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Wow.  I repeat.  Wow!  SyFy sent us the rough cut of the early Dark Matter promo they’ve been working on and it is awesome.  We’re a long way from finished visual effects so you’ll have to wait for the NEXT trailer to see those, but THIS trailer is pretty amazing all the same.  I must have screened it a couple of dozen times for the cast and crew.  A big congrats and thanks to SyFy’s Bill Trojanowski and his team.  Can’t wait for you all to see it.

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The sharply-dressed Bruce McDonald completed work on episode #107 and now heads to editing for his director’s cut.  From what I hear, he’s got A LOT to work with.

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Director T.W. Peacocke, two days into episode #108, spends his lunch break prepping for a loooong afternoon in the quarters and corridor.

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Director Ron Murphy oversees the episode #109 production meeting.  He’s all smiles – and why not?  He’s already shot half the episode.

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For those of you complaining about a lack of actor Marc Bendavid (ONE) on this blog, here’s a snap of him reviewing his sides – while embracing Cat Shirt Thursdays.

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Costume Designer does Cat Shirt Thursday with style.

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Another gathering of the Dark Matter whisky/whiskey club!

And, finally, as promised – the Android visual roll-out continues.  You asked for it and here it is.  The Android’s hair…

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Today, I spent time on three different units.  Woke up at 6:00 a.m., took the loooong drive to Hamilton for 8:30 a.m. call on not one but TWO second unit shoots (Director Ron Murphy on those owing barn scenes from episode #106, and Director Bruce McDonald on those final few farm house scenes for episode #108). It was uncomfortably cold when I arrived but, after an hour or so, the weather warmed up.  Then it rained, and it got cold again.  I took the looooong drive back to Etobicoke and arrived in time for main unit lunch, then spent the rest of the late afternoon and evening on set, first watching Director T.W. Peacocke shoot scenes for episode #108, then watching Director John Stead shoot outstanding (in both senses of the word) scenes for episode #105.  What a day!  And the high point was a double dose of actress Jodelle Ferland who is, quite frankly, perfection.

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A little something from the Art Department and Transport to help set the mood. Anyone remember Damnation Alley?

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Director Bruce McDonald is a rock star!

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Dressing warmly – and peacefully – for the weather.

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The rarely seen sled cam.

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I tried to shoo this homeless man off set – until I realized he was VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

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Moving video village.  That tent came in handy today.

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Second unit for episode #108 was shooting in the cabin (background) while second unit for #106 was shooting in the barn (foreground).

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A couple of Lemke’s: Anthony and Tanya (no relation).  Note: Anthony’s injuries sustained during one of our trademark heated “script discussions”.

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Directors Bruce McDonald and Ron Murphy exchange pleasantries – before the rivalry begins.  Ron fires the first salvo by stealing their camera.

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Ron directs actress Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) on shuttle spotting.

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Watch your step back to crew park!

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Like I said, those tents sure came in handy.

Tomorrow, another visual piece of the android puzzle.  What’ll it be, belt or hair?

Last up tonight was the extra scene I wrote for episode #107.  Whenever I write one of these, it invariably ends up being an Android scene because the character is so damn fun to write for – because Zoie Palmer is so damn good at playing her. This one was a particularly tricky corridor encounter and Zoie herself confided that, while she doesn’t usually get nervous before a scene, this one was a bit of an exception.  Not that it showed.  She NAILED it.  The crew had a hell of a time keeping it together during the four takes – but completely lost it, along with the equally terrific Marc Ben-David, during the rehearsal.  I’ve spent the past two hours walking around the apartment, shouting “TWOOOO DOZEN!” at the top of my lungs.  Mark it!  Episode #107, Scene 27A, Int. Ship – Corridor H: ONE and the Android.  I guarantee it’ll be making the youtube rounds after it airs.

Tonight, there is no bigger Zoie Palmer fan than me.  With the possible exception of Akemi who has watched the first six cuts of Dark Matter‘s first season and has completely fallen in love with her character.

Speaking of our dear Android, how’s this little sneak peek at what we have in the works:

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She rules Post Production with an iron fist – respected, admired and, in some cases, feared.  She makes damn sure the episodes are locked, the deliveries made, and the trains run on time.  Cross her at your peril!  She is Rachel Sutherland, Dark Matter Post Production Producer!  And she is a force to be reckoned with!

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And positively delightful company.  I always get to editing early just so that we can chat.  She’s one of those people who you can talk to for days on end.

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AND she’s a fellow foodie who, on occasion, will surprise me with treats.  Cookies! Chocolate!   Two extra days of editing!

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This weekend, we’re hitting Buca Restaurant on King.  Taleggio cheese, duck yolk, and fresh white truffle pizzas beware.  We’re taking no prisoners!

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Last night, the gang convened for our second to last Walking Dead night of the season (Next up: Game of Thrones!).  In attendance: actor Roger Cross (SIX), actress Jodelle Ferland (FIVE), and VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft -Wilson.  We missed last week’s instalment so it was a double-header night.  We were all on the edge of our respective seats – or, in Jodelle’s case, the edge of the couch as she cuddled up all toasty warm with Lulu in her blanket.

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Roxanne Borris dropped by my office this afternoon with some delicious home made pastries.  As a result, I’ve now promoted her to 1st Assistant Art Director in Charge of Graphics AND Eclairs.

We had our production meeting today for episode #108.  For those wondering what such a meeting consists of, it essentially boils down to all of us getting together, going through the script, and making sure we’re on the same page.  1st Assistant Director Brandon Tataryn oversaw the action, producing a nifty 21 page breakdown of each scene’s components.  Here’s a peek at what you all missed.  Where were you?!

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Finally, let’s end this entry in traditional Mallozzi blog fashion: with an apology. This one goes out to Dark Matter Truck Supervisor Jessie Gibbs who I mentioned in a previous Meet the Costume Department blog post – with an accompanying photo of a different Jesse.  Apparently, learning everyone’s first names isn’t good enough. Also, apparently, my “No two people with the same first name” edict has been ignored.

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Okay, I lied.  Instead of an apology, let’s end this entry with a picture of a pound cake bacon & nutella melt:

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There.  Don’t we all feel better?

Thanks for the plumbing advice.  I really should have consulted with you all from the start.  A half dozen frenzied jams of a handy plunger and the blockage was instantly dislodged, allowing the trapped water to finally run free – and right through the hole I put in the pipe with that coat hanger.

If this incident has taught me anything (besides “Try a plunger first before attempting to use a coat hanger to dislodge a blockage”), it’s that I don’t give you guys enough to credit.  If I’d asked for your opinions sooner, that red bucket wouldn’t be a permanent fixture under my sink now.  Now I regret writing all those Dark Matter scripts without your input!

Hey, guess who I ran into yesterday?  No, but close!  I crossed paths with Julie Benz, Defiance‘s Mayor Amanda Rosewater, and we ended up talking about our respective shows, our upcoming premieres, and unicorns.  Yes, unicorns.  Anyway, Julie is very active on social media, spearheading Defiance‘s social media campaign, and she had some great advice on rallying the online fandom.  A lot of it depends on you, dear blog readers, so I’ll be counting on your in the months ahead to help get the word out.

In the meantime, I’m thinking a live after-show would be great, a little online get-together where viewers can interact with the cast and crew, and get the behind-the-scene scoop on the series.  I floated the possibility and received the following, brilliant, response on twitter:

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Dark Chatter it is!  Thanks, TF!  Check back with this blog for more details!

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Director Bruce McDonald and Director of Photography Craig Wright conspire.

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2nd Assistant Director Emily Drake works crowd control during the episode #108 Art Department meeting.

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Keeping Director T.W. Peacocke in line.

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Galactic Authority Destroyer specs.   Build your own!

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Taking in a Costumes Meeting with Director Ron Murphy and the gang.

I woke up this morning, rolled over, and saw 6:40 a.m. flash back at me on the night stand.  6:40 a.m.!  Main unit call was at 7:00 a.m.!  I remember consulting the call sheet on my way out last night!

I jumped out of bed, my brain in a fog, and, as I scrambled to get dressed, I planned my timeline.  5 minutes to dress.  5 minutes in the bathroom.  5 minutes to take Jelly out.  5 minutes to get to my car and then a 15 minute drive to set.  I could make it for maybe 7:30 a.m.  I’d miss the blocking but probably be there for the first shot.

I considered texting consulting producer Ivon Bartok to let him know I’d be late.  After all, he was probably already there.

And then it hit me.  Of course he wasn’t there.  And neither were the rest of the cast and crew.  It was Saturday morning!

I crawled back into bed and slept until 10:30.

The first thing I did upon waking up was to head downstairs and check on the kitchen sink.  Sadly, the drain cleaner had had no overnight effect.  The sink was still clogged (this the result of Akemi’s polenta mishap the previous night).  I poked my head under the sink and tried to disengage the coupling nut so I could dislodge the blockage manually – but the damn thing was painted shut.  Undeterred, I elected to go with a tried and true method.  I untangled a wire coat hanger, straightened it out, and shoved it down the drain.  I felt it contact the pipe and then, when I gave it a little thrust, watched it pass right through the bottom of the trap like it was made of cardboard.

Fine.  Now I not only had a blocked sink, but a punctured pipe.  I called the plumbing service recommended to me by the concierge and, after taking down my information, they informed me that someone would get back to me.  To be fair, they didn’t say “Get back to you, shortly” or “Get back to you, today”.  I assumed that was implied but, evidently, I got that wrong.

And how was your Saturday?

Today, I treated the crew to some food truck action.  Minus the food truck because it’s too early.  Instead, Fidel Gastro’s (http://www.fidelgastros.com) set up shop in the lunch room and served up a surprise dinner.

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Sandwiches:

SGT Slather: bbq pulled pork, guacamole, house made corn chips
Diablo’s Right Wing: spicy shredded chicken with carrot aioli Shakshuka: spicy tomato stewed eggplant, zucchini and onions with creamy goats cheese

Sides:
Pad Thai Fries Mixed Green Salad

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“Do you want to leave a message for the cast and crew?”asked Exec Producer’s assistant Alison Hepburn.

At first, I thought I’d pass and then, upon further consideration, decided to go with…

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For dessert, we had cupcakes and cake as our special guest star celebrated her birthday today Dark Matter style: in the ship’s underbelly!

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Another special guest star of sorts visited set today as writer Michael Simpson dropped by to do some interviews for SciFiNow (http://www.scifinow.co.uk).  He brought us a nice bottle of scotch – that got confiscated at customs.  But that didn’t stop him from making him an honorary member of our whisky club and toasting the honour with a 16 year old Langavulin.

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Two down, several more to go before final wrap.  Next up on the shelf: Writers Tears.

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