Okay, it’s time for round two of “Guess the Episode Title”. Further hints to the titles of episode #14, #15, and #16:
One shares the name of a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Another shares the name of a television series.
Another shares the name of a software package.
A little update to yesterday’s blog entry – Author Conrad Williams informs me that his latest novel, DECAY INEVITABLE, will be published by Solaris Books in August. If you’re looking for a late summer read, put this one on your consideration list.
And, I’ll turn today’s entry over to playing catch-up with some of your comments…
Major D. Davis writes: “Say, when do you think your comics will be in stores?”
Answer: If we get the green light, it’ll take anywhere form eight to months from start to finish. The first issue should be hitting comic stories, coincidentally, around the same time my short story hits the bookshelves.
DasNDanger writes: “1. Is there anything that can be done to help keep the actors grounded, especially if a show is a hit?
2. Have you ever been disappointed by an actor who you admired in the beginning for their down-to-earth humility, only to later discover that they had turned into the biggest prima donna on the set? (ANY actor – tv or movies – not just SG, and no names necessary.)
3. What role do more mature, experienced actors play in helping younger actors keep their heads so that they don’t get drunk on self-importance with their first taste of fame?
4. How important is it to the show for actors to set aside their own self-importance, especially when it comes to the chemisty between them, both behind the scenes and on the screen?
5. Though you cannot foresee the future, how hopeful are you that the new SGU cast will continue to stay grounded?”
Answers: 1. It’s not just actors who risk becoming “ungrounded”. Producers, directors, yes, even writers (believe it or not!) can fall victim to Swollen Head Syndrome. For the most part, however, if the individual is well-grounded to begin with, they usually remain so throughout. I remember having a discussion about this with actress Jewel Staite who, despite having worked in “the business” since she was a kid (often a recipe for disaster), remains incredibly modest about her success. In her case, however, her mother was always around to remind her that, at the end of the day, it was just a job. In much the same way, it helps to have friends, loved ones, and co-workers standing by to tell you when you’re acting like a jack-ass.
2. Over the course of my time on Stargate and several other productions, I’ve had the pleasure to work with many, many fantastic people. And the odd jerks. Hey, it happens in any work environment and, yes, it can be incredibly disappointing. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anyone who initially impressed me with their humility and then suddenly transformed into a megalomaniac. The humble ones tend to stay humble.
3. Experienced actors certainly set the tone. Take Robert Carlyle for instance. He’s an international celebrity with some major productions under his belt and yet when he comes to set, he is wholly professional, and wholly focused on what needs to get done. Off the set, he’s surprisingly low-key and charmingly self-deprecating. If ever you wanted an experienced actor to set the tone, you’d be hard-pressed to find better.
4. This applies to everyone involved in a production. I know of numerous shows where the onscreen chemistry between the characters is great and yet, behind the scenes, the actors barely speak.
5. I feel really, really, reaaaally good about this cast. As I’ve been saying all along, they’re not only talented but genuinely good people. The kind you’d invite to your chocolate party if you were to ever host one.
Major D. Davis writes: “1. Will Carlo Rota appear in Stargate Extinction as Mr. Strom?
2. Is the Uniform Julia is wearing in the picture the Icarus Base uniforms you have been praising?
3. If both the SG-1 and Atlantis movies are shot in the fall, is there enough time between fall and summer of 2010 to complete the movies post production cycle, or is more time needed?”
Answers: 1. Can’t answer this one at the moment.
2. Actually, the uniform Alaina is wearing is the Icarus Base uniform.
3. There’s not set release date so, yes, we have plenty of time.
PG15 writes: “1. Is episode 16 the “story in limbo” you talked about on May 30th? And is it written by yet another freelancer, different from those who wrote #13 and #14?
2. Is Paul writing the season finale?
3. Got any more episode titles you can reveal to us?
4. Will “Air” have a different open credit sequence than the rest of the season, ala. Rising and the rest of SGA Season 1?
5. That video was very cute (the pugs were like, “WTF are those hyper little guys doing now?!” before kinda joining in themselves), but do you ever worry that they’ll hurt themselves like this? I mean, I see a lot of biting and gnawing and stuff like that; what if they break the skin or something?”
Answers: 1. The “limbo” story is now #16. It will be written by a freelancer. #14 is also a freelance script. Marty G. is doing the honors on #15. Speaking of which – where’s that outline?!
2. Paul and I are presently hammering out episodes #19 and #20. It remains to be seen who will be writing which one.
3. See above.
4. Can’t say for sure.
5. Brie does make a lot of noise but, at the end of the day, they’re just playing.
BondieChemGirl writes: “Anyway, the dogs are too cute. How are they with cats or have they had that experience yet?”
Answer: Jelly grew up with cats. When I used to leave the dogs with a dog sitter, Maximus used to spend his afternoons on the back porch sitting alongside the dog sitter’s cat. Don’t know about the others though.
Perragrin writes: “Actually, Joe.. I do have a question. And despite your – as yet – unbroken track record in ignoring them, i’m still gonna ask: In “Letters from Pegasus”, we see a huge, steady beam that seems to be emanating from one of the Hives in orbit and centering on the planet being culled. What’s this for?”
Answer: I believe Brad wrote this episode, so I defer to him.
Fsmn36 writes: “Here’s a question I can’t recall if you’ve answered (so pardon if you have!): will the SGU premiere be two hours as SG1 and SGA’s were?”
Answer: Yes. Air I and II will form the two-hour season premiere. Air III will air the week following.
Ben writes: “1. You said previously that you aren’t up on the progress of the Stargate Worlds game…Does this mean you’ve heard nothing about them promoting/sponsoring during the launch of SGU (not that I have, but it’d make sense marketing wise)?
2. Were you ever brought in as a sort of creative consultant early in the game’s development?
3. How damn awesome is it working with Robert Carlyle?! He’s legitimately one of my favourite actors, a brilliant choice in my book.
4. This may be a repeat…but will the elusive ‘Furlings’ make any kind of appearance in SGU, be it reference or otherwise?”
Answers: 1. I, personally, have heard nothing.
2. I wasn’t. It’s possible Brad and Robert were.
3. Incredibly damn freaking awesome! Like I said, he’s a gentleman on and off set. As many of the crew put it: a very sweet guy.
ChelleDeBoer writes: “I just have a quick questions…are Lulu and Brie’s tails docked? If so, is that still legal in Canada??”
Answer: I don’t know whether or not it’s legal in Canada, but Lulu and Brie’s tails are definitely NOT docked. Lulu actually comes from a champion bloodline. Her tail is naturally nubby. As for Brie, she’s got a tail on her like an apostrophe.
SnowDog1942 writes: “ How is a freelance writers script able to fit in the main themes/arcs of the show? Can I assume a freelance script will be more of a standalone episode? Do the freelancers get to read the script that lead up to their episode? How do they know the characters well enough to write for them, considering the show is more serialized than the previous two Stargates.”
Answer: Freelancers are given all up to date materials (usually scripts). Based on those scripts and a preliminary conversation with Brad and Robert, they’ll be invited to pitch. If one of their pitches is a home run, they’re flown up for a day. All of the writers will get together and discuss the story, spin it, then break it down, beat by beat. The freelancer heads home and writes an outline. We’ll give them notes and they’ll revise the outline, then move on to draft. We’ll also provide notes toward a second draft. After that, the script goes to one of the producers who will do their pass (for tone, character, adding or losing elements to the episode in line with recent developments or future story ideas).
Le Francais writes: “ 1- The Opening of Universe will be short as that parodied in the episode 200 of SG-1 or the end of the season 5 of Atlantis, or a “length” as SG-1?
2- Is Rush strictly the main caracter of Universe and the others are secondary, or the totality of the team are main caracter?
3- What is the progress of the next SG-1 movie?
4- Where can I find the same poster of Johnny Cash as Sheppard?
5- When SG-1 and Atlantis ended, what are you doing with the accessoiries? Did you destroy, given them?
6- Why there is no French staff on Atlantis? If it is necessary I can come to brooms or to redo the paint)!
7- You would take advantage of what if you were block in a buckle temporal as in Window of Opporunity?
8- Has that I understood you work on a comics… Have you an idea of a French publication? Or then I badly understood…
Answers: 1. Remains to be seen.
2. Rush is a pivotal character but, overall, this is an ensemble show.
3. The script is in Brad Wright’s hands.
4. Sorry, can’t help you.
5. We’ve kept most of the props. After all, we have a movie to make.
6. Oh, there are. You just haven’t noticed them.
7. I’d probably eat and read a lot more.
8. I have a complete Asterix collection in the original French editions.
Kathi writes: “1. Are there any news when atlantis movie will be shoot?
2. Will Larin be in the movie?”
Answers: 1. Nope. No word.
2. No, she won’t.
Eric. Stewart writes: “Re: SGU,
1. how long is the filming of the first season expected to last?
2.Is it planned to start filming season 2 immediately after the filming of season 1 is completed?
3. From what I could read, the actors have been working on the episodes since the beginning of February. If the filming of episode 11 has just started, ( meaning approximately 2 episodes and a 1/2 being shot each month), how do they avoid information overflow ?(doesn’t it feel at one point that it’s too much information to learn in such a short period of time. Assuming of course that each episode’s script is fairly long)”
Answers: 1. Oh, I expect we’ll be picking around The Bridge until early October.
2. Nope. We need to find out whether or not we’ve been picked up first. And we won’t know that until after the show starts airing.
3. They accomplish this by being absolutely brilliant at what they do.
Watcher writes: “The Britney Spears song you’re referring to might be a tad bit cleverer than you think, actually. The chorus contains a nice little double entendre that went undetected for a few weeks.”
Answer: For a few WEEKS?! Where? In a remote area of Afghanistan where nobody understands English?
Dovil writes: “The PS gets a gold star, I’m sure you’re overjoyed about it and are currently hanging it on an imaginary wall.”
Answer: In my imaginary den.
Deni writes: “Hey Joe, whatever happened to Joel’s Q&A? Are we still going to get it?”
Answer: Joel contacted me a couple of months ago to apologize for the delay. I told him I understood, that we was very busy. Then, SGU went full throttle and he got busy again.
Jedi43 writes: “Is Todd still in the city someplace at the end of 5×20?”
Answer: Oh, yeah. He’s definitely around there somewhere. I think Zelenka saw him playing hide and seek with Jinto somewhere on the west pier. Well, at least it looked like hide and seek.
Chris C. writes: “Any word on whether Brian Michael Bendis is still planning to answer our questions?”
Answer: Another busy guy. Between the various comic books he‘s writing, he’s also scripting the pilot for the Powers series.
MattG1987 writes: “I must say that Alaina Huffman is looking very nice in the picture you posted! What is it like working with her?”
Answer: Remember back in school, the girl that all the guys liked because she was so pretty, and the guys AND girls liked to hang around with because she was always so upbeat and fun to be with? Well, on the set of Stargate Universe, Alaina is that girl. With a gun. Also – Best Laugh Ever.