Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Are These Two Things Different?

I would like to address the Human Relations/Drones situation in depth. I feel like the best thing I can do is lay out the facts, as I have experienced them, and let them speak for me.

I have never said Scott Prendergast is guilty of plagiarism. I haven't read the script. I'm just saying the concept is eerily similar.

When a DRONES fan forwarded me the link to the SyFy Press Release, you can imagine my reaction.

If the press release had read, Human Relations is: "NCIS" meets "Men in Black" then I would've been a little curious, but with the tone being so different, I wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. But when you take "The Office", a very specific kind of comedy, and mash it up with "Men in Black", well, you have a very specific kind of tone...the exact same kind of tone as DRONES, or at least, that's what Sci-fi Wire thought. In fact, they called DRONES: "The Office" meets 'The Day The Earth Stood Still".

Even the title 'Human Relations' is similar to one of the tag lines we use in the film: "Omnilink, #1 In Human Capital". It's the same joke.

It really appeared as if our idea and its very specific tone had been co-opted by the same network that had premiered our trailer six months earlier.

Now, Scott Prendergast has come up with a time line for the development of his project, but after looking at it, I have to say that there are a lot of strange 'coincidences' in it, too.

Scott says, "My show has been in development since August of 2008..."

Which is kind of odd, seeing as the DRONES script was written in May of 2008 – two months before Scott started writing his script for Human Relations. DRONES was out in the world by August of 2008, available for any curious mind in Hollywood to read and/or take advantage of.

Scott says. "It was not developed at Syfy -- we brought it to them independently in January of 2010."

Which is another strange date.

Our trailer premiered on the SyFy Network's website in January of 2010.

Look, I don't think, nor did I say, Scott Prendergast 'ripped me off'. Heck, I didn't write the script, so it's not literally possible for him to have 'ripped me off' of anything.

I can just ask you to look at the two synopses - mine was culled from our treatment, a few lines come directly from the movie, (just check out the trailer to see our main character, Brian, talking about blowing up the planet), from reviews (right here you can check out: Brian, the regular office worker, who discovers the people he works with are aliens...) and from SyFy directly (they coined the phrase "The Office" meets "The Day The Earth Stood Still", not me) and you make the call. Scott accused us of making up what was in our synopsis. That is inaccurate, it's all their online for you to go and see. Just follow the links. They've all be online since January 2010.

It's not just me who sees the similarities...SyFy pointed it out in black and white.

We've never seen the Human Relations script and they've only released three lines about the show, all of which mirror lines from the synopsis of DRONES at Sci-Fi Wire or from the trailer of DRONES, itself. Until someone releases more information about the differences in these projects, we will continue to draw similarities.

Scott Prendergast throws dates and timelines at us, but he never addresses the real question. How are these two projects different? All he has to do is answer that question and we can lay the issue to rest.

If the two projects are totally different, then great and good luck to Scott Prendergast in the future.

Addendum: Scott says he wrote his script in 1995, but in this interview he purports to be writing his tv pilot in May of 2009.