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Posts Tagged ‘scifi television’

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Today marked the conclusion of our first full week of production on Dark Matter – or, as the call sheet will tell you: “Day 6 of 89″!  Today saw some sword slinging, cosmic cat and mouse, big reveals, and an FTL jump.  In other words, just another day at the office.

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The ladies can’t stop talking about actor Roger Cross’s smile – but I suggested they be wary of his warm embrace!  I informed Akemi that he would be dropping by to watch football this weekend.  “Who’s Roger?”she asked.  “The guy who almost broke my back,”I replied – which elicited a laugh.  A laugh!  from my own girlfriend!

The make-up department makes actor Alex Mallari Jr.'s tattoos disappear.

The make-up department makes actor Alex Mallari Jr.’s tattoos magically disappear.  In about an hour.

Our screen grab of the day  –

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 8.43.46 AM

Oh, it may look like some random shot – but it’s key.  Which you’d know if you read the comic book.

Our socks of the day, compliments of Natalie Cooper.  Yesterday was purple with unicorns.  Today…

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It’s baby blue gnomes.  According to Natalie, her collection is big enough to last us through this first season.

And finally, Alex Mallari Jr. regales us with yet one more Dark Matter Dance of the Day:

One musical episode coming up!  #FOURCLAN

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Director T.J. Scott in action.

Director T.J. Scott in action.

Another awesome – and exhausting – day on set.  We were in the ship’s underbelly, the corridors, and personal quarters as our crew dealt with the aftermath of some surprising events and shocking revelations.  Questions, questions and answers – which only beget more questions!

The secret to director T.J. Scott's success: Red Bull and coffee.

The secret to director T.J. Scott’s success: Red Bull and coffee.

Actor Alex Mallari Jr., Dark Matter’s FOUR, is back with a brand new instalment of the Dance of the Day.  Check out his Running Man, Sword and Gun Edition…

Dance moves aside, this guy is putting me to shame with his ridiculous exercise and diet regimen, waking up at 3:30 a.m. so that he can squeeze in a workout (try 30 minutes of air squats!).  And then, this afternoon, I received the following pic from fellow training enthusiast Vanessa Piazza, giving me a heads up on what they do on their lunch break:

IMG_3417And what, pray tell, was I doing on MY lunch break while they were planking? Jogging?  Rowing?  Hitting the elliptical?  No, I was actually hitting this -

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The Burger’s Priest bacon double cheeseburger fully loaded with HP (High Priest) sauce and fried jalapeños, fries, a vanilla-chocolate (aka The Riggs and Murtaugh, Lethal Weapon fans), and a couple of home made chocolate chip cookies.  I’d been hearing a lot about this place – as recently as this afternoon from assistant production manager Robbie David who went on in such delicious detail that I finally said “Screw the catering!” and arranged a road trip to the nearest Burger’s Priest just a five minute drive from production offices.  The verdict?  Probably the best burger I’ve had in recent memory.

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The gang prepares to dig in.  Lawren, who had yet to receive his order, couldn’t wait.  Apparently, even the napkins are delicious!

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We returned to the offices to discover a wine and cheese party in progress, a going-away get-together for the fabulous Lost Girl accounting team.  They will be missed!  As will my appetite after I followed up lunch with some triple cream brie.

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At one point, resident media guru Natalie Cooper sprawled out on the couch and I made an executive decision (I am an Executive Producer after all) to steal her boots and throw them in the snow.  Well, we succeeded in removing her boot – only to discover THIS!  I’m not sure what shocked me more: the sight of those purple unicorn socks, or the fact that I was secretly wearing a matching pair.

Hey, speaking of “wearing”, do you know what today is?  Yeah, neither did I. Apparently, it’s Cat t-shirt (aka Pussy t-shirt) Thursday.  Silly me.  I thought it was Octopus Cufflinks Thursday and made a complete fool of myself.  But others came prepared:

Jozie

Jozie

Toni

Toni

Kelly

Kelly

Alyssa

Alyssa

Rachelle

Rachelle

Jeff

Jeff

Them’s some mighty awesome t-shirts.  I’m already ordering my own cat t-shirt for next week!

Finally, I leave you with today’s screen grab of the day:

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.26.17 PM

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A rare photo of director T.J. Scott smiling for camera!

Director T.J. Scott, all smiles

Yes, Zoie Palmer kicked ass today.  For about eleven hours – punching, blocking, shoving, kicking, hurling, staring down, and choking out multiple opponents.  And that was just in the lineup to get lunch!  The extended action sequence we shot was intense, and Zoie looked like she’d been beating up guys all of her life (food for thought the next time I consider giving her a line reading).  Actors Roger Cross, Marc Bendavid, Anthony Lemke, and Alex Mallari Jr. proved equally skilled – at getting their butts kicked.

T.J. at the helm

T.J. at the helm

A special thanks to stunt coordinator John Stead who did a phenomenal job choreographing the fight and stunts, his awesome team, and director T.J. Scott who captured all the action.  They get to do it all over again next week.  Twice!

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I know, I know.  Many of you are asking for pics of Zoie – and I do plan to post some…eventually.  But given her unique look or the show, I’m going to have to wait until the official reveal – hopefully sometime sooner than later.

Also, sadly, no “dance of the day” for this blog entry as actor Alex Mallari Jr. (FOUR), was too busy…shooting a t.v. show.  But I’m sure he’ll make it up to us by offering up something REALLY special tomorrow.  Failing that, I wonder if we can convince Anthony Lemke to fill in?

Today’s screen grab of the day…

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 9.32.37 PMCuriouser and curiouser.

After dinner tonight, Akemi pointed out that Valentine’s Day was fast-approaching and wondered whether the show would be doing a chocolate exchange similar to the Dark Matter cookie exchange we did in December.  When I told her it was unlikely, she seemed genuinely disappointed.  Maybe we need to organize something amongst us our little blog community.

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Today kicked off our first full week on our standing sets before we shift to Hamilton/Waterloo.  Corridors and quarters were the order of the day and director T.J. Scott continues to deliver in a BIG way.  I received the latest set of dailies late last night and was downright giddy by the time I’d finished reviewing them.  The sets look amazing.  A big round of applause for T.J., the crew, and, of course, Production Designer Ian Brock and the gang in the Art Department who thoroughly surpassed expectations.  Now I look forward to seeing what they do for an encore: specifically with our phantom class marauder and space station.

Executive Producer Paul Mullie and Director T.J. Scott.  The calm before the storm!

Executive Producer Paul Mullie and Director T.J. Scott. The calm before the storm!

Alas, it wasn’t all positive vibes on set this morning.  Line Producer Norman Denver and 1st A.D. Brandon Tataryn were still smarting from the playoff loss suffered by their beloved Broncos.  On the one hand, they were crushed by the defeat but, on the other hand, I’m sure they drew solace from the fact, at 34-1, my still-in-contention Indianapolis Colts could pay off quite handsomely for me with a Superbowl win.

1st AD Brandon Tataryn still smarting from that Broncos loss.

1st AD Brandon Tataryn still smarting.

A delightful surprise came our way this afternoon via longtime Stargate associate “Golden Boy” Martin Gero who sent us two bottles of 18 year old Bunnahabhain scotch as a “Congratulations!  You’re actually getting your show made!” gift.

x

Alison Hepburn assists with the display.

Bunnahabhain.  Very hard to pronounce but quite easy to drink.

Adhering to Scottish film labor regulations, the gang takes a union-mandated scotch break.

Adhering to Scottish film labor regulations, the gang takes a union-mandated scotch break.

As promised, here’s the second instalment in our “Snap of the Day” feature, showcasing a single frame from a recent shoot:

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.46.51 PM

And what blog entry would be complete without a Sword and Dance sequence, compliments of Alex Mallari Jr. (FOUR) – #FOURCLAN https://twitter.com/AlexMallariJr #DarkMatter

I LOVE this guy’s energy!

In other show-related behind-the-scene news, check out this podcast interview with Dark Matter Set Designer Doug Slater in which he reveals how The Brady Bunch led him to design the deck of a spaceship: http://www.tv-eh.com/2014/12/31/tv-eh-b-cs-podcast-10-doug-slaters-designs-on-television/

And finally, in rare non Dark Matter-related news, check out this trailer for Carl Binder’s new show, premiering in April:

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Between my 5:30 a.m. wake-ups, the nagging rib injury, and one elderly fitfully slumbering pug, sleep has been very hard to come by lately.  And it isn’t going to get any easier anytime soon.  When the doctor said “It’s going to feel worse before it gets better.”, I just dismissed his words as a worst case scenario.  Well, worst case or not, he was right.  Every time I shift in bed, the pain under my ribcage shocks me awake.  The simple act of coughing is an adventure and bending over is now a thing of the past.  According to the experts (aka – others who have suffered the same injury), a full recovery should take me about 4-5 months.  Just in time for the Dark Matter season one wrap party!

Tomorrow, it’s main unit day #2 (yes, technically, production day #3) on episodes #101-102.  We’re in the corridor and quarters (for that pantsless scene) with Marc, Melissa, Anthony, and Alex, while Zoie fine-tunes her ass-kicking for Tuesday’s extended fight sequence in which she’ll put a major hurt on the boys.

On our standing sets all this week and then we head to Hamilton and Waterloo where we’ll get down and dirty (and, oh yeah, cold) in the mining community. We’ve got our guest cast in place.  A few familiar faces in the mix –

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Moving forward, I think I’d like to add a regular feature to the ongoing production blog.  I’m calling it “The Daily Snap of the Day”.  For every day we’re in production, I’ll add a screen grab from the previous day’s dailies.  For instance, here’s one from one of my favorite shots of Day #1:

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 6.57.33 PM

Intriguing, no?

Schedule permitting, I’d like to do a little Q&A sometime this week. So, questions…post ‘em if you got ‘em!

I end today’s blog with a pic of this apartment’s most adorable couple gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes…

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It was just the boys today, Anthony Lemke (THREE) and Marc Bendavid (ONE), in for some anti-gravity fun and stunts.  Later, at the craft service table, they both had a special request: more Zero-G sequences!  I’ll see what we can do for them.

While we were chatting, I couldn’t help but notice Anthony playing with his guns. And not for the first time either.  Every chance he gets, he’s practicing: holstering and unholstering his sidearms, twirling them forward, twirling them back.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him out and about with his wife – she, shopping, him following a few steps behind – holstering, unholstering, twirling.

I’ve got some great behind-the-scenes pics and videos I’m holding off on posting for now – including a first-time inertial dampener fail run-thru.  Can’t wait to show you.

In the meantime, here are some photos I CAN share…

Director T.J. Scott and 1st A.D. Brandon Tataryn all revved up for another early morning start.

Director T.J. Scott and 1st A.D. Brandon Tataryn all revved up for another early morning start.

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Design on the back of the bridge chairs.  This was my seat for most of the morning.  Sadly, I had to give it up for one of those run-of-the-mill director’s chairs when we moved video village to the sub-zero section of the stage.

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T.J. says: “See those stunt mats over there? We’re going to need them.”

Our stunt coordinator, the incredible John Stead.  Some terrific work from him today!

Our stunt coordinator, the incredible John Stead. Some terrific work from him today!

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The Raza’s one-armed bandit.

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A camera operator Dino Laurenza captures the action.

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Space waste!  Handle with care.

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Contemplating his options.

A big warm welcome to all you new visitors to this blog.  You’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

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Well, as a result of the injury I sustained yesterday (see last entry for all the gory details), I was unable to turn or put any pressure on my side and had to spend the entire night lying flat on my back.  I also can’t twist, jump, run, or perform aerial gymnastics (the latter is a particularly bitter pill to swallow).  This morning, I visited set during rehearsal and asked Zoie Palmer (aka Lost Girl’s Dr. Lauren) for a follow-up medical opinion.  Her prognosis was grim and then she turned down my request for a prescription and informed me I should consult with a real doctor.  And yet she still charged me for the consult!

This morning, we had an 8:00 a.m. color session at Deluxe, our post-production facility, to review and discuss the H/M/W (Hair, Make-up, Wallaby) tests we did yesterday.  We’re taking down a scar, making some cheeks a little less rosy, and reconsidering the Red.  The wallaby looked perfect though.

I arrived at my office to discover a “Best Wishes on the Start of Production” delivery compliments of our former Stargate script coordinator (and present Orphan Black writer-producer) Alex Levine.  What a fantastic friend.  As of this afternoon, still no congratulatory cookies from Ivon Bartok.

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A macadamia white chocolate and two chocolate chip cookies later, it was downstairs for a dress rehearsal and test of set elements.

We ran a test of the soundproof walls this weekend, luring story editor Trevor Finn inside and then sealing him in.  I'm pleased to report that no one heard or answered his plaintive cries ALL WEEKEND!

We ran a test of the soundproof walls this weekend, luring story editor Trevor Finn inside and then sealing him in. I’m pleased to report that no one heard or answered his plaintive cries ALL WEEKEND!

Note: As we move along, I’m learning more and more about the cast.  And sometimes, the revelations are downright scary.  Like yesterday when T.J. shot them walking down the corridor toward camera.  They hit their mark and then instantly broke into the S Club 7 theme song.  And more than half of them knew the words!

Director T.J. Scott and the cast blocked all of our ship scenes for the two-part opener (Well, I refer to it as a two-part opener but it’s more like the first two episodes of our 13 part first season), starting on the bridge, then shifting to the storage room before moving over to the corridors and, finally, finishing in FIVE’s quarters.  Along the way, we nailed down all the monitor displays (and there are A LOT), the underbelly discoveries, the shuttle reveal, the stasis pod awakenings, the emergency lighting, and the major sparkage.

The access code is my banking pin number: 37655.  Please don't tell anyone.

The access code is my banking pin number: 37655. Please don’t tell anyone.

Tomorrow, we do it all over again – but for real this time!  Prep is over and production begins!

Let’s conclude today’s entry with more pics from our very first Dark Matter cast read-thru:

Director T.J. Scott, Line Producer Norman Denver, and actor Roger Cross (SIX).

Director T.J. Scott, Line Producer Norman Denver, and actor Roger Cross (SIX).

Roger Cross (SIX), Zoie Palmer (The Android), and Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) focus to the script - while I prepare to focus on my guide to whiskey, bourbon, and rye.

Roger Cross (SIX), Zoie Palmer (The Android), and Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) focus to the script – while I prepare to focus on my guide to whiskey, bourbon, and rye.

T.J. gives everyone their marching orders.

T.J. gives everyone their marching orders.

These scripts are so absorbing!

These scripts are so absorbing!

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