Several weeks ago, this blog hosted its very first Caption This contest. After considering countless inspired entries, contest judge Carl Binder selected the winner: none other than blog regular JES who took home the grand prize. Well, actually, he didn’t take anything home because I hadn’t decided on a prize at the time. But I have know. And so, today, it is with great pride that I make the grand prize announcement!
Congratulations, JES! Check out the pics below to see what you’ve won!
That’s right! It’s your very own alien non-prop rock! And it comes with the following certificate of authenticity:
“This is a one-of-a-kind, limited edition “alien” non-prop rock from the set of Stargate: Universe, Episode #14, Human. Although similar in appearance, texture, and taste to the various other “alien” non-prop rocks that appeared in the episode, this one is special in that it is the one I, Consulting Producer Joseph Mallozzi, picked up off the ground while strolling through a darkened Stage 5 looking for a way out.
Furthermore, this rock may have been trodden upon by any member of the SGU crew from Director Robert Cooper to that guy with the baggy orange shorts that carries the ladder around, in addition to certain actors including, but not limited to: Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue, and Jamil Walker Smith.
For external use only.”
Congratulations again, JES! Oh, and send me your address.
Last night, birthday dinner with Carl at Fuel. Corn soup, crispy duck, a special rabbit dish, and birthday upside-down plum cake.
And now, let’s move on to a robust mailbag –
Terry writes: “I’ll be tuning into season five of Supernatural. Have you ever seen it?”
Answer: Hey, Terry. Welcome back! No, I haven’t watched Supernatural – but I have heard very good things.
DasNdanger writes: “Well, I guess that didn’t include me, BUT I did offer you chocolate sushi!”
Answer: And it was much appreciated. Alas, I get to Toronto – the store’s location – about as often as I get to Albuquerque. But Ivon heads back ever hiatus so maybe I can convince him to run a little errand while he’s there.
Major D. Davis writes: “What do you do for your workout? Is it a program you follow, or just do random stuff. Like do you do it at home or at the gym?”
Answer: I alternate, one day weights, one day cardio, and change my work-out every two weeks. Weight training days are split into upper body (chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps) while lower body days focus on legs and abs – mid to heavy weight to failure. On cardio days I hit the treadmill alternating between a healthy jog to full-out serial-killer-is-chasing-you sprints.
Major D. Davis also writes: “Just out of curiosity, does Mark watch Eureka?”
Answer: I don’t know. You should invite him to a con and ask him.
Sorrykb writes: “OK, so now we’re all wondering if Ashleigh and Lawren are getting married….”
Answer: If they were, I’m sure Ashleigh’s boyfriend would be a very unhappy guy.
Aud writes: “Also, just wondering, but is each character going to get an episode that focuses on themselves this season?”
Answer: Different characters may be spotlighted more in different episodes but, for the most part, the stories will reflects the show’s ensemble nature.
Lee writes: “A few days ago, you mentioned Air would use an “established contemporary tune”. You probably can’t tell us the name of the song, but any hints as to who the performer is?”
Answer: I’m embarrassed to say that, while I remember the song, I don’t remember the title or the artist. Also, even though it was Air I referenced, contemporary songs will feature throughout the show’s first season.
MaggieMayDay writes: “Winter in Japan means yaki-imo carts in the neighborhoods. Is this a treat you’ve had the chance to try?”
Answer: Not the last time I was there but I’ll certainly sample some when I’m there in this winter. I love sweet potatoes.
PG15 writes: “1. Is the title of the episodes, “Incursion”? Plus “part 1″ and “part 2″ where necessary, of course.
2. So is this it then? It’s for sure going to be a 2-parter? I mean, unless something unforeseen happens?”
Answer: 1. Brilliant deductions. Why, yes, it is.
2. And, yes, it will certainly be a two-parter. We are all in agreement.
Nadine writes: “Well, I finally got my MCAT out of the way (it’s the test you have to write for medical school applications) and let me tell you, 5 hour exams are not my idea of a good time. Given that, my brain is feeling a little fried so if bits of this comment don’t make sense, that would be why…”
Answer: When, I first read this, I thought you’d gone in for a CAT Scan (and your brain was fried to boot!) and I was going to wish you the best on those test results. Having re-read your comment, I’m going to wish you good luck on those test results all the same. Pleased to hear you enjoyed Campagnolo.
Quade1 writes: “Happy Birthday to Carl, how old is he now? nevermind that the real question is did he REALLY write Pocahontas?”
Answer: Yes, he did write Pocahontas, and he reminds us of this fact ALL the time. Whenever we’re giving him script notes, it’s always: “Believe you me, this isn’t the way we used to do things on Pocahontas!” or “I don’t have to take this! I wrote freakin’ Pocahantas!” or “I’m sorry, remind me again. What was the last Disney animated feature YOU wrote?”. Oh, and I believe he turned 32.
Kdvb1 writes: “Just finding it a bit humorous Joe that you nailed some fans for “name call(ing) like a bunch of children” which was a valid complaint and in my opinion true. Erm…but then you name called them “raving loon(s)”.”
Answer: I actually said that bad behavior on the part of certain fans helps to reinforce the negative stereotypes of fandom, said behavior crossing the line from spirited to raving loon. I could add alarmingly obsessive as well. You need look no further than many of the ways fandom has been represented in mass media, in everything from SNL skits to movies.
Airelle writes: “Can you ship back chocolates from Japan? Are they known for any good chocolates, bon bons, etc.?”
Answer: Tokyo is foodie heaven. They’re tops in everything, from fish to beef to fresh fruits and vegetables to desserts. I don’t know if they ship (I’d advise against it given how long it would take), but purchasing something while I’m visiting and bringing it back with me is certainly an option.
Luis writes: “Joe where is Brie????…..”
Answer: Brie had surgery last week and is being kept apart from the other dogs until she gets her stitches removed. She is presently sporting the cone of shame.
Elanthra writes: “For me, though, your assurances that the movie will go ahead, eventually, simply because you and Paul have written the script and have been very busy drawing up production plans just won’t wash… it wouldn’t be the first time, in your line of work, that a project has been dropped, even at this stage. And you’d always expressed surprise at the cancellation of the show… i.e you might have been the last to know?”
Answer: True and, not having received definitive word on the fate of the SGA movie from the studio (contrary to rumor) I can only offer my opinion. And my opinion is that the movie will be produced.
Alyjude writes: “Season 1 (figures unk)
Season 2: 62,142 units sold = $2,248,919 (average cost per set @ $35+) – The DVD set didn’t make enough the second week to remain on list
Season 3: 70,763 units sold = $2,299,090 (average cost per set: $32) and again, didn’t maintain enough sales to remain on chart for 2nd week
Season 4: 85,680 units sold = $2,740,903 (average cost per set: $31) but made it to the second week with a 53% drop in sales, but was dropped from the list for week 3
Season 5: 106,161 units sold = $3,297,361 (average cost per set: $31)
For week two, it remained on the list even with a 68% drop in sales – and remained on the list for an unprecedented third week with sales dropping to 38,988 units sold.
So in spite of costs for the sets remaining basically the same – Season 5 outdid all previous seasons and remained on the sales charts for three! weeks. Not even SG1 managed that.”
Answer: Hey, Alyjude, thanks for this! It affirms what I said in my post – that there is no way the studio would scrap the movie and blame the fans for lack of support. It just doesn’t make sense. It also reaffirms my confidence that this movie WILL get made. That said, I’m not privy to all of the variables and considerations the studio weighs in deciding on whether and when to move forward. Still, this is very heartening. Do you have specific source links? (My attempts to search out the data on the site has proven frustrating and futile)? Would love to pass this info along.
Alyjude also writes: “Okay, so with numbers like that – and the movie still not firmed up – no contracts signed – why should anyone be surprised that the fans feel like the movie is being scrapped (even if only temporarily)?”
Answer: I never objected to fans feeling frustrated or making assumptions on the fate of the movie. I objected to a fan claiming to have insider information that the movie WAS scrapped and that the studio pinned the blame on the fans. As I said, your data clearly supports the fact that this wouldn’t be the case.
Alyjude also writes: “But maybe SGU is costing more than expected? *arched eyebrow* No money left for the movie?”
Answer: Alas, it doesn’t work that way. There’s no communal Stargate pot from which the various productions draw from. Each budget is approved on a project by project basis.
Cyn writes: “Honestly, can you blame any fan for being frustrated at this point?”
Answer: I’ve never blamed fans for being frustrated. But I do blame some of them for crossing the line in the way they’ve expressed their frustration.
Mrs.Hamill writes: “Sorry, but I don’t believe it, and will not believe it until/if the movie is airing on TV or is selling on DVD. The ‘rumors’ are far more than that, and have been stated by certain people who are quite close to you, Mr. Mallozzi.”
Answer: Sorry, you’re wrong. There is no way anyone “close” to me would claim the movie had been canceled or, more specifically, had been canceled due to a “lack of fan support”. Furthermore, why the rush to cancel the movie? It’s not as if we had an approved budget, were in the midst of prep, and suddenly had disaster befall us. Even if present economic factors dictate against moving forward at this time, why call the whole thing off when it would be wiser to simply wait until the situation improves? Delaying production is one thing, but outright canceling the movie doesn’t make sense. Perhaps your purported inside source can shed some light on this. I look forward to hearing his/her reasoning.
Riley writes: “I shudder to think of the kinds of comments you’ve received (and, obviously, not approved) that have led to this post.”
Answer: Surprisingly, no offensive comments here. I’ve approved all comments and only had to edit out an offending line in one. So far, both sides in the debate have been well-behaved. On this blog anyway.
Mercury973 writes: “I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I feel angry. After getting good rating and a People’s Choice award, the show is suddenly axed. Then the very next day, we learn that SGU has been greenlit. Then we read that there is a push for a younger viewing demographic, which seems odd since I know that a good chuck of the viewers are women in the 30-40s. Then we read flippant remarks about how we just need to support the new show, but that it won’t be like the other shows. Darker-edger. Right there, that turns me off, since I don’t want a darker Stargate. The humor and tongue in cheekishness (is that a word?) made me fall for the show in the 1st place.”
Answer: Hi, Mercury973. Thanks for dropping by. Some fans seem to forget that I was equally disappointed with the cancellation (you can check out my entries on the subject). And, I agree, the timing of the SGU announcement was – uh – “unfortunate” (something else I’ve commented on several times). The “push for younger views” was not something that either the studio or the production emphasized and a look at the cast should dispel the notion that we were looking to do “Stargate 90210”. Yes, admittedly the show will be darker, but I can assure you that it will still contain the Stargate sense of humor that fans have enjoyed – and that, quite frankly, we enjoy writing.
Unegawaya writes: “How do you write fully formed stories, where do you get your ideas, and what do you do when you hit a wall? I’m an aspiring writer (of anything, really, though I like writing stories and books) and I can’t seem to stay focused on any one story long enough to figure out where I want to go with it.”
Answer: To be honest, discipline comes with a looming deadline. If I had all the time in the world, I probably wouldn’t get anything done either. But knowing I HAVE to finish up by a set date is the greatest motivator.