wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,

MGM Interview: (Update) RC Cooper interview (final product)

Okay, I finally got to see the entire RCC interview, so here's the whole thing (I only posted part at the previous post). Some spoilers apply.

From interviews located at http://stargatesg1.com/Interviews



ROBERT C COOPER interview (42 minutes)


Brad is in charge of SGA overall while RCC was in charge of SG1. He directed the last episode of SG1 (“Unending”). They also thought the show would continue and had the cast all signed for deals for season 11. They were going to do a cliffhanger at the end of season 10.


Robert Cooper said when Sci-Fi didn't renew the show, they were concerned on how to end it. They didn't want a cliffhanger and 'out of respect for the fans' have the episode have a 'spirit of closure, a sense of ending without it being an ending,' so they called it "Unending." The team gets stuck in a spaceship in a time dilation field (just the one team) and live out about 50 years(!) so you see the relationships that develop and evolve and as scifi allows you to do, "we undid it all." (reset button!) They don't want to end it, as a finale, as they want fans to feel the universe is ongoing (AKA, keep the franchise going). Rob said he and Brad wanted to have a bigger budget and longer form (movies) so they have more freedom to do what they want to do.


There will be no 11th season. The movies will appear on DVD and perhaps some "form of broadcast" on a network somewhere - has not yet been confirmed. What is confirmed is cast of SG1 (season 10) will be in both those movies and "our hope" is that the movies will be springboard to become a series of films (if they make enough money off them). There is the "opportunity" to do a third season and include elements of SG in it.


Will Sci-Fi channel air the movies? Doesn't know. MGM has financed the film based on DVD release and working hard to trying to get broadcast deals.


RCC is executive producer of both films and is writing/directing the first movie. The movie is a continuation of what has been happening on the series (the first movie). They will "probably" produce a one-hour special to be included on the DVDS to catch you up if you haven't been following the series. It will continue and tie up loose threads left dangling after season 10. The SECOND MOVIE "definitely plays on a lot of the characters and brings back people, maybe favorites, for the fans." It's a 'one off' that 'hopefully will get people used to the idea of sG1 movies.' and make them feel that they want more movies. Doesn't have to be about Ori or the series but new adventures. They feel they have an obligation to finish the story they stated telling. And Charlie Cohan is a big fan of the show and that's why he's paying for the first movie so he can find out what happens with the Ori (must be nice to have that kind of money!).


They're doing a one-hour special called 'Stargate Mythology' which is not just a clip show but will explore the concept of mythology as it relates to the SG universe and on mythology in general.


RCS is very big into the Merlin mythology.


As for extras for DVDs, RCC says they think of things to add to the DVDs. It’s the way to go these days. “What are people interested in relation to the SG universe.”

Casting for the movies. “Right now we know for sure the main cast of season 10 will be returning. … Beyond that, we’re still working on it. I know Brad’s put a call into RDA and Rick, as well call him. … we’re hopeful he’ll make an appearance. Whether he’s in both or just one, we’re not sure yet.” Not planned to have Atlantis people on it.


Amanda Tapping will be joining the cast of Stargate Atlantis for 14 episodes for season 4.” There’s going to be fans of Atlantis who feel like they don’t want to see SG1 people coming over, they feel like Atlantis is their own thing now and they’ve embraced that thing… but you know…(BIG Pause) Amanda and Carter are such a likeable character, she’s such a good actress, I don’t see how anybody can have a problem with it once they see it. It’s a natural fit for the show and for the franchise to keep a little bit of SG1 going in Atlantis.” … “Hopefully for us we’ll get people who love Carter and love SG1 watching Atlantis where they might not have before and I think the people who really love Atlantis for what it is, are not going to see that spoiled or tarnished in anyway.”


Will Atlantis benefit without SG1? He doesn’t know. “How it does in terms of ratings or how it performs is really up to the network. I think that having both shows together has always been a good thing…. I think SciFi is going to have to do something different in order to make sure people know that Atlantis is still on.”


Atlantis Showrunners? Says that Joe and Paul have been producing their own episodes for a long time (long pause). “Brad and I have been trying to step back and do other things for a while. We want to develop another Stargate series – we’d like to develop another series that’s not Stargate related so it was time and the fact that we have these movies and they’re going to take up quite a bit of our attention – Joe and Paul were ready to step up.”


Difference between series and shows. Says TV shows are approached in terms of structure – tease, five acts, etc. Episodes are aired in 16x9 widescreen but they always to keep the visual content within a 4x3 image so it will accommodate the TV screen and it’s not always the best visual composition. Halfway between shooting for a widescreen TV and square TV. With a movie, they can shoot more like a movie (visually). They have a slightly bigger budget than on a typical episode but “nowhere near” what a feature has.  He said they’ve always had an interest in doing a non-Stargate project but don’t know what it is. … They want the franchise to continue but “it will be fun to do other things too.”


The third series. “That’s definitely in the works. That’s something the studio is very actively pursuing and we have a concept that we’ve come up with that … in the past we often take in ideas that were going to be feature films [and put them into the show instead], and that kind of happened again. We came up with an idea that we thought would be a great Stargate feature that really was a separate third entity to the two existing series but it’s entirely possible we’ll be turning that into the third series.” He can’t say too much about it right now. They don’t know in terms of airing. “We don’t even have a script order or an official pickup. We’ve talked at length with the studio about what the concept is for it and the ballpark right now is to hopefully have something in active development by the summer. Our focus is on the movies.” Pre-production begins in March and shooting begins on April 15th for the first movie. Take two months to shoot. Four weeks for each movie. Plus postproduction, etc. “The goal would be to have it on the air sometime in early 2008.”


They just got the pitch for the Stargate theme park pitch. “Lot of fun. It’s based on Stargate Atlantis, includes the Atlantis characters. If they do what they say they can do, it will be spectacular.” As to the online game. “I haven’t seen too much of what the actual content is going to be.”


Next part was talking about precisely what Brad Wright talked about what they did on off-time and how they assemble an episode (outlines, scripts, etc.). And meetings.


His favorite part of the process? “Editing. I definitely think the editing process is where you really re-create the show that will actually exist. The writing stage is kind of what I refer to as the ‘dreaming stage’ – it’s where you’re kind of writing what you want it to be and then in the harsh reality is the shooting, where the budget and the logistics and everybody’s else’s opinions kind of muddy up the works and…. And then in the editing process where it’s back to you again and the editor…. And this is where you kind of go through the 12-step process. It’s like ‘oh my god, I can’t believe this is what was shot!’ and then acceptance. ‘Oh, I guess this is okay and this will work…’ and you really have to throw the script out. The mistake is to try and make the footage into the script. What you have to do is look at what’s been shot and somehow turn that into a good hour of television. .. .It’s a very strange, plastic process where you’ve written a script that’s so long and you’ve shot something that ends up being 48 or 52 or sometimes short and you have to add time. I find editing is the time in which you actually decide what that show is going to be. You can affect performance in such an incredible. It’s amazing how good or how bad you can make an actor look in the editing room. You can take elements that worked or didn’t work in the script stage and fix them. That’s where the magic happens, I think. A well-cut show can just save it all.”


With the movie, “instead of cutting things because you have to (for ads), you cut things because you want to. You cut the stuff that doesn’t work and you leave in the stuff that’s great and you create suspense and/or comedy or action. You create a tempo and a timing that’s based on the nature of the material rather than the length of the material.”


Will be involved with SGA? “I’m executive producer still even though I won’t be technically showrunning and… I was there for the breaking of all the stories and put my two cents’ worth in whether it was appreciated or not and I’m writing an episode and directing an episode of Atlantis early on and potentially will write another one. I’m not sure yet. Depends on how the schedule goes. … I co-created the series. It’s still something I have a very strong interest in and I really like the show. I’m a fan of the show so of course I want to be involved. I still have my office and I’ll still be here everyday. It’s going to be interesting to watch someone else run with it the way Joe and Paul will – I always found it interesting to watch the decisions that Brad made as the showrunner and see how that all unfolded.”


Season 4 of SGA. “I’m very excited about it. I think there’s some very interesting developments in the storylines and you know… (pause) I think I overhead Brad saying we’re finally at a stage where there’s a lot of various touchstones to hit on. When you first develop a series you kind of have to open all those doors slowly, one at a time, and now there’s a lot of open doors to choose from. There’s the Genii and the Wraith and the human-form replicators and I think that the one thing that Joe and Paul are doing – they’re continuing to open some new doors. There’s some cool new aspects to the show that are going to be in season 4.”


Highlights of ten years on SG? He cites “200” as a great memory – “getting in the Guinness book of world records.”  The MGM party, directing his first episode and he looks back fondly on certain aspects of season 7 when he took over as showrunner, in particular “Heroes” 1 and 2.

Tags: mgm, rc cooper, stargate atlantis, stargate sg-1, transcript
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