The other day, I was having a hypothetical conversation with Akemi (Don’t read too much into this – although I’m sure you will). I asked her: In the event she was getting married (See! I knew it!), where would she like the ceremony to take place? “Anywhere,”I prodded. “Anywhere in the world.”
She considered, cocking her head and puffing out her cheeks, the telltale signs she is thinking. “Not Hawaii…”she started.
“Why not?”I asked.
“Because, in the pictures, everybody always looks like this – ” Scrunching up her face, flinching as if in expectation of some phantom blow.
It took me a couple of seconds to get it. “Oh. Too sunny.”
“Too sunny,”she repeated.
“Where then? Vegas?” Beat. “Montreal?” This won won me a disapproving look. “Where?’
A few more seconds of thoughtful consideration and then she had her answer: “Shittyhole.”.
“Shittyhole?”I asked, wondering if this was her roundabout way of saying “It doesn’t matter where. I’d just be happy getting married.”
“Shittyhole,”she repeated. Then, emphatically: “Shitty-hole!”
“Shitty-hole!”I said, just to be sure.
And then it finally dawned on me: “Oh! CITY HALL!”
“Yes.” She mimicked me with exaggerated enunciation: “Seetee Hooowl!”
City Hall? I was expecting an Osaka tea ceremony or a castle to-do in Europe, maybe even a theme-wedding in Vegas. But City Hall? What a hopeless romantic!
msstargate writes: “My question for the Mailbag…with the economy finally picking up, any chance we see the long awaited SG1/Atlantis movie or movies?”
Answer: Economy aside, I’m sorry to say that the chances of seeing either of those movies is beyond remote. The sets are long gone and the actors have moved on. From the studio point of view, it wouldn’t make sense to spend the money to rebuilt all the sets for a one-off movie. And given the demise of dvd (once a terrific source of revenue particularly with regard to Stargate), it makes even less financial sense to do the movies. Instead of a “one and done” movie, a new t.v. series that would allow the production to amortize the costs of the expensive sets over several seasons would make more sense. A new series would also leave the door open to appearances by former Stargate alums as well. It’s simply a question of if and when MGM wants to breathe life back into its most successful television franchise.
Sue Jackson writes: “Question for mailbag: How are your doggies? How is Jelly, Lulu, and Bubba? Love seeing their pretty faces on your blog!”
Answer: Oh, they’re fine. Jelly still having trouble getting around but she remains in high spirits. Bubba is getting pudgy. And Lulu is her usual mischievous self.
DP writes: “How are your projects coming along?”
Answer: They seem to be coming along swimmingly…but you never know. The horror script is out there making the rounds. Yesterday, Paul and I received notes on the first draft of that urban fantasy series we’re developing. We also delivered the first draft of that SF pilot.
Bailey writes: “Mailbag Question: In your experience, was there differing levels of network involvement with the three Stargate shows? What exactly do they do?”
Answer: Network involvement was fairly consistent in the 11 years I was with the franchise. SyFy weighed in on the various scripts and cuts.
kabra writes: “How is your sister doing?”
Answer: She and her new boy, Fernando, are doing great.
Jeff W writes: “Any preference between Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma? And what are your favourites?”
Answer: Love ’em both.
“And can you pass along anything more about the Dark Matter TV series?”
Answer: TV series? Wouldn’t that be great?
T. Dixon writes: “How is Akemi feeling after her cold and did you catch it? Can you tell us any dates for completed projects you’re working on?”
Answer: She is feeling much better. And, no, I managed to avoid coming down with it myself. As for dates – we’re a ways away. The miniseries should be airing sometime…uh, in the near future.
lrgoodwin2 writes: “Have you ever considered doing a SItcom? I have a pitch, the best part is that most of it really happened. You couldn’t write it if you wanted too. Funny how true life is always stranger to fiction. Let me know if your interested.”
Answer: Thanks for thinking of me, but my plate is full with the two pilots I’m developing (and another one on deck).
dasndanger writes: “Just finished the last Pendergast book, and yes, Joe – what did take you so long?! I’m guessing it probably has something to do with you being so judgmental about tall, pallid characters all dressed in black.”
Answer: Actually, it had everything to do with me being judgmental about a book series that sounded like a Victorian-era steampunk detective series. I mean, come on. The protagonist is an albino named Aloysius Pendergast!
dasdanger also writes: “1. What type of car do I want to own someday?”
Answer: The Batmobile from the 1960’s Batman series – or a facsimile.
2. Why don’t I own one now?
Answer: It just sold for $4.2 million. Damn, if someone had given me the heads up, I could’ve bid!
3. Name two tv shows that I watch, but could easily drop.
Answer: The Amazing Race and Master Chef.
4. Why could I drop said shows? Is it due to:
A. No long-locked albinos? B. Tiresome relationship clutter? C. Characters whose charm isn’t charming to me? D. All of the above.
Answer: D = 1. Lost interest, 2. I find one of the judges really annoying.
5. Is #4 a trick question?
Answer: I’m going to say no because I answered it.
6. Who would I rather be stranded with on a deserted island – DS Hathaway or Todd the Wraith?
Answer: I’ll go with DS based on the fact that I don’t know who he is but he sounds like a gentleman.
7. Is #6 a trick question?
Answer: Depends. Who’s DS Hathaway?
8. Which statement is correct: a show should be draining instead of entertaining, or a show should be entertaining instead of draining?
Answer: A show should always be entertaining whether it’s draining or not.
9. What is my favorite sport: Rugby, or Ribbing Mallozzi?
Answer: I’m calling this one a tie.
10. Is #9 a trick question?
11. What is my theory regarding Mallozzi’s delay in reading the Pendergast series? Amirite?
Answer: See above.
12. Essay question: Explain in a 100 words or less why I have switched from comic books to a more pulpy fare. Double bonus points if you can explain in 10 words or less. Triple bonus points if you use the word ‘boobs’ in your answer.
Answer: Superhero ennui. And those pulp titles offer a better quality of boobs.
Elminster writes: “Ya, I’ve been watching a new show. It’s called Transporter: The Series. You may have heard about it.”
Answer: Nope. No. Doesn’t ring a bell. Are you sure you don’t mean Transformers?
Sabrina writes: “Thinking of Maximus today.”
Answer: Thanks, Sabrina. We miss our handsome boy.
Michelle writes: “Joe, I assume you’re following the hullaballoo about the BC film incentives? Never saw so many actors tweet such passion about something non-hockey-related, and I even know your provincial premiere is Christy Clark. While she argues competing with Ontario is a race to the bottom, others argue BC has a big net gain financially from the larger film subsidies. Given you didn’t love your time in Toronto, are you on the side of the industry?”
Answer: I am most definitely on the side of the industry. The government’s argument against the tax incentives don’t make sense. They claim that it’s a “race to the bottom”, that the province will lose money by matching the incentives in place in Ontario and Quebec – but this is based on the glaringly incorrect assumption that the same amount of productions set up shop in both provinces. The reality is that given the choice (and it ALWAYS starts with a choice) productions will go wherever they’ll get a bigger bang for their buck, a place that will allow them to put more of their budget onscreen.
This link offers a great analysis of the situation (http://www.scribd.com/doc/121494475/Kurt-Bruun-BC-Film-Incentive-Analysis) and a great explanation of how it works. Kurt Bruun sums it up this way:
“BC was standing around one day thinking about how it loved apple pie (yes, I’m using a pie analogy for money).
“MMM….I love apple pie,” said BC.
“What’s that?” said BC’s next door neighbor “You like apple pie?”
“Heck no,” replied BC “I said I looove apple pie!”
“Well,” said the neighbor “You can have this apple pie I have right here for free.It’s a delicious apple pie!”
“Free apple pie? What’s the catch?” asked BC
“Well, you can have this here beautiful apple pie but once I give it to you, do you mind if I have a small slice of it back….say, 7.9%?”
“Deal!!” exclaimed BC. And BC took the pie, sliced off 7.9% and gave it to the generous neighbor.
This arrangement went on for years with the neighbor always bringing BC the apple pies and BC slicing off the 7.9% to enjoy over 90% of it.One day the neighbor came up to BC and said “Hey buddy, times are tough and I’m wondering if there’s any chance you could slice me off another couple of percent off that pie. You can still have the pie but maybe just make my slice a little closer to 10% than the usual 7.9% we’ve been doing for years.”
“You know I sure do love your apple pies, neighbor but…up yours!” said BC. “I want to only give you back 7.9% still.”
And the neighbor walked away with the whole pie.”
It’s not, as many think, a case of productions taking money out of the taxpayer’s pockets. Unlike BC residents who must pay taxes here, a production will pay taxes wherever it chooses to set up shop. By coming here to shoot a film or television series, it is helping to fill the government coffers, both directly (in the taxes it pays as a business entity) and indirectly (by employing hundreds of BC residents who, in turn, pay taxes as well). By driving productions away to far more attractive shooting locales, it’s the BC government that is taking money out of its own pocket.
gforce writes: “In “The Shrine”, was it Lynn Canyon where the outdoor shots were done (I think there was one near a waterfall)? The area sure looked familiar.”
Answer: Don’t recall. More than likely – yes.
“Have you listened/watched any of the J-Pop group “World Order”? These guys are amazing!”
Answer: Yes, absolutely love them. This is one of my favorite World Order videos –
“Are we to take it from your recent remarks that there is some positive movement on the “Dark Matter” front? You don’t have to say anything! Just wink with your left eye for no, and your right eye for yes.”
Answer: Things are looking cautiously optimistic on the Dark Matter front.
dasndanger writes: “I do have a serious question from a couple weeks back – what is it that didn’t work for you with the mysteries? Please be as specific as possible…in a hundred words or less.”
Answer: I was looking for an engaging mystery with interesting characters. At best, I’d get one out of two. Usually, it was 0 for 2. Also, coincidence or contrived plot points are a deal-breaker. I read one highly recommended book that concluded with the revelation that there were actually two murderers – who just happened to commit their crimes at the same house on the same night. The Preston/Child books, on the other hand, offer both engaging mysteries (in Relic and Reliquary) as well as engaging characters (loved Pendergast, Margo, and D’Agosta), in addition to some genuinely surprising twists – but I wouldn’t classify them as mysteries.