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Today was Bring Your Doggy Daughter To Work Day at Dark Matter.  For the morning anyway as I Suji had an early morning appointment with the ophthalmologist.  Alas, more health issues for our new (old) gal.  Like many pugs, she suffers from eye issues caused by corneal abrasions.  They’re recommending micro-surgery to address the problem and I am, as always, torn.  On the one hand, I want to ensure she doesn’t lose her sight but, on the other hand, I always worry about putting older pugs under anesthetic.

photo courtesy of director Gail Harvey

photo courtesy of director Gail Harvey

Photo courtesy of director Gail Harvey

Photo courtesy of director Gail Harvey

Anyway, she came to work after her appointment, got a lot of attention, sat in on a couple of meetings, and even had some great ideas for that Ishida Cruiser fight sequence.

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It’s a fruit plate fit for a king!  Actually, an emperor!  Specifically, Emperor Ishida Ryo of Zairon.  And Akemi is the artist behind the plate.  Props Master Victoria saw her inspired doggy plates and asked her to put something together for tomorrow’s breakfast scene.  Not pictured: the vegetable trays for that heated Misaki-Teku scene!

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Sadly, my inspired creations (pictured above – beady eyes and nose compliments of Akemi) didn’t make the cut. 😦

Whew!  The cuts are coming fast and furious.  I’ve spent three straight days in editing, working Episodes 301, 304, and 302 (in that order) with 303 on deck next week.  And, with the producer’s cut of our first three episodes on the docket, you know what that means…

Yes!  Tomorrow, the polls open in our seasonal Name Our Episodes selection process.  Like last year, YOU will get the chance to choose all 13 of this season’s episode titles.  You’ll be presented with a choice of three potential titles (each of them dialogue snippets pulled from the episode in question) and you’ll be asked to pick one.

Here’s an example, last season’s Episode 207 poll:

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“You’re not alone” were the words our Android used to console Nyx.

“It’s very…snug” was, of course, another Android line – this one a reference to THREE’s sassy transfer transit wear.

“The past has a way of catching up with you”was uttered by Nyx in her one-on-one chat with a distraught Devon.

“She’s one of them now”, our eventual winner, was Devon’s to the Seers, letting them know that Nyx had a new family now.

So, now that you know (or have been reminded) how it works, prep your voting helmets as we head to the polls in tomorrow’s blog entry!

Today, I leave you with a little something from the Art Department.  Commander Nieman’s Quarters concept, hot off the presses.

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Seriously, people.  You’ve been warned.  Proceed at your own risk.

Well, coming off a one-day weekend to a work week packed with early morning meetings, late night cuts, set sitting, writing, rewrites, and phone calls, I’m running on low battery setting.  Compounding the chaos was another one of those curveballs that forced us to scrap a script idea, reorder the line-up and, most importantly (and alarmingly), drop a new script into the Episode 9 slot.  12 pages into the script I’m currently writing, I’ve had to switch gears to brainstorm a new story with Paul, Ivon, Alison, and Elliot, one I’m going to have to jump on immediately.  Or as soon as I have an outline I’m happy with.

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After being unable to identify the movie that graced the mess hall triptych last week (Rogue One as it turned out), I discovered this much more recognizable still awaiting me this week.  Open the pod bay doors, Hal.  I’m putting in a request for John Carpenter’s The Thing.

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The master of the triptych, Playback Operator Greg Whiteside, is full of surprises.

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The calm before the storm.  10 minutes before first blocking (say, 7:20 a.m.) – Director JB Sugar and the team.

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From the Dark Matter Art Department – the Taliphus-8 Safety Deposit Box. Where’s Taliphus-8?  What’s in the box?  Who’s the mystery silhouette?

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I received this at the office today – a Mallozzi/Aota pup calendar from person(s) unknown (the name of sender was so tiny, I could’t make it out).  Thank you, mystery person.  We love it!

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TastyFace #2.

So I’m going to try to catch up on the mailbag this weekend.  If you have anymore questions, just post them in the comments section and I’ll eventually get to them.

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Back in October, I informed actress Zoie Palmer that the time had finally come. This season, we were going to give her character, the Android, a name.  And a backstory.  But, more importantly, a name.  And so, the two of us got to work, pitching each other possible monikers via text over the course of three months.

I’d be lying in bed, just about to doze off when – PING!  I’d check my phone: “Iris”.

Zoie would be sitting in trailer, getting her hair done when – PING!  I’d offered “Alice”.

I’d be sitting in a visual effects meeting – PING!  “Blake”.

She’d be doing some weekend shopping – PING! “Sydney”.

Me in the shower, shampooing – PING! “Jules”.

Her on set, rehearsing a scene – PING! “Marie”.

“Cleo”

“Clara”

“Zee”

“Destiny”

“Cal”

“Aloysia”

“Dee”

“Loyloy”

Finally, last night, we narrowed it down to our Top 10 and, over the next half hour, narrowed our choices down through process of elimination.

PING!  She nixed “Lexie”.

PING!  I axed “Tosh”.

She rejected “Amelia”.

I dumped “Elle”.

“Sam” was the next to go followed by –

“Cass”

“Reese”

Then “Kai” until –

Only two remained!  Zoie deliberated and, in the end, decided on…

Eliminating “Evie”.  Which left her with…

The Android’s name I’ll be dropping into Episode 10.

Yay Team Zolozzi!  Is there anything we can’t accomplish?!

Oh, hey, while you’re hear, enjoy this concept artwork by Henry Fong for Dark Matter’s third season:

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What’s this?  Could I have finally given in and granted Jodelle Ferland’s request for a shipboard mascot.

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Director of Photography test tastes the commissary offerings.  Space beer!

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Laying some track for the commissary walk ‘n talk.

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The masterful work of Dark Matter Production Designer Ian Brock and his teams – art and construction departments.

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The early bird catches the wait.  Zoie Palmer arrives on time for the production meeting.  Rookie mistake!

Munitions factory safety graphics by 1st Assistant Art Director Sumeet Vats and 2nd Assistant Art Director Victor Mare.

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 TASTYFACE!!!

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Director Steve DiMarco charges into his final days of production on Episode 303.

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Director of Photography Craig Wright mans the heavy machinery.

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Addressing the troops.

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Daenerys Riley

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Well, look who was in town on business – but took some time out for a little eating pleasure.  If it isn’t our old Stargate fellow writer-producer Carl Binder.

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In town – ONE NIGHT ONLY! – so there was only one real choice: schnitzel dinner at Country Style Hungarian for their massive platter.  We all took a huge shnitz and then, later, Ivon also took a massive crepe!

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Finally – Sujiko braves the winter.  Akemi is convinced she’s actually a mixed breed.  Partly pug, but mostly koala.

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I think I’ll take a little time while I’m waiting for my Episode 301 Producer’s Cut WIP (Work In Progress) to land in my inbox to just go ahead and upload today’s blog entry.  I spent the day at the munitions factory with director Steve DiMarco, the cast, the crew, and my laptop.  While they were shooting, I was tap-tap-tapping away on this latest script.  As always, slow going in the beginning but if recent history has taught me anything it’s that the pace should pick up in about, oh, 50 pages or so.  Pictured above: Steve calling the shots.

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A moment of reflection.  And practice aiming.

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Mayhem under the hot lights.  Who are those men with guns?  Who are those people on the floor?  Who’s that guy behind the camera?

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Suji in her ready-to-go stance.

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Dignified Bubba is the Alastair Cooke of our apartment.

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Lulu flashes her help-me-score-a-treat eyes.

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Suji, the face of the new Cranimals campaign?

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Finally, the weekend is upon us!  After consecutive grueling days on set shooting Episode 305, we got together Saturday and shot another day of same episode.  And while I was at the munitions factory with director Steve DiMarco and co., the dogs were back home enjoying bath time (or in Suji’s case, sink time).

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Behind the scenes on Dark Matter’s third season.  DP Craig Wright paints a picture for director Steve DiMarco who is clearly geared for battle.

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The ever-smiling John Galbraith, key scenic artist.  What is this man hiding?

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Set PA Riley Morrison.  She enjoys memoirs, making sponge toffee, and marrying 18th Century dukes.

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I surprised on set costumes supervisor Jozie Conte with cookies.

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Key SPFX (and Birthday Boy!) Fred Gagnon.

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A Cam Operator Joe Turner feeling the heat of his radioactive camera.

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 Concept design for the Taliphus-8 interior…and one special client.

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