October 23, 2014: Introducing Alison Hepburn!
Alison Hepburn – aka “The Driver”, aka “The Fixer”, aka “Audrey”

Now when most people hear we have an Executive Producers’ Assistant on a production, they’ll invariably ask: “What the hell do you need an assistant for?”. Well, the obvious answer is: “Everything.”   Once we roll into prep, production, and post, Executive Producers like me are far too busy to deal with certain aspects of life others take for granted.   Things like grabbing lunch, sending out emails, and combing my hair become tasks that no longer find room on my suddenly busy schedule.  Here a good EPA can be counted upon to pick up the slack.  But there’s a difference between a good assistant and a great assistant.  A good assistant solves problems.  A great assistant anticipates and addresses issues BEFORE they can become problems.  A great assistant excels in other areas as well, demonstrating a unique skill set that might go unnoticed – until the situation demands it.  Alison, for instance, in addition to her various inter-office talents, is blessed with an uncanny sense of direction, terrific sunglasses, and has trained as a security professional.  For the duration of this production, she will be my bodyguard, accompanying me to and from set and to various high-profile functions. You may not notice her because she’ll blend into the shadows (she spent a summer in Kyoto interning as a ninja) but, should you attempt any sudden moves in my direction, she WILL TAKE YOU DOWN!

Fortunately today, I didn’t need her to kick anyone’s ass for me.  Instead, I required her driving skills, uncanny sense of direction, and knowledge of the local retailers in order to secure a new power cord for my laptop.  We took a ride to Staples where the weary saleswoman walked us over to the appropriate section and offered up a wholly inappropriate device.  Of course, I didn’t know it was inappropriate.  But you know who did?  That’s right.  Alison!  Despite the saleswoman’s insistence that it WAS the correct power cord, Alison would not be deterred, quietly insisting the saleswoman was mistaken.  And, sure enough, she was!  IF I’d bought the recommend power cord, my laptop would have died and I would have had to make a return visit.  But, fortunately, Alison was with me.  She anticipated and addressed the issue before it became a problem.  Amazing.

In addition, she’s also a budding you writer.  I intend to take her under my wing and mentor her to the point where, eventually, she will be able to step in and assume all of my writing duties on the show, leaving me even more time for my intensive weekly fantasy football research.

Upon our return to the office, Alison coordinated lunch as well (seeing as I’d complicated matters by insisting we order barbecue), then assumed navigation duties as I drove us to Barque (http://barque.ca/main-menu/) to pick up our order.

October 23, 2014: Introducing Alison Hepburn!
Eating lunch together like a proper family.

Lunch was my treat today as a thank you to the office gang (and to make them all hugely indebted to me) – but it almost wasn’t as the machine wouldn’t accept my credit card.  Usually, in situations like these, an assistant is relied upon to create a diversion while a producer makes good his escape with the take-out order – but, on this occasion, I had enough cash to cover it it so that proved unnecessary.

We all sat down together in the conference room and enjoyed some great brisket, ribs, wings, chicken.  And spinach salads because we belied they were good for us.

I spent the entire afternoon searching my laptop for my rewrite of the pilot.  The ENTIRE afternoon!  And I still couldn’t find it.  In retrospect, I could have saved time by just rewriting the script again.

More auditions headed our way tonight!

30 thoughts on “October 23, 2014: Introducing Alison Hepburn!

  1. So Alison is to Dark Matter as Trevor was to Transporter? Have you determined her stance on baboon anal glands yet?

  2. Oh wow, I could TOTALLY use one of those assistants. Not because I’m that busy (although I am, kind of), but I’m fundamentally lazy.

    Did you ever find the script??

  3. I don’t take things like grabbing lunch, sending emails, and combing my hair for granted. I have a house full of kids. I need an Executive Assistant, too.

  4. Joe, I am not sure but let’s see here. Both have long brunette hair, both have nice but non teeth showing smiles, both have strong cheek bones, and brown eyes (yet Alison has those non glare polarized contrast enhancing lens that discerningly help in proper aim placement), both ware denim in dark colors, both seem not to have anything on there left hand (not sure why I notice that) both are said to be quite adroit in problem solving and anticipating production needs, both seem to enjoy leafy vegetables as shown in yesterday’s picture and today’s menu selection. Not really saying anything, just saying. Sounds like production is off and running, Must be fun.

  5. I would be interested in reading about exactly how a person becomes a producer’s assistant. Is this purely one of those things where you have to know people, or if someone decided they wanted to become a producer’s assistant (most likely on the way to bigger things), are there specific things they could do to get there?

  6. Might I suggest that you email yourself copies of your works so that you always have one at the ready should you not be able to find your script on your laptop. Or, you could have asked Allison to help you find it.

  7. 1. Why did you blur out part of the Eye Exam sign? Did it contain a naughty word? A dirty picture? Your phone number? (As if we all don’t already have your number… 😉 )

    2. Which of these recently introduced lovely ladies is most likely to be your new ‘Ashleigh’ (a.k.a. your Arch Nemesis)? Do tell so we can egg her on! 🙂 Of course, I’ve never been known for my patience…sooooo…

    3. @ Vanessa & Alison – Some tips: Joey LOVES raw vegan food. And mint. He also gets a kick out of it when people with colds sneeze all over his paperwork and lick his phone and pens and stuff. Pretty sure he feels quite honored when someone leaves a used tissue on his desk like some sort of soggy trophy, too.

    Oh, and he really likes snakes, so if you have a pet python or something be sure to bring it in to work for Joe to hold! He’ll love that! Be sure to take pictures! 🙂 And speaking of pictures, make sure you take him to the tallest building in town for the scenic view of the city – he simply adores snapping pics from on high, especially if he can get out on a flat open roof. I’ve even heard him mutter that ‘Parapets are for weenies’, so pretty sure you can take him right to the edge for that ‘ants on the sidewalk’ view!

    4. @ Joe – Did I leave anything out? 😉


  8. Hellooo Alison! 😀

    Sounds like you had a busy day Joe; Good luck in finding the script. How are Akemi and dogs adjusting?

  9. Oh good! I’m glad you call her Audrey Hepburn too. Because every time I see her name, I read it as Audrey. Nice conference room.

    Did you warn your new co-workers that your blog is followed by a bunch of opinionated, loyal yet rabid fans?

    How is Bubba doing?
    (Maybe that android is going to turn out to be a girl?)

  10. Alison sure looks like she can handle anything, or anyone. And a well fed office gang is a happy office gang. And they sure look happy!

    I was wondering if there is a date yet for the first day of shooting. And I haven’t been watching Syfy Channel much since SGA ended, but is ordering only 13 episodes of a show the norm for them now, or for even other networks?

  11. In addition, she’s also a budding you writer.
    i’m not sure if you were going for “new’ or “youth” (writing for young people) there.

    and those ,b>are terrific sunglasses. (& a nice jacket)

  12. Welcome Alison, and you will have time to repent.
    aka “The Driver” not very original but hey, aka “The Fixer” less original but its diminutive it can work “Fixy” and aka “Audrey” seriously? and why not “Katharine” not very original but given his ninja training we could merge Katharine with Cato aka “Catorine”. Sorry from now you are “Catorine” for me. 😛
    Nice lunch table.

  13. I am sure you are enjoying the quiet before the oncoming storm, busy, busy is what I predict, and nice to find time to eat as a real family, so hard to do these days. Looks like a great team of people you will be working with, best of luck in your new adventure! Remember to share the food pictures…

  14. Hmmm… Alison, Ashley… I’m sensing a pattern. Well I’m recovering from my first loss of the Fantasy Football season. Ugh Andy Dalton back to the bench for you. Here’s hoping my team recover. Nick Foles is back and we are up against Tom Brady.

    Is Mike Dopud going to be in Dark Matter? He’s in everything.

    Cheers, Chev

  15. Joe, how are the dogs faring? Have the finally adjusted to their new home? May I ask which studio are you working at? I have something to post.

    Cheers Chev

  16. Thanks for introducing us to the new staff members, Joe!
    I hope you are finding good candidates for all of the characters amongst all of those auditions.

  17. Hey, hiya, howdy Alison. I missed Vanessa yesterday, so hey, hiya, howdy.

    Hmmm, leafy greens. A conspiracy, I tell you. Zoodles will be next.

  18. Looking forward to seeing the first script she writes for the show, may be in season 2, presuming season 1 writing assignments have already been taken. Hopefully she won’t have to beat to many people up for you during production.

  19. Well, it’s good to know that should any future arch-nemeses arise, you’ve got a defacto bodyguard in place. 🙂

    Did she really spend a summer in Kyoto? If so, looks like you might have a new travel buddy for next year’s Japan trip. Either that, or someone who’ll dog-sit for you while you and Akemi go, as any proper underling would do for a Baron.

    -Mike A.

  20. @Mr M

    Thanks for introducing us to your [S]minions[/S] help for the new show.


    All you need to know about Joe is in this blog that is continuous for 8 years! And yes, he and high places have a special relationship.

  21. Did you find your pilot script yet? I remember you said it has a girl that really is a girl, a kid we think is a boy but turns out to be a girl, a super strong Android that is actually a girl, and a good looking long-haired guy that really is a guy. Oh and the kid has a pug dog that is a girl too. Yeah that’s pretty much what you told us. Remember now?

    @ Das – 😆 😆 I decided that blurred out sign had the address on it. Joe obviously doesn’t want us retracing his path back to the office.

  22. Good that things are going so well for you Joe, sounds like smooth sailing. You’ll have to forgive me for being more interested in the set stuff/casting etc.

    That said it sounds like you’re building quite the team.

  23. @Mike Dopud going to be in Dark Matter? He’s in everything.

    I hope he is, I think he’s a good actor.

  24. LOL @ Das.

    That list sounds like it would make a good song like “These are Some of My Favourite Things.”

  25. Loving the introductions of the behind the scenes people. Also it sounds like you have a solid plan laid out for your new EPA. It is important to play to their strengths.

  26. Oh, we need a Bubba update! Or at least I do. How are they all making out, anyway?

  27. Hello Alison! Glad to know you’ll be taking care of things so Joe can concentrate on the things that matter.

  28. A great manager is hard to find *points at self* so good for you for finding one. YUM BBQ, my favorite!

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