Tag Archives: USA Network

That Time When I Talked To Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay About White Collar

Peter and Neal 1It seems like a lifetime ago now that I was obsessed with a little show on the USA Network called White Collar, starring the ever hard-working Tim DeKay and a little-known Texan named Matt Bomer. Well, it has now been about eighteen months since we bade au revoir (which, incidentally, is the title of the series finale) to the show that inspired me to write fiction for the first time since high school, and also helped me make friends around the world through the power of Twitter. In the years since the show premiered, I have met many of these friends in person, and most of the writers from the show as well.

Over the course of the show’s six seasons, I, along with thousands of dedicated and loyal fans, followed the cast and writers on Twitter and looked forward to behind-the-scenes photos of the hardworking team goof around in between takes. Oh, how I have missed those!

Peter and Neal 2
My visit to New York in April 2013 was planned around the season 5 production schedule to allow me to visit the cast on location, however, a production shift meant I missed out on meeting the cast in person but the writers were kind enough to meet me for a drink in Los Angeles. Despite that disappointment, I was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to participate in a press call with Matt and Tim (for the second time!) on behalf of LenaLamoray.com ahead of the Season 5 premiere. You can read the full report here but below is an excerpt from my Q&A with Agent Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey about Season 5.

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Seven Questions in Seven Minutes with The Walking Dead Writer/Producer Matt Negrete

Don’t Look Back.

For three years during his stint as a writer on USA Network’s White Collar, writer Matt Negrete made me laugh and he made me cry. Then he left that writers room and moved to another popular show, AMC’s The Walking Dead.  I had never watched the show before, despite critical acclaim, I was determined that “zombie” shows were not my cup of tea. Full credit to my friend, Tarina, for repeatedly telling me that it is soooooo much more than a zombie show. With the announcement that Matt and Channing Powell (another former writer on White Collar) were both heading to the Walking Dead writers room, it offered me the perfect excuse to check out this show, now halfway through its fourth season, and I have not looked back since.

In the spring of 2013, I was fortunate enough to travel to Los Angeles and meet almost the entire White Collar writers room. For those of you who have been following me on Twitter (@valshopaholic) or this blog, you will know just how big a fan of the show I am. Unfortunately, Matt was knee-deep writing his first episode of The Walking Dead (check out Season 4, episode 4 “Indifference”) so I did not get to meet him in person but he was kind enough to answer a few questions recently in between working on new episodes for Season 5.

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A Tale of The Severed Limb

Every year I tell people I don’t like making a fuss over my birthday.  But then as my birthday draws nearer, I start to get a little more excited and I start telling everyone within earshot that my birthday is coming up.  Since my birthday is on the last day of the month, it always feels like such a long wait from when September comes to when it is actually “the big day”.

For the past couple of years, my birthday has been a bittersweet time of year. I spent my birthday in 2010 flying halfway across the world to be by my grandmother’s bedside as she laid in a hospital bed, and since she passed away four weeks later, my birthday has been a constant reminder of those last days I got to spend with her. But that emotional period also serves as a reminder of how blessed I am and how far my friends are prepared to go to make me happy. (You can catch up on my birthday posts for 2010 and 2011).

September 2012 got off to a wonderful start.  First, I got a new contract, thus keeping alive my much-coveted dream of a trip back to the US (which I last visited in 1998).  Then came the presents.  The first completely knocked me off my feet with amazement because of the sheer unexpectedness of it.

I openly admit I have a massive crush on the writers of TV show White Collar.  Everyone who follows me on Twitter or is a Facebook friend regularly see me post undeniably over-the-top comments about how in awe I am of them.  So, imagine my surprise when I got a notice in my letterbox to pick up a parcel from the post office, which contained an autographed copy of the script from one of my favourite episodes of the show (it was the season 2 mid-season finale “Point Blank”)! It was signed by the entire staff  in the White Collar writers room!!!

White Collar script

Signatures clockwise from top: Matt Negrete, Jim Campolongo, Dan Shattuck, Eddie Serrano, Jeff Eastin, Sara Wright, Alexandra McNally, Bob DeRosa, Mark Goffman, Chris Masi, Channing Powell, Joe Henderson

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Good Morning Jeff Eastin!

Halfway through my birthday month and I have got the best gifts already.  First off, I got a new job (yay!) which means I can finally start planning the vacation I had been coveting for the past two years (double yay!).  Secondly, a week ago, I received a most fantastic surprise birthday present from my fellow blogger/writer-wannabe/conspiracy theorist, Ceil, who had apparently been planning this surprise for three months (more on that another time).

The latest “gift” required a 4.30am alarm this morning, and an international phone call to join in a press chat with none other than my favourite TV showrunner, Jeff Eastin – creator and executive producer of WHITE COLLAR.  How many people can say they have talked to their favourite writer whilst in bed? OK now I know I’m going too far with this and I don’t want to find my next gift in the form of a restraining order.

So, a word of warning, this piece of writing is the result of lack of sleep and over-excitement from this morning so I apologise in advance that there will be grammatical errors, possibly incomplete sentences and may not make complete sense (I have voices in my head arguing about White Collar conspiracy theories).

Armed with my long list of questions and being a little smarter this time around (my first press call was with the funny, talented and generous actor, Willie Garson), I managed to score myself second in line for the call.  Being a bundle of nerves and trying to keep my brain and my mouth in sync at 5.30 in the morning proved more difficult than I expected.  Maybe it’s time to use “English is my second language” as an excuse…

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An Open Letter To Mr Jeff Eastin

Dear Mr Eastin,

Though we have never met, I feel like I have known you forever, so I’m going to dispense with the pleasantries and just call you Jeff, if I may.

Well, Jeff, I know your birthday is fast approaching (no, I am not being creepy stalkerish, it’s public information for those who already have one finger on the phone to the police), and unfortunately I am not able to give you a present as awesome as the “FBI Profile” file that a group of us gave you last year. So I hope this open letter will suffice.

FBI’s most wanted

Now, as you know, I am a big fan of yours.  There may be a small dissident group who think genuine fans are sycophants and like to diss other fans for their support – but thankfully that is just a minority. Your show, WHITE COLLAR has got me addicted to the point of unparalleled obsession.

I have lost sleep because of you and your crazy cliffhangers.  Because of you, I discovered the world of fan-fiction and it re-ignited a passion for writing that I had not experienced since high school. Because of you, I have also discovered the world of slash-fiction…let’s not go there…I can’t write it but, boy, do I admire the talented people who do!

So now let’s move on to the season 3 finale, “Judgement Day”.  Let’s start with the spelling.  We here in the commonwealth spell it with an “e” in the middle but  what’s a letter here and there between friends, right?

I know you love leaving clues and hints for fans to find, so let’s take a look at the bread crumb trail you left for us that led to where we are now.

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Is Geek The New Chic? Welcome to Comic-Con!

2011 SDCC TV Guide Covers

From 21st to 24th July, 2011, the world’s largest convention for comic enthusiasts will take place in San Diego.  You may have heard of it – the San Diego Comic Convention – SDCC.  When this convention originated in 1970, it was attended by a few hundred fans of comic books and science fiction – Batman, Superman, The Avengers, Spiderman…you get the idea.  Of course, we cannot forget the Trekkies and the Star Wars fanatics.  You couldn’t consider yourself a true comic enthusiast unless you could speak Klingon.

I don’t pretend to know anything about this event except that over the years, this gathering of “comic geeks” has grown and now includes a galaxy of stars from the small and big screens.  Tickets were so in demand that the online sales service was not able to cope with the surge of orders when they were first released.  The server crashed, although this might say more about the event’s lack of organisation than anything else, but tickets were released again a few months later.  Still, to the fans who desperately wanted to attend, tickets were hard to come by.  Even the process the press has to go through to get their passes seemed ridiculously complicated, but I have been told it is worth the effort.

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