Whenever I start work on a script, I set modest goals and then always surprise myself by exceeding expectations. I’ve done this so often that you would think I’d know better by now but, no, I continue to amaze myself. Take Remnants for instance. I wanted to have a first draft for mid-July but, after some thought, revised the target date to a month earlier – the second week of June which would allow me to get some feedback from the other writers before I head off for hiatus. It usually takes me about two weeks to write a script, so I figured if I had an outline in place by the beginning of the month, June 13th would be very doable. Well, as it turned out I nailed down the outline at the beginning of this week which gave me an extra few days to work with. Add the fact that the first two acts practically write themselves, my wife is out of town, and I have no social life to speak of outside of backyard babysitting duties with the dogs, and June 13th looks very doable indeed. “Joseph,”I said to myself using the name given to me by my parents at birth because, for some reason, it seems to draw less attention from curious bystanders, “aim to have 25 pages completed by Monday morning.” They didn’t have to be perfect. Perfection would come later over the course of the interminable polishes. Good would do for a start. Flesh out the scenes. Hit the beats. Run the dialogue. And, most important of all, really push the envelope. They may ask you to scale back or remove it altogether but, hey, you never know. Remember Teal’c’s appearance at that Vagina Monologuesque reading of the Virginia Dialogues in Family Ties?
Anyway, I hit P. 21 today and, as predicted, it’s fairly smooth sailing. So far. The process of scriptwriting is not unlike suffering from a bad fever. Morning, noon, and night, you’re head is swimming with the same damn images, pieces of some unfathomable puzzle bobbing up and down in the soupy morass that was once your mind, just begging to be recovered and made sense of. And, needless to say, the more you obsess over this conceptual flotsam and jetsam, the clearer the grand picture forms. For instance, just this afternoon a couple of those persistent little notions came together to give me a truly diabolical revelation. The result = a scene that will have all the Shep-whumpers screaming “Yes! Yes!” and then “What?! NO!! NO!! NOOOO!!!” The gloves are off, kiddies.
Oh, and I came up with that fifth act twist I’ve been agonizing over. This is cause for celebration. Let’s mark the occasion with a return of the mailbag. Oh, and today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gal crownglass39.
StellabyStargate writes: “Since the back half of S5 seems to be falling into place, does it look like there will be any more episodes with Sam in it or are we going to have to hold out our hopes for Season 6?”
Answer: We’re hoping to have Sam back for at least one episode in the back half.
StellabyStargate also writes: “And I know the movies aren’t your area, exactly, but I have to say, the Sam/Jack shippers’ mojo is running on empty these days…any chance you could give us a wink or a thumbs up that we might have something squeeable to talk about in the not-too-distant future???”
Answer: Sorry. If you’re looking for any sort of confirmation, you won’t find it in Continuum. Still, there is one nice moment that shippers can find solace in.
David writes: “Hey Joe. I wanted to know…what kind of a computer do you have, the one you use to do your blog?”
Answer: I work on a Sony VAIO.
David also writes: “In your opinion would you say it is easier to write a script or novel?”
Answer: In my opinion, writing a novel is much, much harder.
Arctic Goddess writes: “Speaking of skill, you are no doubt aware of the hub bub in the news today surrounding Martin Gero’s screening of “Young People F***ing”. The media is all atwitter about the title and content, and that members of parliament had the nerve to attend the screening today. I don’t know if Martin should be congratulated or consoled. What is your opinion?”
Answer: Oh, congratulations are definitely in order. I remember very early on in the process, he told us the title of his script and we were all unanimous in our response: “You’ve got to change that title. It’s going to hurt your movie’s chances.” Well, Marty G. demonstrated characteristic stubborness and determination by refusing to heed our advice – and, in retrospect, made the right call. His movie has received all sorts of press in no small part due to its controversial title. Thankfully, the politicians making all this noise about the movie haven’t actually seen the film they’re criticizing. And good thing to because if they did, they’d realize it’s not some vapid sex romp but a relationship comedy and wouldn‘t be complaining quite so vehemently. In fact, some of the only criticisms I’ve read of the film are from people disappointed that there wasn’t enough “young people f**cking.” for their tastes. Thanks for the review, perverts!
DasNdanger writes: “Do the writers ever throw ‘gratuitous’ things into scenes just to thrill the fans?”
Answer: Of course. Everything you see onscreen is for the fans.
DasNdanger also writes: “How many episodes is Todd scheduled for so far? Before you said three, but has that changed?”
Answer: So far…nope.
May writes: “…which of the SGA (if any) actors is the most adventurous in terms of wearing the most outlandish costumes – or loves asking to keep trying new clothes?”
Answer: Oh, hell, Jason Momoa, hands down. There isn’t a week that goes by that the costume department isn’t running some weird shirt or crazy pantaloons Jason picked up to add to Ronon’s wardrobe.
PG15 writes: “You know, Joe…er…Joe M.; have you ever considered letting these 2 authors maybe pitch for Atlantis or something?”
Answer: Hey, who knows what the future holds…
Tammy writes: “Will the Atlantis expedition ever find instructions in the city to try and make their own ZPMs instead of always looking for old ones?”
Answer: Not in the foreseeable future.
Sheena writes: “Oh, and just curious- have you ever had chocolate from Rheo Thompson or Chocolate Barr in Stratford, ON?”
Answer: Nay, oh Queen of the Jungle, I have not. Any good?
GoSpikey writes: “The scientist from “The Gift,” is that someone we’ll ever actually see, or was he just a one time mention kinda Wraith?”
Answer: We may see him again.
Kay writes: “Will there be changes in the way Keller is portrayed?”
Answer: We’ll see some growth in Keller as she tackles her second year in the Pegasus Galaxy.
Iamjohn writes: “Are there any city specific episodes this season?”
Answer: Yep. Carl is working on one as I file this entry.
Dori writes: “You have read so many books over the last year and I was wondering of them all what would you say were your top three?”
Answer: In the last year? Last Argument of Kings (Joe Abercrombie), The Empire of Ice Cream (Jeffrey Ford), and The Android’s Dream (John Scalzi).
Shawna writes: “This has probably been asked before and I just can’t remember, but is anything in season 5 going to touch on the ability of the wraith to give people back life, as we saw Todd do to Sheppard in Common Ground?”
Answer: That’s a definite yes.
Ascended Tauri writes: “Is that chair and couch really for sale, and how much?”
Answer: Yes and I don’t know. You’ll have to contact the production offices for the details. And, hey, if you’re going to buy his couches, the least he can do is show up to say hi when you swing by to pick ’em up.
Kristen writes: “In your opinion which episode for Sheppard is going to be his character driven magnus opus?”
Answer: Right now? Remnants.
Marc writes: “There is a lot of talk about not leaving our people behind. Does this include the dead?”
Answer: Yes, it definitely includes the dead. In fact, Carl pitched out a story that was to deal with this very issue (The Red Shirt Diaries) but, after much discussion, it was temporarily shelved. Season 6 maybe?
Jmanzione writes: “In your personal opinion, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being unlikely, 10 being ‘announcement on a start date due soon’ ) will there will be more SG1 movies?”
Answer: In MY personal opinion, I’d give it a 9. But I have no idea when.
Eri writes: “I was wondering, out of all the characters that have left the show, which do you miss the most?”
Answer: I miss all of SG-1.