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Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction Television’

Seriously.  No sooner do I recover from my pulled solar plexus (see previous issues, ed.) than I am now battling a lower back “thing”. Specifically, a lower right hip ache that flares up whenever I shift my weight a certain way – or not.  I don’t remember doing anything that could have caused it – outside of those heavy deadlifts – but that’s not really the point.  The POINT is that I have never been the type of guy to suffer from back issues.  That has always been the “other guy” – you know, the little guy in the office next door who occasionally slips a disc and then either has to sleep on the coffee table or standing up.  Not me!

Today, I received a request for some Atlantis blueprints.  I explained that my collection of blueprints, part of the various art department packages from past Stargate episodes, are incomplete.  Some episodes have plenty of supporting docs, everything from schematics to colorful designs, while others only have a sketch or two.  I’ve been meaning to digitize these files for a while now (maybe a year) but just haven’t had the opportunity to get around to doing so.  I figure the next best thing is to just scan and upload the various packages for your entertainment and edification.

Would you all happen to remember a little Stargate: Atlantis fifth season episode called Remnants?

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With the recent news that Roland Emmerich would like to make a second, big screen, Stargate movie, questions surrounding the future of the franchise have again started popping up throughout fandom.

It’s been three years since Stargate: Universe was cancelled and fans want to know: What’s next?  Whither Stargate?

Well in my humble and somewhat informed opinion: Beats me.

But let’s look at the possibilities…

THE BIG SCREEN REBOOT (TWO WAYS TO DO IT)

Look at the re-imagined Star Trek.  Both movies did HUGE business.  And, like Star Trek, Stargate is an established scifi franchise that would undoubtedly wow with a big screen treatment and visual effects budget.  The potential box-office returns could be tremendous!

Or not.  If the summer of 2013 has taught us anything, it’s that Big Budget Star-driven features don’t guarantee success.  The Lone Ranger ($215 million dollar production budget), White House Down ($150 million dollar production budget), Turbo ($135 million dollar production budget), RIPD ($130 million dollar production budget), After Earth ($130 million dollar production budget), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones ($60 million dollar production budget).  What do the aforementioned have in common?  Yep, you guessed it: Big hopes, Big budgets, and, all of them, Big box office disappointments.  Also, keep in mind that the listed amounts in parentheses are the approximate production budgets which don’t take into account the equally sizeable costs of marketing these movies.  Ouch.

So, it’s clear that “throwing money at it” won’t guarantee a movie’s success. Neither will casting hitherto bankable actors like Johnny Depp and Will Smith.  BUT Stargate is an established property with a pre-existing fan base, so it’s got that going for it. Right?  Well, okay, so did The Mortal Instruments movie but, for argument’s sake, let’s just stick to Stargate for now.  Big budgets aside, the Stargate franchise is much like Star Trek in that it has that built-in SF fan base eager for more.  So it stands to reason that it should follow the Star Trek model and find success as a big screen reboot!

Well, not so fast…

First of all, as proud as I am of everything we accomplished with the Stargate franchise, I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t have quite the reach or support of Star Trek.  And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Sure, we produced three series, two direct-to-dvd features, and some 300+ episodes over 15 years but, while impressive a feat, it pales in comparison to Star Trek’s five series, twelve theatrical features, and some 700+ episodes over 46 years.  As a result, Star Trek’s influence reaches far beyond its fandom – which is important given that, despite its established fan base, Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled after four seasons.  This is not to minimize the impact of fans but simply to suggest expectations should be tempered.  A robust and passionate fandom doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Having said that, however, it’s in instances such as these, where a franchise’s reach may not be as wide-ranging as a Star Trek, that fandom is even more important in a studio’s campaign to “get the word out”.

It’s for this reason that you want to make sure you get fandom “on your side”.  And this is where reboots can get a little tricky.  On the one hand, re-imagining a property offers first-timers the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.  They’re on equal footing with longtime fans in that they don’t need to come in to a movie knowing what has come before.  It’s fresh and new to them as, ideally, it would be to longtime fans.  A new beginning of sorts.  Problems arise when you start distancing those longtime fans, the support crew that could prove an indispensable part of any pre-release online campaign, who may not take kindly to the franchise they’ve come to know and love being messed with.  And, by messed with, I mean…

Ignoring what has come before.

Yes, a fresh start is a great idea when it comes to reaching out to a potential new audience, and while some fans would undoubtedly be pleased with a complete relaunch, many others would no doubt take umbrage with a complete dismissal of established canon.  In some ways, it’s the equivalent to the Bobby Ewing in the shower scene in Dallas.  Remember?  Actor Patrick Duffy decided to leave the series and his character was killed off at the end of the show’s eighth season.   But then Duffy had a change of heart and decided he wanted to come back. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a scifi show and cloning, time travel, and ascension were not viable options.  So, to address the issue and bring back Bobby Ewing, Duffy’s character makes an inexplicable appearance in the final episode of of the show’s ninth season. His wife hears the water running, walks into the bathroom, and is shocked to see him there, showering.  When season 10 got underway, it was revealed that Bobby never died and that the show’s ninth season was just a dream. An insanely detailed dream that ran 31 episodes!  Which leads me to wonder how that ninth season performs in syndication and alternate media purchases (i.e. downloads). Anyway, my point is that a creative clean slate could hurt rather than hinder a reboot’s prospects as it slams shuts: a) the book on beloved characters and b) the door on the faces of longtime fans.

On the other hand, instead of a complete reboot, the studio could opt for a reboot that makes use of established characters – which is what Star Trek did.  We are presented with  a new version of long-established characters – Kirk, Spock, McCoy – but the potential to piss off longtime fans is minimized because the story takes place in an alternate universe.  So, quite literally, fans can have the best of both worlds. The new adventures don’t undo what has come before.  Fans will, of course, have a preference, but both versions can happily co-exist without trumping one another.

Of course, one could argue that the reason this type of reboot worked for Star Trek is that, while these classic characters have long been engrained in the SF consciousness, it’s been almost twenty years since we’ve seen them onscreen in a new adventure.  In the case of Stargate, well, it’s been about two years since we last saw Jack O’Neill grace the small screen.  Is it perhaps too soon to expect fans will embrace someone other than Richard Dean Anderson in the role?

A SMALL SCREEN EVENT (TESTING THE WATERS)

Another possibility is to produce a one-shot Stargate television event that could potentially act as a backdoor pilot for a new Stargate series.  If the ratings are great, the studio can move forward with an all new t.v. series while, if the ratings disappoint, they can cut their losses with this single production.  At first blush, this seems like a great idea.  Creatively, it would allow the franchise to head in a bold, new direction while still paying its respects to what has come before, leaving the door open for established characters to make an occasional appearance and help bridge the gap between old fans and new.  Upon closer scrutiny, however, it becomes clear that a “one and done” deal wouldn’t make much financial sense.  In order to do it properly, especially if it was going to serve as a potential backdoor pilot, $$$ would need to be spent, and broadcast license fees and alternate revenue streams may not be enough to make the venture worthwhile. Like any show, it would be a gamble, but the fact that science fiction requires more of a financial investments makes this even more risky.  At some point, the studio needs to ask itself what would be the better scenario: strike now or wait?  There’s an argument to be made for both.  The fact that the last Stargate episode aired only two years ago suggests the fans are still out there and, if a movie or series is produced sooner than later, one could count on their support – in addition to the potential support of new viewers.  Strike while the iron is hot!  Then again, the ratings for SGU’s final season could suggest viewer fatigue and maybe waiting is advisable.

A CLASSIC STARGATE MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES

As much as I would love to see a television mini-series or movie based on either of the three past Stargates (SG-1, Atlantis, or Universe), this one is the longest of long shots mainly because the sets no longer exist and rebuilding them for a one-time adventure doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense.  At the very least, if one were going the backdoor pilot route, there is the very real prospect of recouping those upfront expenses in an ongoing series.  Back in the day, the two Stargate direct-to-video features, Ark of Truth and Continuum did VERY well.  But that was before the bottom fell out of the dvd market.  Sadly, a “classic Stargate” miniseries or movie isn’t the slam dunk it used to be.

A NEW STARGATE SERIES

Well, yes wouldn’t that be great?  A new set of characters and host of new adventures with the potential for guest spots from the likes of Rodney McKay, Daniel Jackson, and maybe even Eli Wallace.  A new Stargate-based television might be the best way to go.  After all, while the original movie was successful, it was the television franchise that proved an incredibly lucrative earner for MGM. But some of the same questions arise.  When should the studio look to put another series in development?  Sooner or later?  Has enough time passed?

LOOKING AHEAD

So, having said all that, what DOES the future hold for Stargate?  Again, I haven’t a clue and I’ve long since accepted the sheer folly of applying logic to Hollywood decision-making.  But, for what it’s worth…

My gut instinct tells me the studio would LOVE to follow the Star Trek model: take an established property, re-imagine it for the big screen, and makes hundreds of millions of dollars.  Of course, it could be argued that that is a very best case scenario.  If the studio does consider going down this route, careful consideration will present two indisputable facts: a) Stargate is not Star Trek, and b) alienating long-time fans in favor of a new audience could prove  disastrous.

As much as I would love to see that Atlantis movie or SG-1 movie or even a mini-series that incorporates elements from all three Stargate shows, this is the unlikeliest of scenarios for the simple reason that the risks far outweigh any potential rewards.

No, given the history of the franchise, it would seem a new television series would be the best way to go – a fresh take on Stargate that would bring in new viewers while rewarding the long-suffering fans.

However, I’m not the one making the call.

In the end, I think there’s only certainty: On the question of Stargate’s glorious return, it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN.

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In advance of my official Days of Stargate Universe Past trip down memory, how about a little something to whet your appetite?  Ah, this takes me back!  The Resurgence Art Department package accompanied by visuals from various points in Stargate: Universe’s two-year run…

Resurgence - cover

Destiny corridors, areas & rooms

Destiny corridors, areas & rooms

Destiny corridors

Destiny corridors

The Gate Room…

Gate room - upper level

Gate room – upper level concept art

Gate room upper level - complete

Gate room upper level – complete

Looking out from the gate - concept art

Looking out from the gate – concept art

Looking out from the gate - completed set

Looking out from the gate – completed set

Central staircase

Central staircase

Gate room

Gate room

Gate room consoles

Gate room consoles

The control interface room…

Control interface room

Art Department

Art Department concept

At work in the core control room

At work in the core control room

The apple core…

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Carl figures it out

Carl figures it out

Kino room and Eli's quarters

Kino room and Eli’s quarters

Action in the kino room

Action in the kino room

Observation deck

Observation deck

The green screen view off the observation deck

The green screen view off the observation deck

Chloe's quarters

Chloe’s quarters

Wray's quarters

Wray’s quarters

Wray's artwork

Wray’s artwork

Varro's quarters

Varro’s quarters

In his quarters, Varro gets the red card for making the moves on Colonel Young’s ex:

Young's quarters

Young’s quarters

Stage 5 level 1

Stage 5 level 1

The Destiny mess - last day, final scene
The Destiny mess – last day, final scene
Destiny shuttle and corridor

Destiny shuttle and corridor

Under construction

Under construction

Coming along...

Coming along…

Look in to the shuttle from the corridor.

Look in to the shuttle from the corridor.

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Destiny infirmary

Destiny infirmary

Stage 5 level 2

Stage 5 level 2

Stage 6 layout

Stage 6 layout

So, there you go.  Everything you need (minus the construction material, equipment, manpower, and money) to build your very own Destiny!  Check in next week and let me know how it’s coming along.

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3Looking back over my 11+ years with the Stargate franchise, I have one giant regret – the missed opportunity of bringing you that Atlantis movie.  We came close…so close…

Late in Atlantis’s fifth year, when we were working on the final few scripts of the season, we had no way of knowing what the future held. A sixth season?  A wrap-up movie?  Robert Cooper suggested we hedge our bets by preparing for both.  His idea was to add an extra month to the production schedule during which we would shoot the sixth season opening two-parter that, in the event the show wasn’t picked up, could become a direct-to-dvd feature.  It was a brilliant plan which I, in turn, proposed it to the decision-makers.  Given the green light, we could roll right into production on the heels of Enemy at the Gate.  We just needed the go-ahead sooner than later in order to make sure we had all the actors on board.

Sadly, we never got the go-ahead and, although we did end up eventually writing the script for the Atlantis movie (Stargate: Extinction), in hindsight, that window of opportunity at the end of the show’s sixth season was our last, best shot at seeing it made.  The bottom fell out of the dvd market, the script was shelved and, well, here we are today.

As I already mentioned in past entries, the movie would have opened on a shot that revealed Atlantis’s new home on the lunar surface.  We learn that the gate has been offline since its return to Earth but, under pressure from the IOA, the decision is made to bring it back online, have it supersede the Earth gate, and make it a permanent lunar base. The decision isn’t embraced by everyone.  Woolsey and McKay, for instance, point out that they still have a responsibility to the people of the Pegasus galaxy.  Of course the IOA are hardly moved.

Unfortunately, when the gate is finally brought back online, Zelenka reports a build up of energy in the capacitors.  Too late they realize that the Ancients put a failsafe in place in the event Atlantis was moved.  McKay realizes – the city will self-destruct unless it returns to the Pegasus galaxy.

Woolsey gets the band back together, transporting John and Ronon up from the hospital emergency room where they are getting fixed up following a bar room brawl (an opportunity to write in the scar actor Jason Momoa had received at the time).  John, in turn, pays a visit to Area 51 and, again under the heavy protests of the IOA, springs his buddy, Todd.

The plan is to use the wormhole drive to execute a series of jumps to Pegasus – however, the drive burns out partway through their journey, stranding them in the Triangulum Galaxy, some 300 000 light years from home.  They manage to muster up enough power for one, final short range jump, putting them within range of a subspace anomaly they detected.

What follows is a high-flying adventure involving a mysterious civilization tapping the limitless potential of the accretion streams between two stars, time travel, and a race against time to avert not only the destruction of Atlantis but the extinction of an entire race.

Some of the standout sequences that come to mind include one in which Sheppard ends up trapped on an enemy mothership, falling back to a room holding some of the tech the enemy has stolen from Atlantis. Enemy soldiers surround the locked chamber, preparing to storm it when – the door shakes, buckles, and blows outward to reveal Sheppard in one of the Asgard exo-suits.  Cue kickass Iron Man sequence.

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Another involves Todd risking all to ambush a future version of himself aboard the bridge of the enemy mothership, saving Atlantis from a final, devastating attack.  The two battle. “So young and impetuous,”remarks Future Todd.  “So old and foolish,”counters ours. Eventually, Future Todd gets the upper hand and pins his opponent. He raises his dagger for the finishing blow – only to have someone reach in and grab his wrist.  Rodney McKay to the rescue.  Allowing our Todd seizes the opportunity to turn the tables.

John and Todd make the most unlikeliest of odd couples in this one, forced to work together for the greater good.  “If I had to pick one thing I like best about you,”says Sheppard during one hair-raising moment, “I’d have to say it’s your sense of humor.”  A stone-faced Todd informs him: “Yes, back on the hive, I was known as “the funny one”.”

Enemy fighters are scrambled, Beckett takes the chair, the mother ship faces off against Atlantis, the city takes significant damage, Teyla suffers a terrible loss, some wonderful heroic moments for Ronon, McKay, and Teyla as well.

Atlantis ultimately returns to the Pegasus galaxy where Todd is granted his freedom.  “You did save the city after all,”explains Woolsey.  “Of course I did,”says Todd.  “How else would I have gotten home?”.  And, in a moment that demonstrates how far things have come, John gives his former enemy a parting handshake.  Woolsey hopes that, some day, their paths will cross under better circumstances.  Todd agrees.  “It would be wonderful to have you for dinner sometime,”he says before heading through the gate.

Atlantis re-establishes itself, Beckett gets his turtles back from Rodney and assumes a permanent position as Atlantis’s new head of medical R&D, and John comforts a grieving Teyla now aware – via the revelations of time travel – that they are destined to be together.

And we fade out on a night shot of Atlantis, a jewel on the water…

Yes, it would have been a great movie, but I think it would have been an even better sixth season two-part premiere.

And, yeah, we had long-range plans for that too:

2September 30, 2008: An AU Season 6!

Now that I think about it, I believe 619 and 620, the two-part season finale, would have involved an idea I’d been kicking around involving our team returning from a mission to an AU Atlantis that has been taken over by a mysteriously resurrected Michael, its personnel (Woolsey, Keller, Beckett, even Chuck!)  now hybrids in league with their former enemy.  Damn.  So many opportunities missed!

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In Stargate: Universe’s second season, the crew finally discovers Destiny’s bridge.  From a creative standpoint, holding off the discovery until then allowed for some great drama: Rush’s attempts to hide it from the rest of the crew, the subsequent attempts to control the ship, etc.  Also, waiting until season two permitted us to give it a truly worthy. singular reveal rather than lumping it in with the rest of the ship.  From a production standpoint, holding it off the discovery made even more sense.  The portions of the Destiny built for season one cost several millions and we simply couldn’t afford to include a massively expense bridge as well.  And so, rather than settle for something simple, we waited a year until we had the money to do it right. And, boy, did it we ever.  It was, simply put, a thing of beauty:

Destiny Bridge and adjoining corridor

Destiny Bridge and adjoining corridor

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Under construction.  

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Early season two.  The finishing touches in place.

The bridge was located in Stage 5 on and what made it all the more impressive was the fact that it was a raised, massive second level structure.  Directly below it stood the mess and shuttle.

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David Blue (aka Eli Wallace) getting a feel for the place.

1James Robbins did a terrific job designing the bridge, and our construction department went above and beyond the call to build it. But the work didn’t stop there.  It had to be properly lit and, of course, we needed the Playback Department to work their magic.  “What’s the Playback Department?”you ask.  Well, whenever you see an onscreen image be it a holographic map or computer data or scrolling alien script, you can thank the Playback Department.  On the surface, it seems like such a small thing but, in reality, those incredible, painstakingly detailed graphics go such a long way toward setting the mood.  Some of the stuff they come up with was downright incredible.

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The Captain’s chair.

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Commander Carl Binder

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Carl makes it go

To give you an idea of the great work of our Playback Department, check out the designs for the onscreen visuals – then check out the finished product…

Bridge chair (left arm)

Bridge chair (left arm)

Bridge chair (right arm)

Bridge chair (right arm)

Bridge standard text

Bridge standard text

Ship Systems (left)

Ship Systems (left)

Ship systems (right)

Ship systems (right)

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Patrick Gilmore (aka Dale Volker) took a crash course in weapons and nav systems.

Navigation Systems (left)

Navigation Systems (left)

Navigation Systems (right)

Navigation Systems (right)

Sorry.  Couldn’t track this one down.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Weapons System (far right)

Weapons Systems (far right)

Weapons systems (standard)

Weapons systems (standard)

Pretty amazing, no?

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I had a feeling that trying to sell my car would prove a giant pain in the ass.  As it turns out, the experience has surpassed expectations. Initially, I thought I’d save myself the hassle by contacting my local Audi dealer and trading my Q7 in as part of a new vehicle purchase – but the salesman I spoke to actually convinced me that I’d be better off selling the car privately and then putting that money toward that new car.

And so, following his advice, I did my homework, snapped some photos, posted an ad on craigslist that included details like the low mileage and the fact that I would also throw in both summer and winter tires.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  At first, I assumed that craigslist had failed to publish my ad, so I went to the Cars & Trucks section and found it.  Yep, there it was – along with the other 500+ automobile ads from other private sellers but mostly dealers who positively swamp the section with their listings.

In hindsight, I should’ve found a way to work my Q7 into an episode of Stargate and then auction it off.  Hey, remember the all-terrain wraith-mobile from Tracker?  Or the five passenger space shuttle with the moon roof that the Asgard use in First Contact?  Or the SUV Sheppard and the gang drive off in at the end of Enemy at the Gate (a scene, now that I think of it that, that may have been cut for time)?  Yes? No?

The other day, someone asked me if I had blueprints of the SGC.  I looked through my old Art Department handouts and these are what I came up with.  From Stargate: Atlantis episode #412, Miller’s Crossing:

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SGC Facility

Shallow Money Pit Hallway?  It was used for the crucial Icarus Base evacuation/corridor cave-in/explosion sequence in the Stargate: Universe opener.   Back in the day, we used to see a lot of that Long Tall Hallway – for instance, the scene in Window of Opportunity where Teal’c keeps getting hit by the door.

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The Gate Room

There’s a note for the Art Department: “Gate address “Pegasus to Atlantis” (attached)”.  In fact, pretty much every episode the gate was used included a gate address breakdown as part of the Art Department package.  If you’re interested – and if you are, then I’m assuming you must be a pretty hardcore fan – I’d be happy to scan and upload a few.

There are also notes for a greenscreen VFX and rear-screen puddle projection.  Simply put, every time someone interacted with the puddle, it was a VFX shot.  In the early years of the show, you rarely saw the puddle unless someone was actually going through it simply because it was too expensive to show.  More often than not, you would play the “puddle effect”, that tell-tale shimmer of lights playing off someone’s face as they looked at the off-screen puddle.  Eventually, we started to make use of a puddle projection that allowed us to glimpse more of the puddle – less at the beginning because the visual wasn’t all that convincing, but more in the franchise’s later years as the visual improved.

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Control Room

There’s a note for Construction to include the “iris plug” in the event director Andy Mikita wanted to feature the gate in any of his planned shots.  When not active, the SGC gate had an iris in place which was fairly convincing onscreen but much less so up close.

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Lab and Hallway to Lab

Sort of like childproofing a room except, instead of a toddler, you’re preparing for a soul-sucking alien guest.  I always liked the observation room/lab set-up but it’s a room we rarely had occasion to use.

There is a reference to “2 hero workstations”.  The term “hero” refers to something that will be featured onscreen/used by one of our characters.  As a result, it should be the more convincing of the various versions in a given scene.  The hero zat gun, for instance, actually had some operating parts (short, sadly, of actual stunning/killing/disintegrating/lock-picking capability) as did one of the hero staff weapon.

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Work Area/Boardroom

Don’t remember the scene but I assume this was a different boardroom than the one located above the control room.  It was there, at the long table, that Hammond would discuss off-world missions with SG-1. What struck me most about the boardroom back in the day was how chipped and weathered that table was – and what pains the director must have gone through to shoot it in a way that concealed all those blemishes you couldn’t help but notice every time you visited the set.

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Mess Hall

Home of the infamous blue jello and WoW Fruit Loops.

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Sheppard’s Quarters

Where’s the t.v.?

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Holding Room

For the “other” guests.  If I remember correctly, this was Vala’s room.

I know, I know.  I’ve really got to get around to scanning and digitizing the rest of these files.  In the meantime, interested in checking out anything else?  Destiny?  Atlantis?  Those various gate addresses? Wraith facilities or Sheppard’s family home?  Let me know.

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This was the question many Stargate fans were asking themselves yesterday after news broke of the astounding success of the Veronica Mars kickstarter campaign.

For those of you who haven’t heard, series creator Rob Thomas approached Warner Bros. about making a Veronica Mars movie. According to Thomas: “Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board.”  Well, the fans stepped up and demonstrated their interest, pledging $1 million dollars (in a record 4 hours and 24 minutes) to the project’s kickstarter campaign [http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/13/technology/veronica-mars-kickstarter/index.html].  And, last time I checked, over 47000 backers had pledged close to 3 million dollars, about a million dollars over their goal – and this is only day #2 of their month-long drive! [http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project].

It’s awesome news for Veronica Mars fans that has also energized fandom in general.  Already, loyal viewers are asking about their own favorite shows ['Veronica Mars' Movie Funded...Could a 'Chuck' Movie be Next?! (Poll)].  Could a similar strategy work for us?  Well, I suppose it depends.

Over at Forbes.com, Paul Tassi asks: “How did a show that’s been off the air for eight years raise two million dollars in barely half a day?”, and then proceeds to break down exactly how they pulled it off [http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/03/14/how-exactly-did-veronica-mars-fund-a-movie-in-ten-hours/].  It offers great insight – and food for thought.

So how successful could a Stargate movie campaign prove if it attempted to follow the successful five-step strategy he outlines?  Well, according to Paul, “There are a number of factors at work here, and they’re worth exploring in order to understand if this kind of thing can or will happen again…”

1. The fanbase must be religiously devoted

Check.  There’s no doubt the Stargate fanbase is still strong and more than willing to support the franchise as evidenced by their continued involvement on fansites like Save Stargate Universe | Facebook, GateWorld | Your Complete Guide to Stargate!, and Stargate Solutions.

2. Get everyone on board ahead of time

Okay, proper planning is key but, in this case, it requires MUCH consideration.  In the case of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell approached the studio and cast first, and THEN started their campaign. Which is, of course, what would be required here.  So, how interested would MGM be in a Stargate movie?  That’s the biggest question.  And the answer all comes down to economics.  Would it be worth their while (aka – not only financially feasible but lucrative)?  Will the potential rewards outweigh the risks?  Five years ago, the answer would have been  a resounding “Yes!” given the fact that Ark of Truth and Continuum surpassed expectations.  But, of course, that was before the bottom fell out of the DVD market.  Could alternate viewing platforms make up the shortfall?  Streaming?  Broadcasters?  Maybe the big screen treatment?

Which brings us to another question – “What does MGM have planned for Stargate? – because, let’s face it, as one of their most successful franchises, it’s not going to lie fallow for long.  Do they already have something in the works?

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say, it’s a best case scenario for fans of SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe.  The studio proves amenable to the idea.  Next up is ensuring we have a cast in place.  So, which cast? SG-1?  Atlantis?  Universe?  Or would it be a selective amalgamation of all three (which was Brad Wright’s original idea for an SGU movie)?

3. Offer rewards people want

Now this one is much easier to deliver on.  I, for one, would be more than happy to send you a signed script, arrange a set visit, or deck you out in prosthetics before blasting you out an airlock if it would ensure your support.

4. Leverage social media

Are you kidding?  Stargate fans are the kings (and queens) of social media.  We’ll get word to them and they’ll get word to EVERYONE.

And finally 5. Understand that not everyone will be able to do this

Why not?  Well, some former cast members may well be too busy to participate (Robert Carlyle now stars on Once Upon A Time while Jason Momoa has been burning up Hollywood post-SGA) while others may have simply moved on.  Still, provided we manage to cross this particular bridge as well, there’s the question of money.  To put it bluntly, we would need A LOT more money to produce a Stargate movie.  A LOT more to pay for the construction of new sets (alas, the Destiny, Atlantis, and Stargate Command are no more and would have to be rebuilt from scratch) and visual effects (I haven’t read the script, but it’s unlikely the Veronica Mars movie will feature much in the way of space battles), not to mention other related costs like cast, crew, and the onset aerobics instructor for my pug, Bubba.

So, conservatively, three out of five aint bad – unless you’re looking to make a Stargate movie in which case it aint good either.  Even if you could convince MGM to get onboard – and that’s a mighty big IF – there’s still the matter of the amount of money that would be required to produce a scifi movie.  How much?  Well, ballpark, I’d say significantly more than the 3 million dollars the Veronica Mars campaign has raised to date, but somewhat less than the $39 million dollars the Forbes article claims Serenity cost.

Certainly not impossible but, damn, them’s long odds!

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