February 7, 2016: The Dark Matter noodle bar!

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Yesterday, after visiting the alley set, Dark Matter Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza, Akemi, and I stopped by a nearby noodle bar.  How nearby?  Well, try two sets over from that alley set.


Following through on that Blade Runner vibe.  Steam and neon!


The place was new.  How new?  Well, when we walked in, they were still painting the tabletops!


You’re all aware of the importance I place on ceilings and floors?  Well, note the scorch and splatter details overhead, the mark(s) of a great greasy fry place.


And signage is, of course, always key.  You have six menu items to choose from.


Our affable host: Production Designer Ian Brock.


Vanessa and I sample the ramen.


The magic of television!


VFX Supervisor/Head Chef Lawren Bancroft-Wilson argues with a Japanese customer placing her order.

BIG week ahead!  Starting a new script, rewriting another, locking episode 203, and reviewing the episode 204 director’s cut.  Production returns…

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February 6, 2016: Dark Matter – behind the Saturday scenes!

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Today saw a wrap on two different directors and their respective episodes – Steve Dimarco (Episode 203) and John Stead (Episode 204).  I dropped in for about an hour in the morning for the alley scene.  Two (more like three) outstanding scenes will find their way into the pre-existing director’s cut of 203, a dynamic episode that the diehard Dark Matter fans will appreciate.  Then, later this week, I’ll receive the director’s cut of our epic western, 204.  Much like Stargate, what I love about this show is the fact that we produce thirteen mini movies a year, each one unique and independent and yet, simultaneously, narratively linked to a greater arc that builds throughout the season.

I gave you all a look at the concept drawing in yesterday’s blog entry.  Today, here’s a glimpse at the set – prior to atmosphere and lighting…


Had a very Blade Runner-esque…

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February 5, 2016: Dark Matter production full steam ahead!

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Ah, finally, the weekend is upon us.  Time for rest, relaxation..and a special second unit Saturday shoot.  Though, in all honesty, these Saturday shoots are becoming less uncommon and, so, not particularly special.  Just saying, guys.

Not that I don’t enjoy my time with my co-workers.  If I was trapped on a space ship millions of light years from home, I couldn’t imagine a better bunch of crew mates.


But, alas, tomorrow we won’t be sailing through the distant stars.  We’ll, instead, be getting down an dirty in a certain alleyway.

By next week, I’m sure I’ll be looking forward to returning to dark alleys as we’ll be spending three glorious days in a row in The Hammer, shooting in the forest, then over to the hideout before heading underground.  I’ll be taking my heavy coat, boots, gloves and…what else?  What else should I be packing?

IMG_3699 Oh, right.  Melanie Liburd…

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February 4, 2016: Sushi! Demons! Transfer Transit Travel! And Dark Matter goodies!

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Dating Akemi is always an adventure.  Every text is a little treasure offering cultural insights into the land of the rising sun.  Take yesterday, for instance, when I received THIS text:

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.50.15 PM

My reaction was “Hunh?”.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.50.31 PM

Oh, okay, because I was throwing the soy beans BEFORE seeing the demon.

P.S.  I going to assume the demon was the Charlie the superintendent.


Hey, check out our guest off-screen eyeline for Episode 204: Mortadella Boy!


The lovely Emily Coutts (a.k.a. Sylvia) welcomes you to transfer transit.  (Photo and hair courtesy of Renee Chan).  Where would you like to travel today?  Your choices below:

Motion Sensors Triggered.  Where?  By who?  Find out in season 2 of Dark Matter. (Graphics c/o artist Victor Mare).

Happy belated birthday to Ganymede and 2 cats!  This blog entry is dedicated to you!

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February 3, 2016: The day in Dark Matter!

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Sometimes, when you’re on set, you come across the strangest sights.  Like today, for instance, when I happen across Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza in the midst of her workout.  Her killer regimen involves cardio, eating right, and heavy HEAVY weights.  Check her out…



  Then she concludes her routine by tossing anvils at parked cars.


Well, look who swung by the office today…in the mistaken assumption that he had prep meetings today on Episode 206.  That’s right!  It’s everyone’s favorite rebel cowboy director Bruce McDonald.

IMG_3619Hey, who’s up for a little getaway?

In the news that will no doubt make your day, I wrote the final scene of act today, meaning I have only one more scene to write for the tag at which I’ll have one rough first draft script!

After watching the first three cuts of the year, I have to say you’re all in for one helluva…

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January 26, 2016: A walk (descent, jump, and climb) in the woods!

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“Just a little further!”.  Line Producer, Norman Denver, forged ahead, his constitution fortified by boxing and scotch.  “Almost there!”

I scanned the trees to either side, then the winding pathway that dipped up ahead before curving and disappearing behind the dense brush.

“Watch your step!”warned Brandon Tataryn, skirting a deadly patch of ice and then scurrying to keep up.

I gave the frosted path a wide berth, then threw a look back at our two stragglers, Executive Producer’s Assistant Elliot Sokolsky and Director Ron Murphy, both of who seemed to be having second thoughts about this whole forest venture.

It was approximately 3 p.m., the temperature was dropping, and the lunch we’d enjoyed at Hamilton’s premiere Indian restaurant was not sitting pretty.  We’d spent the morning scouting locations for Episode 204, three different warehouses, when Norman suggested we squeeze in a forest stopover.  It seemed like a good idea at the…

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February 2, 2016: On the Dark Matter front…

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Due to other production commitments (mainly prep, writing, and editing), I haven’t spent as much time on set as I might have liked for this latest episode. Fortunately, my former Stargate cohort, Ivon Bartok, has done a bang-up job overseeing the action in my absence.  So good, in fact, that I could probably stay in Vancouver next season and Skype in for meetings (Don’t think I haven’t thought about it).  Today, however, was one of those rare instances where I actually spent a good part of the morning on set – in this case, watching the fantastic John Stead in action.  He positively tore through those early scenes – bridge, airlock, quarters, and the meaningful hug (the second of the season so far) – and managed to run through the big fight sequence before lunch.

Awwwww Awwwww

The rest of his day was spent on the fight but, alas, I didn’t get to…

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February 1, 2016: Dark Matter doings!

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Spaaaaaaace neeeerd!

Ahem.  Now that I’ve got that out of my system…

With Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok on set, I was able to sit in my office and blaze through seven glorious pages of my latest script (questions, silver ball, impending doom, threats, danger, explosion) bringing me to the top of P.51.  I figure I’ll finish up the fifth act tomorrow and then, it’ll be smooooooooth sailing!

In addition to writing this afternoon, I also found time for the Episode #205 props meeting.  We’ll be bringing out the big guns for this one –


Literally.  In addition to the heavy firepower, we’ll also be putting out all the stops as this will probably be our biggest visual effects episode to date.

Director Ron Murphy demonstrates improper gun handling…



This morning, we brought Lulu to see the neurologist.  We were greeted by a young intern who did the preliminary examination before…

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January 31, 2016: The weekend round-up!

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Something weird’s been up with Lulu lately, and I’m not referring to her fashion sense.  She’s been up at all hours of the night, drinking a lot (water only as I keep the whisky bottles out of reach), and seems to have lost a lot of the bulldogly exuberance that made her alternately adorable and annoying.  She has also been experiencing some rear limb weakness and, as a result, we’re off to consult with a neurologist tomorrow.  I’ll suppress the urge to submit the above picture as evidence of her unusual behavior for fear they’ll forego any actual tests and just admit her to the nearest doggy mental hospital.

Last night, she was up continually jumping off the bed, pacing about, drinking water, asking me to help her back onto the bed in her imitable way.  And I was up for most of the night with her.  On the bright side…

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January 27, 2016: Dark Matter Episode 202 title revealed!

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Huzzah!  We (and I do mean the collective “we” as YOU all helped choose them!) have another episode title for Dark Matter’s second season.  Last week, you all voted and the winner was:

“Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”.

This week, you voted again and while the results were much closer, there was a clear winner despite a late rally by the “Hello, Pumpkin” contingent…

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.45.02 AM

“Episode 15: Kill Them All”

Thanks for taking part and making t.v. history.  Stay tuned to this blog for our Episode 203 title poll.

Hey, check it out!  I invested in a nest cam.  Now, I can keep tabs on both the dogs AND the prisoners on Hyperion-8!


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