Hey!  The Shriners are back in town!
Hey! The Shriners are back in town!
Those who survived?!  "Well, I survived so I guess I'll be on my way.  Say, would you mind helping me with my intestines?"
Those who survived?! "Well, I survived so I guess I'll be on my way then. Say, would you mind helping me with my intestines?"
The park offers drop-in babysitting services for parents who don't want to lug their kids around.
The park offers drop-in babysitting services for parents who don't want tp lug their kids around with them.
Geez!  And I thought I'd been waiting a long time to get in!
Geez! And I thought I'd been waiting a long time to get in!
Hellgate!  Stargate's demented attic-dwelling cousin.
Hellgate! Stargate's demented attic-dwelling cousin
Jitterbug!  Jitterbug!
Jitterbug! Jitterbug!
You put the boom-boom into my heart...
You put the boom-boom into my heart...
That rat must be some sort of health code violation
That rat must be some sort of health code violation


One of the numerous theme restaurants I'll be checking out in Tokyo
One of the numerous theme restaurants I'll no doubt be visiting once I hit Tokyo

If it was up to me, we’d spend every night down in the theater room watching movies and t.v. on dvd. Yesterday, however, I deferred to Fondy who something a little different in mind. No Boston Legal and House for us last night. Instead, we went to Fright Night at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition), sort of a cross between a traveling carnival and a high school Halloween party.

We started our evening at Moderne Burger. There we met our friends Jodi and Steve and I enjoyed a beef burger with caramelized onions and bacon, fries, and an extra thick chocolate malted milkshake. The shake arrived about ten minutes before the burger and, by the time my meal was set down in front of me, I was no longer hungry. Still, I had ordered the burger and it would have been a shame to let it go to waste. Same went for the fries.

From there, it was off to Fright Night for an evening of fun, frivolity, and standing in line. We met up at the entrance passed through the turnstile and, in no time at all, we were on the fairgrounds – and waiting in line to get frisked by security. Eventually, it was my turn to get felt up. I assumed the position and one of the guards patted me down, reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the empty sandwich bags I keep in my pocket for emergency dog-curbing purposes. The guy eyed the bag suspiciously and threw me a look that seemed to ask: “Where’s the stash?” and then, perhaps realized he wasn’t being paid enough, stuffed the bag into my pocket and sent me on my way.

We strolled the grounds, took in the various Halloween-themed displays, then lined up for our first haunted house walk-thru. When we finally reached the front, the guy on duty advised us to “Keep your hands in front of you at all times. Watch your step. Keep moving. No swearing or hitting the people inside.” And then, we were on our way – through a dark and winding passageway. At some point, someone blasted air at us. At another, a skeleton rose up out of a chair. At another, a mysterious doorway gave way to…the exit. It takes me longer to walk across my bedroom and, with my habit of tossing my clothes into a big pile at the food of the bed, perhaps equally as scary.

We took in some sort of deranged clown show in which the clowns (presumably psychotic like most clowns) danced and rode tricycles to WHAM! Without a doubt the scariest thing I saw that night.

The line-up at the next haunted house tour was twice as long, the wait even more so. As we inched our way along, some mischievously grinning fellow clutching a bloody knife ambled out of the attraction and off. I assumed he was part of the show. Once we finally reached the front, we were again cautioned not to swear or strike the employees. I assumed they’d been on the receiving end of many an angry patron (“What’s your problem scaring me like that?!! You want to give me a freakin‘ heart attack?!!). This one was a little more inspired with costumed participants popping out of alcoves, jumping out of hiding, and generally harassing my screaming wife. Good times.

Finally, it was a stroll through the maze where Steve was startled by some guy dressed as a plant. Again, good times.

I got home last night to discover that I’ve already committed my first Tokyo social faux pas. It turns out the affable concierge who contacted me the other day, My Man Yian, is actually My Woman Yian. In any case, she and another concierge of indeterminate gender named Kaori have got me booked at ten of Tokyo’s top restaurants. I’ll have to thank them somehow. Since tipping is frowned upon in Japan, I may just treat them to lunch at the Shibuya hospital prison themed restaurant Alcatraz ER. Sadly for me, dinner is when you really want to go. According to the website:

18:30 – inmate/in-patient escapes
20:00 – ER surgery show 1
22:30 – ER surgery show 2
2:00 (on Fri. & Sat. only) mystery show

Damn! I think I would have really enjoyed a good meal over a good surgery.

Hey, I got a call from Bob Picardo today. Sounds like he’s been quite busy since leaving the Pegasus Galaxy. In addition to shooting an episode of Pushing Daisies and completing work on the SF film The Awakened Bob has been working on a little side project:


Apparently, this is the first in a series so check back for more of Alphonso’s words of wisdom.

To all those of you impatiently awaiting some of the upcoming Q&A guest blogs – I’m going to have to ask you to be impatient a little longer. Brad Wright and Joel Goldsmith have their hands full at the moment but will be getting around to answering your many questions very soon. Atlantis Costume Designer Val Halverson’s Q&A is upcoming. Special Effects Supervisor Wray Douglas is on deck. Robert Cooper has already committed to a post-Vegas visit. And when I see Marty G. for dinner tonight, I’ll ask him if he’d care to swing by for a post-Brain Storm chat. Finally, I’d like to start gathering questions for my friend and co-worker, the spectacular Krista McLean. In addition to her many years spent overseeing the playback department, she is also our matte shot overseer extraordinaire. “What,”you may ask “is playback? And matte shots while you’re at it?” Well, whenever you see something flash up on a laptop, or scroll by on a wraith screen, or display on anything from a handheld life signs detector to a puddle jumper HUD (Heads Up Display) and much, much more – THAT’S playback. And whenever you see those establishing shots of the mainland or sweeping over the wraith facilities or revealing hundreds upon hundreds of stasis pods and, again, much, much more – THOSE are examples of matte shots. So, if you have questions for Krista, start posting ’em.

By the way, thanks for all of the inspired horror movie titles. Some were truly brilliant.

And re: the return of the mailbag. Soon. Soon.

59 thoughts on “October 23, 2008: Spookiness Abounds! Bob Picardo Checks In! Questions for Krista!

  1. Clowns with WHAM, that is way too scary , i’m going to have nightmares now.
    I spent the evening learning that there are orange bananas and lemon-melons which look like melons, but are acidic.
    Things are getting too weird!

  2. Have you ever been to the London Dungeon? Those pics remind me of when I went there. It was especially odd given that I had no idea where we were going until we arrived.

    That video… lol… and yet… my brain hurts now.

  3. Oh no not WHAM!! The horror, THE HORROR!!
    Anything by Cher would also have the same effect on me.

    My internet connection that has been slowed to that of something from the early 90’s due to having exceeded my home connection limit this month so can’t check out the link, but come Sunday, I will be back to my usual speed and will check it out.

    Tonight, Hubby and I will be involved in a culinary feast at a rather swanky establishment. No fois gras on the menu (I agree with das about the torture element of how that is made!) but lots of other items that look tasty and not usually placed on the same plate together. My eyes lit up at the wine list. It makes food so much more interesting. I’m hopeless.

    Have a great night and thank you for explaining what a matte shot overseer is. You must have been reading my puzzled expression… before I made the puzzled expression… are you psychic?

  4. Sounds like an entertaining evening. I quit going to Halloween themed places ever since they made the local haunted Forest take down the hanged Barney the Dinosaur(for real). Not up to paying money to go to the nearest theme park for their Halloween layout, and while I’d like to visit one of those “Going to Hell” type shows put on by certain churches, can’t find one nearby. Am I turning into an old geezer? Looking forward to the guest blogs, and I’m going to flip through some episodes to identify the ones with mattes/ playbacks that particularly grabbed my notice. Looking forward also to the mailbag, since you ‘ll not have time in the next week to indulge us with those. Thanks for the great pics.

  5. Eek..clowns. *shudders*

    I’ve never been to anything spooky like that. There are a bunch of “Spooky Woods” places around my city and I’ve made it a point to not go near them at night. I’m not easily frightened (I may jump and startle) but my mind takes opportunities like that and runs with them. I hear a creak and I think of every possibility: “Is it an axe murderer coming to kill me? Is it a goblin of some sort trying to drag me off to his cave? Could it be a greenish, man-eating cyclops that wants to take my hair and make a pillow out of it?” I just can’t do it. Too much possibility!

    As for the Q&As, I’m excited! I love reading the answers. It’s interesting to know something about the Stargate people other than “Directed by” and “Producer” and etc.

    Yay for the return of the mailbag!

  6. Kaori = girl. As are most (all?) names ending in -ko, as in Chieko, Keiko, Michiko, etc. “Ko” = child, but for some reason seems to be used for girls’ names mostly (only?).

    I lived in Japan for 4 years (Kyoto area) and you’re right, you cannot underestimate the importance of gift-giving. Concierge in a fashionable hotel is the height of cool for a young woman (“kakkoi! = cool!) so think “brand name” and you’ll be set.

    We used to joke that you only needed 3 words to survive in Japan: atsui! (hot!) samui! (cold!) kawai! (cute!). You can have entire relationships with your neighbors/acquaintances using just these words…

    Have a fabulous time! Japan is one of the most “user-friendly” countries I’ve traveled in. You should catch a bullet train to Kyoto some day, though; it was saved from Allied bombing during WW2 b/c of all the national treasures, and has a more traditional feel than Tokyo, which reminds me of a large city like you’d find in any country.

    I recommend rakkyo — pickled leeks — as an interesting flavor to try. I loved them, and my Japanese friends found that highly amusing. I guess they didn’t think a non-Japanese would like such a traditional taste.

  7. I heard that there’s a ride at the PNE where you can get buried alive. Have been seen it/been on it?

  8. Hey Joe!

    Oooh, I have a very curious question for Krista. As it is known, some of the screens have hidden things in them, such as jokes in Ancient text. What are some memorable things you have placed in Atlantis displays, perhaps some we don’t know of?

    Thanks as always, and have a good dinner with Marty!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  9. Question for Costume Designer Val Halverson.

    The costumes that were designed for Teyla/Rachel over the period of her pregnancy were awesome.

    What happens to the costumes after an episode is aired – unless the actor wants them or they are recycled.

    Where do the Wraith get the material for their outfits – Space Cow?

    Thanks for some great designs over the years.

  10. Dear Joe,

    I have a favor to ask of you can you please catch up with the episodes slash relationship with the poem you written earlier this year. Thanks.

    Also, I was wondering if the Daganian LOST ZPM will ever surface up in the future episodes after outsiders, that is inquisition until the season finale.


  11. The haunted house here in town is usually one of the top ranked in my state.

    But, it can’t top evil clowns rocking out to WHAM!

    Game over.

  12. I HATE CLOWNS!!!!Clowns are evil. Clowns are more evil than the Wraith. I would rather be in a room with Todd than a clown. You never know what is under that make up. Doesn’t John Sheppard hate clowns too?

    Speaking of clowns though have you seen the movie, Attack of The killer clowns? It is hilarious. It was a B movie that was on WUAB when they use to show those old movies on Saturday afternoons. My mom, sister, and I would laugh so hard. Do you know you how to kill a clown from outerspace, you hit its nose with popcorn?

    Clown Joke: Two cannibals were eating some clowns. The one turn to the other and said: Does this taste funny to you?

    Glad to see that you had a nice out with your wife and friends.

  13. The Fright Night sounds like it would have been fun, especially from a people watching standpoint. My friends and I loved those things when we were in high school, especially when we could con my Mom into going with us. The poor woman is abjectly terrified of the Wolfman, which precipitated any number of humorous incidents, including killing the lights in the whole place once when she accidentally caught the main breaker switch in her crocheted poncho when she threw it over her head to hide from a werewolf. Having the power suddenly go out completely caused all of us to scream, including a few of the folks working the place. I think my Mom scared various werewolves through the years about as much as they scared her when she let out that piercingly loud and high pitched scream of hers (she used to sing first soprano and Fay Wray had nothing on her).

    Is it too late to add another question for both Brad Wright and R.C. Cooper? If not, here goes.

    I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between Jonathon O’Neill and John Sheppard (including their first names, as well as various personality traits and experiences) and I was wondering if they were inspired by someone in either producer’s life?

  14. Hi Joe!

    Thanks for scaring the crap outta me!!! Clowns and Wham!?! Thanks a friggin’ lot for the nightmares I’m bound to have tonight!!

    *hugs* Ah, Joe! I could never stay mad at you! 🙂

    I’ll work up some questions for Krista, cuz I lovesss the playback and matte shots on SGA!

    A very scary horror movie title for me would be The Empty Glass. OMGed! My glass is empty! The Horror! The Horror!

    I suppose you are writing out your horrors, very small portions of bad tasting food?

    Honestly, as much as I enjoy your writing, if this is a true horror film, chances are I won’t watch it – not cuz I don’t wanna, but cuz I can’t watch movies like that. Bad dreams. Really!

    Say, I just watched Supernatural (Yellow Fever), and one of the main characters, Dean, ran into a bit of a fear problem – a deadly fear problem. Based upon this ep and the Supernatural ep from last season that sounds a lot like your concept for the never-to-be-done ep, Hexed, I think Shep could’ve been both the victim of bad luck and the heroic hero he is. *sigh* 🙂

    Ending now before I ramble on and on and on…

    Best to you!


  15. Hi Joe,

    I’ve been reading your blog forever, but I’ve never commented, until your news today…

    Bob Picardo on Pushing Daisies?! That’s two of my favourite things in one! Thanks for making my day!


  16. Now, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, they get me every time! These, more than horror films utterly unnerve me. I imagine you are quite familiar with how disturbing this genre is.
    I don’t know what it is about them, but I love Love LOVE how grim fairy tales can be. For instance, “The Girl Without Hands” ??? Yaaak! Grimm’s collection- 1816, 1818. I didn’t know there was a Wiki article on this obscure fairytale.
    Also, the erotica and perversion in fairy tales is fascinating and sickening. I love Angel Carter’s version of Snow White, “The Snow Child”. The Snow Child’s father, the king of the land, gets down off his steed (in front of his wife) and molests the maiden with the raven hair standing in the snow. (The maiden has obviously been sent out into the snow by her evil step mother) blech!, blech!, blech! I’m getting willies up me arms (goose flesh willies, not pee pee willies).
    Reading them feels like petrified fascination: watching an accident about to happen, and yet unable to push loved ones out of the way.
    Fairy tales are dreadful and intentionally so:
    most ARE the stuff of nightmares.


  17. Hey I’m willing to wait a looooooong time for Brad’s Q&A if it means he’s writing his “…shall we say…romantic…scene…” for the 3rd movie and it adds up to CONFIRMATION.

  18. Ya shoulda brought Todd! I would have paid money to see the Security people frisk him!!

    So. LIFE ON MARS tonight… A refreshing big guns kinda episode so soon. Favourite line: “…the crackers are People!”

  19. Bob Picardo’s gonna be on Pushing Daisies for an episode?! Awesome, I love that show!!!

  20. AV Eddy mentioned Supernatural a few comments ago.
    This is a wonderful series, and watching last weeks episode reminded me of something that I really didn’t realize I was missing in SGA this year. No matter what goes on in that show, no matter who Dean is boinking or what monster they are after, the core of the show is the relationship between the brothers, EVERYTHING else comes back to that…revolves around that. They can do as many unusual eps, introduce any number of other characters, scenarios and locales, but it all relates back to the dynamic between those two.
    I always thought of SGA as similar in that it revolved around the relationship and adventures of Shep and McKay and slightly more peripherally, around Teyla and Ronon. Their relationship was the core at the center of the show, around which every other thing spins. And with the introduction of a very prominent “ship” that core focus is diluted, sidetracked and it has been very distracting. I think that is why I’ve felt things are a bit off this year, although Atlantis is still my favorite show, I find myself FF’ing through more scenes than usual.
    Looking forward to the guest bloggers, they are always truly informative and fun. (missing the weird food vids!!!)

  21. So Joe, did I read correctly that Brad Wright would be coming to your blog to answer questions and if I am not crazy, did that already happen?? I have questions and wasn’t sure if I could still post them. I sure hope you have a good trip across the pond as it were and that everything goes smooth. I’m looking forward to the pic’s of unusual oriental foods you happen to sample and I’m sure you’ll have no problem with the strange food of the day. 🙂 Also all the old Q’s for mailbag will you dig some of them up from days ago or should I re-post,

    thanks as always, Nicole.

  22. Hysterical video! Go Picardo! Thanks for the link.

    On a more serious note, I see from Narelle’s comment that someone has broached the subject of fois gras. Let me add my voice to those who believe that torture, perpetrated in any form, on any being, is immoral. And it takes a particularly sadistic mind to come up with the torture performed several times a day to the fois gras geese. Cold you stomach it if you saw the excruciating pain they go through day in & day out with no end in sight until there throats are slit. All abusive practices ( and I have to include veal calves here as well) can be ended and it only takes people standing up and saying “Not on my watch”. Stand up Joe! I’m not suggesting you become vegan, just have a little compassion for the suffering the sentient beings go through before they become your dinner.
    Okay, I’ll get my high horse now.

    Longing for the Peaceable Kingdom,

  23. LOL@Bob. So that’s what Woolsey does in his spare time. Who knew?

    So, looking at these photos, it all looks horribly fake. But I’m sure if I had been there, I’d have been terrified out of my wits. I hate scary things where people jump out at you. I think the last time I went into a haunted house was in like…11th grade. And I refused to go on the hayride because I knew there’d be the guy with the chain saw. Although, to be honest, I think one of the scariest things I’ve ever done was walk around a corn maze at midnight. No people jumping out at you or anything, but we had no flashlights and in general it was just spooky.

    Also, that restaurant. Sure it’s up to code? 😉

    For Krista:

    1) What brought you into this specialization?
    2) Is sci-fi something you always wanted to try? Just good at it? Totally fell into it by accident?
    3) What kind of schooling/training does one get for such a job?


  24. Questions for Krista:
    First off, thanks so much for your awesome work on SG-1 and Atlantis!!!
    How did you get into special effects?
    What was your major and where did you go to school?
    Are you fluent in wraith and replicator? 🙂
    Do you get to choose what images/words/codes go on the playback screens?
    What is your favorite part of your job?
    Thanks for answering our questions 😀

    Rob Picardo in “Ask Alphonso” looks kind of like the dude who played Vala’s father in Family Ties. I think it’s the hair.

    I love a good haunted house… one of my favorite memories is going through one of those longer walk-through ones with my pastor and someone else’s mother (we went with our youth group and had to go in groups of three… I was the odd one out) 🙂 Let’s just say that was a good time…

  25. In the spirit of Halloween and clowns, have you ever seen “Killer Clowns from Outer Space”? Great fun. Loved the pics. Thanks for the update on Bob Picardo…..Ask Alphonso….Priceless. Looking forward to further musings about his anatomy. What a stud. Seriously, I have enjoyed his work for years, from China Beach to Star Trek, quite the diversified actor. I’m only saddened that his talents won’t be fully utilitzed in the Stargate/Atlantis world. Hope he’s on board for the movies. Though I have ranted and raged when given the opportunity about the cancelling of SGA, I have hope for the future with the latest pics posted on Gateworld. Love the one with all our favorites standing on a balcony looking out over Atlantis. This has been a fantastic season, I have especially loved Broken Ties, The Shrine, Whispers, The Queen,
    First Contact and Outsiders. Love the interaction between David and Paul, they play off of each other so well.

    Have a wonderful vacation… I just watched the classic “Airplane” last night, avoid the fish on the flight over.

  26. What part of my home town will you be visiting next week (it is a big place, after all)? West Side? Burbank? I’d be intersted in any restaurant reviews you might have to offer… always looking for a new place to try… and there are at least 3 angelenos here, we might be able to make suggestions. Like Garlic?

  27. Hi Joe
    Have you ever had the great shakes and burgers at the Burger Bar in Vegas (between the Luxor and the Mandalay Bay)? We make it a point to walk down there (and waddle back, to work off the fifty thousand calories) every time we go to Vegas. Expensive, but the burgers are good, and the shakes are thick and rich and so so filling! I must go to Vegas soon….I’m getting antsy!

  28. Thanks for sharing your Halloween haunts adventure. Brings back a lot of good fun memories of my youth, and some not so youth. It’s the one time of year you can get away with being wild and crazy no matter what your age.

    Just remember when you come to Vegas….tipping is very much appreciated here unlike in Japan. In fact if you don’t, they may send Bubba out to meet you in the parking lot. Hope you enjoy yourself. At least the weather won’t be hot. Too bad Star Trek isn’t open anymore I could have arranged a VIP visit for you. BTW, 2 ex-employees from there are extras in the “Vegas” eppy. I very much look forward to it.

    Question: When you go out in public (Vancouver)to dine, shop or just for fun do you get recognized? Do you like it when people recognize you? Do you get bothered if they ask for a picture with you? What do you think is the proper etiquette for approaching those in the filming business whether they be actors, writers, directors etc.?

  29. I got dragged to Fright NIghts last Saturday. After spending $20 for the dubious honour of waiting in line an hour for a haunted house, we rode the Pirate Ship, the Coaster, and called it a night.

    All those haunted houses and creepy actors, and still, the scariest thing is the third dip on that coaster when it feels like you’re about to fall out.

    I don’t think I’ll be going back to Fright Nights. I can scare myself on the Coaster with shorter lines during Playland’s other operating hours.

  30. I have tons of questions for Krista, but I’ll limit it to probably the one I’ve had since the beginning of SGA.

    When can we get a decent-official screensaver that looks like the ancient displaces in Atlantis? I have been asking for one since SGA started and nobody can find one or make one that looks good enough.

  31. Bob Picardo on Pushing Daisies? There is no way that isn’t going to be brilliant TV.

  32. I have friends who used to work for *the* major haunted house in the Atlanta area. They were frequently assaulted by people who would get scared and hit them to get away from them.

    And then, of course, there were the drunken idiots who would think it was funny to play “the hero” and defend their companions from whatever scary role was being played.

    It’s a violent profession, apparently.

  33. Big, BIG LOL @ Bob, slightly scarred but very amused!

    @ytimynona said “Rob Picardo in “Ask Alphonso” looks kind of like the dude who played Vala’s father in Family Ties. I think it’s the hair.”
    I thought exactly the same thing.

  34. QUESTION: How does one send a question in for one of the upcoming Q&A’s? I can’t find it on the site, no mail adress of any kind. Maybe I’m just stupid.

  35. Outsiders = as expected, about folks who live outside of Washington DC. Too bad that this episode didn’t have Sarah Palin. I woulda liked to see her sucked dry by a Wraith after she tried to shoot them from the jumper door while airborne. In space.

    Inquisition = the only problem I see with this ep is that there aren’t going to be any “real” consequences. The team isn’t going to spend the remainder of the series in gaol. Just a tribunal wrist slapping, perhaps. Like Wall St. gets.

    Yeah its always good to stay clear of clowns, especially those who ape to George Michael. Unless he happens to be nicknamed Micky.

  36. *hangs head in shame*

    The “no hitting” warning applies to people like me that lash out at the nearest offender when frightened or startled (or insulted). I did get kicked out of a haunted house once after my third whack attack.

    Sorry, it’s a reflex.

    And to combine clowns & Wham is just pure evil!

  37. Frigging clowns. Those things incite pure disgust and loathing in me. Grrr.


    How do you create the amazing playback that we see? Do you use a program like After Effects? (That’s prolly a bit of a silly question but until this year I thought it was a power point thing).

    Do you ever have to work with the scenics if one of your matte’s need to be translated to the set or is it all done digitally?

    Do you find that SF allows for more creativity and allows you to stretch your imagination more than run of the mill television/film?

    How do you apply the playback? Do you load it into the computer meant to be showing? Does it have to be edited into the footage in post?

    Thank you!

  38. @Valexie: I have seen “Killer Clowns from Outer Space”. It is hilarious. It is funny to me that people would actually make a movie like that. but it is funny to watch.

  39. Your first faux pas, I feel you will have many more. We should have a bet as to how many you will have before the end of your trip.

    Haunted houses are not for me. The last one I went to I was a teenager and well the whole no swearing thing would not of worked for me. Sorry, but when people jump out at me and especially touch me, I just blurt out in shock mostly. Luckily the worst I said was sh*ttttttt, but still over and over is probably annoying now that I think about it. The hands thing wouldn’t of worked either as I was pushing to get the heck out. I wasn’t hurting people, but trying to get them to move along quicker so I could be done. NEVER AGAIN!

  40. As a fellow indoor person, any advice for how to deal with a wife who wants to be out and about? I am just like you, if given the choice I will always stay home and watch a movie, tv show or play a game. My new wife however is always bored by those activities once we hit hour 4 or 5.

    So, anyway, how do you guys deal with it?

  41. When I was a teen, there were no professional haunted houses … just things we cobbled together in our parents’ basements. You tell me which is scarier. I know, clowns and Wham! Eek.

    I have friends who work as make-up artists for the local haunts. And Salt Lake is home to “40,000 square feet of terror”, Nightmare on 13th Street. Which is weird, because the castle facade is up all year. On 13th street. Apparently it is in the top ten in the US.


    I used to tutor a girl named Kaori. Definitely a girl’s name. And yes, a presento rather than a tip; I’m thinking a brand name scarf.

    Hey sparrow_hawk … two words: road trip! I am so craving Mako-Donarado’s corn chowder. And a teriyaki MOS burger.

  42. Coucou Joseph! =)

    Enfin je suis libre!!! (enfin ..en vacance^^)
    WWaaaaaa Je veux aller a cette endroit!! c’est trop cool!! Vous avez de la chance, l’essentiel c’est vous vous y êtes bien amuser =)!! Vivement le 31 ==> soirée halloween entre fille^^

    Passer une super journée! BISOU BISOU! JE VOUS ADORE!

  43. Question for Krista:

    When characters like McKay and Carter are working on a program that requires ‘interaction’ to perform an on-screen function, does the pressing of a key actually effect the screen or is it timed?

    P.S. Any chance you would like to share a file of some of the Atlantis ‘screensaver’ with us?

    Thanks always,


  44. Another quick question for Joe,

    I’m sure you have answered this but i have not had the chance to check your blog lately. Is Todd the wraith played by the same actor as Halen (I seriously have no Idea how its spelled) the Athosian?

    Thanks Joe,


  45. “…with my habit of tossing my clothes into a big pile at the food of the bed.”

    Food of your bed? Good lord, you ARE a foodie, aren’t you? I think I’d be scared of your room too if there’s bed food there.

    And I just noticed something. Fondy…one letter off from foody. You couldn’t be more obvious if ya tried, mister!

    Ya gat food on yours brains!!! You’re not really a writer/producer at all…you’re just a magical guy carved out of food delicacies…you aren’t a person at all! You’re…food!


    p.s. Alphonso? Classy.

  46. @ 9 susanthetartanturtle

    Question for Costume Designer Val Halverson.

    …Where do the Wraith get the material for their outfits – Space Cow?…

    Wish people will stop pestering the production staff with such a obvious question. If the wraith can clone flocks of warriors then the much simpler task of cloning whatever organic material that takes their fashion fancy shouldn’t be any problem.

    Sure you can use the hide of a Space Cow. Just need one specimen to cloned from. LOL

    That got me thinking. Mr M’s snide remark about human skin leather coats. Guess you can clone just the out layer of the human skin to leather-like texture. I blame this strange train of thought on Mr M for starting it.

  47. I have been to Fright Nights 2 of the last 4 years and nothing changes. While my friends are yet again going to spend $25 to see that lame park, I will be enjoying real terror watching Saw V.

    Also it may be late but I have a question for Val;

    Whose idea was it to put Keller in leather instead of the regular Expedition issue uniform, and did they get a promotion? She looks fantastic and it adds a bit of variation. If it were up to me, Keller would get another Gemini for her costume design.

  48. Krista! Hello there! Lessee, now that I know, roundaboutly, what matte shots and playback are let’s get to the questioning. *rubs hands together*

    Ms. McLean:

    Matte, to me, seems to be a sort of establishing shot. It feels like a landscape painting whenever I see one of these on screen. Do you paint at all? Do you sketch what you want to be seen beforehand? Are you given what needs to be established by the director or do you read the script and decide for yourself?

    The playbacks seem like a lot of fun. You get to invent a whole language (I think)! I know that there have been reports of some pretty interesting things being spelled out on some of the screens in either ancient or whatever other language is being used. Are you responsible for any of the folly on the playbacks? Anything else that you tend to flash on the screen that might be humorous or interesting in the background?

    How many maps and radars do you have saved? And how often are the same images used again on playbacks?

    Are you more isolated from the cast and crew or are you on set when the playbacks are used? How often do you and the special effects team get to discuss what you’d like to see for one of the mattes?

    Are you a fan of lists and/or numbered questions? Does it make it easier to answer things if they’re concisely numbered? I’m usually pretty good about that.

    Thank you for taking time to wade through our questions. Much appreciation for your work.


  49. @ZeroPointBatteries: yes, Todd and Halling are both played by Christopher Heyerdahl. (But wikipedia and some other sites “know” it as well as actor’s names usually aren’t secret insider information 😉 )

    a few weeks ago I’ve been to a ghost train again that got me scared years ago (back then, someone actually touched my neck and I screamed even though I was only there to accompany my little sister who didn’t scream at all -.-“) but it seems you shouldn’t be older than twelve to go there since it was quite boring
    but Hellgate looks definitely cool ^^

    No questions for Krista (I’m really not good at coming up with interesting questions) but my thanks to her for both her work and for the Q&A (thankfully, others are more inventive to think of good questions ^^).

    the video with Robert Picardo won’t work on my notebook but I managed to get the sound and that was already funny enough xD

  50. Yeah hey it’s me again I just wanted to add, I just watched Outsiders and I’ve no clue what the rest has been whining about. I liked it fine and I thought the actors all did a great job. As did the writers. As for Carson, come on folks. This is a guy who was held prisoner by, essentially, a mad wraith scientist for 2 years. Plus, every time he runs across the Wraith they’re trying to kill his patients and his friends. It’s only natural he kinda dislikes the whole green skin thing. Plus, he worked on developing a CURE for being Wraith. He sees it as a disease, a genetic mutation, whatever. Carson Beckett has hardened over the 2 years he spent in prison, in case none of you noticed in the spooky misty episode whats-its-name-again, and it’s only natural. In the Pegasus, if you don’t stand up for yourself, you’re as good as dead.

    BTW don’t be mislead by how fluent my English is, I’m not from the USA – unfortunately, else I could vote Obama in november – I’m not even from your continent. So don’t pin what I’m about to say on some Redneck attitude, please.

    I was shot at twice when I was 7, got away from a kidnapping attempt and from guys trying to force themselves on me in my teenage years. Scary? No, I escaped without a scratch every time and it was on pure reflexes, because my first fighting lesson wasn’t until my 20s. The only way you survive is reaction, not reflection, and that’s what Carson and the rest are doing.
    You react, kick and scratch whatever part is unprotected until you pull yourself free and then you run and when you’re safe, you’ve to come off the adrenaline before your mind is anything other than a blank.

    You don’t stop to care whether or not you’re hurting the attacker, whether that’s a guy or a Wraith. Carson and the gang have been gotten shot at HOW many times these past 5 seasons? HOW many times have the Wraith tried, or actually fed on them? HOW many times have they been tortured, even to the point of breaking like Ronan? Any idea what kind of hate that brings on?
    These people have seen hundreds, thousands people around them kill themselves – starting with the fed-upon scientist in “The Defiant One”, continuing through the Hoff inhabitants and never ending – rather than being dinner, they’ve seen a race as mentally balanced as the Asgard sacrifice millions just to get rid of the Wraith and have a chance at actually living and developing a civilisation, to have a chance at a future for their people. These people – Carson, Sheppard, the lot of them – are way beyond a point where diplomacy is even going to occur to them. EVERYTHING is out to get them in that galaxy. They’re living off their survival instinct, their adrenaline, their impulses. In fact they’re probably hormone junkies by now.
    And to top it off, it’s only a matter of time before the Wraith develop intergalactic hyper drive now that they know there’s something interesting out there.
    What would you have them do? Have high tea with the queen?

    Sorry bout the rant. I do know none of it is real, I really do. I just happen to think it IS written life-like, and I hate it when people put down what is good work, essentially.

    Joseph, don’t listen to them. It’s a great season and it’s the icing on the cake of 4 great seasons.

  51. Bon je vais aller me coucher! =)
    Mais avant j’ai une question à vous posez….
    S’il la grise économique s’agrave, les tournages du film de stargate ou SGU pourraient être suspendu?

    Moi je dit, le jour ou stargate ne pourra plus être tournée, là, sa sera la fin du monde!!! ^^

    Bisou!! a demain=)

  52. p.s. On the Wraith having human skin as the leather of their uniforms. Sure sure, it’s all good and well that they could clone human skin for their uniforms. Seems a little roundabout, but yeah, it’s probable. They’re just that high class. And they could be cloning other skin and blah blah. Yeah, seems convenient.

    I don’t really care about that part, though. What I do care about is the making of the skin into leather part. I do mean to get morbid now so anyone who actually reads notes this far down and happens to not care for a discussion on how to go about making culled human skin into viable leather products you’re completely free to skip-a-doo down. I won’t be offended. Too much.

    The way I understand leather making is that the leather/skin has to be stretched before it dries. This is unfortunate for the Wraith as part of their feeding process seems to extract moisture from human bodies pretty rapidly. I emphasize “seems to” because Carson, bless his wee cloned heart, gave a very general sort of statement about Wraith feeding. The most prevalent thing I remember him saying, (and terribly paraphrased) “it mimics the aging process in humans.” I can only guess at this process beyond that.

    But from what I’ve seen of the dramatics of television it does seem to shrivel skin quite terribly indicating an immediate loss of moisture, moisture desperately needed in making human skin into viable bits of leather. Even then you’d have a pretty cobbled together coat, though admittedly the Wraith garb does have many folds and layers enough to hide any tricky seams.

    It still seems unlikely that this leather, if from humans, came from culled humans. The leather there would be horrid to work with.

    But I’m not an expert leather maker. I hardly know the process.

    Update: Okay, so I’ve looked up a bit about the process. The stiffness of dried skin might be a problem when trying to take the skin off the corpse. It might tear easily. It would probably be fairly thin as well. I don’t think humans would make leather jackets very well. We don’t have very thick hides. In more ways than one. Wraith would probably do better to make a leather jacket out of, honestly. But, sadly enough, leather has been made out of human skin before. History has burdened us with that fact. It can be done.

    But even if the Wraith were to pick certain larger humans to be specially made into Wraith patented human fabricated coats instead of culling them, the skin would be far too thin to make into a substantial army quality leather coat.

    I know Joe’s comment was most definitely in folly, but I still think it’s a validly interesting question to be pondered. Now human bones…a wraith could make some fine jewelry out of those.

    I gross myself out.

  53. What is this – a frilling clip show?!!! Joe, What was the reasoning for this? Please comment–I’ m in the middle of the show -now.!!! Sheryl

  54. Okay someone else beat me to it but gooolllllyyyyyy Joe I cannot believe with SGA on it’s final season and especially its final few episodes that we are wasting an episode on clips!
    Yes I watched the whole thing how could I not, but I don’t think I am the only one to feel a bit cheated. 🙁
    Sniff, sniff, just feeling sorry for myself.

  55. I have a couple question for Krista.

    1.) What software packages are used to create the playbacks needed for Stargate?
    2.) Where would be the best place to learn to use them?
    3.) How does one get into making playback for TV or film?

  56. what’s not to like about the clowns, i think we’re just plain awesome… thanks for the shout out

  57. Now how about that Joe? In the first picture you posted, there’s a guy on the right side wearing an Eagles jersey. On the other side of the continent. In Canada. Go Birds!

    Question for Krista:
    How is playback on a computer monitor generated? Do you use a graphics program that runs or loops the script or video? Or do you write base programs that perform as written?

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