I‘m offered a choice: “Do you want plugs or cans?”
I take the cans, fishing the oversized headphones out of the box and horse shoeing them around my neck as the cast and crew prep for the upcoming sequence. Distances are measured, the armorer checks the guns, the camera operators hunker down behind their plastic shields, and everyone else clears the hell out.
“Cover your ears! It’s going to be loud!”warns the 1st A.D.
As the actors get into position, the crew members and extras who elected to forego both the plugs and the cans cover their ears. The director eyes the monitor, waits… waits… waits… and finally calls: “Action!”
The actors deliver their lines. Someone warns: “Here they come!” And that’s my signal to clap on the headphones. A beat and then – a sustained barrage of gunfire that has the newbies wincing. I can hear the muffled report, a rapidfire report that suddenly dies off. Click. Snap. Click Snap. I glance up and see that both of the P-90‘s have jammed. Click. Snap. Click. Snap. “Okay, we‘ll go again”says the director.
Everyone moves in to prep the next take. Weapons are checked and reloaded, the actors are touched up. The director requests more smoke. He asks: “Are we rolling?”
“We’re ready,”the 1st A.D. informs him.
Dialogue. I snap on the cans. A couple of gunshots. Then. Click. Click. “Cut-cut!”
Third times the charm however. A nice sustained barrage followed by a quick reload and then another sustained barrage. The weapons fall silent. The director calls “Cut!” and we’re moving on.
The cameras are turned around for the B-side hits, a far more complicated sequence that involves the squibbed/moving targets being shot and going down. It’s all smoke and timing that goes swimmingly in the rehearsal. Not so the first take in which the targets overshoot their marks and the camera positions. It’s getting late. We have time for one more take before we shut down for the night. A quick set-up and “Action!”
Gunfire. Squib hits. Targets go down. It goes better than the first take but, alas, the timing is off. Unfortunately, there won’t be anymore shooting on this night. We’ll have to schedule some Close Up hits with the second unit crew and then piece together the sequence from the footage available.
Weeks later, I’m watching the director’s cut and when the sequence comes up. We start on the A side coverage of our heroes locking and loading. Cut to the B side – targets approaching. Back to the A side as our heroes open fire. Back to the B side as approaching targets are hit and go down. Back to the A side as our heroes fire away – reload, continue firing. Punch in for some B side hits of the individual targets getting hit and dropping. Back to the A side and on our heroes as the gunfire dies down. They lower their weapons. B side coverage of the carnage. Fabulous! It’s at times like these I realize we really should be shooting up stunt extras more often.
Dyginc writes: “Well I am going to go and let the meds get me to sleep…i can barely see this page but I promised myself I would post and great big THANK YOU”
Answer: All the best and wishing you a speedy recovery, dyginc.
Whovian writes: “Poor Carl! I would have done the exact same thing. How can you eat that thing without making a mess?”
Answer: I revealed the secret to eating the egg yolk buns on his second attempt. The trick is to turn the bun upside down and seal the little hole underneath with your mouth before taking a bite. As you bite, angle the bun away from you at about 45 degrees. That way, the half-bite in your hand acts as a vessel from the remaining liquid. So simple.
AV Eddy writes: “What are those big beige things with the holes in picture four?”
Answer: Lotus root. Carl tried it for the first time and really liked it.
Mazeykins writes: “……but what I did find was a Creative Test from the Art Institute of Vancouver to see if you are a right or left-brained person:
Answer: I’m 57% left brain, 43% right brain. That explains a lot. I always just assumed one ear was heavier than the other.
Thornyrose writes: “So the hiatus is much more for the cast than the crew, even though it comes with a reduced work load for you.”
Answer: Our visual effects department and post-production will be working through most of hiatus. Things tend to be much quieter for them early on in the season.
Thornyrose also writes: “Do you consider the show to be running on schedule, behind schedule, or ahead of schedule at this point?”
Answer: We are right on schedule.
Arcitc Goddess writes: “The CBC is highlighting a restaurant in Vancouver called Vij’s. Have you ever eaten there? It has a reputation for being a world class restaurant with crickets on the menu.”
Answer: Vij’s is one of the top five restaurants in Vancouver. It takes no reservations so, if you don’t get there early, you’re waiting. Like Harrison Ford did the last time he was in town. And, sorry to disappoint you but crickets are definitely not on the menu.
Narelle from Aus writes: “If you go to an Italian Restaurant do you expect to see Italians running the show.”
Answer: Not necessarily but ideally, yes.
DasNdanger writes: “Am I the only one who thinks the pork buns look like a plateful of boobies?”
Answer: Yes you are.
Michelle writes: “Joe, if you had to choose just one cuisine to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
Answer: Hmmm. That’s tough. I’d probably lean Chinese.
Paul William Tenny writes: “Are we talking guest, recurring, or regular — preference-wise?”
Answer: Strictly preference-wise? The more Daniel, the better.
Anais33 a ecrit: “Selon vous quel sont les qualités qui caractérise une bonne science fiction?”
Reponse: Comme n’importe quel travail de fiction = les caractères intéressants.
Translation: They key to good science fiction, like any work of fiction, is interesting characters.
Marla writes: “Sounds like you’re pretty much done with Remnats – does that mean the Shep scene you’ve been fighting over with your fellow writers is still in the script?”
Answer: So far. We’ll see what the network has to say.
Kim writes: “I had my pug for 11 years. She passed away this past Saturday.”
Answer: Kim, sorry to hear about your pug. And, yes, you’re right. Pugs have a number of health issues – breathing problems, eye problems, joint problems to name but a few. I apply a topical gel to my pugs’ eyes morning and night, mix glucosamine and chondroitin in their meals, and give Jelly Metacam for her hips every second day. I also carry Jelly up and down the stairs whenever she doesn’t feel like climbing (which is always). Before making a decision, I’d strongly advise anyone to do some research on the particular breed they’re considering.
Linzi writes: “Jst wanted to post to thank you for meeting Cheeky and me last week. I had a wonderful time, and after witnessing the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm all involved with SGA have for the show, I love the SGA even more than before…is that even possible?”
Answer: I don’t think so. And it was a pleasure meeting you both.
Fran writes: “While SGA is in Production I often wondered if the actors and actresses on the show are allowed to do Guest Roles on other shows? and Can the Writers on SGA write for other shows or are they not allowed to do so?”
Answer: The main cast is usually too busy to work elsewhere. Actors who play recurring roles (ie. David Nykl) have more free time and do put in guest appearances in other shows. As for the writers – we are exclusive to Stargate during production.
Masterchief writes: “Joe you said Outsiders is episode 14, is this correct?”
Answer: I’m referring to the shooting schedule.
Wraithfodder writes: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Please say it’s NOT true. I watch the Scifi ad which goes “A prophet is born.” Puh-lease tell us that Teyla’s baby is not going to be some Miracle-Gro kid.”
Answer: It’s not true.
Tammy writes: “By the way, are there certain blogs you check out every day like we follow yours?”
Answer: Yep. They’re listed under my blogroll in the sidebar.