I‘ve always held that making it in this business takes 33% talent, 33% connections, 33% luck, and 1% miscellaneous variables. There are a lot of very untalented people who continue to work because they are either very lucky or well-connected, and then there are some very talented people who are not thriving or have yet to break in because they don’t have the right connections or are simply unlucky. The odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry are, unfortunately, stacked against you. It’s an incredibly competitive field and, unfortunately, being good at what you do doesn’t always means you’ll be successful. That said, there are certain steps you can take to that will, at the very least, improve your odds.

When people ask me for advice on how to get their foot in the door, I always refer back to my own experience and suggest they try the wonderful world of animation. When I was a struggling unknown, I sent out queries to about a hundred different production companies, hoping to land a job as a script reader I received all of a dozen responses, most of them of the “thanks but no thanks” variety, but one was from an animation company suggesting I send in some writing samples as they were about to begin production on a new series. I did, was invited to pitch, did so and impressed enough to land my first script contract. As a result, I ended up working in animation for many years, writing, story-editing, and developing shows for television. In time, I branched out into live action, eventually landing a staff position on Stargate although, as an indication of how good things were for me in animation, I actually took a pay cut to join the SG-1 team. All this to say that although the opportunities may not be as widespread as they were in their heyday (I was very lucky), you’re much more likely to break into the animation field than you are the world of live-action. It can be both creatively and financially satisfying, allowing you to hone your craft and make a living until the time is right for you to make the big sidestep over.

Of course some of you may not be interested in animation, preferring instead to answer the call of primetime television. And that’s fine. But in either case, you’ll need some writing samples to get you there. Writing samples/spec scripts are an unproduced writer’s calling card, a document that proves a candidate’s ability to write within an established framework. If your lifelong dream is to write for a one hour drama, then pick a show you like, study it, and write a script – a script that the producers of said show will in all probability never lay eyes on but that the producers of some other show will read, then hopefully sit back and say “Hey, this is pretty good. We should give this writer a shot.” I recommend having two sample scripts in hand – one, a sample of an established show that will demonstrate your ability to capture the show’s tone and the voices of its characters, the other a wholly original sample be it a pilot for your own one hour drama about the talking chimpanzee who runs a high class French restaurant or an epic feature focusing on Napolean’s little known cousin Herve. Then, once you’re done, send out those queries. Not to the studios, mind you, because they won’t read unsolicited submissions. Do some homework (I used the Writer‘s Market way back when), track down some agents willing to take a shot on a first-timer, and target them.

Once you find an agent willing to go to bat for you, send him or her your samples and then get to work – writing more samples. In the meantime, your agent will hopefully be getting your stuff out, talking you up, zeroing in on a show staffing up or looking for freelancers. If you’re talented, and lucky, and your agent is well-connected, you’ll eventually get the chance to pitch…

– “You must have the best job in the world,” my sister-in-law once marveled. “You just sit around all day making stuff up.” Yes, I’m sure this is how some envision the writing process: the writer, furiously tapping away at his or her laptop, turning the ideas on and off like tap water. But the reality is scriptwriting can be a long and arduous process replete with delays, disappointments, and dispiriting setbacks. And the very first step in this difficult (yet wholly satisfying!) exercise is that kernel of an idea, that brilliant notion that makes you sit bolt upright in bed at three in the morning and shout “That’s it!”, scaring the beejeebers out of your sleeping wife. –

That’s an excerpt of my introduction to an article I wrote on “pitching”, part of the Production Diary I did for the gang at Stargate SG-1 Solutions several years ago (http://www.stargate-sg1-solutions.com/jmpd/jmpd00.shtml), and while that piece was more personal and Stargate-related, I’d like to proceed with a more general treatment of the topic – less about me and more about what the average writer can do to make a good impression and, ideally, sell that pitch. As I hope I made clear in the previous paragraph, coming up with an idea is no easy feat. Without a doubt, the hardest and most frustrating part of our job is coming up with those clever notions. When it happens, however, it can be one of the most exhilarating of experiences – having the inspiration, fleshing it out in your head, and pitching it out to your fellow writers…only to have them give it the thumbs down. But I get ahead of myself.

So you have a terrific idea for an episode and are just dying to tell the show’s producers all about it. Well, you can deliver the pitch in one of two ways, either verbally or on paper. Both approaches have their pros and cons. It actually makes little difference which one you personally fancy because, in the end, it’s the producer’s call. But regardless of which way you’re invited to sell your idea, a couple of pointers –

1. If it’s a written pitch, aim for anywhere between 3-5 ideas, no more than a page each, with a beginning, middle, and end. Actually, the latter applies to verbal pitches as well. Know your set-up, what the body of the story is, and how the problem is resolved. We once had someone come in an pitch us some really terrific springboards (ie. The team returns to Atlantis only to find the entire city occupied by a completely different race with no knowledge of the Atlantis expedition. Intriguing. Who are they? What happened while the team was off-world? Well, the writer didn’t know. He figured we would come up with something. After a few more pitches along the same lines, lots of interesting set-up with no resolution, Marty G. interrupted: “These are all really interesting ideas but the part you’re leaving out…that’s the stuff we buy.”). I’m not saying you should have every script detail worked out, but at least have an idea of how the story will resolve itself.

2. Do your research. In one of my very favorite verbal pitches, a writer started with “SGi travel to another planet and are separated from Tee-alc.” Someone I know who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation had a similar experience when someone came in and pitched a story involving “Datta” and “Georgie”. Seriously. If you’ve been given the golden opportunity to pitch for a show, make an effort and actually watch an episode or two. Learn the names of the characters. Get the basics down so that you don’t come across as completely clueless for pitching something alone the lines of “the team steps through the gate and gets trapped in a wormhole between India and Pakistan where they overhear plans for a nuclear war…”. Yeah, that was a real pitch.

3. Be prepared to follow in someone else‘s footsteps. The fact is that no matter how much you may love a show, the people actually working on staff know it better than you do. They know what they’ve done, what they’ve refused to do, and, most importantly, what they’re about to do. I can’t tell you how many great pitches we’ve received for episodes we’ve already done or are in the process of doing. This in no way reflects poorly on the writer pitching. On the contrary – it demonstrates an ability to think along the right lines, something we consider promising and worthy of a return visit.

4. Don’t pitch out something unproducable. Several years ago, we had a writer come in and pitch a story that involved a cross-galaxy chase through open air markets, alien cities and seedy Star Wars cantina-esque taverns. An unarguably fun idea, but one that we would never be able to afford.

5. Be willing to roll with the punches. This is more likely to happen during verbal pitches when a writer tosses out a general notion that is thoroughly unworkable for whatever reason but, in so doing, includes a seemingly unrelated element that piques a producer’s interest. On Stargate, this is how we’ve ended up buying most of our rare freelance pitches. The original idea won’t work, but something about it spurs a thought, a notion that is spun off in another direction, eventually becoming something we can work with.

6. Don’t be crazy. Consider the fact that I find it necessary to put this one on the list. Don’t be crazy! Don’t laugh, mutter to yourself, or go off on a rambling tangent every time one of the producers in the room opens their mouth to say something. Don’t pitch incredibly awkward story ideas involving one of our female characters being trapped on a planet with an all-male population, or another all-male civilization that spends its evenings visiting a cave network containing the skeletons of their departed ancestors which they have clothed in dresses and who in the episode’s big twist are revealed to be male as well. Don’t argue with the producers if they decide to pass on your brilliant idea.

So there you have it. Hopefully what I’ve said will in some small way prepare you for the challenges ahead. And, in the event my advice does help and you do end up working in the industry, please keep me in mind a couple of years from now when you’re staffing your show about the chimp that runs the fancy French restaurant.

No pics or mailbag today, but I will quash an interesting rumor. Sorry, Atlantis fans, we’ve received no word yet on a sixth season pick-up and don’t expect a decision on the show’s fate any time soon.

96 thoughts on “March 15, 2008: Want to write for television? Okay, step one: Get your foot in the door and try not to blow it!

  1. Don’t argue with the producers huh? So you don’t have a live copy of Ronons gun ready to make them accept your idea? tsk

  2. As someone who has always had a “wouldn’t it be amazing if…” dream of writing for a TV show, any time you post something like this, I always appreciate your insight. Of course, then reality hits, and I am just a Biology Major who is currently working at a little kid’s play-gym.

    Anyway, I do have a question for you tonight. My brother is also a huge SG1/SGA fan, and when he saw the season finale, he was enamored not only by the episode itself, but of the picture of the Prometheus/Odyssey/Daedalus/Apollo/Phoenix used in the McKay/General Lorne scene. Any chance it will be printed and sold to the adoring fans?? I know it would make his day to have it, as he talked about it for a good fifteen minutes tonight at dinner, which is a pretty big deal. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Wonderful–an interesting read! It almost makes me wish I was interested in working in the world of TV writing, just so I could use all your good advice. I will also never fail to be surprised by the people who don’t research shows they’re interested in acting on (like the “Oreo” girl), and especially if they’re interested in writing. Thinking of all the fans who know more off the top of their head than some of the people mentioned here and in the past, it seems rather disheartening. #6, though, I positively believe should be a general rule for all jobs and tasks in life. Thanks for this!

  4. I really connected with your post tonight in a personal way. I literally just got into the industry in exaclty the roundabout way you mentioned. Not on a primetime show, but on an uncoventional, i.e. “New Media” network show. It’s great, it’s a startup company, and I get to work on literally any aspect of the show I want. So I get the experience of being a writer, producer, and filmmaker.

    It’s the greatest job in the world and it’s pretty clear that if I stay on the up-and-up the sky’s the limit. Thanks again for the inspiration, and keep it coming.

  5. Shouldn’t you: first stand in front of a mirror naked, and then point and laugh at yourself. That way your ego won’t be too painfully damaged by the experience?

  6. That was a great post. I’ve been reading your blog for months hoping you’d post something along those lines. Sometimes, reading a text book doesn’t always do it. It’s nice to get a more personal account of things. Thanks!

  7. You are so awesome that I cannot put it into words! You have just given me an idea! I cannot wait to meet you face to face in 2 weeks!

    Rachel 🙂

  8. *waves at Susan The Tartan Turtle* may I accompany you to the all male revue planet?? We’ll bring along any of the girls who want to come (I’m sure Anne Teldy would come, and a bunch of the whumpers if we promised we were looking for McKay, Ronan and Shep)…who’s with us?!

  9. hey, i’ve got my own pitch! 😀

    the team steps through the stargate and ends up on a space ship with marilyn monroe and elvis presley. marilyn and elvis were aliens.

    or another!

    shepert comes back to atlantica and the entire base has turned into children.

    or!

    (thinks)

    danny and valla run off to open up their own starbucks in space. rogues and malcontents visit their little place, where hijinks prevail! 😛

    can i have a job now???

    sally 😀

  10. Wow! Thanks for that blog. It’s good to have a little insight into how things work; with what to do and what NOT to do. Now I’m off to get a decent agent and get them to work on more manageable goals!!

    Must say I 100% agree with the idea that writers’ ideas aren’t turned on and off like a tap. I make a habbit of carrying a personal voice recorder at work just in case something happens to inspire me but I have no time to write it down! 😛

    However, the worst time for me is late a night; during the half awake/half asleep period. The amount of times I’ve shot out of bed with a MUCH better way of concluding a story than I originally planned, or even a new idea entirely, is unbelieveable!

  11. susanthetartanturtle Said:
    …and if you do decide to go with the all girl team going to a planet of hunky males can I volunteer to go?

    wams352 Said:
    *waves at Susan The Tartan Turtle* may I accompany you to the all male revue planet?? We’ll bring along any of the girls who want to come (I’m sure Anne Teldy would come, and a bunch of the whumpers if we promised we were looking for McKay, Ronan and Shep)…who’s with us?!

    Here’s a scenario: All of us girls are on the planet and Shep, McKay, Ronon, Carson, Lorne, Zelenka and Chuck come down and visit us. *waggles eyebrows* Daniel can come too as he’s in a few shows next year! *pictures this scenario* *drools a bit and drifts off into fantasy land*
    Huh? Wuh? *blushes*
    Sorry…my mind went A.W.O.L. a bit there.

    Come on Joe…pitch that idea! We would work for free! Or for chocolate…*wink* Yeah..I know it’s not fleshed out at all, but as soon as I think of that scenario my mind sort of gets all mushy! *evil grin*

    Kimberly

  12. I’m in on that all male planet! Especially if we’re looking for Shep and McKay. Just don’t ask me to write anything to save the day and get us out of trouble. I’m a whole lot better at figuring out how I want to put telephone cables together than I am at writing. I guess that’s why I’m a splicer and not a writer.

  13. Bonsoir Joseph,
    Wow, merci pour ce blogue si enrichissant, la seule chose que je trouve dommage c’est que je crois je n’aurai plus aucune question à te poser puisque tu as fais le tour de toutes celles que j’avais dans la tête et celles que j’aurais assurément eu plus tard. Je ne veux pas vraiment travailler dans le domaine de la télévision (je vais garder ma job de prof), mais je veux continuer à travailler en parallèle avec l’écriture (pigistes pour les journaux et éventuellement publier mon premier roman). Alors, merci pour toutes ces infos et ça m’a aidé à continuer et à persévérer!
    «And the very first step in this difficult (yet wholly satisfying!) exercise is that kernel of an idea, that brilliant notion that makes you sit bolt upright in bed at three in the morning and shout “That’s it!”, »
    Ouais, ça je connais, ou encore écrire une vingtaine de pages, et puis les effacer en entier parce que tu réalises que t’étais complètement dans le champs…
    Bref, merci j’ai adoré ton blogue aujourd’hui
    Morgia
    P.S J’espère que ta mère et ta soeur sont en sécurité sous leur toît, à Montréal c’est la panique, tout le monde à peur que les toits leurs tombent sur la tête !

  14. Oh yeah…BTW… I’m Baaaaaack I know ya’ll missed me! *big wink* I wasn’t actually anywhere far away, but I have had way too much going on in the real world as well as a ton of emails and vacation planning to get through and I couldn’t get back here for a few days. I missed each and everyone of you though! Especially you Joe! *flutters eyelashes…get’s one stuck in eye…OUCH..crap, I’m no good at playing the coquette*

    I went to MEGACON in Orlando, FL and it was great. I went with WolfenM and Whovian(Trish). Trish and I were a con-virgins, so we appreciated that it was a smaller con. I only know this as WolfenM has been to many a con and graciously shared her knowledge with us.

    Trish and I will be going to Shore Leave in July to see the great and wonderful David and Kate Hewlett. We expect to be entertained greatly. Hopefully, I won’t act like a silly fangirl and faint or something equally embarrassing! *facepalm*

    I am still wondering if anyone has any kind of real confirmation on Joe Flanigan’s dad. There are rumours that he died last week, but I haven’t found anything to verify this.

    Joe, can you please verify if this is true?

    I just can’t go back and read all the comments I have missed, so if anyone posted a comment with a link to a site verifying or denying this, would you please repost it for me? Thank you so much!

    Kimberly

  15. Granted I’m not a scrip writer, but your advice and insights are appreciated. I’m a struggle writing of a different sort and some of what you said applies to my own struggle to get published.

    I think my biggest challenge still remains is knowing my medium and going with it. I’m still in that experimental stage of writing style and haven’t found the one that is consistent. Talent can only do so much.

    Plus yeah #6 is a biggie. Being crazy won’t get you anywhere fast.

    Thanks again for you wonderful insights.

  16. Is there any chance of casting Hugh Laurie as Keller’s dad? As far as being a writer for television or film, I can’t sit still long enough to write anything….coherent. I almost took a class at Arizona State University titled Film: The Creative Process.

  17. I would LOVE to pitch ideas for a show as well as listen to other’s pitchs, say yeah or nay to the ideas and edit scripts. I just have a problem with writing any of it…lol. Once I HAVE to write…it becomes way too much like writing a report for school…ugh.

    But, the pitching and hearing pitchs and editing sounds like fun! Too bad shows don’t have people that just do those parts! 😉

    Kimberly

  18. «On March 15, 2008 at 11:14 am alipeeps Said:
    Morgia Said:

    Chapeau bas pour le français !
    Morgia

    Vraiment? C’était pas completement affreuse?»

    C’était vraiment très bon, je suis impressionnée par ton français ! You should see me when I write in English, its take me lost of times, patience and I always have my big dictionnary… But, the most amazing is when I was in London (UK) two years ago, at fist I thougth the people spoke me in german… scary… lol
    Morgia

  19. I’m so glad you blogged about writing. I’ve been wanting to ask you, as a showrunner and a writer, how do you keep cast and crew from bugging you when you’re working on a script?

  20. Oh, you know the Dirty Old Lady is up for an adventure or three on the all male planet. I’m in! Shall I start rounding up supplies, you know, flashlights, water, power bars, handcuffs, massage oils …

    Good read on the blog, Joe, I’d love to be a fly on the wall during some of the freelance pitches. Sounds like a hoot. Do flies cackle? Can flies cackle?

  21. Hi Joe thank you so much for your insight into script writing for TV.

    As you say breaking into the business is very hard but as a producer once told me keep sending the scripts in one day some one some where will say “For god’s sake get this lunatic off our backs” and at that point someone will pick your script up and read it. It’s hard to take that first step, to put your self out there.

    I made my first step with a local theatre group. I just felt I needed to write and this offered me away to do it and to get feed back on what I had written.

    The applause after the play had finished was like nothing I had ever experienced and made me want more.

    Ah the mystical ‘Agent’…do they really exist, or are they merely stuff of legend? Heard of but never encountered, a fiend of such myth that lesser mortals such as us can only dream! Get an agent they tell you, ‘are you published or have you any credits to your name’ they ask?

    Why is it that our families smile and nod at us, as if we are a Scotch Egg short of a picnic when ever we proffer our work to them? Mine seem to take the ‘Let’s humour her until she comes out of that phase’ approach!

    Thank god I’m not the only one who sits up in bed and reaches for the conveniently placed note book and pen in which to scribble those nocturnal ‘Eureka’ moments. Madness manifests it’s self in many ways sitting bolt in bed upright in the middle of the night can be construed as one of them.

    The best thing a would be writer can do is to find like minded individuals in which to find solace. A creative writing group who will listen and make constructive criticism of your work and not think you’re weird when you talk about the dynamics of a story or how you will drive it forward in the next scene.

    Keep it workable and keep it real. I get most of my ideas from just listening to people talking on a bus or in a waiting room, life is out there just absorb it.
    I once sat in my car and watched a man in his 60’s stop suddenly and empty the contents of his pockets onto the ground and then he performed a hand stand against the wall of a building. My mind went into over drive thinking why he had done this in broad daylight! A story is born and a script is contemplated.

    Joe if I ever do make it and the monkey gets his French restaurant you will always have a job, every monkey needs a friend.

    It’s amazing what drivel a bottle of wine can produce (well one and a half if I’m being honest). No wonder some of our best and brightest wordsmiths imbibed the grape.

    Pauline

  22. I had no idea what The Keep was about, and hadn’t really looked it up since I don’t have much time to read anything besides school stuff right now, but you’re description (from Amazon) has got me totally intrigued now. I mean really, really, really intrigued. I think I just might have to pick up a copy of that one…Thanks!

  23. Hi Joe:

    I hope you won’t mind if I borrow your blog for a minor promotion of my work.

    Regarding writing in the entertainment industry, there are lots of ways to achieve that goal. My story is a little different than writing spec scripts, getting an agent and hoping for the best.

    In my case, I have partnered with a truly remarkable and talented man. Cliff Simon (Ba’al) and I have written and produced two CDs together. For anyone who doesn’t know what we are up to, we have created a Stress management CD.
    “Stress It’s All In The Mind”, is about 30 minutes long. I wrote it, and Cliff is doing the voice. Can you imagine that incredible voice telling people how to relax? Cliff will share some information from his past, in order to explain some of the ways he has learned to manage stress. So, there will be new information about Cliff that is not current knowledge. He also goes through relaxation exercises as well, so that amazing sexy voice is there in the room with you, relaxing you as he speaks. The American Affirmations CD came about because of all the crap that is happening to the American people right now. Cliff is originally from South Africa, and I am Canadian. We both had a discussion about how the American people are truly a great people and they don’t deserve to be hated by all the other countries. So, with that in mind, we thought we would be the best people to share that not everyone in the world hates Americans. We wanted to speak on behalf of those people who recognize the contributions Americans have made to the world. They have done so much for the world in advances in technology. Did you know that Americans have invented more things in the past 100 years than all other countries combined? And then there is the support they have provided for other countries after natural disasters. How quickly the world forgets. So this is our way of saying thank you to the American people. The CDs will be available soon. For anyone interested in learning more, they can check out: http://www.aurorisentertainment.com.

    Joe, would you be interested in doing a review of the CDs? I have been a fan of Stargate ever since the show first aired on television, so this is a case of a “nobody” achieving a life-long dream. Cliff Simon was willing to take a chance on me. I owe him a lot for that.

    Thanks for letting me borrow your blog.

    Patricia (AG)

  24. Awesome, informative post Joe!!

    I don’t feel creative enough for tv so I’ll stick to cultrual anthropology 🙂

    If you hadn’t got your break would you have continued?? Did you have a back up plan?? Was there someone who took you under their arm that you feel indebted to?

  25. Well, I’ve got to say thanks for this blog entry. I myself am eventually looking to go into the film/television business, I am a first year studying Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University in the UK. I read your solutions post about the production about a year back and found it really interesting. But these things are always good to read so thanks.

    Any interesting links that you know of that a potential writer could look at to get some good advice as well, or know of any interesting books to read in the area?
    Thanks, Inpa.

  26. Speaking of your early days in animation: I was watching Little Bear with my kids a little while back, and had a great laugh when I saw your name pop up on the screen (I think it was as a writer?) It was particularly ironic to me that you wrote such a cute kids show given your outspoken opinions about kids on this blog!!!

  27. Joe said: we’ve received no word yet on a sixth season pick-up and don’t expect a decision on the show’s fate any time soon.
    Has someone spoiled the surprise? 😉
    DD

  28. I have just spent an hour on the phone with Anne reading Mr. M’s posts and most of the comments that have posted since she went into the hospital. She was moved by all of your kind words. After several difficult days, this was just the kind of pick me up she needed. She is doing much better. Once she is in the nursing home, she will again have Internet access. She looks forward to being back with you again. (One word of advice: When given “the really good drugs” before undergoing a medical procedure, do your best not to bring up Carnivorous Space Cows. It apparently causes great concern among the medical staff and may lead to some interesting questions asked to family members using hushed voices. Anne learned this lesson the hard way!)

  29. Count me in on the expedition (HA! finally spelled that word correctly) to the all-male planet. And don’t forget to add Lorne, Zelinka, and Caldwell to the list of missing Atlanteans we’re seeking…
    Mr. M. thank you for an excellent guide on “how to” break into an unusual career path. Alas, about a quarter century too late for me to consider such a choice, but then I’m happy where my life has led. I do however plan to bookmark this for some younger people I know who are interested in such a direction. You’ve done a lot of people a big favor.

  30. You beat me to it. I got on here just now to ask for some ideas or words of wisdom for an aspiring writer. Thank you for reading my mind. I am currently writing an episode idea for Atlantis, but if it never makes it’s way to you guys then fine and if it does, great. I just think it’s fun to be sitting at home watching one of your favorite shows and think “What if…” and then putting those thoughts onto paper, even if the producers of that show never read it. What can I say, I take critism and dissapointment very well. Writing is therapeutic for me and I will continue to work hard at getting something noticed. At least this gives me some idea of what could possibly be in my future. Keep up the great work and I do hope Atlantis gets picked up for a sixth season. It’s a great show.

  31. …sooooo…don’t even bother submitting my idea for how Todd is caught in a compromising position with the Floozy of Atlantis, Keller, only to be ostracized by the Wraith for “indecently meddling with the livestock” and banished forever to Scotland – where such things are winked upon by lonely shepherds everywhere, and where he fulfills his lifelong dream of standing on the banks of Loch Shiel, quoting lines from Highlander and discovering what freedom really means as the wind blows high his Clan MacLeod kilt…

    Nay, right?

    das

  32. So my brilliant pitch involving the mating rituals of puddlejumpers didn’t make the cut?

    What about the story about the team going off-world, getting into trouble, coming up with an 11th hour solution, and returning home safely?

    And the gem I’ve been holding onto forever: Ronon hosts a cotillion in celebration of Arbor Day.

  33. Joe,

    Thanks for being so frank about the writing process and about the real life politics and setbacks to being a career writer. I wrote advertising copy for some time and while I don’t think it’s totally applicable in terms of competition and agents and such, the core experience of the creative person is similar. For every 20 bad ideas there is one brilliant idea, and that keeps you going. So, I guess, thanks for being honest. I think it’s so valuable. 🙂

    –Josie/tropes

  34. Even as a Physics Major, I have dreams of writing a science fiction series (I “practice” in my spare time with script-style fanfiction, for fun), so tonight’s post was certainly a facinating read! Though it did make me realize that my chances of “getting into the industry” is less than nil at the moment.

    Actually, would you say there is an age limit after which you shouldn’t even try? When did you start actively pursuing your career in television?

    Of course, reading the post also makes me realize how frustrating it must be sometimes to read fans’ responses on how simple the whole thing must be, that they can do a better job. In the wide world, I don’t doubt that there could be someone who can do better, but I doubt the vast majority of these people have any idea what they’re talking about, and tonight this post just reinforces that.

    Sorry I’ve been remiss lately. The second round of midterms is taking its toll. I suppose I’ll take this chance to congratulate Cheeky Lil’ Devil for her whumptastic whump poem, and wish Anne Teldy good luck on her treatment! May it go well so that you may grace us with your humor and keen observations soon! 🙂

    Oh, and hows about that Ark of Truth? I’ve written up a long review that starts off kind of…well, I won’t spoil it for you. Link is here.

    Here’s another question, if you don’t mind: do you ever think up multi-season arcs for Stargate in your spare time, like an “Eureka!” moment? Or do you just consider 1 season at a time? What if you had a multi-season arc idea anyway? Do you forsake it for the moment to concentrate on the current season? Basically, do you guys ever plan THAT far ahead?

    Ok, that was a BUNCH OF questions, but still.

  35. It’s excellent to read such helpful advice from someone with a good mentor’s perspective. Thanks so much for your time and thought as someone who speaks from well-considered experience.

    Your exposition of useful approaches for entry-level TV writers is indirectly very helpful as well for someone who’s still learning the ropes in publications, but who sits on the other side of the desk, and needs to learn how to work well with aspiring writers. A complicated process for novices all around . . . It’s good to have a successful submitter’s POV, even from someone in a different medium. – Come to think of it, we ought to have the equivalent of your point #6 in our “guidelines for submissions” statement. (Well, I can use a variation in email or on the phone, anyway. ^_^)

  36. I’ve found your advice here applicable to many situations, not just “The business” and writing. The points you outlined are eerily similar to what I tell people when they ask me about getting into the photography business.

  37. Joe,

    This insight is absolutely fantastic. I’m a bit confused though: When pitching ideas, should a potential writer have an agent as well? Or is this simply for a writer who wishes to acquire gainful employment? In other words, if an author has a day job he/she loves, but wants to pitch some ideas, does he/she need an agent?

    Thanks, as always,

    Have a wonderful remainder of the weekend. Looking forward to more pics!

    MA

  38. Hey Joe!

    “the team steps through the gate and gets trapped in a wormhole between India and Pakistan where they overhear plans for a nuclear war…”….what about the Furlings’ secret involvement by providing the appropriate weaponry with a cloaked mega-fleet of 470 ships? 😛

    That was a neat write-up Joe, and will be an excellent resource for anybody going into the writing career. I personally am not planning on being a writer, but it was still an excellent read! 🙂

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  39. Hey Joe,

    starting rumors are we? LOL I think most fans don’t expect any news on season sixth until season five airs. I was discussing this a while ago and one fan suggested that SCI FI might air five episodes of the second half before christmas 2008 and the rest in 2009. however another fan suggested that they’d never break up the ten episodes block. I tend to agree with the latter

    could you confirm or deny the Phoenix’s involvement in season 5? personally I think we might see it in season 6. also I promised a friend to ask the following questions: will the team hunt any foxes in season 5? is the Daedalus still taking fresh bacon to Atlantis every month? I realize you must think I’m crazy LOL. what can I say…? to be honest I don’t expect you to answer BUT it would make several fans extremely happy 🙂

    oh and I thought the Ark of Truth was a great conclusion to the Ori storyline. can’t wait for Continuum. and season 5 of course! hehe

  40. Thank you for the insight into the writing and pitching world. I thoroughly enjoy every time you post advice about how to make it in the writing and producing field. Someday I hope to be in that very same position. I have dozens of story ideas for my favorite shows and my own original ideas. Many of them lack a strong conclusion so I’m focusing on that part now. I’d hate to go pitch somewhere and have no ending or even something mediocre compared with the rest of the story idea.

    I’d like to apologize if I made any grammar or spelling mistakes, I started my St. Patrick’s Day celebration tonight. 🙂

  41. “Anne Teldy’s Little Sister Said:
    I have just spent an hour on the phone with Anne reading Mr. M’s posts and most of the comments that have posted since she went into the hospital. She was moved by all of your kind words. ”

    Get Well Anne… we miss you! And remember… this is your Space Cow! AND this is your SPACE COW on drugs!!!! Can’t insert art work… but you get the picture!!!

    Take care

    Patricia Lee

  42. – “You must have the best job in the world,” my sister-in-law once marveled. “You just sit around all day making stuff up.” Yes, I’m sure this is how some envision the writing process: the writer, furiously tapping away at his or her laptop, turning the ideas on and off like tap water. But the reality is scriptwriting can be a long and arduous process replete with delays, disappointments, and dispiriting setbacks. And the very first step in this difficult (yet wholly satisfying!) exercise is that kernel of an idea, that brilliant notion that makes you sit bolt upright in bed at three in the morning and shout “That’s it!”, scaring the beejeebers out of your sleeping wife. –

    Hey, Joe, a bit of a question from outside a Stargate context but nevertheless still related to the description you gave of your creative process (or spontaneity). We were discussing creativity recently in a paper on entrepreneurship that I am doing at university. While the context is somewhat different (creativity in making up a business idea) the basics I believe would be the same. So from this, I would ask you how you would describe your idea generation process (I know the quote above could be seen as doing that but I assume it is somewhat tongue in cheek). By this I mean do new ideas for what you are writing come in spontaneous flashes or do they appear from trying to hammer out storylines in a structued, disciplined way?

  43. Breaking into the entertainment industry sounds just like getting into any other industry. Talent, yes you need that but in most cases you need luck, supporters and getting the word out. See, I do not have a talent for writing. My talent lies in mathematics and logical thinking. About 8 years ago I made the final step of becoming self-employed in the field of programming software.

    I didn’t have a university degree in informatics but it was what I wanted to do. Thus I worked as sales represantative and in my free time I wrote my software and bothered tons of companies with it.

    It took me 10 years to get as far as I have come, but if you have the talent and if it is something you want to do from the bottom of your heart you can achieve it. Bumpy road but determination helps a lot.

    By the way getting the foot in the door I took too literally last Monday. I broke my foot. Virtual hugs are highly welcomed at this time.

    The breaking wasn’t the bad part but the fighting with the docs at the hospital to let me out took a lot out of me. Hey, I wanted to see Last Man Standing – last repeat was Saturday on Sky. Thus I unnerved half of the hospital staff until they cut me loose yesterday.

    I am highly pain resistant, refused their pain meds (pain is actually a good indicator to show you what not to do) and usually heal in no time but they wouldn’t want to believe me. LOL, I think they got a heart attack when I got myself a wheelchair and rolled myself to the lobby about 5 hours after the operation.

    As I said determination helps a lot. 😉

    Cannot wait for Ark of Truth coming Easter weekend.

  44. Thanks for the insights Joe. You addressed the pitch quite thoroughly (and amusingly with all the ideas some people might bring to the table), but I’d like to know how a writer gets to the stage of pitching for the producers of a show like Stargate Atlantis or Stargate SG1.

    Could you please explain the process a writer goes through to get a pitch?

    Amz

  45. Hello Joseph =) Yéé! Trés intéréssant cette article ..Merci pour ces conseil…mais je n’est pas l’intention de faire sa plus tard..enfin le pire c’est que je ne sais pas quoi faire plus tard? Je fait des études de comptabilité sa me plait, mais je ne me voie pas faire ça plus tard. c’est trop rébarbatif. Donc je verais bien ou la vie m’amène!

    Ohh vous ne n’avez pas répondu a ma question “frenchi”..Attention je vous prévient si c’est comme sa, le week end prochain, je vais diriger un armée de petit frenchi qui va envahir votre blog….
    Plein de gens qui vont vous demander si vous allez mêttre un francais sur atlantis, vous allez pérdre la tête^^!lol

    Bon bah merci pour ce super article, gros kisou, je vous adore fort!♥

  46. I remember Alex Epstein telling me that Stargate was virtually impossible to get an invite for (pitching), and that his agent had tried a couple of times over the years with no success. That’s disheartening enough coming from an established writer, but to hear that of the few lucky (arguably talented, arguably not) ones that do get to pitch, some of them are flubbing it that bad..

    As someone who would sell both kidneys for just a three minute pitch opportunity, that’s depressing. That’s smother-yourself-with-your-own-pillow depressing.

    I don’t suppose I could coax you into telling me, though, what kinds of scripts you look at when looking for writers to invite to pitch. Show-specific like Battlestar specs, genre-specific like sci-fi, or drama in general perhaps?

  47. Thanks for the insights today. I enjoy the bits of writing i do purely for pleasure, reading is the same, there is no way I would presume to enter the world of writing for a living, that for me would spoil it greatly, nope I’m just as happy to leave the big creative stuff to you Joe you do such an excellent job at entertaining us all. I’m going to stick with what I do which is …..oh yeah bugger all interspersed with various caring/support roles i seem to have picked up along the way and teaching adults how to read.

  48. Is the supposed Kolya’s return-ep, which was scheduled for s4 but put on ice, scheduled for s5?

  49. Anne Teldy’s Little Sister – thank you for letting us know how Anne is doing. She’s been in my thoughts. I had to laugh at the ‘carnivorous space cow’ talk whilst under the influence of drugs. How funny, yet incredibly embarrassing at the same time! Oh well, I’m sure it could have been worse…I’m sure if it were me under the influence of powerful narcotics I’d talk about my desire for extreme whumped Shep and then I’d have to explain whumping, and would probably end up in the mental health unit!… let’s not go there! 😆

    Anyway, I’m glad Anne’s doing well, please send my good wishes to her. She must be so frustrated not being able to get online!

    Joe, interesting words of wisdom on writing for television. I’m a firm believer that much of what happens to us is down to circumstance and luck, or lack of the latter. Some things are just meant to be, while conversely some thing’s just never come to fruition.

  50. Thanks alot for the tips in writing. It was an excellent read.

    You answered a number of questions on the writing and ideas for stargate that were on my mind. Thanks again.

    All the best

  51. Hi Joe!

    How’s it going! Bet your glad that Fondy is back! I always enjoy reading your blog! I love the way you show us parts of your life & share pic’s with us! I want to say thanks heaps for giving us your insight on getting your foot in the door for tv!

    I really really hope that there WILL be a season 6 of Stargate Atlantis! I am optimistic that this will happen & we will get a season 6!

    Take Care & happiness always!
    Cathie

  52. wams352 Said:
    *waves at Susan The Tartan Turtle* may I accompany you to the all male revue planet?? We’ll bring along any of the girls who want to come (I’m sure Anne Teldy would come, and a bunch of the whumpers if we promised we were looking for McKay, Ronan and Shep)…who’s with us?!

    Oh I’m there! 😀 And I’ll bring my first aid kit in case of possible whump.. 😀

    Morgia Said:
    C’était vraiment très bon, je suis impressionnée par ton français ! You should see me when I write in English, its take me lost of times, patience and I always have my big dictionnary… But, the most amazing is when I was in London (UK) two years ago, at fist I thougth the people spoke me in german… scary… lol
    Morgia

    Oh well, London’s a whole different planet, hon! 😀 Actually, they probably were speaking German.. I’ve found if you stand on a street in central London, especially in touristy areas, and listen to people talking, only every 4th or 5th person will actually be speaking English! 😆

    Thanks to Anne Teldy’s sister for giving us an update – glad to hear she is doing okay and that our messages of support have been passed on. Wishing her a speedy recovery and a quick return to internetdom! 😀

  53. I have 2 questions and 1 comment:

    1/ Is there anything on the menu at Fuel that you and Martin don’t particularly like? Something that would be free from ‘fork do Mallozzi’ and ‘spoon de Gero’ at the Fuel dinner?

    2/Is there any chance Matt del Negro will be on season 5 of Atlantis?

    RE: The Last Man – Something really weird happened to me when I was watching this episode. Its the first time I have ever enjoyed watching something so much that I wanted to turn it off. I know how weird that sounds but I really didn’t want it to end – kinda like the ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to hear it did it actually fall’ thing. It was a really REALLY good episode. If I had to choose my favourite episodes from season 4 it would be the last 3 and Tabula Rasa. I Can’t wait until season 5!!

  54. Hello !

    Pour cette fois j’écris en français car en anglais ça me prendrait trop de temps et je ne parviendrais probablement pas à dire ce que je veux vraiment dire.

    En tout cas une chose est sûre… Vous ne pouviez pas écrire un meilleur article pour moi. En effet j’aimerais beaucoup travailler dans les domaines du cinéma et de l’audiovisuel dans les années à venir et c’est pour cela qu’au mois d’octobre je vais rentrer dans une école pour étudier cela. Vos conseils me seront très utile quand je devrais écrire mon scénario pour mon court-métrage obligatoire. ^^ Merci beaucoup.

    Seulement je me pose une question…
    Si un fan propose une idée qui a du potentiel… Vous ne la prendrez pas en compte juste parce qu’elle vient d’un fan ?

    J’espère que tout le monde va bien autour de vous ! Bonne continuation dans vos futurs scripts qui m’arracheront cris, rires et larmes !!
    A bientôt !!!

  55. Good morning Joe!

    We’ve heard of episodes focusing on all the other characters from you. Is there no Shepisode in the first half of Season 5?

    And please tell me the Shep whump in S&R won’t only be 5 Minutes long…

  56. Anne Teldy’s Little Sister, thanks for passing on Anne’s sage words of wisdom! Please continue to keep us updated until Anne can deliver her valuable advice in person (so to speak).

  57. …So not a sinecure, then?
    I have often thought of becoming a writer, but when I sit down to write something, it always comes out as a fanfiction.

  58. Very nice blog, Joe. Thank you for the information, not that I want to be a writer, but it’s interesting anyway. However, now I am finding myself wanting to GM some RPGs again (instead of just playing online) Haven’t done that in a long time. Hm,…you’re evil, Joe. Just evil.

    To Anne Teldy’s Little Sister: Thanks for letting us know how Anne is. Send her our thoughts and wishes. We miss her.

  59. Thanks for sharing your good advice Joe. I see it as having far-ranging applications beyond the writing field. I hope your readers take it to heart.

    Okay folks, let’s start those positive thoughts and vibes for a successful Season 5, and lead up to a splendid (hopefull) Season 6!

    Anne Teldy, hang in there lady! May God bless and keep you well, your comments here are missed.

    Carol Z
    (Stalwart ninja squirrel warrior; one down, dozens to go)

  60. Excellent! Thanks for the advice 🙂

    When it comes to hiring a person for any job on the show would a bachelor’s degree in broadcast and cinema arts or something along the lines be greatly beneficial? Especially for somebody applying for their first job?

    Oh, and I saw “The Ark of Truth” (finally) yesterday, and I really loved it! It was a great end to the Ori storyline.

  61. Hey Joe!

    Just wanted to ask a quick question; lately, it seems the Wraith have been really “dumbed down” on Atlantis. They aren’t using their amazing technology/resources to their advantage, and with the exception of Michael and Todd (whom I love), the Wraith as a whole just seem to be far less than they were in Season 1.

    So my question is this… are there plans to bring the Wraith back to the level of “terrifying-ness” that they had in Season 1? I love to see Earth win, of course, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a dozen or so episodes where the Wraith utterly crush us and send us crying back to Atlantis with our tails between our legs.

    Thanks, and continue the great work!

  62. *WAVES at Anne Teldy’s Little Sister*
    Welcome to the controlled insanity that passes for Joe Mallozzi’s Blog. We are all figments of the man’s imagination. Saying that this particular aspect of Joe’s psyche wishes to say Hi to Anne Teldy and her Carnivorous Space Bovines. I hope she’s getting good meds and will soon be up and about. We all miss her and look forward to reading her hilarious contributions as soon as possible.

    Listening to a Terry Pratchett interview once he mentioned he once had an out of sandwiches experience whilst under anasthetic, he remembers seeing a very large nose and hearing a disembodied voice saying “There are NO sandwiches” He later found out he had actually sat up on the table and was asking for sandwiches, the “voice” was the surgeon trying to get him to lie back down.

  63. Hi Joe,
    So season 6 pickup not confirmed yet, ok then be sure to let us know what we can do to help with that. I try to do my part by buying the DVDs, I also leave comments on Hey!Neilsen, buy my favorite episodes from Amazon, voted everyday for the People’s Choice Awards, go to the MGM website and vote there as well, and of course see SGA live on Fridays. Be sure to let us know whenever we need to vote for something or anything else we need to do, because really, SGA is the only TV show that I watch religiously and the thought of not having it on TV is scary!
    -Elisa

  64. *waves*

    I really enjoyed your blog tonight and your advice. I don’t think I could ever be a script writer, i’m apparently too ‘flowery’ and chat a bit too much!! I know I was shocked to hear that I was like that to. My boss asked me to put together for a job, and said to me, “Don’t flower it up, or go on forever like you normally do!” I guess he knows me to well. 😀

    When you do interview the freelancers, do you prefer they flower it up by setting the scene then go into the meaty stuff? Or do you prefer, just the cold hard facts, and minimalism? One of these days I’ll learn to be succint, but I don’t think today is one of those days. 😳 I have to do quite a lot of interviews in my line of work, and one of the things that bugs me is someone answering just ‘yes’ and ‘no’, it’s like getting blood out of a stone. Or the wonderful, ‘making it up as I go along’ type of interview. And let’s not forget the ‘wanting the job for the money, but haven’t a clue about the business’ type of interview. Sometimes I have to bite my cheek from laughing. 😛

    Didn’t you say you were thinking or were in a middle of writing a novel? Which would you say is harder?

    Thanks for the insight!

    *hugs*

  65. Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!
    I have always wondered how people “get into the business” of writing screenplays/teleplays!!!!
    As of right now, I’m majoring in “what the heck am I gonna do with my life” and really would like to write for a living, but wasn’t sure exactly how one went about doing that….
    I’m still uncertain of my major, but thanks for the insight!!!!

  66. I’m back! I couldn’t read anything for the last couple of days as I haven’t seen the last episode and didn’t want to have spoilers thrown at me…

    “susanthetartanturtle Said:
    …and if you do decide to go with the all girl team going to a planet of hunky males can I volunteer to go?”

    Oh boy. I’ll come, but only if I can come heavily armed and bring the Puddlejumper with so I can rescue you lot. 10 women or so on a planet comprising of only men?

    Think this through people –

    A bit of a slap and tickle is nice, but gang-rape is something else…

  67. Joe, do you have any idea when the Season 4 box set will be released. I know it’s not your call, but maybe MGM has mentioned something to you?

  68. Hey Joe,

    Hope all is well. I’m really behind on comments so I’m not sure if anyone else has brought it up. See Eric Bana has been cast as the lead to The Time Traveller’s Wife movie? Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were originally cast… hmmm, in-ter-est-ing.

    Also, a big thanks for your Spambait characters. I was really struggling with motivation for my presentation but being able to have fun with The Baron, Ali and Aloysius made it go a lot faster and it was good to see some smiles in the audience during the presentation. Beat having John Sample from ABC Enterprises. IT is just so dry.

    I’ve been told I have to take some more down time so I’ve taken up reading again more heavily. Reading the four Hitchhikers books (which have conveniently been all glued into one) and it’s been great. It makes me want to take a break. The book club and the activities on this blog have been a fantastic inspiration to get back into things. I don’t have any Sci Fi people around me – we are talking zilch, screw up their noses at the thought – so the interaction here gets my brain going (those little mice on their wheel needed a wake up call) and its invigorating to be thinking outside the square again.

    It was lovely of Anne’s sis to come and let everyone know how she is travelling. Talking of Space Cows around nurses will generally raise some eyebrows, but I bet it wasn’t a first! When coming around once from an op I thought I was an opera singer – and I very definitely am not. YouTube could have a break off site just of people coming out of recovery.
    Highly illegal, yet highly amusing.

  69. Hi Joe,

    I saw once again Window of Opportunity this weekend, it is my favorite episode ever of any TV show.

    Considering that it was one of the first episodes you guys wrote for Stargate, how much research did you guys do before joining Stargate or how much help did you get because you nailed the characters, the stories, the humor… What was the initial pitch?

    Take care,

    Carolina

  70. whoa some great advice there. I’ve got a friend who’s dang talented at writing.. so I’ll link him to this .. Good stuff Joe!

    Nice of you to share…

    Now about that all male planet ..*goes to pack – err nothing*

  71. I was planning on turning up at industry people’s homes at 3am with a handful of napkins scribbed on with crayon about how the guest actor, coincidentally named after myself, and coincidentally played by a super model, no hang on, scrub the last part, shows up and has everyone fall in love with her and then erm, something about crossdressing, caves, and sentient mist. I’m a bit hazy on the rest, but considering I was planning on incoherently shouting it while being dragged away by the police it’s probably moot.

    Your idea sounds much better. But so much more like hard work.

  72. Just want to wish you,Fondy and the little dogs a Happy St Patricks Day!!!!! not like us irish need another excuse to drink!!!

    Some obligatory Irishness for the occassion..ever watch Father Ted??

  73. The Ark of Truth will be showing on Sky One can hardly wait, especially having just in time for last ep of Atlantis had a certain little data gathering box installed.

  74. A couple snippets from various Ark reviews online:

    –The most grievous offense was what they did to Samantha Carter. For the past 10 years, she has been a strong character who has saved SG-1’s and Earth’s collective ass many times. In “Ark,” her hair was long, even though they had made it clear in previous episodes that Air Force policy required her hair to be short. The writers clearly were trying to feminize her. She did not take initiative and repeatedly emphasized her support role. Sam had no brilliant, save-the-day ideas and in the end, she baked cookies and kissed Cam on the cheek. It was sickening how much they dis-empowered what was previously a truly amazing character. Samantha wasn’t just the token woman, she was a smart, strong and essential character. The writers of “Ark” assassinated this character.

    –overall i found the movie to be very good, the cinematography was great! unfortunately there wasn’t much character development, Carter barely even says two words! and whats going on with her and the general?? like that kinda just vanished away. it almost seems like they’re trying to set her up with with the new colonel, very alarming! Teal’c is so hardcore in this movie which was great! it was captivating and kept me interested but it did feel like just a two-episode special thing, that left you hanging again.

    –Why the *beep* did they cast Ben Browder to play in this movie at all? He can’t act, and his voice don’t fit the screen or his character. Sure you can say “he was in SG-1!”. Let me get this straight. When you get an actor trying to imitate another actors character (guess who) it never EVER works. They would have been better off starting the story with his tragic death… somewhere in the lines of -he cut off his own head while shaving.

  75. Dear Joe,

    R u gonna revisit the “The Brotherhood” or “Trinity” episode in season 5?

    Any new planets, that is new exterior sets being introduced for season 5?
    thanxs

  76. Just wanted to tell ya….although I know you didn’t write it, and probably would have deleted the scene had you the opportunity…..but I LOVED the last scene between Sam and Cam in Ark of Truth. Their whole interaction through-out the ep was great. It was nice that on the flip side of all the Ori stuff, we had some great Carter/Mitchell interaction as they kicked replicator ASS! Wait, I can say ass her right? I hope so 🙂

    Anyways, the macaroons and kiss on the cheek at the end was just wonderful 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what’s in store in Continuum. Thank you 🙂

  77. Sorry, I said “ep” in my last comment, I meant movie. But I think you would’ve guessed that anway 🙂 🙂

  78. to Anne Teldy’s Little Sister Thanks muchly for the update on Anne, I’m glad to hear that she’s doing better. Please tell her that we miss her comments here and hope that she recovers quickly. Is there any chance that you might get a PO Box to which we could send get well cards?

    Joe, thank you for the insight into the process of how to go about getting picked up as a script writer. It’s not something I would be good at, but it’s good to have a place to point others toward who are interested in doing so. There are some really fantastic authors out there (a lot of them fanficcers) who aren’t pros yet who could benefit greatly from this advice.

    As for SciFi not saying anything about season 6 yet, just let us know when we should start sending our letters to them and to the sponsors of the show. I’m not above bribing the mail room staff and secretaries with chocolate and other goodies in order to be heard by TPTB! Atlantis is the only show currently in production that I watch religiously run and I don’t want it to go away any time in the near (or not so near) future.

    Also, I’m very glad to hear that Ark of Truth is doing so well! Hopefully that means MGM will greenlight another SG-1 movie as well as Stargate Universe. Yeah, I’m a greedy little Gate Fan!

    Question I: I’m with CMDragonia’s little brother regarding the ships of the Gateverse. Any idea why marketing at MGM hasn’t given the okay for models? I would so buy the Beliskner (Thor’s ship), Prometheus and Daedalus models!

    Question II: I noticed CPT Vega carrying an M4 with an M203 attachment in one of yesterday’s pics. Is there any chance we will get to see her fire that M203? Those things are a blast (quite literally) and I think it would be wicked cool if she got to fire some of the specialized rounds available for that weapon. I would love to see an MEI Hellhound used against a Wraith dart or a flechette round used against a Wraith!

    Lastly, to Susan the Tartan Turtle and Wams352, count me and a squad of other fangirls in on that expedition to P3X-HNK (hunk)! 😀

  79. Hey Joe, I’ve been reading your blog for some months now, and I like it very much! Thank you for all the time you put into it, and we love the set pictures very much!

    My question:
    Has there been written in a guest appearance for Todd yet, in the fifth season? I know we’ve been spoiled in season four (and what a great one it was!), but a little bump for his character every now and then can’t hurt…

    We love him so much and hope he’ll be kept around! And keep the information about the Wraith coming in bits and peaces, please! There’s so much about them that we do not know, yet!

    Thanks for reading!

    Spikey

  80. On the off chance you’ll feel the muse to answer one last question on the topic: do animation productions hire or work with unagented writers? is that why it’s easier? or is an agent still the only first step?

    The rest sounds about right, exactly what I’ve seen, read and heard about “The biz.” For those looking for a (another 😉 really, really, great blog on the biz and on writing spec scripts, google for “Jane in Progress” by Jane Espenson. She’s currently working at Battlestar Galactica, but her blog is all about writing tips.

  81. Hi!

    I am a real fan of SG1/SGA and I would like to tell my opinion about Weir/Carter fact.

    I miss Dr. Weir from SGA because of her humanity and correctness. She was the face of SGA and person who pleads the message of SGA. And she was that character who can responsibly lead the mission.

    Of course Sam Carter’s character could replace Dr. Weir but she is also omitted as Weir. We know we (because of her other TV Show), but Weir’s omitting is fully baseless. (As I know, her migration is based on the omitting.)

    I guess the management was not needed to omit Weir, they cut the heart of this serie out. I would be glad if Weir’s recall could be possible but I don’t know how could it be.

    Thank you. And we excitedly wait for the 5. Season. 🙂

  82. I know this is a bit late, but I wanted to thank you for posting this. I’ve read many books on how to get your foot in the door and how to go about pitching ideas, but reading about someone’s personal experience just makes it easier for me to understand.

    This also means I’m on the right track.

    Thanks, again.

    <3

  83. kdvb1 Said: I am still wondering if anyone has any kind of real confirmation on Joe Flanigan’s dad. There are rumours that he died last week, but I haven’t found anything to verify this.

    I do so if you leave your email address on my blog I will be more then happy to send you the information regarding this.

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