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A heads up to anyone posting comments to this blog about The Ark of Truth. Yes, I’m aware an unfinished version found its way online and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. No, I will not be allowing any discussion on the contents of Ark of Truth until its official release. So any of you who may be privy to details or heard about details and wish to discuss them, here is not the place to do it. I will not publish your comments.

Now I realize a lot of you are hardcore fans and just dying to get a peek at the movie. The wait for the DVD release has no doubt been unbearable for many. And while I can’t stop you from downloading an illegal copy (hopefully the good people at MGM will see to that), I do wonder why anyone would want to spoil their enjoyment of the finished product by watching an early, incomplete version. It’s sort of like arriving half an hour early to pick up your first date and insisting you head out immediately. Hey, it would be nice to shower, shave, put on a nice suit, some cologne and, in general, look presentable. The hardcore fans will forgive a lot (and I’m probably referring to many of you reading this), but the casual fan and first-time viewer may well have their opinion of the movie (and, unfortunately, any future movies) unfairly tainted by an unfinished version. I remember when work-in-progress copies of Adrift and Lifeline hit the internet earlier this year. A number of fans expressed disappointment with the lack of sound and visual effects. In many cases, they even expressed regret at having watched the early versions as it colored their enjoyment of the episodes when they eventually aired. Again, I can’t stop you – but something to think about.

Also something to think about is the fact that while having an early version available online may seem like a good thing for Stargate fans anxiously awaiting the DVD’s release, it is a very, very bad thing for Stargate and could adversely impact the future of the franchise. I know, I know. You guys are huge fans and most of you will buy the DVD regardless. However, there are many fans and first-time viewers in particular who will not. And, bottom line: if the DVD sales are undermined by this early release, then that could well effect the possibility of future SG-1 movies.

To those of you complaining that this is exactly like the aforementioned Adrift and Lifeline situations or the early release of Doppelganger – No, it isn’t. In the case of Adrift and Lifeline, the version that found its way online could have been one of the hundreds of screeners sent out to critics all over North America. In the case of Doppelganger, iTunes mistakenly released a copy of the episode a week early. In the case of The Ark of Truth, however, it was someone in a position of trust (which is kind of sad). And, unlike, say, the hundreds of North American television critics and their family members, or the countless subscribers to iTunes, that “circle of trust” (apologies to Robert DeNiro’s Jack Byrnes) aint that big. Someone, either out of spite or simple sheer stupidity, stole a copy of the unfinished movie, pirated it, and put it online – essentially putting the future of SG-1 at risk – and there’s a good chance this individual will be caught. And when said jerk/idiot/criminal IS caught, here’s hoping they receive a good legal ass-kicking.

Today’s maibag:

Jake E. writes: “How did you get started in the witting business? What attracted you to the Sci-fi/Stargate universe? Any tips for someone who loves to read/watch/critique and write short stories (thats me)?”

Answer: I got my start in animation. After querying dozens of animation studios, I was invited to forward some writing samples to one studio that was about to start production on a couple of a animated shows. They liked my samples (a Seinfeld spec and a feature), sent me the show bible, and invited me to pitch. They bought one of my pitches and so began my professional writing career. I eventually worked my way up from simply writing for animation to story-editing and development. Then, using my background in animation (where I learned to hone my craft) and armed with those live-action specs, I moved into live-action with my writing partner Paul Mullie, working on a teen comedy called Student Bodies. After work on various shows, some good, some not so good, some not even not so good (Big Wolf on Campus, Lassie, Largo Winch, The Lost World) we were invited to pitch for Stargate SG-1 (after Robert Cooper had read our spec feature – Note how important it is to have a spec script or two if you’re looking to break into the business). We pitched, sold a pitch, and a did a good enough job on our first script (Scorched Earth) to land us on staff.

Crazymom writes: “GeekBoy is working his way through some of Ben Bova’s books. He’s reading The Rock Rats right now. Have you read any of his books?”

Answer: Not yet. I have The Multiple Man sitting on my bookshelf.

Annie from Freemantle writes: “What are you buying your canine kids for Christmas?”

Answer: Fondy is going to pick up some toys and treats.

Thornyrose writes: “When is the last time you’ve read Shakespeare(or seen a play) or other “classics”?”

Answer: Shakespeare? The Complete Works ages ago. Classics? I re-read The Count of Monte Cristo last year.

Susiekew writes: “ Have you ever eaten at Craftsteak in the MGM Grand Las Vegas?”

Answer: I haven’t. What did you have?

Arctic Goddess writes: “Next time I’m in Vancouver, I am definitely going to have to try Fuel. Is it a must to pre-order the Cote de Boeuf?”

Answer: Nope. You can order when you go.

Arctic Goddess also writes: “I believe that at one time you said you visited Alberta.”

Answer: I did? Alas, never been.

Amber Hooker writes: “I wondered if you have a suggestion for a first timer in the scifi/fantasy relm?”

Answer: Check out John Scalzi’s Old Man War for some fun scifi. As a first-timer to fantasy, why not start with something light – Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic.

Scott of the Sahara writes: “For some reason when I watch “Atlantis” it seems like it is all very blue-ish, like someone has slightly tweeked the color settings on my television. I was wondering if 1) that’s actually true or if my eyes need checking and 2) if true, what’s the reasoning behind that?”

Answer: It is true and it’s a stylistic choice. It’s in keeping with whole Atlantis/water theme.

Katie S. writes: “Uh oh, Georgette Heyer didn’t go over well?”

Answer: I’m afraid not. But to her credit, mom is forcing herself to finish Cotillion. She prefers Maeve Binchy, Rosamune Pilcher, Anita Burgh, and, now Elizabeth Chadwick. Mom says she likes stories that involve family and, in her words, “finish nice”. While I was standing in line to pay for her Chadwicks the other day, a copy of a Philippa Gregory book. I thought I would pick it up on a whim and then, remembering my mother’s preference for a nice finish, I skipped ahead to the last page. The book ended on the female protagonist’s last will and testament. I quickly put it back on the shelf. As it stands, mom may not be able to do much reading as she’d like since Lulu got a hold of her glasses.

SusantheTartanTurtle writes: “ Do you find that little furries staring at you whilst you are eating spoils the enjoyment of your food?”

Answer: Oh yeah. If they behave themselves until meal’s end, I usually reward them with a little something. I know, I know.

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Cheeky Lil Devil

*waves*

Ah Mr M i’ve just been reading the Stargate Mag, and I have to say you wound me! *sniff*

Mr M was asked this ” Were you caught off guard by the save Carson Beckett campaign?”

Answer: Not really, because Paul did such a terrific job. beckett was such a charming character. Next to McKay, I can’t see a character we could have killed off that would have elicited such a strong reaction.

Oh Mr M, did you forget about Shep! How could you?! I had my campaign all set up for such an eventuality. S.o.S Save Our Shep. But reading that, it makes me think that you don’t care. *blows her nose on her sleeve*

Do you not luff Shep anymore? Can you not see that you’ve mortally wounded all of us by not even thinking that we’d care enough to make a big fuss? I had it all planned out ya know. I was going to order a ferris wheel and have it sent to Bridge Studio’s, I was going to have free Turkey sandwhiches, followed by popcorn for all those that came. That would be the start. Then the music would be by Johnny Cash, blasting out the airwaves. Phase two would be fans sending a tonne of hair gel delivered by them all riding their boards, but now…… say it aint so, Joe. *sniff* Tell us that you still love him, and that you’re going to continue to whump him in an effort to show us you still care about him.

*hugs*

PS: the pugs and of course Lulu looks adorable, what did you get them for Christmas?

Oh and i’ll be good this time around and wait for the finished version of The Ark of Truth. With DG I couldn’t wait! Sorry, well in all fairness it was Evil Shep. grin

okay i’m going now. grin

Jake E

Joe,

Thanks for the mailbag answer; I’ll have to get a couple of spec scripts started smile

Have you any good classic sci-fi or fantasy book suggestions? I’m starting the Foundation Series this week but wanted to branch to something less mainstream…

Thanks,

Jake

Charles Schneider

Thanks for the heads up on the leaked version of AoT. I’ll make sure to steer clear. Obviously with legal concerns preventing complete evisceration, could you please detail the torturing punishment the guilty party is subjected too. I know the Baron would be proud to hear a delightful holiday story involving torture and retribution most foul.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

As usual, the doggie pictures brought a smile to my face. Have you considered posting some video on youtube? admittedly not exactly action filled, but …relaxing. Your dire warnings taken on the prematurely released copy of Ark of Truth. I’d not bother looking for it myself, but I’ll put the word out among fellow SG fans locally. If I do find out someone has downloaded it, they’ll be off the season five premiere party next year. Hope the family is having a good holiday, and perchance can we get a holiday message from the Baron in the next day or so?

Jam

I have to say that whoever released AOT early is an idiot! Sure it was a nice early Christmas pressie but let’s all hope that the people who DL’ed it also buys it. I trust that the person responsible is caught soon. I want SG1 to continue for a long, long time and this sort of thing undermines the potential of the franchise. I will buy two copies and do my bit! It always pays to have a spare.

I have a question Joe, do you know of any good vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver? We are visiting next year and my husband is a veggie. I have tried for years to turn him to the dark side but to no avail.

Hope you have a great Christmas and a happy new year.

Jam.

susanthetartanturtle

No picture of Lulu with your mother’s glasses?

The leg fell of my glasses and before I got a chance to pick it up and fix them Frankie (evil tom cat) grabbed the leg and raced off. It took me three days to find the leg – and a few other things that I had been looking for.

LogicSequence
LogicSequence

I know we’re not supposed to comment on the Ark of Truth issue, but i’ll preface this by saying this is a comment about the piracy, not the movie, as i have not, and will not see it until March 11th.

I personally, as a computer profession, am outraged at the leaking of AOT, as i’m sure you are Joe. I understand the appeal of getting a peak of it, beleive me, i’m not big on patience. But never, in a million years would i ever, ever, risk SG-1’s future in movies by leaking it online. It makes me sick that someone would do that to the franchise. I hope the person respnsible is found swiftly, and is not someone we know and love, i really hope it’s not. But whomever it is, i hope they get a big fat MGM lawsuit served in their face.

So, i will be waiting for March 11th, 2 days before my birthday, to get my shiny LEGAL copy of AOT, thank you very much! UGH!

On to happier thoughts! Have a Merry Christmas Joe! And Merry christmas to Brad, Rob, Martin, Marty G., Carl, Andy, Paul M., John, Alan, David, Joe F., Rachel, Jason, Amanda, Paul Mc., Torri, David N., Kavan, Chuck, Jewel, and everyone else in the Atlantis Family i missed (i know there’s quite a few, my memory is horrible)!

Hope you all have happy holidays! (I know i will… Santa’s bringing me a 46″ LCD TV, W00T!) wink

Annie from Fremantle
Annie from Fremantle

I’ll admit to dl’ing ‘Adrift’ preview only AFTER I watched the proper episode. I found it fascinating actually. A bit of an education to see how things lead up to what we the viewers watch.

I was thrilled yesterday to find that an Avon client of mine has pugs! Yessss… (not many people do here in my part of the world). I had a ball patting and scratching them..watching their fur make a dense fawn cloud above their butt region. They’re so gorgeous!!! One was a pup and so friendly… he loved being scratched smile

I like to save particular pics of your pugs Joe, but find that when I right click to save, the pic will only save as a bmp (big arsed 6 meg file). Your older ones save as jpegs. I have to convert them to jpeg but it’s no hassle. (I hope you don’t mind but I do love saving a couple of the pics of your canine kids )

I loved the episodes of Atlantis that involved being under water (Submerged, Grace)..anymore coming up? Seeing as it’s a different galaxy, I wonder what the ocean has creature wise ??? Don’t you love sci fi..the sky’s the limit for imagination..

It’s Christmas Eve here, time to wish you Joe, Fondy, Mama Joe, your sis, Lulu, Maximus, Bubba and Jelly the bestest of Yuletide season. May your Cote de Bouef X 2 be tasty and tender.

Paula

Oh, Lulu. Not good to get on Grandma’s bad side by eating her glasses!

I’m so sorry to hear of the stupid leaking of the pirate version. Honestly. Can no one wait anymore? I just don’t get this intense need to see things before the artist is ready to let you see it. The piracy is bad enough. But the unfinished version? It’s just silly.

And I do hope that person is sued up one end and out the other. Maybe a bit of jail time for stealing thrown in?

Aelfgyfu

I saw your mention of getting a show’s bible to write for it; are there SG-1 and SGA bibles?

I was really shocked to hear about the Ark of Truth leaking. I hope it doesn’t hurt SG-1! I’m looking forward to seeing the movie–in its complete form only.

Serendipity
Serendipity

You have such adorable pups!

Now, I doubt you remember or want to share with the class, but I must ask…do you remember what the storyline was for your Seinfeld spec and feature?

-Seren

boo
boo

oh, such cute faces!

is that jelly with lulu?

narellefromaus
narellefromaus

Hi Joe. Not good about your Mum’s glasses! But aren’t “grandparents” great when it comes to forgiving their furry grandkids? Well, eventually, once you have got them a replacement and something chocolatey to go with it (in my parents case, some new fence palings and a new tree).

With AoT I can’t see why people would want to watch it unfinished. It’s the score, effects and final polishes that MAKE it an experience. Sci Fi is about escape, you become so involved in it that you don’t stop to think “Hey, why is it that no one looks surprised when there is a second consciousness in someone’s head?”, you believe it is happening and is completely plausible.

I saw an early release of The Phantom Menace (didn’t know it was a pre release version) and suddenly you are snapped out from the experience as you watch this blocky ship flying through a very hazy space sky. I don’t actually know whether the movie was any good when finished, but to me I wasn’t sold by the story purely because I watched an unfinished version and I wasn’t pulled into the story. Each time an effect wasn’t quite finished, I realised I was in my lounge room again and back to reality.

Enjoy the continued feasting!

Royal_Nonesuch
Royal_Nonesuch

“It is true and it’s a stylistic choice. It’s in keeping with whole Atlantis/water theme.”

I always wondered about that. I love the blue theme. In fact, I was drawn to Atlantis before SG-1 largely by the art design. I absolutely love both shows, but I htink Atlantis has a very impressive and appealing color palette.

Question: (I think I asked this before I realized your blog moved lol, so sorry if its a repeat for you). I really enjoyed the little philosophical discussion at the end of Avalon about the onotlogy of the universe (I think it was at the end of Avalon!). I was curious, have you ever considered adding a military chaplain, or some such other character to bring htose topics in a little more?

Thanks much, have a great Christmas Eve,

Royal

majorsal
majorsal

hi, joe,

taking into account that i haven’t seen many atlantis eps (like 10 :P), i have read other atlantis fans saying they’d love more exploration of the city itself. so i was wondering if you were thinking about doing anymore exploring of the city? well, as a writer, not you yourself. grin

odd question: can ppl get sea sick on atlantis?

sally smile

kdvb1
kdvb1

I can’t wait to buy the Arc of Truth dvd! I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.

Did you actually consider killing off MCKAY?? OMG really? That would be worse than killing off Carson to me(just because he and Shep are my favorites)…and killing him off was pretty bad. I really miss his sweetness and caring heart. I’m glad he’ll be coming back. I just wish you’d bring him back for season 5. I hate gratuitous killing of characters I love. I’m sure you don’t consider it gratuitous, but to me, there was no real reason for it other than to shake up the viewers. I’m not really sure why TPTB want to shake us up and upset us…but for some reason they think it’s a good idea. I still love the show…but I hate it when characters are killed off. I know I don’t normally rant about the killings of characters, and I will try not to mention it again…but I just believe that all SGA needs is it’s normally wonderful writing. Not to kill beloved characters off just to shock people. Just my opinion. Ok…rant over.

Kimberly razz

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Wow, you seem really angry about the leaked movie. Don’t worry, I still plan on buying it and I hope you find the person who leaked it.

Pauline
Pauline

Joe said:
After querying dozens of animation studios, I was invited to forward some writing samples to one studio that was about to start production on a couple of a animated shows. They liked my samples (a Seinfeld spec and a feature), sent me the show bible, and invited me to pitch.

What made you approach animation studios in particular?

I plan to approach the BBC in the New Year and ask them to look at a spec.
I know they don’t like you to send in scripts for established programmes but the one I would like to write for (hopefully as a start) is a soap called Doctors.
Well they do say write about what you know and being medical I have loads of material.
I take it that it’s not accepted just to ask for the ‘show bible’ with all the back ground info in it before sending a spec.

It must be nice to have a writing partner to go through the angst and the good bits with. To pull you up when things don’t go the way you thought they would.

Wouldn’t it be good if 2008 saw one less midwife and one more writer?
Please note I’m not delusional and understand that many are called but few are chosen. But writing is what I want to do and what I do best (I think).

Happy Christmas Eve

Pauline

Crazymom

I realize a lot of you are hardcore fans and just dying to get a peek at the movie.

I’m definitely a hardcore fan, but I’ll wait! I don’t shake my Christmas presents, either.

it was someone in a position of trust (which is kind of sad).

That’s way worse than sad. It’s pathetic and mean. They should get more than a legal ass-kicking! Just make sure there are no security cameras, and then deny everything. And you didn’t hear that from me.

Fondy is going to pick up some toys and treats.

Radar makes Christmas easy. He thinks the best toys in the world are the cardboard tubes from the gift wrap! Also, it’s just too much fun to give him a 3-foot tube and then watch him try to run through the door with it.

Thunder
Thunder

Yay! Puppy pictures! If I remember correctly you once mentioned that Jelly had the horizontal stripes on her forehead while Bubba had vertical ones but it is hard to tell when the eyes are closed. Is the first picture of Jelly and the rest are of Bubba? I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!

Arctic Goddess
Arctic Goddess

Hi Joe:

Just for your information and because i haven’t done the promo thing for him in, oh, at least a week, if you do another water episode for Atlantis in season 5, Cliff Simon (Ba’al) is an awesome swimmer. And he’s look wonderful with his shirt off.

Hint hint.

And, since you haven’t been to Alberta, you definitely must come some
time. There are some amazing things here, like dinosaur bones in Drumheller, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, The worlds biggest shopping mall in Edmonton, the Frank Slide at Turtle Mountain, Jasper, Banff, the huge tar sands site at Fort McMurray, the huge replica of the Starship Enterprise at Vulcan (yes, really), a giant easter egg at Vegreville, and, of course, the Calgary Stampede. You’d look great in a stetson and cowboy boots. Let me know when you can come. I’ll set up a welcoming committee at the border. Half of them will be Newfoundlanders, though, since Newfoundland is taking over Canada one province at a time. Fair warning, British Columbia is next.

“Where ye be bye?”

Patricia

wams352

Hi Joe (and blog readers).

Don’t worry, I am not planning on watching the pirated version of the movie. I was surprised to hear that an entire MOVIE was leaked. That seems like a bit of work to do…I have already ordered mine from Barnes & Noble and I *think* I’ll make it until March. I’m starting a new job in January so I think I’ll be busy enough.

Question – can you explain if DirectTV (or other satellite) ratings/viewers really don’t count? I’m just wondering with the numbers of people in the US who (like my husband and I) haven’t had cable for almost 10 years… I know DirectTV for one inserts their own commercials into the shows different than what the network has. I also wonder what impact non-US viewers have on Atlantis? Does MGM or SciFi get the $ from the show in other countries?

I guess what I’m saying is no different than what a lot of people have been saying for years – TV viewers have changed dramatically and the old system doesn’t seem to even attempt to catch up, which really stinks when there’s a great show on like Stargate which is enjoyed WORLD wide but it all hinges on one country, and only people in a certain demographic. And in all fairness, I can honestly say I don’t know when any type of TV commercial has influenced me to buy something… hmm….

Long winded question over smile thanks for the pics of the furry ones. Hope you are off for a few days this week for the holiday!

danielfanforever
danielfanforever

Don’t worry Joe, a lot of hardcore Stargate fans like myself will be waiting till March. I know that I am.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Cutest dogs in the world!!!

Kellie
Kellie

No one ever celebrates today, but I do. Wishing you a happy Christmas Eve Eve!

anon, good nurse
anon, good nurse

Thanks for spelling out the situation re: Ark of Truth, and the possible consequences of its piracy. For me, that was a very good exposition of just what’s at stake and how this scenario differs from those of the leaked episodes (although those events were quite bad enough).

I always wonder about the motivation of people who illegally download unfinished works, whether literary or for the screen. From a few different forums I’ve taken part in or lurked on, it’s usually seemed like “it’s all about the buzz, dude,” and who can scoop everyone else on what they saw or read. As well, a few fanfic writers (not criticizing fanfic here, just pointing out something I’ve dealt with firsthand) want very badly to be among the first to write new canon into their stories, whatever they have to do to get hold of it. As you’ve said, it’s all incredibly shortsighted, not to mention selfish (IMO), no matter what prompts such actions.