Posts Tagged ‘brad wright’

Film Grad Produces “Stargate Universe”

November 12, 2009

Since the first film of the franchise was released in 1994, Stargate has captured the imagination of sci-fi fans the world over. Each incarnation of the franchise – including the mega-successful Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis – carries the hefty responsibility of steering the massive fan base to a new cast of characters and set of circumstances.

Film Production grad John G. Lenic is one of the key players doing just that for the franchise’s newest series, Stargate Universe. The series debuts on Space on October 2, 2009.

John recently took some time out of his schedule to shed some light on how he contributes to the Stargate world.

Hi, John. Could you start off by explaining your role in Stargate Universe, and what kinds of responsibilities it entails?

JGL:   My role at Stargate Universe is that of the Producer.  That means that along with my showrunners, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, I am responsible for the financial well-being of the series.  That includes the budget, management of the cast and crew, making sure we can bring in the series on budget and on schedule after shooting 20 episodes per season.  We spend approximately $50 million per year and employ approximately 250 people during the course of our shooting season, which runs from February until October.

You’ve been with Stargate for a while now. How has the franchise changed?

John G. Lenic

JGL:   I have been with the Stargate franchise since December of 1996.  It has changed so much yet so little over the past 13 years.  In my opinion the biggest thing to change over the course of the 3 series has been the cast.  The cast really set the tone for how well a show can work.  We have been so lucky, for the most part, to have a wonderful cast to work with everyday.  Folks like Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Chris Judge, David Hewlett, Rachel Luttrell, Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, and Ming-Na are a few of the people that have made the last 13 years such an amazing experience for me… such a pleasure to be around them and see them everyday.

The stories on Stargate Universe are also so different then the last two shows.  The scripts this year have been more about relationships and the people as opposed to fighting the bad guy of the week.  The dilemmas are much more internal and far deeper.  I have to applaud the writers for the job they have done on the scripts thus far. The episodes are nothing short of ingenious.

For those who love Stargate, you are going to love this reinvention of the franchise, and for those of you who have never watched an episode, please watch the pilot as you will see that this show really is something new, and Robert Carlyle is phenomenal.  I am personally very proud of the work we have done this year.

For the benefit of current students and recent grads, could you describe your start in the industry? How did you make the transition from VFS grad to Producer?

JGL:  After VFS, my start in the industry came when a Canadian producer, Raymond Massey, came to scout my parents’ house for use in the feature film Whale Music.  I told him that if he needed any help, I would do anything. He told me to come to his office the following week and he would buy me lunch. Well, after that lunch, I never left his office.  I worked with his other assistant, Shauna Bryan (another VFS Film Production grad),  except I did it for free for a while, just absorbing anything I could – from budgeting to scheduling – he showed it all to me.  When we started prepping the movie, the company was able to pay me $25/week.  I learned so much, and with the other friends and VFS grads that were hired on the show, I loved every minute of it and made some great life long friendships.

After that, I went on to be Tracey Jeffrey’s assistant on several TV movies of the week.  I worked with her on 11 of these ultra low budget ($1,650,000 — 16 day shoot) movies.  This was all about being creative, as we didn’t have much money.

In September/October of 1996, I remember hearing that Stargate was going to be shooting in Vancouver and wanting to work on it, because I knew it would give me the opportunity to learn so much about working with everything from special effects explosions to visual effects and green screens.  I got a meeting with Michael Greenburg and Richard Dean Anderson and they hired me to run the day-to-day workings of their personal production company (Gekko Film Corp.) and take care of them on Stargate as well as development for their company, and all the other projects they had on the go at that time.  As Gekko had a financial interest in the show, and with my knowledge of budgets and numbers, Mike and Rick relied on me to stay on top of the budgets and cost reports with their interest in mind.

Stargate Universe

From there, MGM announced during the first season that the show was going for four seasons, and we decided that development for Gekko should be put on hold while Stargate was still happening.  At that point Brad Wright and MGM offered to get me a DGC membership and move me into a Unit Manager role, as I was performing that role already.

From that point on, I worked under N. John Smith and Brad Wright and they groomed me to take over as a Production Manager in Season 3 and so on and so forth, until they moved me into a Producer/Production Manager role in Season 8 of SG-1.  After that, I went on to Atlantis as the Producer/Production Manager, and then into the position of Producer on Stargate Universe.

It was while working on Atlantis that David Hewlett and I became friends, and went on to produce a low-budget movie between seasons.  We made A Dog’s Breakfast for $120,000, and MGM distributed it.  We decided in October that, come hell or high water, we were going to make a feature in January and set that as the start date.  David wrote the script, cast his sister and some Stargate alumni, and that was that. We did it. We set our minds to it and just made it happen.

What do you think is the most common mistake young film professionals make?

JGL:  I know it will sound cliché, but it’s not truly believing in yourself.  Never lose focus of what your end goal is, but know that it is going to take baby steps to get there.  Make sure you really take the time to enjoy, learn, and focus on each step you take along the way.

Stargate has a large, vocal fan base. How does that affect your job?

JGL:  The fans are fantastic and for as much as they are vocal about things that they don’t like, they applaud and are even more vocal and supportive about the things they like.

It has been hard with the new cast recently because they read everything and often get down on themselves when they read that people aren’t even going to give the new show a chance if Chris Judge or David Hewlett aren’t on it.

I feel bad for this new cast because they shouldn’t be made to feel that way.  It isn’t fair when people knock something before even giving it a chance. The new cast is doing such a fantastic job, it is amazing how these fans affect their mood just by writing those sorts of things.  It happened on Atlantis when SG-1 ended too, but it has been the topic of conversation several times in the last few months.

The Cast of Stargate Universe

It looks like you’ve recently joined fellow Stargate alum David Hewlett on Twitter (twitter.com/jglenic). Why did you sign up?

JGL:  Hewlett has been on there for a year or two, and I never really cared about telling people what I was up to, but now, most of the cast from Universe are on there, and I have had so much fun hearing and listening to the things they have written about on a daily basis.  I guess you could say that I gave into the peer pressure to try it out.  So far my favorites are David Hewlett, Ming-Na and David Blue. They always have something interesting to say.  If my perspective can help people, or if I can answer questions that help others on their career path, then I am glad to be a part of it.

After one look at your IMDB page, it’s clear that there’s been a steady upward progression in your career. What do you hope to do next?

JGL:  For now, I love the show I am working on and the people I work with.  It is important to me to focus on working with people that I want to be around and developing projects that I would want to see.  I have a few things in development, and I think it is time to make another feature.  I will keep you posted.

Please do!

Best of luck with Stargate Universe, John!

Source:  Vancouver Film School Blog

…..and as always….

Have A Very Stargate Day!

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The Third Stargate SG-1 Movie “Revolution” is Announced!

November 12, 2009

RDA - atlantis08 Richard Dean Anderson

The working title for the next Stargate SG-1 movie has been revealed.  Stargate: Revolution will reunite the cast of the long-running show, including former lead Richard Dean Anderson.

The title has announced at Stargate writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi’s blog.

Revolution will be the third DVD movie for the SG-1 team — if it gets made, that is.  After reportedly giving the production a green light this past spring (story), MGM placed it back in drydocks along with the Atlantis movie, Stargate: Extinction.

As of last spring, the intention was to shoot one or both of the movies this fall, with the SG-1 film apparently taking priority in the production schedule.  But continuing economic pressures have prevented MGM from committing just yet (story).

Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum filmed in 2007 and were released in 2008.

The script for the SG-1 movie has been written by Brad Wright and Carl Binder, who are currently serving as executive producers on Stargate Universe, with a story reportedly set sometime between Continuum and the start of SGU.  Wright told fans at this year’s Vancouver Stargate convention that “I had a story idea that really worked with O’Neill.  And it’s not just his character, by any means. It’s a Stargate story that brings O’Neill back in a big way.”

Keep your browser locked on GateWorld for the very latest on Stargate: Revolution has news develops!  We’ll be adding it to our Stargate Movies guide this week, where you can find everything we know about the film at a glance.

Source:  Gateworld & Joseph Malozzi’s Blog

 

….and as always….

Have A Very Stargate Day!

 

Gemini Awards Industry Gala 2009, Stargate Atlantis & Sanctuary Win Awards

November 12, 2009

 

The 24th annual Gemini Awards Industry Galas was held on October 19-20 in Toronto, Ontario at the Sound Academy was and hosted by Ennis Esmer (The Listener) and Zoe Palmer (The Guard).

43 awards were presented in children’s and youth, comedy, drama, and variety categories.

On October 19th, 44 awards were presented in news, sports, documentary, and lifestyle categories.

Vancouver-based series Stargate Atlantis picked up two awards and Sanctuary received one.

The final broadcast gala will be presented on November 14 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta (shown on TV at 9 p.m. PT).

Here are the Stargate winners of the awards presented that evening:

Best Achievement in Make-Up
Todd Masters, Leah Ehman, Brad Proctor, and Kyla Rose Tremblay, all of Burnaby, and Holland Miller of Vancouver for Stargate Atlantis (Vegas)

Best Visual Effects
Lee Wilson, Caleb Ashmore, Matthew Belbin, Sebastien Bergeron, Ken Lee, Lionel Lim, Mladen Miholjcic, Lisa Sepp-Wilson, and Philippe Thibault, all of Vancouver, and Les Quinn of Burnaby for Sanctuary (Sanctuary For All Pt.1)

Best Writing in a Dramatic Series
Brad Wright (White Rock, B.C.) for Stargate Atlantis (The Shrine)

 

Sources:  Various

Stargate™ franchise honored by nominations

April 16, 2009
Stargate receives multiple Leo Award Nominations!
 
               http://newsletters.mgm.com/ct/4480392:5291908628:m:4:119269116:CD9A69CCC5A912F9F1990051A7CAE487
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Stargate™ franchise honored by nominations
We are pleased to announce that the Stargate franchise is nominated for 22 LEO Awards. In addition, executive producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper will be receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award at the ceremony. Click the link below to read the full details!

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SG-1 now on hulu!
Get ready!  Season 2 debuts on hulu April 18th!!  Make sure you’re caught up with the SG1 team by watching Season 1 now!

WATCH  NOW http://newsletters.mgm.com/ct/4480394:5291908628:m:4:119269116:CD9A69CCC5A912F9F1990051A7CAE487
 
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Get the Stargate Widget
Be the first in the know! Download the widget now for the latest on all things Stargate!
        

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Message from Picardo 
A Stargate Atlantis Exclusive! Watch now as Robert Picardo sends a very special message to Atlantis fans.

WATCH NOW  http://newsletters.mgm.com/ct/4480396:5291908628:m:4:119269116:CD9A69CCC5A912F9F1990051A7CAE487
 
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