One of the great things about being out on location for first call is that it allows you to experience some of the wonderful, God-given things in life that you may customarily overlook or take for granted. Things like 5:00 a.m. for example. Yes, there’s nothing quite like the sight and sensation of the sun’s first morning rays greeting your early start. Although, in my case, it was still dark as I headed out. But, by the time I had swung by the production offices to pick up Paul, the sun had finally risen – although you couldn’t really tell, hidden as it was beyond a wall of dark storm clouds. Oh, and as an added bonus, it was pouring rain.
I drove up Boundary Road for five minutes, hung a left, and rolled through the park entrance – which turned out to be the wrong one. Well, one quick right and a shortcut through a paved area lined with potted plants later and we had found the parking lot. From there, it was a mere five minute walk to the trucks and the P.A. who pointed us toward director Andy Mikita’s location – and another ten minute walk across the soggy, squelching grounds to where they were setting up the first shot. As per script:
“EXT. PARK – DAY
Nancy strolls up to a park bench. Sheppard is there waiting. He stands to greet her.”
Well, not exactly as per script. It was raining and while the inclement weather wouldn’t change the dialogue, it did pose a problem for the EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. – DAY establishing shot that preceded the scene. No matter. After a few seconds of discussion, we decided to use a dissolve instead to convey the time cut. The rain also influenced how the scene was to be shot. I’m sure that when Alan envisioned the scene, he didn’t imagine Sheppard and his ex-wife holding umbrellas. And yet it was pouring rain on the day. But umbrellas led to another problem – obscuring our actors unless they held them up, clear of their faces, in aerial-Poppinesque less-than-natural positions. After more discussion, and some re-positioning, the decision was made to go with the umbrellas. We ran through the dialogue a couple of times and, finally, Andy yelled action. We got one shot in at which point Joe threw a look back at the camera: “The rains letting up. Want to try it without umbrellas?” More discussion. Yet another executive decision is reached. We’re going without the umbrellas!
In the end, the rain wasn’t too bad – especially beneath the tarp where we were seated – and we got the scene. Kari Wuhrer, who does a wonderful job as Sheppard’s ex-wife, Nancy, is an incredibly sweet person. She chatted with us between set-ups, was very complimentary about the script, the show, and her character, and I even overheard her offering to go down and grab some coffee for the gals in the make-up department.
As they started blocking the Ava-Sheppard scene in a different part of the park, we headed back to the Bridge for lunch. By the time we were done, so were they – having moved over to the studio for the Sheppard-Nancy car scene. I strolled over to Stage 2 and caught Martin Wood finishing up one of the final scenes for Trio. As he yelled “Cut!”, a dirty and disheveled David and Jewel popped up and were immediately ushered out for a quickie shower, hair and make-up session. I wandered over to neighboring Stage 1 where the parallelogram and green screen had been set up for that climactic scene. The director yelled “Action” and the actor lifted off, arms and legs scrambling as his body was buffeted by the high winds. A couple of takes and I was out the back, swinging around and over to Stage 6 where they were setting up for the Woolsey scene from The Last Man…
Okay. Seven days and counting. Did you tell you friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances to tune in? Did you manage to track down our cousin’s girlfriend’s aunt’s neighbor with the Nielsen box and tell them to watch? Great! Then we’re all set.
Before we get to the questions, if I may direct your attention over to eBay where the show is selling a duffle bag that made the journey to the Arctic for the Continuum shoot and was signed by all the major Continuum players including General O’Neill himself: Richard Dean Anderson. The money raised will go toward helping out Trey, the 3 year old son of our Atlantis Steadicam Operator, Ryan Purcell. Find out about Trey, his battle with Hunter’s Syndrome, and the Authentic North Face Base Camp Duffle Bag (limited to one of two) by following the link –
Today’s pics: Outcast.
Today’s video: Click on the date to see Joe Flannigan and Emma Lahana almost rehearse.
Yasmin writes: “So since your kryptonite is a home improvement store, are you pretty handy with the tools?”
Answer: Definitely not. Around our place, Fondy is the handyman.
Arctic Goddess writes: “How is the rise of the Canadian dollar affecting production of Atlantis?”
Answer: It’s not affecting production this year because we locked in at the beginning of the season. Next year is a different story however.
Jen, the cow hugger writes: “ Is there anything you’re allergic to? I wouldn’t want to send you something bad.”
Answer: Okay then, no food items that include feathers, please.
GirlCurl3 writes: “Hey Joe, if I sent you a copy of a picture of you and I taken at this year’s ComicCon and a SASE, would you sign it and send it back to me?”
___Ghost writes: “I can’t figure out how to email you.”
Answer: Include your email in your next post. I won’t approve it and send you an email.
Tired of Genii Involved Stories: “Any chance the Travelers are on that “short” list? If not, why was there all the talk about “a new, powerful race” and they are only in two episodes?”
Answer: This new race was just one of the many elements we talked about with regard to season four.
Stargate Groupie writes: “Can we expect to see any cool fighting scenes featuring Ronon this season?”
Answer: Oh, yes. Very early in season four in fact.