May 9, 2019: A Stargate Anniversary!

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Hard to believe that eight years ago was the last time a new episode of Stargate aired.  On May 9, 2011 Stargate: Universe’s “Gauntlet” closed out an incredible unbroken 364 episode, two movie, 17 season, 14 year run.   Back when my former writing partner and I joined the franchise for SG-1’s fourth season, we assumed we were jumping aboard near ride’s end.  We were told the show would go one more year before ending with its fifth and final season.  Oh, how wrong they were.

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Of course, in t.v., things have a way of changing.  Usually for the worst but, occasionally for the better.  Much better.  We got another season.  Then another season after that.  And then one more.  And another one.  And another.  And one more.  Then five seasons of Atlantis.  And two of Universe.  Why?  Well, credit the cast and crew and writers but, mostly, credit the fans who kept us going and, who made clear during last year’s tweetstorm,  that they’re still around and hankering for an all-new series.  As I’ve often said, it’s not a matter of if and but when.  It doesn’t make sense for MGM to sit on this valuable franchise for too long, and I’m sure they just want to make sure they’re going to do it right.  And by right, I mean offering a new series that can serve as a jumping on point for new viewers while rewarding longtime fans protective of the franchise, its characters, and canon.  Yes, I know, it would seem the way to go is obvious, so I’m going to assume they’ll figure it out sooner than later and reward long-suffering Stargate fans with their equivalent of a Star Trek Picard revival series rather than, say, that 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot.

Man, nothing hurts a franchise like an ill-advised reboot.  Am I right?

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May 8, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

There were my favorites…

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Catwoman #11 (cover art by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau)

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Detective Comics #103 (cover art by Andrew Hennessy, Brad Walker)

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Heavy Metal #293 (cover art by Flavio Greco Paglia)

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Justice League: Odyssey #9 (cover art by Juan Albarran, Daniel Sampere)

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers vol 8 (cover art by Jamal Campbell)

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Marvels Annotated #3 (cover art by Gabriele Dell’otto)

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Red Hood: Outlaw #34 (cover art by Pete Woods)

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Shazam #5 (cover art by Rafael Albuquerque)

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Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Boba Fett #1 (cover art by Terry Dodson)

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Star Wars: Age of Republic – Villains (cover art by Leinil Francis Yu)

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #32 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

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Taarna #4 (cover art by Luis Royo)

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The War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #2 (cover art by Rahzzah)

Which were your favorites?

May 7, 2019: Gallery Day! And the Bannister Dark Matter Lineup!

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Always great to see photographer Norman Wong do his thing.  Really loved his stuff on Dark Matter and really loving the stuff he’s shooting today.

Speaking of shooting – I sat down to a one hour EPK (Electronic Press Kit) interview that proved beyond exhausting, partly owing to the sheer number of questions, but mostly due to the fact that the set wasn’t locked down and I would have to stop and restart every time someone started talking or (what sounded like) perform root canal surgery.  In retrospect, I got off easy.  RT was down there for 2 HOURS!!!  Oof.  I am much better BEHIND the camera.

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Hey, look who’s in town!  It’s artists extraordinaire Nicolas Bannister and his wife Flo.  You may remember Nicolas from his work for the Save Dark Matter campaign:

Pretty amazing, no?  These belong on t-shirts.

His portfolio: https://t.co/TRpzKANzYa

The comic book they’re working on: Tib & Tatoum which is also an animated series.

Anyway, they’re in town for TCAF (The Toronto Comics Art Festival), so we got together for lunch and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate –

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And, hey, look what they brought us from France…

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More chocolate!

Looking forward to our next meet-up.

And even more chocolate.

Starbucks in Westeros! Snickers in Space!

Eagle-eyed viewers Jenna Guillaume noticed something unusual in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.  Specifically, what looked like a coffee cup in one of the early scenes…

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Sure, it looks like a Starbucks cup from a  distance…

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But upon closer scrutiny…

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Yep, it still looks like a cup of coffee.  At first, I assumed this was a clever hint dropped by the producers that somehow ties into Bran Stark’s mysterious ability to travel in time (mostly backwards but who knows?).  Yet, no.  This afternoon, HBO confirmed the error:

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I, of course, was outraged.  You’re making a t.v. show!  Countless individuals have watched these scenes countless times, from dailies through cuts to mixes and final deliveries.  How the hell does something like this happen???

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What?  Oh.  Why, yes.  That IS a Snickers bar in the alien shuttle in Stargate: Atlantis’s “Ark”.image.png

Truth is, this happens a lot.  Most of the time, it gets caught.  Like that afternoon we were watching the mix of Stargate: Atlantis’s Adrift.   One early scene involves the frenzied rush to get an injured Elizabeth Weir into surgery.  As it played out, Executive Producer Martin Gero suddenly yelled: “Hang on!  Was that a camera in the shot?”  We rewound, played closer attention and realized – Hell, yes, there was a camera in the shot.  In fact, more than a camera.  It was an entire camera team being wheeled out AHEAD of an unconscious Weir.  What at first appeared to be just a bunch of medial equipment actually turned out to be a huge oversight.

We were fortunate enough to catch that mistake early.  The Snickers bar, on the other hand, cost us a few thousand dollars to paint out.  Game of Thrones will, I’m sure, do the same.  Unless they blew the VFX budget on that battle with the White Walkers.

The gang at Downton Abbey, meanwhile, apparently prefer water to coffee…

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So what memorable mistakes, goofs, or flubs have you spotted in your favorite movies or  t.v. shows?

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Heads up!

Oops almost forgot.  Honoring a request for a Maximus Monday photo!

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May 5, 2019: Happy Birthday Suji Sunday!

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Guess who turned 14 today?  When she came to us 2 years ago, she was kind of quiet and needed to wheelchair to get around.  Now, she’s motoring around on her own four paws and raising hell.

Boy, she’s demanding.

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Hanging with mom.

Snoozing with Lulu.

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Celebrating May the 4th Be With You with dad.

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Birthday kisses.

My Top 25 Cufflinks!

I never truly realized the extent of my cufflink collection until this morning when blog regular, Ponytail, asked: “How many cool cufflinks are there in your collection?”.  I responded with what I thought was a fair approximation.  But when I told Akemi my estimation, she scoffed.  I had more than that!  So I counted and it turns out I had roughly double that original guess.

Which brings us to today’s entry.  My Top 25 Cufflinks!

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#25. Lady Bugs

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#24. One Piece

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#23. Seahorses

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#22. Espresso Makers

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#21. Turtles

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#20. Teddy Bears (hold a lot of sentimental value as it was one of the first gifts Akemi gave me).

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#19. Batmobile – tumbler

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#18. Iron Man

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#17. Cobras

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#16. Military Planes

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#15. Beetles

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#14. Frogs

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#13. Han Solo Blasters

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#12. Batmobile – classic

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#11. Captain Cold

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#10. S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#9. Star Trek Insignia

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#8. Legion of Super-Heroes

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#7. ATV’s

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#6. Death Stars

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#5. Stormtroopers

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#4. Hydra

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#3. Octopi

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#2. The Enterprise

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#1. Rubber Duckies

Honorable Mentions: C3PO, Darth Vader, Booster Gold, Black Adam, Red Lanterns, Cameras, Phone Booths, Rockets, Star Fleet Academy, Captain America’s Shield, French Fries.

 

An unflinching look behind the scenes of a television production!

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Actor Jeff Teravainen with the bottle of Quiet Man 8 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

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VFX Supervisor Greg Behrens with the bottle of Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask Scotch Whiskey.

Props Master Victoria Klein with the pan-seared steel cut oatmeal with coconut milk, brown sugar, blueberries, and cashew and maple cream.

And this was just today!

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Line Producer Robbie David – a little too relaxed for the Art Department meeting.

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Shenanigans in the Wardrobe Department.

Finally, my tribute to Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca socks and Death Star cufflinks.

May 2, 2019: Oh, a bunch of stuff!

Oh, damn.  Let’s just start with the good stuff.  Another page from Stargate: Extinction featuring that lovable wraith, Todd, and that not so lovable wraith, also Todd…

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Former friends make the worst of enemies, while former enemies make the best of friends.  Or unlikely allies at the very least.

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I went to sign up for something the other day and was offered the following drop down choices:

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They have Baroness but not Baron?  WTF?!

Man, this show is really eating into my reading time.  I’ll be lucky to finish 100 books this year.

Hey, if you’re not following me on twitter: @BaronDestructo, you’re missing out on some really cool stuff like –

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Concept art!

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And enlightening historical insights!

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May 1, 2019: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my faves…

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Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #3 (cover art by Gerardo Zaffino)

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Green Lantern #7 (cover art by Steve Oliff, Liam Sharp)

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Harley Quinn #61 (cover art by Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto)

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Hashtag Danger #1 (cover art by Richard Williams)

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Justice League #23 (cover art by Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, Alejandro Sanchez)

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Transformers #4 (cover art by Sara Pitre-Durocher)

So, which were your favorites?

April 30, 2019: This entry with 200% more bunnies!

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Well, well, well.  If it isn’t one of my all-time favorite editors, Nicholas Wong (he of such amazing Dark Matter episodes as: My Final Gift To You, Isn’t That A Paradox, One Last Card To Play, and It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This).  And look! In honor of our first official producer’s cut sit-down on this new show, he wore his pug-themed shirt.

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It’s always a pleasure collaborating with Nick who has done great work on our first two episodes.  We’re still a ways from an actual finished with footage still to be shot, visual effects to be finished, and scenes to be scored and mixed, but it’s slowly coming together.

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Whenever there’s a whiteboard in the area, even if it’s not my office (Okay. ESPECIALLY if it’s not my office.) I’m always to jot something down, just to see if anyone notices down the line.  Story Editor Sam Godfrey, who sat in on yesterday’s edit, snapped one of my latest inspired contributions…

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Boy, I’m going to feel guilty if this is eventually used as evidence in Nick’s murder trial.

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What’s in the box?  What’s in the f&%$ing box?!!!  Well, if you must know, it’s an injured rabbit Mean Jean Brophey found on her way in to work this morning.  We contacted the Toronto Wildlife Centre where we had one of our drivers drop him off.  No news on the little guy’s condition yet, but the entire crew is anxiously awaiting an update.

Hey, speaking of bunnies, check out this little in-show children’s story (words by Sam Godfrey, pictures by Roxanne Borris) sitting in props…

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What kind of final act Deus Ex Machina is this???  Where is our protagonists’s agency?!  The Death of Dreams?  The Crossing of the Third Threshold?  The Catharsis and Resurrection?!

April 29, 2019: Toys, mom, and Sheppard as Iron Man!

To those of you asking whether I managed to take some time off from writing this weekend – the answer is “Yes!”.  I set aside my laptop for a few hours on Saturday so that I could clear out my storage locker, moving my toys into the spare bedroom.  And by “toys” you’re no doubt assuming some manly tools or cool tech – but no.  I’m am literally referring to TOYS –

Note they’re almost all super-villains.

This past Christmas, my mother wondered whether I had gotten around to purchasing a spare bedroom for the guest room.  When I told her I had not – and wasn’t planning to – she was very disappointed.  What if she came to town?  =Where would she stay?  I informed her that we’re right next to one of Toronto’s best hotels and that I would happily put her up if she ever decided to visit.  THAT did not go over well.  She was offended.

Mom: Whenever you come to town, you prefer to stay here with me instead of at some hotel.

Me: No, I’d actually prefer to stay at a hotel.

Mom: You don’t mean that.

I don’t know.  It’s an old-fashioned European thing I’m thinking.  But I don’t want to seem like an ungrateful ingrate.  So maybe we can find a compromise.  I can continue to use my guest room for storage and just find a bed slim enough to slide in here –

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What’s slightly smaller than a single?

Today, I leave you with another page from the Stargate: Extinction script, and one of my favorite scenes in the planned movie – Sheppard does Iron Man!

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April 27, 2019: Aaaah, time to relax. Sort of.

I’m usually in for call, our first blocking of the day, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., meaning I’m up at 6:00 a.m. every morning.  We run a pretty tight ship, 12 hour days including lunch, so I’m often home by 8:00 p.m. (a very reasonable hour given my line of work) which gives me time to say hello to Akemi and the dogs, shower, deal with any issues on the home front, and then be in bed for 10:00 p.m. where I’ll usually read, view, rewrite, or provide notes in preparation for the next day.

Which is why the weekend is such a nice change of pace.  I get to sleep in, spend time with Akemi and the dogs, go out for lunch, do some shopping, and – do production passes on scripts for Episodes 107 and 108, revise the script for 109, plot out the season finale, and review cuts of Episodes 101 and 102 in advance of Monday’s session with editor Nick Wong.  Sooooooo relaxing.

Hey, if you’re not following me on twitter (@BaronDestructo), you’re missing out on a new daily feature: #ThisDayInSupervillainHistory…

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Educational AND entertainment.  That’s edutainment right there.

So that Stargate: Atlantis movie would have had some pretty amazing visual effects sequences.  Like, for instance, the one described on this here:

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Oh, hey, I hear Rick and Amanda were at a con today where both expressed their support for a possible Stargate reunion miniseries.  Time to get the band back together!  Whaddya say?

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April 26, 2019: Weird Day! Stargate drop!

Well, today has the distinction of being the weirdest day of the year so far. While I really can’t go into the reasons why it’s been so weird, suffice it to say I’d feel safer just going straight to bed. But I have a late dinner meeting to attend – and a blog entry to publish!

So, I’ll keep it short, sweet and Stargatey with this awesome BTS drop.

First a peek at yet another assortment of behind the scenes footage making its way to MGM (and, eventually, your screens):

Adria, the Ori, fights, explosions, RDA in a wave pool, and footage from the SG-1 series finale!

Second, here’s another page from the unproduced Stargate: Extinction script –

Time ship, he says!

I leave you to discuss amongst yourselves.

April 25, 2019: Ice cream and t.v. themes!

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WHAT is this?  Why, it’s the ice cream truck – courtesy of Block #2 director Sudz Sutherland.  A special treat for the crew on his last day.

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Story Editor Sam Godfrey goes twist with a chocolate dip.

Finally started work on the script for the season finale today.  Lots of balls in the air.  The trick, as always, is to dovetail the varied arcs and storylines in dramatic and satisfying fashion – and also leave the door open for a second season.  But once that’s done and I deliver Episode 10, it’s smooooooth sailing!

Hard to believe we’re a little over a third of the way through the season.  The first cuts are coming in, our second to last block starts official prep tomorrow, and discussion has begun on the opening title sequence.  Surprisingly, it looks like we may actually do a full and proper one for this show.   I’ve always been a big fan of those extended sequences with their memorable opening themes that always set the tone for the series.  I mean, can you imagine Stargate’s SG-1 or Atlantis or the Star Treks without their stirring orchestral intros?  Or The Sopranos without Tony’s long drive through Jersey set to Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning”?  Or a roaring dragon in place of Game of Thrones’ sweeping instrumental-backed overview of Westeros and Essos?

Quick!  Name your Top 3 favorite t.v. themes.