Thursday, March 29, 2012

Don't Panic! Okay, Panic!

In no way is this a political Blog, that being said.....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Magnificent March

I turned my back for a second and all of a sudden it's skipped Spring and moved straight onto Summer.  Not that I'm complaining, I heart Summer completely...who cares if we have to get our water from a standpipe for the rest of the year because all reservoirs have dried up, as long as I can keep my Vitamin D at an excessively high level.

Apparently it's topping 21 degrees C over the next few days, go ahead and mock those who live in warmer climates, but should be dull, wet and barely breaking double figures.  Today I spent many hours in the garden putting a severe dent in my latest Clive Cussler adventure whilst eating a ham/egg salad in shorts and t-shirt and in danger of breaking an actual sweat.

Yesterday the weather was equally as lush and I took myself off to Arundel.  A stupendous place to waste several hours with its meandering river, lake and rustic village, all in the shadow of an 11th Century castle.  Blissfully peaceful and contented I was...until the army of grandmothers with screaming sprogs in tow arrived with several kilos of bread in an attempt to severely damage the health of the league of ducks who called Swanbourne lake home.

My view yesterday lunch time

 A slightly hazy affair by the lake (the ducks making a beeline for the grannies gluten filled products)

So I vacated to seek out ice cream and wandered a spell along the river.  I observed some kind of  macho ritual between a group of students which appeared to involved chucking pebbles into the river to scare of any wildlife which had the misfortune to be lurking.  They needn't have worried however, Freddie Flintoff none of them were, launching rocks less than 5 feet into the water, at a 90 degree angle into a tree and quite magnificently into a bush placed 10 metres to the rear.

Ahh, those row boats, many a happy day spent on the lake

Starting to turn a little Stephen King down by the lake...time for ice cream

The sun was beginning to lose its heat as the day wore on, reminding everyone that it is indeed but March, and so I retreated to the train station, homeward bound.  Imagine my delight when I discovered all trains had been cancelled due to an earlier breakdown on the tracks and the replacement bus service was caught in traffic indefinitely (this I would like to point out is not an irregular occurrence for Southern Trains who test the patience of travelers on a regular basis).  My normal reaction would be to call on the services of taxi dad, but for the fact that the area surrounding Arundel is experiencing serious roadworks causing traffic chaos, hence why I took to the train in the first place.  So plan B was actioned, with trusty map in hand I decided to walk to the nearest place I could cadge a lift from, the village of Ford...3 miles away.

I eventually made it home and it wasn't all bad since the view from the river as I walked to Ford was pretty impressive and I pretty much burnt off the earlier consumed ice win/win.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Two Colonels Walk into a Bar...

So, to continue the Chevron 7.8 write up introducing Garry Chalk and Tom McBeath, quite the double act on stage starting with banter between the two Stargate Colonels about Garry being the hard done by Russian and his voice work. Tom took on the stance that he doesn't get much work in this business as the people selling things don't like his voice to which Garry quipped "not true Tom, I've heard your voice...selling things"

The pair were asked about their favourite moment on SG1without hesitation Garry said " being hacked on by RDA" he went on to talk about a time when he had spent 3 weeks learning a monologue in Russian only for the scene to be cut before filming.  He apparently had some words about this and was able to do the scene, which was later left on the cutting room floor anyway, insert pantomime "ah" from audience.  He also mentioned that he visited the SGA set on a break from filming and sat in a conference room scene in his Col Chekov uniform, everyone was busy setting up and rehearsing the scene and he just snuck in and sat at the table.  As the cameras were about to roll he heard "Hey, you, Mr. Chalk get the fuck off my stage" from the director.

Tom talked about his final scenes as Col Maybourne phoning O'Neill from the Caribbean, actually English Bay Vancouver made to look like the Caribbean.  He was messing around and grabbed an extra, dancing off into the distance with her, which he never thought that they would used but subsequently made the cut. He added that it was at that moment he "found out who Maybourne was."

Tom talked about one of the crew members, Greenberg, who had previously worked on MacGyver who one day asked him why he had never worked on the show to which Tom replied " You son of a bitch, I auditioned 25 times and you never hired me" ah, the fickle world of show business.

Both men agreed that working with RDA was a pleasure although he had habit of ad-libbing which would throw the actors during a scene, Garry mimed checking his script, looking confuzzled  with a "wait, what?" expression. The pair agreed it seemed to be RDA's favourite thing to do and how he got his jollies on set.  Tom stated that whenever he was appearing the director got excited as RDA would "cheer up for a good couple of months" due to the terror in the eyes of the poor actor whenever he changed the lines.

Tom apparently got a little revenge as an episode saw him and RDA trapped on a planet where the characters had a very different approach to fishing.  O'Neill taking the traditional rod and line approach and Maybourne lobbing explosives into the water.  Tom apparently taking much glee in throwing the fish back to RDA, with little care in the precision in aim. Outtakes people, outtakes!

Tom's sister wanted something from the SG1 set, preferably something used by RDA, as a memento and apparently Tom swiped some chewing gum RDA has previously been masticating on and sent it to her, which is both genius and gross.

As previously mentioned Garry's voice work is pretty extensive, he has voice many of my favorite characters from my childhood, and he talked about a series he did in the early 90's Captain Zed & the Zee Zone.  He played the character Captain Flannel and immediately broke into song doing the characters signature tune...and I became 11 again, genius.

And for those who have never seen, or just wiped from the inner moppet memories:

Someone, *coughs*Wendy*coughs*, asked about a now infamous story from Garry about a particularly popular fizzy beverage and his ability to belch on queue.  To gales of laughter and many, many grossed out folk Garry recounted the time he was asked to belch, all in the name of voice acting.  He took a large swig of coke for mass effect, but instead of a perfectly pitched burp Mr. Chalk delivered what he described as a "giant flob of coke foam" complete with an "amniotic sack" which descended from his mouth, hit his script and "yo-yoed back into his mouth" The incident so amazing, the rest of the taping had to be cancelling for the day as the rest of the cast and crew couldn't pick themselves up off the floor for laughing.  As with many of us in the audience.  Coke-gate is apparently on tape somewhere and I'm thinking should be made available immediately on YouTube!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Bunch of Geeks Walk into a Bar....

Right then, it's that time of year again.  On the guest list, apart from your truly of course, were Tom McBeath, Garry Chalk, Peter Kelamis, Robin Dunne and Amanda Tapping.  A group of civilized, straight laced, serious, non-hammy actors who would never resort to gutter humour to entertain the equally reserved and serious audience...bah, who am I kidding... it's a group of rabid geeks, put into a room with a bunch of slightly unhinged actors where hilarity, quirkiness and just a smidgen of inappropriate innuendo (and by smidgen I mean bucket full) occurs. And so I bring you Chevron 7.8:

First up, the amazing and beautiful Amanda Tapping.  I have much admiration for this lady who was always great to watch as Sam Carter in the Stargate verse and has gone on to do some fantastic work with Sanctuary in a fast dwindling fantasy/Sci-Fi verse on TV.

Strike a pose

Asked about Sanctuary season 5 Amanda admitted she had asked creator and fellow producer Damian Kindler how to answer.  It seems that someone somewhere is kicking their heels about financing the next series and that the studio in which it has been filmed has been sold (this however is not a huge issue as if you are up to date with Sanctuary some major changes at the end of the last series mean a bit of a reset anyway) there was an audible gasp in the audience when Amanda mentioned this and she took the very Magnus calming approach of  "it's ok, it's ok" .  She did go on to say that the series was "not dead yet" even if it is delayed or turned into a movie or mini series.  She hinted that if anyone should want to start a campaign the "address could be found on the internet" and the "logos (of the financiers) could be seen during the end credits"....but we didn't hear that from Amanda so shh.  I for one have really enjoyed the mythology which has been developing over the last few series and love the historical and literary tie-ins with a twist, it's just great escapism.

And of course the cameos are a lot of fun.  Amanda commented that this wasn't the original plan when Sanctuary first started and in fact they had tried to distance themselves from bringing in other Stargate actors.  But of course Canada is a "small community of actors" and they would often think of certain people who would be great to play certain roles.  "Of course we blew up Michael (Shanks)" who now apparently tries to convince Amanda that his character somehow miraculously escaped the explosion so that he can come back.

On her onscreen relationship with Nicola Tesla (Jonathon Young) Amanda mentioned that Jonathon had developed a whole back story for their characters, but she couldn't possible tell us what happened to which some bright spark yelled "it's on the internet".  She also commented about an ad-lib Jonathon made during a scene "Just like Venice" adding "...remember" which threw poor Amanda giving her a slightly puzzled and quizzical expression used in the final take.

Which I would presume looked not unlike this:

On her favourite Stargate moments she talked about having a "wow" moment the first time she walked onto the Stargate set, seeing the Gate itself was an "orchestral and exciting moment" and of course at the end of the series when the cast played out their final scenes, her and Chris Judge apparently shedding a few tears and turning to each other "wow, well that happened"

On Don S. Davis a "Beautiful human being, gracious, a complete goof, a total pro with a wicked sense of humour who is greatly missed"

Amanda has recently filmed a movie called Random Acts of Romance where she played a character who "drinks, swears is sleazy and has sex....with people" adding "not like me at all to be a boozy, swearing slut"

Her favourite Sam moments include: anything with Sam and her father, David DeLuise scenes, noting that it wasn't a relationship that a lot of fans liked (fyi anything which involves a DeLuise is okay with me) but they were a lot of fun, the alternate reality moments where she got to kiss Jack O'Neill because she got to kiss Richard Dean Anderson (at which point most of the female and probably many of the male members of the audience agreed whole heartedly), hanging out with Teryl and the episode Grace.

Someone asked Amanda about the famous 'Macgyver' outtake in which, early in the SG1 series, Amanda and RDA had been filming a scene on a freezing set, it had been a long shoot and and RDA had been sliding on the ice whilst trying to complete the shot.  Amanda delivered the now infamous line "You're Macgyver, McGadget, McGimmick" looked at RDA and thought " I shouldn't have said that" continuing with " now you're McUseless". "Well if you're going to be a pop cultural icon you gotta take it right?" she reasoned perfectly.  She added the she had bumped into RDA later at lunch nervously chiding " we're still friends, right?"

If you haven't seen the clip, and to be honest if you haven't you must've been under a rock for the last few years:

Asked who would win a fight between Freya and Sam over O'Neill, the person asking the question suggesting that the actress who played Freya has commented that it would be her "What are you kidding, what a load of poo, I'd snap her like a twig" at which point Amanda talks about watching scenes filmed between Freya and O'Neill noting that she was "growling like a feral dog" a crew member saying "Amanda, they're acting" Amanda snapping" yeah, but he's my acting partner" switching back to polite Amanda " next time you see her, tell her I said hello" said in the key of Fatal Attraction.

And, by gosh, that was the end of Amanda's talk and where I shall leave things for now, more pictures and fun to come.