The tower
The tower
The tower
The tower
James Robbins shows off some of his work
James Robbins shows off some of his work

I’d like to kick off today’s entry by congratulating our visual effects department on their well-deserved Emmy nomination in the category of “Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series” for last year’s season premiere, Adrift. Mark Savela and the gang outdid themselves in season 4 and they’re managing to top that effort with the work they’ve done so far in season 5. Speaking of Mark – he’ll be dropping by next week to field your questions. I’ll start collecting your queries this weekend so think about what you’d like to ask our resident Czar of Visual Effects.

One more day to get your questions in for award-winning artist/illustrator/designer/professional fire-eater John Picacio (check out his blog here: He’ll be swinging by this weekend to chat with us about his work.

Well, the subject of this year’s crew gift came up again and we spent lunch wracking our brains for the perfect end-of-season thank you present for our hard-working cast and crew. In previous years, we’ve done things like jackets, coats, iPods, and dvd players. But this season, what with it being our 100th episode celebration and all, I really feel we should do something different. I’ve narrowed it down to the following:

1) Stargate Atlantis kites.

2) A case of mangosteen juice.

3) A Ninja weapon of your choice (ie. nunchuks, throwing stars, one of those iron fans suitable for cooling AND decapitation).

4) A pet ferret.

5) Stargate tattoo.

6) Ugg boots.

7) Merengue lessons.

8) A full body wax.

9) A tarot card reading from a licensed psychic.


10) Take all the money we would spend on gifts for the entire crew, put it in a big envelope, and have a winner-take-all draw.

I’m leaning toward the latter.

One of the books I read over my summer hiatus was Jeff Carlson’s Plague Year, an SF thriller focusing on the mountain-top survivors of a nanotech plague. Well, the sequel, Plague War, will be out July 29th and Jeff has just released a trailer, 4 Minutes Above 10,000 Feet that was shot in the Sierra mountains. You can check it out here –

or watch a hi-res version on Jeff’s web site here:

Some mailbag:

Masterchief writes: “1. Will Sam’s current job, after leaving Atlantis, (SG team, head of some facility, R&D at Area 51 etc) be mentioned in the 100th ep?
2. I was looking for something Stargate related on wikipedia (yes I know not the best source) and sometimes besides “Writer” and “Director” it says “Teleplay by”. For example for The Shroud it says “Story: Brad Wright&Robert C. Cooper, Teleplay:Robert C. Cooper”. What does that mean?”

Answers: 1) Yes – provided Amanda is available to appear in the episode. 2) When you see Teleplay By in the credits, it means that the writer has written a script based on somebody else’s story. This credit is usually preceded by a Story By credit.

Leila Philips writes: “How do you sleep with the puppies snoring like that??!!”

Answer: I’m used to the snoring. It’s the bed-hogging that’s the problem.

DLK writes: “Parrish coming back?”

Answer: And quite possibly in shorts!

Fsmn36 writes: “So, in light of The X-Files movie coming out in about a week…is it one you’ll rent? Any thoughts?”

Answer: I’ll wait on the reviews.

Anais33 a ecrit: “1) Dans cette saison 5 mise à part Carson, allons nous voir des personnnes mortes ou disparus? 2) Selon vous qu’elle épisode sera le plus comique?”

Answer: 1) Peut-etre. 2) Brain Storm.

Jess writes: “In the episodes finished thus far, could you name any particular incident or preformance that you would call outstanding, and why, and from which episode.”

Answer: Definitely Jason in Broken Ties and Rachel in The Queen.

AMZ writes: “Just checking…do the questions I (eagerly) posted for John Picacio last week count for his q&a? Should I post them again?”

Answer: Already got ‘em filed away. Fear not.

Lincbink writes: “Is there a possibility that the character of Cassie Frasier will be part of the new series?”

Answer: Most unlikely.

Narelle from Aus writes: “Did Robert C Cooper end up getting a Sony Reader?”

Answer: Don’t think so.

Muddypiddypop writes: “How long before an episode airs do you have it completey finished.”

Answer: Usually a few weeks before the scheduled airdate.

83 thoughts on “July 17, 2008: Congratulations to our VFX crew, suggestions for this year’s crew gift, Jeff Carlson’s trailer for Plague War

  1. Oooh nice pics, congrats to Mark Savela and crew.

    My ankle is faring much better today after yesterday’s incident. I’m considering in investing in either a bubble wrap suit or a space suit for future incidents.

    No QOTD as I’m saving all my annoying questions for my re-orientation tomorrow.

  2. Hey Joe,

    I just saw a Mercury car comercial and could swear that Laryn was the womon doing the comercial. I was just wondering if you could confirm this or if anyone else has seen the same thing.

    Thanks always,


  3. Heh. I’d say the envelope would be a bad idea. Sure, one person’s ecstatic, but several dozen are angry and depressed. You could always go the Oprah route and give them all new cars. Or HD TVs. Or vacation packages with a selection of destinations to choose from. Or maybe just a brick of solid gold with the SGA logo stamped into it.

  4. My heartfelt congratulations on the Emmy nod for Adrift. The effects in that episode were amongst the best I have seen. Absolutely beautiful, and a most deserved nomination.

  5. I know you’ve referenced many on staff being Firefly/Serenity fans. Have you seen Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” yet? Any thoughts?

  6. Thank you, Joe, for pointing us to John’s artwork. I don’t know if these were already asked, but here are a few questions for John Picacio. How much of a story does he read before he does the artwork? Does he instead rely on a story summary and if so, does that come from the publisher or the author? Does he ever confer with an author on a cover? Has he ever received feedback from an author that surprised him? Finally, I was astounded by some of the artwork on his website. Does he sell original artwork to indvidual buyers?

  7. Hi Joe,
    I’m one of your lurkers surfacing to say that viewing Season 5’s premiere episode, Search and Rescue, was particularly thrilling for myself and other fans because David Hewlett and Jewel Staite were present at the Shore Leave Con in Baltimore, Maryland last weekend. The fans gave David and Jewel a rousing applause at their respective Q & As. David mentioned Las Vegas during his panel. Hmmm, whatever can that mean? Please be on the lookout for a written invitation to join a group of us for dinner during the week of August 18 when the Vancouver Gate Con is in town.

  8. Answer: I’ll wait on the reviews.

    I always do that too..
    Have you ever watched a movie that in the end you didn’t expect to be what you thought it to be? Like a movie you’d think was droll, only to LOVE it? Or vice versa?

  9. Hmmm. I’d say the Stargate Tattoo, but only if it follows the full body wax. Clean slate, blank canvas, fresh palette, and so on. Nothing like a little ink to keep precious memories alive and kicking and screaming.

    Or perhaps piercings, can’t go wrong with an eyebrow ring, or one of those nipple shields, or a barbell through the belly button. I could be mistaken, but ask around. I bet you’ll get some wonderful responses!

    Or perhaps a GPS micro-chip embedded in a tasteful location. That way you could track any of the cast and crew down in the future for specials and reunions and conventions …. oh wait. That’s my inner fangrrrl going into stalker mode. Best take the medications, hmmmm? (Damn, I just thoroughly creeped myself out!)

  10. Any good Lorne Highlights coming up in Season 5 like the barefoot scene in Doppleganger? Will he ever be addressed by his first name?

  11. Hey Joe, a few questions for you today, fairly on a one-track mind:

    1)Since the events of Ark of Truth, Is the Ori Supergate still out there?

    2)Did the armies/priors/ships just…pack up and leave? Are there any plans to revisit the aftereffects of this in either galaxy?

    3) More of an observation here but while I enjoyed the premiere, I thought there were interesting parallels between the candlelight scene here and the dinner scene from Angel’s “Deep Down” (which, come to think of it was also a season premiere).

  12. Once again, Joseph, you are hilarious or at least I hope you are just kidding with your gift ideas. Should be a trip somewhere. What would really be interesting is to have a group camping trip. Now that would most likely be hilarious. I know my family ones usually are imagine one with your co-workers (oops my co workers are mostly my 4 brothers, sisters and father). Come to think of it, that may be more torture than a gift.

    What did you give to SG-1 for their milestone episode?

  13. Totally go with the Stargate Atlantis kites. Then you can all go out and fly them together in a big field on windy days. And then post pictures of the smiles, laughs, frolics, and general revelry that would (obviously) be had by all.

    How many people are a part of the cast and crew? ‘Cause a crate full of 50 ferrets could get ugly. I’m just sayin’.

  14. Sweet! Questions for the VFX crew. Off to think up good questions for Mark…

    Thanks, Joe, for the update. As for crew gifts, there’s always action figures. I’m sure they can never get enough of those.

  15. Awesome – I love the way the blog read your usage of ‘8’ and ‘)’ as an emoticon!

    (Although – the contents of number 8? – EWWWWWW. And OWWWWWW.)

    Personally, I’d go the tatt. Nothing tells someone you appreciate them more than an agonizing session under the needle. Plus, there’s scabs and blood. Make sure they have to get it on a bony part of their body, too, to maximise the pain. 🙂

  16. Congrats to the Viz effects Team on the Nom! :D:D

    How come no one told me about Plague Year/War!! Totally my kind of Book!! *goes off and Buys it*


  17. Hey Joe!

    I also would like to congratulate your VFX crew on the Emmy nomination. It is well deserved, the effects in “Adrift” were amazing, and judging from what we saw in “Search & Rescue”, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were nominated again next year. Congrats!

    That tower set looks neat. As I said previously a few days ago, your set designers can do an amazing amount of work in little time.

    You truely have an amazing crew…along with great writers. 😉

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  18. hey Joe, I just wanted to thank you for answering my questions. also congrats on the Emmy nomination 😉

  19. Dear Joe,

    In Search and Rescue, Teyla says that Torren is her father’s name. Could you tell us then, who is Tagan?

  20. Ok, Joe…

    Just one more time. Could you please tell me how many stars General Hammond had when he retired? Best as I could find in my reseach, he topped out at 3 (Major General). Am I even close?


  21. Joe, thanks for the puppy video yesterday – it gave me a smile today, and I really needed that.

    About the gift – winner takes all is a bad idea. Leaves everyone else out, and that makes it all one, big downer. People like to get stuff, even stupid stuff they throw away later.

    My in-laws were treated by their financial advisor to a wine-making experience. He took all his clients to this place where they were able to pick out the grapes they wanted, the types of wine they wanted to make, etc…then they were involved in all the processes. I think they had to go there three or four times – each stage of the process – but in the end they got a case of their very own wine. That might be way to complicated for what you’re doing, but it certainly was a memorable experience.

    Personally, I would suggest a Wraith makeover for everyone, but I’m too pissy tonight to even have fun with that.


  22. I vote for the kites or the “winner takes all” option for the crew gift. Think of all the kite wars you guys could have if it ever gets too windy on location…or what you would do with all that money (hehehe).

    Answer: Already got ‘em filed away. Fear not.

    So once again Joe saves me from an Incapacitating Fear of Not-Having-Those-Questions-Filed. A true hero.

    One question I have for you (if you’ll entertain the topic) is how do you feel about your blog now compared to when you first started blogging?

    I’ve been regularly reading your daily toughts (and tirades, rants and ruminations) for almost a year, and browsed through your entries before that, and I can see some differences. Also, it’s great that such a wonderful community of regular comment posters has formed. I don’t often get a chance to reply to many of the comments because of work, but I love reading them. Your thoughts?

  23. Hi Joe,

    Long time lurker here. Thank you for taking the time to share a piece of your world with all us readers of your blog.

    I have to share with you and your readers something interesting that I saw in my hometown. Those in the U.S. knows that every November there is local, state and national elections. Well, this year, one of the nominees for the local county commissioner’s last name is… (drum role please)…


    As a fan of Stargate: Atlantis, I couldn’t help but smile at seeing the name.


    P.S. Congratulations to the Visual Effects crew on the Emmy Nominations!!!

  24. You left out custom hubcaps. With a stargate on it of course. the best part is if you give one hubcap to each person, you can still make money selling them the other three to match…
    Thanks for the entertaining post. I’m looking forward to reading Mr. Picacio’s responses to the questions asked here. I’m passing on asking any myself because I’ve simply not had the time this week to look over his work and come up with something worth taking his time on. I do look foward to getting home and looking at his site, which has been bookmarked.

  25. My vote goes for the SGA kite. Ninja weapons would be cool, but can you really afford having so many people off work for undetermined lengths of time do to ninja-related injuries? I doubt insurance covers that.

    But if it does, throwing stars for all!

    And congrats to VFX team. They do fab work and deserve to be recognized for it. 🙂

    @Mackenzie’s Momma…Glad to hear you’re on the mend, but I wouldn’t advise the bubble wrap suit. People would be popping you all day. 😉

  26. Hi Mr Mallozzi !!

    I don’t know how you do to post something on your blog every day… I’m really admiring… At least, I’ve something to read each day when I get up at 5:20 am before going to work… In general I don’t leave comments because my english at this hour is really really desperating if we consider the fact that I’m half awaken… Lol ! Indeed, I’m French (from Bordeaux ^^) !

    But today is special ! So I try my luck ! It’s my 19th birthday and I was wondering if you could please dedicate your blog entry to me.

    I would do something more longer for this comment but I gotta go. A bientôt !!!

    Sheppynette alias Aurélie.

  27. Great news about the nomination for the VFX group…that warrants a major woo hoooo! Congratulations!

  28. Congratulations to the VFX crew!! After this seasons premiere S&R, I’m sure they’ll be nominated again next year!

    One quick question, do you or the other writers read the fan episode reviews on the boards, and if so which boards to you read?

  29. I have a good question for the VFX…

    Was it deliberate, in the Episode ‘Sunday’, to make it so the last thing that went through the gate was Zalenka/David N’s butt??lol

    Very weird question, I know but I have always wanted to know…

    Damn! None of my book stores have it! grrrrr I will have to check at the Library tomorrow…


  30. I would also like to congratulate your VFX crew on the Emmy nomination. It is very well deserved, and I hope, very much, that they win.

  31. Hey Joe,

    Let’s talk about music today. I read an interview with Ramin Djawadi on his scoring of Prison Break. You have praised Joel Goldsmith’s score a few times, but you’ve never told us how the scoring works on Atlantis. Ramin talked about how the producers send him an episode, he scores, then they review it and he makes changes. Can you tell us how you and the producers handle the musical aspect of Atlantis?

  32. Gee, tough choice with the gift..

    You can get nunchucks that are somewhat padded. I have that type as I’m just a padawan learner but they still hurt like hell when swung at high velocity and accidentally connect with a rib/skull/limb.

    Ecky Thump is a safer option. The availability of black puddings could be problematic though.

    Maybe you could give them a lesson in Capoeira – the mongrel mix of dance and martial art.

    How about a voucher for a massage? They might need one after the nunchucks, ecky thump and the capoeira..

  33. Hey Joe,

    Sorry I have been absent as of late. I still had to thank you and the great Ms. Gavankar for answering my questions. Your trip to Montreal looked like so much fun. I have never travelled east of Alberta; I hope to visit Montreal sometime soon. Also, did you know that your dog actually snore just like my dad? On some bad nights I could hear it through my bedroom walls. I don’t know how my mom does it.

    I’d like to pass along my congratulations to the VFX crew on their Emmy nomination.

    I will be heading off to Panorama BC tomorrow (ahhh 4 days without internet!! The world is going to end!) So I was wondering if it was ok to post my questions to Mark Savela today?

    Here they are:
    1) What is your technical background? What drew you to your field?
    2) How much of the final product is actually what you set out to accomplish in the planning stages?
    3) Can you describe the life cycle (planning, drafting, executing etc.) of an effect? Like the huge and long pull back from Rodney in the rubble, past all the planets and onto Todd’s ship in S&R.


    Also, I’d like to say that you have been a bad influence. Yesterday, I documented my entire day via photos. I went out for dim sum, bought roasted duck and BBQ pork for dinner, went shopping and bought a book and posted it all at my LJ. When I was looking it over I said to myself, “wow this is what it’s like to be Joe.” Well at least the documenting food and books, not the Exec. Producer and writer for a fantastic TV show part (however, I think that would be fun to try too.) Do you get weird looks from either your meal companion or others in the restaurant when you whip out the camera? I sure did get some weird looks yesterday. It was fun though.

    Thanks Joe!


  34. Congratulations to the Visual Effects crew on the Emmy Nominations! Great job.

    Hm, it’s really difficult to choose a gift from that list. 😉 Which makes me think about this question: Joe, do you have a tattoo?

    It’s possible I won’t be here for a little while because the Season 4 DVDs have already arrived 🙂

  35. In a lot of pain lately, got another dr’s appointment later, they don’t seem to know what’s wrong with me but it !”£$! hurts!

    I’m somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to reading and believe you can’t beat the feel of a book in your hands and the turning of pages however, I find I am accumulating a number of e-books and would like to have some recommendations as to which reader I should get, any ideas?

  36. Congratulations to the VFX crew on their much deserved their Emmy nod.

    I’m slightly out of the loop with your blog of late so apologies if you have recently answered these questions.

    As much as I enjoy all the friendships on the SGA the relationship that made me fall in love with the show was the friendship between Sheppard and McKay – are there any episodes that will deal with that friendship as deeply as S&R and (seemingly) Broken Ties do for the Sheppard/Ronon friendship?

    Secondly you talked a while ago about the possibility of Kari Wuhrer making a return appearance in season five, is that still on the cards?

  37. Hi Joe,

    Love your blog! The SGA info is great and I love reading about your culinary adventures.

    I picked up SGA season 4 on DVD last week and I have one question for you….why, oh why, is there no commentary on Midway?!? It’s one of my favorite episodes from last season – actually it’s an overall favorite from the series. I had such hopes of a wonderful and entertaining commentary filled with stories about what it was like to have Jason and Chris together on the set. Imagine my dissapointment when I discovered that the only episode that didn’t have a commentary was one of my favorites! Was this an oversight? A cruel joke? Or was everyone just at a loss for words?


  38. Mr. M

    First congratulations to the VFX crew for their Emmy nomination.

    My suggestion for this year’s crew gift is individualized bobble head dolls for each member of the crew. Found a website of a Canadian company doing this. You just have to submit frontal face shot photo for each doll.

    Site is at

    Even if you don’t take up this suggestion. I can imagine you hawking Joe F and David H bobble head dolls to the frantic SGA fangirls.

    Ok. Running quickly away from the frantic fangirls now.

    NOTE to Mr. M – edit this posting at your discretion

  39. My vote goes to the big envelope. You should make the crew mud wrestle for it . My bet would be on someone in stunts but you never know about those gaffers. They’re wiley.

    We would of course expect extensive pictures and video.

    Congrats to SFX on the Emmy nomination!

  40. Congrats to the VFX bunch, HUGELY deserved!

    I vote for the tattoos.

    Glad to hear youse who were sick are feeling better.

    I’m really looking forward to tonite’s ep! Boy am I ever, it’s been New Bad Movie Week at my house. And you wonder why I read. One of them, I heard a familiar laugh and came in to find the movie had Lexa Doig, she was really beautiful in it, but it was just awful bad- I couldn’t watch it. It will remain unnamed, just glad she got to go onto MUCH better things like Andromeda and Stargate. But TekWar was awesome.

    Speaking of Lexa, did you see her new movie’s title- Ba’al?? ….what??? is that consolation for not being in Continuum? (rhetorical question)

  41. In S&R, why did Sheppard risk so many lives (the people on the Daedalus, the F-302 pilots, billions of people in the entire galaxy if Michael would’ve escaped) just to save Teyla? Imo, Michael’s cruiser should’ve been blast out of the sky the moment the Daedalus showed up. The fate of billions of people in the galaxy is more important than a lost teammate.

  42. Ooh tattoos definitely! It’s the perfect gift and a nicely post-modern way of subtley branding your minions. 😀

    Speaking of minions and such things, have you taken a look at Dr Horrible’s Sing-along blog? It’s really rather funny… and I find some aspects (particularly the Evil League of Evil) oddly reminiscent of Baron Destructo and L.A.M.E… which just makes me laugh even more! 😀

    Oh and before I forget, congrats to the VFX crew – a well-deserved nomination; that swooping space walk shot alone warrants an Emmy! 😀

  43. What would it cost the company to do a tasting box of favourite chocolate and candy? Ask Catering what goes fastest and is most popular, and have re-usable boxes printed up with something neat and SGA 100 related, and have it filled with goodies. It’s what I always missed most (besides the cameraderie, the late nights and the off colour conversations over the headsets) when I finished a job – the goodie table.

    Candy. Yum.

  44. Tell me do the two shows “SG1” and Atlantis time lines coincide and if so do the two movies “Ark of Truth” and “Continuum” also coincide with them?

  45. Great pics – and congrats to the VFX crew – a well deserved win!!

    DLK writes: “Parrish coming back?” Answer: And quite possibly in shorts!

    Mmm, hope he has nice legs – any chance of getting McKay into shorts?!! (And Sheppard and Ronon for the other fangirlies!)

    As for the pressie, how about an all expenses paid dinner at Fuel followed by a doggie bag with a cool SGA design and filled with strangely coloured food items, representing tava beans and other Pegasus galaxy foods?!!

    Or maybe just a SGA calendar for 2009…


  46. Masterchief writes: “1. Will Sam’s current job, after leaving Atlantis, (SG team, head of some facility, R&D at Area 51 etc) be mentioned in the 100th ep?

    *blink* But surely Joe, those half dozen remaining shippers are campaigning and sending fluffy animals from 15 “different” addresses to ensure she forgets all that nonsense about having a job so she can be suitably barefoot and pregnant in a cabin in the backblocks of Minnesota? How can you disappoint them????

  47. zeropointbatteries Larrin/Jill Wagner @ IMDB Yes, she is one in the same. Those commercials have been playing in the Chicago area for some time. Good catch! :o)

    Congrats to the VFX crew, that is amazing!

    A gift for the cast and crew? that’s a pretty big thing to come up with and with eppie 100 this season, it makes it seem even harder to come up with something. ideas i have; a 1 year membership to Netflix, a “Stargate Atlantis” gift card to, “Stargate Atlantis” bikes to ride around on set, mylar balloons shaped like jumpers, a “Stargate Atlantis” digital camera (at least 8MP), if you could get a mini-jumper created that could actually fly (like the toy planes), and i liked the kite idea.

    Michele Blue

  48. Hey Joe,

    Congrads to the VFX crew. I do have question, When watching Atlantis they show a intro or break shot of what looks like a different plant on sci-fi. Looks like a beach i think with the moons in the back. Did your crew do that or did sci fi i everytime i see that i have to stop and think wow what a great peice of work i love that picture. Im hoping to find a shot of it so i can frame it


    barb ky

  49. Dude, a stargate tattoo. 😉 Thats pretty awesome, if not painful. What exactly would you get?

  50. Hey Joe!

    MEGA CONGRATS to the VFX crew! I’ve enjoyed their work for years and feel they deserve the emmy. James Robbins did excellent work on David Hewlett’s indy film, “A Dog’s Breakfast.”

    Hmmm… Ugg boots? Pet ferret? Ugg boots? Pet ferret? How about a pet ferret that comes with Ugg boots? Problem solved for me! 😉

    I used to have a pet ferret. Sweetums was nicknamed *Stinkums* for obvious reasons. He was a good boy though and Allie and I miss him. He loved to steal my mail. Good times!

    My question for John Picacio: My seven year old daughter draws constantly. She has great attention to detail and usually expresses herself through her art. I feel my love of drawing was squashed by my art teachers in high school. I am afraid of this happening to my daughter. Yet I recognize the importance of a solid foundation. Any suggestions on how to find a great art teacher?

    Thanks! 😀


  51. Hi Joe

    Do you get to watch other things (Productions) being done over there at Bridge? and if so What have you seen?



  52. The Visual Effects on the Show are awesome. Maybe sometime you can have someone in the Department field Questions from us on your Blog?


  53. Joe i think i may know what project twilight is. I don’t want to post it here and give it away. What is the best confidential form to ask you so that i can find out if i am right? I understand that it might be a big secret but i think a major source for info may have unintentionally leaked a smidgen of info about it.

  54. Yay! on the Emmy nod. Too bad they won’t let us submit nominations, because they always seem to pick and then award the same peope.

    Season 5 the ‘Season of Romance’? Uhm, please no. Please don’t. Not that I have anything against romance, I usually like it, but it just doesn’t work at all for SGA. The huge problem is we all have wildly differing views on who & who we’d like to see together. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m sad to say, but I really don’t like the choices so far you seem to go with. John & Teyla – NO way. McKay and Keller? another huge NO. I liked Teyla’s relationship outside of the team, and I was fine with Ronon and Keller. Please stop throwing her at McKay.

  55. Hi Joe,

    As one of the cable-free, I finally started watching season 4 on my shiny new DVDs. Enjoyed the first four eps, but especially Doppelganger. Wow! Kudos to everyone involved in that one. Especially JF – I kept feeling bad for him having to play the guy getting so thoroughly beaten up in the big fight. Evil!Sheppard was so completely different from regular Sheppard, I was forgetting they were played by the same guy.

    …So, when does season 5 come out on DVD? 🙂 [Looks at shiny new toy and wonders if the rest can be rationed through Christmas]

  56. Hey joe well done for being nominated for vis effects!

    Will the network take into consideration the sales on iTunes and other similar things when they renew
    a series? or do they add that onto the raitings?

  57. Like usual, I was reading this last night and the video by Jeff Carlson. I had to watch the video mainly to see if I recognize any of the mountains in the background. A couple of places did look familiar so I emailed Jeff and was a little surprised to hear back this morning.

    This was my email last night:

    Dear Jeff,
    I just saw the trailer for your book on Joe Mallozzi’s blog and I have to say what really caught my eye was that he said it was shot in the Sierra Mountains. I was wondering if you could tell me where exactly? I’m assuming he meant the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The reason I would like to know is that I have lived my whole life in Bishop, California located between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the White Mountains about 60 or 70 miles north of Mt. Whitney. When I was watching the trailer, the mountains look very familiar. Thanks.

    This was his reply:

    Hi, Courtney, Joe did indeed mean the Sierra Nevadas. We shot the trailer not so far north of Bishop, in fact. The dramatic, ravine-gouged peak in the b.g. is Iron Mountain, which sits across the Mokelumne Valley from the Bear Valley Ski Resort (which is also where all of the ski shots were from; it’s my “home” resort). In the long shot of the valley, right before the nanotech graphics scroll across, to the distant right you can see Roundtop, which sits above some great backpacking in the Fourth of July Lake area. As I’m talking about China and Russia and so forth, in the near b.g. is Mt. Reba, which sits directly east of the ski area. If the camera were to have drifted west at any point, you would have seen parking lots and the Bear Valley lodge. I’ve been skiing there for 30+ years, so I knew we could easily access that ridgeline and get most of the shots we needed. Fun stuff. Especially whacking Chuck! And we’re already planning another trailer for the next book.

    I thought it was neat that he took his time to answer my simple question and thought I would share with you. I know how difficult it can be to just stand at 10,000 feet in elevation; I’ve done it. My mom gets altitude sickness so she can’t go above 9,000 feet for very long. It was a great, funny trailer and convinced me to go buy the books. Thanks so much for sharing. And congrats to the VFX crew on the Emmy nomination.

  58. Congrats on the Visual Effects team for the the Emmy nomination! I just checked on the Emmy’s website to see who the competition was, and Atlantis wasn’t even listing. Perhaps further investigating will clear this up…

    In any case, the visual effects were great last year and are off to another good start this season.

  59. Did you see the interview that Joe Flanigan did on Chelsea Lately.
    Felt so sorry for Joe don’t think i seen such a pain in the ass on tv for a long time.

  60. Hello Mr. Malozzi,

    Just passing through to tell you that I loved “Search and Rescue”.
    Every season I think “they can’t top the last season” and yet every time you prove me wrong (and this is one occasion where I’m quite happy to be wrong on a regular basis 😉 )

    So thanks again :).

  61. Hello Joe,
    Based on your recommendation and the reviews I read on Amazon, I have just ordered both of Jeff Carlson’s books Plague Year and Plague War. Both sound great. Since this is my first foray into reading a SciFi book, will you be featuring these books in your book of the month club in a few months? Thanks

    Patricia Lee

  62. Hi Joe,

    My question for Mark is…what software does your team mainly use? I’m assuming Photoshop, Maya and RenderMan for a start. What else do you use (if not the above, then what)?


  63. I think the Crew gift is obvious: iPhone 3G with the Stargate logo engraved on the back. The crew could sell them on Ebay for a boat-load!

  64. My question for Mark is: Are effects or the techniques you use or come up with trademarkd or copyrighted in any way, or are they standard techniques that are only different based on a crews skill and creativity?

  65. Can anyone tell me what was said on Chelsea Lately? I can’t find it and the curiosity is killing me.

  66. The Illustrator man

    Hi Joe just a few questions for your guest.

    Hi John I looked at some of your work and found it awesome to say the least. Hope my questions aren’t too predictable or puerile so here goes.

    1 Not being familiar with how things within your chosen field, can I ask you, do you read the book cover to cover or do you talk to the author to you get inspiration?

    2 Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?

    3.Are you given free reign when coming up with an illustration or do you produce a couple of ideas for publishers and authors to chose from?

    4.You have a degree in Architecture what made you change your mind and chose art?

    5.Is there any author that you haven’t illustrated a cover for but you would like to?

    6.Have you ever done an illustration and been totally blown away by it yourself, if so can you tell us which one it was?

    7.Ever been shot down in flames by a publisher or author who disliked your art and if so do you get somewhat vexed or do you nod and go back to the ‘drawing board’ so to speak?

    Joe just a quick idea for the end of season gift….dress up half the crew as SG Atlantis and the other half as Wraith and go paint balling it’s what I’m doing for my next birthday!

    Or put everyone on buses and drive them out deep in the wild woods, then leave them there. No weapons no supplies, anyone who makes it home gets to keep their jobs for the next season.

    That’s a win…win situation for those who make it back. Not so good for those maimed by wild animals on the long journey home and crap for the newly deceased, who by the way may be able to sue, on the grounds of constructive dismissal.


  67. muddypiddypop said:

    Can anyone tell me what was said on Chelsea Lately? I can’t find it and the curiosity is killing me.

    Chelsea was ignorant and totally focussed on Joe’s looks. He seemed very uncomfortable. After that Joe spent some time discussing Britney, who had moved in 2 doors down.

    Joe was a trooper who stood up for the fans when she made the stereotypical comment about crazy Sci-Fi fans.

    Cheers, Chev

  68. Congrats to the Mark & the Vis. Effects crew – when I first saw Adrift and in particular that scene with Zelenka and Shep, well there may have been some swearing – it was f***ing awesome. I particularly like how the camera panned around while they were in space. I really hope that Mark can take us step by step as to how he did that.

    If we were voting they’d win already.

    As for the cast & crew gift – make the theme one hundred. Also, you could always make up a book with behind the scenes photos you’ve taken over the years from the Atlantis set. People love reminiscing.

    Cheers, Chev

  69. Congrats to you guys on the Emmy nom!! And here I was thinking not a show I liked won a nom. But then, they don’t usually mention visual effects nominees in the minute they spend on it in the news.

    Answer: I’ll wait on the reviews.

    So if I leave you one..? 😀

  70. Hello Joe, I’d like to say that I’m a big fan of yours; you have done an amazing job these past years in handling the shows, well done. I love both SG-1 and Atlantis, but I’m an even much, much, much bigger fan of TBA (The Brilliant Amanda) :). I’m so jealous of you because you got to talk and work with her every day for years :P.

    For 11 years, Amanda has done an incredible job on Stargate, every episode she’s been in both SG-1 and SGA, she’s always been a complete joy and privilege to watch. I can’t think of a better actress who could have played the part of Sam Carter as exemplary and as dedicated as Amanda Tapping, or a better role-model/idol for the fans of the show.

    Which is why I’m writing to you to ask, what will happen to Sam after Search and Rescue, myself, and others were a little disappointed in how Sam was send-off last week. I’m not complaining, I just feel Sam was not giving the best send-off, it made her seem like she failed as a leader, and I hope something soon will be done to rectify this.

    I’m sure, it’ll be resolved soon, but I would like to know why Sam was send-off the way she was, and what you and TPTB are planning to do to bring Sam back, which I know depends on Amanda’s availability. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you soon, keep up the great work.

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