They’re Talking About Me — In SPACE

A quick video featurette about me over on the official Stargate Web site, in which Stargate:Universe producer Brad Wright discusses my participation and whether I’ll get around to writing a script for the show. I’ve mentioned before that working on the series has been a total blast, and I’ll reiterate it again; it’s been really exciting both to get a close-up view of the TV production process, and to see my own input being translated into something that will go up on the screen.

I was joking during an interview recently that one of the nice things about being the “creative consultant” on SG:U is that it means when the show does something that people like, they’ll say “wow, it’s good they listened to John Scalzi!” and when the show does something they didn’t like, they’ll say “wow, they should have listened to John Scalzi!” so I win either way. Having said that, I have to say I’ve been enjoying what’s been coming my way, in no small part because it’s been making my job easy. My job so far hasn’t been to “save” anything; my job has been to (hopefully) make it even better. There’s a difference between these two conditions.

30 thoughts on “They’re Talking About Me — In SPACE

  1. All the Whatever folks are going to have to send you some “You’re Stupid” emails just to offset the ego trip, aren’t we?

    …no, you’d just make a contest out of it. DOH.

  2. Making good things even better is always more fun than making terrible things slightly less terrible, isn’t it?

    fishhead, I understand ‘SyFy’ is because they couldn’t trademark or copyright ‘SciFi’. A sound business move, but fugly.

  3. It IS fugly. Great word for it. I threw up a little in my mouth when I first heard they were making that change.

    Very cool about the win/win situation :D. Never thought about it that way! Mwahaahah!

  4. Wow! Confirmed by Brad Wright, John Scalzi is smart. I always had a feeling you might be, but its nice to have a confirmation from someone in “the know”.

  5. When my friend directed me to your website the other day to get a few writing tips, I knew that I had seen your name somewhere before. Quick search of your site told me why; you’re working on what will (hopefully) end up being one of my favorite shows to watch (right after Heroes).

    Just wanted to say that I’m excited for you, and also excited for me. I get to see into your work-life and kill two birds with a big frikken stone. Reading about the ‘creative consultant’ for an awesome series, and reading work by someone who is an awesome writer.

    Anyway – Thanks, and good luck with the show! Hope it goes far. :)

  6. Having just seen the little commercial-thingy of all the upcoming shows (where all the characters are wandering through an awesome house full of cool effects) I really can’t wait until I know all of them! (Except the ghost hunter guys, they’re … off.)

    Also, I have a production question: are the actors for SyFy’s “original” shows on some kind of retainer that they need to show up as guests in all the other shows? I was watching the previews for this season of Warehouse 13, and it seemed like an awful lot of familiar faces. (Hello Jo, 6, Shepard.) Thanks!

  7. “I’ll reiterate it again”? Did you reiterate it before? hehehehe :)

    Awesome about the gig, though. It’s great to see you’re doing so well professionally.

  8. You’ll see a lot of crossover between various character actors on certain cable channels. USA is notorious for recycling actors on guest spots between shows.

  9. Great interview, and I love some of the pics they have of you. That one of you all intense writery-like for the vid description is hawsome.

    Congrats on the kick ass gig. :)

  10. does this mean that you get billing and (dare i mention this?) PAID for TV work? So, every time we see one of the episodes you worked on, you get…. about $0.05?

  11. And why don’t we have the option of seeing something on the show and thinking, “Hey, get a load of what Scalzi fucked up this week!”

  12. OMFG… could we all get over the SyFy thing? If they’re going to produce and air good shows, I don’t care if they call themselves the Syphilitic Poo-Eating Psychic Friend Monkey network.

    And not to put any pressure on you, Gracious Host, you’re about the only reason I’m going to give SG:U any of my attention. I really do hope they’re listening to you, because (IMHO) Atlantis and the latter seasons of SG1 showed a franchise in the grips of terminal creative exhaustion.

    @JustaTech:

    So, I’m not the only one wondering if Congress passed the Mark Shepherd-Tricia Helfer Full Employment Act when I wasn’t looking? :)

  13. John Scalzi is creative consultant for a Stargate show? Boy, that sounds familiar. Wormhole X-treme maybe?

  14. Sorry Scalzi . . . but I have to rant . . .

    I think millions of people are beginning to realize that they took Michael Jackson for granted, that he was an extraordinary talent on the entertainment and humanitarian fronts, that they unwittingly blocked his presence in the world of music with a perceptual dysfunction. There’s something almost messianic about his presence on stage, particularly how it transcends the entertainment sphere and pours itself into the humanitarian sphere like a cosmic waterfall. I was led astray by the haters, by the filth and muck of our species, by the media, the corporate elite. But not anymore, “the doors of perception [are] cleansed.” The airwaves are infested with on-air personalities who strive on the misery of others, who chase tragic heroes like dung beetles (the dung being the fabricated stories), filling in the myriad blanks of their lives from the grungy bars and soiled rooms of cheap hotels across America. The mass media are the Romans/Jewish High Priests of the modern age, and they have taken crucifying to a whole other level. They’ve taken to crucifying people like Michael Jackson from the inside, a million tape worms wiggling around a televised reality, the mass media is. But we’re beginning to see them for what they are, beginning with the media’s crucifixion of Michael Jackson.

    The angle? Er, SyFy hasn’t aired Michael Jackson’s Scream yet!?

  15. I hope at some point you can tell us more about your input and where it went into the actual show.

  16. Craig Ranapia @ 19: Please. I never suggested that the truly unfortunate “name” change reflects on the actual programming quality in any way. That said, “SyFy” is, in my book, far from good, and IMHO, contrary to its intended purpose, particularly marketable.

  17. Craig, you’re missing the point! Gordon Gecko was wrong. “Greed is [not] good.” Pharmaceutical companies have acquired the FDA. You’re now the most medicated nation in the history of the worlds. Watch Food Inc. You’re now the most obese nation in the history of the worlds. Watch The Corporation, a Canadian documentary. You’re the most incorporated country in the history of the worlds. “Syfu” is just another example of corporate America running their steamrollers over your over-medicated heads, like the machines over human skulls in Terminator. They have high jacked the sci-fi genre. Witness the slow migratory trek of sci-fi books to the land of young adult readers. Witness the dumbing down of sci-fi movies (though Moon is looking promising). Corporations are re-imagining the future of sci-fi literature as you lay comatose in a pharmaceutically-researched OxyContin daze. The simple fact of the matter is that corporations like stoned viewers/ consumers. They’re good shoppers. Oh, Sci-Fi! Where art thou? I’m afraid Science fiction is nothing more than a corporate acquisition now, a once glimmering rocket ship/ product to be stripped down and sold to the masses for parts to the Chinese and/or Japanese. There is no America anymore. There is only Corporate America, the Incorporated States of America. I.S.A. And your buddies at Syfy are working the mechanized troughs of the “sea-to-shining-sea” Orwellian pig farm. Enjoy the conglomerate that is the Syfy channel. Now run along and feed the pigs.

  18. re Jason@20 Does… does this mean the Scalzi is from out there? (Points at the sky) Gulp. Well that does explain a lot.

  19. @ JustaTech, TheMadLibrarian: it’s not so much the network bringing back the same actors. When the director, the producer, or the casting director likes someone’s work, they’ll use him or her again. Especially if they’re reliable and Play Nice with Others. We might call it Deja Vu, but the actors call it Steady Work in a notoriously uncertain profession.

  20. OMG. The person asking Wright and Cooper about your participation, whom you here at the beginning of the clip? That was me! I mentioned it in a comment thread here after the event, which was the Stargate CreationCon in Vancouver earlier this year. They’ve clipped out a couple of remarks I made during the interchange, including this one:

    Wright: He’s, uh — what’s the word?

    Me: Snarky?

    Wright: Smart!

  21. I agree with #Ouisel.

    An actor’s track record of professionalism plays a big part. The other factor is that most of those shows are filmed in Vancouver, so I suspect the Industry/Community is smaller and the friendships tighter.

    Usually, I get a kick out of the “hey, that’s…” moments. But then I’m also a bit of an IMDB geek.

    Mr S. – Please keep us in the loop about your Stargate: Whatever experiences!

    - Thanks

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