Writing on the Fast Track

Fast Track - Lee GoldbergI've had so much commercial and critical success with my ebook McGRAVE, which was based on an unproduced pilot I wrote for Sony International Television, that I've decided to write novelizations of all of my pilot and TV movie scripts, produced and unproduced, on which I retained the publishing rights. 

So during a brief hiatus between books in 2012, I novelized my first draft screenplay for FAST TRACK, the action movie I wrote and produced for Action Concept and ProSeiben in Berlin a few years ago.

FAST TRACK was a two-hour pilot for an American-style action series that would have been shot in English and German with a cast of American, Canadian, British, French and German actors and followed the lives of four young people in the world of illegal street racing. ProSeiben commissioned the pilot movie and scripts for six episodes. Making the movie, which was directed by Axel Sand and starred Erin Cahill, Andrew Walker, Alexia Barlier and Joseph Beattie, was one of the highlights of my career and the friendships I made during the production continue to this day. It was a fantastic experience professionally, creatively and personally (if you watch the "Making of Fast Track" documentary, I think you'll see why). Unfortunately, the series didn't happen…but perhaps because I've remained close to many of the actors, the characters have stayed fresh in my mind. I haven't been able to let go of them, and have tried to resurrect the project several times over the years (we came close with Cartoon Network, but it fell through).

So I approached the opportunty to revisit the FAST TRACK world with enthusiasm. I used the first draft screenplay as the basis for the book because it had some action elements that we either had to omit or re-imagine due to budget/scheduling/location issues and a prologue that was shot, but that I ultimately cut, in the final edit (I've always regretted cutting the prologue).  

The film took place in Berlin, but I decided the novella would work better in the United States, so that required some rethinking of the characters' backstories and reworking some of the scenes. I also did a complete update on the cars, with the help of Sam Barer, the same technical consultant we used on the movie. 
Fast-Track-No-Limits

I had so much fun writing the FAST TRACK novella that if it does well, I may revisit the characters in sequels based on the twelve episode ideas that I came up with during the development of the pilot (though the stories,which I haven't looked at in years, may have been so Berlin/Europe-centered that they may not work in the new, Los Angeles setting).

But this experience has definitely spurred me on to take a look at my other scripts. I don't know yet which one I will tackle during my next short hiatus.

If you'd like to know more about FAST TRACK, here are some links:

The Making of Fast Track documentary

The Fast Track Trailer

The Fast Track Movie

My Blogs About the Production, Post-Production and Promotion of Fast Track

No Limits to the Praise

51BywRwlFwL._SS500_ Novelist James Reasoner said some very nice things on his blog about my movie FAST TRACK: NO LIMITS, which is now out on DVD. He said, in a part:

Katie needs money to save her garage, and her only real hope is to win a series of races with her cars. (She doesn’t drive herself, just provides the cars and takes part of the purses when they win.) Throw in more cops, some gangsters, a nasty villain, assorted bank robberies, beautiful women in skimpy outfits, several races, and a handful of really spectacular stunts, and you’ve got a highly entertaining action/adventure movie.

Most of the cast is European, but the two leads are American (Erin Cahill as Katie) and Canadian (Andrew Walker as Mike). Everybody does a good job, the script has some funny lines and several very effective dramatic moments, and the stunt drivers really steal the show. I don’t know if Lee has any more of these in the works, but if he does, I’ll watch ’em, you can count on that.

Thanks so much, James!

Fast Track Webcast

Fasttrack-392  We had a few technical glitches on our first live, interactive webcast…and weren't able to record the FAST TRACK portion of the show. So we're doing it again this Sunday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. I'll be joined by FAST TRACK stars Erin Cahill and Andrew Walker. If you would like to watch, or participate by chat, here's the link. If you would like to join us on camera, via webcam, please send your Skype username to info AT expandedentertainment.com or forward it to me at lee AT leegoldberg.com and I will get it to them.

FAST TRACK out on DVD Today

My movie FAST TRACK: NO LIMITS is finally available on DVD in the U.S. (the movie was released almost two years ago and has been available since then just about everywhere in the world except here!). I wrote and produced the movie in Berlin at the end of 2007…with an American, British, French and German cast. It was one of the best professional experiences of my life…one I hope to repeat in 2010 by working on another action movie with the same team. Here's the FAST TRACK theatrical trailer:

and if you want to know more about how the movie was made, here's part one of "The Making of Fast Track" documentary.

Post-Game Wrap Up

I just got back from EB Live Interactive Webcast to promote my MONK books and the DVD release of my movie FAS T TRACK.  It was the first time Expanded Books has tried to pull off this feat —  a live web broadcast integrating text chats, live Skype webcam calls, in-studio hosts, pre-recorded clips, music, graphics, and virtual sets. And they asked me to be their guinea pig. 

Although there were a few technical glitches, made worse by my fumbling attempt at being a host, I thought it was a lot of fun. And scary, exciting, and embarrassing. My guests were MONK writer/producer/director David Breckman (who was in studio with me) and FAST TRACK star Andrew Walker and technical advisor Sam Barer (both via Skype webcam). My other guests were the people who called in by Skype webcam during the broadcast. I felt a little like an inept Ted Koppel, talking to people "face to face" in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Montreal…while also taking questions sent by "chat" (though my chat monitor kept blacking out). 

I have no idea how it turned out…I am supposed to be getting a copy of the show soon and I will post it here. My wife says it was a little rough, and at times I was fumbling, but overall it was fun and it seemed like we were all having a good time, and that compensated for the technical glitches.  I'm eager to hear what you thought of it. 

But what I found most exciting was the potential of this new technology. It's possible now for someone to have their own live talk show on the Internet…with guests from all over the world on camera …and with the full participation of the virtual audience in ways television doesn't allow (the closest comparison is talk radio). And for a fraction of a TV budget. 

It will be interesting to see what happens after Expanded Books works out the kinks….they could really be on to something here beyond promoting authors and their books.

Live Author Chat/Interactive Webcast with Me

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I'll be hosting a Live Author Chat/Webcast on Sunday, Oct 4 at 6pm PST…talking about my latest MONK book, MR. MONK IN TROUBLE & the Oct. 6 DVD release of my movie FAST TRACK: NO LIMITS. The cast of FAST TRACK is also scheduled to participate. But best of all, ANYONE ANYWHERE can join in by going to: 

http://live.expandedbooks.com/lee-goldberg 

Or you can talk to me, and everyone else who is watching, VIA WEBCAM…all you have to do is send an email first, with your Skype username, to: 

info@expandedbooks.com

Expanded Books will connect you via Skype so you can participate in the show….and be seen by people all over the world. 

Live Author Chat is a new service from Expanded Books that uses cutting-edge video streaming and television technology to broadcast author chats in real time, via the web. Each chat is a fully produced and customized live webshow where up to four people can communicate with each other simultaneously via video webcam while many more participate via chat and tens of thousands

MM_in_Trouble.revised

 worldwide can watch. The conversation happens in real time, while the Expanded Books team directs the show from their studio in Los Angeles. You can expect a lively conversation between me at home, fans on webcams, and chat participants, while the directorial team switches between the four multiple webcams, book covers, clips from MONK & FAST TRACK, and much more. I hope you'll watch…or, better yet, take part in the fun!

UPDATE 9/26/09: We are doing a live test run of the broadcast this Sunday, Sept. 27 at 4 pm PST. Here's the link:

http://live.expandedbooks.com/channels/3/with_player

You are welcome to log in …or send your Skype username to info@expandedbooks.com to participate by webcam.