Well, I’ve got a solid first draft that I’m ready to hand off (following the addition of a late fourth act action sequence) and Paul is about finished his script.  I expect we’ll switch off sometime tomorrow and take a couple of days to criticize and revise before sending them off in turn to Rob and Alex for their input.  Right now, I’m feeling very good about what I have.  It’s fast-paced and fun with a lot of nice character moments not only for our hero but for our supporting cast as well.  Sure, there may be a beat or two that will have the guys questioning my sanity (there’s at least one in every script I write), but overall it’s going to make for a kick-ass hour of television.

Once the scripts are done, I’ll have to shift focus to the series bible.  In the early years of my career, I wrote a lot of them – pitchy sales documents, ubiquitous at the various MIP’s and NATPE’s, offering detailed series overviews, character breakdowns, and episode springboards in glorious, garish copy (“Buckle your seat belts and hold onto your hats because the Rescue Bears are back and looking for adventure!!!”)  – and I hated every minute of it.  I’ve always felt that if a series pilot did what it was supposed to do (a.k.a. introduce the series), it would obviate the need for a bible.  But, sadly, I’m in the minority opinion on this one.

So it’s looking more and more like I’ll be calling Toronto home – for a while anyway.  As much as I’d enjoy the convenience of condo-living, I think that the dogs would be much happier in a house, so I’ve started looking.  Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with the city (and its suburbs).  If you know the area, help me out.  I’m looking for a nice, quiet, crack and meth-free neighborhood reasonably close to downtown.  If that’s at all possible.  Recommendations?

Long-time Stargate Exec Producer (and friend) Carl Binder heads back into town later this week.  This may well be the last time I see him.  In Vancouver.  For a while.  Kerry has given us the heads-up on the Stargate: Universe season 2 post schedule.  We’ll be convening on Friday to watch the Day 1 mix of Epilogue, then again the following Tuesday for the Day 2 mix of The Hunt.  Over the course of those two trips to The Bridge, I’ll attempt to clean out my office and clear off those last four bookshelves.  I’ve got my work cut out for me!

Some Lady of Mazes discussion:

Lisa R. writes: “I got the sense that Livia never wanted to be a leader that she felt forced into the role, but the only alternative, giving up, was just as foreign to her.”

Answer: I agree.  She was an atypical heroine in that respect, and that was something I really liked about her.  She felt overwhelmed at times and I could really sympathize, but she possessed an inner strength that drove her to persevere – and that was something I respected.

Lisa R. writes: “The ability to tell what was real and what wasn’t was also a focal part of the book, I thought, and at the end, the author leaves a mystery when the reader is not sure whether Livia is alive or not.”

Answer: How did you interpret the ending?  I ask this question of you and everyone else who read the book.

GuyNoir writes: “Does anyone think Lady Ellis’ proposed reinvention of science within Westerhaven would have ever been truly successful? Or would the tech locks (or rather the consequences of the tech locks) have inhibited any developments that were not within the set of technologies allowed in Westerhaven?”

Answer: Hmmmm.  Good question.  I suppose the question is what specific parameters had the tech locks established for Westerhaven?

Guy Noir also writes: “On the one hand a virtual program is doing what is ‘best’ for Ishani and enticing her to forget her troubles and questions.”

Answer: And that opens up a host of interesting questions about what IS “best”, not only Ishani but for anyone living within an A.I.-directed virtual reality.  Even if it isn’t considered “true reality”, in the end does it really matter if we can interact with it and are influenced by it to such a deep degree?

Alexander House writes: “It is definitely a good cover done by a very good artist, it clearly tells me that what the story is about and it sounds very interesting. I’d by this book on the cover alone as well.”

Answer: Agreed.  The cover art is by Stephane Martiniere, one of my favorite artists working in SF today.  For more of his work, check out: Stephan Martiniere Concept Illustrator Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

anneteldy writes: “I found the idea that we may someday do away with government a bit unbelievable as was the lack of crime. Maybe I’m just too pessimistic about humanity’s future?”

Answer: Maybe.  Or maybe you’re having a hard time imagining to what extent humanity may be willing to let go of established systems (government) and actions (theft) if everything is provided for them by managing A.I.’s.  There wouldn’t be a need for easy and that would, logically, do away with both.  In an ideal society of course.

anneteldy also writes: “I liked Livia and Qiingy but I was never able to connect to anyone which is a negative to me when reading books. Perhaps the premise was just too fantastical for me to imagine myself there?”

Answer: Actually, I can empathize.  Although I quite liked Livia, I thought the supporting characters (Aaron in particular) weren’t as well-defined and that made it more difficult for me to emotionally invest in them.



29 thoughts on “February 15, 2011: Pre-Production update on one show and post-production update on another! Some Lady of Mazes discussion!

  1. Hey Joe:
    I was noticing that you have been keeping a bit quiet about stargate lately.
    Are you still going to keep us informed on any news about the future of the franchise, or are we going to have to look at other places for any new news ?
    It seems to me that you are trying to move on in your life with this new show.
    Which is what you need to do if this is going to be your job. You should be focused 100% in what you are working at.

  2. My tip on finding a decent suburb; the less shoes over power-lines, the better.
    Saw three sets over a power-line the other day and wondered whether that means they deal in smack, weed and prescription medication.
    Does a colour denote a particular type of drug? Or maybe it’s the type of shoe? If it’s a pair of Dunlop Volleys, does that mean weed? And a pair of Gucci’s, heroin? I’m sure there’s more important things I could be thinking about…

  3. Joe if you are going to be looking for a house, you have to call HGTV’s House Hunters! I love that show and it would be fun to see you (and your sense of humor) looking for a house in Toronto. I wonder how much they pay the people to be on there? It might be enough for a down payment! Do it!

  4. Belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Joe, and everyone on the blog. Sounds like your days are quite full with everything going on.

  5. Hey Joe,

    I am looking forward to finding out more details of your show. You are telling us…without telling us. *giggles* Do you get any input into cast? Is it set yet?

    So many things ahead for you…and your head is where it should be…working. Wow…you are amazing. Maybe focused is a good word for it.

    *sigh* Say “Hi” to Carl…I guess he’ll be on Twitter. I guess I’ll have to hit him up for pictures of HIMSELF. *smiles* Have a fun day tomorrow.

    Best to you and the pups,
    Cheryl 🙂

  6. hi, joe,

    change is scary, but can also be incredibly rewarding. wherever your life takes you, i hope you’re happy and successful. happy especially!

    take care,
    long time fan, sally 🙂

  7. Is it dumb to say that I’m feeling like I’m going to miss you, even though your blog isn’t going anywhere?

    I agree with Ponytail. Do a reality series on your adventures moving into your new digs. Maybe call Mike Holmes and get him to check out any potential flaws….to your home, I mean. You could write the episode.

    I was chatting to an email buddy of yours today. He’s not available for STARCON 2011 (www.aurorisentertainment.com) this year, but suggested that he’d like to come in 2012 and hopes that you would attend as well, so the both of you could meet. I think that would be pretty cool. We could do a “This is Your Life, Joe Mallozzi”. You could even sit in Pierre Bernard Jr.’s Recliner of Rage and tell off the audience. Doesn’t that sound enticing?

    Have a great Wednesday, Joe.


  8. Hi Joe,
    I know, you have many questions in your comments, but I will try to ask you for something about SGU.

    At one SG Forum in the Czech Republic we debating about whether seederships mined raw materials themselves or not. Then, too, how puting Stargate on the planet, they land or send it from orbit?

    Sorry for my english.
    Have a nice day


  9. Hello 🙂 Comment ça va?

    Moi super, je ne vais pas tarder à partir dans un institut de soin pour me faire masser =P!

    Vous savez quoi j’ai une nouvelle ambition! Aprés mes années d’étude je vais faire une formation de doublage VF =P j’ai toujours rêvée de faire ça mais je n’ai jamais osée me lancer^^!

    Bonne journée,
    Gros bisou!

  10. You asked:

    “How did you interpret the ending?”

    It was interesting how the other characters didn’t know if she was alive or not following the explosion. When Doran saw her and she said that she was “a founder now, Doran, and my manifold is vast”, I thought she was speaking as if she might be in the “real world” whatever that might be to her and that Doran would have to overcome his prejudices in order to find her again. She seemed happy which I don’t think she was through most of the book. (because of what was happening) It gave a positive outlook of what the future might be.

  11. Hey Joe,

    Here is a quick list of neighbourhoods in Toronto that you may have interest in. In the suburb-y area Oakville, Port Credit, Vaughan & Markham are all nice areas. Probably about 30mins to 1 hour out of downtown depending on time & day. Oakville & Port Credit are west of the city, in Mississauga. Vaughan is North and Markham is North-east. If you’re looking to stay in Toronto with access to the TTC and stuff you’ll probably want to look at Forest Hill (North part of the city), Thornhill (not technically Toronto, but it’s close – a bit further north than Forest Hill), North York (between Forest Hill and Thornhill), Cabbage Town (east), The Beaches (A bit further east), & Queen West (which is pretty much right downtown but there are some very nice houses & towns in that area)

    Hope that helps!

  12. I don’t live in T.O. (but frequently visit), but I think Forest Hill and Rosedale would probably suit your affluent tastes if you’re looking for a house. I have family who live in both neighbourhoods, and they are quite nice. Just be forewarned that Rosedale can be a bit snobby. In any case, they are both older, established leafy neighbourhoods, with some lovely homes. Not sure how dog-friendly either places are.

  13. Arctic Goddess said, “Maybe call Mike Holmes and get him to check out any potential flaws….to your home, I mean. You could write the episode.”

    And maybe get Candice Olsen (of “Divine Design”) or Brian Gluckstein to do your interior design 😉 Candice only designs for T.O. homes, so you’d be in the right place. They both do beautiful work.

  14. Mr. M wrote, in response to my comment:

    Answer: Maybe. Or maybe you’re having a hard time imagining to what extent humanity may be willing to let go of established systems (government) and actions (theft) if everything is provided for them by managing A.I.’s. There wouldn’t be a need for easy and that would, logically, do away with both. In an ideal society of course.

    Ah, but managing A.I.’s couldn’t provide people with one thing many of them desire….. Power over others. That’s a desire many politicians, rich people, and criminals share.

    Anne Teldy

  15. For some reason, It makes me fuzzy inside to know that Joe is probably moving closer to where I live in the US.

  16. My sister lives in the High Park (Runnymede and Bloor) area and seems happy. My elderly, mostly blind Dad lives with her, and he feels pretty safe walking around the area. They are close to the subway, to shopping and to the park, but far enough from Bloor that it’s not too crazy – the quieter you get, the farther you get from the subway. While they aren’t dog people (crazy, I know) their yard is a good size for a few small dogs, although that can vary significantly from house to house. Because the neighborhood is pretty pricey, most of the houses, while older, are nicely renovated. She like to do cultural things, and used to work downtown, and now works out in Mississauga, so it’s convenient to all those things.

    This is a link to the area (not to her house 😉 ):http://bit.ly/fHFOWi

  17. The concept of the series bible sounds interesting. I myself am heading up the development of an independent web series, and the idea of a bible seems very helpful, especially as we have at least 4 writers on the team. You mentioned that you think the series pilot should establish the important stuff well enough that no bible is necessary. But surely there are nuances that cannot be outright explained in the pilot. I know the purpose of the pilot is to establish much of the foundation of the series, so should I take the time to write a bible for my series?

  18. Find out where the Real Estate Agents and Contractors themselves live. They know where the good spots are.

    The idea of a bible for your show sounds like a good one, do you think that Stargate could have used one? It had soooo many seasons that it would have been helpful, from a continuity perspective, I’d think anyways.

  19. Hi Joseph,

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for weeks now so I thought I’d step out of the shadows and say ‘Hello!’ to you and your fans.

    You seem to have a lot of your plate right now, but its nice to see you still take the time to connect with your fans via this blog. Very cool.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to ask you was, do you read Iain M. Banks at all? His particular style of writing epic space sagas is truly something worth experiencing! I would highly recommend ‘Use of Weapons’ as a good starting point. ‘Player of Games’ would also be a nice introduction to the author.

    Check him out!

  20. If you’re going to live in Toronto you might as well live in Toronto.

    Living in the outlying burbs like Vaughn or Missasauga will mean being a slave to the train or spending a lot of time in your car (not fun in summer or winter). Living in Toronto proper generally means spending less time in transit and more time exploring TO’s cool neighbourhoods and awesome restaurants.

    There are many nice houses in Forest Hill and Rosedale both of which are within walking distance of the subway.

    The Beaches are a bit further out but well serviced by the Queen St street car.

    I seem to recall some nice houses in the Annex which is a fun area but maybe too close to the U of T campus for your liking?

    I always wanted to live near St. Lawrence Market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Lawrence_Market_South). The surrounding area hosts a ton of restaurants and cafes. It’s also right on the King St. street car line which makes getting around super easy. Not too sure about houses in the area, though.

    Toronto is it’s best during spring and fall. If your move takes you there in late April or May you may well have enough pleasant memories to take you through the oppressively hot, humid, smoggy summer.

    Best of luck!

  21. I keep thinking back to your comment, “The movies are terrific”. Perhaps I’m paraphrasing. Anyway, when ads for any movie franchise are on TV, I flash to that immediately. Please tell me your are NOT working on Big Momma’s House, the Series. Please.

  22. Best house hunting tip is if you like a place come back to check it out later at night; then you may notice that the neighbor’s nephew in the dirty wife beater and tats is having a rager with his friends on the lawn, or that all the street lights are out, making it a perfect hangout for pimps and their ladies of the evening. Worse are the neighborhoods with foreclosures; realtors can dress up the lawns but at night if the place is a ghost town then the lack of lights in the hearths is a giveaway.

    Good luck, sure you will find a fabu place. Maybe you can find a rooftop apartment with garden, or with a green roof. Or a great hotel where they’ll walk the pups for you. Just do lots of deep breathing and relaxation exercises; nothin’ is more stressing than moving and buying a house.

  23. Well done Joe on work complete!

    I contacted MGM today, no luck on getting a copy of your script to read 🙁 and advice?


    he he he he

  24. I’ve lived downtown in the Annex, which was very nice (lovely brick houses, flower gardens in front yards, lots of people walking dogs), and now I’m in Vaughan (nice, but about 30-45 minutes away from downtown by car). I can recommend the real estate agent, Jason Gavadza, who found my partner’s condo if you’re interested…he also won a Super Bowl.


  25. Oh I love Divine Design too! (like IggyMing said) Get on House Hunters to help you find a house and we can watch, then get on Divine Design and let Candice decorate a couple of rooms, and we can watch. She is fantastic! Do it!

  26. Are you selling your house or keeping it?

    LOL on the House Hunters… sadly you’ll probably need to moved before but I’d call them.. if they have a brain you’d be a blast for the show!

    I hate moving. Love new places, just hate moving. Hopefully you’ll settle fast. Nice thing now though is with cams, you can do virtual tours of houses and even neighborhoods prior to going so you cut down on the time once there.

    Now that it’s official, you going to confirm if the Transporter guess by others was right?

  27. Yonge/Eglinton area is pretty nice with some adorable neighbourhoods, has some semi decent restaurants and pubs scattered about, and is super dog-friendy (my chihuahua roams the hills at Eglinton Park and plays with the other dogs there quite safely)! I’m moving to the States and am really gonna miss this area. Easy routes to downtown as well. 🙂

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