With three days to go before the official start of our summer hiatus, I was back in the office today, trying to figure out the beat sheet for the big SGU Season 1 finale (hint: the title rhymes with the name of the preceding episode). Lots going on in this one and this first pass was really just an attempt to establish the major beats, who is where doing what and why, and the general escalation of the action. Tomorrow, I get down to details and start running the character through lines, ensuring that all the individual beats track and, hopefully, dovetail in step with the plot. Some wonderful shocks in this one, big and small.
Carl was on a location scout to Widgen Park all morning as he and director Will Waring continue prep on Faith. This will mark our first return to Widgen since Atlantis’s fourth season when we shot Harmony there. I was on hand for most of the festivities on that one – also, coincidentally, with Will. It’s about an hour’s drive there and another hour’s drive back, through winding back country roads surrounded by dense forest. “Yep,”I remember telling Larry, my driver “This is great corpse-dumping territory.” I believe that was the same day a bear meandered across our path, oblivious to us, before disappearing into the trees. Come to think of it, years earlier, when SG-1 shot in the same location, a bear sighting kept actor Chris Judge holed-up in his trailer, much to the delight of his fellow castmates. Someone please remind me to warn Carl to pack his bear spray or, at the very least, give him some worst case scenario advice. Now I forget. If he runs into a bear, should he be playing dead or rubbing its belly to calm it? Also, I seem to remember someone telling me that you should run AT a bear, making as much noise as possible, because they are easily spooked. Does that sound right? Any bear experts out there?
You know, one of the great things about working on Stargate is the occasional sneak peek you get on an upcoming episode. Usually, if it’s not your episode, you don’t sit in on prep and get to check out the cool design packs the Art Department has put together. Unless you make it a point to seek one out. Or, as was the case today, I happened to poke my head into the conference room and caught sight of the design work adorning the inside wall: the shuttle hurtling through space, the “discovery”, schematics for the shuttle, infirmary, mess hall, Wray’s quarters, Rush’s quarters, the observation room, the control interface room, in addition a general lay-out of the Destiny’s main section and something titled Gate Protocol that offers a step by step run-through of the dialing process. I snapped bunch of pics, most of which I can’t show you just yet, but some of which I will. Check ’em out.
Hey, there may be a good chance we’ll be up against Ugly Betty this Fall when it moves into its new 9:00 p.m., Friday time slot. I heard the news from David Blue. David knows, not because he worked on the show, but because he watches EVERY show and knows everything that‘s goes on with everything. He’s a t.v. junkie to rival Martin Gero (a guy who watches programs I’ve never even heard of). He’s also a very funny, very entertaining guy. I spent the better part of an hour talking t.v. and entertainment with him the other week (Head on over to his twitter page and ask him his thoughts on Lost. http://twitter.com/davidblue I guarantee he’ll have a lot to say on the subject).
Anyway, when production got underway on Stargate: Universe, I was most impressed with many of the choices David made as an actor. He would deliver a line in just such a way or add a certain look or bit of business that had the producers smiling if not laughing out loud every time we screened dailies. Yes, very early on we established that David had great comic timing and that, as the overwhelmed Eli Wallace, he would serve as the point person for many viewers who will connect with his fish-out-of-water character and experience the dangers, adventures, and far-flung journey of discovery through him. Yet, as the season progressed, David was challenged, his dramatic range tested, and he delivered every time – to the point where, now, some of his more heartfelt moments (ie. Time) stand as some of my favorites. Yes, he can do funny. And he’s proven that he can do touching. But can he bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies? That’ll be his next challenge.