Archive for the ‘comic books’ Category

Yesterday, I watched the Superbowl with some of my co-workers: co-creator Paul Mullie, VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft Wilson, Line Producer Norman Denver, 1st Assistant Director Brandon Tataryn, and their respective families (almost all of who were rooting for the Broncos), and actor Anthony Lemke who, always the contrarian, was rooting for the Panthers.  We gathered at Norman’s favorite pub where we ate wings, mini yorkshire puddings, and sticky toffee puddings while watching approximately four hours of commercials interspersed with sporadic actual game play.

And then, today, it was back at it!  While Dark Matter co-creator Paul Mullie was prepping episode 206, and consulting producer Ivon Bartok was overseeing the action on set, I was working on the rewrite for episode 209.  I want to say there’s a shocking reveal in this episode but, really, that would be redundant because shocking reveals – well, they were the norm in Dark Matter’s first season and they look to be de rigueur this upcoming season as well.

So, who’s up for a little voting?  Yes, it’s time to call on all Dark Matter fandom to take the time to weigh in with your thoughts on a new episode title.  In this case, we’re looking to title our third episode of this young season.  And the nominees are…

The polls will be open for the next 24 hours!

Finally, let me leave you with a few behind-the-scenes Dark Matter goodies…


A little sketch compliments of costume designer Noreen Landry.


A little gadget compliments of props master Victoria Klein.


And a little glimpse of some on set action.  Any guesses as to what is going on here?

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Yesterday, after visiting the alley set, Dark Matter Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza, Akemi, and I stopped by a nearby noodle bar.  How nearby?  Well, try two sets over from that alley set.


Following through on that Blade Runner vibe.  Steam and neon!


The place was new.  How new?  Well, when we walked in, they were still painting the tabletops!


You’re all aware of the importance I place on ceilings and floors?  Well, note the scorch and splatter details overhead, the mark(s) of a great greasy fry place.

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And signage is, of course, always key.  You have six menu items to choose from.


Our affable host: Production Designer Ian Brock.

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Vanessa and I sample the ramen.


The magic of television!


VFX Supervisor/Head Chef Lawren Bancroft-Wilson argues with a Japanese customer placing her order.

BIG week ahead!  Starting a new script, rewriting another, locking episode 203, and reviewing the episode 204 director’s cut.  Production returns to our standing sets tomorrow, then shifting to Hamilton for three days before returning to shoot “in the bowels of the hideout”.

Also on tap for this week, YOU get to choose an episode title for the third episode of Dark Matter’s second season.  As my second grade teacher, Mrs. Vowels used to say: “Put on your thinking caps!”

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Today saw a wrap on two different directors and their respective episodes – Steve Dimarco (Episode 203) and John Stead (Episode 204).  I dropped in for about an hour in the morning for the alley scene.  Two (more like three) outstanding scenes will find their way into the pre-existing director’s cut of 203, a dynamic episode that the diehard Dark Matter fans will appreciate.  Then, later this week, I’ll receive the director’s cut of our epic western, 204.  Much like Stargate, what I love about this show is the fact that we produce thirteen mini movies a year, each one unique and independent and yet, simultaneously, narratively linked to a greater arc that builds throughout the season.

I gave you all a look at the concept drawing in yesterday’s blog entry.  Today, here’s a glimpse at the set – prior to atmosphere and lighting…


Had a very Blade Runner-esque feel.  The blue screen off the back will allow VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson to work his magic.


A cleaner look.  Production Designer Ian Brock and his team have really wowed this year and, on this day, delivered three exceptional sets.  More on the other two in the coming days.


A couple of looks from the other side.


My camera doesn’t do it justice, but the other cameras that were capturing the action certainly will.


Setting up a stunt.

Production on Dark Matter’s second season is going fast.  In a few short weeks, we’ll be hitting the halfway mark of the schedule.  And we still have scripts to write!  And this blog to update with oodles of stuff, from on set pics to concept art, crew Q&A’s to live periscopes.

You are all in for a treat!

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Ah, finally, the weekend is upon us.  Time for rest, relaxation..and a special second unit Saturday shoot.  Though, in all honesty, these Saturday shoots are becoming less uncommon and, so, not particularly special.  Just saying, guys.

Not that I don’t enjoy my time with my co-workers.  If I was trapped on a space ship millions of light years from home, I couldn’t imagine a better bunch of crew mates.


But, alas, tomorrow we won’t be sailing through the distant stars.  We’ll, instead, be getting down an dirty in a certain alleyway.

By next week, I’m sure I’ll be looking forward to returning to dark alleys as we’ll be spending three glorious days in a row in The Hammer, shooting in the forest, then over to the hideout before heading underground.  I’ll be taking my heavy coat, boots, gloves and…what else?  What else should I be packing?

IMG_3699 Oh, right.  Melanie Liburd (Nyx) is prepared for the elements – and whatnot.


But first, a quick stopover.  Through the airlock to Balda-9.


Please don’t forget your intergalactic visitor passport!

Hey, check out the trailer for Mike Dopud’s new movie, Virtual Revolution:


On a presumably unrelated note, Akemi and I had dinner with the actor who plays Arax Nero on this latest season of Dark Matter.  Great guy.  This will make five different shows I’ve cast him in (playing six different roles).  You’re going to love his character.  Or hate him.  Or love-hate him.  We’ll see how it goes.

Finally, here are the results to yesterday’s poll.  What is your preferred transfer transit destination.  Well, the clear winner was…

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The city of Atlantis.  Okay.  Now all we have to do is either build a transfer transit system or convince MGM to green light a Stargate: Atlantis movie or (better yet!) sixth season.  Not sure which one will be easier…

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Dating Akemi is always an adventure.  Every text is a little treasure offering cultural insights into the land of the rising sun.  Take yesterday, for instance, when I received THIS text:

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My reaction was “Hunh?”.

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Oh, okay, because I was throwing the soy beans BEFORE seeing the demon.

P.S.  I going to assume the demon was the Charlie the superintendent.


Hey, check out our guest off-screen eyeline for Episode 204: Mortadella Boy!


The lovely Emily Coutts (a.k.a. Sylvia) welcomes you to transfer transit.  (Photo and hair courtesy of Renee Chan).  Where would you like to travel today?  Your choices below:

Motion Sensors Triggered.  Where?  By who?  Find out in season 2 of Dark Matter. (Graphics c/o artist Victor Mare).

Happy belated birthday to Ganymede and 2 cats!  This blog entry is dedicated to you!

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Spaaaaaaace neeeerd!

Ahem.  Now that I’ve got that out of my system…

With Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok on set, I was able to sit in my office and blaze through seven glorious pages of my latest script (questions, silver ball, impending doom, threats, danger, explosion) bringing me to the top of P.51.  I figure I’ll finish up the fifth act tomorrow and then, it’ll be smooooooooth sailing!

In addition to writing this afternoon, I also found time for the Episode #205 props meeting.  We’ll be bringing out the big guns for this one –


Literally.  In addition to the heavy firepower, we’ll also be putting out all the stops as this will probably be our biggest visual effects episode to date.

Director Ron Murphy demonstrates improper gun handling…


This morning, we brought Lulu to see the neurologist.  We were greeted by a young intern who did the preliminary examination before we were joined by the good doctor.  Noting my phone number and the fact that I was out of town, he asked what I was doing in Toronto.  I informed him I was shooting a scifi series called Dark Matter.  At the words Dark Matter, the intern slapped her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide, and gasped.  For a second, I thought “Oh, no.  She left the stove on!”.  Instead, it was: “Dark Matter!”.  Apparently, she’s a fan of the show!

Anyway, all good on the Lulu front.  They doubt its neurological and suspect it may be a back issue that won’t require surgery.  We’re going to try her on Metacam for a week and see if that makes a difference.

Finally, let me leave you with this –


Yeah!  We’re going to Balda-9!

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Huzzah!  We (and I do mean the collective “we” as YOU all helped choose them!) have another episode title for Dark Matter’s second season.  Last week, you all voted and the winner was:

“Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”.

This week, you voted again and while the results were much closer, there was a clear winner despite a late rally by the “Hello, Pumpkin” contingent…

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“Episode 15: Kill Them All”

Thanks for taking part and making t.v. history.  Stay tuned to this blog for our Episode 203 title poll.

Hey, check it out!  I invested in a nest cam.  Now, I can keep tabs on both the dogs AND the prisoners on Hyperion-8!


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