Well, we were all back at work today following the Victoria Day long weekend – Victoria Day, of course, being a recently adopted Canadian holiday commemorating one of history’s most remarkable pioneering female Brits. Yes, I refer to none other than Ms. Victoria Beckham. Looking back, I suspect the vote to bestow the honor on the former Posh Spice may have had more to do with a desire to have an extra holiday in May than anything else. All the same, this is the third year the country has marked the occasion with songs, dance, and goat kebobs in a vast nation-wide celebration that brings together peoples of all races and religions. Except, of course, for the Irish who are prohibited from participating and have to go to work instead. It was a great three-day break and now, Canadians have to wait a whole month for their next big holiday when the Emeril Legasse Day long weekend rolls around in late June.

Today, the SGA movie script, Stargate: Extinction, went out to the writing department. No one has gotten around to reading it yet but I imagine it’s just a matter of time before the accolades start rolling in. Carl, however, did read my short story over the weekend and, to my delight, enjoyed it. So 3 down and 2 356 689 to go!

Before lunch, Carl, Paul, and I headed down to Stage 1 where work is ongoing on the jungle set for Time. It’s looking mighty damn impressive. I took plenty of snaps, including a couple of shots of Carl posing beside a giant alien fern. From there, we headed over to the Destiny set where Peter DeLuise was directing Bobby, Louis, and David in scenes for Darkness and Light.

After lunch, we sat down to watch the director’s cut of Life. I can’t say enough good things about this episode, from Carl Binder’s script to the individual performances to Alex Chapple’s direction. Some incredibly poignant moments delivered by Brian J. Smith, Ming Na, and a couple of wonderful guest stars. I LOVED this episode.

Later, I was sitting in my office when I heard a familiar voice ask: “Is Mallozzi here?” I glanced up and, sure enough, it was Michael Shanks – with his lovely wife Lexa. I was mortified. Had I known he’d be bringing her by, I’d have cleaned the place up. My desk is a drop-zone. They stopped in and we spent a good half hour talking about exorcists, chiropractors, and exorcist-chiropractors. On their own, they’re very funny people but together, these two are absolutely hilarious. A terrific couple – who, conveniently enough, had to rush off to buy some roast chicken after I suggested my office would be clean in no time if we all pitched in.

I Remember the Future discussion:

Michael A. Burstein writes: ““Like “I Remember the Future”, this one resonated with me on a personal level, reminding me of the day I came across the webpage of Thomas M. Disch only days after his passing.”

Wow. You probably had the same thoughts I had when I came across Charles Sheffield’s webpage after he died (which, as I noted in the afterword, was the genesis of the story).”

Answer: Camp Concentration is one of my favorite SF novels. In fact, just the other day Paul returned a whack of books I’d lent him over the past year and he singled CC out (alongside Frederik Pohl’s Gateway) as his favorites. I considered making the book a Book of the Month Club selection and inviting Disch to take part in a Q&A but, sadly, never got the chance. While surfing for news about his sudden passing, I came across his website and was surprised to see that he kept a fairly active online presence. Sadder still to learn that, late in life, he suffered depression for his failure to gain recognition for his work. Too late to post a comment and let him know his work was appreciated by this reader at least.

Sylvia writes: “Re the old ending and the new ending. I loved the new ending as it gave Sarah the choice and the rite of decision – to take action – to get the tattoo. She did not have to prove her love and devotion. She chose to take a stand to make progress in the struggle that we learn from the lessons of the past. I rather liked that posture of doing the right thing and because one wanted to do the right thing.”

Answer: Yes, it’s a tough call because both endings offer up two very different but very positive elements. In the end, I think Michael’s editor (and his wife) echoed your sentiments – which is why he decided to go with that particular ending.

Sylvia also writes: “Was a bit surprised but gladdened to discover that Miss Ellis also resorted to changing appearance.”

Answer: I kind of suspected the surprise but loved it nevertheless. It cemented her relationship with Tony and offered up the most touching beat in the ensuing story, TelePresence, in which we learn of her dedication and eventual passing.

Thornyrose writes: “TeleAbsence was the best of the stories in combining emotion and sci fi elements. “

Answer: I would agree. All of these elements were nicely balanced and despite the future setting, the depth of the characters grounded the story in the here and now.

Thornyrose also writes: “It’s all too easy to look at technology as the solution to all social ills, but Mr. Burnstein rightly points out that economics and human nature will prevent an even distribution of such technologies.”

Answer: Which is something the author goes on to discuss in the afterword, making reference to someone who predicted that everyone would have a computer by the years 2001 (I believe it was). Well, not quite. While the technology is there, the means to acquire said technology remains problematic for many.

Thornyrose also writes: “With Spaceships, we’re given a slightly melencholy view of immortality. ( Can one say Ascension?). It seems even in the far future, eccentricity is frowned upon, and Kel is victimized by those who are not actually harmed by his peculiar obsession. I did have a minor quibble here; how did Kel get possession of the actual originals?”

Answer: I assumed that, in time, as humanity shed their corporeal forms, they gave up on what they considered physical affectations – like spaceships. Kel collected the abandoned ships, amassing them into a personal collection.

Thornyrose also writes: “While I found it a bit suprising that the Church would rule aliens as soulless, and thus ineligable to become members, the device works well enough here.”

Answer: That was curious – but not altogether surprising. By the way, if you’re looking for a terrific novel that explores the issues of faith and alien visitation, I strongly urge you to pick up Michael Flynn’s Eifelheim. From Booklist: “In the fourteenth century, the Black Death ravaged Europe. Most towns decimated by it were eventually resettled, except for Eifelheim, despite its ideal location. Mathematical historian Tom discovers this anomaly and an unexpected connection to his domestic partner Sharon’s research in theoretical physics, which seems to be leading to a method of interdimensional travel. In fact, as Eifelheim’s priest back then, Father Dietrich, relates, before the plague’s arrival, an interstellar ship crashed nearby. The encounters between its passengers and the people of Oberhochwald, as Eifelheim was first called, reflect the panoply of attitudes of the time, from fear of the foreign to love and charity for one’s neighbors to the ideas of nascent natural philosophy (science), and the aliens’ reactions are equally fascinating.”

Thornyrose also writes: “ Decisions was a story that had me waiting for Rod Serling’s voice to speak out of the ether.”

Answer: It had a definite The Outer Limits feel for me.

Thornyrose also writes: “As soon as Reverend Haas mentioned a steamboat excursion, I recognised that the tale was centered on the tragedy of the General Slocum. […]. But the “instant romance” of Schmidt and Adele just didn’t ring true.”

Answer: Agreed. This was the one element in the story that felt awkward and forced. I could see Adele being smitten with Schmidt, but to have the two of them suddenly profess their love for one another, in spite of the circumstances, seemed all to quick.

Thornyrose also writes: “Of all the stories, Absent Friends is definitely my least least favorite. Levinson’s obsession over his dead friend goes beyond any sane level of grief. There is something more than a little creepy about his insistance at seeking out his friend’s alternate self.”

Answer: This is something I agree with as well. It seemed a single-minded obsession one would reserve for the love of one’s life rather than a friend, no matter how close.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “ Many of the stories just felt flat to me. When I tried to analyze what was missing (for me) in the stories I realized that although the premises of many of the stories were interesting, the settings were weak or non-existent. I’m a very visual person, and just couldn’t “see” where the story was taking place.”

Answer: Are you saying that you would have benefited from a more descriptive narrative?

Mailbag:

Morticae writes: “You know, there was an episode of SG-1 with a guy that used toothpicks and whatnot to booby trap his doors. Something like that!”

Answer: I know. Paul and I wrote it. Point of No Return.

DasNdanger writes: “1. We know that the Iratus bug that attacked Sheppard was in a sort of web, and in The Defiant One the Wraith webbed up his victim, suggesting that – perhaps – he produced the web/silk from his own body. So, in your mind (or had it ever been discussed), do Wraith have the ability to produce ’silk’ from their bodies, and if so…from where?

2. Since a Wraith – by definition – is a doppelganger, has this ever been taken into consideration in how Sheppard and Todd deal with each other? Todd, the ‘harbinger of bad luck’, ‘haunting’ his double – Sheppard – always present, reminding John of his darker side? Or am I just thinking too hard about this…lol.”

Answers: 1. In my mind, the webbing/cocoon is a byproduct of the ship, itself an organic construct.

2. While the wraith warrior class are clones, queens and the other males are not. They are unique.

O6untouchable writes: “1. In “Misbegotten”, Weir and Woolsey travelled to Atlantis on an Asgard ship, and got there nearly two weeks faster. That’s in roughly the same ballpark as the Daedalus’ 4-day trip from “The Siege”. Since the Asgard designed the Daedalus’ hyperdrive anyway, are their ships faster only because they’ve got a better power source?

2. If it is an issue of the power source, do the Daedalus, Apollo, et al now have better generators (to power the Asgard beam weapons and what-not)? Are they capable of making the trip to Atlantis faster?

3. After “The Return”, the ZPMs that the Asurans put in Atlantis were split up; one of them went to the Drone Chair. When the chair was moved to Area 51, was it still powered by that ZPM, or by some Asgard Core-inspired alternative? If the former, what happened to that ZPM?

4. The other ZPM from “The Return” went to the Odyssey. Between the Asgard Core and the fact that the Ori aren’t a threat anymore, did the ZPM get removed at some point? Was it depleted during “The Ark of Truth”, or is it still alive and kicking somewhere?”

Answers: 1. That’s a safe assumption to make.

2. No. Again, it comes down to the power source not the engine design.

3. Yes, the ZPM went with the chair.

4. More on exactly what is up with the Odyssey upcoming.

Scifan writes: “When it comes to guest actors, do you know who you want for the roles while your doing the script or do they have to ask? I remember someone told me that Goran Visnjic aka Dr. Luca Kovac from E.R. is a big fan of SGA. Do you look for those types of actors?”

Answer: We generally write the script and then look to cast. There have been occasions when we have sought out actors who have turned out to be fans of the show – Isaac Hayes for one, Wayne Brady for another. Goran Visnjic was a big fan of SG-1 and actually visited the set while in town working on Elektra. He and the cast really hit it off. We even offered him a guest spot but, unfortunately, he was unable to make it work schedule-wise.

Jim from WVa writes: “Will Stargate Universe employ shaky camera techniques like the movie Cloverfield?”

Answer: The camera work will certainly be more dynamic, but not to a jumpy, nausea-inducing extent.

T’loc writes: “I have a question, I am watching the Shrine from this past season, what would happen if the team had flown to that planet instead of walking could they have dialed a space-gate to escape? Would the water flown out into space? Would love to know the answer.”

Answer: The planet was only accessible via the planet gate. However, had they traveled their through a space gate, then escape would have been much easier – yes, them along with an enormous amount of water.

SebiMeyer writes: “what software is this? I either use Final Draft or Celtx for scripts, but this is new to me.”

Answer: Movie Magic Screenwriter.

O6untouchable also writes: “On a Movie-related note… you’ve already hinted that an Earth Battlecruiser might crop up in Universe somewhere, but what about the Atlantis and SG-1 movies? Are we going to find out what happened to the Sun Tzu, or see the Apollo and/or Daedalus again? (My girlfriend is particularly eager for more Caldwell!) And what about the Odyssey – will we ever find out what that secret mission was, or was that just an excuse to write her out so that she didn’t kick Hive Ship ass before Atlantis got there?”

Answer: Several of these ships will be making future appearances in the, uh, Stargate franchise.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Would you like to edit my 5 page script (a script for the FBI files part 2?

2. Can I please send you a link to my best video I made(the script I was telling you about is part two of the FBI files. The link I want to send you is part for part 1)?

3. So there are a few stargate suprises for MGM’s 85th b-day. So what day is MGM’s 85th?

4. How is time going? Almost done?

5. Do you guys have a email address I can email(Instead of physically mailing something)?

6. How is the music and visual effects coming for Air?”

Answers: 1. Thanks but no.

2. Sure.

3. Not sure. Carl knows as he’s ordered the cake.

4. Stage 1 is looking awesome ahead of production. The episode is still in prep.

5. Trust me, you’re better off posting a comment here.

6. Great. Brad and Rob had a spotting session with Joel late last week.

Dovil writes: “I’m bitterly disappointed that Stargate Altantis: Glitter Ponies of Hope didn’t jump the last hurdle to be selected, though a two hour movie on SGA-1’s attempts to save the Spotted Owl from the brink of extinction does somewhat make up for it.”

Answer: Glitter Ponies of Hope was our first choice, but it was already taken for the SG-1 movie.

Georgia writes: “I came across ostrich eggs ($29.99 ea) and Vosges bacon chocolate. Ever try either?”

Answer: Haven’t tried ostrich eggs but have tried the Vosges applewood smoked bacon truffles (which, in my opinion, are better than the bars).

Chevron7 writes: “Joe, can you please give us a hint whether you’ve finished judging the Fans Choice bluray DVD cover contest?”

Answer: Sorry, I don’t even know what that is.

Davidd writes: “So, now that you have joined the Twitter masses, do you think you will ever get a Facebook account again?”

Answer: Correction. My dogs joined the twitter masses. They have no plans to get on Facebook however.

David Blue writes: “You know, in my defense:

I ran into Rob at work and told him about the party. He said he couldn’t go because he was having you over for dinner. So I decided not to tempt you to stand him up because you were so interested in coming to my tiny, small apartment instead.”

Answer: Well I feel doubly bad because I returned your apartment-warming gift on Sunday = a home theater system complete with reclining chairs and big screen. And before you complain that it wouldn’t have fit in your small apartment, you should know that it was the second part of your gift. The first part was an all-expenses paid rental of a mansion in Shaugnessy for the show’s entire run. Oh well.

Ytimyona writes: “Wow, Rob Cooper is truly a man of many talents… writer, director, cook! Is there anything RC can’t do?”

Answer: Brain surgery. At least not yet. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow when he removes Lawren’s basal ganglia.

Quade1 writes: “I heard that SGU Pilot was to air during summer followed by the rest of the season in the fall. Is this still the plan?”

Answer: Sorry, no. That was never the plan.

 

Recycled Funk writes: “I found this very enlightening blog post by Neil Gaiman, writer of the brilliant Sandman comics, where he discusses the relationship of blogging writers and their fans and the entitlement issues that sometimes develop (http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html). I’m not sure if you had come across it as well but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject. Since you are so visible on the web, do you think that sometimes fans can feel a little too entitled to your time and the next project, especially when it’s Stargate related?”Answer: I don’t think any fan is going to be pestering me for a release date on that short story – or any non Stargate-related project – anytime soon. Realistically, most of my blog regulars come for the Stargate, but stay for the snark, dog pics, and videos of me sampling strange food products. That said, I certainly do notice a sense of entitlement from certain fans who feel that online interaction should translate into some sort of working relationship. They bitterly complain when their hopes or desires regarding character or story aren’t realized, or adopt the attitude of a petulant child (Hello, Gate world’s Falcon Horus and G.O.D.) sulkily hating on anything and everything because they feel they’ve been personally sleighted by some creative decision made. Maintaining an internet presence has its rewards (as evidenced by the many, many wonderful people who frequent this blog) but it also makes you a convenient target for those terminal grumps seeking an outlet for their pent up aggression. And what better place than the arena of anonymity offered by the worldwide web.

 

Rachael writes: “ With the changes in the writer’s room in the past few months, I was wondering a) which writers were in the room for spinning the story for the movie, and b) if there were writers there at the time who are no longer on the SG writing team, would their departure affect the storyline at all (eg can’t use their ideas any more)?”

Answer: Back in November, Paul and I spun a general idea of what we wanted the SGA movie to be with Brad and Robert. Then, Paul and I went off and worked on the outline, pitching it back and forth between us until we had a pretty solid template. Paul wrote the first sixty pages and I wrote the last forty, although we did tweak one another’s passes.

71 thoughts on “May 19, 2009: Victoria Day, Developments on the SGU Front, Michael and Lexa Drop By But Don’t Stick Around For the Spring Cleaning!

  1. I gotta say, Joe, you are a good guy for giving your time to this blog. I think too many people think that you are somehow bound to put up with their shit and forget that you could say goodbye to the blog without any consequences. So I guess this is a thank you from someone who does recognize that you do this because you want to.

    That was very sentimental. I can go back to raging at my university lecturers now.

  2. Whew…I’ve been way busy the last 24 or so…both in reading, trying to get finished with Elric before the 8th of June, and in office work, and family visits…and other stuff. Just plain ol’ wore out, I am! Fell asleep on the sofa at 10 last night, and only awake now because…hmmm… really don’t know why. Was out with friends, so maybe I’m just still hyper from that…

    Anyway…

    Thanks for answering my questions, although I would much prefer to think that Wraith produced webbing from their bodies somehow – just because it’s creepy. 🙂 Well…as long as it’s not from their butts, like spiders…’cause that would just be weird. 😛

    As far as my second question goes – you totally didn’t get what I was talking about. 😆 I was referring to the similarities between Shep and Todd (‘you’re more like Wraith than you know’), and whether or not that idea is carried over into how the characters are written… are they considered to be doppelgangers – is Todd Sheppard’s ‘twin’ – and if so, is his presence an omen that something bad is going to happen?

    You really need to watch Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

    REALLY.

    Like…yesterday.

    😉

    das

  3. Wait…I just read your answer to Recycled Funk – it got lost because it wasn’t separated from the question…

    And now I feel I must straighten up and fly right, lest I be lumped in with those who feel they have some sort of working relationship with you…so…

    Stargate: Extinction! What a WONDERFUL title!! I LOVE it!!! 😀

    😉

    das

  4. Just thought I’d pop by and say hello, since I’ve been being run ragged by the sick toddler all week(apparently she has the sinus infection from H E double hockey sticks) and school.

    I finally recovered from the LOL moment I had the other day when meeting with my college adviser to discuss my new major(hello, English degree) that I am thinking of pursuing as she suggested that I become an English major with a drama emphasis. I pointed out that she had obviously never seen me walk and talk while on a hill or attempt to eat quietly in a restaurant.

    So how is Lulu doing any better? The meds working? (And did she have kennel cough?)

  5. “Answer: Glitter Ponies of Hope was our first choice, but it was already taken for the SG-1 movie.”

    and

    Answer: “Brain surgery. At least not yet. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow when he removes Lawren’s basal ganglia.”

    😆

  6. Hi, I don’t feel at all entitled to anything, but do appreciate the opportunity to vent some frustrations about your shows on occassion.
    I apologize if it ever comes across rudely or presumptious.

    It is a strange and wonderous thing about this new era of internet and blogging that the “masses” (by which I mean me) are able to interact with a “famous” person as easily as they might talk with their mother or sister. In fact, I communicate with you more than with my sister…
    It makes for a strange feeling of thinking you know someone when you actually don’t.

    Lexa, who you entertained tonight, tweets quite a bit. I think I know more about her life than I do many people I personally interact with at work as coworkers. But I don’t know her at all, really, and she wouldn’t know me from a hole in the wall.

    Not sure if all this is good or bad?

  7. I tweeted Lexa, when she tweeted that she visited you today, that your dogs were now tweeting and they were hoping to get 1000 followers by the end of the month. She put a link to them in a message she tweeted so I hope the dogs get a jump in followers. Lexa has a LOT of followers.

  8. “I don’t think any fan is going to be pestering me for a release date on that short story”

    I’m pretty sure some people already have. 😉

    In fact, I distinctly remember at least one occasion where someone asked about the release date in the mailbag. Don’t sell yourself short, Joe.

    Ohhh, naming names, eh? I sense a Gateworld Shit Storm brewing in 3…2…4, I mean 1…ah, who am I kidding, it’s always a Shit Storm there. Let’s just say that I pretty much agree about one of those two.

    Oh, and unless I’m woefully mistaken, the sometimes-blog-commenter Heightmeyer’s Lemming is probably Falcon Horus.

    *Waves*

    Anyways, the entitlement is disgusting sometimes. Some of them just can’t seem to realize that sitting on their butts for an hour and be entertained (or not; whatever) =/= effort to be rewarded; especially when you look at how much work the cast and crew and TPTB put into the product. It’s the standard customer/supplier relationship; we get the entertainment, you guys get the money. If we don’t get the entertainment, you won’t get money from us. Nothing’s owed in either direction.

    That said, I do think that all the effort us blog regulars put into reading this blog while sitting on our butts deserve some kind of reward, right?

    Right?!

    Right. Ok, cool. I’ll settle for a tour of Bridge Studios. Thanks.

    And thank you for the SGU info! A jungle planet for Time? Hmmm…I don’t know what that means. Is Jumanji involved? There was kind of a time travel thing in that.

    Questions:

    1. What episode number is Darkness?
    2. What episode number is Light?
    3. You once said that Stargate Extinction won’t focus on the Wraith. I just wonder how you qualify “focus”. Is there an episode of SGA that has about the same amount of focus on the Wraith as SGE? If so, which one is it?
    4. What’s the office’s take on the new Star Trek movie?

    Thanks!

  9. If you ever get any of that crap from me, please tell me to leave. I never want to be “that person.” I will be the first to say that when I first heard of the idea, I said Stargate Voyager (I was the first to comment on Gateworld that night), but I always react first and then take in all the information. The New Yorker in me perhaps. Or perhaps the Irish. The more I heard about it, the more I’ve gotten excited. That negativity lasted maybe a week or so. Then seeing David Blue was on Twitter, that is why I joined, and then a few other SGU people are on Twitter. Now Brian J. Smith’s mom is on there. It adds to the excitement when you see the comments about how much they love their jobs and how much fun they are having (without giving details away). It is infectious. Now MGM needs to do a 60-minute special on the show and the ensemble cast (and the peripheral people). Now I’m catching David Blue on Moonlight, a show I never watched to see his acting. Shortly before the show starts, I’ll start writing about it on the Fox 26 Houston blog to get others to watch. I’ve already posted some, and I emailed a blogger friend about the show having a character who happens to be gay (as he is gay) and that was exciting to him so I may have a convert…to Stargate…LOL. He liked what Robert Cooper and Brad Wright (?) had to say about doing that and the reasons behind it.

    I read every day all these quality shows who are getting axed way before their time. It makes you appreciate that you did get 5 full years out of SGA.

  10. I see that Rob (and whoever else took part in the decision) tossed out my suggestion of performing a reversible frontal lobotomy — newly discovered procedure of the Ancients; great, huh? — before removing Lawren’s basal ganglia. Especially since . . . well, that’s a very remote complication. You’ll all have enough on your hands dealing with the immediate consequences.

    The Drowned Life is coming to me from Texas (yes, the entire state chipped in and sprung for it!) sometime next week. I don’t want to rush through it, but hope to get it done before summer session starts. I’m very much looking forward to reading it, so thank you for pointing it out in an earlier entry.

    Eifelheim has been on my list ever since I read about it here, as well. Who knows where the time goes?

  11. Ok, should’ve read Neil Gaiman’s entry before writing my comment, as he wrote pretty much what I wanted to say, except better, because he’s a professional writer.

    That sounded slightly sarcastic. It is not.

    There’s something I want to get off of my chest.

    Joe, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done with this blog, and with Stargate. A while ago Lou Anders said in a podcast both he and you were in that you were doing something extraordinary with this blog, and specifically with the bookclub. Though I don’t get involved in the bookclub because I suck at reading, I still agree that you are doing something extraordinary.

    Through you, I learned to appreciate the hard work the writers, the cast, and above all the crew put into the show. From the perspective of a fan, it is far too easy to fall in love with the actors and attribute all the warm, fuzzy feelings one gets when one watches the show to them. Though of course they play a big part and are Awesome, this creates a blinders effect. I know a few fans who say that they only love the character because of the actor’s portrayl, and not only do I find that perplexing, I also find it insulting.

    Your exposure of the various unsung heroes of the Production to us was an extremely valuable learning experience. Not only did we find out what they did, it also gave us a chance to assign a face and a personality to a name that shows up for a second or less at the end credits. Furthermore, to know the mind of a writer and why he write what he does is incredibly valuable, and you’ve given us that in spades.

    You’ve humanized the production. You turned a faceless conglomerate that is Stargate Productions into a group of lovely people who pours their hearts and souls into making a show that millions of us love, and for some, it even changes our lives. All that work for you guys, and 20 43-minute long pieces of entertainment a year for us.

    All this to say: I wished every fan read this blog. If they KNEW the effort put into the show, if they KNEW how many people’s work they’re debasing by bashing the show mindlessly (not that everyone does that, of course; only a few), would they be so careless in throwing out insults? I mean, like or dislike the show all you want, but there is respect in delivering that judgement.

    Thanks to your blog, I learned about that. No matter how I feel about an episode, respect for the show and the people behind it will always be #1 in the list of things guiding what I post, and whom I defend.

    And on a personal note, thanks to your dissections of your scripts and the various behind the scenes info, I’ve managed to get myself a little hobby writing fan screenplays. It’s like a creative release from all that Physics stuff.

    In fact, I’m writing a fan screenplay for the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action movie that M. Night Shamalyan is doing. Just sayin’.

    Anyways, that seemed to be more of a stream of consciousness than any concrete…thing, so I’ll stop here.

    Thank you.

    Oh, and the snarks, and the doggies, and the weird foods are pretty cool too. 😉

  12. PS: Maybe when the whole unified-field thing is at the buffing and polishing stage, someone really will be able to figure out where the time goes. I’m all but totally ignorant when it comes to physics, so am counting on your blog to keep me advised.

  13. Hi Joe:

    My little Rusty (orange tabby adopted stray) has disappeared on me. He’s been gone two weeks and I fear that he’s not coming back. I really do miss the little guy. We have some neighbors who think nothing of doing nasty things to cats. So, I’m pretty sure that he has met his end. But, I can’t prove anything. I do not understand people who want to harm animals. By the way, he got out when a carpenter was here working on our bathroom reno.

    Question: Did you ever watch “Les Belles Histoires des Pays d’en haut” ? If so, any comments about it?

    Patricia

  14. Wish I could see Lexa having seen Michael last year…I love the pair of them and to see them together would make my year….such a lovely couple and so lucky as well…me jealous?..what makes you think so? 😀

    Kriss 🙂

  15. I recently watched the episode “FULL Alert” SG-1 The truck That O’Niell is taking the beer out of is that his personnel or a prop???

  16. Aw Joe! I would’ve loved to help you clean up your office, but alas the siren song of Chalet Suisse was calling. Although, the discussion of poltergeists and chiropractors was enlightening, and frightening. Great to see your charming smile and hear your rapier wit again – we did miss you so at the Leos.

    Oh, and I’m now officially following your dogs on Twitter – they’re far more erudite than you give them credit for.

    Love and kisses,
    Lexa

  17. Care to comment on the reports that MGM is having major financial difficulties ($3.7 billion in debt coming due in 14 months that will require major restructuring from both stockholders and the bondholders) and how this might affect plans to film the SG-1 and SGA movies as well as SGU in the next year (all capital-intensive projects that will require time to become cash-flow positive)?

    Too bad the cash crunch has made floating this size of corporate bond extremely difficult, but as my father the bankruptcy trustee and workout specialist puts it, “If you owe $10 million and can’t pay, it’s your problem. If you owe $100 million, it’s the bank’s problem.” And as the past 9 months have shown us, if you owe a couple billion and your default will pose a systematic risk to the US economy, it’s the Federal Reserve and US Treasury’s problem that you can’t pay. Is it time to start an grass roots campaign to show that MGM is as worthy of a bail-out as AIG, Chrysler, GM, and Citibank?

  18. Without getting sappy about this, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your world with us. It’s great to see the struggles and fun that go on behind-the-scenes, and the wonderful respect that you have shown for the actors and crew. And equally important is the community that’s been created here. I don’t have time for the books, but I do read everyone’s comments, and have laughed my ass off more times than I can count. Plus I can’t resist the pup pics, and have been evilly lured into twittering them.

    I love to see how you develop the stories, and I have a question. In the beginning of writing SGU it would seem that the episodes out of necessity would have to be completely plot driven. Now that there are several episodes under everyone’s belts, are the actors and their characters nuancing where the stories are going?

  19. Hi Mr Mallozzi,
    Long time reader, First time questioning

    Could you please settle an argument between a few friends of mine and let us know what episode number Earth is now in SGU?
    Thank you
    Wander Wolf (AKA Matt)

  20. Hi again Mr M!

    Greetings from an unseasonally fine Tipperary!

    Keep meaning to ask…Any Summer hols planned? I think you mentioned you are going to Tokyo later in the year…but any down-time during Summer or is it flat out with SGU?

    Best wishes to all

    Shirt’n’Tie

  21. Hey Joe,

    Wow! That was quite a blog today! It had everything. Including insulting my people. The Irish. It’s okay… we Irish don’t need no stinkin’ Victoria Day anyway! 😛

    May I suggest you leave your camera with all the SGU pics right next to the dogs’ beds? I’m sure it’s safe there. 😀

    @Dovil: So you get Glitter Ponies of Hope after all. At least you and I are happy. 😆

    Trish

  22. Joe answered:

    Are you saying that you would have benefited from a more descriptive narrative?

    Yes, that what I was trying to say. For me, it helps to have a context into which I can mentally place the story and a bit of descriptive narrative helps me establish that context. But that’s just a personal preference.

  23. joe, do you have to spoil everything? i stopped reading after i realized that you’re spoiling the show for me. say SPOILERS before telling us SGU stuff so i would know.

  24. Chevron7 writes: “Joe, can you please give us a hint whether you’ve finished judging the Fans Choice bluray DVD cover contest?”

    Answer: Sorry, I don’t even know what that is.

    Wow, I didn’t know that. Well Fox and MGM are putting out a SGA Fans Choice DVD. Fans voted online for their favourite episodes and the ten with the highest votes are on the DVD. They also ran a comp to design the cover of the Bluray DVD. I entered with a friend from the States under the name warrior_chevron. The comp finished towards the end of March. Last I heard “the guys at Bridge” were reviewing the finalists. They were being judged by people from MGM, Fox and the producers as far as I know. I guess I just assumed that was you and Paul. I know, never assume. Have you got any contact details for the guys in Craft Services? Maybe they’re the guys at Bridge. LOL! Ivon said he didn’t know anything about it either.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll have to be patient. The dvd comes out 4th August.

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. you can just read this comment if you want, you don’t really have to publish it

  25. There’s a lot of interesting comments on I Remember the Future. This may be self-evident, but I’ll wait until you send me the list of questions to craft my responses for you to post.

    I will say that I’m delighted that people have taken the time to read the stories and think carefully about them.

    Other comments:
    “Paul returned a whack of books I’d lent him over the past year and he singled CC out (alongside Frederik Pohl’s Gateway) as his favorites.”

    Gateway was amazing, I agree. Believe it or not, I’ve never read Camp Concentration.

    “Realistically, most of my blog regulars come for the Stargate, but stay for the snark, dog pics, and videos of me sampling strange food products. ”

    Just FYI, Nomi (who grew up with two dogs and three cats in her family home) loves the dog pictures.

    “Maintaining an internet presence has its rewards (as evidenced by the many, many wonderful people who frequent this blog) but it also makes you a convenient target for those terminal grumps seeking an outlet for their pent up aggression. And what better place than the arena of anonymity offered by the worldwide web.”

    How true. Interestingly, I’m reminded of the many years that J. Michael Straczynski maintained an active online presence, both before and during the production of Babylon 5, and how that led to a lot more knowledge on the part of the fans regarding the day-to-day work of producing, writing, and creating a television series. At the time, it was an incredible thing; today, it seems almost normal how accessible people are on the web.

    And yet I can’t but wonder where you find the time…

  26. Hi again Mr M!

    Had a thought recently, would you ever consider putting a “Classic” on the BOTM selection? Reason I ask, is, I know your are a fan of “The Count of Monte Cristo”. I know it’s huge…. but if you put it in for a 4 month review? Obviously Dumas won’t be joining us for discussion!
    If it is to be Sci Fi..how about “20000 leagues under the Sea” or other classic Sci Fi?
    Just a thought…

    Best to all

    S’n’T

  27. @Recycled Funk and Joe: Thanks for the link and discussion. I’m one of the people that has been looking forward to the next volume in GRRM’s Ice and Fire series (and also looking forward to Patrick Rothfuss’ next book and Justina Robson’s next in the Quantum Gravity series). I’m not a writer, so I found Neil Gaiman’s comments very enlightening (and well written). *sigh* In the olden days before the internet and blogging, we fans would just wait patiently (or impatiently) for the books to appear and be thrilled when they did.

    @das said:

    And now I feel I must straighten up and fly right, lest I be lumped in with those who feel they have some sort of working relationship with you…so…

    Stargate: Extinction! What a WONDERFUL title!! I LOVE it!!! 😀

    Um, das. I don’t think anyone is buying it. 😉

    Joe, I stay for the book discussions and restaurant and travel reviews, too. But the snarkiness is definite plus. And I come to visit with my cyber-friends who also hang out here.

  28. Coucou Joseph=) Vous allez bien?

    Moi super, demain c’est ferier, donc pas de travail, mais je pense aller au boulot vendredi, je ne pense pas que ma tutrice accépte que je face le pont. J’avou que de ce coté on est heureux en France, beaucoup de jours feriers et 5 semaines de congés payer!

    Rohh trop de la chance d’avoir vu Lexa & Micheal, j’imagine bien qu’ils doivent être hilarant lol!

    Voici mes questions:

    1) Allons nous voir des extraterrestres dans le 1er épisode de SGU?
    2)Avez vous déja connu des réstaurants pour chien?
    3)Avez vous l’intention de mettre des personnages de SG1 dans le film d’SGA?

    Voila merci, a demain =)

  29. @Chev, I really liked the red ribbon cover.

    @Joe, thanks again for the blog. I hope to be back on board the book club with Elric.
    DD

  30. Hey, Sparrow, it was worth a try! I know that sometimes my ‘enthusiasm’ comes across as a bit pushy, but it’s not because I feel any sort of entitlement, as if I have any control over what Joe does…

    …..

    …….

    Oh, who the hell am I kidding? You just do what I say, Joe, and we’ll get along swimmingly! If you don’t, then I’ll make faces behind your back – really ugly ones! 😀

    Heh…and who’s to say I haven’t already… 😈

    Not that I have…

    Yet.

    das

  31. Hi Joe,

    I visit your blog every day as apart from being a big SGA fan, I just love the fact that you are a “doggy” person ( like me) and you have the most fabulous sense of humor!

    Bye the way how are the dogs keeping?

  32. Joe – in discussion with Mr. Moorcock, he said that Elric was inspired – in part – by Anthony Skene’s Zenith the Albino, the ‘villain’ in his Sexton Blake detective stories. Have you ever had a chance to read these hard-to-find tales?

    (And yes, I have already ordered a book that includes Zenith stories, written by Mr. Moorcock himself! I also have a couple of folks lined up who will forward me web versions of Skene’s original Zenith stories, once I’m done with Elric. Yuppers… I am still pathetically in love with all things pasty and pale… 😛 )

    das

  33. Thornyrose also writes: “Of all the stories, Absent Friends is definitely my least least favorite. Levinson’s obsession over his dead friend goes beyond any sane level of grief. There is something more than a little creepy about his insistance at seeking out his friend’s alternate self.”

    Wait a minute. Wasn’t this essentially the season finale of Fringe? Methinks Mr. Burstein might want to have “words” with FOX.

    On those same lines I have a question for you Joe. How often do you come up with an idea for a script and find out that someone else has already written a slightly different version of the story?

    Just wondering.

  34. Hi Joe!

    Thanks for continuing to update us on the Stargate happenings. A couple of questions:

    1. The Stargate movies have identified themselves with the franchise (Stargate: Extinction, Stargate: Continuum) instead of with their specific show (SG-1, Atlantis). Is that an attempt to reach a larger audience?

    2. In Outcast, Nancy mentioned a man named Grant. Is he her husband? Any plans for her to appear in the movie?

    3. If you could chang one episode of season 5, what would it be and why?

  35. @the ZPM question that was answered.

    Wasn’t the ZPM issue covered not long after they recieved? I mean I believe one of the characters asked what was going to happen to them and well the whole issue of the ship, the chair etc was mentioned in the episode.

  36. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for answering my questions and for putting so much effort into this entry.

    Unfortunately, for the next few days I will be on a trip and will probably not be able to post on the blog… So bye bye everyone. See you in a few days.

  37. Hi Joe Thanks for all the SGU and SGA movie updates.

    I just have a couple of questions.

    1. Is SGU being written like most popular tv shows around now such as 24, Prison Break, Lost, Heroes etc, where each episode ends in a cliffhanger giving us all something to think about with it carrying on or tied into the following episode.

    2. When can we expect to see some more promotional and behinds the scenes photography and videos for SGU?

  38. I would like to know how the heck Transformers can get a theatrical release and SG-1, SGA movies cannot? It baffles me.

    Have you seen the new Star Trek movie? Do you think Paul McGillion would have made a better Scotty?

    In Reunion did the necklace Tyre gave Ronon have any special significance?

  39. Hey Joe 🙂

    When are we going to get some guest tweets from the other SG doggies?

    Tell the dogs we want the dirt on all the other PTB’s pooches, including Martin Wood’s! Come on, spill already! 😉

    *hugs*

    Jumble 🙂

  40. Thank you for the book suggestion. I’m noting Mr. Flynn’s name and book title down for my next book run. You really need to talk to these authors or their publishers and make sure your’re getting a cut of all the sales you’re generating. After all, I’ve noticed a distinct drop in Fuel reports, so obviously you need to generate some extra income.
    It’s getting almost intimidating to see some of the folks who are following your blog, but I admit to getting a kick out of seeing them participate.
    A couple of questions to Mr. Burnstein, if it’s not too late. First, have you considered doing a sequel to Empty Spaces? I’d love to see the long term consequences to the “solution” used to stabalize the gate. What do you find most challenging, and/or most enjoyable to write? Short story, novella, novels? And have you considered stepping out of the sci fi genre to write? I recall Isaac Asimov was a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. Have you followed in his footsteps there? And I’d like to thank you for participating in Mr. M’s blog, as well as having the outstanding taste of being an Asimov fan.
    Mr. M. thanks as always for the daily dose of entertainment and information. Perhaps with the recent wins in Leo Awards, you can begin a campaign for an official Stargate holiday for Canada. If you do that,I’ll see if we can change National Licorice Day in the United States to match it.

  41. @Das: Oh that picture! LMAO!!! 😆 Um… is it Benny the Wraith? I can’t figure out who that is. It’s hilarious and very wrong. Which makes it even better than just plain hilarious. 😀

  42. Question:

    What is Stage 1? What role did it play in productions past?

    I searched through the blog and it seems that it was “decomissioned” after you guys were down to one show, but it also seemed to be the place where sets were built and miscellaneous scenes were shot.

    Furthermore, is there a number for the FX Staga? Like, Stage 7 or something?

    By the way, during my search, I came upon this little nugget:

    Hey! Look at what arrived in the mail today! A top-of-the-line hyperspace-ready SciFi scooter with laser capabilities and shield generator in official network colors. Unfortunately, the wormhole-drive was a factory add-on not included in this model. Nevertheless, Marty G. took it out for a preliminary spin, putting it through its paces, accidentally incinerating Stage 1, part of Post, and an unlucky teamster along the way. Not exactly the smoothest of launches but, all in all, not bad for a maiden voyage. Brad and Robert were the lucky recipients of a matching pair (There is no cuter sight than seeing those two roll off the lot together). Paul and I, meanwhile, received equally awesome SciFi multimedia players that are not only portable and iPod friendly, but actually allow one to view the future. I watched next week’s episode of Lost tonight. This thing is amazing!

    Source

    Hahaha, so it looks like the Wormhole Drive had quite an unexpected origin. 😉

  43. @demon hunter

    Love the band(if thats where your name comes from)

    And the reason transformers can get a theater release is cause it is on like a 150,000,000 dollar budget and stargate is on like a 7 million dollar budget… Plus to promote a stargate movie in theaters around the world plus on TV would cost million dollars..

  44. @Arctic Goddess
    I feel for you – I had a lovely girl cat called Ami. She was white with extra long legs, making her the most graceful cat I have ever owned. One day when I was not home my neighbour caught her in a trap and killed her. His reason? She was on his property and he hates cats.

    This was 12 years ago and that part of my life (and that particular housing estate) has long gone, but I will never forget her – nor forgive him.

  45. @ Trish – Aye, ’tis Benny Hill – Wraithed. 🙂 Or, more specifically, it’s Benny’s character, Fred Scuttle.

    It’s a long story of how it came about, but he reminds me of a cross between the Wraith in The Defiant One, Sleazy Eddie (from The Hive), and one of those masked warriors. I like him…I think he’s kinda cute. The other Wraith fans? Not so much.

    But hey, they can’t all be the stuff fan fics are made of – you need your grandpoppy Wraiths, too! 😀

    das

  46. Sorry, I got so excited when I got the courage to actually ask you the question, that I kinda messed up the wording of my questions. SORRY.

  47. drldeboer said:

    @Chev, I really liked the red ribbon cover.

    Thanks, that my favourite too. I only came up with that design in the final week. It got almost 1000 votes in a week which is fantastic but probably didn’t get enough votes to be a finalist.

    Cheers, Chev

  48. Joe wrote:

    Realistically, most of my blog regulars come for the Stargate, but stay for the snark, dog pics, and videos of me sampling strange food products.

    **Raises hand to be counted in that category**.
    But the book club was what cemented me here. Sorry Joe. You had such good intentions.

  49. Joe said—I took plenty of snaps, including a couple of shots of Carl posing beside a giant alien fern.
    ** I am looking forward to seeing that fern(carl) should be a good picture!!
    –I am here for your cheerful disposition and the wonderfeul food pix,and the puppies and whatever other bits of tid that you care to share. Like you got a new haircut or the dogs went to the vet, oh well you know!! Its just fun checking in every day to see whats new in your world since its so much different than mine, kind of how the other half lives so to speak. So I thank you for sharing with us, and I agree the botm is great, I don’t always read all the new titles, but it has expanded my area of reading. a good thing. And I enjoy reading the other posters comments, generally, they are,,entertaining also. so thanks everyone.
    * @das, Benny is almost too cute as a wraith!, such talent you have, is that photoshop?? 😀

  50. What fields did Rodney McKay have his two PhDs in? if you know…
    fajroiepuwr[dcxzkjfopiewloveyourdogswei0[sdklkfl;

  51. @whovian: who says being entitled doesn’t ever get you anything – like Glitter Ponies! Of Hope!

    I agree completely with the concept of people within the entertainment industry not being my hired indentured servants, though I’m still holding out for that lottery win. As a human being, however, I think I’m entitled for entertainment not to be full of stereotypes, whether intentional or not, when it comes to gender, race, representation of ponies with glitter like properties…of course what falls into this category is a matter for debate, but that’s what beer and exaggerated gesturing was created for, so that these things can be discussed at length, possibly loudly.

    I think the entertainment industry is still incredibly problematic and I think it should be hauled up for it. Not just because it reinforces stereotypes and labels, but because it means that when creative storytelling limits itself to one prevailing POV it kind of gets boring after a while, especially when that’s what the vast majority of mainstream primetime television is made up of. And nobody wants to see me when I’m bored, with the surfing of the net and the obnoxiously bugging people…oh, erm, right.

    People buy into something, and if they get emotionally invested enough, they then build up expectations. Are those expectations necessarily fair? No, but they’re definitely human. As part of the creative process if you wanted to have the Wraith kill of the Atlantis expedition and replace them with a fern plant and an empty wine bottle this would entirely be in your right, but I also think that fans are entirely in their right to express their dissatisfaction, whether it’s within a fandom space to each other or whether it’s to the TPTB. The TPTB are also entirely in their right to twirl their moustaches, laugh maniacally and ignore it all. Also because otherwise you’d end up with 5,000 versions of every episode and cast and crew would die from exhaustion.

    However, there is of course a difference between expressing this on a personal journal and turning up on your doorstep with a list of demands and holding your dogs hostage. There is a difference between wording something to you as “I was disappointed when…” and “You should, you have to, you must do, x” when it comes to storylines. There is a difference between realising that this might just boil down to the fact that the story being told is no longer the one that a viewer wants to hear and the umbilical cord needs to be cut, and hey, this can be difficult when it’s not just about losing a tv show, it’s about losing the community that surrounds it when you’ve gone off the deep end to be an internet fan. 🙂

    I think it also can become problematic when fans reactions obviously DO influence the writing of a show: case in point Carson’s return (or at least I believe that because certain fans became organised and protested, it was a major factor of the character coming back). Sometimes being loud and entitled gets you what you want.

    I’ve got it in writing about the movie title. I will sue, you know. (Joke! *plans retirement*)

  52. I’m excited about the SGA movie and also for the premiere of Universe. I’ve been hearing such great things about it and your blog is solidifying my enthusiasm.

    Will we be privy to your short story perhaps? Will you be getting it published or something? I love sci-fi short stories. (If you are writing a sci-fi one.)

  53. @ Airelle – I KNOW! I just wanna hug him! 😀 Or…pat him on the head and give him a cookie (baker 😉 ).

    I don’t have photoshop – but paint shop, which isn’t all that good…and only the mouse to manipulate stuff…so…needless to say, it’s not the best job, but it’s good enough for silly stuff like this. 🙂

    das

  54. @ Dovil: About the entertainment industry putting out stereotypical mush, it’s not all their fault.

    Think about it. The entertainment industry is based on profit. If what they output turns off a majority of people, they’d have less money, and they’d stop. The fact that stereotypes continue to persist must mean that there are quite a few people out there who’d still pay good money to see it. The Hollywood hunchos won’t continue with this if it doesn’t get them the green.

    So while I don’t condone stereotypes (and as an Asian person, I’ve seen my share; good times, good times), there are plenty who do, and things won’t change until THEY change and stop watching these programs. So, you know, tell your neighbour to stop liking mainstream Rap or something.

    I suppose you can still say that the Entertainment industry is complacent about change, but I can’t really blame them when their livelihoods are sometimes on the line. When all else fails, output what made money before, and you’re guranteed money in return. Unfortunately, what made money before, and are still making money now, are stereotypes.

    Hopefully that will change; but, that will depend on the audience.

  55. …That said, I certainly do notice a sense of entitlement from certain fans who feel that online interaction should translate into some sort of working relationship….

    Hey Joe,

    Well, golly. I don’t feel entitled at all based upon our tenuous “relationship” developed through our mostly one-way correspondence.

    I do, however, expect to see you, Joe, standing and waving happily at me under a hand-lettered (by you and not poor Ashleigh) “Welcome to Vancouver, Polly” banner as I arrive in town in June.

    Bells are optional.

    Chocolate and dogs, however, are not.

    See you then!

  56. but I also think that fans are entirely in their right to express their dissatisfaction, whether it’s within a fandom space to each other or whether it’s to the TPTB.

    Oh, I should have added to my 5,000 word essay that with this being your own blog you’re also in your right to moderate comments or to express your expectations of what you want for your own space ie. please direct all moaning and whining to Cold Day in Hell c/o Bridge Studios, PO Box etc etc.

    Here are my opinions, let me tell you them. *snort*

  57. Victoria Day, huh? You can’t fool me. It weren’t for no Posh skirt. It’s a day honoring that Brit queen Whatsername, right?

  58. Bristow1941 wrote

    …..Care to comment on the reports that MGM is having major financial difficulties ($3.7 billion in debt coming due in 14 months that will require major restructuring from both stockholders and the bondholders) and how this might affect plans to film the SG-1 and SGA movies as well as SGU in the next year …..

    Which MGM are you referring to? MGM Pictures, which makes the assorted Stargate projects. Or MGM Grand, the hotel resort & Casino? Think you are confusing two separate entities.

    MGM Grand is the one with debt due. Lacking vacationers & gamblers in this tough economic period.

  59. @Mr M
    delete my previous post, WordPress really need a preview function

    Bristow1941 wrote

    …..Care to comment on the reports that MGM is having major financial difficulties ($3.7 billion in debt coming due in 14 months that will require major restructuring from both stockholders and the bondholders) and how this might affect plans to film the SG-1 and SGA movies as well as SGU in the next year …..

    Which MGM are you referring to? MGM Pictures, which makes the assorted Stargate projects. Or MGM Grand, the hotel resort & Casino? Think you are confusing two separate entities.

    MGM Grand is the one with debt due. Lacking vacationers & gamblers in this tough economic period.

  60. Oh d***

    Totally forgot about the link.

    Well this oz from my itouch so I can’t post a link. Mabye in a couple days.

  61. Hey Joe, I got this from my local neighborhood watch today and thought of you (the person robbed a bank at gunpoint): “The suspect was described as a white male, wearing a black wig, sunglasses, blue and white shirt and tan pants. Witnesses saw the suspect leave in a white EconoVan on Research Forest Drive.”

    What is it with white vans?

  62. The entitlement thing would totally get to me. Like any art form, surely the artisitc direction is up to the creator? Would you write to da Vinci asking WTF is up with Mona Lisa’s smile? You spent like, 10 minutes looking at that thing to you expect it to be up to your standards. There’s a difference between artistic criticism and expecting everything to go your way. Don’t watch it or better yet, go write your own show.

    So Joe… you can read over the work I’ve been doing on pressure sore risk assessment and you can flick me a copy of your little movie script to check over if you like.

    Hey… worth a try.

  63. Unfortunately, I’m talking specifically about MGM Pictures, home of Stargate, James Bond, and other lovely projects. MGM Pictures can only wave around future projections of the revenues from their library of titles and on-going franchises when it tries to renegotiate its debt ($3.7 billion). Bad timing meant that Sony, Comcast, and the investment banks who took it over after Kerkorian’s second attempt to milk every dime possible out of it (2005) have loaded it up with debt that is all coming due at unfortunate times. MGM, the studio, is privately owned and is NOT traded under the stock symbol MGM (reserved for MGM Mirage).

    From the Hollywood Reporter on May 14th “MGM Creditors Hire Financial Consultant”

    From the Hollywood Reporter on May 18th “Firm scoops up MGM debt” (NY Hedge fund, backers of Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media are buy MGM debt for 58 cents on the dollar

    From Reuters on May 14th “Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said it hired investment bank Moelis & Co to help refinance $3.7 billion debt and is talking with a steering committee of 140 creditors as part of the process.”

    From February 26, Dealbook of the New York Times reported that Carl Icahn (a renowned vulture investor) has been buying MGM debt for as low as 38 cents on the dollar – MGM replied that he wasn’t an approved investor (privately-held company, remember?) and no voting rights were attached.

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