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.
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.