Well as most of you have probably heard, our terrific Visual Effects team led by Mark Savela was not nominated not one but TWO visual effects Emmy Awards but, alas, didn’t bring home the gold (plating).  I didn’t see the effect sequences that won, but I have seen the ones that didn’t and – well, they were incredible…

And as incredible as they were, what Mark and co. have in store for Stargate: Universe’s second season is even more incredible.  “Incredibler!”raves Joseph Mallozzi.  You can look forward to new alien life forms, space battles, wondrous discoveries, cosmic phenomena, mutations, transformations, and catastrophic transpirations.  Oh, and plenty of surprises too – not all of them of the pleasant variety.

We’ve been deluged with mixes!   Awakening yesterday, Malice today, and The Greater Good tomorrow.  Awakening boasts some of those incredible(r) VFX I was referring to (especially one complicated sequence many had reservations about that turned out nothing short of amazing) in addition to the discovery of a little something certain fans have been asking about since first season.  Malice (written, directed,and produced by Rob Cooper) is an intense, action-filled, thoroughly engaging episode, one of those entries you can watch over and over again.  We had very few notes on the mix and, shortly after the screening, I emailed Rob to congratulate him on a job well done and commend him for actually using very little music.  The silences were eerie and very effective.  To which Rob responded: “Thanks. I should have told you guys that many of the cues are actually missing. Joel’s been on vacation. Some of the music that’s in there may actually be placeholders. I’m going to his studio in LA to work on the music next week.”  Oh.  Never mind then.

Hey, when’s the last time I offered up some behind the scenes pics…

DOP Jim Menard guards the airlock.

What lies beyond?

Oh. Turns out it's Carl.

Also, a little photo series I call “Ashleigh’s Unsolicited Advice”…

Finding a secluded wooded area to bury a body may be more troublesome, but it's certainly worth the extra effort.

Crossbows may look cool, but they don't make for very effective weapons.

Throwing stars don't have to be shaped like stars at all. If you're feeling creative, why not go for snowflakes, bats, or little squiggly octopi?

Use a clarifying shampoo to bring out your hair's natural curls.

Today’s entry is dedicated to this blog’s number one fan, Tashy.

40 thoughts on “August 25, 2010: Our VFX team! Behind the scene pics! Ashleigh’s Unsolicited Advice!

  1. Hey Joe

    Is it just me, or are the comments from yesterday after 9:30 am missing? Amazing pics, btw!


  2. The question is: Is the door trying to keep something out or something in? Guess we’ll have to wait to see.

  3. I’m confused. Just got home, started reading to catch up. Read the first post. dated the 24th. next entry is dated…24th. I’ve got enough going on with domestic crisis, dog that thinks I’m mad at it. and a trunkload of laundry threatening to get into the driver’s seat and drive itself to the laundrymat. I’ll work on the premise you have posted tonight, and simply had a Groundhog day moment

  4. today is the 25th and did they get nominated ?I am cornfused…(yes i said corn)

  5. I think you should let Ashleigh take over your blog (and your camera) for a day just to see what chaos is unleashed. Also to see what captions she would put under photos of you.

    Question: we already know Rush discovers the bridge of Destiny in season 2 (trailer for the new season gave it away) but will we see any other new rooms/parts of Destiny uncovered? Like the engine room? Or a gym?

  6. Are there going to be any encounters in season 2 with the race that created that planet in “Faith”?

    I think that was probably my favorite episode.. I am a bit skeptical to think there is a race that is smarter than the Ancients because they really have been put on such a high pedestal.. But who knows.. Creating a planet is a huge accomplishment though, but you’d think if they had made it to that point they would’ve already ascended.. Although who knows how the Ancients learned they could do this in the first place.. Who’s to say the other races would or would not learn they could too..

  7. Ashleigh is awesome! I bet she gets tons of fan mail!!! 😀 😉

    I can’t WAIT to see what S2 has in store! I can’t believe it’s almost done shooting and we haven’t even seen one bit of it yet!!!

  8. just a couple quick comments. I’m jealous of Akemi’s sushi. I have to remember the sugar and vinigar thing next time, and leave out the okra.
    Also, who says crossbows aren’t effective? They are good for punching through armor, allow the user to fire a missile much harder than they could by simple manual pull aka longbow, and it doesnt take that much training to turn a soldier into a crossbowman. Sure, once you introduce gunpowder into the equation it changes, but then a crossbow can kill a target with minimial noise, making it useful in picking off the odd sentry. There was a reason the pope wanted to ban the things after all.
    Anyways, off to finish catching up on the blog. Thanks as always for putting in the time here, and glad to see someone else confirmed I’m not a day behind the rest of the world.

  9. CSI won because showing that detailed organ stuff is so breathtaking and exciting.

    Joe said ” in addition to the discovery of a little something certain fans have been asking about since first season.”

    — Furlings or toilets?

    im betting on the latter, you guys aint cool enough to show furlings. lets just hope the toilets are as cool as the three seashells one, yes, that one did capture my imagination as a kid.

  10. Awesome VFX always seems to be what grabs viewers attention, but I must say, I’ve always been very impressed with quality of the sound effects on the Stargate shows. Between the gate sounds, the indicators and alarms on Atlantis/Destiny, or the truly intimidating sound of a Goa’uld mothership firing its weapons in an atmosphere… I think your sound designers do a fantastic job. Please send them my appreciation!

  11. Crossbows look cool. We need more crossbows on SGU. I demand it. Of course, with bullets running out, they may have to make some.

    I swear that door in the picture looks fake. It must be the angle of the photo.

  12. I don’t buy one word of what you say Ashleigh is saying. Looks more like she’s saying:

    “Don’t you dare come in here with that camera again, mister!”

    “Mallozzi…you’ve got one minute to get out before I call security – ONE. MINUTE.”

    “You still here? Are you stupid, or something?? Shoo! Go, away. See ya! Bye-bye!”

    “Oh, one last thing. These lights here? They make you look green. Like an avocado.”

    Remember…that’s Ashleigh talking, not me. 🙂


  13. Joe: First of all, tell Ashley that a crossbow can be very effective, when in the hands of a Vampire Slayer.

    Secondly, you have given advice on getting your foot in the door of the TV industry. Can you say, does an MFA increase one’s chances of getting anywhere? Are studios/agents more inclined to consider a script from someone who has a degree than someone who doesn’t?


  14. @Das: How is Mr. Das?

    @Craig: Perhaps they will uncover the Hot Tub Time Machine somewhere on the Destiny. LOL.

  15. The door is kinda like Let’s Make a Deal… what’s behind door number three is it a car? a trip? nope it’s even better IT’S CARL!!!!! …. Although a car would have been nice too… *grins*

    Heyyyy Ashleigh’s back (Hi Ashleigh), actually in the second picture she’s saying (to you Joe) is “Just make sure that you bury the body deep enough, so that the animals won’t dig it up, and as a result, get your ass caught and hauled off to jail, ohhhh heyyy wait a minute, that may be fun to have you in jail, just think of the stories you would have for the blog… and the peace and quiet we would have here at the office….”

    …I’m just thinking of all of the potential blog ideas… Pictures of the prison food… Here is a picture of ice cold powdered eggs and Spam on toast. Here is a picture of my warm orange Jell-o with just a soupcon of melting aerosol whipped cream, no second (or third) dessert here. Ohhhh and it would give a whole new meaning to the phrase “shots of BEHIND(S) the scenes.” Here is a picture of my new teardrop tattoo…
    Pictures of Carl on visiting day… looking at each other through the glass, with him holding his hand to the glass, and you holding yours up on the other side… Carl bringing a chocolate cake with a file in it…. Carl smuggling the pups in to say Hi Dad!! Carl getting caught smuggling the dogs in… Carl getting strip searched… Carl getting thrown out of the country… (poor poor Carl)…. Plus, think of all of the writing you could get done… You could finally get to that novel that you have inside of you!!

    Some links….
    OMG Joe, this sooo sounds like something you would do. David Thorne is an Australian humorist and internet personality, who has a website where he posts funny e-mail exchanges that he has with people.

    Here’s something for the trekkies…. Cuz you know the red shirts have Just.Got.To.Die.!! Die… red shirt Dieeeeeeeee!

    For all of you spider ‘lovers’ out there….. Come on, I know you’re out there…. Give a peek don’t be shy!!!!

    Have a Good One!!

  16. Coucou =) ça va bien? moi super, il fait beau et je suis de repos=)!!!

    ……hier j’ai pris mon billet d’avion pour Paris, je vais vivre avec mon cheri, pourvu que tout ce passe bien =S…vous en pensez quoi? sa vous à apporter quoi de vous mettre en ménage?

    Yah! Merci pour les photos et la video, c’est vrai que les effets spéciaux de sgu sont très réussi=)! ….Si il y aura tous se que vous dites dans la saison 2 je veux bien regarder, mais j’espere ne pas être aussi déçu que pour la saison 1.

    Gros bisou=)
    A plus

  17. Joe said ” in addition to the discovery of a little something certain fans have been asking about since first season.”

    I see someone else already thought of Furlings!

    Also, Joe, could you ask Ashleigh where she got her top? And if I can get it in Australia?

    I’ve decided I should stop being such a lurker and start commenting a bit more, if for no other reason than I feel a bit creepy knowing so much about the lives of people on the other side of the world and not sharing anything myself. I’m really enjoying “Masked”, by the way!


  18. I have no doubts whatsoever that season 2 is going to be awesome and incredible(r). I haven´t been disappointed since first episode aired back in October.

    I´ve always considered myself as a hardcore Stargate fan, because of having seen all of SG-1 and Atlantis, and enjoying almost all of it. But it´s been one hell of a ride with Universe. It´s an emotional roller-coaster, and I enjoy it when tv shows make me emotional. I sobbed when the senator died; bawled when there was the lottery; shed a tear when TJ cried in “Time”; was at the edge of my seat during the first big space battle; shed a tear when Rush went to see her wife in the hospital; melted through my chair during the last 15 or 20 minutes of season finale. And that´s just top moments for me. There´s much more – like Destiny flying into a star, the end of “Lost”…

    It´s great that there´s been more action (more for other fans, than me), but I hope there will still be a lot of character moments. I don´t want SGU to become more similar to previous series. As much as I love them, I want SGU to be a seperate entity. Having just started the season 1 re-watch, I really enjoy the mood and tone of first half of 1.0. Everything´s unknown and dark.

    Here I am, babbling again.

  19. Loved the unsolicited advice. Though I also find it useful to dump bodies near someone else’s residence, preferably someone who lives in a different jurisdiction (city, county, state, country). This causes the cops to waste time investigating the poor schmuck, and jurisdictional battles are even more costly.

    Questions (you may choose among them)
    1. Are there any Jaffa among the ranks of the Lucian Alliance forces on Destiny? Are there any women apart from Commander Kiva? And on a related note, is Rush the only non-American of the original crew?
    2. Have there been any Jews on Stargate? General Hammond did use a Yiddish expression (“From your mouth to G-d’s ears”) in the Season Two premiere of SG-1, which my mom took as evidence that he is Jewish. Also, Eli seems like he might be Jewish.
    3. Is Eli’s new love interest a) a member of Destiny’s original crew; b) a member of the Lucian Alliance, or c) none of the above?
    4. Where do the various crew families live on Earth? Senator Armstrong was from California, so we can presume that Chloe lives in California. If Eli went with Chloe in “Earth”, he probably lives in California as well. And while we’re on the subject of Earth, how are the people from Destiny getting around? Are we not seeing the several hours they spend in commercial airliners or military jets? Do they use beaming or other alien technology? Or am I wrong about this and all the crew families live within driving distance of D.C.?

  20. Crossbows can be cumbersome though, and hard to hide when going out on the town. But most coat check places will check your weapons if you tip ’em a little extra. Throwing stars on the other hand go with everything.

  21. @ Elminster – I was thinking the same thing about the comments .

    Now I know I missed a few days, because the wireless has been down at work and well by the time I get home and get a chance to read the blog, I’m too tired to fire up the netbook.

    I’m with Craig – give Ashleigh free reign of the blog and your camera. he he he

    re: dioxholster’s post…
    “CSI won because showing that detailed organ stuff is so breathtaking and exciting. ” I did a science project titled “Anatomy of an Appendectomy” and recreated an appendectomy complete with ascending colon, an appendix about to rupture, and with the help of a surgeon/friend a few hemostats, and sponges and sutures… it won first place and ONLY an honorable mention at the state fair. I was bummed, but I got to go to the state fair. Considering the morning I have had, I’m ready to drop everything here and pack my bags and head to Chicago. But,instead I’m having a wood floor laying pah-tay y’all are invited, there ‘ll be pizza, beer, Stoli and plenty of wood to lay, oooo that didn’t sound good. Plenty of wood to install, there we go, that’s better. ok I go now.

  22. Jooooo-eeeeeeeey!! Where ARE you???

    Or…didn’t anyone love you over night? I don’t mean ‘love’ as in – ya know – rumpy pumpies… wereallydon’twannaknowthatsortofstuff… but ‘love’ as in post comments on this here spiffy blog o’ yers.


  23. Hi Joe, a cooking question for you. Do you make your own pasta? I’ve been wanting to and have been debating about making it myself from scratch or buying a pasta maker to use. I’ve been asking around and don’t seem to know anyone who has made pasta before. I figured you or someone in your family has to have made their own pasta. Thanks, Jennifer (Orlando,FL) PS. I’m going to Kennedy Space Center on Saturday to check out the new Star Trek Live! stage show?!?!? Should be interesting.

  24. It’s ALIIIIIIIVE!!!

    (Yeah, I was starting to worry…even google-newsed (yeah, made that word up) ‘Joseph Mallozzi murdered’…but all I found was your phone number. 😀



  25. Oh, Joe. C’est vraie, I am. Ashleigh is very wise, you men are lucky to have her around. I sense a promotion to the creative team with ideas like that. 🙂

  26. The silences were eerie and very effective. To which Rob responded: “Thanks. I should have told you guys that many of the cues are actually missing. Joel’s been on vacation.

    Since we’re adding Rs to words, when Joel does the music I know the scenes will be eerier.

  27. Catching up…

    Ashleigh’s top IS particularly fetching.

    Glad to hear that Savela and all were nominated. Sorry to hear that CSI won. Would have thought the SGU team had the advantage, as they seem to be creating the VFX in my dreams…nightly and vividly!

  28. Oh, re “Mad Men”, Joe, you really should check it out again. And ask your mother about the likelihood of Peggy’s unknown pregnancy. I’m a tad older than you & remember the advent of the Pill and the Sexual Revolution.

    Not that I’m defending Naively Pregnant Peggy. I consider that to be a misstep, much like the unsettled characterization SG1/S1 Samantha Carter, or “Eureka” character Kevin, who was introduced as an autistic, then ignored completely for a full season.

  29. On “mendokusai” or full script writing: Damn! That’s what it would take to transcribe my recent dreams, which were very cinematically visual. They were also very tasty…rich chocolate & cream pastries figure in a big way. 

    Gotta go. Fresh strawberries, chocolate eclairs, and whipped cream in fridge calling my name.

  30. Hey Joe,

    My brother is job hunting for PA positions in both Vancouver and L.A. He just graduated film school. I love him dearly so I’m doing what I can to assist him in my off hours here in Iraq. I told him that he probably needed a work visa for any job he would interview for in Vancouver. Any helpful suggestions on where he should be looking in Vancouver as well any little known facts about working and obtaining a job in Canada?



    P.S. Post more food pictures, they are the best!

  31. We’ve just experienced the exact same thing on this project I’m working on. The voice track done by just some guy timing it was slam dunk good. Just Some Guy Timing It had an insider’s sense for how the visuals and lines are meant to work together with the music.

  32. Hey there Jo,

    I am wondering, as ive just been browsing the stargate auctions and noticed they all have estimates on them.
    E.g the stargate istelf is valued at 100k.
    Do you know how much its costs to make one? or could you give an idea more or less than 100k?

    And as the atlantis gate is being sold does this mean its a no-go for the movie? Or do you have a few of them lying around just incase?

    Just to say also, I was awaiting the movies with unease but now find myself wanting sgu to hurry up and be on our screens. i hope its going to be worth it 🙂
    keep up the good work


  33. @– Furlings or toilets?

    No toilets in Scifi. Could just imagine a stone situation, Young uses the stones to contact Earth to speak to Jack, and gets told Jacks on the can at the moment.
    Young insists on speaking to Jack, but gets told he has a bad case of trapped wind and could take a while :3

    Seriously, if used right, toilet stuff could be pretty funny.
    Mentioning Jack as thats Youngs to go guy for any problems.

  34. Your VFX team there is simply amazing, I would vote to send them tons of awards! (does that count?) Their craft is magical to me. Incredible is a good word to describe the job and body of work. can we vote on it next time. Looking forward to the new season start.
    -Joe has Canada been affected by the egg recall? not sure if Canada imports much stuff.
    -and Ashleigh, thanks for the crossbow and haircurl “advice”. much appreciated. Does Joe have a hair care regime ?
    @das, new Inspector Lewis on Sunday.

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