I swung by post today to approve the seamless version of Broken Ties. The seamless version is, of course, the uninterrupted version that will eventually find its way onto DVD. Many shows (The Shield come to mind) simply go to black at the end of each act but Stargate’s episodes run uninterrupted, segueing smoothly from the last scene of one act into the first scene of the next. Usually. Sometimes, because of the way an episode has been shot, the transition can be a little jarring. If the last shot of Act Two is a close up of a pensive McKay and the first shot of Act Three is a medium shot of McKay coming up with an idea, then running them back to back becomes problematic. I was faced with just such a challenge today. The final shot of the act is a static close up of Ronon, but the first shot of the next act is moving and jumps the axis (we were on Ronon’s left side and, suddenly, we’re on his right).
“Yeah,”chimed in Jen who was standing in the doorway, reading my face. “That is a bit iffy.” At times like these, it’s sometimes advisable to cut to an insert. This (sort of) worked when we did the seamless version of SG-1’s Shadow Play. Act Four ends with a shot of the team searching the warehouse while Act Five begins with…a shot of the team searching the warehouse. Well, since Carter is holding a PFD taking naquada readings, we simply borrowed an insert of a PFD in Carter’s hand and used it to bridge the two scenes. ON a MEDIUM SHOT of the team searching the warehouse. CUT TO: AN INSERT of Carter’s PFD taking readings. CUT BACK TO: A MEDIUM SHOT of the team searching the warehouse. Sure, it’s a completely different device being held in a completely different manner, but only if you play close attention.
Unfortunately, cutting to an insert wouldn’t work in this case. So, rather than add a shot, I cut one. I lose the final shot of the act so that instead of ending on Ronon, we end on Tyre then pick up the first shot of the next act – FINDING RONON. Let me know if it bugs you when you watch the episode on 5 DVD.
From post, it was back to the office where Brad, Rob, Paul and I gathered to discuss Project Twilight over lunch. We tossed around some notions for a couple of hours and eventually called it a day, vowing to really give it some thought while we were off enjoying our time off.
Which will begin for me sometime after I deliver this script. I’m thinking Thursday or Friday.
Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “ So after much research and debate several of us are curious as to when we might see Lorne’s character promoted.”
Answer: As someone already pointed out, promoting Lorne to Lieutenant Colonel would make him equal in rank to Sheppard, something we’re not prepared to do.
Morjana writes: “ New NBCU Stargate Atlantis 5 promotional photos are out.”
Answer: Yes, and they contain a major spoiler. In season 5, everyone on Atlantis will have the ability to levitate!
Charles Schneider writes: “Do you think that people who work in animated television end up participating in a much greater number of projects than people in other genres of television?”
Answer: I don’t know if they participate in much greater number, but I do feel that having an animation background predisposes you to envision the most dynamic version of any scene.
PG15 writes: “1. Are you currently accepting pitches from freelance writers?
2. Will the Wraith be involved in Episode 100? Will Episode 100 end on a cliffhanger?”
Answer: 1. The end of the season is the least likely time we would be looking to freelance pitches. There is only one more episode to break – #20 – and Paul will be writing it. 2. My lips are sealed.
David writes: “Do you have an e-mail that I can get you at and you could respond to somewhat fast? Or even, could you e-mail me with an address…that way you don’t have to display it?”
Answer: You could just post a comment here and ask me not to approve it. That way, it won’t be made public. Or you could try your luck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shiny writes: “I took the bait on a rewrite of a truly horrendous script and a year later I’ve got a crap script full of cheesy notes from the producer-wannabe and I’ve only just found out that the producer-wannabe has been schlepping this crap project around for the good part of this decade.”
Answer: I empathize because I’ve been there.
Silver Comet writes: “Do you and Paul always work together or do you sometimes make different projects, too?”
Answer: Although we now write our scripts separately, we’re still a writing-producing team.
AMZ writes: “I was wondering, did you originally hope to get into producing as well as writing?”
Answer: Not really. I always wanted to write. Producing was an opportunity that presented itself along the way.
Dovil writes: “I always wanted to be a writer, but alas my tolerence for substance abuse was as low as my talent.”
Answer: Many with the self-same problems have managed to flourish in this industry, so don’t give up hope!
Today’s pics: Hiatus? What hiatus?