JOSEPH MALLOZZI'S BLOG
STARGATE SG-1 / STARGATE ATLANTIS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
That's a wrap!
No, I'm not referring to SG-1 season 10 or Atlantis season 3. I'm talking about my blog here on Gateworld.
I've been coming online for going on seven years now. Its been fun connecting with the fans and checking out the forums, finding out what they loved and hated, supported and critiqued, wished for and wanted to avoid at all costs.
Before I go:
Paul's Atlantis script has been renamed once again, from The Begotten to, now, The Misbegotten. Chances are good it will have yet another title next week.
We started to break the 200th episode today and discussed the possibility of a special guest star. Fingers crossed.
Of course, the regulars readers/football fans will have already noted that I predicted a Seattle Seahawks - Pittsburg Steelers Superbowl prior to the start of the playoffs. And I'm sure that all of you Stargate/football fans (all of five of you) are just dying to find out my prediction for the big game. Okay. Here it is. Sorry Seattle. Steelers by 12.
Well, that's it. This marks my final blog here on Gateworld, and my In the Making: Ripple Effect marked my final installment in that series (chock full of goodies it was). Its unlikely I'll be dropping by the forums any time in the near future so my apologies to those who post questions I never got around to.
Keep enjoying the show. Or not, as the case may be. Someday, I will swing by to see how you're all doing.
Posted by JMallozzi @ 7:16 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
January 19, 2006
Well, I just finished up my latest installment of the In the Making series, a big three page behind the scenes look at Ripple Effect which includes most of the scenes and sequences that didn't make the final cut. Its not secret that I love this episode and am interested in seeing what kind of response it gets tomorrow night. It will be paired with Atlantis's Critical Mass which sets up a neat little mystery, bringing back some familiar faces (like Lt. Cadman and the much-missed Kavanagh).
Finished the rewrites on Morpheus and Counter-Strike and will be reviewing them both this weekend. On Monday, I'll be getting notes on Memento-Mori and preliminary indications are the first draft is in pretty good shape. Saw the almost-finished visual effects for Camelot and they are amazing. We screened the Day One mix the other day and Carl said it was the best episode of SG-1 he's ever seen. I'm kind of biased because I wrote the episode and feel the need to display some of my trademark humility (ha ha), so I will NOT say its the best episode of SG-1 ever.
But its certainly in the top ten.
Good news! Paul finally has a title for his script. Atlantis, episode 2: The Begotten. Quick, make it official before he changes his mind! Rob and Martin got in revised drafts of Flesh and Blood and No Man's Land respectively. Both great season premieres, but the Cooper episode I'm really looking forward to is Sateda which he not only wrote, but will be directing and producing. If he thought he had his hands full with Crusade - well, let's just say we're going to be sure to hide all of the sharp kitchen knives while this one is being shot.
Next week we are finally, absolutely, positively spinning stories. We've got the 200th episode to work on and Alan's heist episode, and the SG-1 mid-season two-parter that already has the visual effects department salivating. Today, we had a preliminary discussion on the Atlantis mid-season two-parter which promises some exploration, a complication leading to a confrontation, an altercation, an attempt at communication, increasing frustration, an investigation uncovering certain information that offers an explanation, setting up a determination and ensuing culmination in a celebration. Honest. That's what we've got so far.
On the DVD front, I finished Vandread (meh. I preferred Nadeisco) and have started Cromartie High School (And I thought Excel Saga was weird) and will be starting Samurai Champloo (the final volume came out a couple of weeks ago). Also, have to check out the latest Lupin. Have got one more episode to go in the third season of Homicide, and have started on the latest Family Guy release (I'm amazed at what they get away with). Have been holding off on Serenity because Paul wants to see it, but it looks like he'll be too busy for the time being.
Well, that's it for this entry. I'm still checking out all the posts but skipping over those dedicated to ragging on the actors, as if these whiners have nothing better to do with their time...What am I saying. Of course they don't. Anyway, let me know what you thought of Ripple Effect - and Critical Mass while you're at it.
Posted by JMallozzi @ 5:16 PM
Saturday, January 14, 2006
January 14, 2006
The production offices are slowly coming alive as we prepare for SG-1's 10th and Atlantis's 3rd seasons. We're in great shape scriptwise and it looks like, this year, we'll have a record numer of scripts in hand prior to the start of production. We've spent the last couple of weeks reviewing one another's first drafts, providing input, and working on rewrites. What have you been working on, you may ask?
Well, on the Atlantis side, things start off with No Man's Land, written by Martin Gero. It picks up where Allies, the season 2 season finale, left off. Lots of action and intrigue in "the belly of the beast". After much discussion, Paul still doesn't have a name for the show's second episode. Potential titles have included: "Remnants", "Executive Decision" and, my favorite, "The Grapes of Wraith". Robert C. Cooper's "Sateda" is my favorite Cooper script in ages. It offers a less than happy reunion, some very funny lines and character moments, and some good old-fashioned team bonding as Ronon's past comes back to haunt him - and, by association, the rest of the team. No script yet on the tentatively titled Delicious Fat Guy, but Brad is hard at work on it as we speak. Another two episodes come compliments of Carl Binder, a couple of very well-written, very tight scripts (typical of Carl, that show-off) in which we are introduced to a brand new villain who's handywork we have already come across. Progeny gets the ball rollling in an episode that introduces the new baddies and sheds some light on some of the Pegasus Galaxy's former tenants. The Real World follows up with a seriously creepy episode. Poor Weir. As we speak, Martin is hard at work on episode 6, the "McKay's Sister" story.
Over on SG-1, Flesh and Blood, written by Rob, answers the burning question posed by the season 9 finale: "What the hell is going to happen next?!!!" There's a lot going on in this episode and the unfolding action keeps every member of the team busy. Got the notes on episode 2, Morpheus, and just finished the rewrite on Friday. No major changes from the first draft. Brad is working on episode 3 while Alan handed in his best script to date: Insider. Stargate Command is going to have their hands full juggling - well, what does the average person juggle, right? - in this one. Damian is working on the rewrite of Uninvited, episode 5. Rob suggested we try to break the big 200th episode sometime next week. Brad already has a rough draft of his piece. No notes on episode 7, Counter-Strike, or episode 8, Memento Mori, yet. The #9 slot is blank, but it looks like Alan will be stepping in to pen the big "rescue op" story he pitched (nice to see the Lucian Alliance making their presence known as things develop) - and of course episode 10 and 11 will be the big mid-season Quest two-parter.
Watched what was perhaps the worst horror movie I've ever seen last week, a French movie called "Haute Tension". I've always enjoyed watching foreign horror films because its interesting to check out another country's sensibilities when it comes to horror - so, when I heard that Lions Gate had picked up this film for distribution, I was expecting good things. Or, at the very least, mediocre things. This movie's "clever twist" is so implausible, so ridiculous, that you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking. Spoiler Alert and note to the makers of this movie: Someone with a split personality cannot initiate a car chase with him or herself!
Other than that, finished season 6 of South Park (loved the Christmas episode and Jimmy's rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas), almost done on season 3 of Homicide, and my wife and I are blazing through the first season of The Amazing Race (Boo Team Guido!) which, for some reason, took me forever to track down. Am almost finished VanDread on the anime front and am eyeing Samurai Champloo as someone has my Gungrave.
Also, keep an eye out for two more entries in the In the Making series. As much as I'd love to do a segment on every episode, production demands lead to inevitable delays and, by the time I get around to working on these entries, I've forgotten all about its "making of" aspects unless it was one I happened to write. So, for the time being, I'll just be focusing on the episodes I wrote. You'll have to bug Paul for the behind-the-scenes scoops on Collateral Damage (very dark, and one of my favorite episodes of season 9), and The Tower (Shot in glorious technicolor!).
I feel like I'm forgetting something... Ah well. I'm sure it'll come to me once I've posted this blog.
Coming up this Friday: Critical Mass and, of course, one of my personal faves Ripple Effect. I have lots to say on this one including missing scenes and dialogue that I was loathe to lose but had to for time.
Posted by JMallozzi @ 12:41 PM
Monday, January 02, 2006
January 2, 2006
Hey, its the first week of January which means the exciting start of a certain "something" in a matter of days. I'm referring, of course, to the beginning of the NFL playoffs. I'm sure many of you are wondering "Who is Joe rooting for? Which team does Joe think will win it all?" Well, funny you should ask:
Who I want to win: The Cincinnati Bengals, natch. Got to love that high-powered offense and those crazy helmets.
Who I think will win: Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers who are going to be very hard to beat.
As for the rest: I don't care what the experts say, I've been burned too many times picking the Colts to get to the Superbowl. There's not doubt, they're good - but I'm not falling for it again. The Jaguars are probably the most underrated team heading into the playoffs but, unfortunately, they'll be going up against the Patriots who should meet Pittsburgh in the conference title game. As for the Broncos - well, I'm a diehard Raider fan so I can't, in all good conscious, root for them.
Who I want to win: The Chicago Bears (who are finally good since as far back as I can remember) or The Seattle Seahawks (who are finally good since as far back as I can't remember - possibly never).
Who I think will win: Seattle. Its theirs to lose.
As for the rest: All good teams but will have to play over their heads to challenge the two top seeds. A possible exception may be the Washington Redskins, the hottest team heading into these playoffs.
As for the Rose Bowl: Don't mess with Texas! Carl could well be crying in his pizza Thursday night when his Trojans come up short.
Well, I've given up on the comedies and am turning my attention to horror. Faves include: The Shining, Ringu, Dark Water (original Japanese version), A Tale of Two Sisters, The Vanishing (original Dutch version), Scream (not really scary but a great tribute to the slasher genre), Misery, Audition. Any recommedations?
Heading back to the office this week as it seems everyone just can't wait to get started on season 10 of SG-1 and season 3 of Atlantis. For my part, I'll be in a day later unless (as I told the guys) I can convince my mother and in-laws to come in with me. The next couple of weeks will no doubt be spent reading and commenting on scripts, revising, and hopefully breaking some more stories. I'd love to get cracking on the big SG-1 mid-season quest two-parter or the time travel , What If?, story we briefly discussed (hopefully, no producer's head will explode this time, unlike the time we broke Moebius I and II). And, of course, there's the big 200th episode that will offer up a little something for everyone. It'll be an episode unlike any we've ever produced, both in terms of format and content.
What's on t.v. later this week? Oh yeah: Fourth Horsemen II and The Hive see the conclusion to both big mid-season two-parters. Had to lose a couple of scenes from the final cut of Horsemen II. If they don't appear on the SciFi site, then remind me and I'll fill you in.
Posted by JMallozzi @ 4:52 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
December 28, 2005
Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. After three + weeks of non-stop writing, I've taken a break to entertain, read, and catch up on a couple of movies I've been meaning to check out. On the movie front, nothing but disappointments as I try to find a good comedy. To be perfectly honest, I can't remember the last time I watched a good, funny movie. Oh, yeah, now I remember. I think it was this last summer when I re-watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for perhaps the twenty-fifth time. I wondered if, maybe, I'm just too hard to please (because the guys at work have really enjoyed some recent movies that I just found, at best, fitfully amusing), but then I do enjoy a lot of comedy on t.v.: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld re-runs, The Office [the original, natch], occasional episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy. Its not like I'm necessarily looking for high-brow, intellectual fare, but when, for instance, a movie has to create a scenario whereby: Character A chooses to relieve himself off a balcony without, for reasons that are known only to him and the scriptwriter, bothering to check what's below, while Character B, who happens to be sitting below, through a series of contrivances, doesn't seem to realize what is happening... Well, you get the idea.
Good Christmas haul, especially for the dogs who managed to tear apart two of the twelve toys they received. For my part, I got some terrific cookbooks, running shoes that were a full size too small, "gourmet" chocolates my sister purchased in Montreal which included such interesting flavors as Blue Cheese, Basil, and Madras Curry (!) - and, no doubt, the best gift I received: the 2005 version of PC for PC's, a software program that can transform any script into a politically correct, thoroughly uncontroversial masterpiece. It says right on the box: "Guaranteed to re-format scripts to pat, inoffensive standards". I couldn't resist and ran my first draft of Morpheus through the program. The script came in at over 120+ pages because, it turned out, I had the "Nothing Left to the Imagination" option turned on. This option ensures that even a Bornean exchange student with no understanding of the English language will know exactly which character is where, doing what and, most importantly, why. The solution to the problem our characters face is immediately presented to the audience within the first five minutes in order to avoid the unpleasantness of mystery and having to wait forty-some minutes for the answer to ponderously reveal itself. Another reason for the high page count is that the team is never separated! Instead of having Daniel at the ruins deciphering Ancient script while Carter is in the lab working on a piece of tech as Landry is in his office talking to the Pentagon, the entire team gets to participate in all facets of discovery - watching while Daniel deciphers, looking on as Carter experiments, and squeezing into Landry's office for that call with the Pentagon. "But hang on!"you're probably saying. "This sounds like a pretty heavy Daniel-Carter-Landry episode. It sounds like Mitchell, Vala, and Teal'c will be doing nothing but standing around!" Well, here's good news. PC for PC's actually revises the dialogue, ensuring that each character has an equal amount of screentime. The beauty of the program is that, rather than counting lines or words, it actually provides a syllable count, ensuring that every character enunciates an equal amount of syllables in every episode. Certain words are automatically replaced to assure equality - for instance, Carter's: "I'm shocked!" might be revised to "I'm flabbergasted!", providing those three extra syllables necessary for uniformity. Also, kiss those "Who should be team leader?" debates goodbye because, thanks to PC for PC's, everyone gets to be team leader! Mitchell, Carter, Daniel, Teal'c, Vala - even fan favorite Walter Harriman gets to flex his command muscles. And, perhaps the best part of the program is that it removes any potential unpleasantness that might be deemed disrespectful to one of our main characters. No more: "Oh, Carter is in trouble. The writers are doing damsel in distress!" or "Oh, Daniel is captured. The writers are making him look vulnerable." Rather than traveling off-world and encountering problems that could present a danger to them, now, the team will travel off-world and "think" they've encoutered a problem that could present a danger to them - only, it turns out, that what they've encountered is neither dangerous nor problematic, but gloriously unexceptional. After the requisite 12 page tag scene in which our characters offer a detailed summary of the events we've just seen unfold, we go out on the closing credits which will be comprised of one enourmous card holding the names of everyone involved in the production, from show runner to on-set boot-scuffer. As the closing theme plays, the names will automatically change positions every quarter second in a thoroughly random pattern, again ensuring equality for all.
Spoke to Paul and he's busy working on episode 2 of Atlantis, the one where Beckett finds himself "trapped in the asylum when the inmates take over". He says he's having a great time for "that Star Trek alumni" who will be making a first appearance on Atlantis. Also on the Atlantis front, Rob is working on the sequel to the Atlantis episode he wrote while Brad has been working on the third episode of SG-1 as well as that wild (some will no doubt say "crazy") idea for the 200th episode, getting on it early as it will take some time to prepare for. Martin's got the McKay's sister story and Carl's working on the big two-parter that sees the introduction of the new big bads.
Made three flavors of ice cream for the holidays: Egg Nog, Vanilla-Almond, and Milk Chocolate with Shaved White Chocolate Toblerone. All successses, but the gang at work will have to wait until this Summer for Ice Cream Fridays to start up again.
Well, looks like the sun is coming out which means I can finally take those dogs for a walk. Keep those recipes coming!
Posted by JMallozzi @ 11:53 AM
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