Today’s game plan was to finish the rewrite of Resurgence. Yesterday, I got as far as the top of Act V before running out of steam. So, all I had to do was finish that final act. Seven measly pages.
Well, the day is done and here I sit, staring at the top of Act V. Wha- happened?
First, there was that 8:30 a.m. Playback meeting. Digital Effects Supervisor Krista McLean tried to keep things lively by incorporating hand-outs into the proceedings: layouts of the beautiful new set, its seemingly endless playback possibilities, scene by scene breakdowns of who’s doing what where and what they see, and big framed single sheets for doodling (which I honestly didn’t think we would need but did end up making fair use of). Ninety minutes of Level One Badness, Level Two Badness, and Level Two Badness With Fritz later – and we were done. Next time, it’ll be puppets and dancing monkeys.
The 10:30 a.m. Visual Effects meeting was fairly tame in comparison – which is kind of surprising given the number of visual effects in this episode. 17 pages worth in the initial VFX Budget hand-out! Will and I trimmed out those shots we felt were unnecessary, but there is still plenty of eye candy for the discerning space battle aficionado.
By the time I sat down to resume work on the rewrite, I had a slew of notes from the morning meetings to incorporate into the script. And once I’d incorporated them, had lunch, and given Paul notes on the second part of the mid-season two-parter (Deliverance), I was right back where I was yesterday – at the top of the fifth act.
In addition to that fifth act, I also have to get around to watching the auditions for the role of the marine. Paul wasn’t sure what I was going to name him so, in part two, he just decided to go with TBD (To Be Decided). When you say it fast enough, it almost sounds like Thibodeau – so I went back and renamed him Thibodeau. Private First Class Henri Thibodeau, the ragin’ cajun from Louisiana! Doing a preliminary scan of the twenty (yes, twenty!) candidates vying for the role, I notice some interesting entries in the various Special Skills categories accompanying each resume. Highlights include: ping pong master (actually, plenty of ping pong masters in this line-up), professional scooter driver, beginner level Irish jig, whistler, super fast bartender, musically inclined (if we happen to be casting for a character who can hum a few bars), mask making, contact improv (?), mime (contact mime would be even cooler!), breast stroke (I bet, you dog you), and “can cure anyone’s hiccups in under one minute” (I shit you not. That was on the list.). And what the hell does a “class 5 driver’s license” cover? Unicycles? Camels? Those kiddie choo choo trains?
Lewis writes: “1) Is there any chance David Hewlett makes an appearance on SGU? 2) I know that the first few episodes of Season 2 will determine a lot for the future of the franchise, so besides just watching (and setting DVRs) what can we the fans do on our end to help?”
Answers: 1) Of course there’s always a chance since the McKay character is part of the extended Stargate family. 2) Put the word out, get your friends and family (and their friends and family) to tune in.
Sean D. writes: ”
1. Will the character Varro (of the Lucian Alliance) end up having a more significant role – or at least a recurring role – in season 2?
2. The recent Syfy chat with some of the cast revealed cool clues and hints about season 2, could you please confirm those things?
2a. Lots of aliens? “BUNCH of new aliens”?
2b. Using the stargate a lot?
2c. Reveals what happened with Franklin and the chair?
2d. Reveals more about the previously unseen aliens from episode “Faith”?
2e. Reveals a “TON about the Lucian Alliance”?
2f. Reveals a lot about Destiny?
3. How many season 2 episodes will include actor Robert Knepper?
4. Who invented the tech that the Goa’uld used in Stargate SG-1, like that ha’tak, death glider, zat gun, staff weapon?”
Answers: 1. If he survives the incursion, it’s possible.
2. a) Several. b) More gate travel, yes. c) Yes, we’ll be learning more about that. d) Yes. e) “More” anyway. f) Significantly more.
3. Remains to be seen.
4. We never answered that question. And, obviously, I’m not answering it here.
Milmer writes: “Will the crew of the Destiny be gating to a world with an advanced civilisation on it any time in series 2?”
Answer: It’s possible, yes. We’ve discussed a potential scenario.
Thornyrose writes: “Have you been considering any changes needed to the Atlantis movie script to account for the time shifts?”
Answer: No. However, if and when we do use an Atlantis cast member, it will necessitate a re-thinking of the movie script – unless we simply establish that the movie takes place soon after the events of EatG.
StellaByStargate writes: “That said (and yes, you probably knew I was leading up to a question), is there any chance that this type of story-telling will be reflected in either the SG1 and/or SGA movies or will they be “old-style”?”
Answer: Stargate: Extinction, the Atlantis movie script, maintains the same tone and feel of the Atlantis series the preceded it.
Brian C writes: “So say someone sold everything he owned bought a plane ticket to Canada, turned up at the Stargate studio and said. “Hey, I’d love to work for you guys, I’ll do anything and I mean anything, I just want to work in this industry and learn from the best, eventually I want to be a writer” What are this guys chances? 100% serious here.”
Answer: Without an agent and an invitation to pitch the show? 0%. Sorry.
steph writes: “And a question regarding SGU will be seeing more of Chloe using her smarts soon?”
Answer: Something like that, yes.
Kymm writes: “When does Season 2 wrap up shooting? How many episodes left to shoot?”
Answer: Season 2 wraps production at the end of November. We’re presently shooting our ninth episode and I am prepping episode 10.
dasNdanger writes: “As I come here each day to frolic, I sometimes get to wondering how things will be if Stargate fizzles, your pilot doesn’t pan out, the comic book deal ends, and no one wants to read your stories. If you have to step away from the entertainment world and take on a lower profile job – one that doesn’t come with a built-in fanbase – how do you think you’ll feel if blog traffic dies and you’re no longer getting the interaction you do now? Do you think you’ll feel a bit of a let down – a little lonely? Or do you think it’ll be more of a relief not being so ‘married’ – or obligated – to the blog?”
Answer: If I was actually charging for content, advertising, or generally making money off this blog, then traffic would concern me. I don’t, so it doesn’t. It does, however, serve as a point of interest in tracking what topics seem to resonate more strongly with readers. When I first started this blog in 2006, I never imagined I’d be still writing it some four years later – to say nothing of never missing a day! I suppose I’m somewhat obsessive-compulsive in that I feel driven to maintain that string of consecutive days blogged. There are some days I enjoy it and other days I downright hate it, but I do it because I’ve convinced myself that, as a writer, I should be writing. As much as possible. It’s also a great way of keeping a continuously updated journal. And the people I meet along the way are a terrific bonus. However, when the time comes, I’ll call it a day – not because Stargate has ended or because blog traffic dips – but because I’ll have said everything I want to say on such hot-button topics as crispy duck, comic books, and the sheer impossibility of eating a mango.
Jim writes: “1. Was there any discussion by the network and Syfy of making Incursion a two hour special event SGU episode on Syfy? Did you feel this would have been a ratings booster opportunity? Following up, promotion outside of Syfy commercials for SGU seems lacking. I know you are a writer not a marketer, but does this disappoint you for a show that trying to draw in new viewers?
2. I was dissapointed by your comment that their wasn’t plans to include other Stargate shows technology and aliens. Can I assume this is a cost saving measure- (zats use SX money compared to guns, make-up design money is saved by having Lucian Alliance humans instead of special aliens?)
3. Darren Dunkan appears to have some Ukrainian and Russian smarts.
4. Since SGU seems to be a show that gives more questions than answers, what assurances do we have that the show runners won’t give us a Lost series ender that doesn’t answer anything?
Answers: 1. I don’t know whether or not the network discussed this option and also don’t know whether it would have necessarily garnered more ratings. As for promotion – hey, I always want more!
2. It has nothing to do with cost, more a desire to maintain SGU as a separate entity (although there will the occasional bleed-thru).
3. That he does.
4. Most of the questions we’ve asked will be answered in season two, while a couple of the bigger questions won’t be answered until the finale. But, like I said, we do know where we’re going.
Mark writes: “I have a question to vfx-team, are the details on the ship (like the ftl-modules) made for only the episode or are they there (at this level of detail) from the beginning?”
Answer: Most of the detail is there from the beginning, then enhanced on a script by script basis.