Lee A. Chrimes
NOTE: This is a Work In Progress. Like so many things these days...
Lee A. Chrimes (born 2nd May 1979, Walsall, West Midlands) is a virtual series writer and producer, and also founder member of the popular virtual series community MZP (Monster Zero Productions). A relative latecomer to the world of virtual series, Lee has managed to amass a healthy CV of writing credits over the last few years, creating and producing a variety of shows across several genres as well as developing two websites dedicated to broadcasting the MZP network's virtual series, MZP-TV and Virtual Mutant.
Lee is the creator and showrunner of the virtual series Somewhere InBetween and Natasha Tyreen, and co-creator/executive producer of the Jossverse shows Slayer Academy and Faith: The Series. He has also been an executive producer on the virtual continuations of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: The Series, and has been a producer (at various levels) on shows such as Guardians, The Company, Raven, Gods, The High Life and Destiny.
Year Zero (early days)
Always interested in the realms of fantasy, horror and science fiction, Lee's first real foray into story writing took the form of an English project in 1994, a spin on the popular video game Syndicate that spilled into 30 pages plus. After that, more short stories and projects followed, with his first scripted work in the form of Inferno, an Airwolf-inspired pilot episode, and an early version of the abandoned Crossfire project taking the form of a screenplay heavily inspired by the TV shows Babylon 5 and Space: Above And Beyond, although the amateurish formatting and presentation means that neither of these works have ever seen the light of day.
Study of screenplays and scripts through a variety of websites (such as Drew's Script-O-Rama and Simply Scripts) taught Lee how to write and present in more accepted styles of formatting, and along with a few more screenplays (such as action/horror To Hell And Back and Bands On The Run, a rock comedy inspired by the VH1 show of the same name) a pilot idea for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off entitled Chris & Sunday was plotted.
'Chris & Sunday'
Taking its cue from a guest villain in the Season Four Buffy episode 'The Freshman,' a Vampire Of The Week named Sunday, Lee decided she was far too good a character to only use once (a sentiment echoed by the show's creator Joss Whedon), and cooked up a plot involving Sunday going to Hell after her staking in 'The Freshman' (using the vision of Hell first represented in his screenplay To Hell And Back) before being inadvertantly rescued by Chris Berkeley. Chris was set up as the long-lost half-brother of Spike, halfway between vampire and human after a botched attempt by Spike's then-lover Drusilla to sire him. Since then, Chris had been looking for a cure to his condition and recruited Sunday to help him find it.
The two-part pilot episode, set just after Season Five of Buffy, was written in 2000 and involved Chris and Sunday arriving in Sunnydale, California, encountering Buffy and her team and then taking a journey down into the Hellmouth in search of a mystical artefact believed to offer a potential cure for Chris. The artefact was fake, however, a trap set up by Malkuth, Chris' arch-nemesis, but after escaping Malkuth's clutches Chris and Sunday said their goodbyes, travelling on their way.
Chris & Sunday had an entire first season plotted and a handful of episodes werw written before Lee found his way to the Soulslaying Buffy Continuation, and the next chapter of the story begins...
Soulslaying (the Buffy years)
Soulslaying was a small group of virtual series writers led by Darren J. Eldred, a Brit who loved Buffy so much that he was determined not to let the show end with the Season Seven finale 'Chosen.' He established a website, recruited more writers (Matt Thompson, Alex J. Moskwa and Ian Austin) and began the construction of an Eighth Season of Buffy, planning a further two seasons and demonstrating a good grasp of both writing in the show's style and also plotting a seasonal story arc that Whedon himself would be proud of.
With Chris & Sunday still bubbling away, Lee submitted the pilot as a sample of his work to Darren and was brought into the team, his first assignment being the tough episode Little Girl Lost. Dealing with the childhood abuse of the character of Kennedy, it was a baptism of fire that needed several rewrites (some as Lee learnt a final few scriptwriting and formatting techniques, some for the controversial content) but went on to become a fan favourite for the season.
Season Eight's main plot was the possession of Dawn by an ancient evil known as Ulithios (a storyline later shadowed by the Illyria plot in the final season of Angel: The Series, much to the dismay of the Soulslaying staff), and the team's battle against Ulithios' many minions culminating in a showdown against a colossal dragon, and a final face-off between Buffy and Dawn herself.
With other staff members growing apart from the project despite the acclaim it received from the fans, Darren and Lee ended up taking on the bulk of the writing responsibilities themselves, writing eighteen of the season's twenty-two episodes between them (11 for Darren, 7 for Lee). Several factors were blamed for the steady dissolution of the group - communication issues between Darren and the others (his hospital visits could leave him incommunicado for weeks at a time), writers disagreeing with certain decisions (the character assassination of Riley Finn in 'Christmas Spirit', for example) and the usual factors of Real Life rearing their ugly head.
8x07 "Little Girl Lost" (March 16th 2004)
8x10 "Christmas Spirit" (April 20th 2004)
8x13 "Suddenly Human" (April 28th 2004)
8x15 "The Calling" (May 25th 2004) (with Alex J. Moskwa)
8x19 "Blackout" (June 1st 2004)
8x20 "Existence" (June 17th 2004)
8x21 "Cause & Effect" (June 30th 2004)
With the success of Season Eight fresh in the staff's ears (the website alone attracted over 40,000 hits), Darren was already hard at work on Season Nine before the dust had settled on the devestating finale 'Cradle,' churning out the first four episodes in a matter of weeks, and then... nothing. Suspecting another unscheduled hospital visit had put Darren temporarily out of action, the rest of the team did what they could to keep things going but as the months rolled on, there was no way to get into the half-constructed Season Nine website, other projects started to spring up and before long Lee was the only guy sticking with the project, despite already producing episodes of Chris & Sunday with Ian Austin via the MZP message board.
After some delay, Lee decided to move production and broadcast of Season Nine to his own site and discussion boards, airing Darren's first four episodes from November 2005 and then starting work on the rest of his season himself, but he only got as far as episode nine before he felt the show still needed a lot of work, taking it off air for a month to do rewrites and returning in March 2005. With MZP compatriot Waylon Wyche helping out by writing four episodes, Lee completed the remaining fourteen to finish the season, staying honest to Darren's original plans for the series but expanding and developing existing ideas, using the extended finale to lead directly into the movie event Original Syn.
9x05 "Absolution" (December 10th 2004)
9x06 "The Caretaker" (December 17th 2004)
9x08 "Ever After" (January 14th 2005)
9x09 "Road To Perdition" (January 22nd 2005)
9x10 "Safe House" (March 1st 2005)
9x11 "We Are Strong" (March 2nd 2005)
9x12 "Controlled Environment" (March 3rd 2005)
9x13 "The Long Trek Home" (March 12th 2005)
9x16 "The Offering" (April 1st 2005)
9x17 "Only Hope" (April 1st 2005)
9x19 "Pathways" (April 8th 2005)
9x20 "Into The Fire" (April 15th 2005)
9x21 "City Of Ruins" (April 22nd 2005)
9x22 "Middle Ground" (April 29th 2005)
The End Of Soulslaying
Coming soon - how one chapter finally ended and a new one began...
- Chris & Sunday (creator, showrunner)
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer Virtual Continuation (MZP) (showrunner, Season Nine)
- Angel The Virtual Continuation (MZP) (showrunner)
- Somewhere InBetween (creator, showrunner)
- Faith: The Series (co-creator, showrunner)
- Slayer Academy (co-creator, showrunner)
- Natasha Tyreen (creator, showrunner)
Monster Zero Productions - virtual series discussion and production board