1It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

Let’s answer some questions…

for the love of Beckett writes: “How did you like “Cabinet of Curiosities?”

Answer: I liked it but not as much as either Still Life With Crows, Relic, or Reliquary.  Pendergast is a terrific character and I wanted to learn more about him, but felt his connection to the case he was investigating too contrived.

Ganymede writes: “BTW, what are Bubba’s “measurements”? ..maybe I can crochet something up..?”

Answer: Very kind of you but, as much as Akemi will deny it, Bubba hates to wear clothing.  He’s more of a free and easy type of pug.

PBMom writes: “Are you replacing the car with a newer model?”

Answer: Nope.  It’s a second car I’ve been meaning to sell for a while now.  Who’s interesting in acquiring a gorgeous 2007 Q7?

archersangel writes: “how many do you read a week? (where do you find the time to read?) and is your to be read pile fairly big?”

Answer: I average 3-4 books a week, but it really depends on how busy I am.  I make time, usually an hour or two before I go to sleep.  And, yes, my to-read pile is insurmountable.  And I’m still buying.

PJR writes: “Do you edit & re-edit in your mind’s eye, tightening & testing and then to fit/cut to page length? Or is it best for you to work primarily, or even in balance, on the page?”

Answer: I generally prefer to outline my work before starting on a script and, this usually results in the finished product being more or less spot on in terms of length.  I never worry about length while I’m writing.  That’s something I’ll address in the rewrite, making the necessary trims to get the script down to proper length if I need to.

PJR also writes: “Separately…an existing SF franchise…Global already or which side of the pond, or N American border?”

Answer: If you’re talking about the series and pilot we’ve developed, it’s an original concept.  If you’re referring to the “established property” that will form the basis for our next pilot, it’s a work of prose fiction by an established SF author.

G-Man writes: “I would have suggested renting out your home AND renting a suitable property, but I see some have already beaten me to it. However, there is a Mortgage expert based out of Chicago…”

Answer: Thanks for the input and the offer.  At the end of the day, if I had to go through the hassle of packing up everything and moving, I’d have no inclination to move back so renting out the house was never an option.

Duptiang writes: “Just curious, with this episode written and directed by Robert Cooper, how much Executive Producing do you get to do?”

Answer: When we were working on Stargate, all of the writer-producers were involved in helping to build stories: spinning, breaking, providing notes on outlines, drafts, cuts and mixes.  But, when it came to hands-on production, everyone essentially ran their own episodes.  In the case of Vegas, I believe Rob outlined the story on his own.  He also had even more influence on the final product as he directed the episode as well.

Duptiang also writes: “I think the big space battle was used earlier and a cost saving (nothing unusual). But, I think a quick view of youtube and that would have helped cast the scene and production. I felt it was cut out for a off the shelf sim program. Was that a production values decision?”

Answer: Sorry, don’t recall.

dasndanger writes: “Nuada is not your typical sociopathic villain, but instead he – for lack of better words – is a sensitive soul.”

Answer: On paper, yes, but the actor portraying Nuada failed to convey this in his performance.  His attempts to elicit sympathy from Hellboy, for instance, felt stock and, at times, silly.  For instance, in the scene with the giant plant creature, he appeals to Hellboy on the grounds that the creature is the last of its kind – yet Nuada had no problem siccing it on them, unleashing it to devastate the city center.  Instead of sympathetic, I found him disappointingly stock and kind of dumb.  It’s frustrating because I felt the base of a great character had been created but, ultimately, undermined by lazy dialogue.

Stitch writes: “Does the name Greg Z. Mean anything to you in the SGU world?  Since his vest is on eBay right now wanted to put face with name?”

Answer: Nope, sorry.  Never heard of him.  Most likely and extra.

Joan001 writes: “I’m enjoying the reruns and keep wondering what the “gang” is up to in the Pegasus Galaxy… Think it’s too late now for a movie?”

Answer: Sadly, yes.  Even if we could convince the entire cast to return (which would be quite a challenge given how Jason’s career has blown up post-SGA), we would have to face the even more daunting task of convincing the studio that an Atlantis movie would be a sound, financial move despite the fact that the show ended some four years ago.

Patricia Stewart-Bertrand writes: “Of all those people, once you get a green light for your next series, will you be recruiting some of them to come and work for you again?”

Answer: Yes, I joke about “getting the band back together” all the time.  Ideally, if we get the green light and do shoot in Vancouver, I’d like to work with as many Stargate vets as possible.

DP writes: “We have reason to believe that in your mind, where the series canon lives, Woolsey is in the Pegasus Galaxy right now. We’ll learn more about how that came about soon?”

Answer: In a future blog entry, I’ll discuss the script, Stargate: Extinction, what we had planned (more or less) for the movie and beyond.

David H writes: “I know it’s unlikely at this point, but was any thought ever given to trying to crowdfund the movies? Something like Kickstarter?”

Answer: If we, the producers, owned the rights to the franchise, then I can assure you we would have found a way to produce the movie.  The rights, alas, reside with the studio, MGM.

Tam Dixon writes: “Does Alex and Sara have room for you, Akemi and the pups?”

Answer: Oh, I’m sure they don’t.  But I’m sure they’d be willing to make room for time we’re there.  Like I said, we’ll only be in town for, at the most, five years.

dasndanger writes: ““Uh…nothing…nothing at all…though…umm, yeah…okay. Is that a squid?”

“Not exactly.””

Answer: Uh, yeah, thanks for that.  I’m having squid tonight for dinner.

Randomness writes: “Oh and Joe if you’re looking for another super long anime series…”

Answer: I much prefer the shorter (13-26 episode) series with a definitive end, like Cowboy Bebop or Now and Then, Here and There.  Any suggestions?



27 thoughts on “February 27, 2013: When was the last time we did a Mailbag?

  1. You have a second car? The Q7 is a really nice vehicle, but I’m quite happy with my little Jeep.

    “Ideally, if we get the green light and do shoot in Vancouver, I’d like to work with as many Stargate vets as possible.” I would think there would be a big advantage in that, since it would be much easier to hit the ground running if you know many of the people and how they work.

  2. ” Ideally, if we get the green light and do shoot in Vancouver, I’d like to work with as many Stargate vets as possible.” Oh please, yes!

  3. 1. We’ll have to agree to disagree about a certain prince. Also, you’re wrong. 😉

    2. 😆 Did it tickle on the way down?

    3. Did I just say that out loud? 😛


  4. Looking forward to reading about Extinction. Any chance you could get Brad Wright to write up something about the SG1 script?

  5. “Tam Dixon writes: “Does Alex and Sara have room for you, Akemi and the pups?”

    Answer: Oh, I’m sure they don’t. But I’m sure they’d be willing to make room for time we’re there. Like I said, we’ll only be in town for, at the most, five years.”

    Joe, I love you. But even I, after a few weeks, would have to say, “Get the hell out!”. Sorry. (the dogs can stay) 😉

  6. @Joe:

    I should have thought about this before, but I’ve been pretty busy lately: Considering Akemi’s talent at making pug clothes, is she interested in starting her own pug clothing line?

    @Tam Dixon:

    I finally got my pictures up from the Vancouver trip; you can find them here:


    I also put up a post on the Honda engine rebuild:


    The next few days are pretty busy…we’re celebrating my daughter Jackie’s 16th birthday this weekend and the house will be full of teenage girls. I’ll be making pizza and then the girls will have a movie marathon and sleepover. David and I may have to go into hiding after the birthday cake ceremony.

  7. thanks for the answers.

    my to be read pile is rather small these days. i don’t go out looking for books like i used to (& rarely found anything good when i did) and rent stuff from booksfree.com, so that keeps it down.

  8. Dang it!

    The SQL server went down on my webhost. Try the links in the morning; hopefully it will be back up by then.

  9. Thanks for answering our questions now and again. I know that there are many more things that fill your daily schedule… or I should say, many more things you ought to be doing. I have so many things I should be doing as well. …and yet, here I am, usually daily, filling my need for useless-to-me-but-totally-interesting-information to satisfy my curiosity about the world of television and movie world. You have introduced me to many Canadian (and U.S.) actors and their situations that I never before had the time to appreciate, as well as the problems and joys of developing TV series’ and movies in Canada.

    I’m only one person, but I suspect that there are many others who have learned and continue learning from you. Fitting time in your schedule for your blog and followers is very unusual but most appreciated. You are a very talented writer who obviously enjoys doing what you do.

    I hope you score the greatest luck with one or more of your projects that will put some of the people playing the characters we knew and loved from the three Stargate series back on the tube or screen.

    Thanks, Joe

  10. Lulu’s onesie is too cute!

    “How did you like “Cabinet of Curiosities?”

    Answer: I liked it but not as much as either Still Life With Crows, Relic, or Reliquary. Pendergast is a terrific character and I wanted to learn more about him, but felt his connection to the case he was investigating too contrived.

    Thanks for answering. 🙂 I agree, partially. Pendergast’s connection to a villain did seem more twisty than needed. However, read the first 50 pp. of Relic, but was turned off by the early jungle monster/Jurassic Park angle. (Did not like JP.) Skipped Reliquary because of same monster. Picked up C. of C. because Pendergast’s character becomes more central. Loved it because he is creepy and complex. Looking forward to reading Still Life when I finally get my outside project done.

    So enjoyed the look back at Atlantis, and the episodes that kept getting better and better. Have to admit Vegas was a smash, even without Carson Beckett. It was bittersweet to peek at Bridge Studios again. Hoping to hear that, yes indeedy, many of the old gang will be back together again soon. Especially a Carson look-alike. 😀

    Hugs and kisses for Jelly, Bubba, and Lulu. xoxo

  11. JeffW: Your wife is very beautiful and looked happy. You’ve must have done something right.
    How are not “big as a cow” eating all that great food? (that question goes to Mr. M. too 😀 ) The food looked incredible! I’d be broke living in Vancouver. As for the engine: Holy mother of God!!!! That looked like a lot of work. A great learning experience but whew! Good thing your son-in-law could help.

    Ponytail: I love reading your comments 😆 .

    Mr. M: Do you speak any German (yet)? Keeping my fingers crossed, praying, throwing salt over my shoulder,etc for your project’s success!

    I’ve been wiped out the last couple of days. After I get my work done, I may go and hold the couch down for an hour or so….

  12. Hey Joe
    Just saw the Weather Network. They say you’re looking to get 110mm of rain! That’s ark building numbers isn’t it?


  13. JeffW — Thanks for sharing the great blog posts and photos! I second everything Tam Dixon said. As my grandpa liked to say, you’ll have at least a couple extra jewels in your crown for the heroic work on the Honda engine! I even took a peek at the Super Bowl cheesecakes. 0_0 Nom! Will have to finish my freelance project first before undertaking cheesecake construction.

  14. @JeffW: Great pictures of Vancouver – sounds like a really nice time. Your pictures of the valve job makes me think of my dear departed Dad, who used to be a mechanic. He could tear apart an engine or transmission and put it together single handed. Heck, he was still 88 years old when he was doing his own brake work!

  15. Lulu looks pretty in pink, another Akemi creation?, cute outfit. How do you get Lulu to sit still while you dress her and pose. A promise of treats?

  16. JeffW: My hubby found a new author that seems pretty good. http://www.amazon.com/Swarm-Force-B-V-Larson/dp/1460953134/ref=la_B003MESPVM_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362099604&sr=1-1
    I’m reading Swarm now (hubby is on book number 4 or 5 in the series) and it’s pretty good. Larson’s story reminds me of Heinlein. The Kindle version is only $3.00 for Swarm. Larson must be getting more popular because his later books have gone up in value. Thought I would share.

  17. Joe, Thank you for taking time to choose and answer my questions.

    My mom got a family pet of a smaller size (poodle-terrier). She eventually got him a sweater for the winter. He was not a big fan of it. Perhaps that was because it was a Christmas theme. You know about ugly Christmas sweaters, right? After a season he did appreciate it, I think, because when he wanted to go outside I would lift it up and he would come and position himself so I could slip it on. What I did not understand was why my mom would take him in to get his hair cut in the middle of winter.
    Perhaps winters in YVC are too mild for Lulu to truly appreciate their value.

  18. I’ve been doing too much reading and not enough work this week. At least 15 novels (give or take 3-5) – some of them fairly long ones. I’ve been re-reading some of the novels I enjoyed as a teenager (or at least the ones I could find) and learnt that some of the plots/twists I remember are somewhat different from the real thing. Most of them in e-book form, because it’s so much easier to sneak read an e-book during work breaks than it is to sneak read a paper book (and easier to obtain that very moment you want it or to search/find other similar books of the same sub-genre). Sigh. I may have to fast books again for a while. The problem is, I do like a good fiction book, but then I forget to eat and sleep (of do anything else). Why are books so addictive?

    Also, I have been searching for a children’s picture book that used to be a favourite with my siblings. I want to get it for my baby nephew, but I can’t remember the title or author. The book was about a bar of chocolate that some children put aside, saying they’d eat it later. The dog found it and then put it aside for later. I think a cat found it and then put it aside for later. A crow then found it and put it aside for later. The sun came out, melted the chocolate and the ants found it – and the ants ate it right there and then. Anybody know it?

  19. @Tam Dixon, @gforce, @For the love of Beckett:

    Thanks! Vancouver was a lot of fun and we had a great time. On the Honda rebuild, it was tedious at times (mostly due to my son-in-law’s unheated garage), but we were able to work through it and get it done. As a “thank you”, he’s now planning to help us on the Corvette Transmission rebuild (in progress now).

    More to be posted on the blog later; for now we’re preparing for Jackie’s sweet sixteen birthday party tomorrow night. She chose a Corvette theme, so we’ve hung vintage Corvette posters, a “Corvette Summer” movie poster, racing flags, checkered flag balloons, and we got her a Corvette cake with a red ’68 Corvette on top. We also got her ’58 Corvette diner party boxes for the girl’s party favors.

    It’s looking like Jackie will have about 10 friends over for the party, movie marathon, and sleepover, so I’ll be making 6 pizzas to cover the meal. It’s going to be a busy night! Now I need to go make sure I have some earplugs! 😀

  20. @JeffW Nice pictures. Happy Birthday to your daughter. 16 is such a special age. When does she start driving?

    Lulu is hoping that Ivon will compliment her on her new wardrobe next time he’s over.

  21. More Stargate: Extinction please! It will really help the information I include and reference on my own blog and it’s painfully obvious why considering my blog’s name: stargateatlantisseasonsix.com. Can’t get much more on the nose than literally calling it Stargate Atlantis’ Season Six?:-)

  22. Hi Joe,
    just wanted to add a bit to the clothing of pets and some of the fun we are having on the subject. A friend on facebook recently linked to a facebook page that is /WaldorfEducation. It might be a way of keeping the chickens more tender; not sure.

    1. Duptiang: These are totally fashion-conscious chickens. I also love the cat hat and half expected the bird to be clothed as well… 😀

  23. Has anyone ever approached MGM about buying the rights to the franchise outright? (re: If we, the producers, owned the rights to the franchise, then I can assure you we would have found a way to produce the movie) I imagine that the value of the franchise is considerably less now that it has been dormant for such a long time.

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