March 21, 2019: Well – this may take a while.

You know what I hate more than driving around looking for parking?  Or weddings?  Yes,  rewriting scripts.  More often than not, it’s just a pain in the ass necessary evil.  Other times, it can be downright infuriating as you realize…

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And that afternoon script polish suddenly turns into a three day rewrite.

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Production meeting for the Episode 1/2 First Block!  We breezed through it in under two hours.  We could have gotten it done in one and a half if not for The Great Grinder/Flint/Spark Generator Debate.  Following a long and involved discussion on the shot in question (eventually tabled and picked up later that afternoon), a decision was finally reached.  And, as my former Stargate editor Rick used to say: “Saved the episode.”.

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Only days away from the commencement of principal photography, so I picked up some professional-looking pens to be used in important meetings and for the signing of contracts and the like.  White sheep for good mood.  Black sheep for bad mood.  Poultry for undecided.

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Today’s blog entry is dedicated to sis’s blind rescue husky Fernando who is in emergency.  Get well, Fern!

March 20, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Batman #67 (cover art by Elizabeth Breitweiser, Lee Weeks)

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4 (cover art by Andrew C. Robinson)

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Immortal Hulk #15 (cover art by Alex Ross)

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Infinity 8 #10 (cover art by Martin Trystram)

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Invisible Kingdom #1 (cover art by Christian Ward)

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Jessica Jones #3 (cover art by Martin Simmonds)

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Spider-Man: Life Story #1 (cover art by Chip Zdarsky)

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Star Wars #63 (cover art by Gerald Parel)

So, which were your favorites?

March 19, 2019: What delicious plans await!

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Plotting and scheming with this evil genius.  Who knows what the future holds? Not sure.  But I do know the recent past included chirashi, squash agnolotti, black truffle-topped pasta, and schnitzel at Spago.

#GoldenBoy

Speaking of food –

New  Swiss Study Suggests That Hip-Hop Makes Cheese Taste Better

Wonder if I can find a way to work this into the new show?

Cadbury Promotes the Gleeful Destruction of Archaeological Sites?

In response to the uproar, Cadbury was “directing families to museums” – where, presumably, Easter Creme Eggs await for those determined to dig deep enough.

It’s finally here!  Maple Syrup Spray! 

Now if they can only make sprayable liquid bacon and egg yolks.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy?  It Depends Who You Ask.

Oh.  You’re asking me?  Then yes.

Are you ever frustrated by the fact that, after frequenting a fast food joint, you eventually stop smelling like french fries after only a few hours?  Well then this soap is for you!

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Do you enjoy honey?  What about hornets?  Well now you can enjoy the great taste of both together!

Finally –

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Birthday Boy Robbie David enjoys a chocolate birthday cake compliments of his wife, Stephanie.

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While Akemi settles for a big salad.

March 18, 2019: Teams with awesome (or occasionally suspect) nicknames I am sorry didn’t make the NCAA Division 1 March Madness Tournament!

Stony Brook Seawolves

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UMBC Retrievers

Albany Great Danes

Wichita State Shockers

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Tulane Green Wave

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Richmond Spiders

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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Stetson Hatters

TCU Horned Frogs

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Depaul Blue Demons

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

Idaho Vandals

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Campbell Fighting Camels

Presbyterian Blue Hose

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

UC Riverside Highlanders

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Delaware Blue Hens

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Drexel Dragons

Marshall Thundering Herd

North Texas Mean Green

Youngstown State Penguins

Manhattan Jaspers

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Saint Peter’s Peacocks

Akron Zips

Floria A&M Rattlers

Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

Southern Illinois Salukis

Evansville Purple Aces

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St. Francis (BKN) Terriers

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Austin Peay Governors

Loyola (MD) Greyhounds

Alabama Crimson Tide

Vanderbilt Commodores

Furman Paladins

VMI Keydets

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Mississippi State Delta Devils

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South Dakota State Jackrabbits

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Purdue Fort Wayne Mastadons

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Pepperdine Waves

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UKMC Kangaroos

So, who you got in the Final Four?

March 16, 2019: The fruits of our labor!

Today was the big day!  Yes, after hours and hours of molding, spinning, glazing, and generally not paying attention, it was time to pick up our finished works of pottery.  Akemi’s creations…

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Put to good use…

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Now, check out MY masterpieces…

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When I heard we’d be glazing, I knew I had to make a donut.  It turned out pretty good, all things considered (and by all things, I mean the fact I made it in less than a minute). Krispy Kreme, eat your heart out!

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A little too much wax ruined the color scene here.  [Warning: Not safe for gate travel!]

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My glazing experience was one step short of disaster.  None of the glazing liquid colors actually matched what would be the finished look.  Also, it’s apparently impossible to do contrasting colors when you’ve already done a coat of dark.  Witness my Legion of Super-Heroes drink coaster.

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The crown jewel of my collection, sadly, did not make it past the last stage of the process. RIP, Starro the Conqueror.  I draw consolation from the fact that the center eye came out pretty good.

As she was packing away out art work, our instructor commended me on my originality. Apparently, most students stick to the tried and true plates, bowls and cups and rarely venture into galactic super villain territory.

Hoowee.  As this week approaches, the Perfect Storm approaches.  I’m strapping on my life vest and going in.  Wish me luck!

March 15, 2019: Countdown to lift-off!

Can you spot all of Suji’s appearances in the following video?

P.S. I also make an occasional guest appearance as well.

Today’s sci-fi word of the day was = @SpacePiano

Some random shots –

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Former Dark Matter Playback Operator Greg Whiteside looking relaxed following his Panama staycay.

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Costume Designer Noreen Landry consults with Show Creator/Executive Producer R.T. Thorne.

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Found on set.

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Also found on set.

Well, one more week of prep and then – it’s smooooooooth sailing, all the way through production.  If the schedule-maker is to be believed, we’ll be wrap last week of June, just in time for everyone to hit the beach!

March 14, 2019: Birthday Bashes!

This week, amid all the construction and painting and sewing and stitching and meeting and writing, we also found time to celebrate.  Specifically, on Tuesday, with The Sandlot-themed bash for Assistant Production Coordinator Drew Cohoe’s birthday.

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Check out the spread!

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I’ll be honest.  I’ve never seen the movie but I can only assume this cake is really on point.

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The Birthday Boy!

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The Prize Drawer!  What wonders does it hold?

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Guess the number of gumballs in the jar!  Everyone scoffed when I wrote 103, yet it was good enough for 2nd place!

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Plus a box of oreo Pocky AND two handfuls of gumballs!

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Then we followed that up yesterday with a Curb Your Enthusiasm-themed birthday bash for our Line Producer Robbie David who turned – oh, I don’t – I’m guessing 50-something!

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Best Birthday Cake Ever!

There were special character balloons, party hats, and a special screening of some of Robbie’s favorite episodes.

There were games.  In “Do You Respect the Wood”, you had to identify all eight types of wood.  I got zero.  The next (better) game had you building the Larry David sandwich from the list of ingredients provided.  I came in second.

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Which meant MORE prizes.  A pack of Junior Mints and the pink thing Akemi had fun with last night (It’s a giant bubble wand).

Other prizes won included a Black Panther mask, a nerf basketball net, and two framed photos of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich!

But wait!  There’s more!  We ended the festivities with this literal coup de grace!

Piñata!!! And inside?  More gumballs (that I suspect may have been leftover from preceding party).

Who doesn’t love a party?

March 13, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Cover!

These were my favorites…

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Age of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #2 (cover art by Phil Noto)

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House of Whispers #7 (cover art by Sean A. Murray)

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Orcs & Goblins vol. 5: Bad Luck (cover art by Benoit Dellac, Stefano Martino)

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Punisher #9 (cover art by Greg Smallwood)

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Runaways #19 (cover art by Kris Anka)

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Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1 (cover art by Paolo Rivera)

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The Batman Who Laughs: Grim Knight #1 (cover art by Jock)

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The Flash #66 (cover art by Tomeu Morey, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona)

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The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 (cover art by Mico Suayan)

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Wolverine: The Long Night Adaptation #3 (cover art by Rafael Albuquerque)

And you?

March 12, 2019: BTS Videos from the Stargate Vault!

I was going through some old blog entries and came across this little SGU nugget –

Then kept digging and came across this one from back in the Atlantis days –

And then this, shooting the show’s final scene –

A practical puddle test –

The FTL look (Stargate: Universe) –

Testing the Brody purple-spray gag for Stargate: Universe –

Meanwhile…

Less than two weeks to principal photography and I’m about to hit critical mass!

March 11, 2019: Ah, happy memories!

For all of your Dark Matterly needs, head on over to the Dark Matter subreddit where I’ve started posting all of my behind the scenes photos and videos from the show’s three year run…

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 The Raza bridge design.

Dark Matter – Virtual Bridge walk-thru from DarkMatter

The Raza bridge walk-thru.

Sassy gunslingers.

And much, much more!

Less than two weeks from production and we’re picking up speed.  Cast locked down.  Costumes and sets being built.  Scripts for episodes 1 to 9 being rewritten.  Yes, we have 9 out of 10 drafts which, on the surface, sounds crazy – but that’s only because it is.  Yesterday, our 2nd AD marveled at the fact we were so ahead of the game to which our Production Manager, Cathy, remarked that, in her many years of television, she has only been on one other production where that was the case.  The name of said production.  Dark Matter of course.

Well, back to the ole drawing board on the outline for my (formerly titled) Untitled Awesome Project.  It’s one of those instances where the seemingly minor notes will require a wholesale rethinking of the structure – something I don’t really have a mind to do given what’s on my plate.  So, sadly, setting this one aside for the time being.

Meanwhile, that super BIG project is one step closer.  We’re nailing down the pitch and then it’ll be smooooooth sailing!  Let’s circle back in a week, shall we?

Alright, my day is done.  Now, finally, time to unwind with the selection of a few scenes to send to casting for our First Block guest stars, then a pass on Episode 6, capped off with a review of our VFX Establishers.  Ahhhhhhh.  So relaxing!

March 10, 2019: Suji Sunday!

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It’s back to school for this little girl.

Conversations with Suji…

Yo, Loungey-Paws!

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Belle of the ball…

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Snackilicious!

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March 9, 2019: Firing and Glazing!

So we returned to clayArt Studios for the final step on our glorious pottery adventure.  The pieces we made on our last visit had been fired and were ready for the glazing process.  Akemi could barely contain her excitement!

“So,”I said to Rosa, our glazing guide, “did all of my pieces survive?”

“Yes,”she informed me. “Even the sun.”

“It’s not a sun,”I corrected her.  “It’s Starro the Conqueror.”

But as I perused my collection, I suddenly realized one was missing.  “Hey.  Where’s Alphonse?”

Sadly, he was the one mini-masterpiece that did NOT survive, literally falling to pieces partway through the process.  And so it was, with heavy heart, that I forged ahead.

My pieces were fired and ready to go!  After sanding, we dipped the bases in hot wax.  I lose my grip on the stargate and it ended up sizzling away in the pan like a deep-fried burger.

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We had a choice of 6-8 color glazes to choose from, all of them kept in vast tubs whose contents ranged in various shades of brown although our instructor assured us the true colors ranged from oatmeal to dark brown.  Some in the class sort of half dipped the bottom of their bowls and then, after the initial coat had dried, dipped the tops of the bowls in another color.  Some created elaborate brush strokes on their work.  My Starro offers the best of both worlds – a deep dip and finishing paint brush touch for the center eye.

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Akemi, meanwhile, went the more standard route…

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At one point she was considering something a little more elaborate that involved dipping just the rim of her bowls and adding a little swirl – but couldn’t figure out how to physically manage it.  I offered to hold her over the vat by her ankles if it would help.  She assured me it wouldn’t.

Pictured above: Akemi puts the finishing touches on Nib Nib.

And, in a little over an hour, we were done.  Next week = the results!

This blog entry dedicated to the memory of Alphonse (February 17, 2019 – March 1st-ish, 2019).

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March 8, 2019: About two weeks out!

Today’s power look –

Classic Batmobile cufflinks, Koval bourbon, cookies and milk socks.

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First meeting of the U.F. Whiskey Club!  In attendance: Sam, Sterling, Derek, Cathy, Robbie, R.T., and yours truly.

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In honor of Supervising Producer Ivon Bartok’s birthday, the office picked him up some keto cupcakes.  Don’t they look…interesting?

P.S. The sets are really coming along.  Production Designer Ian Brock is a mad genius and his team has really stepped up in a big way.  Can’t way to give you all the grand tour.

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Akemi made three kinds of homemade potato chips: extra crispy, super salty, and plain.

Finally, the weekend is upon us.  I plan to just kick back, relax, and re-read/revise nine scripts so that I can return to work Monday, rested and refreshed!

March 7, 2019: Top 10 Breakfast Cereals!

Yesterday’s power ensemble…

Hydra cufflinks, a 12 year old Glenmorangie, and dog-riding-bicycle socks.

Power lunch…

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The High Priest from Burger’s Priest.  I’ll never get tired of this place.

In honor of National Cereal Day, here are my Top 10 Breakfast Cereals (considered and voted on by 12 year old me since it’s been that long since I’ve actually enjoyed breakfast cereals):

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#10.  Rice Krispies

This one was part of our regular breakfast rotation given the fact it was always included in the one serving six-packs mom would pick up for us.  I was (and have never been) a fan of puffed rice, but thankfully this cereal was devoid of any actual puffed rice flavor.  In fact, it was pretty much devoid of any flavor.  Nice textural crunch though.

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#9. Lucky Charms

While not exactly “magically delicious”, this cereal had its charm – in the form of those colorful marshmallow bits that I would always save for last, turning the milk in the bowl a lurid kaleidoscope of colors.  Those other non-marshmallow bits though?  They were a necessary evil.

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#8. Corn Flakes

This is as healthy as it gets – for twelve year old me.  Seriously.   If I wasn’t eating cereal, it was powdered mini donuts and milk.  This one had a great texture and just a hint of sweetness offering the promise of something more.

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#7. Cocoa Pebbles

Every day, I’d come home for noon, eat lunch and watch The Flintstones.  So when they came out with their own breakfast cereal, Fruity Pebbles, I was all over it.  And then, when they offered up a chocolate version – even better!

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#6. Frosted Flakes

Corn Flake’s hipper, sexier cousin.  THEEEEEY’RE Pretty Good!

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#5. Count Chocula

With all due respect to Franken and Boo Berry, the Count had the edge.  Still, I never found the chocolate cereal bits quite chocolatey enough.

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#4. Trix

Although its deranged mascot clearly belonged in a mental institute, this one was one of my favorites – despite the fact that they were just round froot loops.

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#3. Cap’n Crunch

If I were to choose a top cereal today, this would probably be it – mostly based on the fact that its milk remnants make for a delicious ice cream base (see previous blog post).

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#2. Froot Loops

Now THIS is what I’m talking bout.  Straight sweet color and crunch without any of those good-for-you bits to spoil your breakfast.

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#1. Cocoa Puffs

With a mascot crazier than the Trix rabbit and product that promised a crispy-crunchy-chocolatey trifecta, this one was always top of my list.  It seemed to have disappeared from store shelves when I went looking for it a few years back, but I have recently discovered it lining the shelves of my local dollar store.  Yes, I am, admittedly, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

And you?