8:00 a.m. stunts and SPFX meeting this morning with Bam Bam, Wray, and Scott during which we discussed candy glass, ratchets, and squibs. We’ve also finally set a time for our second fog test = 6:00 a.m. on Friday! The whole thing will take about three hours after which we should have a pretty good idea of how much actual fog we’ll need to make the scenes work. As John Smith pointed out, it can go one of two ways. The fog could prove a frustrating complication and slow us down, or it could prove incredibly forgiving and allow us to breeze through the shots.
This afternoon, I worked on the green pages for Whispers and took the time to field some calls from the various chocolatiers I’ve contacted. With my third annual chocolate party only a week away, I’ve started placing orders. On the menu so far: Rococo Chocolates from London, La Maison du Chocolat, Hevin, Richart, and Debauve & Gallais from Paris, and Wen Chocolates from my buddy Chef Poole in Colorado. New York’s Christopher Norman, Martine’s, and Vosges will also be included, as will Vancouver’s own Chocoatl and D.C. Duby. There are about ten top chocolatiers who don’t normally ship to Canada, but I queried them about making an exception for this extra-special occasion. So far, two have been in touch to let me know they’d be happy to send their delectable creations my way. Thanks to Christopher Elbow and Donnelly Chocolates. Now, if I can only convince Mariebelle, Teuscher, Chuao, Kee’s, Payard, Joseph Schmidt, and Michael Recchiuti, I’m all set.
This year’s chocolate soiree will be even bigger than the last and will include a dinner prepared by Fuel’s own Chef Rob Belcham. I’ve decided to skip the cakes this time around as they’ve never been a big draw, and am still undecided about the milk and dark chocolate fountains.
Today’s blog is dedicated to returning regular Anne Teldy. Welcome back, Anne. And best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Continuing comments on The Keep:
Robert C. Cooper writes: “I really loved The Keep. It was one of the books I read as a kid that inspired me to both read more and eventually write. My father recommended it. Like the time he took me to see Jaws at the tender age of seven, it’s not that he wanted to damage my psyche. He just wanted to share his own sense of excitement at being thrilled.”
Answer: Interesting. My father took me to see Jaws at an early age as well, but I suspect that he did so as a way of killing an afternoon while we were vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey. He also took me to see Earthquake on the same trip. One of Ava Gardner’s most stirring performances.
Robert C. Cooper also writes: “ Not only did I love the story but I felt pretty good about facing my own fear and getting past it. That’s what the best scary adventure stories do for us as people. They allow us to explore our fears, imagine ourselves surviving terrifying situations, being a hero and triumphing over evil.”
Answer: Not unlike our work as executive producers. But go on.
Robert C. Cooper writes: “ My question to Joe and his blog-readers is: Do you think there has EVER been a movie based on a book that has been better than the source material? List and discuss if you like. I’m curious. I really love movies and I think not … except in one case with apologies to Peter Benchley who still deserves a massive amount of credit for writing the original story that has kept me out of the ocean my entire life.”
Answer: Yeah, Jaws is a great example. Damn, I was about to say The Princess Bride but, of course, the movie preceded the book. Never read The Shawshank Redemption or Children of Men, but the movies were pretty damn impressive. Also, the film version of Dude, Where’s My Car? was far superior to the G. K. Chesterton novel it was based on.
Astrumporta writes: “Very good point about Kaempffer’s stubbornness, and it was indeed explained. I guess I just can’t relate to staying someplace after zombies have fallen on you in your bed, no matter my level of ambition.”
Answer: True. To be honest, just talk of decapitated victims would be more than enough to convince me to steer clear of the place. But, of course, the circumstances for these players were very different, especially in the case of Dr. Cuza and Magda who had no choice in the matter. In the case of Woermann and Kaempffer, their careers were on the line but, beyond that, it was a matter of pride for both men. Given their bitter rivalry, neither was going to be the one to back down first.
Sparrow Hawk writes: “One of the things I like best about the novel is that it is not your average tale of good vs. evil. Those characters that are not irredeemably evil are very human and firmly in the moral “gray zone”. I prefer my characters there; they tend to be less predictable and more interesting. Even the hero, Glenn, is not entirely good…”
Answer: Exactly. At first blush, Glenn appears to be your typical hero. He says very little and you’re rarely permitted a glimpse into his inner workings, so he is in many ways unreadable and, on the surface at least, less colorful than some of the other characters. And yet, it is his actions that speak volumes, establishing the character as possessed of a dark side. His killing of the ship captain is particularly striking in that he secretly hopes the man not try to double-cross, and even gives him an opportunity to rethink his course of action. But the man gets only one chance and, when he doesn’t take it, Glenn proves merciless in dealing with him.
Sparrow Hawk also writes: “Looking back on things, I see a strong similarity between the way Germany embraced Hitler and his promises to restore them to glory and the way that Cuza succumbs to Molasar’s offer to cure his illness and rescue his daughter and his country.”
Answer: That’s very interesting. I didn’t even think of this but know that you mention it – yes, I see it.
Cazz writes: “I just read on Gateworld that the IOA removes Carter because she’s military. This doesn’t make any sense. Why would she have gotten the job in the first place if the IOA doesn’t want the military leading the expedition. Rob Picardo says he doesn’t know why Woolsey is even on Atlantis yet either. Is that right? You guys are filming episode eight and haven’t even explained the change in command?”
Answer: You’re misunderstanding what was said in the interview. “At this point in the season the actor says Woolsey’s reason for taking the job has yet to be established.” This is true in that we have yet to reveal Woolsey’s personal reasons for accepting the command position. On the other hand, the reasoning behind the IOA’s decision to replace Carter is discussed in episode 2, The Seed.
Shawna writes: “Your comment about gun training raised a question for me: when you’re casting actors, what “special skills” can actors have on their resumes that will be most beneficial to them for this show? Gun experience, accents, stunt skills, etc.?”
Answer: Special skills are certainly an added bonus, but acting ability trumps all other considerations.
PG15 writes: “Any word on where Inquisition is going to fall on the airing schedule? Is it episode 512?”
Answer: That remains to be seen.
Chevron 7 writes: “Alan’s “extreme Shep whump” episode – if it’s not too much of a spoiler is it more physical, mental or both?”
Answer: If we move ahead with the idea, it will be both.
Tiger’s eye writes: “I think dovil presented the possible gender-stereotypes issue very reasonably..”
Answer: I agree.
Nathan writes: “ Alternatively perhaps Mr Cooper would mind waiting until more of the world has had a chance to see the movie?”
Answer: Well, it’s already aired in the U.K. When is it released in Australia?
Anne Teldy writes: “I’m back!”Answer: Finally! Great to hear from you and start reading. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
Dovil writes: “You’re more than welcome to keep this screened considering it a) may be belabouring a point at this stage and b) may end up sending people reading your blog into hysterical lags of frustrated crying.”
Answer: Hey, Dovil, I think this is a great discussion and I see no reason why I would need to screen your opinions.
Dovil also writes: 1. So I take it auditions were occurring at the same time as the script was being finalised. Good thinking with that kind of set up and I can see how that would make sense.”
Answer: Actually, there was a finished version of the script in place before the auditions, but changes are constantly being made up to and including the day on which a particular scene is shot.
Dovil also writes: “2. Women in the horror genre are generally portrayed as the victims – there are exceptions to this but that’s the thing with exceptions, they’re not the norm. Hell, if it wasn’t so prevalent in popular culture papers in Media Studies departments would have to be cancelled and even Academics have to buy groceries and get whisked off overseas to conferences. As long as one of the women isn’t a virgin, sleeps with Sheppard, and walks off by herself after hearing some suspicious noises, hopefully she shouldn’t get hacked to death with a carving knife/chainsaw/really sharp paper. Paper cuts, a gruesome way to go.”
Answer: True. I promise: no knife-wielding maniacs, no stupid victims, no running around screaming (unless it’s Sheppard).
Dovil also writes: “3. See, red shirts, every genre has its thing.”
Answer: Yep. I’ll admit that one of the reasons I wanted this team of potentially recurring characters for this episode is that the audience won’t know what to expect. They can be pretty certain that Sheppard and Beckett may survive the experience but as for any of other four… In this particular case, the fact that they’re female is less important than the fact that, as guest cast, there’s no telling who will make it out alive.
Dovil also writes: 4. They may be actors but actors should still look the part of what they play. The male scientists aren’t 25 year old part-time underwear models because it would stretch belief. All I think we have here is a difference of opinion on what may be believable in this instance.”
Answer: True, but how often do we see Dr. Lee heading off-world on a regular basis? All of the Atlantis off-world teams face potential hazards every time they head off-world, and they need to be prepared, both mentally and physically, to deal with any and all threats. They should be fit, yes. Do they need to be great looking? No, of course not. But then again, if you were to check out the personal websites of the various actors who have appeared as members of Major Lorne’s team in the past, I’m sure you’d find more than a few 25 year old underwear models in the bunch.
Dovil writes: “To be blunt I think you get a lot of crap thrown at you a lot of the time that is little more than tantrums from fans who haven’t had their shopping list of demands met (though since anon comments got canned funnily enough that appears to have gone down). But sometimes people really do just want a dialogue and sometimes conversing just in text is not the best way of getting people’s intentions across. And hey, at the end of the day I’m a huge fan of the show.”
Answer: Oh, I realize that – and you’re one of my most entertaining posters. Wouldn’t want to lose you.
AmmoMonkey writes: “What would be your personal preference for cast in a possible 3rd movie. Another purely SG1 movie or one that contained a mix of characters?”
Answer: If it were an SG-1 movie, then SG-1 characters. If it were an Atlantis movie, then Atlantis characters.
2shy writes: “So how much time do you spend on an entry here?”
Answer: Anywhere from 1-3 hours a day.
crazy mom writes: “What’s Kate Hewlett doing over there these days?”
Answer: Shooting her scenes for The Shrine. And almost running me down in one of those motorized golf carts.
Vinsfins writes: “Hey Joe, have you come up with suggestions for next months BOTM?”
Answer: Yes. Check out the right sidebar. We’ll be reading Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, John Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream, and John Shirley’s Crawlers.
Nika writes: “After reading the insanity that is your daily grind, I have to ask just how much coffee you consume on a daily basis? Or are you more of a red-bull caffine shooter? Tea? Single-malt? Bottle of vodka stuffed in the desk?”
Answer: Bottle of scotch stuffed in the desk = Paul. Red-bull caffeine shooter = Brad.
Coffee = Robert. I’m more of a green tea man.
Eva K writes: “If you begon shooting Whispers next Tuesday (or friday, depending on whether your ‘tuesday=friday’ thing keeps up) when can we expect pictures?”
Answer: I intend to be on set for the shooting of this episode so, yes, plenty of behind-the-scenes pics, video, and commentary coming your way.
Jenny S. writes: “Then I had to run like crazy to get my son to school, finish the proposal for Fox that I had apparently fallen asleep on top of, catalog the thumbnails for the site, capture the snake that had camped in front of our door, remind the nice manager that yes, yes, we DID turn in our rent check, pick up my son, play Stargate Atlantis with him (I get to be Shep), write up the requests for the 63 video clips we need, find out that the deck is corrupted, blahblahblahblahblah.”
Answer: And all worth it. You do a great job on the site: http://www.stargatehub.com/
Rebekah writes: “At the risk of appearing stupid, I have been so busy I don’t regularly visit your blog – so I was wondering, how do I find out what BOTM you are currently reading?”
Answer: Check the sidebar on the right. It lists the ongoing BOTM club discussions as well as any forthcoming discussions.