Adam Ross Moore is an American professional baseball catcher in the Cleveland Indians organization. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres. Moore was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the sixth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. He plays catcher and bats right-handed.
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My short bio: I'm a transmedia creator (TV, film, games, graphic novels) and also a professor at Cal State Long Beach and the American Film Institute. I wrote a Wild West pilot called THE PINKERTONS with my writing partner Kevin Abrams. Last year it was purchased by Rosetta Media, a Canadian production company, and it went into production August of 2014. It's been airing in first-run syndication in the U.S. since October. It's Canadian run on CHCH just began this January.
I love genre of all kinds, especially sci-fi and westerns. Very proud to have a wild west show on the air right now, though it's been a unique and bumpy ride getting there.
Talk to me, Reddit. I'm all yours until 5:30pm EST.
THANKS FOR THE QUESTIONS REDDIT! Hope you learned a little something. I'll be back from time to time to answer any other questions, but feel free to continue the conversation on my FB Page:
Or on Twitter:
KEEP ON BEING AWESOME REDDIT!!!!!
How did it just get on the air?
We pitched the idea to a Packaging Agent named Todd Berger. https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddberger13
He dug the concept -- a Wild West detective show -- and decided to represent the show.
He brought it to Suzanne Berger, founder of Rosetta Media in Toronto. ca.linkedin.com/pub/suzanne-berger/43/a07/346
Suzanne loved the idea and the pilot script, and the decision was made to set it up as a Canadian production, to maximize the budget dollars.
Suzanne and Todd brought the show to John Rohrs, a 20 year Sony vet who recently formed the Rohrs Media Group. He got the show cleared - that is, on the air - on stations in markets all across the U.S. Independent stations like KDOC in LA and WPIX in NYC, as well as regional CW's and the like.
How do you get something you've written read by people who matter?
I teach screenwriting workshops to undergrads and grad students, so I get this question all the time. There's no one way to do it. For example, I met Todd Berger, the packaging agent who got our show set up, through a mutual friend of my writing partner's.
In general, I believe the goal is getting your work exposed to readers by any means necessary. Enter screenwriting contests. Austin Film Festival. Nicholl Fellowship. Scriptapalooza. Final Draft Big Break. Just get your shit out there. Even if you just place in one of these comps, managers and agents will reach out to you.
Having a writing partner definitely helps, because you multiply the number of contacts you have.
Franklin Leonard's The Black List is doing some interesting things. Graham Moore's The Imitation Game came off the Black List a few years back. Now the dude's got an Oscar.
Here are some links to the competitions I mentioned. Definitely check them out:
Nicholl = http://www.oscars.org/nicholl/about
Scriptapalooza = http://www.scriptapalooza.com/competition/howtoenter.php
Final Draft's Big Break = http://store.finaldraft.com/big-break-contest.html
Hi, Adam! What inspired the creation of this show? Something about the era, the Pinkertons, anything else?
First of all, I've always loved westerns. I remember sitting in my grandparent's living room in the afternoon as a child, and my grandfather watching old John Wayne movies on TV. Epic American mythology. Had a huge influence on me.
What attracted me to the idea of a TV series is the fact that the Pinkertons are always the bad guys in Westerns. They are the guys chasing Butch and Sundance. But in reality, the Pinkertons were responsible for keeping this country stitched together in the aftermath of the Civil War. As the nation expanded west, there was no law enforcement. The only thing keeping the frontier from descending into anarchy was a the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Who wouldn't love to watch a show about that?
What is your favorite Pinkerton case that you've learned about so far?
It's actually one that hasn't shown up in the series yet. In 1861, Allan Pinkerton and Kate Warne had to protect newly-elected President Lincoln during his train ride to Washington D.C. Confederates had threatened to blow up the train - so Allan and Kate smuggled him into D.C., in a disguise, in the middle of the night.
My writing partner Kevin Abrams and I actually wrote a feature film about that event, before we turned the idea into a TV series.
Check out this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Adam, thanks for doing an IAMA! My question is: how did you manage to sell the series to a Canadian company? Were they shopping in the USA, or did you send it to Canada?
On another note: I play Belle Starr in this weekend's episode! (http://youtu.be/ZO6Vs-0JAms) Working on your show has been an amazing experience, through and through. Thank you, thank you!
You were simply fantastic as Belle Starr!!!
For those of you who don't know, Belle was a notorious, female outlaw in the Wild West who worked with Jesse James. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Starr
In the episode that airs this weekend, "Frontier Desperados", we cover the origins of Belle Starr's legend.
Todd and Suzanne had a pre-existing business relationship when we brought the show to Todd. We had seen what shows like HELL ON WHEELS were doing in Canada, and it just made more financial sense to base the show north of the border. Manitoba and the American West are the same terrain, which is why we chose Winnipeg as our location.
How difficult is the costumes/locations, and getting them to look authentic on a budget?
Yeah, that's always a challenge. Our Costume Designer Heather Neale and her crew custom make some of the costumes, and rent the other ones. The great thing about working in Winnipeg is that the crew is world-class, and are able to make due with limited resources. Frankly, I love the costumes - they look like a million bucks.
Rejean Labrie is our production designer, and he leads an art department that is able to make miracles on a daily basis. They built the saloon facade next to a historic train station outside Winnipeg, and do their absolute best to maintain an appropriate period look and feel. I'm amazed by their work every time I see the dailies.
Still, there's times when we can't always be accurate. An astute viewer emailed us to point out that the dresser we used in the hotel room scene is actually from 1895, not 1865 when the show takes place. :)
Will The Pinkertons get picked up for a second season? Hope so!
We're putting together the financing for season 2 now. Hope to make an announcement soon.
Thanks a lot!
And just remember - it took us 10 years to get PINKERTONS on the air. Trying to launch a writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep writing!
Ahoy there! I was on the show a few weeks ago playing rogue and huckster Joe Sprague. Just wanted to thank you for having me on board! It was a blast.
Joe in action:
Poor Joe got himself super killed, but I choose to hope that his death might just be part of a long con and that he’s still out there somewhere, flimflamming the Wild West with gusto.
Thank you, sir for bringing us such a thoroughly entertaining show!
What do we have to look forward to in episodes to come?
Poor Joe indeed. Maybe he should've stopped feeding Miyo beans all the time...
How's it feel to get lucky as fuck?
I definitely feel lucky. It was a ten year journey getting this show on the air. My writing partner Kevin and I first had the idea back in 2005, when we were graduating from AFI. Ten years later - it's finally seeing the light of day.
I believe the saying is, "Every overnight success takes ten years."
How did you manage to find a production company to purchase your script? Are you still involved with the writing/shooting process of the show?
The sale to Rosetta Media was brokered by packaging agent Todd Berger. There's a link to his profile in this thread.
Kevin and I wrote the pilot, as well as four other episodes this season. Like all TV shows, the development of those episodes is a team effort. I Skype into the writers room in Toronto to break my episodes along with the show runners and writing staff. I've traveled up to Toronto, and visited set in Winnipeg. But because the show is considered Canadian content, Kevin and I aren't allowed to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the series. We do have a lot of involvement in the business, financing and marketing side, though. Less fun than the writing, but just as vital.
The writing staff is lead by Phil Bedard and Larry Lalonde, who most recently were the show runners of THE MURDOCH MYSTERIES, another great Canadian detective series. I love Phil and Larry like brothers - couldn't have asked for better collaborators.
I know that story! It's so wild.
It's really James Bond stuff - but in the 1860s!
How did you like Winnipeg?
I am blown away with the talent and professionalism of the cast and crew in Winnipeg. They are out there when it's minus 30 degrees C, and work without complaint. These people are world class, and the conditions they put up with? I honestly feel they could give any crew a run for their money - even crews down here in LA.
Jacob Blair and Martha MacIssac - the stars of our show - took me to some really excellent restaurants in downtown Winnipeg - seems like it's a really cool scene. Next time I'm up there, I've been promised a trip to the curling rink...
What essential equipment or people did you have that made all of this happen? Given that it's not the norm to go to air without studio help.
After Rosetta Media bought the pilot, the partnered with Winnipeg-based Buffalo Gal Pictures, headed up by Phyllis Laing. She's a veteran who produces a ton of movies and television in Manitoba. When a big production is coming to town, Buffalo Gal is one of the main companies who get approached.
Securing Buffalo Gal meant we had the physical production know-how to get this show made every week.
After that, we went out in search of our Allan, Kate and Will. I literally wrote the pilot with Angus Macfadyen's voice in my head. I've loved him since BRAVEHEART. Suzanne Berger at Rosetta Media sent Angus' agent the script. When he signed on, I couldn't believe it. Dream come true.
Martha and Jacob were a casting process, though I had known Martha from SUPERBAD and loved her work. Martha was cast first, then read with a handful of finalists for Will. She and Jacob had instant chemistry in the room.
That was the package that John Rohrs of Rohrs Media Group used to get the show on the air in the U.S.
Love your enthusiasm :-) Come back soon!
I'll be up again the final week of production. Can't miss the wrap party!!! :D
Do you have any other projects coming down the pipe we can look out for? Anything slated for Winnipeg?
I've been so busy with Pinkertons since this summer, haven't had much time to put into anything else. But there are a few projects in the hopper.
My writing partner Kevin Abrams and I published a graphic novel back in 2008. It's called VENDOR. http://vipercomics.com/2011/01/14/vendor-2/
We're currently putting together a bible and a pilot for a television adaptation of the graphic novel. Not sure if we'll go the first-run syndication route, something more traditional like a network, or perhaps go straight to digital like Netflix or iTunes.
How do you find the time to be semi-competitive at fantasy baseball whilst co-creating and producing a television show of this magnitude?
1) High quality time management.
2) Eight hours of sleep a night.
3) Nearly-deadly quantities of coffee.
What are your favourite television shows right now?
Hell on Wheels (natch).
Halt and Catch Fire.
House of Cards.
Game of Thrones.
My wife wants me to start watching Dr. Who. Should I go down that rabbit hole?
Yeah I imagine you "never sleep" either ;) That graphic novel looks like a cool concept; it would be interesting to see that brought to life on TV. Thanks for the reply and good luck with S2 of the Pinkertons!
Thanks - come find me on social media and keep in touch!!
I still don't know how the hell I managed to score such a great gig, haha! I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out, and can't wait to see the whole thing this weekend.
I must commend you and the other writers on the show for making such strong, multi-dimensional female characters, especially Kate Warne (Martha MacIsaac). Kate is portrayed as a professional, intelligent and, most importantly, as a rational woman. I wish there were more characters like her on television.
We have some excellent women on staff:
*Alison Lea Bingeman: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1064772/
*Christina Ray: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0251569/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
And the writer's assistant Alexandra Mircheff. They keep the boys honest. And we're dealing with one of the most significant female characters of the era - Kate Warne, the world's first female detective. I think the show has a duty to write strong female characters.
What was your reasoning behind setting your first episode in Kansas City? (Sorry, not a very exciting question, but I'm just curious since I'm a KC resident.) :)
Well, we wanted the show to take place on the frontier, not in a city like Chicago. Originally, the pilot was set in Omaha, because it was the hub of the railroad. After Phil Bedard and Larry Lalonde came on board as show runners, the decision was made to move the show to Kansas City. One, it has more name recognition outside the U.S. Two, it was a larger and more dynamic city in the 1860's.
Makes sense. Thanks for doing this AMA, and good luck with the show!
Thanks - hope you enjoy the series!
Hello sir and thanks for the AMA. Lota is Eu, can you convince me to follow your production with few words? -Br, Spaghetti Western fan
THE PINKERTONS is the closest thing to a Spaghetti Western on TV right now. Scrappy, raw and tons of fun.
Your wife is one of the best people ever, which makes you one of the best people ever by extension. What's that like?
Like I'm living a dream every day.
Probably exactly how it feels to be married to Doug Mitchell, one of the amazing directors of THE PINKERTONS TV Series.
Hey Adam, former student here - how does it feel to be a "crusher of dreams"?
Kidding, classes with you were alway bluntly real (which I appreciated) and lots of fun. My question: now that The Pinkertons has been picked up, produced, and is airing, what next do you have on the horizon? And does is it fit into traditional media or something transmedia related?
As usual, I'll be bouncing all over the place, medium-wise, but focusing more on games and TV. As I mentioned above, probably will be turning my graphic novel VENDOR into a TV project soon.
Honestly, though, PINKERTONS season 1 wraps in a few weeks, and I'm really looking forward to taking some off. Not of a lot of time -- this is me we're talking about, after all -- but I need to recharge my brain a bit.
I'll continue teaching at Cal State Long Beach and AFI, though. I love teaching too much, and get so much out of it, to take a break from that!
Nice. I think I remember Vendor from game class. Very cool idea that I'd totally watch the shit out of.
I wasn't a student at Cal State Long Beach or AFI, but have fun with your classes there and enjoy some much deserved time off!
Thanks! Hope your dreams weren't crushed. ; )
What advice could you give someone wanting to pursue a career in the film industry?
Go to film school.
Many people will disagree, but here's what I know. I went to NYU-Tisch for undergrad. I went to AFI for my MFA. I credit those two schools - especially AFI - for launching my career. And I can point to dozens and dozens more who followed the same path.
It's expensive. It offers no guarantees. But it worked for me, and continues to work for many others.
But everyone has their own opinion on this one. I think they are all valid.
Yes, it is stressful. It's almost always stressful - at least for me.
When you're first starting out, it's difficult to find work. If it's just you, or your and a significant other, then you can squeeze by, month to month. But if you add a child to or two to the mix, the stress skyrockets. That's when you see a lot of would-be writers, directors, producers, etc., drop out of the industry and find a "day job."
With a series on the air, and a bit of a career built between both myself and my wife, the stress is different. It's no longer about money. It's about trying to set up the next project, or land the next staff writing gig (in my wife's case). It's about trying to get a show on the air, and then keep that show on the air. It's about trying to share my vision of the show with my creative partners. It's about keeping a team of partners spread across 3-4 continents on the same page, and fighting for the same goal instead of fighting each other.
It's worth it when you see the end result of all the work, and you realize it's a show you can be proud of.