January 9, 2017: A Day Off!  Let’s Hit The Mailbag!

My single day off this weekend happened to be the coldest day of the this winter so far.  Time to break out the big coat, scarf and, dare I say it, hat!

A BIG week ahead on the Dark Matter front.  Production continues on Episode 303 with director Steve DiMarco calling the shots while prep also continues on Episode 305 with director JB Sugar at the helm.  Between set, meetings, and writing, I’ll also be working on my producer’s edit for Episodes 301, 302 AND 304.  And, of course, that means…episode titles are on the horizon!

As you may or may not know, the readers of this blog got to choose the episode titles for Dark Matter’s second season.  And you’ll get to do it again for season 3.

Delving into the mailbag…

katie writes: “Would you be willing to read a spec script and give notes?”

Answer: Between Dark Matter and my work on various other pilots, I unfortunately don’t have much free time to read outside scripts.

livingforcreativity writes: “Do you still have attempts going to get other shows on the air? If so, can you tell us about them?”

Answer: Yes, I have three pilots out, making the rounds.  One is a straight, serialized drama, another a supernatural horror, the third that military SF I mentioned a few months back.

“Do you have elevators in your work or residence, and have you had issues?”

Answer: Nope.

“Does Akemi send you a breakfast bento box?”

Answer: More of an early dinner bento…

January 9, 2017: A Day Off!  Let’s Hit The Mailbag!

PBMom writes: “How is your knee?”

Answer: Better, but it does stiffen up at night or when I’m seated for extended periods of time.

Greg Long writes: “A lot of published authors say that to be a good writer you must read a lot. Does this hold true for screen writing?”

Answer: It holds true for me.

“Do you have a checklist for each scene to ensure it fulfills a purpose?”

Answer: Each scene should serve a purpose.  If you can remove a scene without it impacting the script, then it never belonged in the script in the first place.

bambamfans writes: “If you create another TV show, who will run Dark Matter?”

Answer: In that best case scenario, I’d oversee both productions.

“What is the theme of Season 3 Dark Matter?”

Answer: The past comes back to haunt.

“Will David Hewlett return as Tabor Calchek?”

Answer: No, he will not.

“Did you return to the same condo in Toronto that you lived in last season?

Answer: Yes.  At the end of the day, it’s far from perfect but better than the other options.

“Does Suji prefer the company of humans or dogs?”

Answer: Humans definitely, women in particular, and Akemi specifically.

“What film that you watched as a child had the largest impact on you?”

Answer: Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Star Wars.

“Who do you think will win the Superbowl?”

Answer: The Dallas Cowboys.

gforce writes: “How are Lulu’s spinal issues/walking coming along?”

Answer: Hard to say.  We’ve noticed that she’s been having trouble lately but we’re not sure whether its a physical issue or the fact that she’s wearing booties.

“Also, are those script rewrites that you needed to do all completed by now?”

Answer: Alas, I’ll be in script rewrite mode until we go to camera on our final episode.

Line Noise writes: “What is the knot you were using for your ties?”

Answer: It’s called a Trinity Knot.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMnlYXoCOwc

“How much scope does a Dark Matter writer have when writing an episode?  Do they just have a beginning and end and can do whatever they want in between?”

Answer: Definitely not.  When we gather to break stories for the new season, I already know what the arc of said season will be and most of the stories we’ll tell.  We’ll spin ideas for the individual stories, and then put the beats up on the whiteboard, breaking down the episode scene by scene.  Once we’re done, the writer will flesh out an outline based on the story we’ve broken.  I’ll provide notes on the outline at which point the writer will write a first draft.  Once they’ve incorporated my notes and delivered a second draft, I’ll do my pass on the script.

Randomness writes: “How do you feel about episodes based in the future?”

Answer: Love them.

Answer: More so, have you ever considered doing a Steins Gate type message from the future to one of the crew who is facing a traumatic ordeal and needs some encouragement to push through and overcome it from their future self?

Answer: No, although one of our crew members WILL be receiving a “message from the future” in an early season episode.

profmadmax writes: “Joe, on SG-1: whose call on DVD audio commentary participants?”

Answer: Participants weren’t so much chosen as they were asked.  Whoever was free and interested would take part.

“Do you feel that a writer can plagiarize themself?”

Answer: I suppose so, yes.

“Your least favorite Atlantis episode & why.”

Answer: I hated Sanctuary.  My take: https://josephmallozzi.com/2014/02/17/february-17-2014-news-of-note-our-stargate-atlantis-rewatch-continues-withouchsanctuary/

Dupdiang writes: “Just wondering what influence you had or a point to for your finish.”

Answer: As I’ve said from the beginning, I developed Dark Matter as a five season long arc with a definite beginning, middle, and end.  And all those elements are still in play.

TheOtherOne writes: “Please may I ask how you and Akemi first met? Was it love at first sight?”

Answer: We met in Tokyo at the Pierre Marcolini Cafe where she was working – and I was eating daily chocolate parfaits.  Our first date: https://josephmallozzi.com/2009/11/30/november-30-2009-tokyo-travel-day-6-ginza-la-tour-michel-troisgros/

“So far, what is the happiest memory you both share?”

Answer: So hard to narrow it down to just one.  Well, there was the day she was accepted as a permanent resident here in Canada.

“Who (and what) was your very own first pet?”

Answer: I had a cat called Smokey growing up.

“Did you grow up with an animal companion?”

Answer: Always.  Growing up I had Smokey, then a poodle named Snoopy, then various cats, then the pugs and Lulu.

“Please would you describe the circumstances you and Paul (Mullie) first met?”

Answer: We met in a college creative writing class of all places.

“And finally …Do you regret having to kill One off in Season 2?”

Answer: Do I miss actor Marc Bendavid?  Absolutely!

That’s all for today.  More answers to come!

18 thoughts on “January 9, 2017: A day off! Let’s hit the mailbag!

  1. The way Suji sits, she looks so much like an actual human baby. Arguably cuter than many!

    Here’s a couple of pics of Zoie from yesterday after I got her home.

    The camera distance on this makes it look weirdly distorted somehow. Anyway:

    Supervising cage construction:

  2. Wow, great answers, Joe. Thanks for using what precious spare time you have, to answer our questions.

    Thank you also for the link back to your first date with Akemi. What a meal! How wonderful too that you immortalised it all on your blog …. there forever. That’s really nice 😊

    Orange meringue pie …. oooo, need to try that one!

  3. Future stuff is so fun. I remember Voyagers Timeless. Harry Kim blamed himself for the death of his crew for so long, and along with Chakotay and the Doctor he changed the past and left his past self a video message. He did raise a good point about how he could have sent himself that message when that future never came to be in the end.

    Oh by the way Joe, the first episode of the new Gintama season is out.

  4. Wow.. Butch Cassidy is one of my favorite films of all time. I even did a project on it in the 8th grade that was presented at an English Dept Conference. Love that movie!
    Sorry to hear David Hewlett won’t be in Season 3. Can hardly wait for the summer so we can see the show

  5. Siji looks like a character in a book. Get to writing it Akemi! Joe is busy enough, so it’s up to you. A children’s book…

    @livingforcreativity – “Do you have elevators in your work or residence, and have you had issues?” Interesting question. Have you been stuck in one lately or something? 😆

    Answer: The Dallas Cowboys. Robert Cooper got his tickets yet to their playoff game? There are none available except for $40 standing room only ones. And I think those sold out after an hour or two. The suite tickets are going for $25,000. Seriously.

    @gforce – Congratulations on your new addition! She’s a beauty! Can you teach her to talk?

  6. Oh and thanks for the mailbag Joe!! Is this part 1 of 4? 🙂 (You have been asked a lot of questions….) But thanks for taking time on your only day off! (Personally, I would be sleeping on my only day off.)

  7. I love Stefan! His own salt! And his take on serving meat – fantastic! So glad you linked this trip down memory lane. Do you still meet up with Stefan? I definitely need to go back to the beginning and start reading…

    Thanks for taking time to answer our continuous influx of questions. I’m ready to name some episodes! Gotta remember Ep304 is going to be off the hook.

    @gforce: such a pretty bird

  8. I’m still around. How’s Suji dealing with the colder weather?

    @gforce…..beautiful parrot

  9. @randomness – not sure if you have this channel, but BBCAmerica is running the Voyager series. I haven’t seen those episodes in so long, it’s great to be able to watch them again!

    I watch more scifi on BBCAmerica than I do on SyFy. Go figure.

    @Gforce – so cute!! How do you post a picture here? I still don’t know how to do it.

    Today we went to a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark; accompanied by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Great show. The movie played on a huge screen, while the orchestra played all the music live, right underneath the screen. It was so good, you pretty much forget there is an orchestra on stage, as they blended in so well with the movie.

  10. I got a new “smart” 60″ tv for Christmas. Rewatching S2 of DM in HD on Netflix. Incredibly awesome! I mostly watched S1 on my iPad and S2 on my little “dummy” Vizio 32″ tv. This us a whole new experience!

  11. @Gforce: Congratulations on Zoe!

    Thanks for the Q&A!

    I’m with @Ponytail, sleeping would have been my option.

    Pugs are very photogenic!

    @Maggie L80: Smart TV’s are great! I really enjoy my Netflix button. Our other TV uses the Xbox to reach the Internet. It works but…..

  12. Brrr. A hat and no picture? C’mon!

    Love the mailbag, thank you. And thanks to those who come up with interesting questions, a skill I lack.

    Oh, and in other news, I’m in Maui. Doing nothing. The freezing rain at home can suck it.

  13. @Ponytail: This species isn’t really known for their talking ability, though I understand they are good at repeating sounds. She is very quiet though, so she may not be a talker at all, which is fine.

    @KathyC: I upload the pictures to a site like Photobucket and then just get the “direct link” and post it in the comment here. WordPress seems to understand the link and shows the picture directly.

  14. Loved the Q&A. I was in bed most of the weekend. I can’t shake this stupid virus. Finally developed a fever this weekend. When the cold front rolled in, it was 23 degrees. That did not help matters.

    @Gforce She’s beautiful.

    Joe: “Answer: In that best case scenario, I’d oversee both productions.”
    Yikes. You work long days now; I can’t imagine what that would look like. Wow.

    Jeff was so upset the Giants lost. I think he would have loved to see the Giants play in the Superbowl although part of him would hate the Giants being in the Superbowl, the Superbowl being here and he could not go. He said we should rent out our house for the Superbowl. Someone in town is renting their home for $10,000 a night. Must be SOME home. I looked around the house, looked at Jeff, heard his plan to accomplish this feat when its’ taken him 3 years to get some of the painting done, and we have a kitchen that has half the wallpaper torn down, and went into “are you kidding me?” mode when he was just having fun and I just found it to be another stress that would be put on my shoulders. So funny how men and women interpret things differently.

  15. I went back to the blog entry where you shared your date with Akemi and I remember reading that blog — and all the ones surrounding that. But no comments from me. I was trying to think of why I wouldn’t have commented and maybe I didn’t feel comfortable commenting about the food stuff since I am definitely not a foodie.

  16. Love the mailbag and looking forward to the next instalment.
    Gutted, though about David Hewlett not returning as Tabor Calchek.

    @gforce Zoie looks beautiful

  17. @katie – I think ultimately you are your best critic when it comes to polishing your script. Reading it out loud helps to catch typos and smooth out any clunky dialogue; if you can get friends to do a read through that’s even better; pay ’em with pizza. Stick your writing in a drawer for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes. The submit your script to industry writing programs; Nickelodeon’s Writing Program deadline is Feb 28, 2017, Warner Bros. Writers Workshop and ABC Disney’s Writing Program apps are both due in May, CBS Writers Mentoring Program apps are due May 2, HBOs Writing Fellowship is due in early March. NBC’s Writers on the Verge has a May 31st due date.

  18. Thanks for answering my questions. My Mum was a fan of Paul Newman and Robert Redford so I did enjoy Butch and Sundance, The Sting as well.

    I like Dallas as well… hoping for a good weekends football. I’ll be celebrating the Super Bowl at TGI Friday.

    DH – interesting. Looking forward to the guest stars you do have coming up.

    Take care.

    Cheers, Chev

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