May 18, 2019: Akemi Saturday!

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I usually do Suji Sunday on this blog but today was truly Akemi Saturday.  Given my long production hours on weekdays (I’m usually out of the house by 7 a.m. and back at around 8 p.m.), and the assorted scriptwriting I have to do on the home front, I don’t get as much family time as I’d like.  But this weekend was different.  Having completed the script for the Utopia Falls season finale (outside of rewrites), and delivered my producer’s cut of episodes 3 and 4 (episodes 5-10 pending), I decided to dedicate the day to my gal.  And so, this morning, we woke up early, went to the farmer’s market, took the dogs out for a walk, enjoyed a leisurely lunch at home, and then, finally, after weeks of waiting, we checked out Oomomo, the Japanese dollar store in Mississauga.

Akemi had been absolutely dying to go and I figured “Why not?”.  I can just run dialogue in my head while she shops.

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Holy Moly!  The excitement!

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I, on the other hand, played it cool.

We were there for…well, I’m not sure how long.  But it felt like hours.

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I suppose it’s better than poop flavored vanilla-shaped candy.

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My second favorite flavor of candy.

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My sole purchase was this pretty awesome robot pen.

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Success!  Akemi ended up picking up many crucial supplies including (but not limited to): Mount Fuji-themed ceramic bowls, cartoon sheep floor mats, and cute animal kitchen sponges.

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What a haul!

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The happy couple.

I asked Akemi which she would have preferred: a spa day or going to Oomomo.  She looked at me like I was crazy: “Oomomo.  Of course!”

Of course.

May 17, 2019: John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum Garden Party High Tea!

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I didn’t even realize today the production office was doing a John Wick: Chapter Three – Parabellum Garden Party High Tea until this morning.  The brainchild of Production Coordinator Naomi Ward (with the assistance of Assistant Production Coordinator Drew Cohoe and various production assistants), the event had it all!

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Official garden gate entrance..

…complete with Keanu adornments.

Lunch John Wick-style: sandwiches, quiche, scones, and cookies.

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And, of course, the Keanu Cake.

Naomi, Drew, Robbie, Sterling, and yours truly.

Cannot wait for June 21st’s Child’s Play Luncheon!

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May 16, 2019: Rank my movies! Turtle custody battle spoiler!

Being in production really makes you unavailable for pretty much anything else besides production.  But, with freedom fast approaching, I’m putting together a hit list of movies I need to catch up on before they leave the theaters.  I will go watch them in the order in which they are recommended by you…

Please rank them from #1-8.

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May 15, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Aquaman #48 (variant cover art by Joshua Middleton)

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Black Widow #5 (cover art by Clayton Crain)

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Giant-Man #1 (cover art by Wee Cheoi)

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Giant-Man #1 (variant cover Dale Keown)

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Immortal Hulk #17 (cover art by Alex Ross)

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Joe Golem: Occult Detective – The Conjurors #1 (cover art by David Palumbo)

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Justice League #24 (variant cover art by Jorge Jimenez)

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Justice League #24 (variant cover art by Jerome Opena)

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Lucifer #8 (cover art by Tiffany Turrill)

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Naomi #5 (cover art by Jamal Campbell)

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Old Man Quill #5 (cover art by John Tyler Christopher)

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Old Man Quill #5 (variant cover art by Yoon Lee)

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Robyn Hood: Outlaw #4 (cover art by Marco Mastrazzo)

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Spider-Man: Life Story #3 (cover art by Chip Zdarsky)

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Teen Titans #30 (variant cover art by Alex Garner)

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Wars: Tie-Fighter #2 (cover art by Tommy Lee Edwards)

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The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #3 (cover art by Mico Suayan)

So, which were your faves?

May 14, 2019: Two Todds and a Rodney!

Each one seeking happiness…

Here, have a climactic page from the Stargate: Extinction script…

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Usually, I don’t enjoy attending screenings with screaming children in the audience – but I would have made an exception for THIS!

I suppose this is the equivalent of asking me to play bladder pipe…

I am Lawful Plotter with Neutral Plotting tendencies.

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And you?

May 13, 2019: Monday!

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Please, weigh in with your #DearMeTenYearsAgo words of wisdom.

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Happy Birthday to Art Director Kelly Diamond.  We celebrated this morning with home baked scones, bread, a selection of cheese, and matcha cake.

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Bad news for our First A.D.’s Derek Filiatrault and Grant Boyle.  One (or both of them) are going to have to go to make room for our new Assistant Director.

She is!  It says so right there on the t-shirt.  I also got one that says “PRODUCER”, so maybe we shouldn’t put too much stock in these things.

Loved the first season of Fleabag.  Halfway through Killing Eve and enjoying it as well.

Thinking of dropping another page from that Stargate: Extinction script tomorrow.  But it’s pretty spoilery (for those planning a trip to an alternate timeline where the movie actually got made).  It involves a McKay, two Todds, and a very rattled ship.

Finales I Have Wrought!

12 finales in 18 seasons.  10 in the last 13.

February 23rd, 2001…

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May 17, 2002…

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March 25, 2005…

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March 10, 2006…

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March 7, 2008…

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January 9, 2009…

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June 11, 2010…

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May 9, 2011…

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August 28, 2015…

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September 16, 2016…

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August 25, 2017…

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???…

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Whew!  What a ride so far!

And hopefully a few more coming your way, sooner than later.

[Thank you to Tom Gardiner and the other awesome gif-makers out there].

May 10, 2019:

Once again the weekend is upon us.    And, with a first draft of the series finale delivered, and our final double concept meeting on tap for this Monday, I can finally rest easy.  Ish.  There’s still a little over six weeks of production left.  And about four months of post. And, in the not too distant future, the revised pitch for that major comic book adaptation, that new ship-based space opera comic book series, the pitch for that small town supernatural show, development on the horror series, and, chiefest of all, the script for the (formerly) Untitled Awesome Project.

In a perfect world, I wrap up production on this in January, have a month off, and then roll into another writers’ room (for one of the aforementioned projects) in August, maybe September.

The past few weeks have been altogether exhausting.  I’ve spent waaaaay to much time reading off my laptop.  As a result, I’m having recurring headaches and my eyesight is definitely suffering.  I’ve found myself pulling out the reading glasses more often just to give my eyes a rest.  I’ve also been nursing an unusually sore right arm going on three weeks now – I’m guessing the result of banging it against a table but Akemi suspects I may have pulled a muscle or tendon.  Can you pull a tendon?  Is that what you do to tendons?

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be 100% once I’ve had time to rest and fully recuperate.  In early July.  In the meantime, there’s this –

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Oh damn.  It’s my dealer, Alan, with about 5 ounces of the good stuff: whole dried yellow Scotch Bonnets, red and yellow Habaneros, and Carolina Reapers.

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Akemi’s recent batch of bourbon cookies.  We refined the original recipe.  It called for a measly one tablespoon of bourbon, but our batch delivers a cup’s worth!

Cheese Boats –

Yes/No?

May 9, 2019: A Stargate Anniversary!

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Hard to believe that eight years ago was the last time a new episode of Stargate aired.  On May 9, 2011 Stargate: Universe’s “Gauntlet” closed out an incredible unbroken 364 episode, two movie, 17 season, 14 year run.   Back when my former writing partner and I joined the franchise for SG-1’s fourth season, we assumed we were jumping aboard near ride’s end.  We were told the show would go one more year before ending with its fifth and final season.  Oh, how wrong they were.

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Of course, in t.v., things have a way of changing.  Usually for the worst but, occasionally for the better.  Much better.  We got another season.  Then another season after that.  And then one more.  And another one.  And another.  And one more.  Then five seasons of Atlantis.  And two of Universe.  Why?  Well, credit the cast and crew and writers but, mostly, credit the fans who kept us going and, who made clear during last year’s tweetstorm,  that they’re still around and hankering for an all-new series.  As I’ve often said, it’s not a matter of if and but when.  It doesn’t make sense for MGM to sit on this valuable franchise for too long, and I’m sure they just want to make sure they’re going to do it right.  And by right, I mean offering a new series that can serve as a jumping on point for new viewers while rewarding longtime fans protective of the franchise, its characters, and canon.  Yes, I know, it would seem the way to go is obvious, so I’m going to assume they’ll figure it out sooner than later and reward long-suffering Stargate fans with their equivalent of a Star Trek Picard revival series rather than, say, that 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot.

Man, nothing hurts a franchise like an ill-advised reboot.  Am I right?

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May 8, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

There were my favorites…

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Catwoman #11 (cover art by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau)

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Detective Comics #103 (cover art by Andrew Hennessy, Brad Walker)

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Heavy Metal #293 (cover art by Flavio Greco Paglia)

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Justice League: Odyssey #9 (cover art by Juan Albarran, Daniel Sampere)

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers vol 8 (cover art by Jamal Campbell)

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Marvels Annotated #3 (cover art by Gabriele Dell’otto)

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Red Hood: Outlaw #34 (cover art by Pete Woods)

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Shazam #5 (cover art by Rafael Albuquerque)

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Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Boba Fett #1 (cover art by Terry Dodson)

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Star Wars: Age of Republic – Villains (cover art by Leinil Francis Yu)

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #32 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

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Taarna #4 (cover art by Luis Royo)

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The War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #2 (cover art by Rahzzah)

Which were your favorites?

May 7, 2019: Gallery Day! And the Bannister Dark Matter Lineup!

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Always great to see photographer Norman Wong do his thing.  Really loved his stuff on Dark Matter and really loving the stuff he’s shooting today.

Speaking of shooting – I sat down to a one hour EPK (Electronic Press Kit) interview that proved beyond exhausting, partly owing to the sheer number of questions, but mostly due to the fact that the set wasn’t locked down and I would have to stop and restart every time someone started talking or (what sounded like) perform root canal surgery.  In retrospect, I got off easy.  RT was down there for 2 HOURS!!!  Oof.  I am much better BEHIND the camera.

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Hey, look who’s in town!  It’s artists extraordinaire Nicolas Bannister and his wife Flo.  You may remember Nicolas from his work for the Save Dark Matter campaign:

Pretty amazing, no?  These belong on t-shirts.

His portfolio: https://t.co/TRpzKANzYa

The comic book they’re working on: Tib & Tatoum which is also an animated series.

Anyway, they’re in town for TCAF (The Toronto Comics Art Festival), so we got together for lunch and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate –

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And, hey, look what they brought us from France…

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More chocolate!

Looking forward to our next meet-up.

And even more chocolate.

Starbucks in Westeros! Snickers in Space!

Eagle-eyed viewers Jenna Guillaume noticed something unusual in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.  Specifically, what looked like a coffee cup in one of the early scenes…

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Sure, it looks like a Starbucks cup from a  distance…

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But upon closer scrutiny…

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Yep, it still looks like a cup of coffee.  At first, I assumed this was a clever hint dropped by the producers that somehow ties into Bran Stark’s mysterious ability to travel in time (mostly backwards but who knows?).  Yet, no.  This afternoon, HBO confirmed the error:

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I, of course, was outraged.  You’re making a t.v. show!  Countless individuals have watched these scenes countless times, from dailies through cuts to mixes and final deliveries.  How the hell does something like this happen???

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What?  Oh.  Why, yes.  That IS a Snickers bar in the alien shuttle in Stargate: Atlantis’s “Ark”.image.png

Truth is, this happens a lot.  Most of the time, it gets caught.  Like that afternoon we were watching the mix of Stargate: Atlantis’s Adrift.   One early scene involves the frenzied rush to get an injured Elizabeth Weir into surgery.  As it played out, Executive Producer Martin Gero suddenly yelled: “Hang on!  Was that a camera in the shot?”  We rewound, played closer attention and realized – Hell, yes, there was a camera in the shot.  In fact, more than a camera.  It was an entire camera team being wheeled out AHEAD of an unconscious Weir.  What at first appeared to be just a bunch of medial equipment actually turned out to be a huge oversight.

We were fortunate enough to catch that mistake early.  The Snickers bar, on the other hand, cost us a few thousand dollars to paint out.  Game of Thrones will, I’m sure, do the same.  Unless they blew the VFX budget on that battle with the White Walkers.

The gang at Downton Abbey, meanwhile, apparently prefer water to coffee…

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So what memorable mistakes, goofs, or flubs have you spotted in your favorite movies or  t.v. shows?

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Heads up!

Oops almost forgot.  Honoring a request for a Maximus Monday photo!

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May 5, 2019: Happy Birthday Suji Sunday!

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Guess who turned 14 today?  When she came to us 2 years ago, she was kind of quiet and needed to wheelchair to get around.  Now, she’s motoring around on her own four paws and raising hell.

Boy, she’s demanding.

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Hanging with mom.

Snoozing with Lulu.

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Celebrating May the 4th Be With You with dad.

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Birthday kisses.

My Top 25 Cufflinks!

I never truly realized the extent of my cufflink collection until this morning when blog regular, Ponytail, asked: “How many cool cufflinks are there in your collection?”.  I responded with what I thought was a fair approximation.  But when I told Akemi my estimation, she scoffed.  I had more than that!  So I counted and it turns out I had roughly double that original guess.

Which brings us to today’s entry.  My Top 25 Cufflinks!

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#25. Lady Bugs

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#24. One Piece

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#23. Seahorses

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#22. Espresso Makers

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#21. Turtles

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#20. Teddy Bears (hold a lot of sentimental value as it was one of the first gifts Akemi gave me).

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#19. Batmobile – tumbler

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#18. Iron Man

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#17. Cobras

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#16. Military Planes

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#15. Beetles

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#14. Frogs

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#13. Han Solo Blasters

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#12. Batmobile – classic

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#11. Captain Cold

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#10. S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#9. Star Trek Insignia

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#8. Legion of Super-Heroes

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#7. ATV’s

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#6. Death Stars

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#5. Stormtroopers

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#4. Hydra

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#3. Octopi

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#2. The Enterprise

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#1. Rubber Duckies

Honorable Mentions: C3PO, Darth Vader, Booster Gold, Black Adam, Red Lanterns, Cameras, Phone Booths, Rockets, Star Fleet Academy, Captain America’s Shield, French Fries.