This was the first sight to greet me when I walked into the office this morning –

Yes, that’s Executive Producers’ Assistant Ashleigh showing off the new jacket she bought with her winnings from the NCAA March Madness office pool. “Couldn’t you find one with bigger buttons?”asked my writing partner Paul, dampening her moment of glory and providing a slim silver lining for the rest of us.   Paul was also quick to note that this is the second office jackpot Ashleigh has won in a row.  And that, “coincidentally”, she was in charge of organizing both pools.  For her part, Ashleigh dismissed the intimation and announced she would start organizing a pool for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.  I fear she’s caught the gambling bug.  It’s time for an intervention.

Director Will Waring started shooting episode #2, Aftermath, today – which meant it was time to begin prep on my script, episode #3, Awakening.  We kicked things off with the Concept Meeting, Director Andy Mikita presiding over the gathered department heads as we spent an hour going through the script, discussing the various sets-in-progress, scheduling, the repercussions of a character switch, and the surprisingly complicated orchestrations required for a simple photo shoot.  We followed that up with a much lengthier get-together with the Art Department and Construction in which we, once again, discussed the various sets-in-progress and scheduling – but in much more detail.  Rounding out the day, a quickie Costume Meeting with the lovely Val Halverson, and an equally brief sit-down with Props Master Evil Kenny Gibbs (pictured below).

Evil Kenny checks his prop phone. Whaddya think of the new do?

A little later, a bunch of us headed downstairs to check out one of the sets being built for the episode.  My first reaction upon laying eyes on it was “OMG!”.  That was my internal dialogue.  I can’t remember what it was I actually said, but it was more or less the same sentiment expressed in much more colorful terms.  Director Andy Mikita assured me he looked forward to the challenge of pulling it off.  While everyone else was measuring and chatting lighting issues with Director of Photography Jim Menard (who, earlier that morning, had contested my interpretation of several Stargate-related issues in my recent blog mailbags), I talked builds with Scott from Construction.  Specifically, we talked about the BIG build going on right next door.  Everyone who has seen it has declared it the most impressive set we’ve built to date.  Scott, a veteran of the business, agreed, saying it equaled the craftmanship of another awe-inspiring set: the X-Jet from X2.

Back upstairs, the writers gathered to debate a script issue with episode #6, Trial and Error.  After the rewrite, the script was a robust 56 pages.  Considering Paul’s last script, Intervention (episode #1) was 48 pages and, at last count, the episode was timing five minutes long, it was obvious that Trial and Error needed a trim.  Paul’s solution?  Lose the first scene.  Carl hated the idea and argued for keeping the scene.  Brad, Remi, and Linda made the argument for losing it.  It didn’t end happily for Carl.

I took the opportunity to float my idea for a little character thru-line that I felt needed to pay off following the events of recent episodes.  Thankfully all were on board and I’ll be able to move forward with the scene as planned.  Episode #10, Resurgence.  Still early in Act I.

We capped off the day by watching a Producer’s Cut of episode #4, Pathogen.  A great script by Carl Binder, wonderfully directed by Robert Carlyle.

Today’s meetings were a breeze compared to tomorrow’s daunting line-up –

9:00 a.m.: Stunts/SPFX Meeting

10:00 a.m.: Playback Meeting

11:00 a.m.: VSFX Meeting

1:00 p.m.: Extras Meeting

I predict we’ll be working through lunch.

Mailbag:

Simon writes: “When do you expect to have that Q&A with Jamil Smith put up?”

Answer: Jamil assures me he’s still working on it.  Soon!  Soon!

Sylvia writes: “Did Aunt Grace share her fitness routines?”

Answer: One hour of brisk walking followed by a thirty minute weight training routine.  Every morning.

JenniferC writes: “I’ve recently heard a few rumors that the SGA movie, Stargate Extinction has been canceled. I was just curious =)”

Answer: No word on a green light, but definitely no word on it being cancelled either.

Kymm writes: “This brings me to the liquid foie gras. What do you do with it?”

Answer: You pop the cromesquis in your mouth, chew, and swallow.  The liquid center is a bonus!

arcticbook writes: “I know its still early in the series but do you have any plans on having anyone or more specifically any race make an appearance from SG1 or SGA?”

Answer: You can look forward to appearances by Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson later this season.

PG15 writes: “Since Rush and Chloe managed to bring back one of those alien pods, will we see the crew examine/use it in the future?”

Answer: The crew will be getting around to the alien pod next episode.

David writes: “I was thinking that the ship retreated to easily after Rush & Chloe left the ship. If they really wanted Destiny and all of her secrets then I thought they would have fought harder since Destiny didn’t seem to be able to do much damage. Could it be that they have brainwashed Chloe into subconsciously becoming a mole for them and didn’t want to take a chance in loosing her as an asset? Am I close or way off?”

Answer: I’d say you have to tune in to find out.

Kymm writes: “I must be missing something, so I am going to ask a stupid question (be kind) – since the alien ship can track Destiny through hyper space (they were attached to the ship in Air and have located them again in Space). We have found out that the aliens want the ship. Why did they not just take it before the Earth people boarded it?”

Answer: We don’t know for sure, but it would seem they haven’t been able to board Destiny (although the pod that flew away at the end of Air III would seem to indicate they’ve been keeping tabs on the ship for some time now).  As I mentioned in yesterday’s mailbag, prior to our coming aboard, all of the ship’s energy was used for its automated defenses – and, specifically, ensuring the ship’s shield remains strong and impenetrable.  Since we came aboard, however, the ship’s power has been diverted to other areas like life support and weapons, diverting power away from the shields, weakening them, and making them more vulnerable in certain areas (which is what we saw happen in Space).

Kymm also writes: “OR when they caught them in Space episode why didn’t the small ships all clamp on and have boarding parties take over the ship.”

Answer: That may well have been the plan.  Or, maybe, they had another as-yet-to-be-revealed plan in the works.

58
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Welcome home, Joe!

Congrats, Ashleigh!

Notes, everyone!

das

fsmn36

Good for her! It’s cute, too. I can’t imagine buying a jacket now, though. It was like 85 degrees today. I’d like to take a vacation to Vancouver right about now!

Deni
Deni

Hi Joe, happy to be home? I can just see the happy faces on the pooches upon your arrival smile

I’m up, Elway’s temp is back up to 103.6, so I’m offering cold water and have him under the ceiling fan in the bedroom with the a/c on. Spoke to the doctor at the ER to see whether they wanted me to take him back in, but she said to keep doing what I’m doing since he’s going in for the ultrasound tomorrow morning. If his temp goes any higher, I’m to take him in. Other than IV fluids, they’re not going to do much.

Meanwhile, since I’m up, I’m catching up on SGU, was happy to see “Space” is on. I’m almost at the point where I keep missing it, so I’ll go before something else distracts me and I do it again. Those frickin’ aliens are enough to give me nightmares. Then again, Morena Baccarin on “V” baring the fangs got me last week. I’m liking that one, but was ROTFLMAO at the original which aired on SyFy a week or two ago. Have you seen it?

Have a good night, and squishes to the kids!

cat4444
cat4444

dasNdanger said: As far as Eli goes – erm…it’s a great idea (and most likely spot on), but do you think Eli will be able to handle the guilt of it all if he ever comes to realize his role in their current situation?

Eli was the quintessential slacker before he wound up on Destiny. Now, he’s having to “grow up” and take responsibility, which responsibility can and will determine whether other people on board live or die – already has, in fact. Just look at his role in Space.

Given that, if Eli does come to realize his role in their being on Destiny, I think he will be able to cope with it. He undoubtedly won’t like it and, depending on when that realization hits him, he will either take it in stride or get “bummed out” over it, but, ultimately, he will get past it.

Michael
Michael

I feel like the Stargate team on Destiny have become legit and finally taken part in a time honored tradition of angering a race of hostile aliens. Will they be angering other races they encounter or are there some benevolent ones on the horizon?

Ganymede
Ganymede

@ASHLEIGH

Lookin’ totally *wicked*, Girlfriend! You **ROCK**!!

grin

Deni
Deni

Joe, I kid you not, a huge bug (looked like a giant mosquito) got behind my headboard and while trying to hunt it down to kill it, I missed the last 15 minutes of “Space” again. Elway’s temp is down a bit, so I’m off to bed, in a crap mood, pretty disgusted with everything smile Since YOU know how this ends, could you tell me? I can’t sit through it a 4th time!

jojo
jojo

In my office pool, we are prohibited from betting money, but can use other rewards. One lady bet a very confident man that she could pick the final four by picking the teams whose colors she liked best. The man, confident in his research, agreed to the bet. The reward? The winner would pick 3 sports/exercise classes for the other to attend at the local YMCA. Yep, you guessed it, she won. He got to attend Senior Water Arobics, Pilates, and Senior Stretch. He said it was a “enlightening” experience.

Markm
Markm

Hi Joe, I have been reading your blog for sometime now, this is the first time I have posted.

You have mentioned that Jack Oneal and Daniel Jackson will be making appearances in upcoming episodes. It seems to me that since Mckay is considered the foremost expert on ancient tech that Home World Command would have gotten him connected to the stones to help with their tech problems especiallly since everyone is sceptical of Rush any chance that might happen in season 2?

Echelon
Echelon

Knowing Rush’s greed for knowledge and technology one would have expected him to take a set of the mind reading interface technology with him instead of removing and throwing it away.

Even if the technology only worked by interfacing with the alien computer systems, you would think he would take it either way. Perhaps even for testing with Destiny’s systems as a method of controlling the flow of information from the chair, or for use in getting information from someone in a coma.

I suppose one could say the shuttle might have a few, so will we be seeing those in the future?

Also, do you have any guest stars lined up for season two?

terraforce
terraforce

@ Deni

What you saw was most likely a crane fly, they are harmless, don’t suck blood, and two or three usually quickly fly in my house at night when I open the door to walk the dog. They will usually fly up to a wall and stay there, completely still, until something else interests them. They are very fragile and easy to capture.

Also, if you live in the USA you can watch SGU on Hulu [free and officially]

sorrykb
sorrykb

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but just wanted to say congrats on a great episode with “Space”, which I finally watched on iTunes this evening. (Delayed by family obligations and urgently-needed job interview prep.) I love the aliens. It’s the clicking sounds when they talk – Yikes!

Congrats to Ashleigh! She should definitely start organizing a World Cup pool. Although I don’t know if the “cuter animal moniker” method of choosing winners will work with that….

And speaking of cute animals, what kind of dog is Finnegan? He’s adorable. He looks like a smaller version of my parents’ dog, a wonderful mutt of uncertain heritage who somehow manages to resemble an Irish wolfhound, a bearded collie, and a goat… all at once.

– KB

lexxye
lexxye

Congratulations to Ashleigh!

Could we find out how everybody placed in the tournament?

Thanks again to all your family and their pets for allowing themselves to be spotlighted in your blog.

lexxye
lexxye

Sorry, I meant the office pool not tournament. Congrats Duke.

annie from Fremantle
annie from Fremantle

Love the do Kenny! Sexy!

I take it your line of work calls for lots of sitting down (in meetings) so is that why you have a home gym?

Do you enjoy it all? (I hate the treadmill and bike).

otros ojos
otros ojos

I think Ashleigh’s jacket looks great, and feel that the confidence enabling her to wear a jacket with trendsetter-type flair is the same quality that propelled her into the winner’s position in the hoops pool. I hope to read someday that she’s landed a big-time book contract on what it was like to help launch the revolution of chicks winning 75% of all sports betting pools. *w* Maybe I’ll be able to join thir ranks, if I can just remember when March Madness takes place.

For Elyse:

Thanks for doing this Q&A, and also for your contributions to the DVD special features. I’ve enjoyed them a lot.

Questions: (1) For purposes of really getting into a role, do you like to imagine as much backstory for a character as you can, even if you don’t yet know a lot about what the creators have in mind for the character? Or, would that get in the way of spontaneity when you get your script and react to whatever has been written for your character?

(2) During breaks on set, is there something especially fun you like to do to decompress?

(3) Do you have a favorite film genre?

red
red

Okay, Joe. I have one question to ask and hopefully you’ll answer. It regards the Space aliens. What exactly was the inspiration for them? Did the design team have an aquatic race in mind? Because this is one of the biggest debates out there(yes, we’re losers!). If so, hopefully you guys do more with them. Like, how did they evolve to have claws. Or did they just go “let’s cobble them together from some of the coolest looking races in sci-fi”?

Kymm
Kymm

Ohhh kay I’ve got it now. It had been my understanding that some of the shield/hull breaches/decompressions had occurred pre-expedition arrival. So with the bulkhead already compromised, I didn’t get why the aliens just didn’t burn through to claim the ship at that time, since they obviously have the technology to do so.

I wonder how long the aliens have been tracking the Destiny, they must have been PISSED when they found out someone else was going to claim their prize.

Don’t you just hate it when you get home from vacation and you get slammed at work? After a long weekend people shouldn’t schedule a massive amount of meetings for that week. It’s kind of cruel. Boy there are a ton of things to coordinate behind the scenes aren’t there?

How happy were the dogs to see you? Were any of them mad that you left them? My sister’s cat used to pout and snub her for two-three days after she got home from a business trip. In fact, every time she got her suitcase out to pack for a trip he would lay in the suitcase, she would take him out and he would jump back in, out, in, out, in. He was a really funny cat.

How’s the hand doing? Did it hurt more/less/the same while on your trip?

Way to go Ashleigh! Congrats on winning the pool. What do boys know about fashion anyway? Its beautiful bunny hug weather here. No jackets required. It’s been a really long winter.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my blonde questions. I really appreciate it.

Have a good one!!

Kymm

(Yikes! Just reread my above comments and boy is my ADD ever kicking in eh? Oh well, I will let my TMI post stand as is, and toddle off to bed).

Montrealer
Montrealer

That new jacket of Ashleigh is bland. Should have pickup up something more glitzy.

Mr. M any comments on the same day ratings for the SPACE episode on Skiffy. Don’t think it’s a typical audience, since for some reason Skiffy aired it on Good Friday after a very long hiatus. Maybe the rating will go up in later episodes. Probably not, since later episodes rating in a season usually lags behind the first episode except for the season finale.

My previous post query about winding up SGU as soon as possible with a relaunched of the Stargate franchise with a continuation of the SG1/SGA storylines seems more pressing. Maybe not a new series, perhaps TV movies with almost completely new cast.

Shiningwit
Shiningwit

As far as Aunt Grace’s workout routine you could half it and move to Cornwall, Everywhere you go here is uphill!
Welcome back! I’m now typing with no ‘k’or ‘e’ keys, if this continues it could get really interesting:)

@Deni, thinking of you and hoping Elway gets better soon ((hugs))

Duneknight
Duneknight

Dont you think Young shouldve surrendered to the aliens and gave them what they wanted instead of going to war with them, who knows they mightve helped us i mean them lol. And if they want to know where earth is, let them i doubt they can get there. Young
Couldve made a deal with these guys,since when was stargate about shoot first.

noelm
noelm

Yay for Ashleigh!

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Deni: I’m always amazed when I go to the dr. that some don’t take the time to look at my record. Five minutes of scrolling through former treatments is all it would take. My son’s neurologist would get belligerent with me, “Who put him on this.” “You did”.
Hoping for the best with ultrasound.

Mr. M, Ashleigh seems to have gotten over her shyness grin .

PSYCHObaatezu
PSYCHObaatezu

Hey Joe, I’ve seen you read the first book of the Millenium trilogy in the recently read section. Wants to share a bit of your appreciations?

By the way, great job to all the team on SGU!

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Well, at least she didn’t buy a banner to hang outside the gates proclaiming “I’m Number One” or some similiar sentiment. Time to start researching how she is managing to smash you guys in these pools. And/or find another female with the same abilities who is willing to make your picks for you, without taking credit for it.
Good to see you keeping so busy. And still remembering to take lots of nice photos for us to enjoy. Not as thrilled at the teasers carefully sprinkled through the text, but after a few years I’m resigned to that annoying itch of curiosity about what you’re hinting at.
All your work and time is appreciated, And isn’t the chocolate party around the corner now?