One third of the crowd stopping to listen while the other two-thirds parties on loudly in the back (Martin’s intro was particularly memorable: “Hey, guys. I’d really appreciate if you just continue to talk over me. That’s right. Just continue talking amongst yourselves like I’m not even here and I’ll just keep going.” They were more than happy to comply.) and me trying to make out the teeny tiny notes I’d scribbled down on the back of the two receipts. A lesson in proper microphone handling would have probably served me well since the suggestion that “It’s a really good mic so you don’t have to hold it right up to your mouth.” was a bald-faced lie. Anyway, I launched into my speech. Many couldn’t here me. To my left, Carl laughed once. I had wanted to thank everyone but decided to speed things up, jumping to the end of my speech to wrap things up – and skipping several thank you’s including those intended for the cast. Fortunately, Rob and Lawren were front and center to remind me. Once my infernal yammering was done, I turned the stage over to Marty G. who introduced the touching series video tribute he and Ryan had put together. Unfortunately, the screens were too small, the sound too low, and, like I said, two-thirds of the attendees barely noticed. Lawren, however, was quick to notice that, ironically, a hush did fall over the huge ballroom for the raffle draw.
In any case, Martin is going to work at making sure the video tribute finds its way onto the season 5 box set. As for my speech – well, as I worked the room and thanked the various crew members, I was surprised by how many actually follow the blog. So, in case they missed it, this is what I said (more or less):
Whenever I’m asked to comment on Atlantis, I’ll often refer to the production as a well-oiled machine. And that says a lot about the people who work on the show, individual who are so damn good at what they do. Individuals like -
Krista who’ll come into my office, show me a matte painting and ask: “What do you think?” And I’ll say: “Great!” To which she’ll say: “Yeah, but I want to work on it a little longer. The buildings are too close together.” or “The houses are too far apart. But I’ll make the changes and bring it back tomorrow.”.
Mark Savela our fantastic in-house department and, frankly, everyone who has ever contributed to the show’s incredible VFX, people who can do everything from create a 3 minute long space battle sequence to make a snickers bar disappear
Ray and Scott and the SPFX crew who are so good at blowing shit up – sometimes when we haven’t even asked them to.
Andy shooting in the latex jungle.
Will trying to figure out where to hide his pineapples.
Alex Pappas who, besides running a tight ship, also goes out of his way to harass any on-set guests.
Krista who’ll stop by my office to show me the changes she’s made to her matte painting and ask me for my thoughts. “I think it’s great!”I’ll tell her. To which she’ll respond: “Yeah, but I still want to make a few more adjustments. I need to move the trees a little forward” or “I have to move the bushes a little further back. I’ll make the changes and bring it back tomorrow.”
Jim Menard, Terry Murray, and Bill Mizel who always take the time to really nitpick the scripts and call us out on seeming inconsistencies during the concept meetings. Thanks for continuing to challenge us.
Val and Koreen and the rest of the costumes department for making my dream of “no more aliens in funny hats” a reality.
Bev, Nancy, and Barry making sure not only the actors but everyone on set is neat and relatively lint-free.
James Robbins and the rest of the art department who design everything from ancient ships to ancient bath tubs.
The construction department that builds everything from ancient ships to ancient bathtubs.
The gals in accounting who are not only good with numbers but great with timing because whenever I go down for lunch they’re always the first ones standing in line at truck.
Steve, Anthea and the rest of the catering crew who were directly responsible for me putting on 15 pounds my first year on Stargate.
Jen and Kerry from post who, whenever they’re in the production offices, always make it a point to drop by and pester us about the mixes and cuts we’ve yet to get around to.
Esther and co. for keeping out the riffraff.
Krista who’ll swing by my office to show me the changes she’s made to a matte painting. And I’ll say: “Great! It’s perfect.” To which she’ll reply: “Not yet. I’m not totally happy with the texture of the chimneys. I’m just going to make some minor adjustments and bring it back tomorrow.”
The cast who, over the course of the series run, have had to brave freezing cold, blazing heat, driving rain, and babies.
John Smith and John Lenic who oversee the production schedules and budget, making sure we spend our money wisely and don’t blow it all on lottery tickets.
Glen who can not only make a great veggie sandwich, but also dress a head wound in the unlikely event a producer walks into the upraised trunk of his car.
Larry, Doug, and Graeme and the rest of the gang in transport who made sure I got to Widgen Park and back safely, ensuring I didn’t drive myself into the woods, get lost, and have to eat my own shoes to survive.
MGM and SciFi. Without their support, we’d probably be celebrating the five year run of Stargate Alantis, the radio play series.
Brad Wright and Robert Cooper who created the show, set it up, then stepped back and let Paul and I take it around the block. Twice.
My fellow writer/producers – Carl, Martin, Alan, and Paul. If it wasn’t for them, I’d probably be home, still working on Broken Ties.
Todd Masters and co and the gang in prosthetics.
Mike Blundell, Paul Trudel, Ryan, Fox, Johnny Z., Bruno B., Grizz, Ted, and Ashcroft who, worse than the fog, had to put up with me for the entire Whispers shoot.
Krista who’ll walk into my office to show me her revised matte painting. And I’ll say: “Love it! It’s approved!” To which she’ll reply: “It’s almost there. I just want to straighten a couple of the grass blades – “ To which I’ll reply: “No! Stop it! It’s fantastic! Move on!”
Joel Goldsmith, BamBam, Evil Kenny Gibbs and the gang at props, Tanja, Nathan, and David in the front office, Lawren, Alex Levine, Ivon Bartok, Sean, Vince, Tristan, Brigitte, casting, locations, greens, sound, our grips, the lightning department, set dec, playback, hair and make-up and anyone else I may have missed or failed to mention only because I ran out of room on the back of these dry cleaning receipt. I should have dropped off my shirts as well.
Thank you for five wonderful years.
And thanks to you, the fans, for five wonderful years of support.
Well, the party may have ended at the Sheraton but festivities continue here on this blog. I’m collecting questions for Stargate: Atlantis (and much, much more) composer Joel Goldsmith. If you have questions for the maestro, let’s see ’em.
Finish up The Black Company. If you have questions for author Glen Cook, let’s see them as well. I’ll be weighing in with my thoughts on the book in tomorrow’s entry.