The History of Sentinels
My name is Mike Disa. I am a writer and director of animation. Yes, with all the disney movies and goofy kids shows and family movies that go with that. But I also have a serious writing background and have created/written animated and live action movies, tv shows. and several rather disturbing horror scripts. But my favorite projects were two R rated anime sci fi movies; Dante's Inferno and Deadspace Aftermath.
Both films were produced under less than ideal circumstances and had severe budget restrictions but damn... they reminded me why I loved animation to begin with. It can do ANYTHING. And make it believable and dramatic. Like anime has always done and American animation always hasn't. (Ok maybe Avatar.)
So a few years ago when my old friend Chris Judge started talking about doing a sci fi series, I immediately jumped at the thought of doing an adult action adventure series as an anime with no creative or storytelling limits.
Fast forward: Several sci fi and horror concepts hit the trashcan. It's not like I didn't have enough ideas. I had too many! Adventure, straight sci fi, a little horror, politics, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Era, the racism, gangs and violence I grew up around, my grandfather's stories about the integration of the Chicago police force, the works of Heinlein, Asimov and Tolkien, my brother's horrible death, the more horrible death of my best friend, the creeping nightmare of my mother's Alzheimer's, a loved one's struggle with identity; so many stories wanted to be told, but how to tell them all? They all seemed like they were missing something, Like hobbits without the Fall of Gondolin (Look that one up!!) I wanted to tell an important story. And like I tell my students, "a story worth telling is about the most important day of your life, or the last".
Then one day while I was re-writng another deeply unfunny script in my job as a show runner for WB, it hit me. The projects I had been developing were all be part of one much larger story! A vast epic adventure about the end of humanity - Sentinels.
A quick pitch to Chris, some very helpful adjustments, and within a year we had a series, pitch, bible, development art, stars attached, and a two hour pilot movie script ready to go. (Ok, and a few episodes scripts. It just too much fun not to!) Nothing to do now but get it out there to pitch. Just as soon as I get back from from shooting a movie in the Bahamas and Chris gets a break in his schedule. Maybe in February? No harm in waiting, right? What could happen?
Covid - 19
So here we are locked down in our homes. Conventions and festivals shuttered. No point pitching when no network has any idea when and how production will start up again. So I guess we'll just wait it out. And wait. And wait.
Then a producer friend Joe Goyette approached with with the idea of doing some podcast writing. He asked me what was going on with Sentinels. That might make an exciting podcast. Chris and I thought for ten seconds, and then we started calling friends.
One month later... Sentinels: Point of No Return, the epic podcast.
Funny ol' world, ain't it?