There are a lot of things I miss about my days on Stargate, perhaps none more than the enormously talented people I worked with over the course of my twelve years with the franchise. I do keep in touch with many of the old gang. Still, emails exchanged and phone conversations are a far cry from seeing them on a daily basis and so, when the opportunity to actually get together comes along, I’m more than happy to clear my schedule and make the time for lunch, dinner, or drinks. Such was the case yesterday when, after several failed attempts, I finally met up with former Stargate SG-1 VFX Supervisor James Tichenor.
After putting in four years on SG-1 and another one on Atlantis, James moved on. He was a VFX Supervisor on Kingdom Hospital (where he got to work with one of his favorite authors, Stephen King, who was, apparently, a terrific guy) a season of Smallville, and various other productions. I lost touch with him after he left Stargate and moved his family to London, so I was surprised to come across him online a month ago. After some back and forth, canceled plans and rescheduled lunch meetings, we finally ended up grabbing lunch.
It had been almost seven years since I’d last seen James and, I have to admit, I almost didn’t recognize him. Last time I saw him, he was heavier and bearded. Now -
He’s slimmed down, lost the facial hair and, quite frankly, looks about ten years younger. My first thought when I saw him waving at me in front of the restaurant: “Who is that kid?”.
We had lunch at Peaceful Noodle Restaurant where we caught each other up on our respective lives while enjoying, among other tasty dishes,
Turns out James moved to London, moved back, worked on various productions, went to L.A. where he took several writing courses before returning to Vancouver, working on various productions, taking some acting classes, and working on even more productions. There was so much to cover that we continued our conversation over post-lunch coffees (okay, a banana mocha for me).
We spent the next hour or so discussing the craft of writing – our approaches, experiences, the business. It was a really interesting chat. Some day, it’ll make a great blog entry. We had so much ground to cover that, unfortunately, an hour at the coffee shop wasn’t enough to cover everything so we agreed to get together again in a couple of weeks and pick up where we left off.
Hey, speaking of writers, anyone remember this guy?
Yes, former Stargate Exec Producer Carl Binder is in town prepping his new series for Hallmark Channel, Cedar Cove, which starts shooting next week. Fortunately, Carl was able to squeeze in a dinner with Akemi and me before things got too production-frenzied. And what did Carl feel like eating? Foie gras and truffled potatoes? Lobster Thermidor? Chateaubriand? Puleeze!
My buddy is a man of simple tastes. A burger, some fries, a beer and he was set.
And, of course, nothing quite beats a down-home dessert -
At one point, we reminisced about the old Stargate days, especially those writers’ room lunches spent spinning, joking, and getting Carl to sample everything from 99% dark chocolate to ghost chili sauce…
Getting together with a group of friends is always fun, but nothing quite beats the smaller, more intimate gatherings.