Hey, did you hear? Civilization will come to an end in 2012! Knowing this, I plan to work one more year, then quit and spend the rest of my albeit short existence – 2011 to 2012ish – traveling the world, blowing my hard-earned savings on platinum suits and thousand dollar sundaes. I’m going to buy each of my dogs their own car and I won’t even bother making them hybrids. I’ll get a Blu-ray player. But wait a minute, Joe, you say. How do you know civilization is going to end? Well, it‘s been prophecized. Or, uh, has it? Check out Cracked.com’s take on the impending apocalypse: “The 6 Best 2012 Apocalypse Theories (Are All Bullshit): http://www.cracked.com/article_17445_6-best-2012-apocalypse-theories-are-all-bullshit.html. My favorite quote from the rundown: “In late 2007, the History Channel ran a special about Nostradamus’ lost book, stretching interpretations so thin you could make a doomsday crepe out of it.”
Have you ever gotten so frustrated with something that you’ve just given up? Are you a quitter? If so, then you’re in good company. Compliments of the gang at NewScientist, check out “Failure to launch: abandoned NASA projects”: http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/abandoned-nasa-projects
PETA’s sad, clueless victims: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/advocacy_group_decries_petas
Captain Kirk on the River Kwai: “1.) Other than for-work (Stargate scripts) do you read any other screenplays, teleplays or stageplays?
2.) How is a writing staff chosen on a TV series (and/or Stargate)? (Sorry to be nit-picky (is that how you spell that?) but if the staff from SGU, for example, was just carried over from SGA, and them from SG-1, how did the original staff get together?)
3.) What do you think makes or breaks a script? Story? Dialogue? Something else?
4.) Do you have a favorite screenwriter? If so, who? (While I’m at it… do you have a favorite script you’ve read?)
5.) What’s your favorite part of the script-writing process? Outlining? Character-development? First draft writing? Revisions? Just moping about, procrastinating?
6.) Would you ever consider writing a non-Stargate feature-film (theatrically released or not)?
I lied earlier — one more…
7.) What do you consider the best thing you’ve ever written? (If it’s non-Stargate related, could you perhaps give a brief description of it???)”
Answers: 1). Nope.
2) As production gears up, the producers read through the many, many scripts sent their way by agents looking to place their clients. If they see something they like, they may ask a writer to pitch some ideas or simply hire them on the spot. Paul and I landed a staff position on the show after impressing with a freelance script. We were invited to pitch. A couple of our pitches impressed the production enough to send us to outline. Our outline impressed them enough to send us to script. And, finally, the script impressed them enough to offer us a staff position.
3) I’d say, oh, everything. Sloppy structure, stilted dialogue, cardboard characters, lame developments, contrivances, conveniences – any of the above can sink a script.
4) If I had to choose – William Goldman.
5) My favorite part of writing is finishing the script. My least favorite – rewrites.
7) I can’t say. There are some scripts I like more than others, but there’s no single script I can hold up as my absolute favorite.
NarellefromAus writes: “ Glad to hear Brie is all better, but who/what gave her the stitches in the first place?”
Answer: The vet! She got fixed.
Sis writes: “I’ve also heard of using blue, Parmesan or other sharp cheese instead of almonds.”
Answer: Hey, this Christmas, stuff it with almonds AND some torta de mascarpone.
Sparrow_hawk writes: “I never heard of gunkan-maki. From my google search it appears to be sushi rice wrapped with nori and topped with something soft like ikura or uni. Is that it?”
Sparrow_hawk also writes: “When in Tokyo, do you usually skip breakfast, go with a Western breakfast or immerse yourself in the local culture and go with the Japanese breakfast?”
Answer: I take a stroll down to the Tsukiji fish market and have sushi for breakfast.
Cherluvya writes: “Have you stayed at that particular hotel in Japan before? What did they say when you gave them your list?”
Answer: I stayed there last year. After sending in my immense restaurant list, they responded: “It is our honor to greet you again. We clearly remember you.
How are you? We remember from last year, you have experienced nice cuisine like Ukaitei, Mizutani, Ryugin, Morimoto XEX, Sushi Kanesaka, Joel Robuchon. All of my colleague at concierge team and our staff are looking forward to welcome you again.” Talk about thorough.
DasNdanger writes: “How observant are you, Joe?? What did you make of the graffiti on the wall on ‘John the bar…’???”
Answer: Not very. I didn’t even notice until you brought it up.
Julie Ann writes: “ANYWAY, I’m trying to figure out the meat for the main course and the dessert. Any suggestions for someone who’s just barely branching out to this kind of cooking?”
Answer: For a meat main course, just pick up a couple of rib steaks. Put a cast-iron pan on medium-high heat. Season the steaks on both sides with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. Put some oil in the pan and, when it begins to smoke, puts the steaks in. Sear them for a minute on each side, then transfer to the oven and broil to desired doneness. Alternately, if you’d like to go with a fish main, I’d highly recommend slow-cooked salmon. Pick up some salmon filets. Season them with garlic powder, pepper, salt, and a little dill. Fill a large baking dish or pan with about an inch of water and set it on the lower rack. Set the oven to bake at 200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit. Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, layer a bit of olive oil onto a smaller baking dish, put the salmon in the dish, and put the dish in the oven. Let is cook for 20 minutes. Then turn it off and let it sit in the warm oven for another 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN the oven until the forty minutes are up! After 40 minutes (20 at 200C/400F and 20 with the oven turned off), whisk it out and serve.
Thornyrose writes: “Just to do a little bragging, I ate at Fuel again this evening. […] Also had the crispy duck for two, and I will readily admit that I had not expected this to be as delicious as it turned out to be. Every positive comment ever made on this blog does not do justice to the duck.”
Answer: Very pleased to hear it.
Maggiemayday writes: “A Japanese breakfast? Hah. Not with all the great pastries out there.”
Answer: So true. The whole point of booking an early lunch and a late dinner is to ensure I’ll be able to scarf down plenty of pastries in between.
Concerned Parent writes: “My children range from the ages of 11 to 14 in your opinion is this new show suitable viewing for children of these ages? Will be it family entertainment?”
Answer: Although Universe will be exploring more of the relationships (friendship, romantic, working, etc.) between our various characters, I can assure you that it will still be suitable for younger viewers.
MrsHamill writes: “As I stated in the rest of my response, that rumor came from someone who alleged to have a contact within Mr. Wright’s production company. I cannot verify it and neither can anyone else except her.”
Answer: There are several rumors floating around but, in both cases, they fall into the category of mere conjecture on the part of the source. Again, some are pessimistic about the movie while others are optimistic, but that doesn’t translate to a definite decision either way.
MrsHamill also writes: “ I had hoped to just get an honest assessment, an honest answer about the movie, for once. I don’t believe it will be made and you want to continue with the *polite fiction*”
Answer: In other words, I didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear so you’re packing up your toys and going home. At the end of the day, I can’t stop you from allowing your emotions to dictate what you will and won’t believe. However, while you’re opinion is based on third-hand information from a source who you admitted could simply be stating an opinion, my information is based on fact.
Wraithfodder writes: “ You’ve been exposed to fandom for over a decade now, so you’ve seen the best and worst. Of course this particular entry will keep alive the fan consternation for a while longer, instead of having it just die down in a day or two.”
Answer: Sorry. I won’t start censoring posts simply because I disagree with a particular opinion. This blog will continue to be a forum for differing viewpoints. That said, don’t most of the comments on your own site run contrary to your stated desire to let the fan consternation die down? Or are you exempt from your own rules of conduct?