Long ago, I told myself that whenever Stargate ended, I would take a year off to rest, recharge, and work on the countless personal projects sitting on my ever-growing to write/produce pile. Paul and I have more than a few pilot scripts we’re looking to go out with and recently closed a deal with a major comic book publisher that will see us bring one of our series concepts to life as a comic book series (before, hopefully, making the leap to either the small or big screen). I wanted to travel. Take some much-needed cooking classes. Maybe even start work on that wacky SF novel that’s been percolating in the back of my mind over these past two years. Understand, I’ve enjoyed plenty of hiatuses, but I can’t remember a time when – hiatus or not – I haven’t been looking ahead, either spinning, outlining, or writing for the next gig be it the back of SG-1 sixth season or the start of SGU’s second. I’m in a tough line of work. It’s feast or famine and, more often than not, there’s a lot more famine than feasting going on. But I’ve been very lucky. I’ve enjoyed steady employment on a single franchise these past eleven years, something practically unheard of in this industry. Prior to landing on Stargate, I was similarly fortunate. No sooner did one job end than another presented itself. I went from freelancing animation to animation development back to freelancing/story-editing animation to freelancing/producing live-action to Stargate with nary a chance to catch my breath. It’s been a tremendous ride and I’ve appreciated every job I’ve had, from my very first script (“Patrick Pig Learns to Talk” for The Busy World of Richard Scarry) to my last produced episode (“The Hunt” for SGU’s second season). Still, the prospect of finally having time off – real time off – was the silver lining on an otherwise dark and dreary storm cloud.
On the other hand, if an opportunity presents itself, it’s tough to say “No, thanks. I’d rather learn how to julienne carrots.”. I don’t want to ever take things for granted and assume, hey, I’ll always get another job. I’ve worked with several people who once thought that way only to have reality set them straight, heard too many stories of once-successful individuals who seemed to disappear from the t.v. landscape seemingly overnight. I have rules in place to prepare for that famine I was talking about, and one of those rules is: “No reasonable offer shall be refused!”. Writing that novel would be enormously satisfying, but its working for pay that keeps the doggies in designer rain boots (For the record, my dogs don’t wear rain boots, designer or otherwise, although they have been known to sport colorful bandanas after bath time at the doggy daycare). Also, I can always learn how to julienne carrots next year. Or the year after that. Or, hell I can just check out an instructional video on youtube during my next hiatus.
It’s hard to say no to a job because it’s always great to be employed. Especially if you know, like and respect the people you’ll be working with, and love the material you’ll be working on. Which brings me to a conversation I had with Stargate Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Brad Wright today. Alas, no details to offer (yet!) but suffice it to say he’s battling hard to ensure the franchise (that’s SG-1, Atlantis, and SGU) lives on and that the season two finale of Universe, “Gauntlet”, will not be the end. He’s adopted a clever two-pronged approach that, if successful, will see our awesome crew back at work next year. Nothing is guaranteed, but it’s great to hear he’s got a plan to make it happen. And, for the sake of the many, many Stargate fans out there, I really hope he succeeds.
A couple of other opportunities have also presented themselves, one presently small with great potential, another positively huge that would necessitate some major, major life changes.
Okay. Youtube it is.