A double-note session with Rob today for both scripts, Paul’s in the morning and mine this afternoon.  I was a little concerned going in given that we had both emailed our scripts out yesterday and received the following email from Rob: “You guys okay with 11am your time, 2pm my time to do some notes?  Paul, I left you a message.  Good job.  Call me if you want, or we can talk tomorrow.”  I scrolled down for the “P.S. Joe – Good job too” or “P.S. Joe – the fuck you thinking?” but, alas, that was it.  In all fairness, chances were he simply hadn’t gotten around to reading my script but, of course, that didn’t stop me from considering the worst. No, not loss of face or the revocation of the job offer.  Much, MUCH worse: a significant rewrite.

As it turns out, he hadn’t gotten around to reading the script.   The notes turned out to be quite manageable and – dare I say – pretty darn good.  Now, I all I need is for Alex to weigh in with his thoughts and, once that’s done, it’s smoooooooooooth sailing.

Yep, all that remains is another round of approvals and then finding a place to live in Toronto before March 21st.  I’ve found three possible candidates to help me ferry the dogs cross-country, but will have to check the Air Canada regulations covering pet travel.  From what I’ve heard, it’s a maximum of two pets per cabin which I took to mean two per flight – but Fondy insists Economy and Business class are two different cabins so it WOULD be possible to get all four on the same flight.  That would, of course, be the runner up best case scenario (the best case scenario, of course, being the production moving to Vancouver).

Busy, busy day tomorrow.  Lunch with a visiting Fondy and our accountant followed by packing up my office followed by a Day 1 mix of Epilogue followed by schnitzel dinner with Stargate Exec. Producer Carl Binder (and, perhaps, others) followed by working on the script rewrite followed by work-out.  And Saturday don’t look any less busy.  I’ve got a slew of movies to clear off my PVR.

Speaking of PVR-clearing, did anyone else catch the season premiere of Survivor or was it just Carl and I?  Usually, it takes a couple of episodes for the show to get going but this season really hit the ground running thanks to that crazy former Federal Agent (?) who had a complete meltdown at tribal council.  If he truly IS a former Federal Agent, then I think the U.S. is in A LOT of trouble.

Last night, it was with great sadness that I read about the passing of Chef Santi Santamaria, the first Catalan chef to earn three Michelin stars.  Years ago, I had the good fortune to attend a special event at Vancouver’s Lumiere Restaurant: a spectacular, multi-course dinner prepared by Chef Santamaria, resident culinary bad boy Rob Feenie, local chef Pino Posteraro, and dessert master Thomas Haas.  It was a wonderful, wonderful meal, one of the most memorable epicurean outings I’ve enjoyed here in North America, and the evening that introduced to me to one of my favorite – albeit rare – dessert accompaniments: the Pedro Ximenez Montilla-Moriles Solera 1910.  This weekend, I’ll break open one of my two remaining bottles and toast the man, his memory, and the great meal.

Mailbag:

PG15 writes: “Been a busy couple of weeks over here, thus explaining the lack of commenting.”

Answer: How goes CalTech?

Thornyrose writes: “When do we get the official word on what it is you’re going to be working on? And little details, like when the show will be airing?”

Answer: Hopefully in a few weeks.

Sean D. writes: “Does Brad Wright have a blog or could he perhaps get one?”

Answer: No, and doubtful.  Sorry.

sparrow_hawk writes: “Just spring for one of the economy plus seats.”

Answer: That would be a step down from how I usually fly to Tokyo (on points).  Even the comfiest of seats get a little uncomfy after ten hours.

Sandy writes: “So Joe, did you check out Richard Morgan’s books?”

Answer: I’ve read Thirteen and The Steel Remains.  Enjoyed both.

DALLAS MARSHALL writes: “Since you say you will not be privy to new SGU developments after your move, do you have any suggestions regarding other people “in the know” that we should be watching on Twitter, blogs, Facebook or web sites?”

Answer: Again, if production does proceed on Stargate in some form, I have no doubt most of the cast and crew will be twittering away on a daily basis.

Saryn writes: “Remember, you’ll also miss the Richmond Night Market!”

Answer: Apparently there are a few in Toronto as well.

dasNdanger writes: “Are you keeping your place in Vancouver, then? If so, will you rent it out until you figure out where you’re going to settle?”

Answer: Keeping it for the time being.  We’ll see how both the new show and the new city work out.  While I’m away, some friend(s) will be enjoying the home theater and low-to-the-ground, dog-accessible king size bed.

dasNdanger also writes: “How’s Secret Six coming along? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about ‘Doll…”

Answer: Finished!  A big fan of all of the characters, Ragdoll and Jeanette in particular.

Josh writes: “What I was wondering is, how do you suggest to go about the making dialogue, and how much information of the technology in a SF book is a good amount?”

Answer: Tough question.  It varies and is entirely dependent upon the subject matter and the author’s writing style.  There is no set formula, so I’m afraid you’ll have to discover the proper balance through the act of of writing your novel.

Chris L. writes: “If you have the option, make the transportation your main character uses, the 2011 Audi A8 .. it appears to be a damn nice car.”

Answer: Maybe something like THIS but in black?

Shadow Step writes: “What purpose ? MONEY – they are not in it to be nice. Previously canceled shows have been yanked rather than shown because, apparently , ratings matter even for non returning shows.”

Answer: Matter to who and why?  Also, money for who?  The producers?  We’ve already been paid for our work on the show.  The studio? They’ve already been paid a licensing fee by the network to air the show.  The network?  I believe their ad rates have already been set and, even if not how does that involve me?

Quade writes: “Joe just remember, You can’t judge a neighbourhood by the neighbours.”

Answer: Actually, that was my line.  As was Volker’s response: “Are you kidding?  That’s exactly how you judge a neighborhood.”

Randomness writes: “But anyway, I’m sorry. I wasn’t angry at you or anything. If I came accross like that. I’m sorry =/”

Answer: No problem.

David J. writes: “the we were canceled not renewed part was crossed out. is this a mistake or is this telling us something in a subtle way?”

Answer: No, it was my way of having fun with someone who maintained the show hadn’t been “canceled”, simply “not renewed”.

Nick Danger writes: “Have you ever read any of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett? If so, which one is your favorite?”

Answer: Yes.  The Light Fantastic.

whovian writes: “Also, are you having to fly all the dogs out there? Are they small enough to fly in the cabin with you?”

Answer: Yes and that’s the plan.

Morticae writes: “Why don’t you visit Korea? The food is better here than in Japan.”

Answer: I would love to go to South Korea.  I’d make it part of my Asian culinary tour alongside Japan and Hong Kong.

hal ehlrich writes: “One question I have is knowing that the show was cancelled back in late Decemeber and you still had several episodes that were being edited and going through the VFX process , was there anything that could be done to somehow put closure to things. I know all of the scenes were already shot, but I wonder if things could have been done using Visual/Special Effects to change things up a bit ?”

Answer: Short of blowing up the ship in the final shot, no.

36 thoughts on “February 17, 2011: Almost smoooooth sailing! And more mailbag!

  1. CalTech is going, that’s for sure. Heh.

    I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I get to sleep in late most of the week, but that also means I need to stay in my office a lot longer to make up for the missed morning, but that’s fine since there’s not much else to do besides working. For instance, I’m commenting from my office right now, and it’s past midnight!

    The work consists mainly of classes, homework assignments, and research projects, all in various stages of incompletion. But, I’m having a good time, the material is very interesting, and the people here are Awesome, so it’s been great!

    The last few nights had me trying my hand at operating, remotely, one of the telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii in search of stars that may have planets orbiting them, so that’s pretty exciting stuff!

    Frankly, I’m hoping to find one of the Stargate planets so I can finally confirm that the show is, in fact, real. 😉

  2. I was curious so I looked up Air Canada’s pet rules on their website. I think this is what you need to read: A customer may not travel with more than one pet in the cabin. So I take that to mean one pet per person, with no set limit on how many pets total in the cabin. so you will need 3 friends to get the four dogs on the plane. I read that to mean it doesn’t matter what cabin you fly in, just one pet per person. It also also dimensions limit for the pet carrier itself. plus the 22 pounds limit includes the carrier.

  3. “the best case scenario, of course, being the production moving to Vancouver”

    It seems like EVERY show these days (well atleast the ones I watch) are all shot in Vancouver, it’s rather unfortunate you seem to be working on what seems like the one show that isn’t… :p

  4. @little uncomfy after ten hours.

    Personally I’ve slept through a period of long journeys before on planes. Think that was me being tired before boarding a plane lol
    It’s a good technique, it works.

    Anyway Joe, speaking of Japan, if your schedule allows you really should climb Mount Fuji during the warmer months. Bring someone with you, obviously if you get into difficultys. They have a family trail where people of all ages simply walk up the side of the thing to the top. Nothing remotely dangerous, and it’s a great way to meet and greet people(Well if they talk first, or if you get into a chitchat kinda situation).

    But yeah, I really need to like not speak as much when moody online haha.

    @Short of blowing up the ship in the final shot

    That would probably get an OMFG reaction from me and everyone else if it happened like randomly out of the blue.

    Speaking of which, did you see that info the SGunite guy was talking about? Apparently the science channel want a producer from Stargate Universe to contact them regarding the show.

  5. Answer: Keeping it for the time being. We’ll see how both the new show and the new city work out. While I’m away, some friend(s) will be enjoying the home theater and low-to-the-ground, dog-accessible king size bed.

    Yer gonna haveta burn that mattress when they’re done, you know that, right? 😉

    Answer: Finished! A big fan of all of the characters, Ragdoll and Jeanette in particular.

    Yeah, Mr. Das likes Jeanette, too. Men are sooooo easy. 😀 I loved Cats in the Cradle for a couple great ‘Doll moments: the butterflies, of course, but mostly for how he takes a stand for Black Alice. Loved that.

    And yes, it’s 4:30 am and I should go back to bed. 😛

    das

  6. Damn that car is puurdy, i cant wait for this tv show your doing. There has not been a single decent action/gun-toting-/car-swivelling/fist-smacking/explosion-exploding(i hope) show in i cant remember. And you, paul and rob are my favourite stargate writers (along with martin gero,brad wright and carl binder). Basically i have high hopes for this show and if you want to get rid of that or any audi i would be more than happy to help. Take it off you. For free. What?

  7. Did anyone see that Being Human and Ghost Hunters International did poorly recently on the Syfy channel? I assume both air at 9pm on Monday and Wednesday respectively.
    Take a look at this.

    Ghost Hunters International (SYFY)
    – 1.126 million viewers
    – 0.8/1 HH
    – 0.5/1 A18-49

    Sounds like the later timeslots aren’t doing all that great for Syfy on Mondays and Wednesdays these days.

    This kinda makes me wish Syfy hadn’t put SGU on Monday, it was getting what 1.3-1.6 million on average on Friday for 1.5. May not be amazing but it’d be a good way to show that there is an audience, although small in the grand scheme of things(Those with Nielson boxes) On the network. Still.

  8. Joe wrote: “Answer: Short of blowing up the ship in the final shot, no.”

    Luckily you weren’t a Fox show or that may have just happened.

    About the 2 animals per cabin thing, I think you’re right and Fondy is mistaken, as First Class is clearly not another cabin, it’s just people with a lot of money behind a curtain.

    Have you decided on an area in Toronto that you find suitable to look for real estate?

  9. Why the emphasis on your character’s transportation, Joe? What’s the character going to be transporting? Lotsa’ room and a good stereo in that model, I hope.

    Makes me want to go dig out my DVD’s of this series of movies I have…who am I kidding? I’m not going to find exactly 3 movies from the same series in that pile. I’ll just order them off Netflix.

    Hey, is it true you’re going to be writing for a new Transformers series?

  10. Hey joe,

    thanks for putting me staright with your answer, have to admit at first i did get excited thinking there was more to it but it was all just my misunderstanding.

    now for my next question,

    how much does it roughly cost for a season of SGU? including paying staff actors getting equipment and VFX?

    thanks hope you and the dogs are well good luck on the move.

    David

  11. Hey Joe,

    I was just wondering why we rarely see shots of Destiny with a planet in the background, similar to what we see in “Darkness” and “Light”. I think they would make for some incredible shots.

  12. It would seem it matters to the network since they still show it. If one entertains notions of perhaps working for them again one day it also seems sensible to be friends with them. Most likely they would be more friendly if you could still drive viewers to them.

  13. Joseph,

    Just a heads-up to check your e-mail. I don’t think it’s working because I didn’t get the lunch invite! Strange, I know. Look forward to seeing you today.

  14. PS…I vote Audi A8 too! In black, but it would be even better in a custom dark, dark grey.

  15. I like the car. My parents owned an Audi several years back, and I always enjoyed riding in it.

    Oh, and if you did blow up the ship in the final shot, I would go WTF and start banging my head against a wall so probably not a good idea. 😉

    Hope you’re having a good day!!

  16. So the move has to be done by spring solstice? Are you(or the production) planning some sort of ceremony to bring good luck to the new show? 22 pounds seems to be a bit of an arbitrary weight limit. I understand the holders have to be small enough to permit humans to escape in the event of disaster, but given the rates they will no doubt charge, you’d think they could up the limit a bit. At least you will minimize the length of the potential trauma the dogs expeerience. But they probably will enjoy the flight more than you. They can’t be bored to tears by the movies offered in flight.
    Did watch Survivor, and it’s definitely shaping up into a fun season. Federal Agent Man is going to be one of the more colorful characters to come along. I can see just from the one show why he has held three separate federal positions. The first was probably with the TSA. It will be interesting to see how Redemption Island effects the outcome of the game. And how quickly Boston Rob and Russell manage to start leading their tribes around by the nose. Fun times…
    Good luck on coordinating the cross country move as you turn out stories and scripts. And thanks for the decent sized mail bags. Always appreciated.

  17. Mr. Mallozzi,

    First off I want to thank you for helping to produce one of the best Sci-Fi franchises I have ever seen. I know you are doing what any other person would do by moving onward to new prospects and to be honest I cant wait to see what you come up with next. Thanks for keeping us updated the best you could on the progress of saving SGU and I hope if it does return you would still be a part of it.

    Now for my selfish reasons for commenting. I am starting up a Save The Gate campaign to not just try to get SGU onto a new network but also try to keep the whole franchise alive. It is online at http://www.savethegate.com and on twitter @savethegate I was hoping that you would allow me to link to your blog from the site (admittedly I already linked to it on twitter but will take it down if you wish) and possibly share the link in one of your mailbag’s.

    Good luck with any remaining hopes for SGU and in your future endeavors.

    BTW: Sweet car!

  18. If he truly IS a former Federal Agent, then I think the U.S. is in A LOT of trouble.

    Note that he’s a former Federal agent. There might be good reason for that.

  19. I also watched Survivor and can not believe that guy who was a “Federal Agent”. What a wackadoodle! Why, would you ever trust him with anything? Glad this season started off with some crazies and hope it’s enjoyable. The young people so far look dumb, as Boston Rob runs his game. Not sure how Russell will fare.
    It has to be better than last time right?

    I hope the puppy ferries work out. Keeping my fingers crossed everyone arrives together.

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  20. @Elliott

    Personally I think it’s because the story is written in such a way that having a planet in the background would be pointless in some ways as Destiny is pretty much always jumping from one region to another in Space.

    I myself would love to see Destiny flying between a planet with moons, kinda like a Saturn rip off. It’d be so incredible.

    Sadly I doubt we’d see that now T.T

    As we’re on the VFX subject, a Blue Dwarf star would be interesting to see too, they haven’t been confirmed 100 percent to exist but a Sci fi having their take on what one would look like would easily attract viewers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_dwarf_(red_dwarf_stage)

  21. Looks like Survivor is off and running. I liked Francesca, although watching the FFA (former federal agent) will be entertaining, especially when his head explodes.

    Does Quantico have federal agents mopping their floors?

    @PG15, you had to mention the observatories up on Mauna Kea: Ramble! We drove up to the visitor’s center near sunset. Watched the video about the clash of science and culture. The volunteers did a star tour in the parking lot with their impressive personal telescopes. Fascinating. I loved it. Spent too much money in the gift shop. We chose not to go to the top, hubby is worried about my blood pressure at that altitude. I’ve seen the night sky from other places on earth without much light pollution, but Mauna Kea… you have to go in person. Find a way. Go, go now. You feel as though you can touch the stars.
    Even the restrooms had red lights so as not to destroy night vision.

    @Randomness … family trail? Did we hike up the same Mt. Fuji? I was in pretty good shape then and it still kicked my ass. Twice. But my staff made it to the summit. Of course, I didn’t know I had asthma back then, I just thought I wasn’t do well at altitude. (I was skinny then, unlike now)

  22. So, Joe…is it Transporter? That would be good, I think. I’d like to see something like that – I’m really tired of medical/legal shows, and there’s more than enough wacky police consultants out there right now.

    das

  23. Sad to see their is little hope for Universe. Without any Stargate on tv, just feels wrong.

    Question, want to start reading books. Havent read book for about 10yrs. But want to start up but need a good book to start. I love scifi like Stargate an Charlie Jade. Any suggestions?

  24. @Thornyrose – 22 pounds = 10 Kilos, Joe was just being nice and stating it in Pounds 🙂

    Elminster

  25. @pg15: Remote operation of telescopes? Sounds like fun!

    @das: Todd as Elric??????? As much as I love Todd, he just doesn’t fit the lithe, slim, sexy image of Elric that I have in my brain. Not that Todd isn’t a sexy beast in his own right.

    And Pendergast is quite a character. Living here in the flatlands of Illinois I could really get a good image of that scene!

    @Joe: Yes, but are you traveling in the business-class seats that convert into beds? Those look pretty keen: not that I have the points to travel that way. And since my two kids are usually traveling with me, I would have to multiply every upgrade x3.

    Hey! I almost finished Lady of Mazes! When I get to the end I’ll tell you what I think of it. And I have another author question:

    2. What manifold would you chose to live in?

    You’re right, though: long trips are just…. long. No getting around that. But sometimes you make sacrifices to get where you want to be!

  26. Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

    I’m glad that things are heading in the right direction (in terms of transporting your dogs). I really hope that the house will work out for you quickly. It can be REALLY stressful, but also rewarding.

    Also, though I am no wine connoisseur, I was wondering what Pedro Ximenez Montilla-Moriles Solera 1910 tastes like. (Not like in huge detail, but, still.)

    Thanks!

    Maria 🙂

  27. Joe,

    As you are now currently between two different shows, are you finding it hard to shift back and forth between them or has Stargate been a part of your life for so long its just second nature?

  28. Macaroons… since Joe didn’t respond, anyone else want to recommend a place I can order real macaroons from?

  29. OK, maybe I could have phrased the frist part better, but I still want to know what happened to the Stargate on Klorel’s ship.

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