I can’t believe September is almost done and, in a few weeks, I’ll be making the BIG move to Toronto – just in time for what’s predicted to be (and I quote) “the T-Rex of winters” (http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/t-rex-of-winters-in-store-for-canada-old-farmer-s-almanac-1.2012804#).  Of course, I’ll be spending most of it on a nice, cozy spaceship set.  Or, in a nice, cozy car on my way to a nice, cozy spaceship set.  On the one hand, the highway driving may be icy and treacherous; on the other hand, all of the lane shutdowns happening in Toronto will ensure that nobody will be going fast enough to suffer any real damage.

The plan is for Paul and I to fly over to Toronto the week of October 6th for some meetings covering everything from casting and scheduling to DOP’s and editors. I’m going to try to pack everything I’ll need for my 7 month Toronto stay into two suitcases I’ll be bringing with me on that initial trip.   Just the bare essentials: shirts, suits, ties, cufflinks, laptop.  I’ll try to buy everything else I’ll need – towels, toiletries, dog beds, workout wear – while I’m there that first week.  Between approving ship designs and interviewing Directors of Photography, I’ll be hitting the Eaton Center for dress socks and warm underwear!

We fly back to Vancouver at the end of that week and then I’ll have all of the following week to get my local affairs in order, hand off the house keys to my former dog sitter who will become a house sitter until May of next year, and then make the final trip eastward (for 2014 anyway), dogs in tow the weekend of October 18th.  Our friend Jeff has kindly offered to help transport the pooches so, once we firm up a date, I’ll get on the phone with the airline and book the flight with the roomiest under-seats.  I believe the rules allow for only one dog (as carry-on) per person, and limit pets to a mere two in business class and two in coach.  If that’s the case, Jeff (and Lulu) will be flying in style while Akemi, Bubba, Jelly and I squeeze into economy.  I’m considering purchasing extra seats, just in case.  I have to admit, getting my dogs cross-country is the most stressful aspect of this whole Toronto production.

I’m aiming to have 9 of our 13 first season scripts completed by the time we land in Toronto, October 6th.  Paul did a brilliant job on the delightfully creepy episode #5 that went out today and is presently revising episode #6.  Rob is working on his first draft of episode #7 while I do a pass on Trevor’s draft of episode #8.  And, of course, I already completed episode #9 which sits, patiently waiting to be read.

We’ve approached the first season like a book, the thirteen episodes the equivalent to chapters in an extended story.  We set up a big mystery in the opener, one we’ll develop over the course of the first year and, eventually, pay off BIG in the finale. The great thing about having all 13 episodes in advance (besides the obvious production advantages) is that we’ll be able to read the entire first season from beginning to end, tweaking where necessary to ensure a gripping, well-developed narrative layered with intriguing set-ups and surprising/satisfying pay-offs.   It also allows our Visual Effects team (lead by former Stargate VFX Supervisor Mark Savela and this show’s VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) and Playback department to get a jump start on those visual effects and awesome onscreen images.  And having those nine episodes in the bank for early October also allows us to choose the perfect sides for each character audition – and there will be plenty: six crew members plus that, uh, non-human character.

We’ve got half our directors in place and you’ll, no doubt, recognize a few familiar names.  Very much looking forward to working with them again.  It’s been WAY too long.

My biggest point of focus from now until mid-December will be those sets. Construction begins on the ship, shuttle, and space station in late October and I need them to look truly awesome.  Also, I’ll need to make sure the shuttle is heated, with a  roll-out bed and working bathroom because chances are, if the shoots run late, that’s where I’ll be spending most of my nights.

18 thoughts on “September 24, 2014: October fast approaches!

  1. Hey Joe
    Almost October… and we haven’t gotten the September announcement of
    what show you’re working on.

    You should get your people to call their people and get the timing ironed out. 🙂


  2. @Joe:

    No need to book business class for me, I’m happy to fly coach. Besides, Jelly and Bubba will need to stretch out. 🙂

    Maybe I can use the flight time to try to woo Lulu away from Ivon; what does she think of older men? 😉

  3. You do realize that you are driving us all crazy, Joe.
    I’ve started to get the urge to reach through the computer, grab you by the lapels and shake you whilst I shout, “tell me everything you know!”

    *deep breath*

    Okay, I’m better now.

    But I still want you to tell me everything you know.

  4. Always a pain to haul your belongings from one end of the country to the other. But what are you going to do if this show continues for the next five years… Leave beautiful Vancouver for Toronto? I’m reading that it’s not uncommon for locations to change as some shows have already. You might get lucky again.

    I’m looking forward to the show, as yet unnamed and waiting patiently for the name… But I’m also looking forward to hearing about all your foodology experiences in the Toronto area. Being close, I wouldn’t mind trying them out myself on the rare occasion that I visit TO.

    I hope we hear the name of the show soon.

  5. Dude, it’s ALWAYS the T-Rex of Winters here in the Eastern half. It’s what we do.

    I can’t blame you for being stressed about transporting the dogs – when I go away, I have to take the birds to my nephew’s place which is about a half hour drive away, and even that always seems to be the biggest deal of the whole preparation for the trip. Between transporting cages and arranging and explaining feeding schedules, it’s kind of a rigamarole. It always goes smoothly though, as I’m sure your trip will.

    Can’t WAIT to see this show! And yes, make sure those sets are top notch, because you know how picky we are! 😉 SG has set some pretty high standards, but if anyone can pull off matching it, it’s you and your team.

  6. Were looking @ el Nino this winter in Arizona which means a nice wet winter. P.s when is the announcement coming?

  7. Am sure Michael Shanks can lend you some “Winter Woolies” to tide you over…he’s there filming Saving Hope until December 15th…if not I know he can recommend a great brown leather jacket which many hardened SG1 viewers will recognise and that he still wears to this day..;)

    I just left Vancouver on Tuesday evening..caught the final two weeks of the glorious Summer & had a marvellous time..stand out meals for me were dinner at the Bluewater Cafe & Raw Bar & Five Sails Restaurant at the Pan Pacific, with honourable mentions for the view & Salmon at the Teahouse In Stanley Park and the still fantastic jazzy atmosphere on a Friday at Joe Fortes…I’m no gourmet like you but I know what I like in Vancouver and keep on returning..that suits me…at least two 9-11 km walks round Stanley Park & climbing around Lynn Canyon, Squamish & other places helped me keep off the pounds whilst on a 5 week trip – we visited New York, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City & Ottawa too before our 2 weeks “rest” in Vancity….I managed to actually lose 5!!…going to have to keep up this no computer/more exercise rule now I’m home eh?

    Safe travels and if you ever want to get into Soccer I know a nice guy at Toronto FC who manages the kit for them…found a long-lost cousin I never knew I had, let alone one living in Toronto, this summer too!…

    Oh and the roadworks around Front Street & Union Station are still horrendous!!

  8. You’re rolling right along there. That’s a lot of coordination. Maybe you’re prepping for a stint in the director’s chair?

  9. @space station

    I love this, who doesn’t love a good space station? Any good Scifi show needs one. I hope your show turns out to be a long running project Joe, at least 5 seasons.

  10. Speaking of which, people really should check out Aldnoah Zero if they like anime. It’s possibly one of the best Scifi anime shows ever made, and it has a second season starting in January.

    This scene

    What a way to end an premiere episode, with the Vers Empire ships(Basically a human government of Mars) descending to Earth, the start of a war begins. Poor New Orleans though, it gets hit hard lol. The music in that video, is just perfect and the scene pretty powerful.

  11. Exciting! I hope you have a great birthday blowout in Toronto; you should be well settled by then and due a party.

    I enjoyed All You Need is Kill, but it seemed movie would have been better with Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana as the leads, folks who are believable as sassy kickasses.

  12. I hope all your plans come to fruition, just like you want them to! It’s wonderful you have good friends to help through all the moving. Is that JeffW helping you fly the pups over? Awesome!

    When you move back, what are you going to do with your new household worth of stuff? You could always donate the towels, and doggie beds to the local humane society/shelter.

    Can’t wait to find out about the new show!

  13. Your life always seems like it’s on fast forward. It’s amazing how much you plan to get done in such a short period of time, including all the writing and re-writing.

    Have you already found a place to stay? I can’t imagine you’ll have much time to look. Are you planning to be closer to the studio this time? And the traffic sounds a lot like LA. It took me two hours to drive less than 20 miles yesterday for a medical test at UCLA. Then they robbed me $12 for parking.

    It sounds like you’re in great shape, so I’m sure your test will be fine. No worries.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to see how the show evolves, and finally being able to look forward to a night of watching TV and seeing some familar faces in front and behind the camera. Any word yet on when there will an announcement?

  14. I am hoping that your new show will air in the US! I feel like I’m already attached to the show. You’ve involved us faithful readers in the entire process from beginning to…well…beginning…I’m invested in the outcome. Can you at least tell us that much? Will it be airing in the US?

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