Martin was first up with Search and Rescue. Paul followed with The Seed. And, today, it was my turn to as prep began on my episode, Broken Ties. We kicked things off with the 9:00 a.m. concept meeting. In attendance = everyone! In addition to special guest director we frankly don’t see enough of Ken Girotti. I love this guy. Not only is he a terrific director (his credits include 24, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Supernatural, Xena), but a genuinely fun guy to hang around with. Ken, myself, and the representatives of the various departments sat around the big conference room table while first A.D. Alex Pappas took us through the script, scene by scene. We stopped occasionally to discuss the transformation scenes, with Todd Masters and Mark Savela weighing in with their thoughts, recommendations, and best-case scenarios. By the time we hit FADE OUT, it was 9:28. “Time!”I yelled. “This has got to be a record!” I’d never sat through a concept meeting that clocked in at less than 45 minutes before! Sadly, we weren’t even close. The record is held by a Robert Cooper SG-1 season 10 script that took less than 1 minutes to get through!
As the meeting broke up, I checked my cell phone and noticed I’d missed a call from Martin. I swung by his office to ask him what was up and noticed the door was locked, the room dark. Strange. It isn’t like Marty G. to come waltzing in after 9:30. I gave him a call and got the scoop.
He was awakened early this morning by someone anxious to get his input on a story that broke in today’s edition of The Globe and Mail. The Globe article focused on a bill that the Canadian government is trying to pass which would allow them to yank previously approve tax credits from a production it deemed objectionable. In other words, someone can actually go through all the trouble of getting their project approved for funding, produce it, and THEN have the government decide it no longer deserves the funding, disallowing the tax credit and leaving the producer on the hook for repaying investors. Besides the censorship issue, there’s the issue of the uncertainty Bill C-10 will create for potential investors (like the big banks) who may think twice about getting involved in what will suddenly become a very risky business proposition. In short, this bill could cripple the local entertainment industry. “But what does this have to do with Marty G.?”you ask. Well, the article cites examples of productions that could have had their tax credits yanked under these new rules: Juno, for its shockingly positive treatment of the subject of teen pregnancy, Brokeback Mountain, for its depiction of shockingly non-traditional cowboy relationships, and, of course, Martin Gero’s Young People Fucking (opening April 18th at Canadian theaters, U.S. release date T.B.A.) for its shockingly shocking title. In any case, Martin was roused out of bed with the news that his movie (opening April 18th at Canadian theaters, U.S. release date T.B.A.) had made national headlines. The next thing he knew, he was heading downtown to be interviewed for tonight’s edition of The National. By the way, in case you missed it, Martin’s movie will be opening April 18th at Canadian theaters. A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.
We followed up the concept meeting with the art department meeting, the costume meeting, and the props meeting. Tomorrow, it’s stunts, visual effects, and extras casting.
Well, Whispers is almost done. Almost – except for that last scene. I’ll see how I do tomorrow and if I still come up empty, I’ll just hold a contest for the best tag.
Today’s blog is dedicated to birthday gal Jill. E. and Mackenzie’s Momma. And an early blog dedication goes out to sandyurbahns who is headed into surgery.
Iamjohn writes: “What exactly is a beat sheet? Is it basically the preliminary idea for a script?”
Answer: A beat sheet is a general breakdown of an episode’s key moments. It can be something as simple as = Act 1: 1. The team arrives off-world and discovers the device, 2. Back on Atlantis, the device is triggered, 3. The Atlantis personnel start acting funny, 4. Everyone wakes up to discover they’ve changed gender. End of Act 1. The outline, on the other hand, is a fleshed-out, scene by scene breakdown of the episode.
Neep writes: “ Re the different coloured scripts, it might be thoughtful to provide the most “eye-friendly” pages as possible, as it is a large part of the actor’s job, reading the darned things.”
Answer: True. And if this was a high school production of, say, Hamlet, I wouldn’t see a problem with providing white pages for everyone! But since this is a television production, and television (and film) productions make use of the “eye-unfriendly” multi-colored pages for a good reason, I’m afraid those possessed of sensitive eyeballs suck it up. Or maybe get someone to read the script to them. Not too loudly though as it may cause ear strain.
Annie from Freemantle writes: “What on earth are those three rather flat cylindrical thingies on the plate?”
Answer: Some of you have already guessed = cabbage rolls.
Masterchief writes: “is this really goodbye? a while ago you said there’s a chance to bring her back for 1/2 episode(s) in the back half. have things changed?”
Answer: It’s only goodbye insofar as she’s no longer a regular on the show. She will definitely be back on Atlantis.
PG15 writes: “ 1. Does the fact that Brad Wright is writing the 6th episode of S5 have anything to do with the fact that it’s the 300th episode of the Stargate franchise?
2. Is the mid-season 2-parter going to have 2 names (like Season 4), or just one name with “Part 1″ and “Part 2″ (like Season 3) at the end of them?”
Answers: 1. Nope. 2. Marty G. has yet to come up with a title.
K8T writes: “I have a job interview on Friday. Wish me luck! I’m so nervous, any pointers? Any good ice breakers?”
Answer: Yeah. My uncle always used to do this thing where he’d point out a stain on your shirt and then, when you’d look down, would flip his hand up and flick your nose. Start with that. And good luck.
Kathy writes: “Wow 56 pages WITHOUT the final scene? Am I reading this correctly; I’ve always been taught the page count for an hour series should be around 42.”
Answer: Not Atlantis. Less than 55 pages and you’re in trouble.
Amy Lynn writes: “When a restaurant has a tasting menu-would you rather try that or order off the main menu?”
Answer: Depends what’s on the main menu.
Val a ecrit: “Mais dites-moi Joe, bon ok vous avez dit aurevoir à Amanda mais est-il possible qu’elle revienne pour un épisode plus tard dans la saison 5.”
Brendan writes: “How many changes usually get made to a script??”
Answer: Depends on the script.