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Naked in the River

I am over the moon with excitement that my short story, NAKED IN THE RIVER, was published recently in Narrative Magazine. Though I’ve been writing fiction privately for quite a while this is my first time being published. Please read it and let me know what you think. (You can read it by joining NarrativeMagazine.com for free and have access to their incredible library — or you can read the story on my site, here.)

Naked in the River by Julie Hebert

I am over the moon with excitement that my short story, NAKED IN THE RIVER, was published recently in Narrative Magazine. Though I’ve been writing fiction privately for quite a while this is my first time being published. Please read it and let me know what you think. (You can read it by joining NarrativeMagazine.com for free and have access to their incredible library — or you can read the story on my site, here.)

Echoes (Netflix Dramatic Series)

I was delighted to work with my dear friends Quinton Peeples and Brian Yorkey on this thrilling series, created by wonderful newcomer Vanessa Gazy. We did it during the pandemic — a zoom writer’s room — and it was a blast. Watch the trailer now. Series to premiere later this month.

Identical twins Leni and Gina have secretly switched places for years. But when one sister disappears, both of their lives start to fall apart.

The Resident: How Conrad Get’s His Groove Back

Late last year I had the pleasure of directing an episode of The Resident for FOX, “How Conrad Got His Groove Back.”  It was such a BLAST to shoot in Atlanta. I love these folks. Thank you for bringing me on Matt Czuchry and Amy Holden Jones. This ep features Corbin Bernsen and Emily VanCamp doing stellar acting work in a deeply moving story written by Marqui Jackson  & JoshTroke.

I was honored to work with Malcolm Jamal Warner, Bruce Greenwood, Shaunette Renee Wilson and Manish Dayal.These actors bring it and I’m proud of the work we did together.

Thanks to Rob Corn and the whole team. Beautiful. The Resident 3rd season now available for streaming. Please watch!

MARS 2 Premiere: MARS under the STARS

 

Last week Kenn and I attended the premiere of MARS 2, a National Geographic series I worked on last year. It was an amazing event— MARS under the STARS. We sat outside screening my episode (!) on the rooftop of a hotel, cuddled up in bean bag chairs and MARS blankets. (Should have gotten a photo, but I didn’t…) But— I met Ron Howard, which I was thrilled about. (Opie has grown into such a fine man… thank you, Aunt Bee!) MARS is partly his brainchild, produced by his company IMAGINE.

I wrote on the second season with the dream team of Dee Johnson, David Gould, and Paul Keables. Gould calls us the Spiders from Mars. We had a ball together.

This series is really rather special as it artfully mixes fiction with documentary about colonizing the Red Planet. We wrote a strong dramatic story which was then intercut with interviews with scientists and futurists like Elon Musk about what it will be like to live on Mars. Fascinating stuff.

You can catch Mars 2 on the National Geographic Channel every Monday at 9pm. Please watch and let me know what you think. Here’s the trailer:

The first episode is also online and available to watch at NationalGeographic.com.

Season 3 of “The Man In The High Castle” now streaming

 

Hey there, I’m thrilled to say the third season of our show “The Man In The High Castle” is streaming now on Amazon Prime. (I hear it’s doing pretty well!)

(on set, picture credit: director Nelson McCormick)

I’m in Vancouver working on Season Four and I am vastly impressed with the talent and dedication of everyone involved… cast, crew, designers, office staff… you name it, they’ve got it covered. Really blowing me away with their attention to detail and commitment to getting everything just right (great for an obsessive like me…) Plus we’re in Canada, so everyone is just so sweet. I’m loving it.

This series is timely now in ways not expected when it was conceived. It’s a fascinating exploration of what our American lives might look like under fascism. I love watching it to imagine what I would do under different circumstances. I think I’d be heroic… but then again… I wonder. These are the kinds of questions and stories we’re working on.

(director Nelson McCormick and I)

I’ve written Episode Two, which we’re shooting now, with Nelson McCormick directing; and I’ll be directing Episode Six, written by Lolis Elie.

Season Four will drop sometime next year. Meanwhile, check out Season Three!
 

Drunk at the Base of the Bodhi Tree A New Play!

Well… there’s a new play in my life and I’m feeling grateful. I started thinking about DRUNK AT THE BASE OF THE BODHI TREE years ago and in fact wrote a short story about the main character, but it didn’t really take off until I did a week-long Silent Writing Retreat with Erik Ehn last summer in Bolinas. I had no intention of writing about that character, but she kept showing up in response to Erik’s spiritual/poetic/artistic process which helped me access deeper levels and surprising turns. His request was that we write a play in a week, so that’s what I did— but it wasn’t very good. That was in June. In November I was fortunate to have a residency at Ucross in Wyoming. (An experience I wrote about HERE.) I thought I’d be rewriting the play… but when I reread it I threw it out completely and started over. So it felt like I wrote a new play in two and a half weeks… but it was actually years in the making.

I first heard the play read in a small group of friends at the Ebell in January, getting some very useful feedback. DRUNK AT THE BASE OF THE BODHI TREE was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival this year, but I was unable to make those dates, which kind of broke my heart. Then— surprise!— The Boston Court chose the play for its summer festival. I’m thrilled to have a chance to work on it with actors and director Jessica Kubzansky. We’ll have a public reading on July 28th at 4pm in Pasadena.

DRUNK AT THE BASE OF THE BODHI TREE is a three-person, ninety-minute play about a chance encounter— a hiker discovers an injured woman face down in a ditch— that changes both their lives.

Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle

 I’ve joined Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle as Co-Executive Producer for their fourth season. The series is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, imagining an alternate history where the Axis powers won World War II.

It’s been crazy to immerse myself in that world. The first week I had a dream about Josef Mengele! I thought what have I gotten myself into now… but as it turns out I’ve gotten myself involved with an incredible group of people and the experience in the Writers Room has been tremendously satisfying.

I’m also happy to report that a series I’ve been developing with Keith Griffin Gordon for Noah Hawley’s company, 26 Keys, has been picked up by FX. Onward!

 

The Ambassadors Circle Podcast “Press Play on Your Passion”

The non-profit I’ve been running for a couple of years, Look What SHE Did! has been fortunate to attract some pretty wonderful people to support it, but no one has been more creative in her approach than the amazing Rose Lopez, a French teacher at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. I met Rose last summer and our mission resonated so deeply with her she adopted us in a manner I find breathtaking and inspirational. First, she supported us financially from her own pocket.

Then she participated in a charity tournament and made us the recipient of her winnings. (That check was a fun surprise!) She also introduced us to educational organizations that will make our videos available to schools across America and she took the lead at her high school to conduct a film shoot with her students, based on our methodology. As if that wasn’t more than enough, Rose introduced us to The Ambassador’s Circle and Bay Area 360, groups dedicated to promoting people and organizations who DO MORE GOOD. Rose and I did a podcast which you can listen to here. For the promotion of the podcast Bay Area 360 put together a short reel about Look What SHE Did! that really captures what we’re about. You can watch it here.

Look What SHE Did! is super-fortunate that Rose has joined our board. I just want to take a moment to publicly thank my dear friend Rose for her commitment and follow-through. She’s a rare and special woman, and I’m proud to know her and work with her.

Switchblade Sisters Podcast on Blood Simple

 

Do you love the Coen Brothers’ first film, BLOOD SIMPLE, like I do? I’ve seen this movie so many times— I’m crazy about it. When film critic April Wolfe invited me to do a Switchblade Sisters podcast, talking about a genre film that’s influenced my own work as a director— there was only one choice. I loved digging into what makes the movie great, why it stays with you, and how it affected me as I was figuring out film directing. (I admit to stealing a shot from Blood Simple on my first TV directing job.) April did her homework and I learned some fascinating things about the making of the movie that I didn’t know.

We also got onto the subject of working with amazing actors like Francis McDormand and Felicity Huffman. (I’m not embarrassed to say I gushed a little… but when you’re dealing with talent like that, damn.)

Take a listen on the Switchblade Sisters Apple Podcasts feed or the Maximum Fun website (HERE) and let me know what you think.