For some mysterious reason, my cell phone has stopped working. Despite various attempts to turn the damn thing on, it remains unresponsive. Dark. Dead. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what happened. I didn’t drop it, knock it against something, or otherwise damage it in anyway. It never left my possession so I can’t very well blame someone else for screwing with it. Outside of accidentally dropping it in a water-filled yogurt container last night, I don’t recall anything unusual happening to it.
Now I know what you’re thinking and, normally, inadvertently submerging an electronic device would be cause for alarm. But, fortunately, mine was a Stargate: Atlantis cell phone (see pic for proof). The city of Atlantis was submerged for thousands of years; my phone a mere five seconds or so. Logic dictates that couldn’t be it.
I don’t know. Maybe the battery ran out. Well, I suppose it’ll forever remain one of life’s little mysteries like Stonehenge, the true identity of Jack the Ripper, and why is Aston Kutcher famous?
This does present me with an opportunity to pick up a new phone. But the question is: What kind? Fondy loves her BlackBerry and has been pushing me to pick one up for months. Marty G., on the other hand, swears by his iPhone. These are the pros and cons of each so far as I can tell:
Pros: Tactile keyboard allows for easier emailing, about the only thing I’ll do with the damn thing besides talk to people.
Cons: My wife’s BlackBerry occasionally drops reception – but is it the phone or the service provider that’s at fault?
Cons: Wouldn’t you get fingerprints all over the touch screen? Not available in Canada until July 11th.
Well, my cell phone may not be working but my satellite is back up and running. All it took was the attaching of a disconnected cable, the flick of a switch, and the payment of the $75 service fee, and I was up and running. Reruns of Gossip Girl, here I come!
Today’s entry is dedicated to kilted assassin’s freshly married sister, Neko who completed her medical exams, an under the weather Alipeeps, happy early birthday to flingsglass, and Nika whose manuscript has been picked up by a publisher.
Tricia Anne writes: “…what are your favourite animated films of all time? I’m curious now.”
Answer: Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Iron Giant, Aachi & Ssipak.
Cathie writes: “Seen any good movies worth mentioning lately?”
Answer: Yep. Ratatouille. The best movie I’ve seen this year.
Portlandbound writes: “You don’t have much of a show if Joe, Jason, and David go on strike seeing how they are 3 of the main actor’s. I hope they don’t strike but is their a plan?”
Answer: You bet. In the event there is a strike, finished episodes will be replaced by footage of the writers reading/acting out their scripts. It’ll be awesome!
Thornyrose writes: “I didn’t expect the pictured book pile to last a month, but are you really going through them so fast that you need more by Wednesday?”
Answer: I certainly won’t finish the entire pile by Wednesday but, since I’ll be in the office anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up some book while I’m there.
Erin writes: “I saw your pix of your stack of books to be read and my eyes saw only one there – “Inherit the Stars”. The mystery that is the beginning of that series is still so remembered in my head, that just thinking about it is making me want to scrounge through my boxes of books in my study.”
Answer: I’m reading it now. Great book. Which is the second in the series?
Paul William Tenny writes: “If I’m not mistaken, extras can’t actually say anything or they’ll have to be paid more — scripted or not. Muttering is a very apt description.”
Answer: True. As someone pointed out, the actual background conversation (a.k.a. “walla”) is supplied in post. As Paul said, it usually amounts to nothing more than indistinguishable muttering. However, there have been instances when the performers, clearly bitten by the acting bug, have offered up truly memorable lines – that we inevitably remove after the day one mix. “This has never happened before!”was one ill-advised gem delivered by someone in a crowd of villagers who had just seen Sheppard disable a wraith tracking device. Really? Never seen one of those disabled by machinegun fire? Good to know.
Wraith Cake writes: “ 1/ do you read comics/graphic novels? 2/ How much of what you write do you visualize? (I am a visual person and enjoy how Moore, for instance, will have frame after frame in his narratives with no written text 3/ How much/often do you need to collaborate with the artistic directors to flesh out a scene? 4/ Finally, when you write a story, how does it take place in your head: Do you focus on the dialogue most, the body language of the characters most or the setting the most? Or, regardless of how you intend the story, does it become an altogether different beast by the time we see it?”
Answers: 1. On occasion I do read comics/graphic novels. I’m very interested to see how my favorite graphic novel, Watchmen, turns out when it hits the big screen. 2. I visualize everything I write, from the big action sequences to a character’s small business while delivering dialogue. Of course the way I visualize a scene is just a guide and, more often than not, the final product is very different from the way I’d initially envisioned it. 3) Our directors are infinitely capable and don’t require direction from me. Occasionally, for trickier sequences, we may discuss how we want something to play out. 4) It really depends on the scene but usually, the writer‘s primary focus is on the dialogue.
Airelle writes: “ Did you read Ghost Brigade by Scalzi, if you did, is it worth getting?”
Answer: I did and, yes, it is worth it.
DasNdanger writes: “However, Ellia proved that – in the right environment – a Wraith can be different.”
Answer: Yes. This and several other instances suggest that the wraith’s arguably “evil” disposition is not genetic but shaped by their upbringing and their environment. Check out The Queen for an interesting lesson on wraith politics and diplomacy.
David writes: “ Do you tell Fondy about the script your writing? Is she a fan of Stargate, or just not interested?”
Answer: I think I answered this question. Fondy prefers Grey’s Anatomy.
LiquidSky writes: “What is a ‘bottle show’?”
Answer: A bottle show is an episode that only makes use of our standing sets. Quarantine is a good example. SG-1’s Message in a Bottle is another.
Anais33 a ecrit: “1) Que font les acteurs sur le tournage quand ils ont une pause entre deux scénes? 2)Quand avez vous l’intention de faire un voyage en Europe? 3)Connaissez vous, des bonbon qui se nome “Les bétise de Cambrai” ?”
Reponses: 1) Ils retournent à leurs remorques. 2) Je ne sais pas. 3) Non. Sont-ils bons?
Translation: 1) Between scenes, the actors go back to their trailers. 2) I have no idea when I’ll be traveling to Europe. 3) I’m not familiar with “Les bétise de Cambrai” candies. Are they any good?
Jose Sanders writes: “ Now I was wondering, would it be all right for me to print out one of your pics to have it signed?”
Answer: By all means.
Sector24 writes: “Can you tell us if you are going to be involved, and if and when Atlantis ends, would you jump to Universe, or you’ll be done with Stargate?”
Answer: At this point – no idea.
TBA writes: “Since you’re an anime fan, have you ever seen Death Note?”
Answer: Just watched the first episode this morning. An interesting start.
Sprinkles writes: “Just wondering if you ever read any more Terry Pratchett novels beyond ‘the Colour of Magic’?”
Answer: Yep. I’ve read about a half dozen. Last month, it was Small Gods.
DasNdanger also writes: “ My opinion about it is this – true, you can’t please all the fans, and only a very small percentage participate in on-line discussions. However, I think it’s fairly safe to use the internet input as a reflection of how the fanbase as a whole is reacting – taking the ‘pulse’ of the fans, as it were.”
Answer: True. I don’t think anyone should dismiss the response of online fans. But what you read on the forums must be taken with a grain of salt. As someone in that article pointed out, unhappy fans are far, far more likely to take the time to express their feelings that fans who are pleased with a show’s creative direction. Also, the opinion of fans with diverse opinions (both positive and negative) holds a lot more weight than, say, the opinions of the same dozen fans over on Gateworld who complain about anything and everything. Another interesting point is that, while online fandom is generally weighted toward the vocal minority, focus group testing seeks out a more balanced opinion. And, while I am personally not a fan of this approach, I was amazed by the difference in opinion between focus groups and online fandom.
Enzo Aquarius writes: “How have the ‘intuitive’ blog titles been affecting your views?”
Answer: They’ve actually hurt traffic a little. But they’re kind of fun so I’m sticking with ‘em.