Well, we’re heading into the four day Comic Con break. Carl managed to put out his Final Draft of Midway (Final Draft being a misnomer really since he’ll be revising that sucker between now and about two days after it’s been shot) while Marty G. is finding out that his little Three’s Company episode aint gonna be as little as he thought. Paul and Alan are prepping Kindred II while I think about that final open script slot and, of course, research San Diego restaurants. After a day of shooting Kindred I, we’re shooting the final day of Miller’s Crossing, then will be switching back to Kindred I when we return on Monday. By then, I’ll be well-rested, tanned, and the proud owner of a French bulldog (who we’re hoping to pick up late Sunday afternoon). As it turns out, I’ll be in good company. Turns out Mr. Flanigan owns a Frenchie as well, and has actually had occasion to take it surfing (According to the American Canine Association, Frenchies are a stubborn yet affectionate breed with an affinity for couches, snacks, and, yes, surfing).
Heading to Richmond tonight for dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sea Harbour Seafood, then back home to pack and make it an early night. I’ll be up at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning so I can catch an early flight with director Martin Wood and producer John G. Lenic (and Chris Judge if he managed to swing it) and get in early enough for a corn tamale lunch. Wonder if I’ll be able to finish A Game of Thrones in a day. It’s an awful thick book.
Speaking of reading – I joined a science fiction book club as a way of motivating myself to read. But as it turned out, I didn’t really need the motivation after all. I average fifteen books for ever one my scifi book club covers. And so, feeling up to the challenge, I decided to join a fantasy book club. Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of fantasy, preferring the somewhat more grounded science fiction genre, but the few fantasy books I have read (The Lies of Locke Lamorra, The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged) I enjoyed immensely. Of course, they were a far cry from the dragon influenced alternate history of Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon. And so, I picked up this book with some trepidation, intrigued by the premise (the Napoleonic War with dragons) yet not wholly convinced. Lately, I’ve been less inclined to suffer through books in the hopes that they’ll pick up. If I’m not engaged by the time I hit the 100 page mark, I’m moving on. I was wondering how long it would take Novik’s book to hold my interest (if at all). As it turns out, not long at all. Her writing style is delightfully appropriate to the subject matter, sort of Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey, and while certain elements of the fantasy world bumped me off the get-go (the fact that the just-hatched dragon speaks perfect English, heck, speaks at all) became minor quibbles as the story developed (Hell, I’m one to talk. Why do all of the aliens on Stargate speak English? Well, the answer to that is simple really. The act of gate travel imparts the travelers with translator nanites that allow them to understand and be understood. But this is a subject for a later blog entry). Yes, the premise is intriguing and the writing is enjoyable, but the relationship between the dragon, Temeraire, and his master, Lawurence, is the real draw, a wonderfully realized friendship. A rousing, at times humorous, and, dare I say it, touching novel that I ended up enjoying much more than I expected.
Today’s pics: Rob Cooper waves hiya, get a load of the on-set snack tray, a pensive Marty G., VFX supervisor/wiz Mark Savela, the pug someone sent me and my new office mascot, Martin exhibits some frustration with the design of the Three’s Company set.
Checking the mailbag –
LadyConure writes: “The early legends and lores aside, do you get any feedback worth mentioning from religious groups about the careful line you walk regarding God? There have been some great moments (Vala conceiving w/o …. and other such moments I noticed previous to that one) where it was addressed in a secular reference.”
Answer: Actually, you’re the first person to bring it up.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Will Rob be joining you or is that a typo? I was also curious if you will be sitting in on the Arc of Truth panel?”
Answer: Rob is planning to join us on the Atlantis panel (he is the show’s co-creator after all). And, no, I will not be joining the Ark of Truth panel. But do take assiduous notes so that you can fill me in on everything I miss.
PG15 writes: “1. Are you going to continue to update your blog over Comic Con? 2. Any EVA action/spacewalks (like McKay in “The Siege Part 1”) in the near future for the show?”
Answer: 1. Yup. 2. Possibly. 3. Again, congratulations on winning the flocking. Please remember: do not consume or allow to come into contact with exposed flesh. Enjoy.
Shawna writes: “Interesting to see Jason’s tattoo. Did that cause any issues for you guys, like costuming or anything?”
Answer: We had to hide it for the first two episodes, then wrote it into the third (Reunion).
Joshua Meyers writes: “The costume changes are starting to worry me a little, Can you guys go back to the original ones for a while, because i miss them?”
Answer: The cast would probably kill me if I asked them to switch back.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Now you’ll get some firefly fans, Amanda freaks like MajorSal and the David Hewlett fanclub. That’s not representative of the fans of the show.”
Answer: Uh, yeah they are. If they’re fans of the show, regardless of what sub-category of fandom they belong to, then they are “representative of the fans of the show”.
PG15 writes: “Has Joel started putting in the music for the episodes?”
Answer: Yes. They Day One Mixes include all of the music for a given episode.
Wolfen writes: “I think she’s gonna try to catch you after a panel.”
Answer: I’ll probably be heading downstairs to walk the convention floor after the panel. I’ll see here then.
Anonymous #3 writes: “There’s a rumor that McKay’s sister dies. Yes or no?”
Answer: No comment.
Rebekah writes: “My best friend and I are going to be going up for a stay in August, and I we both share a love of Thai food. Any recommendations?”
Answer: Check out Montri, 3629 West Broadway.
Uber writes: “Any chance you could bring your camera on stage and take a few pictures from your POV? Not only of the crowd but of the others on the panel?”
Answer: Already planning on it.
SMB BOOKS writes: “So, tell me, why is Goblet of Fire your favorite HP book? And, given the incredible hype and anticipation over the last book in the series, do you think HP and the Deathly Hallows lived up to the hype?”
Answers: I simply found Goblet of Fire a more involving and darker story than the previous entries. As for whether the last book lived up to the hype – well, I’m not really sure that the quality of the book was what was hyped so much as the fact that it was the lat book in the series.
Disgusted Sam-Jack Shipper writes: “So Sam/Teal’c got more in one single episode than Sam/Jack ever would.”
Answer: You mean the so-subtle-everyone-missed-it suggestion of a Sam/Teal’c relationship in Unending which was undone at episode’s end is, in your opinion, more than anything we’ve done in relation to the Sam-Jack ship? Okay, I‘d buy it, if this happened to be the one and only episode of SG-1 you’ve ever watched.
Disgusted Sam-Jack Shipper writes: “BTW Sam has longer hair because Tealc likes it more since she had long hair in Unending too?”
Answer: Yup, from now on all of Carter’s decisions will be based on Teal’c’s likes and dislikes. It’ll be very subtle because we won’t ever make mention of the supposed romance, but it’ll be there. Just so you know.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Ooooh! You guys have pissed off the Sam/Jack shippers again.
Do you write a list of people to piss off at the start of each year and just mark them off as you go?”
Answer: Nah, we find it easier to just take requests.
Anonymous #5 writes: “When do you think you guys will wrap up shooting season 4…..and WHEN you get green lighted for a season 5, how long of a break do you everyone get before you go back to writing? When would the actors report back to the set?”
Answer: We’ll probably wrap season four in early October. As for how long a break we get – that is entirely dependent on when we hear the hopefully positive news about a fifth season pick-up. As for the actors – that will depend on the season five production schedule that is a long way off from being established.