Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stargate Atlantis - Whispers Breakdown, Part 1 - NEW Behind the Scenes Photos

At Joseph Mallozzi's blog update for September 6, 2008:

(Please follow the link for the complete blog update, and to view the NEW behind the scenes photos from the production of Stargate Atlantis' 'Whispers' [in their original format], plus a video tour of Stage 2, part 2 with Carl Binder [the wraith hive interiors].)

Lonely monster looking for Miss Fright. Enjoys creeping up walls, terrorizing humans, and long walks on the beach.

September 6, 2008: Whispers Breakdown, Part 1

Well, as promised, I’m dedicating today’s blog entry to a post-Whispers blow-by-blow. Since I was on set for this episode, I have plenty to talk about and, over the course of this breakdown, I’ll touch on a variety of subjects including revised scenes, deleted footage, and on-set anecdotes. And, seeing as how it looks like I’ll have a lot to say on this one, I may well run out of steam and have to pick things up tomorrow.

Okay, now smile and say...

Before I get started, I’d just like to remind everyone that Will Waring, director of Whispers and countless other SG-1 and Atlantis episodes, has agreed to do a guest blog here, so start posting your comments. Quick, before he changes his mind!


To Das who asks: “What was your mindset while writing Whispers? Dead serious, tongue-in-cheek, something else?” Definitely tongue in cheek popcorn fun, from Carpenteresque fog to the Ringesque well crawl. In fact, Sheppard’s line late in the episode neatly summed up the spirit of the episode: “Great. Now all we need is for the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we’re all set.”

What're YOU looking at?!

Today’s pics: Behind the scenes on Whispers.

Today’s video: Stage 2 walk-thru II (up until the point where my camera battery died on me).


EXT. FOREST - NIGHT: A couple of locals run into a spot of bad luck.

This scene wasn’t in the first draft which actually started on Atlantis with Sheppard informing Beckett that Major Teldy’s team had found something off-world (the original end of tease was the reveal of the lab with Sheppard and Beckett). However, the network and Rob felt the script needed some action off the top. I thought about it and came up with this scene that 1) established the creepy mood we’d be touching on later in the episode and 2) offered me a way of working the gas masked figure (Michael) into the episode. Also, given that I wanted this episode to follow the traditional horror flick structure, I felt that a scare off the top was a terrific idea. The one point I was resolute about, however, was that we not reveal the look of the creature. Not here. Not yet. I also thought it important to establish some sort of unique sound for the creatures, something we could establish early and then use as a cue later in the episode to signal their approach. Editor Mike Banas came up with a temporary solution, a variation on a dolphin’s chittering which I found very effective. So effective, in fact, that when a new sound was created for the Day 1 mix, I asked them to put Mike’s original creation back...

To be continued…

Actor removes her eyeballs and puts them in a plastic container for safe keeping.

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