Author Archives: James Riley
If you’ve been following Courage, you’ve been watching the exploits of one Reverend “Silence Laud,” marvelously portrayed by Rutgers-educated actor Donal Thoms-Cappello. Quite a few fans have demanded this particular villain receive some heavy measure of justice, and one fan has even detailed the precise methods of retribution, many of which I cannot share with a family audience, except to say they were inventive and prolonged.
From the very beginning of the Courage project, we wanted to mirror some of the spiritual conflict faced by our ancestors in both the 17th and 18th centuries. Continue Reading »
Random Lessons in Building an Indy TV Show
We’ve all had to wear so many hats around here, at Colony Bay, that we pick up our business lessons on the fly, between producing shows. That may not be the wise way to do it, but if you look at most scripted television these days, the big boys don’t know how to do it either, so, at least for my own benefit, I’m recounting the partial truths I pick up along the way:
Entertainment is a Tremendous Bargain: When someone rounds up the money to build, say, a truck-making assembly line, you can’t imagine the end product being available to millions of people for just about nothing. Continue Reading »
We still have two days of shooting to go, but, here, all linked together are some of the images from chapter IV — Courage, New Hampshire — “Ambition.”
It’s time to do yours!
Disclaimer: If you are one of the faithful who have already contributed, ignore this message — unless you have a friend who needs to ante up!
It all starts with culture, with story.
If you don’t like what is going on around you, blame it on art. We are what we mythologize. We might even be what we leave running on the television.
I just took a network at random. ABC. Continue Reading »
When we look back on the great accomplishments of the late 18th century — embattled farmers standing their ground at Lexington and Concord, the timeless language of the Declaration, the homage the centuries have paid to the Bill of Rights — we tend to see the victories and not the character of the people who achieved them.
We know they won, but we rarely study how or why.
If we found ourselves somewhere in New England on a Sabbath morning, in 1771, even the most devout among us might find the traditions strange. Continue Reading »
Not Every Order Should be Obeyed
The Brittany Rebellion of 1771
Most enlisted soldiers cringe at the very thought of disobeying a superior officer. As Washington wrote, “the soul of the army is discipline,” and the very enterprise of war can’t move forward if every battle strategy required a vote. Certainly, even rogue drill sergeants need to be obeyed, on most every routine occasion.
Having had a few friends, however, who graduated from West Point, and another who served as a combat Marine officer in Vietnam, I can tell you that the more educated the soldier, and the more familiar he is with western history, the more likely he is to debate which orders need to be obeyed, which need to be ignored, and which need to be openly and publicly defied. Continue Reading »
Hi, everyone. Your director here, James Riley, asking those of you who are able to contribute to “Courage, New Hampshire” to do so, TODAY, if possible.
I have publicly chided what I call the “smart money” set, who give you a funny look when you talk about pooling resources to create better entertainment. The fact is, of course, entertainment will never be a sure bet. It’s something like betting on your uncle’s next joke. Some of them have been hilarious, others just earn an awkward silence and staggered exits to the kitchen. Continue Reading »
Courage Made Plain! The First Two Minutes of Episode #1 Translated from the Baroque (sub-titles)
This was fun. We’ve always tried to make the language of Courage, New Hampshire authentic to the journals, letters, and newspaper usage we’ve seen in 18th century primary texts. Most of us are used to this language, but occasionally, someone will stop, pause, and re-wind.
Here’s a little primer on what Courage might look like if we tooled it up to suburban American English:
A Year in Review:
Last year at this time, we were getting ready to screen the first episode of Courage, New Hampshire at a Southern California theater. We had been trying, hit and miss, to get people interested in funding the production of a dramatic series, released on DVD, by pre-purchasing it. That takes a lot of faith on the part of the consumer, and understandably, we only raised a small portion of what it cost to film the first show. Continue Reading »