They say that you should never go shopping when you’re hungry. To this, I would add: Never park your car equidistant to two or more take-out restaurant when you’re hungry. I decided to pick up dinner on my way home, intending to drop by The Memphis Barbecue House for some ribs and pulled pork. However, as I got out of the car, I noticed a tiny Greek restaurant with some mighty enticing souvlaki wrap pics out front. I phoned Fondy and had her make the call. Greek it was! I ordered a chicken souvlaki wrap for her and a chicken souvlaki dinner for myself. Since the order was going to take a few minutes, I decided to kill time by going for a walk – right over to the nearby Memphis Barbecue House where I ordered the beef rib special (a.k.a. The Fred Flintstone special) and the heart-healthier cornish game hen (which, let’s face it, ended up as an accompaniment instead of an alternative). I arrived home, double-feast in tow, to discover Fondy had baked chocolate chip cookies. An hour later, I was feeling like that guy from Survivor who won the auction and ending up eating a hot dog, fries, pizza, and a beer in one sitting.
Well, today was the day my paradisaical respite came to an abrupt end with a return to work where the heavy burden of television production was once again thrust upon me. After an arduous morning spent discussing holidays, football, and our favorite t.v. shows, we eventually broke for a spartan lunch – turkey breast on multigrain with cranberry and mayo for me – before retreating to our respective offices for several hours of intense script-reading (ive in all). The first half of the season is looking very solid story-wise as, in addition to some great team episodes, each of our characters is given the opportunity to shine in their own feature episodes.
In the afternoon, I sat down to an interview for a Stargate special, where I spent the better part of an hour discussing everything from the show’s “mythological superstructure” to a certain system lord’s flair for fashion. A truly grueling day.
For those of you in need of a scorecard: we have a waving and fiery-eyed Rob Cooper, the dashing Alan McCullough, the bespectacled Alex Levine, the ever-cheerful Carl Binder, John Lenic gives season 4 the thumbs up, the ice cool BamBam, Martin Gero beats a hasty retreat, our assistant Lawren Bancroft-Wilson goes incognito, I give Carl’s script some serious consideration, Kerry preps for the interview, Ivon goes camo, and Aaron looking street.
Let’s check out the mail –
Toasteronfire writes: “Watched any good anime recently?”
Answer: Yup. I am currently making my way through the 15+ volume Fighting Spirit. Next up – Fullmetal Alchemist.
Carolina writes: “Joe, without wanting to get to serious, what do you think about how in today’s world, people can watch a show whenever they want and not depend on a tv schedule?”
Answer: So long as we get the ratings, I don’t mind how the fans watch (live, tivo) or re-watch (dvd) the show. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat t.v. on dvd for a good, 3-4 hour commercial-free marathon.
UNSRM writes: “…are you not at all worried that the introduction of Amanda and recurring nature of Torri’s character that you might blur the line between SG1 and Atlantis (…)?
Second, I’d love an assurance from you that the time travel movie will be different from past examples, e.g. Moebius.
Answer: We made a point of isolating Atlantis in its first season in order to establish it as a separate entity from SG-1. With season two, elements of SG-1 began to bleed through to the Pegasus Galaxy (even more so and vice-versa in season 3) because, by that point, Atlantis had established itself as a unique series. From a “story universe” standpoint, it makes sense that the line between SG-1 and Atlantis will occasionally blur given their shared origins and mythology.
Ugly Pig writes: “…could Dr. Mallozzi from ‘Sunday’ be none other than the Joseph Mallozzi? You know, the guy who wrote ‘Latin for the Novice’?”
Answer: One and the same. Latin for the Novice was such a huge bestseller that the good doctor was able to open his own anime shop.
Anonymous writes: “Am I ignorant, a cretin or a Lemming?”
Answer: Depends. Tell me more about yourself.
Anonymous writes: “How long – on average – would you say it takes to completely spin/break an episode, and after that, to write it? How much description do you usually write into your episodes, and how much do you leave to the director/VFX people? Do you use ‘cut to:’ in your writing, or do you just go from one scene to the next without that?”
It will take the better part of a day to break a story, about two weeks to write a first draft, and (hopefully) only a couple of days to write a second draft. I only write as much description as necessary and leave the directors as much leeway as possible. No “cut to’s” but I will use the occasional “dissolve to” and “wormhole transition to” in order to suggest the passage of time.