind the reenergizing of the brand as it is reintroduced into the entertainment spectrum as feature films, television, novels, graphic novels, animation, gaming and much more.

Steven was born and raised in New Orleans and now resides in the Los Angeles, California, area with his wife and daughters and can be contacted through the website (fill out the form on the right).

Steven Long Mitchell, author, producer and writer. Steven has become a trailblazer in Trans-media.

Big Daddy, as we called him, wasn’t large in stature, but when he spun a tale he was a giant to me. Whether around the campfire, the dinner table or a gas pump at a filling station, he knew exactly how to grab his audience and take them on a spellbinding ride. With a clever phrase, a long pause, a slight snicker or a deep meaningful look into their souls, he could bring a smile to their lips, a tear to their eyes or plant a thought they’d ruminate about long after.

I always marveled at their faces as he moved them with his words.

He said the secret was not to just tell people stories, but to share with them something from deep in your heart. That regardless if they were black, brown, red, white, rich, poor or where they were from, everyone was exactly the same on the inside and that the art of storytelling was to speak from your insides to theirs.

Before he died he taught me everything I know about how ‘to tell the story’ – I strive to honor him by one day being as accomplished at it as he was.

Big Daddy used to say we are nothing but acorns scattered around the root of the trees from which we fell. That may sound sappy – I know it did to me when I was a kid. But the older I get and the more hair I lose, the more I find his wisdom to be true. (FYI I’m not that old – Big Daddy gave me the gift of storytelling and also the genes for premature male pattern baldness. I guess you take the good with the bad.)

Anyhow, when you think about it, the analogy of the acorn and the tree is true. It doesn’t matter how grand the branches above – or how gnarled – we are all a product of the sap that runs within. It is up to us to choose how to live with what the tree taught us, contributed to our souls – or took away from them.

In many ways the character of Jarod in The Pretender is a reflection of all those competing factions: the good, the bad, the secrets, the lies, the justice and injustices, the love that we receive or that is taken away from us. We can’t control that. All we can control is what we do with it. Jarod went through a terrible childhood, yet came out of it a man with a moral compass and an innocent zest for life that too many of us who didn’t grow up in The Centre sometimes forget all too soon.

Oh, yeah, the bio.

When I was an acorn I fell upon roots in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was both a turbulent yet exciting time to join the world.

Learning to walk, then run, during the later years of civil rights struggle and the beginning of desegregation in the Deep South gave me great insight into humanity at its best and worst. I spent my youth watching my mother burn her bra, (also humanity at its best and worst) and entering the sexual revolution. Unfortunately, I was too young to enjoy it! I spent my high school years in the blue grass of Kentucky – a wonderful oasis in the heartland of Americana. After High School I packed up and moved to California – to pursue a future in medicine.

But (and as BD taught me there’s always a ‘but’ that turns every good story in an unexpected direction) while waiting for college to begin, I started doing standup comedy and decided to 86 medical school and pursue a career in show biz.

That same summer two other great things happened to me. I met my writing partner of about 30 years and I got the greatest job that any 17 year-old boy on the planet earth ever had.

I was hired to be a valet at the Playboy Mansion.

Yes – that one.

Let your imagination run wild and you’ll conjure up about half of what mine still calls upon for amazing anecdotes.

My Big Daddy wasn’t crazy about my foregoing medical school – but he was all for me working with Heff. Ah, the stories I could have told him.

But even dreams like that one finally end and I had to move on.

As the years passed, like everyone else, I lived through the gas lines of the late ‘70s, the mourning in America of the Reagan years; I crossed the Bridge to Tomorrow with Bill and Hill. And just like most of you, I watched our collective innocence collapse along with the Twin Towers at the beginning of the new millennium and its rebirth in the decade since.

Oh, and while experiencing all of that life, I also wrote and produced a lot of really cool television with the second greatest partner in the world.

But the most important thing I’ve done, the best things I produced, are my three incredible daughters and a very loving family with the first greatest partner in the real world.

We are still writing that tale together.

From wherever Big Daddy looks down at me, I hope he is proud of the man he taught me to become and the story of my life – so far.

Steven Long Mitchell

2013

Steven Long Mitchell, author, producer and writer. Steven has become a trailblazer in Trans-media.

Writer

2010-2011

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes)

– Nomad Droids

– Hunt for Ziro

– Evil Plans

Tin Man (TV Mini-Series) (story – 3 episodes, 2007) (teleplay – 3 episodes, 2007)

– Tin Man

– Search for the Emerald

– Into the Storm

2006

24 (TV Series) (written by – 1 episode)

– Day 5: 1:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.

2004-2005

Medical Investigation (TV Series) (written by – 3 episodes, 2004 – 2005) (story – 1 episode, 2005)

– Mission La Roca: Part 2

– Mission La Roca: Part 1

– Mousetrap

– Little Girl

2004

NCIS (TV Series) (story – 1 episode, 2004) (teleplay – 1 episode, 2004)

– Lt. Jane Doe

2002-2004

She Spies (TV Series) (39 episodes, 2002 – 2004) (written by – 1 episode, 2002)

– Remember When

– Wedding of the Century

– Witness Protection

– Stranded

– London Calling

– The Gift

– Family Reunion

– Leotards and Lies

– White Chollima

– Spies Gone Wild

– Message from Kassar

– Off with Her Head

– Love Kills

– Cover Me

– Crossed Out

– Date to Mate

– Gone Bad

– Manhunt

– Last Man Standing

– Rane of Terror

– We’ll Be Right Back

– Learning to Fly

– Damsels in De-Stress

– The Replacement

– Daze of Future Past

– While You Were Out

– First Date

– You Don’t Know Jack

– The Girl with the Broken Heart

– Betrayal

– Perilyzed

– Spies vs. Spy

– Trap

– Three Women and a Baby

– Ice Man

– Fondles

– Daddy’s Girl

– Poster Girl

– The Martini Shot

– First Episode

2001

The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie)

1996-2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (37 episodes, 1996 – 1999) (writer – 17 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (written by – 4 episodes, 1996 – 2000) (created by – 1 episode, 1997)

1993-1994

Cobra (TV Series) (11 episodes, 1993 – 1994) (created by – 7 episodes, 1993) (written by – 4 episodes, 1993) (writer – 3 episodes, 1993 – 1994)

– Aces and Eights

– Precious

– Lorinda

– Haunted Lives

– A Few Dead Men

– Caged Fury

– Death Dive

– Blast from the Past

– Lost in Cyberspace

– Diamond in the Rough

– Death on the Line

– Playing with Fire

– Something in the Air

– I’d Die for You

– Hostage Hearts

– Mr. Chapman, I Presume

– The Gnome

– Nowhere to Run

– Honeymoon Hideaway

– Push It

– Pilot: Part 2

– Pilot: Part 1

1991

Street Justice (TV Series)

1989-1990

Alien Nation (TV Series) (writer – 5 episodes)

– The Touch

– Crossing the Line

– The Red Room

– The Game

– Fifteen with Wanda

1990

Ski Patrol (screenplay) / (story)

1989

Class Cruise (TV Movie) (written by)

1987

Disneyland (TV Series) (1 episode)

– Double Agent

1987

Murder, She Wrote (TV Series) (written by – 2 episodes)

– The Bottom Line Is Murder

– Crossed Up

1984

Love Boat (TV Series) (writer – 1 episode)

– Aerobic April/The Wager/Story of the Century

Producer

2010

Love Shack (Video) (producer)

2007

Tin Man  (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer – 3 episodes)

– Tin Man

– Search for the Emerald

– Into the Storm

2007

A.M.P.E.D. (TV Movie) (executive producer)

2004-2005

Medical Investigation (TV Series) (executive producer – 13 episodes)

– Mission La Roca: Part 2

– Mission La Roca: Part 1

– Black Book

– Half Life

– Survivor

– Mousetrap

– Ice Station

– Tribe

– Spiked

– The Unclean

– Price of Pleasure

– Little Girl

– Mutation

2001

The Pretender: Island of the Haunted (TV Movie) (executive producer)

The Pretender 2001 (TV Movie) (executive producer)

1996-2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (executive producer – 58 episodes)

1993-1994

Cobra (TV Series) (executive producer – 22 episodes)

1991

Street Justice (TV Series) (supervising producer)

1990

The Flash (TV Series) (producer – 4 episodes)

– Honor Among Thieves

– Watching the Detectives

– Out of Control

– Pilot

Miscellaneous Crew

1996

Pacific Blue (TV Series) (executive consultant – 1 episode)

– Captive Audience

1989-1990

Alien Nation (TV Series) (executive story editor – 21 episodes)

– Green Eyes

– The Touch

– Gimme, Gimme

– Rebirth

– Crossing the Line

– Real Men

– Partners

– Eyewitness News

– Generation to Generation

– Spirit of ’95

– The Red Room

– Chains of Love

– The Game

– Three to Tango

– Contact

– The Night of the Screams

– The First Cigar

– The Takeover

– Fifteen with Wanda

– Little Lost Lamb

– Fountain of Youth

1987

The Law and Harry McGraw (TV Series) (story editor)

Director

1998-2000

The Pretender (TV Series) (5 episodes)

– Corn Man

– Cold Dick

– At the Hour of Our Death

– Mr. Lee

– Amnesia

Himself

2008

Filmnut (TV Series)

END-OF-SLM-BIO
Meet My Family!

Email Steven Long Mitchell

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Follow Us

Friday the 13th Series

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, –...

Meet Craig and Our Guest Authors!

Craig Van Sickle
Craig Van Sickle
Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
Mark Dodson
Mark Dodson

About the Creators

The Authors

Meet the Pretender Creators and the guest authors too.

creators

For us, many of these bio things come off as self-serving smoke blown up the skirts of the artists whose names are atop the page. They usually entail the what we have done – the accomplishments, awards, blah, blah, blah (and yes, we’ve put that in here too, ‘cause we are proud of it and a little smoke up the skirt always feels good), but more importantly for us is the why we do it.

We love to entertain – been doing it our whole lives – and for the past 30 years have made it our passion, our career path.

Nothing we have done has reflected that passion more than The Pretender.

Some people say, we do weird. Which is true – but the weird we do is from our hearts to yours and we have so much fun doing it. We write for thinkers, creators, innovators and the curious who love to unravel a tale and enjoy the odd and unexpected, people who, like Jarod, know that ‘life is a gift’ and we are lucky to share it with one another – the Miss Parkers of the world be damned.

If you are reading this you are one of them – you are one of us – and we are truly thankful to be a part of this club with you.

Okay, enough of the why – now for the what.

Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle have written, produced and/or directed over 200 hours of prime network programming. From situation comedy to drama, from comic books to mystery, sci-fi to action-adventure, their career has covered a broad imaginative spectrum. Together they have created numerous television series, most notably, NBC’s The Pretender, on which they served as Executive Producers for its entire four-year run of episodes, as well as a series of two-hour movies.

In addition to series television, Mitchell and Van Sickle have also written and produced numerous long-form productions – both mini series and MOWs, as well as feature films.

In 2008 they were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-Series as the Writers/Executive Producers on the SyFy Channel’s, Tin Man, an updated reimagining of The Wizard of Oz that, in addition to its critical acclaim, broke SyFy’s ratings records both domestically and internationally and as of this date, remains its highest rated program ever.

Most recently the team has completed work on a one-hour primetime pilot script for A&E and are currently developing Stephen King’s Insomnia for television.

read the creators’ biographies! click the pic to read them.

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