The Movie Waffler Interview - BLADE OF HONOR & OMEGA 1 Creator Mark Edward Lewis | The Movie Waffler

Interview - BLADE OF HONOR & OMEGA 1 Creator Mark Edward Lewis

mark edward lewis
Lewis discusses his upcoming comic Omega 1 and plans to develop it for TV.

omega 1

Mark Edward Lewis gave us the incredible sci-fi pilot Blade of Honor, starring the late great Richard Hatch, a while back. He’s now back with a new genre effort, Omega 1, which looks to become both a comic book series and television series.

Thanks for chatting to us – or are you being pushed into it? Ha!

Pushed by an irresistible force…although I’m not sure how I feel about being an immovable object!

How did you come up with the idea of Omega 1? I recall reading you came up with the idea while eating at Dennys?

Yep. Dennys is really the fundamental growing field for all things creative in Hollywood. I’ve had more than one franchise start at a table at one-or-another Dennys restaurant. The other one is Ihop. I don’t know why. Might be the pancakes. For Denny’s, it’s definitely the bacon shake.

For myself and my co-writer Alina Andrei at the time (2006) we really wanted to create a sci-fi universe with a woman at the centre of it. Pain Killer Jane and The Bionic Woman were on the air about that time, and they were tanking, because no one really saw a super hero woman as a good lead actress. It was a sad time for certain, and obviously short-sighted considering the kind of awesome response we’re seeing from films like Wonder Woman, and TV shows like Dark Matter.

So we created this deep universe, and pitched to a few people including Kristanna Loken, but everyone passed. It was turned into a comic book as a result, then a motion comic, then the world’s first “Appisodic” series on the iTunes store, and now we’re again developing a series for it.

Does that mean that the eventual film or TV series based on the comics will likely get a Dennys promo tie-in?

Possibly. Although I doubt Dennys knows the extent to which we utilise its magic-creative-powers.

You’ll have to at least have the premiere party there, right?

Ah. No. But we might have those bacon shakes wherever we do have it, however!

You’re clearly a man that has simple, fun tastes.  Does that describe Omega 1 to a tee?

Not at all. Although the concepts for Omega 1 are simple, the depth of the characters and story are not at all. It’s a story which has a lot more in common with J.J. AbramsAlias than Dark Angel in that way. Very complicated and tortured characters where you’re not totally sure who the bad or good guys really are - except for Omega herself. Then you have a complicated post hacker-war world which feels like ours does now, but doesn’t act like it does now. Then add some hilarious and over-the-top awesome villains and it’s a complex bunch of all the things I love about super heroes and comic books balled into a wonderfully gripping and intelligent world.

For the uninitiated, can you explain how many comics you’ve published of it and how many you’re attempting to do with the Kickstarter?

I’ve actually only ever published Omega 1, and I’ve never done a comic book crowd fund until now. However, I’ve been involved with raising over $1.4 million on various crowd funds – but those have all been film/TV related. We really had to rethink the model we use to make crowd funds happen, because comic book fans are very particular about what they like and what they want to see and read.

And has a publishing deal been set for the comics in advance?

None other than the kickstarter donors. Once we complete the issue 1-6 print, we’ll approach distribution on a larger format. However, the motion comic has been distributed all around the world in multiple languages by our digital content distributor, and it’s currently the highest grossing title in their catalog.

How long have you wanted to do a TV series based on Omega 1?

Originally, we created Omega 1 as a webisode series in 2006 – back when nobody knew what a webisode was. It was encouraged by our manager at the time that it was good enough to be a television series, and so we adapted it into a pilot which has not yet been shot. So, nearly 12 years.

And would Elle Sonnet, who - based on the Kickstarter page - seems to be modelling as the main character for some events, be in it?

She might be! She’s a great actress in her own right and has performed as the lead in several short films and fan films. She’s great. We’re a bit cart-before-the-horse in terms of casting while we’re focused on the comic book kickstarter. Ultimately, we’d want to focus first on casting folks who have recognisable names as we’ve done with other series like Blade of Honor.

What was it about the character that appealed to you?

Things have changed a lot here in 2018, but back in 2006, female super heroes weren’t well respected. Certainly not when it came to helming television series or movies. Young women were really devoid of any super-hero like analogs as role models. We developed Omega as a young woman who is both a cold-blooded killer, but who also is trying to discover what being a woman and feminine is all about. Her feelings for John Rutgers bring up feelings that she thinks are a part of her “spidey sense” that danger is coming – instead of what we know as “falling in love.” She must learn about her intuition and managing her inner passions while staying focused and on-mission. She’s had no mother or female role model to help her through any of this, so she’s discovering it all on her own. She’s also had no media to watch in her formative years to inform her of how “society is.” It’s a fascinating dive into the power of the female condition and how it can be super strong and able to live in the ethereal as well.

Are independent jobs like this more fulfilling to work on than larger, bigger-budgeted productions? I imagine they’re a tougher gig – especially to get going?

I wouldn’t say they’re harder to get going. When you’re dealing with a large budget, sometimes it takes longer to get off the ground than an independent production. The issue I have with a large budget production is that there’s too many fingers in the pie. It’s one of the reasons we’re not really looking for a major distributor or network to buy it. We don’t want to have to deal with 35 executive producers putting in their two-cents just so they have justification for existence. We will work with partners who understand the brand, understand our fans, and have great creative and brand input to maximise all. Also, in an independent production you get to wear a lot more hats – which is fun and grueling at the same time. You never get bored, because your job is different every day – especially if you’re the director.

What keeps you in the game?

The faces of people in the theatre on screening night. The laughs of the audience when you know you got the comedy right. The glow of people when they come up to you at the supermarket and say something like, “ I so loved [X character] when they [faced their demons] and [did X to make themselves overcome]. It’s so amazing to me, because I know they’re really just charging themselves up to do the same in their own lives, and that’s really what I’m about anyway: empowering people to live a life they love.

Plug the Kickstarter!

The Omega 1 Kickstarter can be found here:

We’ve got all kinds of amazing rewards and perks for your donations. Right now we’re the fastest growing comic book raise on Kickstarter and we’re only going higher.

If you love independent sci-fi productions and comic books and empowering female super heroes kicking-ass, this is the place for you to become a part of Omega 1.

Donate. Share. Support.

Thanks for joining the revolution!

omega 1