I am Exhausted. Yes, with a capital E. After chatting with Brad and co. about my script for the season finale, it was decided that I would go off, work on it this long weekend, and hopefully/eventually get a firm sense as to whether it was actually one episode or two. After all my talk of “too much story”, I was prepared for disappointment in the event I ended up with a solid script and a half – which I would, of course, trim down (1 jam-packed episode always beats 2 flabby episodes). Anyway, as I was leaving the offices yesterday, Rob advised me not to force it. If it was two scripts, great. If it was only one script, just as great. My writing partner Paul, however, couldn’t resist delivering the following parting shot: “Boy, everybody’s going to be so disappointed if it’s not two scripts. You’re going to let everyone down.”
So today, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. And wrote. And, by the time I was done (and I only mean “done” in the sense that I’m “done writing for the day” and am nowhere near finished my work), I’d completed one script, 50 glorious pages, written the Tease of the next one, and had more or less figured out: a) where I’m going to end up and, most importantly, b) how I’m going to get there. As it turned out, writing wasn’t the challenge today (although I’ll admit to spinning my wheels a little on one particular scene). No, the real challenge presented itself when it came time to reconfigure the act breaks. Act 3 was too long and, despite my best efforts, either Act 4 or 5 kept coming in too short. I thought about it, re-read what I had, cut, pasted, shifted scenes, re-balanced the acts and, finally, voila! Five solid acts!
Let’s hope the same can be said for the second script. If I catch that elusive second wind any time between now and bedtime, I’d like to make a little more headway. If not, there’s always tomorrow. I figure if I complete ten pages a day, I’ll have two completed scripts by the time Brad and Robert get back from the TCA’s later next week.
Thanks to everyone participating in the Caption This contest [see last issue, editor]. I’m going to narrow it down to my top 5 and then let – who else? – Carl decide on a winner. If you haven’t already entered, check out yesterday’s entry and come up with a caption. You have until Monday.
As promised, allow me to tackle the mounting mailbag before getting back to work:
Thor94 writes: “what is the title of episode 20, and it is a cliffanger?”
Answer: The title is a secret. And, yes, it will be a bigtime cliffhanger.
Paloosa writes: “Is the audience pov for SGU through the Eli Wallace character in the first episode, much like it was through Sheppard in SGA?”
Answer: The audience POV can be through whoever one identifies with. Some fans my connect with uber-geek Eli while others, like myself, may connect with the ship’s sassy robot, Zontor 3000.
Patricia Lee writes: “Is Peter DeLuise scheduled to direct in this second half and if so, which episode would that be?”
Answer: I believe he is scheduled to come back and director another. However, off the top of my head, I don’t know which one.
Nadine writes: “Which do you prefer: this hot weather, or the cold winter weather?”
Answer: After living through all those Montreal’s sub-zero winters, I’d definitely take hot over cold.
Grapesofwraith writes: “How much of the crew would you say is continuing on from Atlantis. Are those people mostly the same as in years past, or with a new show, does that mean those are new people as well?”
Answer: There are several new faces but, for the most part, it’s the extended family that has been with the franchise for years.
Sandra writes: “I know that Richard Dean Anderson did a lot of ad libbing, and that consequently all the other actors were forced to do some as well. My questions are: 1. How much did that happen on SGA? and 2. How do you, as a writer, feel about it?”
Answer: Rick was the king of the adlibs. No one else even came close. As a writer, I’m all for it so long as it actually improves the final product. Two other actors who never failed to amaze and amuse with their adlibs were Fred Willard (guested in SG-1’s Family Ties) and Robert Picardo (SG-1 and Atlantis’s Richard Woolsey). Half of Bob’s adlibs weren’t technically adlibs in that he would often come by the offices to run them by us beforehand, but there was never a time we turned down any of his suggestions. He’s an incredibly witty guy. For instance, remember the Star Trek Experience line in Vegas? Yep, that was Bob.
Norriski writes: “Do you have any idea why on the season 8 DVD’s “Threads” is the only episode without a commentary?”
Arctic Goddess writes: “Are you planning on having any guest directors on SGU this year?”
Answer: We’ve had several. Ernest Dickerson (Earth), Alex Chapple (Life), and Felix Alcala (Divided).
Arctic Goddess also writes: “Do you ever see yourself living and working in Japan?”
Answer: Not unless I can bring my dogs.
TBA writes: “And since you’re (presumably, that is) in a question-answering mood, can you give a few words on the ‘Destiny is the Clava Thessara Infinitas’-theory?”
Answer: There’s no connection. Not a conscious one anyway.
Maddog316 writes: “The nineth cheveron leads to destiny. Is that all it leads to? Will we find out more on this and can you elaborate more on the subject?”
Answer: Your question will be answered once the show airs.
CraigMD writes: “In regards to living conditions aboard the Destiny, I read somewhere (Gateworld?) that the ship was an unmanned vessel. Does this mean it wasn’t meant to support life for long periods of time? And if so, why are there things like an infirmary and hydroponics bay on board? Did the Destiny once have a full crew compliment before the SGU characters got there?”
Answer: See above.
Eric.Stewart writes: “I’ve been watching pictures of the Destiny and the technology that is inside it, and I’m wondering how old is the Destiny supposed to be? When the crew goes through the Stargate and end up on the ship, which year are they supposed to be in?
It seem that they end up on an abandonned ship, do we learn the reason for it ? Was the ship built with human or alien technology ?”
Answer: See above.
Thornyrose writes: “Out of the 45 places, how many have you started making reservations at?”
Answer: None yet. I’m going to contact the hotel concierge in late August, give them my selections, and have them make the arrangements.
Juralas writes: “Can we take this to mean his title change didn’t go over very well and it is no longer called “Human”?”
Answer: Uh, hello? As a producer on the show I’m in a better position to know what the episode is called and it’s called Luc…oh…uh…he changed it to Human. Right. Never mind.
Nadine writes: “Do you think, at some future point, the sizzle reel from Comicon will be released?”
Answer: I don’t know.
2cats writes: “May I ask why Marty Gero is writing and consulting producing for SGU if he has this super new gig on another show out of NYC?”
Answer: Martin is writing but not consulting.
2cats also writes: “Why isn’t James Bamford listed as Stunt Coordinator for SGU on IMDB?”
Answer: No idea.
Philburt Sugar Cane writes: “Is it difficult writing the series finale without having the rest of the season in place? Or is it not all that bad since you break the stories as a staff?”
Answer: We all take part in the story-breaking sessions, so we all know what to expect and, more importantly, what to write towards and pay-off later.
David Chapple writes: “One of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo serves a dish known as Dojo Nabe.”
Answer: What’s Dojo Nabe and where can I get me some?