July 9, 2018: Photobucket Finds – Stargate: Atlantis Edition!

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I happened across the photobucket website earlier today and recalled “Hey, I think I actually had a bunch of videos uploaded there at one point.”  After several failed attempts, I finally succeeded in haphazardly inputting the correct password and – voila!  I was greeted with a slew of poor quality videos dating back from days on the Stargate.  Here are a few for posterity’s sake (or, if you prefer, as one of my ex-girlfriend’s used to say “For prosperity’s sake”):

SGA “The Last Man”.  The sand in the sandstorm was actually powdered oatmeal.

Real sand would have hurt more.  And been harder to clean up.

Wraith loose on the lot!

SGA “The Last Man”.  The Keller-McKay walk and talk was shot right outside The Bridge Studios lot.

Good times.  Good times.

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July 8, 2018: More Terrifying than Horrifying!

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At the end of every season, there was one thing I especially looked forward to.  In addition to the wrap party.  I refer, of course, to the annual focus group research packages that neatly summed up the likes and dislikes of a very small sampling of our overall audience.  From what I could tell, the methodology involved gathering viewer opinions via online questionnaire, engaging roughly 1000 respondents, about 200 of who actually watched our show (I was always quick to point out that they could gather a broader sampling by simply hitting up twitter, but my suggestion went largely ignored).  Their answers were carefully tallied up and revealed in colorful fashion: pages of graphs, percentage tallies, multi-colored boxes, and venn diagrams.  The result were distilled into a cover summary that would offer helpful direction for the next season.  Thanks to these surveys, for example, we learned –

Our series regulars…

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July 7, 2018: A Trip Down Memory/Candy Lane!

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Yesterday, my buddy Ivon and I started reminiscing about the stuff we used to eat growing up – chocolates, candies, weird slushy-like beverages sold in blood bag-like containers accompanied by straws so sharp they could be used as weapons. So, today, we decided to check out one of Toronto’s premiere shops for classic treats, and then some: Sweet Addictions Candy Co on Dundas Street West.

We must have circled the aisles a half-dozen times, recognizing old favorites, noting new offerings, and filling our handy shopping basket as we went.  By the time we were done, THIS was our haul…

We headed back to Ivon’s place where we proceeded to sample everything we’d bought while Akemi filmed our reactions (Video presently being edited.  Stay tuned!).  We divided our sugar and salt buffet into three categories –

CHIPS

The chicken tikka masala chips certainly tasted like chicken tikka masala, but not a…

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July 6, 2018: Making the comic book move!

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My credits include:

400+ hours of produced television

100+ hours as a writer

100+ hours as a showrunner

But two of my greatest accomplishments remain:

My contribution, “Downfall”, to the Lou Anders-edited superhero-themed anthology Masked

And the four issue Dark Matter comic book for Dark Horse Comics

As much as I love television, I love comic books even more for the freedom they allow a creator to tell a complete story, uncompromised by budgetary constraints or executive interference.

For some time now, I’ve been sitting on a few original ideas.  Three years ago, I would have gone out and pitched them to broadcasters and production companies, looked to secure a development deal, been paid handsomely to write a bible and accompanying overview, pitched, and hoped it I would get the opportunity to produce a television show based on those original concepts.  Today, I’m less inclined to do so because, to…

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July 5, 2018: All in!

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Okay.  I’ve pulled the trigger.  I’m all in.  Next up, the negotiations.  Meanwhile, I’ve already started discussions about series structure with the show’s insanely talented creator.  Good good guy.  You’re gonna love him.

In answer to the obvious question – Yes, sci-fi, but very different from the type of shows I’ve worked on in the past.  Very exciting.

If all goes as planned, we should convene the writer’s room in early August after which it’ll be smoooooooooth sailing!

This is definitely going to put a crimp in my record-setting reading pace.

Oh, thanks to everyone asking about the move.  We’re all settled in.  Akemi successfully assembled both the bar and bar cart.  By the time the book and liquor shelving arrive in 5-6 weeks, I’ll have all 65 bottles of whiskey on display. Meanwhile, we accepted delivery of the new coffee table, bar stools, dining room chairs, and living room…

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July 4, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

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These were the ones that caught my eye…

Astonishing X-Men #13 (cover art by Greg Land)

Batman #50 (cover art by Mikel Janin)

Captain America #1 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Catwoman #1 (cover art by Laura Allred, Joelle Jones)

Death of the Inhumans #1 (cover art by Kaare Kyle Andrews)

Spawn #287 (cover art by Jason Shawn Alexander)

Star Wars #50 (cover art by Travis Charest)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi #4 (cover art by Rahzzah)

Weapon X #20 (cover art by Rahzzah)

So, which ones caught your eye?

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July 3, 2018: Best Books of 2018 – so far!

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I have been on a reading tear this year.  212 books and counting.  Of those 212 titles, 51 were graphic novels while 70 were 2018 releases.

We’re still a long way off from my end of year rankings and countdown but, for now, I’d like to give a halfway-mark shout-out to The Best Books of 2018 so far.

Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thrillers, graphic novels, general fiction, and non-fiction – a little something for everyone in no particular order…

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa

In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the…

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July 2, 2018: On Spoilers!

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Oh, teasers are teasers and spoilers are spoilers and never the twain shall meet.

The subject of spoilers came up the other day after a New York Times article essentially spoiled the ending to DC Comics’ big Batman/Catwoman wedding storyline.  Not only did they spoil it, they spoiled it in the damn headline!  Fan response was…heated.  Comic shops that had pre-ordered copies were suddenly left holding the bag (and board to ensure its contents remain in mint condition!) as readers responded by cancelling their planned purchases.  Twitter was ablaze with a furious fandom who felt betrayed by either the book’s ending and/or the decision to reveal said ending days before the title dropped.

To be fair, it was a curious PR call.  I mean, I understand the great buzz that would follow a feature profile in the New York Times, but surely that could have been achieved without ruining the…

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July 1, 2018: Decision time!

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Answer these questions…

1 – Do you like the project?

2 – Do you like the people involved in the project?

3 – Do the project’s theme and tone resonate with you?

4 – Is there an opportunity for humor?

5 – What is the budget?

6- What is the timeline?

7 – What are the obvious challenges unique to this project?

8 – How much creative leeway will you have through prep, production, and post?

9 – How much management authority will you have through prep, production, and post?

10 – How much of your A-Team will join you on this project?

11 – What are the chances that the project ends up on syfy?

…then carefully consider your responses before making the call.

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June 30, 2018: Erratum!

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Egads!  How embarrassing!  Yesterday, while considering my sizable sock collection enroute to selecting my Top 10, I completely overlooked a drawer.  Thus, the following worthy candidates (among many others) were not entered into official competition:

From left to right: Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Munsch’s The Scream, NASA, Grey Aliens, Hot Pink Cool Cats, Boxing Kangaroos.

This blog seriously regrets the oversight.

Also, I stand corrected.  My total sock count actually exceeds Akemi’s seemingly lofty estimation of 100, coming in at a staggering 132 pairs!

Next week, let’s move on to my cufflink collection –

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