I was down on Stage 5 today watching Director Ernest Dickerson calling the shots on Earth. At one point, Camera Operator Greg Fox swept by and I asked him how much his camera weighed. By way of a response, I was given the honor of a hands-on experience. “Hold it here,”I was instructed as the camera was lowered onto my shoulder, my left hand positioned to support it, my right hand guided over to steady it. “And here.” Then, a nervous: “You got it?” I could see the exact same scene playing out in their heads: The uncoordinated producer helping himself to the camera – and dropping it, casually kicking it under the table before quietly shuffling off with a murmured apology. Damn! The thing was heavy! “Damn!”I said. “This thing is heavy!” It was like having an oversized second head with the weight of a bowling ball. “It’s not so bad,“Greg assured me. “You get used to it after a day.” I was dubious. Greg smiled and, as he reclaimed his camera, he replaced it with mine, the portable little handheld camcorder he helpfully propped up on my right shoulder. Much better!
Speaking of shooting – tomorrow is Ivon’s big directorial debut as we begin shooting those kino scenes. Sorry. A few mailbags ago, I was asked what a kino was. I was in the process of answering, got distracted, then continued answering the other questions and never got back to my kino response. What is a kino? A kino is an advanced MALP. Specifically, it’ the Ancient version of a MALP.
To those of you asking – yes, Carl is still around. As proof, check out some recent pics from our recent outing to Quattro Restaurant on 4th.
Finally, sometime last week, some website put together a list of their favorite episode titles. Alas, Stargate failed to make the list. To rectify that oversight, I’ve decided to put together a list of My Top 10 Favorite Stargate Titles:
10) Double Jeopardy: The audience sits there wondering “Why the hell is this episode called Double Jeopardy?” until the end of the first act when Daniel Jackson gets decapitated, at which point they suddenly realize they’ve been following the android versions of our heroes (last scene in Tin Man). Double the SG-1 = Double the jeopardy.
9) Watergate: What else are you going to call an episode focusing on the team’s investigation of a secret Russian project in which a second gate is connected to a water planet – with disastrous results? Okay, granted, it could’ve been called plenty of other things and when Rob Cooper first suggested calling his episode Watergate, I remember we all laughed. Well, as it turned out, Rob was the last man laughing.
8) Crossroads: We were once pitched a freelance story which the author titled, broadly enough, Turn of Events. Really? Something is going to happen in this episode? How fitting then! Sure, we all made fun of the title at the time, but Paul was quick to point out that we’d been just as guilty several years earlier with this episode title, Crossroads. Really? Someone faces a tough decision in this episode? How fitting then!
7) Cold Lazarus: Well, it sounds cool – despite the fact that there is no discernible connection between this cryptic title and the actual events in the episode. Apparently, upon reading the script, someone at the studio called the production offices demanding to know: “Who the hell is Lazarus and why is he cold?!”
6) Talion: Damian Kindler was always great at coming up with these obscure titles (see: Ethon). According to dictionary.cm: “A punishment identical to the offense, as the death penalty for murder.”. All well and good except that whenever someone mentioned this episode by name, I always assumed they were saying “Italian“, resulting in much confusion.
5) McKay and Mrs. Miller: One the one hand, McCabe and Mrs. Miller is the name of an old Robert Altman western. On the other hand, we had a story involving the character of McKay and his little sister. A bit of a stretch unless… “Hey, maybe Miller is her married name!”Marty G. suggested in a stroke of genius.
4) Avenger 2.0: The best thing about this episode was the title. Felger (last seen in The Other Guys) invents a computer virus capable of deactivating stargates. While testing it, the entire gate network shut down. Will Felger and Carter solve the problem and come up with a working security patch in time? No, don’t’ bother watching. They do.
3) Miller’s Crossing: Keeping with the Miller movie theme, Marty G. went to the Coen brothers for inspiration in titling this episode which saw the return of McKay’s little sister, Jeannie Miller. See, her last name is Miller and, um, well Rodney’s last name is McKay but her husband’s last name is Miller and there is this scene where he snaps at McKay, you see, he’s very cross, and…Aaaah, forget it.
2) There But For the Grace of God Go I: Best Title For An AU Episode Ever! – because, at the end of the day, this is what is at the heart of every great A.U. story: the path not followed, the road not taken (coincidentally, the title of another SG-1 A.U. episode).
1) Ex Deus Machina: When this episode aired, some fans were livid because they assumed we’d unwittingly screwed up the Latin. Well, yes, we did screw up the Latin – but wittingly. The story involved System Lord Baal making his way to Earth. “Maybe he becomes a mechanic,”I suggested. “Then we could call it Deus Ex Mechanic.” “Better yet,”said Paul. “He’s a former god. We should call is Ex Deus Machina.” So we did.