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Can anyone identify the artist?

Artwork by Juanita Nakamura

This latest script is slooooooow going.  Incredibly, excruciatingly slow going.  In fact, I think it’s taken me longer to write this script than any one hour script I’ve ever written.  Or, at least it feels that way.  Usually, I’ll reach a point in a script where things come together, even briefly, allowing me to tear off a nice little run of 5, 10, sometimes 15 pages in a sitting.  That has yet to happen with this one and I suspect that my conservative ETD (Estimated Time of Delivery) of “End of January” was overly optimistic.

It happens.  Never to this extent, but it does.  And in situations like these, there’s only one recourse: distraction!  Read, eat, surf the net.  The latter is a particularly fine option as it allows you to easily switch up, from script to amusing Star Wars meme, with a single keystroke.

During a recent mini writer’s block (more of an annoying impediment than a block), I happened across a short documentary called Girl’s Best Friend, about a woman and her elderly pug.  We’re introduced to Doreen and Spanky on a beautiful day in the park and we learn that Spanky is 16.  We also learn that the poor old boy suffers from a laundry list of ailments including mobility issues that restrict him to a stroller for his daily outings.  As I watched, I couldn’t help but note parallels between Doreen’s experience with Spanky and my experience with my pugs, Maximus and Jelly.   Whereas some viewers may have thought “So much trouble for a dog!”, I was thinking: “What a great dog mom!”.  At one point, we see Doreen taking the subway with Spanky, struggling to pull the stroller up, step by step, and I thought if I’d been there, I not only would’ve lent a hand but paid for a cab ride home as well.

The parallels to my experience didn’t end there and, inevitably, Doreen makes the hard decision I too had to face twice before.  It was a gut-wrenching watch but empathetically familiar and, ultimately, very touching.  If you’ve got your hankies handy, and want to take a break from YOUR scripts, you can check it out here:

https://youtu.be/Z2nsfSIvbDM

On a somewhat related note, I came across an article that touched on the most common regrets people have at the end of their lives.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23024/the-9-most-common-regrets-people-have-at-the-end-of-life.html

Among the nine in-retrospect wishes: “I wish I had not spent so much time working.”, “I wish I had taken more risks.”, and “I wish I had lived my own dream.”, I’d probably add: “I wish I’d adopted more senior pugs.”.  Which I won’t have to because I’m determined to adopt a couple on my return to Vancouver this summer.

Okay.  Going back to my script now.

Maximus

Maximus

Jelly

Jelly

 

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Recently, someone lamented the fact that I haven’t posted food porn or dog pics for quite a while.  Lately, it’s been nothing but Dark Matter this, Dark Matter that.  So, tonight, I’m going old school with this throwback entry.  Pictured above, Akemi shows off her new sweater purchase at dim sum.

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After coming across the food-themed instagram account of my co-worker, Natalie Cooper (CoopDuJour: https://www.instagram.com/coopdujour/), Akemi was inspired to – ask me to make a reservation at Toronto’s top dim sum restaurant: Lai Wah Heen.

To ensure lunch didn’t conflict with fantasy football, we dined nice and early at 11:00 a.m.  The food was delicious, but it was the presentation that truly impressed.  Check out the lobster dumpling pictured above.

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The deep-fried Berkshire pork dumplings with garlic chip ears.

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Crispy-skin pork belly!

And now, onto the dog pics!

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November 18, 1477: William Caxton prints the first English dated book.

November 18, 1626: St. Peter’s Basilica is completed.

November 18, 1916: The Battle of the Somme ends.

Today: Members of the Dark Matter production team engage in The Great Green Screen Debate of 2015!

We can’t do it!  We CAN do it!  We shouldn’t do it!  We should do it!  We’re not doing it!  We’re ARE doing it after all!

Highlights of the heated discussion included: shooting angles, techno-crane accessibility, plate shots, lock-offs, high angle reveals, low angle reveals, and crowd duplications.

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You’ll be pleased to hear we finally got it all worked out.

Conceptually.

Hey, speaking of concepts, how’d you like to help us choose an Ishida shuttle design?  If you’re keen, and feeling opinionated, I’ll upload the concept sketches as part of tomorrow’s blog entry.  How’s that for audience participation?

P.S. As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, the kick-ass Melanie Liburd (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4927489/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) has been cast in the role of Nyx for the upcoming season of Dark Matter.  She’s on twitter so update your digidexes and follow her here: https://twitter.com/mellyliburd

Finally, a little something to leave you with from Roxanne Borris and the Art Department.

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“DO NOT put any person in this washer”.  Sound advice!

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Uh oh.  Actual real bonafide official prep on Dark Matter’s second season kicks off tomorrow with not one, not two, but THREE big meetings!  First up is our pre-concept meeting during which all the department heads will gather to discuss what they did on hiatus.  And then talk about what’s needed for our first couple of episodes – sets, costumes, props, etc.  We’ll follow that with a general review meeting that will involve generally reviewing everything – which, quite honestly, sounds a lot like what the pre-concept meeting should be.  We’ll end our day with a season 2 budget overview which will give line producer Norman Denver the opportunity to beat us up over our high-flying, awesome set-building, special guest star booking, VFX-ladening ways.

Meanwhile, up to my eyeballs in script work – writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing. I’m hoping to have drafts of at least 9 of our 13 scripts by the time we go to camera December 9th (confirm the date for me, willya?).  We’ll shoot our first episode before the holiday break, then streak through the final 12 when we return, all rested and relaxed and full of eggnog.  My former Stargate associate, the awesome Amanda Tapping, will take the director’s chair for Episode #201. Exciting, no?

A couple of Dark Matter-related links.  Yep, people are still talking about our first season – no doubt because it’s available on U.S. Netflix.  Tell your friends!

Is Dark Matter worth watching?  Dani Wood says…well, I don’t want to give it away.  Just read the article.

http://www.tv.com/shows/dark-matter/community/post/is-syfys-dark-matter-a-space-opera-worth-watching–1447079438/

This reviewer compares the show to an awesome Aussie bacon sandwich! Yeaaaah!  Next season, we’re adding awesomely figurative melted cheese and caramelized onions!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwvsgrJO09I

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Uh oh!  The weather is getting colder and Akemi has free time on her hands!  Time for the dogs to run and hide!

Too late!

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Wizard of Waggerdly Place?

Wizard of Waggerdly Place?

It’s going to be a loooong winter for these guys.

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They’re down to their flying weights and they’re rarin’ to go!

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Akemi runs Bubba through his stretching exercises to safeguard agains the possibility of deep vein thrombosis.

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Lulu takes one last longing look at the backyard.

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Bubba contemplates his future in Toronto.

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Bubba and Akemi celebrate one of the last sunny summer days of Vancouver in advance of the bitter winter days of Toronto.

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Joined by Petunia (left), Lulu and Bubba practice quiet sleeping in preparation for the four and a half hour flight.

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Bubba upon receiving the news that he would have to travel UNDER the airplane seat instead of on it.

1 Bubba wonder why he has to travel to the other side of the country and work in a whole new bed when he’s spent so much time working in this one.

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New look Lulu rockin’ the soul patch.

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See you in Toronto!

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Thanks to those inquiring about my french bulldog, Lulu.  Alas, nothing in the way of any significant improvement yet although I would best describe the change in her condition as a slight upgrade from “yellow mustard” to “Japanese curry”.  I’m hopeful for an eventual advancement to “Irish stew” but, for now, we’re treating her with antibiotics, deworming medication (thanks for the tip, Elke!), and tomorrow’s endoscopy.

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Hey, did I mentioned I’d be doing one of those Periscope Q&A’s after the North American airings of Dark Matter’s seventh episode?  The episode will air at 10 p.m. EST and 7 p.m./10 p.m. PST and I’ll be answering YOUR questions for about 15-20 minutes after the show ends (11 p.m. EST and 8 p.m./11 p.m. PST).  So, what do you need to do to join?  Great question!  I think you just have to download the Periscope app and follow me (@BaronDestructo), then check out the Periscope app at the appointed time and voila!  Before you know it, you’ll be madly sending me virtual hearts and watching me fumble through this, my SECOND and THIRD, Periscope Q&A’s.

And what will I be talking about?  Oh, whatever you like – but I imagine we’ll mainly be chatting about this episode…

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http://www.screenspy.com/articles/tv/editorials/syfys-dark-matter-will-give-one-character-a-surprising-past-this-week/

“We’ve seen the episode a little earlier than most, courtesy of Syfy, and have a handful of teasers to share with you. As usual, there are no major spoilers here because we want you to enjoy the episode as much as we did.”

http://www.thetvjunkies.com/6-things-to-know-about-ruby-rose-on-dark-matter/

“This episode marks one of Mallozzi’s personal favourites of the season and that’s because it’s “one of the most fun episodes.” He also said “it’s an episode with a lot of warmth and a lot of humour.” Not only that, it’s also the favourite of one of his most important critics. “This is one of my girlfriend’s very favourite,” he shared.”

http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/07/dark-matter-episode-7-preview.html

“At the midway point Dark Matter is still as fierce as it was in the premiere. […]  Speaking of surprises, this episode is full of them.”

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Hey, look who was in town!  None other than Jeff Teravainen, Lieutenant Anders from Dark Matter Episode 108.  Oh, wait.  That doesn’t air until next week. Anyway, here’s a sneak peek of Jeff…eating gelato.  Will he be eating gelato in next week’s episode?  And, if so, what flavour?!!!  Sorry, that’s a spoiler.

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