Boy, nothing quite turns your appetite like watching a wraith birthing scene. We were caught completely off-guard, munching away on pasta, pizza and wings when, suddenly, the sequence flashed up on screen. “Oooooooh,”moaned Alan. “Aaawwww!”screamed Alex. Carl made no noise, silently turning his head and vomiting back into his container of creamy tortellini. “Cool,”muttered Martin, eyes fixed, munching away unfazed. After lunch, I ran into Will Waring, the director responsible for bringing this horror to the screen along with Todd Masters of MastersFX. “Oh, yeah,”he enthused, “We almost drowned poor Morris (Chapdelaine who plays the birthing wraith) in methycil.” Methycil, for those who don’t know (like me until I asked) is used by productions looking to capture that disquietingly goopy je ne sais quoi. Just add a little water to its powdered form and you have oodles of movie slime, just the thing for salivating aliens, ectoplasmic explosions, and ooziferous wraith birthing sequences.
Well, I’m pleased to report that we made some headway on Martin’s script, Foxy Loxy with Floppy Socksies (Think about it! All the clues you need are right in the title!), hashing out some of the major beats and act breaks in an episode that promises to be a lot of fun. Once that was done, I wandered over to Stage 3 where Rob was shooting one of the outstanding scenes for The Ark of Truth. I snapped some pics of the big gun, then turned around and noticed everyone had donned protective gear for their ears. My cue to leave. Always a good idea before the shooting starts.
By the way, the Zotters chocolates were a big hit – some more than others. Surprisingly, people actually liked the celery, tuffle and port wine, and didn’t mind the bacon bits (“I can’t taste the bacon!”declared Paul although, for my part, I thought the salty cracklings were a noticeable but still subtly welcome contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate). Less successful were the chewy caramel and nougat variations. All very interesting but still, my favorite recent purchase was that bread and chocolate Chocolat Stella. I loved it so much that I’ll be swinging by Monde Chocolat on the way home and cleaning out their entire stock.
Catching up on the viewer mail…
PG15 writes: “Whenever you eat dinner at home, do you ever do something else at the same time? Like, watching TV or reading?”
Answer: Hate to admit it but whenever we eat dinner at home, we’re usually watching The Food Network.
Steph writes: “Out of all the character driven episodes, which one are you most proud of/looking forward to/etc?”
Answer: I can’t really pick one. There are a number of very interesting candidates: Reunion, Missing, Miller’s Crossing, Be All My Sins Remember’d, Quarantine.
Anonymous #1 writes: “If you have an extra spot to fill for Season Four, will you guys consider filling it with your shelved Carson story?”
Answer: Given the stories we’ve developed so far, that particular story no longer makes sense in the grand scheme of things.
Bugguy writes: “Oh and once again, if you keep eating that sushi, bad karma will visit you. I will see you in a professional sense. The worm D. latum is a really nasty customer, but you go on eating it…you’re not feeling any cramping are you? Double vision? Tingling in finger and toes?”
Answer: My elbows sometimes get itchy. Does that count?
Copernicus writes: “1) Are you guys writing with the possibility of no season five in mind? That is to say, would you be able to wrap up SGA to your liking without significantly changing the back half of season 4 if it came down to it? 2) If you do hit season 5, and I hope you do, would you consider upping the number of episodes you make that year?
3) If you hit season 5 and are looking for an episode or two that isn’t from your writing staff, would you be so kind as to let us know? I work quite cheap.
Answers: 1) We will be ending the season as planned. 2) That’s a network call. 3) Will keep you in mind.
Shawna writes: “Regarding chocolates, how do you feel about fruit/cream fillings? Nuts? Nougat?”
Answer: I’m not a big fan of anything fruity or chewy. Nuts are okay.
Vikitty writes: “The last time I was in HK was seven years ago – how did you find the environment and atmosphere?”
Answer: We loved it. Not somewhere we’d want to live, but definitely somewhere we’d love to visit on a regular basis.
Luke writes: “If I fly to vancouver for a holiday. Could I juset go up to Bridge Studios and order an autograph of any of the actors? Am I allowed to see or talk to them?”
Answer: Sorry. There are days when I can barely get past security myself.
Wwlh writes: “Hey Joe – you recently mentioned that you finished reading David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo. What were your thoughts?”
Answer: I thought Wingrove does an incredible job of world-building and creating a multitude of very interesting characters. Except the women who strangely don’t seem to possess much in the way of personalities (at least in the first book). I liked The Middle Kingdom a lot – up until the really over-the-top assault about two-thirds of the way through the book that was almost cartoonish in its gratuitousness and so over-the-top and silly compared to an otherwise very accomplished narrative.
Wraithkeeper writes: “When you’re writing scripts, do you always write the scenes in the order that they’ll air?”
Answer: Yes. One season builds to another and latter scenes draw from the ones before them.
Anonymous #2 writes: “ What will you be doing….and will you still be blogging about it?”
Answer: I’ll be reading, writing and, yes, blogging about the usual: food, work, and pugs.
Dorothea writes: “I have a breakfast question for you. Are you coffee, chocolate milk, tea, orange juice drinker for breakfast?”
Answer: I don’t do coffee or juice but will start my morning with a cup of matcha (green tea), do a work-out, then have my standard breakfast of: low fat yogurt, protein powder, All-Bran Flakes, and fruit.
Anonymous #3 writes: “You got rid Beckett AND Weir? Great move. NOT! Now you’re bringing Carter onboard? Hope you have your resume updated.”
Answer: “Great move…NOT!”? Do people still say that? Makes you sound a bit dated. Just saying. As for updating my resume – Why? Are you hiring?
SMB Books writes: “…and you can get Sopranos stuff! What item from the series would you want?”
Answer: I want that 30 seconds of black screen that others have been raving about.
Pauline writes: “ You’ve probably been asked this before, but have you ever, or would you ever try Fugu (pufferfish).”
Answer: I thought about trying it the last time I was in Tokyo, but Fondy wouldn’t let me. Apparently she needs me around to take the dogs to daycare.
WHAT?!…Whales writes: “How is it that you keep killing Baal and/or his clones but the next time we see him/them, he/they always knows what happened to the previously killed Baal even though there was no interection with him before he was killed?”
Answer: Could you give me an example.
Ben writes: “Any plans for a “Future” episode of Atlantis, akin to SG1’s “2010”? A kind of “What if?” episode, those are always interesting.”
Answer: Heh. Funny you should say that…
Ayla writes: “I have a theory. My theory is that the Stargate program really exists, and you guys are all in on it.”
Answer: Interesting theory. Hmmm. By the way, who else have you shared this crazy theory with? We may have to deal with them too.
Jen Kirk writes: “ Joe are you a Spinal Tap fan? That is my all time fave film. A friend of mine who is a professor in a Music Business program makes that movie required viewing and gives out a 100 question “quiz” with it for extra credit. How do you think you would do on it?”
Answer: I think I’d score a solid B+.