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We have a new episode title!

The people have spoken.  And the winner is…

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“Episode 30: All The Time In The World”

Thanks to everyone who voted.  You’ll get another say in another episode-naming poll next week!
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Today marked Bubba’s first day since starting the Palladia treatment and we’re not sure if it’s drug, the cancer, or some other influence but he seemed off today. Slower to eat, reluctant to walk, and, perhaps most alarmingly, no longer interested in his treats.  We’re going to monitor him these next couple of days and, if these presumed side effects persist, we’re going to discontinue the Palladia.  In the end, we’d rather back 2-3 good months with him than 3-5 medium to bad ones.

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Another day, another hot sauce.  This one is a cascabel pepper and yellow bell pepper base with shallots, garlic, salt, apple cider vinegar, pear juice, honey, dehydrated organic Japanese pepper, and dijon mustard.  Surprisingly, a touch hotter than the cayenne pepper-based sauce I made yesterday.  But it will no doubt pale in comparison to tomorrow’s habanero-based hot sauce.

P.S. My new-found appreciation for things spicy comes from reading this book by Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo:

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” Set in an alternative historical present, in a “eusistocracy”—an extreme welfare state—that holds public health and social stability above all else, it follows a young woman whose growing addiction to illegal chili peppers leads her on an adventure into a world where love, sex, and free will are all controlled by the state.”

My favorite read in recent memory.

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Today, we brought Suji in for her first training session.  I know, I know.  She’s 11.  But she has a few bad habits – like barking at other dogs, people, balloons, cars, carrier bags, the occasional light reflection, and poopy bags being blown about by the wind.  In all fairness, she WAS raised in a barn.

Two days into my horror-fest and I’m four movies deep.  Last night it was Hush, about a deaf woman being stalked by a deranged killer (well-directed but there were a suspect character motivations that gave me pause).  This afternoon, it was Under the Shadow, an Iranian movie about a mother and daughter living in an abandoned apartment complex that may be haunted by a djinn (interesting but a little slow).  And then, tonight, it was The Witch, about a 17th century New England family targeted by supernatural forces (eerie and unsettling; the best of the bunch so far).

Thanks to everyone who has sent us well-wishes for Bubba.  He remains in good spirits.  Today, he actually walked the three blocks to the pet shop!

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Then he ran out of steam, so we ubered it back.

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Today…

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: On set for Episode 307.

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Location Scout for Episode 309

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Notes session

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Dealing with VISA who put a block on my credit card after Akemi tried to purchase something from an online shop in Japan.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Cast read-thru for Episode 308.

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Departmental approvals for Episodes 308-310.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Production meeting for Episode 308

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Tone meeting for Episode 308.

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Drive home.

5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.: Have a routine appointment for Bubba turn into an extended visit with our local vet and a trip to the Animal Emergency Hospital that included: 2 physicals, 2 sets of x-rays, various prognoses ranging from congestive heart failure to not sure, antibiotics, a referral to see a specialist.

11:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.: Write blog entry

Pushed to tomorrow’s schedule because there was no time today: Dinner.

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Guys, you’ve got to help me.  I think I may have sort of, uh, inadvertently torn a hole in the fabric of spacetime.  It was an accident! Honest.  Yesterday, I took a quick trip to the future in order to pre-screen the Superbowl and then, after watching the Falcons demolish the Patriots, returned home.  Or so I thought. Instead, I seem to have crossed over into some bizarro reality where Stargate: SG-1 didn’t produce its Apple iTunes exclusive 11th season, Stargate: Atlantis didn’t get its sixth and final season, Stargate: Universe was cancelled after two years instead of running its full five, and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl (although, as this AU’s Robert Cooper pointed out: “At least Atlanta won best comedy at the Golden Globes”).  In other words, I’ve somehow ended up in some dark alternate timeline.

Until I can figure out a way to return to my proper reality, I’m just going to have to console myself by picking up a couple of McDLT’s and cracking open a nice cold New Coke while watching Tom Selleck in his classic role as Indiana Jones on my WebTV.  Now if I could only find the keys to my Fiero…

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The people have spoken!  Over one thousand votes were cast and we have a winning episode title:

“Episode 28: It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This”

Let’s celebrate with a sneak peek at the work of concept artist Henry Fong:

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Holy crap!  We’re over the halfway mark of the season 3 production schedule!  Do you know what this means?!

DO YOU?!!!

Uh, yes.  That’s correct.  It means we’re a little over halfway done shooting Dark Matter’s third season!

I await director J.B. Sugar’s cut of Episode 305 while director Gail Harvey heads into editing to work on her Episode 306 while director Paul Day oversees the action on Episode 307 while director John Stead preps Episode 308 while Paul and I scramble to get the script for Episode 309 written.

Tomorrow, YOU all get to vote on an new episode title!  Tentatively titled Episode 302, you’ll have the chance to select an official episode title from three glorious choices (and actual lines of dialogue from the episode in question).  This is going to be a tough one – for me as I have six pretty memorable lines that I’ll have to whittle down to three for the poll.  Wish me luck!

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Your first glimpse at the structure for the Ferrous Corp lab.  And concept…

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Would just like to say Production Designer Ian Brock and the Dark Matter Art and Construction departments have been delivering some truly amazing sets this season.  This has been their best year yet and there’s still more to come!

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Super premium Dark Matter Android action figure in mint condition.  $1,955.99 (photo by Grant Boyle)

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Slightly used Dark Matter Chris Toudy with Kung Fu (Key) Grip action figure in fair condition.  Best offer (photo by Grant Boyle)

Raza bridge spark test with SPFX Coordinator Dylan Hankinson

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Suji carries her treats back from the dog shop in her backpack.

The Superbowl is only days away.  Weigh in with your prediction!

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Suji eats peanut butter.  And loves it!

I’ve managed all 0 pages in the last 24 hours, putting me on pace to complete this script…never.  Which kind of puts  a damper on things as the episode is scheduled to prep in a little over a week and I just know everyone else on the production was kind of looking forward to it.   As I was telling my buddy (and Dark Matter Co-Executive Producer Ivon Bartok), I kind of feel like I’m performing a high-wire juggling act without a net.  I pulled it off on Episode 304, sitting down to a script with the loosest of outlines and having it all come together in my head over the course of day that saw me produce an astounding 32 pages!  I embraced the premise of this latest script because it’s tonally similar to 304, assuming I’d catch creative fire at some point but, alas, it hasn’t happened yet.  And as I pass the halfway mark and head into Act 4 where all those set-ups are supposed to start paying off, I’m still scrambling.

Every time I sit down to write a script, it never fails.  There’ll come a point in the script where I’ll grind to a halt and think “This is the one, the one where the solution won’t strike me out of the blue like some religious epiphany.  What will I do then?!!

My gut tells me that the key to the puzzle, the heart of the story, lies in the kid’s thru-line.  But what’s the missing link?

Incidentally, if you have any idea, just post it in the comments section and save me the aggravation.

Once this script is done, I can look forward to a hard-earned hiatus – and that penultimate episode that sees a spillage of not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE sensational secrets.  Thought you knew everything there was to know about our crew?  Well, prepare to be surprised.

Okay, back to the script.  Maybe, if I can power through this third act tonight, it will all come together tomorrow morning.  And, after that, dare I say it?  Smoooooooth sailing?

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“She’s an emotional pooper,”said Akemi, by way of explaining Suji’s knack for, uh, dropping pebbles whenever she gets worked up and barksome.  

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I’m not a coffee guy but I’m thinking Suji might have the right idea here.  I may need to take up the habit if I’m going to make it to the end of the season.

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Sujiko’s instagram (NewOldPugSuji) is blowing up.  She’ll probably hit 1000 followers by tomorrow and should eclipse my modest follower count by hiatus.

Now what did I intend to blog about today?  I know it wasn’t dogs.

Oh, yeah!  Dark Matter!

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We took our show on the road today, deep into the wilds of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area for a little shooting, a little double-crossing, and a little heartbreaking.  Not necessarily in that order.

To those of you asking – Nope, no one guessed correctly.  The marvelous grand mystery prize is still up for grabs.  To win, all you have to do is identify who utters the following dialogue in Dark Matter Episode 27:

“Being better is so much harder”

“The costs are always personal”

“Welcome home”

Behind the scenes:

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Hmmm.  SOMEONE is getting a new outfit – which would suggest we’ll be keeping this individual around a little longer…

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Assistant Makeup Dorota Mitoraj and Xena.

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B Dolly Grip Phil Calambakas and B Camera Operator Dave T. Sheridan.

Tomorrow, prep meetings in the morning, editing in the afternoon, and writing at night.  It’s going to be a mad push to the hiatus!

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