Looks like we’ll convene the writers’ room sometime in September. Before then, the show’s creator and I will map out the first season game plan covering all ten episodes, character and story arcs. We’re also aiming to have the pilot co-written by then. After that, it’ll be smoooooooth sailing!
All that will be left to do is get those nine other scripts written, rewritten, prepped, shot, then have the episodes edited, mixed, color corrected and delivered…and we’re done in time for Sanno Matsuri. Yeah! Read more
The other day, I did a rundown of the top ten episodes I had the most fun writing. Today, I switch gears to focus on My Top 10 Toughest Episodes. Why were they tough? Well, the the issues varied, ranging from script challenges to productions issues, scheduling headaches to post-production problems. Read more
Oh, sure. As a viewer, your mileage may vary. But, looking over the list of 100+ episodes of television on which I’ve been credited or co-credited as a writer, THESE were the ten I had the most fun writing… Read more
Oh, teasers are teasers and spoilers are spoilers and never the twain shall meet.
The subject of spoilers came up the other day after a New York Times article essentially spoiled the ending to DC Comics’ big Batman/Catwoman wedding storyline. Not only did they spoil it, they spoiled it in the damn headline! Fan response was…heated. Comic shops that had pre-ordered copies were suddenly left holding the bag (and board to ensure its contents remain in mint condition!) as readers responded by cancelling their planned purchases. Twitter was ablaze with a furious fandom who felt betrayed by either the book’s ending and/or the decision to reveal said ending days before the title dropped.
To be fair, it was a curious PR call. I mean, I understand the great buzz that would follow a feature profile in the New York Times, but surely that could have been achieved without ruining the ending. It’s not like you’re going to convince new readers to check out a movie, t.v. show, or book by saving them the trouble of actually watching/reading. I honestly don’t get it.
On the other hand, there are productions that guard against any and all pre-release reveals with merciless determination. Many an extra and crew member has been fired, publicly pilloried, and, on occasion, even sued for posting what they deemed a perfectly innocent pic on their instagram page, or made mention of a seemingly innocuous onscreen development on twitter. In some cases, I get it. In others, not really. For me, it comes down to the difference between a spoiler and a teaser.
And what is that difference? Oh, that’s easy. A spoiler spoils viewers while a teaser simply teases them. I know, I know. Where to draw the line? It varies from production to production, viewer to viewer, but I’ve personally always been very forgiving when it comes to on-set posts and pictures so long as they don’t reveal any major plot twists or surprises. For example, a photo of a presumably deceased character on set would, by my definition, be considered a spoiler. Photos of our series regulars in action would not. Yes to sneak peeks of most concept art, costumes, visual effects designs and props because I want to get viewers excited in the lead-up to the episodes – and hopefully intrigue some new viewers as well – rather than wait until after the episode airs at which point these visual tidbits are rendered mere points of interest for the hardcore fans. No to major reveals – like that new Android costume or a shot of SIX back on the ship after his apparent departure in Episode 303.
I think that’s reasonable.
Inciting a full-scale rebellion among your fandom probably isn’t. But then again, I’m not the one with the marketing degree.
My Top 5 Stargate Spoilers
#5 – The Curse: Dr. Daniel Jackson reconnects with some people from his past, one of who, it turns out, has been taken over by a goa’uld. Who could it be? Well, if you watched the broadcast promo, you’d note a fiery-eyed Anna-Louise Plowman using a goa’uld hand device to blast our heroes. A dead giveaway.
#4 – Apophis episode: Don’t recall which episode, but the network aired a promo that included a scene of Apophis actor, the amazing Peter Williams, snapping orders. Only problem was they inexplicably used raw footage in which the actor’s voice had yet to be flanged to achieve that ominous goa’uld delivery. As a result, mystified viewers were treated to a uniquely terrestrial-sounding System Lord with a slight Jamaican lilt.
#3 – Solitudes: A gate mishaps strands Sam and Jack on an icy wasteland. Stargate Command races to locate them. Where could they be? Well, if the SGC had merely consulted TV Guide before the episode aired, they would have learned Antarctica and saved themselves the time and effort.
#2 – Kindred I: Another network promo totally ruins a surprise the production had kept under careful wraps for almost a year. “You won’t believe the last five minutes!”says the voice-over, at which point we are treated to a shot of a once-dead, now very much alive Carson Beckett asking Sheppard and his team: “What took you so long?!”.
#1 – Forever In A Day: The German title for this episode is “Sha’re Ist Tod”. Translation: Sha’re Is Dead. But maybe not! Ah, who am I trying to kid?
Every so often, I get requests for concept work and designs related to the various ships featured on Stargate. I normally love to oblige but the truth is a lot of these files are scattered over so many folders on so many laptops and portable hard drives, that it’s almost impossible to track them all down. This past weekend, however, while prepping for the tweet-storms, I came across a veritable treasure trove of Stargate ship-related images. Combined with a bunch I already posted (mainly on reddit), they make for quite the curated collection.
Today, I present to you some of the Ships of Stargate: SG-1, many of which were designed by artist James Robbins –
Last night, Stargate fans took twitter by storm. Lead by @StargateNow and The Stargate Initiative, Fandom Force positively lit it up!
Pictured above: Actual footage of tweets being launched!
North American fans showed up en masse, and were joined by international fans in addition to more than a few familiar faces.
I’ll have a full rundown for you tomorrow but, for now, here’s are the key stats –
Over 100k tweets sent. We trended #1 in Canada, France, the U.K., #2 in the U.S., #6 in Australia, and #7 Worldwide! That’s HUGE!
In fact, we continued to trend hours past the scheduled one hour event and, in some instances, still trending into the wee morning hours. Not bad for a SciFi series that has been off the air for five years! Congratulations!
And we get to do it all over again when our international contingent hits twitter today in a little over 3 hours! Check the times in your area and join us for this final round! And make sure to follow @StargateNow and @StargateNow_EU for today’s secret hashtag (to be released 15 minutes before launch).
We’re only going to have one shot at this, Stargate fans, so let’s make it count. This Friday night (in North America) and Saturday night (in the rest of the world), we’ll be sending a message to MGM and the more people that participate in the tweet-storm, the louder the call.
Do you want a fourth Stargateseries? One set in the existing t.v. universe, created by the same team that brought you over 340 hours of Jack, Sam, Daniel, Teal’c, John, Rodney, Elizabeth, Teyla, Ronon, Rush, Young, Eli, T.J., Scott and many more?
The stakes have never been higher. Succeed, and we could soon be watching a new Stargate series, one as accessible to new viewers as it is rewarding for longtime fans. Fail, and it’s the dreaded reboot. All those characters you grew to know and love, those stories you enjoyed, could be wiped away like not so much as a ninth dream season of Dallas.
Beware The Living Eraser’s programming decisions! Remember Professor Ebhardt, the renowned atomic genius from SG-1‘s third season? Of course not because he was wiped from existence!
Do you recall the lovable Bill from Stargate: Atlantis‘s first season, the notoriously shy but kindly cafeteria worker who once saved John Sheppard’s life? No? Here’s why!
No need to sign petitions or write letters or demonstrate. All you have to do is show up on twitter this Friday night (6 pm PST/9 pm EST) and tweet your support using the secret hashtag of the night (follow @StargateNow or me, @BaronDestructo for all the details leading up to tweet-storm). Just an hour of your time could be the difference between an amazing new series that leaves the door open to checking in with old favorites, or this –
Don’t let this happen to your favorite franchise. Show up and support the tweet-storm! Let’s Save Stargate!
I would be remiss if I didn’t include my weekly breakdown of my favorite comic book covers of the week:
The Amazing Spiderman #797 (cover art by Alex Ross)
The 2002 Spiderman movie ranks as in my Top 10 Superhero Movies Of All Time. It misses out on a spot in the Top 5 simply because of the Green Goblin costume design that abandoned the grim and creepy look of the classic comic book version pictured here. Alex Ross captures Spiderman’s arch-nemesis in all his ghoulish green glory.
Batman: White Knight #6 (cover art by Matt Hollingsworth, Sean Murphy)
Behind every villain is a backstory steeped in tragedy and Victor Fries’s backstory, hinted at in this beautiful cover, is also a bittersweet love story.
Captain America #699 (cover art by Chris Samnee)
Oh, Cap, what are you thinking? Love the throwback look of the characters.
Hawkeye#16 (cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco)
I’ve always been a big fan of catching glimpses of our heroes during their downtime – and ice cream cones on the pier, well, you can’t get much more laid back than that.
She-Hulk #163 (cover art by Rahzzah)
Much respect for artists who eschew traditional cover art for outside-the-box concepts.
Oblivion Song #1 (cover art by Lorenzo De Felici)
I’m a sucker for these post-apocalyptic, sandstorm-swept settings.
Rise of the Black Panther #3 (cover art by Brian Stelfreeze)
The color palette of these covers by Brian Stelfreeze has been an utter delight.
Superman #42 (cover art by Patrick Gleason, John Kalisz)
If there was any cover that would prompt me to pick up a book this week, this is it. Love the Rockwell-esque Bizarro family pose – in spite of all, still possessed of a certain warmth. And, yes, I picked up the book.
The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #1 (cover art by Damien Worm)
Nothing quite sets the tone like Damien Worm’s exceptionally dark and, occasionally, darkly humorous character designs.
The Shadow/Batman #6 (cover art by Giovanni Timpano)
This one has a stained-glass feel I’m really feeling.
We’re walking through the hotel lobby when Akemi spots a floral arrangement and says: “I want to go over there and touch the soft and fluffy flower.”
“You can just go around touching flowers,”I said.
“Why not?”she said. “Jodelle said to do it.”
“And if Jodelle told you to jump in a lake, would you do it?”
She paused to think about it for a couple of seconds, and then fairly bursting with confidence: “A lake? I think I can do it!”
Now THAT is the unbridled enthusiasm I’m looking for heading into Friday night’s BIG tweet-storm!
Don’t miss this opportunity to make Stargate history. Fans will never have a better chance to make an impact. By sparing a mere hour of your time for our twitter campaign (Friday, March 9th – 6 pm PST/9 pm EST) you can save future Stargate!
Head on over to twitter and follow @StargateNow as we prepare to storm the castle!
More goodies from our buddy @confracto – the Time Squid!
Concept design by James Robbins.
Production Designer James Robbins shows off his big catch.