Today, Akemi and I met up with our friend Sheryl (and her boyfriend West) to check out the first day of the EAT! Vancouver festival, described as “the only consumer food, beverage and cooking festival in Vancouver” and “the ultimate Food Expo”. These two facts together make me very, very sad. I’m not saying it was a total waste of time, but I am suggesting your $16 entrance fee could be better spent on lottery tickets.
There were plenty of exhibitors offering free samples of everything from Greek yogurt and olive oil to chocolate and smoothies. Ultimately, there was nothing there you couldn’t find at most high-end grocers but I suppose it’s an opportunity to get the word out about their respect products. In addition to food, there were other retailers selling dog treats, kitchen products, and information on travel to Louisiana, Mexico, and the Philippines. There was also a separate booze section that was a little more interesting.
In terms of entertainment, we were treated to some sort of Chef Off on the big stage featuring some Food Network personalities, and a barista competition that was difficult to watch given the angle of the seating and the fact that most of the baristas worked with their backs to the audience. A big screen offered a live feed of the action but, unfortunately, the bright lights pretty much blew out the picture so it was near impossible to make out what was going on.
As for the food – the main draw – there were some two dozen food stands, mainly local restaurants, selling 2-3 bite-sized portions of fairly unremarkable plates: quite a few mini burgers, some tacos, desserts.
While we were talking, an elderly woman stumbled over a pocket of cables and took a tumble right behind us. Then, seconds later, another elderly woman tripped but managed to steady herself before eating carpet. I suggested we step aside or risk being taken out at the knees.
On the way out, I stopped to snap some photos of the melon art at one of the Thai restaurant booths:
Too pretty to eat. At least that’s what they said when I tried to eat it.
As it turned out, EAT! Vancouver wasn’t a total waste of my time. I ended up buying two bottles of some lovely flavored oils:
Once you factor in their purchase price, the entrance fee, and the cost of parking, they came out to roughly $35 a bottle.
I’ll have to be sure to use them sparingly.
Yates writes: “I’ll be at SDCC selling my wares – booth 1335, look for the guy with all the colorful puzzles – It would be great to say hello!”
Answer: I’ll track you down!
DP writes: “Here you go: the list of words to avoid to supposedly keep the Department of Homeland Security from cyber-stalking you.”
Answer: Yep, pretty much covered all of them while researching this miniseries.
Tam Dixon writes: “I thought prawns were just big shrimp? I’ve never seen them prepared like that.”
Answer: Went out for sushi last night. Look at what they served us with our spot prawn aburi…
KEK writes: “The stuff done on BSG was groundbreaking, not even surpassed in SGU. The stuff we’ve seen on Stargate is relatively generic by comparison, with nothing really setting it apart too much from Trek or even Dr Who.”
Answer: The second sentence receives a huge ?????!!!! from me. As for the first part – yes, BSG did amazing things with, as you pointed out, a significantly bigger budget, but the aliens our VFX team created for episodes like Space and Awakening were second to none.
Debra writes: “Speaking of your guys, did I miss an update on the older adoption pair you wanted?”
Answer: Nope. I’ve been busy working on this miniseries and wanted to go away for a little vacation before adopting.
Line Noise writes: “I’m curious about the origins of this mini series. Was it an idea that you and Paul had on the shelf that your agent was shopping around? Or were you approached out of the blue by the producers?”
Answer: The latter.
Line Noise also writes: “If the latter, how much of the story was already decided by the producers before you started writing? Were you tightly constrained by certain elements or did you have free reign?”
Answer: They came to us with several concepts and there was one that particularly appealed to us. They had some suggestions for the opening and potential dramatic developments but we were otherwise given free rein in building the story. We broke the 16 act narrative over the course of a week, received notes on the outline, and started work on the script soon after.
Line Noise also writes: “How much interaction do you have with the producers during the writing process? Are you sending them regular drafts and receiving notes?”
Answer: As I said, we received notes at the outline stage. We’ll receive our next round of notes after delivery of the first draft. And then, depending on how tight the prep schedule, probably one last set of notes on the second draft.
Line Noise also writes: “I’m just intrigued because if cameras roll in July the producers must be pretty confident they’re going to get what they want from you.”
Answer: The outline was fairly detailed, breaking down every scene and beat in each act of the four hour event, so there won’t be any surprises at the script stage. There will no doubt be notes, but they won’t be of the “I think the end of act 4 should be the end of act 2” variety.
Ponytail writes: “I’m wondering if when you reflect back on your Stargate days, if the problems you had with production or people involved don’t seem so bad anymore, and you recognize it was all just a part of the process?”
Answer: Stargate was such a well-oiled machine that there were few if any big problems to deal with. Sure, there were some minor hiccups along the way typical of any production – scheduling conflicts, disagreements on creative or other matters – but those were issues quickly addressed and just as quickly forgotten. We had a show to produce!
mike mcginnis writes: “Two quick questions 1. can please do an SGA trip down memory lane? 2. if you get shanks to answer questions, could you also ask hewlett to stop by at one point and maybe flanigan?”
Answer: 1. Yes, eventually. 2. David’s web presence is bigger than mine and has made himself very accessible to fandom! Having him do a Q&A here would be redundant.