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Archive for the ‘Dark Matter’ Category

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Hey, guess where we were today?  That’s right!  We were at a research facility operated by Dwarf Star Technologies.

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And its confusing bathroom pictograms.

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Tenting the facility (which we didn’t we’d be able to do until we actually did it).

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Craaaaane shooot!

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Check out the spectacular job our Art Department did marrying the faux entrance to the actually building itself.

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Meanwhile, THIS was going on in the background.  Reason to worry?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 2.55.51 PM

The awesome interiors.

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Gakking up the thingiemabob.

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Hot!  Hot set!

Tomorrow brings another location day.  A massacre!  Exploratory surgery!  And, hopefully, far less airplanes flying overhead interrupting production.

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Hey, finally!  After a looooong week of production, the weekend is here!  And you know what that means?

Saturday shoot!

Dark Matter Line Producer Norman Denver is already in weekend mode.

Dark Matter Line Producer Norman Denver is already in weekend mode.

To make it even more fun, the highway is closed until Monday morning so I had to take a circuitous route of side streets and back alleys to get to the studio.  If it wasn’t for waze last night (only the greatest app ever: https://www.waze.com), I probably would have abandoned my car and walked the ten miles back to my place.

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Got a problem?  Fill out the paperwork…

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Hey!  Congratulations to Martin Gero!  His pilot, Blindspot, was picked up to series by NBC:

http://deadline.com/2015/05/blindspot-chicago-med-heartbreaker-nbc-series-pickup-1201419388/

“BLINDSPOT”

From executive producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “The Mysteries of Laura”) comes “Blindspot”: A vast international plot explodes when a beautiful Jane Doe is discovered naked in Times Square, completely covered in mysterious, intricate tattoos with no memory of who she is or how she got there. There’s one that’s very clear, however: the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller, emblazoned across her back. “Jane,” Agent Weller and rest of the FBI quickly realize that each mark on her body is a crime to solve, leading them closer to the truth about her identity and the mysteries to be revealed.

The cast includes Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach and Ashley Johnson.

Martin Gero serves as writer and executive producer. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and director Mark Pellington (pilot) also executive produce. “Blindspot” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions.”

Couldn’t be happier for the Golden Boy.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer, more talented guy!

And news on the Dark Matter front as well.  Prospective U.K. fans take note:

http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2015/05/syfy-sets-uk-premiere-date-for-dark-matter/

Dark Matter will receive its UK premiere on Syfy UK on Monday June 15th at 8pm”.

Mailbag:

luis811 writes: “Will james Bamford be working on any stunts for Dark Matter???”

Answer: Former Stargate stunt coordinator James “Bam Bam” Bamford has his hands full on Arrow.

gforce writes: “Are you going to have any links for these interviews/articles that we can post on FB, etc? ”

Answer: Yep.  When the time comes, I’ll be providing links to all Dark Matter– related coverage on this blog.

arcticgoddess writes: “So, how did all the press questioning go? Any questions that were too weird to answer?”

Answer: It sent well.  It think I was somewhat amusing.  And the cast was, of course, terrific.  No weird questions.  This time.

baterista writes: “So the US reporters are scheduled separately?”

Answer: This press junket was organized by SyFy International so it stands to reason most of the press would be international.  But, hey, I’d be happy to talk to anyone anywhere who’d be interested in discussing the show.

airelle writes: “Will you all still be in TO in June,and pack up to go home after show airs? Got any time scheduled for Tokyo visit?”

Answer: I plan to fly back to Toronto in early June.  After that, who knows?  Maybe Comic Con in July?  I’d love to get in a Tokyo trip.  A lot will depend on whether the show gets a second season pick-up and whether I’ll be involved.

Barb Wilson writes: “Are you planning on doing any cameos in Dark Matter?”

Answer: Nah.  I do most of my best work behind the camera.

PBMom writes: “How are you feeling?”

Answer: Much better, thanks.  I’ll have my annual physical after I get back to Vancouver in June.

dasndanger writes: “Are you gonna have a chocolate party?”

Answer: No plans to do another one in the foreseeable future – much to Akemi’s displeasure.

maggiemayday writes: “No one drinks rum?”

Answer: Straight?!  No!

Tam Dixon writes: “Big casting news? Do tell!”

Answer: He arrived today for his costume fitting and shoots on Monday.  Ah, follow the clues on twitter.

woody writes: “Are there gonna be tshirts? Particularly in x-large and black?”

Answer: Maaaaaaaaaybe.

msstargate writes: “The X-Files went off the air 13 years ago. Is there any chance MGM MIGHT green light a limited run of SG-1 or Atlantis to tie up loose ends?”

Answer: Sadly – unlikely.  MGM will be rebooting the franchise instead.

JeffW writes: “Are you going to host any actor or crew guest blog Q&As? Maybe during the season break?”

Answer: Absolutely.  Once the show airs – and you all get to know the characters – I’ll be enlisting the entire cast for some Q&A sessions.

anas ben: “…ne pensez-vous pas qu’il y’a une sorte de continuité entre dark matter et stargate universe?”

Answer: Il existe des similitudes, mais ils sont deux series différents.

Honza writes: “…will be ever released the soundtracks from the Dark Matter and Stargate Universe?”

Answer: In the case of Dark Matter, probably.   SGU, on the other hand, is out of my hands.  That’s a studio decision.

chevron7 writes: “1. What has Ivon Bartok been up to on set the past few weeks, work-wise? I’d like to share some of his Dark Matter adventures on his fansite.”

Answer: Sure.  Ivon has been on set, overseeing production.  Looooong hours.

“2. Is there any chance Ivon will be back for Season 2 as a Consulting Producer? Or perhaps, directing?”

Answer: Sure, there’s a chance.

“3. Why Whiskey? Not wine or Tequila or…..?”

Answer: Because I enjoy whiskey.  Not so much the other two.

“4. Any ideas how to easily remember everyone’s character name/number?”

Answer: Sure.  Follow this handy guide…

ONE

ONE

TWO

TWO

THREE

THREE

FOUR

FOUR

FIVE

FIVE

SIX

SIX

THE ANDROID

THE ANDROID

“5. What part of creating a new show is the most fun for you?”

Answer: Seeing it come together – and finally watching the finished version.

“6. Who runs your social media?”

Answer: Natalie Cooper.  But I occasionally help out with this blog.

profmadmax writes: “any plans for having Neil degrasse Tyson on? Why or why not? ”

Answer: Nope.  UNLESS we say he was in suspended animation for two or three hundred years.

Ponytail writes: “Who made the bread pudding? Can you share the recipe?”

Answer: Craft service!  I can ask!

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The big monitor in the mess hall is adorned with a continuous cycle of images, little reminders of home world Earth: desert vistas, forests, schools of fish.  And then there was this.  Pictured above from left to right: ONE (Marc Bendavid), the Android (Zoie Palmer), and TWO (Melissa O’Neil).

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Shooting in the marauder today – with the back door open.  It can get mighty window several miles up.

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Guards quarters in progress.

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This morning, I had the greatest bread pudding ever.  The secret, apparently, is to use croissants!

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Meanwhile, Akemi was at it again, baking up not one but TWO pecan pies for set.

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With accompanying whipped cream.  And a little something for vegan Alex Mallari Jr.

Today, director Martin Wood completed work on episode #111.  And in record time no less!  It was great working with him again, just like the old days.  Looking forward to seeing him again in season 2!

Mailbag:

Duptiang writes: “You and Paul have been the sole writers for the 1st season, correct?”

Answer: Paul and I co-wrote the pilot and season one finale, and wrote four episodes each.  The other three episodes were written by Martin Gero, Robert Cooper, and Dark Matter story editor Trevor Finn.

“Are there plans to expand the writing pool? If so, is their anyone I mind? Is there a new “Joel Goldberg” for the series yet?”

Answer: No one in mind because I haven’t really thought about the writer’s room for season 2.  As with season 1, I’ll probably come up with all 13 stories beforehand and then break them in the room.  Who’s Joel Goldberg?

noellam writes: “Also, I can’t help but notice that Paul is only listed as producer on the pilot. Did he leave the show?”

Answer: No, Paul is an Executive Producer but is only coming in to oversee prep and production on the opener and his four episodes.

Tam Dixon writes: “Was that a space suit?”

Answer: Why, yes, it was.  We’ve got a couple of EVA’s on deck for season one.

sparrow_hawk writes: “How are you coming up with names for the space megacorporations, combines, etc?”

Answer: I’ve always been good at coming up with strange names.  That and baking cookies.

Keith writes: “1) I sort of recall that you said years ago in this blog that Dark Matter emerged from an idea you had for an episode of Stargate, then decided it was too good to use on just one episode. Am I remembering that right? “

Answer: Hmmmm, don’t recall the idea germinating from an episode idea, but I do remember my varied sources from film, television, comic books, and anime.

“Will the show have annoying “previously on Dark Matter” intros that totally spoil the direction of the episode?”

Answer: No, the show will have terrific Dark Matter previously-ons that will refresh everyone’s memories of what has come before.  You’ll love ’em!

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Hoooleeeeeey!  Just finished watching the director’s cut of episode #110 and I’m still reeling.  It is FANTASTIC!  A huge congratulations to our stunt coordinator, John Stead, who hit this one out of the park in his first major directing gig.  As I said in the email I just sent him: “Super tight, dynamic, suspenseful and, at parts, downright hilarious.”  Our cast was terrific – as were our amazing guest stars: Torri Higginson, Ennis Esmer, Jessica Sipos, John Cor, and Conrad Pla.  And, of course, our crew, awesome as ever.  These are the types of episodes that get me excited about the show all over again and, most importantly, give me the renewed energy to roll right into stories for season 2!

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Mais, qu’est ce que c’est?  Qu’est ce que indeed!  But it figures big time into one of our late season episodes!

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Smoked Meat Wednesday with the gang!  One smoked meat sandwich, cole slaw, three helpings of fries, two cookies, and, to top it off…

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A shot of bourbon with the Dark Matter Whisky/ey Club!  Quite the turn-out.

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Thanks to Director Andy Mikita for the new addition to our ever-growing collection.

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And thanks to Production Manager Robbie David for scoring the 12 keys of smoked meat!

Let’s finish up with a mailbag:

cat4444 writes: “So is Andy Mikita going to have his signature pineapple hidden somewhere in his episode?”

Answer: You’re confusing Andy with director Will Waring – who was busy working on Childhood’s End and, thus, unable to direct an episode this season.  Maybe a pineapple cameo in Dark Matter season 2?

Ponytail writes: “You’ve got 4 directors working at one time. That is a lot. Are you behind schedule a little?”

Answer: It’s not unusual to have a stable of directors.  Back on Stargate, we had a pretty solid rotation: Andy Mikita, Martin Wood, Will Waring, among others.

iom666 writes: “A season 2 will be decided at episode 3 of season 1 and you’re fine with that?”

Answer: Hell, yeah, I’d be ecstatic of SyFy made a decision by episode 3!

no1zoiepalmerfan writes: “Now that we’ve seen what the Android looks like, will we be seeing more BTS photos of the cast members including Zoie?”

Answer: Yes, in the coming weeks I’d like to do a brief write-up on each cast member, their character, how they won the role, and offer some insight on what it’s been like working with them.  And, yes, I’ll include some behind-the-scenes pics as well.  But first I have to get the cast to sign off on their individual pics.

Randomness writes: “1) Which character do you enjoy writing most for?”

Answer: To be honest, I enjoy writing for all of them because they’re such a diverse and colorful bunch.

“2) Which episode so far this season do you personally enjoy the most?”

Answer: Hey, I love them all for different reasons.  It reminds me of my days on Stargate.  Each episode is like a mini movie.

“3) Will any of the crew have a romantic interest?”

Answer: Oh, possibly.  It’s a small ship after all.

“4) Will any of the crew have a enemy/person that they take a strong dislike too?”

Answer: Oh, very possibly.  It’s a small ship after all.

“5) Can we expect a character to be pushed to their limits this season?”

Answer: Most definitely.  Each of our characters will be pushed to their limit, continuously, this season.  But something’s gotta give…

“6) When exploring a characters backstory, will we see people from their past in present day that they may not recognize at first?”

Answer: That’s a strong possibility as well.

“7) Which character/s would you say work well as a team?”

Answer: I’m not sure any of them could be described as “team players” at the beginning.  But time – and danger – has a way of bringing people together.

“8) Will any of the crew have any significant emotional moments between each other? Be it offworld, on a space station or simply when things get too much and they need a shoulder to cry on.”

Answer: One of the elements that I think made Stargate so great was the sense of camaraderie between the various team members – and there will be flashes of that in Dark Matter as well.

gforce writes: “What’s with all the weird boxes on this show?”

Answer: You’ll find out…eventually.

glowyzoey writes: “How’s Jelly feeling today?”

Answer: Better.  And barky.

gforce writes: “What’s become of Cookie Monster lately?”

Answer: Cookie is taking a much-needed break from superhero movie-watching, but will return in full force this summer with about a half a dozen reviews.

gforce writes: “Any news on the Canadian broadcaster for DM?”

Answer: Yeah, but our Canadian broadcaster has yet to make an official announcement yet.  I think they want to keep it a secret.  Shhhhhh.

Ponytail writes: “What if you get in trouble sometime for showing too much or a secret?”

Answer: I know what secrets not to spill – and also know the difference between a teaser and a spoiler.  And, at the end of the day, who am I going to get in trouble with?  Myself?

Ponytail writes: “Joe does anybody ever take your picture? Or, are you the only one wandering around looking like a tourist with a camera?”

Answer: Ha.  Lawren offered to take a picture of me at the read-thru, but I passed.  I’m much better behind the camera.

JeffW writes: “So, I’ve been trying to get a grasp on what the “tech feel” of Dark Matter will be. Are you striving for a particular look or is it just an organic growth from the various prop masters involved?”

Answer: The latter.  Victoria Klein, our props master, is terrific.

Line Noise writes: “Do you have trouble thinking of names for characters?”

Answer: Nope.  I allow that day’s call sheet to inspire me.

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Time flies when you’re having fun.  Today marked our very last read-thru of Dark Matter’s first season.  Pictured above: the cast (with the exception of Zoie Palmer who was excused because she had a note from her mom), EP Vanessa Piazza, Director Andy Mikita, Line Producer Norman Denver, Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok, VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, and Story Editor Trevor Finn.  Well be going out with a big bang.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five and a half months since I moved to Toronto, girlfriend and dogs in tow, and now, here I am less than three weeks away from wrap – and a little over six weeks away from our season premiere.  It’s been hard, exhausting work – but, ultimately, incredibly fulfilling.  The cast and crew have been nothing short of awesome and I sincerely hope we get the chance to do it all again next year.

But that, of course, is up to you!

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“I really like Vanessa,”said Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok the other day.

“Oh, me too,”I said.  And, really, what’s not to like.  She worked tirelessly to help EP and Prodigy Pictures President, Jay Firestone, get the show financed and green lit.  She is on set, in meetings, on the phone, supporting the show 24/7.  I can honestly say that I could not have done it without her.  Or, could have possibly done a lot of it – before succumbing to a complete nervous breakdown.

She is awesome at all she does, be it Exec Producing, negotiating deals, or eating one of the croissants left over from that morning’s production meeting.

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Well, if it isn’t my old friend Steve Ermao who covered Stargate for various magazines (online and otherwise) back in the day and now turns his sights on Dark Matter.  Just like old times!

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Director Martin Wood finishes episode #111 in fine style, with windmill kicks, concussive blasts, and gelato!

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Who is this masked man?  You’ll find out when he directs episodes #112 and #113!

I forwarded SyFy the first round of assets – sketches and concept drawings of the airlocks, stasis pods, GA badge, space station, and our phantom class marauder – which should be hitting the net sometime soon.

Oh, hey, did you happen to catch the first Dark Matter trailer?  110 000+ viewers have…and counting!  Share away if you haven’t already and let’s try to hit the quarter mill mark before the season premiere, Friday June 12th and 10 p.m. as part of the new SyFyFriday lineup!

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Check it out!  I’m Cobra Commander!  I was strolling by the costume department this afternoon when I was waylaid for a fitting.  They’re working on my outfit for the wrap party and wanted to make sure they had my measurements correct.  I’m going to be the belle of the ball!

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Our final tech survey today took us to the location of that high tech facility.  Above, Production Designer Ian Brock offers a temp visual of the new entrance to the facility.  It’ll be about, oh, THIS big!

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Story Editor Trevor Finn won the lottery.  No, he didn’t win cash.  Better!  He won the right to purchase a bottle of rare 10 year old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon – which he kindly gifted me along with a bottle of Basil Hayden’s.  I know someone who isn’t getting fired this season!

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Meanwhile, 2nd Assistant Director Emily Drake rounds of the Whisky/ey Club selection with a little Superstition.

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To celebrate our final production meeting of the season, the front office got us a fantastic cheese platter – they were unable to cancel once the production meeting was moved off today’s schedule.  Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us tomorrow when we actually have the actual production meeting!

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Jordan Roy goes incognito.  He’s tired of complete strangers walking up to him on the street and saying: “Hey, aren’t you the 4th Assistant Director on Dark Matter?!”

Another BIG casting announcement coming your way.  Have never worked with him, but he’s a friend of a friend!

P.S. I updated my computer and now, as a result, my iPhoto is all weird.  The photos are too small, they take way too long to export, and I’m no longer able to rename.  THIS is progress?!!

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