June 22, 2019: Dark Matter deleted scene – Episode 212 “Sometimes in Life You Don’t Get to Choose”

FOUR has restored his memories and, as Ryo Ishida, plots against the throne of Zairon with the help of Hiro, his half-brother.  The change in him has not sat well with the rest of the crew, especially Nyx.  In this scene (directed by series stunt coordinator John Stead and, sadly, cut for time) she and TWO discuss the recent disconcerting developments…

June 21, 2019: Friday Carnival!

Today was our last day of production on our standing sets.  Before hitting the road for 2+ weeks of location shooting, we celebrated with a carnival!

Ringmaster and Production Coordinator Naomi Ward and her right hand strong man Drew Cohoe!

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Barbecue!

Snacks and sweets!

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Line Producer Robbie David and all his friends!

Games!

Prizes!

Julia and Nancy!

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I cashed in my raptor bucks for this deluxe collection of tiny plastic dinosaurs.

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Can’t wait to see what these two have in store for us when we hit the road!

June 20, 2019: Dark Matter – Another deleted scene!

This one was not so much a deleted scene as it was re-shot (so, technically, yes, deleted and replaced).  The broadcast version has ONE and Android scrambling to save SIX who has gone into cardiac arrest.  Ultimately, it’s the Android’s quick-thinking – and a residual electro-magnetic shock – that brings him back to the land of the living. Exciting, no?

The original version – admittedly not quite as exciting but no less fun – was deemed too sedate given that this was the show’s all-important third episode, the point at which (many in the industry believe) a series either keeps or loses the bulk of its viewer.  “Keep ’em past the third episode and they’ll stay with you for the rest of the season” is the accepted assumption.  And so, the scene was changed.

Outside of a few gags, the broadcast version covers the same beats.

June 19, 2019: This Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Aquaman #49 (variant cover art by Joshua Middleton)

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Batman #73 (cover art by Mikel Janin)

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Batman #73 (variant cover art by Ben Oliver)

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Captain America #11 (cover art by Alex Ross)

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Captain America #11 (variant cover art by Alex Ross)

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Deadpool #14 (variant cover art by Mark Brooks)

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Marvel Annotated #4 (cover art by Alex Ross)

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Marvel Annotated #4 (variant cover art by Alex Ross)

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Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 (variant cover art by Patrick O’Keefe)

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Red Sonja and Vampirella meet Betty and Veronica #12 (cover art by Fay Dalton)

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Star Wars #87 (variant cover art by Rafael Albuquerque)

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Star Wars: Tie Fighter #3 (cover art by Tommy Lee Edwards)

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Star Wars: Tie Fighter #3 (variant cover art by Jeff Langevin)

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Teen Titans #31 (variant cover art by Alex Garner)

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The Absolute Sandman vol. 1 (cover art by Dave McKean)

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Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 (cover art by Alexander Lozano)

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Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 (variant cover art by Clayton Crain)

So which were your favorites?

June 18, 2019: Dark Matter deleted scene – Episode 2!

More often than not during Dark Matter’s first season, episodes came in short, often necessitating the scripting of extra scenes (usually featuring the Android – like the accents scene in Episode 7).  Occasionally, however, an episode came in long requiring edits to bring it down to time.  Rarely did this ever result in the excision of an entire scene – but this was the case in Episode 2 when the run time was so long that we needed to make a big cut.  And this scene was it.

As scripted, ONE, THREE, FOUR, and SIX return to the Marauder, preparing to head back to the Raza – only to learn the ship has left and they have presumably been abandoned.  In the next scene of the broadcast version, we pick them up back at the mining colony, offering their support.  BUT in the original version, there was an intermediary scene that saw our foursome discuss their options – and explain why they (and especially THREE) don’t simply ride out the storm somewhere else…

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June 17, 2019: Video Drop!

Your official Traugott Corp screensaver

Safety first!  This message brought to you by the your caring corporate overlords at Traugott Corp

Space station animation – Dark Matter

VFX animation – Stargate: SG-1 – Fallout

Identify the ship!

McKay at the ruins – Stargate: Atlantis “Harmony” behind the scenes

The hive ship is rocked – Stargate: Atlantis “Search and Rescue” behind the scenes

Behind the scenes – Stargate: Universe “The Hunt”

Behind the scenes – Stargate: Universe “The Hunt”

Behind the scenes – Stargate: Universe “The Hunt”

Going through my old laptop.  Lots of good stuff!

June 15, 2019: To Comic Con or Not to Comic Con!

One of the best times I’ve ever had at a con was back in 2007(ish) when I attended SDCC for a combined Stargate SG-1/Atlantis panel that saw 5000+ fans pack the hall in support of the franchise.  Approximately eight years later, I returned for an equally great visit – this time for Dark Matter, and with Akemi.  I haven’t been back since but I’ve always had very fond memories of those days in San Diego spent meeting fans and walking the streets filled with a dizzying array of cosplayers covering everything from anime and gaming to comic books and t.v.

So, I was recently invited to attend this year’s SDCC.  By the time it rolls around, production will have wrapped on this latest show and I’ll be free and clear – outside of my post-production commitments.  I told Akemi and suggested she come along.  She was thrilled.  So thrilled, in fact, that she suggested we get married while we’re there.

I was surprised only insofar as whenever I’ve floated the idea of getting married in the past, she’d shrugged it off with the indifference one might reserve for brunch.  It’s not that she didn’t want to get married; only that she didn’t want to suffer through a big spectacle.  She hates to be the center of attention and once suggested something low-key, like a trip to city hall.

An SDCC wedding would definitely be a step up however.  Maybe at the tail-end of the panel.  I could get someone dressed as the Joker to officiate.  Then we could go top off the evening with corn tamales at the Cheesecake Factory!

Upon closer scrutiny, it may be a little more complicated than that – but the biggest obstacle to a Deadpool themed wedding, heck just the trip to SDCC, is finding a dog sitter.  Our two old gals are high maintenance.  They’re cranky, incredibly cranky, have a hard time walking, and are prone to the occasional unwitting accidents.  Suji also needs to have her bladder expressed every night.

Our regular sitter (who they stayed with the last time we went to Tokyo) is fully booked for July, so we’re in talks with another candidate.  She’s had vet tech experience, is very nice, and would actually stay at our place while we’re away.   We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully, things work out and we can go, knowing they’re in capable hands.

OR we just skip SDCC this year.

OR we fly Lulu and Suji down and make them part of the big event.

Please suggest appropriate wedding cosplay outfits for these two…

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Batgirl and Black Canary?  Colleen Wing and Misty Knight?  Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy?

June 14, 2019: TGIF!

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Production Assistant Nancy Asiamah-Yeboah celebrates the end of another week of production.  And, oh yeah, the Toronto Raptors – the first Canadian team to be crowned NBA champions.

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He does it all!

Hey, going through the Stargate vault and came across these gems, courtesy of Stargate VFX Supervisor Mark Savela.

And this glorious outtake from Stargate: Universe…

So, what are your weekend plans?

June 13, 2019: Dark Matter Storyboard – The Android Trench Walk!

Occasionally, when faced with a more complicated series of shots, a director may work with an artist to storyboard the sequence.

Going through my old files, I happened to come across this storyboard for the Android space-walk from Dark Matter’s third episode…

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It’s like a Dark Matter comic book!

June 12, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Amazing Spider-Man #23 (variant cover art by Daniel Acuna)

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Amazing Spider-Man #23 (variant cover art by Stuart Immonen)

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Amber Blake #4 (cover art by Butch Guice)

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Amber Blake #4 (variant cover art by Catherine Nodet)

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Banja X #1 (variant cover art by Fabio Alves)

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Catwoman #12 (variant cover art by Stanley Lau)

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Champions #6 (variant cover art by In-Hyuk Lee)

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Event Leviathan #1 (cover art by Alex Maleev)

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Flash #72 (variant cover art by Derrick Chew)

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Giant-Man #3 (cover art by Woo Cheoi)

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Hawkman #13 (variant cover art by In-Hyuk Lee)

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Immortal Hulk #19 (variant cover art by Emanuela Lupacchino)

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Justice League: Odyssey #10 (variant cover art by Lucio Parrillo)

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Red Hood: Outlaw #35 (variant cover art by Yasmine Putri)

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Red Sonja: Birth of the She Devil #1 (cover art by Lucio Parrillo)

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Silver Surfer: Black #1 (variant cover art by Gerald Parel)

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Sonata #1 (variant cover art by Brian Haberlin, Geirrod Van Dyke)

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Spider-Man: Life Story #4 (cover art by Chip Zdarsky)

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The Life and Death of Toyo Hara #4 (cover art by Mico Suayan)

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The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (cover art by Adam Hughes)

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Transformers #7 (variant cover art by Livio Ramondelli)

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Wonder Woman #72 (variant cover art by Jenny Frison)

So, which were your favorites?

Hey!  Happy Dark Matter Day!

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June 11, 2019: Dipping into the Dark Matter Vault – Welcome To Your New Home!

A little trip down memory lane…

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Welcome to Hyperion-8

Anthony Lemke as THREE

Director Amanda Tapping

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Meet your new neighbors

Alex Mallari Jr as FOUR

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Face-off

Fight!  Fight!

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Fight!

Take the high ground!

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Time-out!

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Stunt Coordinator John Stead and actor Alex Mallari Jr

Ah, good times.  Good times.

(All photos by Jan Thijs)

My Black Mirror Top 5!

Last year, I was in a pitch meeting when the conversation turned to Black Mirror.  At one point, the executive I was pitching revealed two of his favorite episodes and my (internalized) reaction was “Really?!”.  I mean, they weren’t bad, but of all the episodes to choose from, why those two?  And then, just last week, someone tweeted out their Top 5 Black Mirror episodes and I was again completely stunned.  Again, not bad episodes, but Top 5?

So I got to thinking.  Maybe an individual’s taste in Black Mirror episodes reveals deep-rooted psychological issues.  I recall that, during that pitch meeting, the executive asked me to reveal my favorites.  When I did, he nodded knowingly as if he’d figured me out and remarked: “You like a certain type of story.”  I do?  Yes, I suppose I do.  But what does that say about me?

You tell me.  Here, for your psychoanalyzing pleasure, is my Black Mirror Top 5!

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#5. White Christmas

Two men find themselves trapped in a cabin, forced to weather a furious snowstorm.  But as they wait and open up, secrets are revealed and we realize…all is not as it seems. The series has drawn comparisons to The Twilight Zone, and nowhere are the parallels more evident than in this twisty-turn installment.

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#4. San Junipero

A love story set in 1980’s southern California.  Or is it?  A great set-up with a terrific sci-fi pay-off that offers up one of the sweetest, most uplifting episodes of the entire series.  Or so I assumed until my writing partner pointed out that my assumed happy ending was anything but.

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#3. USS Callister

An episode at turns humorous, horrifying, suspenseful, and utterly delightful, this one focuses on a nerd fanboy who exacts revenge on his co-workers by trapping them in a simulation remarkably similar to Star Trek: The Original Series.

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#2. Be Right Back

A woman, mourning the loss of her husband, is seemingly offered the opportunity to recapture what she had in the form of a duplicate AI, its personality constructed from her late hubby’s aggregated internet activity.  A touching and powerful story where the clever technology is as important to the narrative engine as the emotions driving our protagonist.

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#1. The Entire History of You

We are presented with a near future where every individual’s memories are recorded for  convenient playback – and sharing! – at a later time.  When a husband begins to suspect his wife of infidelity, their review of recent history sets them off an a harrowing descent into their unexplored pasts.

List your favorites so I can judge you as well!