Articles and Interviews
URBAN RUSH INTERVIEW FEBRUARY
Fiona Forbes: Okay, Mike, so let me get this straight. You want me and Amanda Tapping to pretend we're both astronauts and fight over you?
Mike Eckford: Yes, because I'm the guy astronaut, you two are the girl astronauts.
FF: Of course, you know Amanda Tapping if you are a fan of Stargate. (to Amanda) How are you?
Amanda: I'm very well. Thank you very much.
ME: What's going on?
Amanda: I'm busy. It's all good. Stargate ended. Officially. The series ended after ten years.
ME: But not really ended, right? See, this is what I keep hearing.
Amanda: It's like sci-fi, no one ever dies.
ME: I have friends on the show and they're saying now, like, movie stuff.
Amanda: Yeah. We're doing two TV movies, starting in mid-April. And my character is actually going to the sister series Atlantis.
ME: Nice! How do they transfer you over to Atlantis?
Amanda: I don't know! I haven't read that script yet.
ME: I don't know, I just turn up there!
Amanda: I just turn up there! Apparently, I have a ship and I fly there.
ME: And you fly.
Amanda: Yeah, like an astronaut.
FF: Now, are you still going to be--
ME: Are you wearing a diaper in this episode--
FF: I can never get it straight. You are a Major, now you're a Lt. Colonel.
Amanda: I started out as a Captain, then I got promoted to Major and now I am a Lt. Colonel. I throw that into conversation all the time.
ME: Did you ever expect growing up that you would know that much about military rankings?
Amanda: No. I know, like I know I'm a fullbird Colonel. I am a Lt. Colonel. And I actually asked that on set one day, "Is he fullbird?" And I thought, "I know that! I know that!"
ME: I'll give you the bird after the show.
FF: Michael Eckford!
ME: We wanted to talk about something else you're doing. This is really cool. Sanctuary.
ME: Tell us about this.
Amanda: Sanctuary is a new series that I'm involved with. I'm the lead actress in it and I also got to be one of the executive producers.
FF: How exciting is that! Now, this is a new media project--
Amanda: It's a new media project and we shot our pilot, two hours, the first two hours of the show. It's entirely green screen. So everything is rendered. And we have an amazing computer artist.
FF: Now, you have to tell us about your character - because she's a 127 year old--
ME: Yeah, but you know, you only look a 127, that's why!
FF: Okay, tell us about your character.
Amanda: She's a doctor. She was one of the first female doctors in the Royal College back in Victorian England. She was engaged to Jack the Ripper... Big mistake!
FF: You know, some of us date bad guys...
Amanda: Her father started this sanctuary where she collects all these disparate creatures and "abnormals" from around the world. So anything from werewolves to vampires...
ME: I was gonna say, do they have to have, like, talent? Or can they just be crazy?
Amanda: They have to have some sort of skill or else they're not interesting. But creatures, basically. And in our pilot we have a little boy Alexei who is from Tchernobyl who has a weird thing happen to him because of radioactivity... Did I mention it's sci-fi?
FF: You know Amanda, I wouldn't expect you in sci-fi... Why is she 157, though?
Amanda: Well, I can't tell you that. Through her work with these creatures, she's been given the gift or the curse, if you will, of incredible longevity.
ME: Just working in the field keeps you young.
FF: Is she a Lt. Colonel, though?
Amanda: She's not, she's just a D... she's JUST a doctor.
Amanda: Dr. Helen Magnus. And she has a daughter. She has a daughter by Jack the Ripper.
ME: Oh. And how's the daughter?
Amanda: The daughter's pretty cool. She's a kickass.
ME: Does the daughter know that Jack the Ripper is her father?
Amanda: She'll find out.
FF: Threatening us with the plot - she'll find out!
Amanda: She'll find out. You'll find out when she finds out!
ME: That's a dirty day to find out!
FF: Obviously, the CGI, the green screen stuff, that's gotta be amazingly hard to do as an actor. Having all these things around you.
Amanda: It is. We just have things like, you know, this couch would be the only thing, everything else would be green screen and the odd prop you'd have. So it is. You have to really create the visual world inside your head.
ME: So tell me how this works. Do you have people, like, yelling at you? Like, 'There's a bird!' How do you know what's behind you and when it's supposed to be there and all that stuff?
Amanda: Well, we see renderings of the place we're in, the sets. So we have renderings. And eventually it'll be, once it airs, it'll be a complete virtual world that you'll be able to wander through.
FF: This is quite nerdy.
Amanda: It's very nerdy. And it's also interactive. Gamers will be involved... we're trying to combine all different types of media.
FF: When you take the role of sci-fi, take CGI...
Amanda: And when you take the gaming world...
FF: You gotta have a video game.
Amanda: You can actually, when you go on to our website, once the show goes live, you'll be actually able to interact.
ME: Just this whole world of new media, I guess the world you've occupied for the last ten years on Stargate, you see the fanbase that is attracted to this kind of thing, but, I mean, the possibilities, the way it's distributed, all these things, I mean, it's a fascinating business.
Amanda: I think we're really crusting the wave here with this show. It's completely new, but I think a lot of people are just starting to do this now. It's all streaming video. It's what we bring into our living rooms. Like you said, you get up in the morning, instead of turning on the TV, you turn on the computer. You watch YouTube and things like that and people are downloading by the millions. I mean, there's a famous video on YouTube of this guy dancing and over 37 million people have downloaded it.
ME: Have you ever looked at how many videos there are of you on YouTube?... It's ridiculous! Like thousands of videos of you on YouTube.
Amanda: Really?... I don't know thousands... I've seen a few that fans put together to music, of Jack and Sam. I've seen those, but I haven't seen anything else, Mike.
ME: No, no, no... I didn't mean those.
FF: Okay, Amanda, because of the emails we get, every single time you go on our show I have to ask a couple of questions about Stargate Atlantis. Is Richard Dean Anderson gonna be on it? Because we're gonna get a thousand emails.
Amanda: I don't know. No, I don't believe so. I don't believe so. He may make an odd guest appearance, but as far as I know, no.
FF: And is he gonna be in the Stargate movies of the week?
Amanda: Fingers crossed for the second one - we believe, we're hoping. But I don't think that anything's been finalized.
ME: How long are you gonna be on Stargate Atlantis? How long is this gonna go? Do you know? Do you have an episode arc?
Amanda: I'm doing 14 episodes of the 20.
ME: You know that for sure?
Amanda: I know that for sure.
FF: We know that she's got some sort of device, vehicle, spaceship, vessel that she comes on.
ME: In diapers. Easy, ladies, stop fighting over me.
FF: Amanda has confirmed all the information that she can, people. So send you cards and letters anyway because we know you will.
ME: They will!
FF: SanctuaryForAll.Com is where you can find the information about the new show that Amanda was talking about. When it goes live, yes, you will be able to participate and do everything you need to do. Thank you.
Amanda: Thank you so much.
AMANDA TAPPING CLUB.NET CHAT FEBRUARY
ATC_Sandy: Amanda has arrived folks, it won't be long anymore....
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Welcome everyone! My name is Mary Beth House and I'll be assisting the Birthday girl, Sandy, in presenting your questions to Amanda. BTW, on behalf of ALL of us, thank you, Amanda, for taking the time to be here. :)
ATC_Sandy: Before we get started, everyone should be warned that this chat will be chock full of spoilers for Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Sanctuary.
ATC_Sandy: First off...Stargate SG-1. There were lots of questions about the team interactions post RDA.
ATC_Sandy: An anonymous poster asks: I was just wondering what you thought about the relationships in seasons 9-10 of Stargate SG-1. I've always loved the team interactions. How do you think the writers handled the characters? Were there any scenes that you would have liked to see included?
Amanda Tapping: hi everyone thanks for waiting!
Amanda Tapping: damn country codes!
Amanda Tapping: season 9 and 10 the dynamic changed so there was alot of getting to know each other but I think I handled it pretty well
Amanda Tapping: I think the writers handled it pretty well rather, not that I handled it well, but that the writers handled it well
ATC_UberAmandaFan: People are curious about what life was like on the set.
Amanda Tapping: life on set was really jovial
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Michal from Slovokia asks: Were there times during shooting of Stargate Sg:1 when you were laughing so much that director had to tell you "Ok guys, take five and get all the laughs out." because you couldn't concentrate on what you were saying or doing?
Amanda Tapping: we laughed alot and there was a lot of joking around and that's tthe biggest memory I'll take away from doing the series
Amanda Tapping: yes there were many times when the direcytors had to cut and tell us to chill out
ATC_Sandy: Several fans wanted to know your favorite moments from SG-1 as well as things you wish you could redo.
Amanda Tapping: lol that's such a huge question
ATC_Sandy: Felicity A from Australia asks: What has been your best memory or moment in the past 10 years while working on stargate sg1.
ATC_Sandy: and an anonymous poster asks: If you could go back and refilm anything from Stargate what would it be?
Amanda Tapping: it's almost impossible after 10 years to pinpoint a fav moment. It's generally when the team is sitting around sharing a laugh. Its' the team moments, but I also have al ot of memories fromt he last year with Chris and I finding moments between our characters. That was really special
Amanda Tapping: Emancipation (laugh)
Amanda Tapping: I was really proud of that fight
Amanda Tapping: in Emancipation
ATC_UberAmandaFan: As you should be. It was a great fight. :)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: We now head to the Pegasus galaxy and questions revolving Stargate: Atlantis. Countless people want details about your role on SGA.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Felicity writes: have you read any of the scripts yet and if yes can you tell us any small details about your arrival to atlantis or your favourite episode you'll be in season 4.
Amanda Tapping: I know very little abotu my role on Atlantis so far. The scripts I've gotten are out of order
ATC_Sandy: And Elyse writes: I'd like to know about what your role will on be Atlantis (that you can tell us, of course). What do you see Carter doing on Atlantis and how would that affect her dynamic with the SG1 what with the SG1 movies and all?
Amanda Tapping: I don't think she'll be going out on missions with the Atlantis Crew
Amanda Tapping: with SG-1 & the movies the timeline will be different to Atlantis. Even tho they're filiming at the same time the timelines will be different so it shouldn't affect the dynamic
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Carter has gone through a quite a bit over the last 10 years and will likely evolve even more over on Atlantis.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Liane from Germany asks: What do you think about the development of your character in stargate sg1 in the last 10 years - Would you change anything?
Amanda Tapping: I don't think there was as much character development in the last couple of years as I would have liked, tho they gave me some wonderful moments to play. But overall I think she's a really wonderful and fully realised character
ATC_Sandy: And Anna Hendrixson asks: Will Samantha Carter be evolving in terms of personality as she moves on to Atlantis?
Amanda Tapping: Absolutely because she'll be dealing with different people and your interactions with others affect who you are. She'll have a whole new dynamic to deal with so absolutely
Amanda Tapping: :)
Amanda Tapping: yay!
ATC_UberAmandaFan: A lot of fans asked about various character interactions Sam could experience on SGA. Many enjoy the dynamic with McKay, but are hoping for good interaction with Teyla and Weir too. :)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: What relationships would you like to see Sam form in SGA?
Amanda Tapping: the dynamic with Mckay is great, but I'm hoping for expanded interaction with other characters. They're relationship will evolve, but I'd love to see her develop a relationship with Teyla & Sheppard. It's got to evolve beyond what we see with Sam & Mckay now but I totally expect to see her relationships with other characters aswell
Amanda Tapping: ga
ATC_UberAmandaFan: SHIP!!! :D As you can imagine, there were a LOT of questions revolving the topic of SHIP. Oh come on...you knew it was coming. *grin*
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Tamara asks a very common question to those lacking a "powers that be" decoder ring:
ATC_UberAmandaFan: I have a question that is driving me crazy... In Line in the sand Sam told Cam that the password for your personal file is 'fishing'. that has to be a hint right? about Sam and Jack?
Amanda Tapping: Yah sure you betcha!
Amanda Tapping: yes it makes sense that fishing is the password because a password is something that's very near and dear to you
ATC_Sandy: Yes I think a lot of fans would enjoy to go fishing with Jack, ;)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Well fans waited forever for them to finally "go fishing"...*wink wink nudge nudge* :)
Amanda Tapping: they haven't *wink wink nudge nudge*
ATC_Sandy: hehe, ok next question :D
ATC_Sandy: As you probably know, ship as a story arc affects how Sam is perceived is discussed a lot in fandom
ATC_Sandy: Uuzz (Andrea) asks: In a interview i read that you don't like the idea of Sam and Jack in a relationship because you don't want Sam to be the "girl pining for the lead guy", and becoming only "jacks girl" and that she'd appear "weak". Can you explain it further because i'd find Sam "stronger" if she managed to explore her feelings for Jack AND have a job in the SGC instead of repressing them and I can't see Sam as "only Ja
Amanda Tapping: I agree in principle except for the fact that if she were with Jack it would affect the team dynamic and that would affect how she does her job.
Amanda Tapping: Although eventually at some point in her life she'll have to explore her feelings for Jack
Amanda Tapping: Hewwo.. is anyone out there?
Amanda Tapping: ;)
ATC_Sandy: lol It's Uber's turn now ;)
ATC_Sandy: let me give her a poke
* ATC_Sandy pokes Uberamandafan
ATC_UberAmandaFan: The dynamic between Jack and Sam has changed obviously as the team's changed and with Jack off the scene full time. Do you think they'll perhaps finish that arc in the movies?
ATC_UberAmandaFan: HEY no poking. ;)
Amanda Tapping: It would be nice to see the arc finished in the movies or at least fully realised
Amanda Tapping: but I have no idea
Amanda Tapping: if it will be part of it
ATC_UberAmandaFan: AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!! / Monty Python
ATC_Sandy: Amanda made me poke you btw, ;)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: No, this next question does NOT have anything to do with the Knights Who Say "Ni!"
ATC_UberAmandaFan: This is a question that has had countless LEGIONS within the Stargate fandom waiting with bated breath for TEN years to know the answer.
Amanda Tapping: Ok just while we're going I want to take this opportunity to give a huge huge thankyou to the fans who donated the money to the Candian Cancer Society!
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Alexandra from Romania asks: If I could possibly dare a very... odd question... after 10 years since it was first mentioned... *blush*... are we ever going to find out where Sam's mole is? Preferably from Jack, but we're not picky... really...
Amanda Tapping: I'm blown away by the generosity
ATC_Sandy: Oh I'll second you on that :D
ATC_UberAmandaFan: :) Indeed.
ATC_Sandy: Thanks to you too for helping us with the online auction, :D
Amanda Tapping: Lol.. the mole will remain SECRET! (unless Jack talks in his sleep)
ATC_Sandy: And now...from something silly and fun to something very serious. Your role in the Vagina Monologues.
ATC_Sandy: Quite a bit of interest was stirred regarding how you got to be involved with the VM event in Toronto
ATC_Sandy: liesl_99801 asks: Can you tell us how you became involved with the project. And Telkena writes: Can you, please, tell us more about your role in the program?
Amanda Tapping: Actually I got approached by the VDay organisers. Vday is an international anti-violence against women project, so it was a no-brainer that I would say yes
Amanda Tapping: I'm only doing one piece but I'm doing it both nights. *giggle* my angry vagina is what my piece is called
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Will the production be recorded and be made available? I know a lot of people who can't make it and would love to support the cause. Will they make it so people can order a copy where proceeds go to the charity?
Amanda Tapping: I have no idea whether they're recording the show or not. I guess you could go online and check www.vday.org
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Fabienne asks: If you're excited about being on stage again. After 10 years on TV and getting "indirect" feedback, how do you feel knowing you'll face an audience again?
Amanda Tapping: I'm very excited abotu being back on stage.. hugely! I'm sure I'll be nervous on the day but right now I'm just very excited about being back on stage. Doing conventions helps!
ATC_Sandy: Mucklewick wants to know: if a fan contacted you and said, 'thanks for supporting VDay because as I was a victim of violence these things are important', would that change your perception of the event at all?
Amanda Tapping: I already believe that the event is hugely important. I know alot of people who have been the victim of violence, but of course if a fan said that to me of ccourse it personalises it
ATC_UberAmandaFan: You've been involved in a variety of other projects...short films and such...that countless people are itching to get their fingers on. Agent Dark and Bryan want to know about Stuck.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Bryan asks: I was wondering will Stuck become publicly available?
ATC_Sandy: I'll add that we'd also love to know about the Crazy 8's short you did entitled "Breakdown" and if it's available somewhere as well
Amanda Tapping: I don't know if Stuck has made it to DVD land or not. It was a very grassroots independant film. Same with the crazy 8s, very independant. I don't think I've seen the final versions myself, so I'm not sure where they've ended up.
Amanda Tapping: Breakdown is donig the rounds of the festivals, it was an interesting piece
ATC_Sandy: We've seen some parts of it on the internet, there is a Stuck trailer going around and i've seen Breakdown too. So it's out there...
Amanda Tapping: oh ok ;)
Amanda Tapping: lol I guess I should go on the internet more huh!
ATC_Sandy: you're always welcome on our site, ;)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: There's always those "THOUSANDS" of videos you were told about on Urban Rush. :)
Amanda Tapping: lol
ATC_Sandy: We move on now to Sanctuary. Lots and LOTS of questions we received revolve around the how and why you got to be involved in such a unique and incredible project
ATC_Sandy: Lena asks: how did you get executive producer on Sanctuary? And an anonymous poster adds: When did you first know about it, how was it pitched to you and what are some of the aspects of the show that you are most excited about? Describe a little of your day to day duties as producer.
<ATC_Sandy> Damien Kindler sent me the script about a year ago and asked me to look at the part of Magnus. I thought the story was so incredible and so interesting and then I met with him and the other producers and Martin Wood and it was a slow progression, we talked about how best to shoot it, to shoot it with green screen which was exciting and straight to the net was exciting. then we shot a trailer and after that we talked about it and shot
Amanda Tapping: then there was a lott of meetings which were total out of my realm of normal life, but I learnt alot. Then we did the pilot and I got to be involved inc asting. Day to day my role was more of an actor, but I got to be on set all the time
Amanda Tapping: I was on set all the time and also involved in editing, looking at all the edits. It's alot of work before the fact and after the fact
Amanda Tapping: there's a lot of scenes and work that goes into it
Amanda Tapping: I love the concept and I love the character... she's very cool!
Amanda Tapping: Helen is very eccentric, let's put that out there. she' lived a long time and she's seen alot and has incredible perspective on life
Amanda Tapping: also it's nice to have a different look after 10 years of looking basically the same.. so it's nice to have a idfferent look, differe voice, different walk
ATC_UberAmandaFan: There's an interesting story behind how you got to become an EP. Could you share it with us?
Amanda Tapping: it's interesting being the only woman in a room full of men and trying to keep the agenda straight where everyone has something 'important' they have to share
Amanda Tapping: they all wanted to get their agendas on the table so as the only woman I had to keep them going.. I kept bringing the meeting back to focus
Amanda Tapping: so after that they asked if I would be EP
Amanda Tapping: I took it very seriously.. I thought I've gotta earn my stripes here and I think I have
Amanda Tapping: also there's a possibility of me directing sanctuary just hope the show goes :)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Excellent! Fans asked about that too...whether you'd have a chance to direct either in Sanctuary or SGA.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: These are a few random questions about you, your career and your family.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Conny asks: Psychologists say that dreams are a way to process what happened during the day. Therefore my question is: Do you sometimes dream that you are Sam Carter/ in the SGC/ on a mission or something like that?
Amanda Tapping: I dream more that I'm Amanda on set... lol which says to me I spend far too much time at work!
ATC_Sandy: The episode Window of Opportunity gave Jack and Teal'c a chance to repeat the same day countless times. With that in mind...
ATC_Sandy: Sofie asks...if you could relive a day over and over again without consequences, what would you do?
Amanda Tapping: Wow.. that's huge!
Amanda Tapping: My first day of high school... the day after Olivia was born, to relive that moment.
Amanda Tapping: and the rest would be censored
Amanda Tapping: that which does not kill us makes stronger
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Indeed. ;)
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Many people wanted a small glimpse into life at home. Catherine asks: what is your favourite thing about Olivia B.? And an anonymous poster asks: Are George and Olivia running you ragged yet? A puppy and a small child... don't you wish you could bottle that kind of energy? How do they get along?
Amanda Tapping: fav thing about olivia is her sense of humour. She has cutest voice, seh talks non-stop and she's very articulate. George an olivia get along very well, he's a big dopey boy and she bossy, so they get along really well
Amanda Tapping: ga
ATC_Sandy: And lastly...because yes, our chat is almost finished... time goes quickly when you're having fun folks !
ATC_Sandy: writes: You have various websites, artists and writers using your characters in their work and you obviously bring joy to many people. Does that affect how you do things at all?
ATC_Sandy: that question was from Amelia.
Amanda Tapping: it does affect how I do things in some way in that I'm aware of the repurcussions of how things are perfcieved. I'm aware of how incredibly generous my fans have been adn I don't want to let me down, so it affects me in that way. That's the god's honest truth
Amanda Tapping: oops I don't want to let them down....
Amanda Tapping: Note: Penny can't type!! it's 4am and Penny can't type :)
ATC_Sandy: LOL ! We knew that already, ;)
ATC_Sandy: We would also like to thank you, Amanda, for the amazing ten years you have given us of Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1. We wish you great success in life and in your career and look forward to seeing more of your future endeavors.
ATC_UberAmandaFan: Any last thoughts you'd like to share with the gang while we have you here Amanda?
Amanda Tapping: Thankyou so much to everyone, from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Thankyou for coming in from all the different timezones. You guys rock!!
Amanda Tapping: My love to you all
ATC_Sandy: Alright folks, we'll now open up the chat so you can say goodbye to amanda!
mimi: I'm soooooo happy, we love you too
AlaskaLiesl: Bye thanks
DanielGermany: Big Thanks to Amanda ! We love you !
Fairy: Thank you Amanda *huggles*
DebatingTracy: Thank you for coming, Amanda. Take care & good luck with Sanctuary, Atlantis and everything else! My goodness, can the girl multitask! Bye!
vipra_malta: you are a great role model for me.... 10x for taking time to chat with us – Daniela
SLICE OF SCI FI MARCH 7
Interviewer: Welcome back to Slice of SciFi. I'm Michael R. Mennenga, I'm Summer Brooks and I am Tim Adamec.
Summer Brooks: And today we have with us Amanda Tapping who is the star of the new internet series Sanctuary and Damian Kindler who is the writer/creator of the series. Welcome to the show, people.
Amanda: Thank you.
Damian Kindler: Thanks a lot.
SB: I received this very intriguing email telling me all about Sanctuary and I was teased enough to want to know more and there isn't a whole lot more out there yet for me to see so I want to congratulate you for a very, very successful tease.
Amanda: Thank you.
SB: So if you could - well first tell us how this project got started and Amanda tell us how you just hop in on it.
Amanda: Well I'll let Damian explain how it got started 'cause this is his creative baby.
DK: Uh, OK ... Well let's see, there's long and short versions I mean the short version really is Sanctuary was a script I wrote about seven years ago to be honest. I just wrote it ... I wrote it after having lunch with my agent in LA and her saying you know look we need another writing sample from you. That's what writers are all under pressure to have, is another sample and it's always a sample that's not what you're associated with. So for instance ... you know lately it'll be like, "We need something that's not Stargate, you've got a million Stargate scripts, so what do you have that's not Stargate?" They're always looking for something you don't have, which is always frustrating and she said, "Well, why don't you write a pilot script for yourself for a show that you'd like to see." So I did and then I think it was not long after that was all said and done that I was working onStargate and so Sanctuary sat on my hard drive for literally six years until I showed it to Martin Wood, who is the director who shot the pilot and he directed the pilot and he's one of the top directors in the Stargate franchise and he ran around the room like the little kid, "This is great, we gotta do it!"and da-da-da and that coincided with putting together an initiative to get high quality entertainment up on the web and open sourced it to get out from under the yoke of restrictive studios and networks who sometimes are wonderful to work with and are sometimes horrifying to work with so you know the only way I can put it is to sort of cap it off is that is one of these - the past year has been this amazing synchronicity of you know timing, material, talent and you know access to what we needed to get this done. The script was there, Martin loved it, the people behind the technology of getting this up and running were available and eager and Amanda Tapping said yes to the role. She was the only, there was like one choice and it was her and if she'd said no we would probably have stuck it back in my hard drive. So here we are and that's sort of the broad strokes of how it all came to pass.
Interviewer: Well, you kinda touched on it a little bit and I wanted you to elaborate on this kinda a little more. You decided to take this direct to the internet and not shop it around. Was that the decision from the beginning?
DK: Yeah. Actually, it's interesting what happened is I ah - it all started, actually, ironically with going on a little day ski trip with a buddy of mine...he had no affiliation with Stargate, he was actually a Vice President of some very big titles over at Electronic Arts, which is the other big industry in Vancouver is video games. And he'd been in Electronic Arts for 14 years he'd overseen FIFA soccer franchise and Marvel Nemesis and Defjam Vendetta and some really cool games and he's a really neat guy. He had a completely different spin on entertainment and his name is Marc Aubanel and he is one of the founders of Stage 3 Media the production company that's making Sanctuary. And so Marc and I went skiing and we started sharing information. He had just left Electronic Arts and I was still working on Stargate and Atlantis and we were just chatting. We spent the day comparing notes about our industries. We saw the good sides and the bad sides and what began to take shape by lunch time was, "What if there is another way to do it using the internet and what is the internet going to be." And this is to put it in context...you know Amanda can testify to this... this is before YouTube was sold to Google, this is before everybody was putting everything on the net. It's been a very heady crazy bell curve kinda year for stuff going on to the internet. A year ago it wasn't as you know there wasn't the media there is now and Marc and I began to put together this theory of how it could be done and he said at the end of the day, I said, look why don't I bring the best and the brightest from the TV-side over and you bring the best and the brightest from the gaming, web and interactive side over and let's put everyone in a room and it'll be like you know cats in a bag. They'll either tear each other apart or start licking each other and having fun. And you know we had a bit of both, "No, No you guys are wasting money doing that," and, "No, no, you guys don't understand the audience" and we're, "Yeah, but that's cool, that's cool," and finally it all became very much a love-in and then it only became a question of what's the project and once we'd realised, I mean we'd bandied about other concepts but once we pulled out Sanctuary and realised that sci-fi is the absolute hard core nexus of what the net is doing and going. I mean literally there's only two places where the net, two genres where technology breaks ground with entertainment and that's pornography and SciFi.
Interviewer: Well, hopefully this is as successful.
DK: And, well, you know some people don't do porn and we decided to go with SciFi because it's what we know how to do. (laughing)
SB: So Amanda, he just showed you the script and said, "Please, please?" And you said, "Oh yeah"?
Amanda: He and Martin sent me the script and I read it and I think within ... I read it very quickly because I thought it was such an amazing script and literally within minutes I was on the phone to Damian saying, "Oh my God! This is amazing please let me play this part," and he said, "We're hoping you will," and I said, "I'm hoping you'll cast me," and so that was a little love-in. And it was just so different, the concept was different, the characters were different than what I had been playing for the last 10 years. Even in that initial conversation Damian and I talked about her look, her style and you know her whole demeanour and I just thought this is just too cool to pass up. And the timing worked out in terms of being in between the filming seasons for Stargateso it all came together very nicely... Go ahead, creative man.
DK: Can I just add to what you're saying? It's one of those things where when once you've shot two hours of footage and you just look back and you realise that it was absolutely meant to be Amanda Tapping's next incarnation ah next iconic role because although it is so completely different than Carter, for instance that technical stuff that was going on with the problems you were having beforehand, Carter might have been able to help you but Magnus would have been helpless.
Amanda: There was a little Carter side of me that wanted to help out there.
Interviewer: How hard was it for you to separate these two characters?
Amanda: Very easy. They are so completely different.
Amanda: Yeah. I've been walking around in Carter's army boots for 10 years and I'm very comfortable with her and I understand her and so Magnus was just a challenge as an actor. I felt revitalised in a lot of ways and she is just completely, completely different. Not at all the same character, so it was very easy to make the switch because there was no weird crossover.
Interviewer: Can you tell us a little about her story?
Amanda: Well, she's 157 years old and looking pretty damn good!! She's a doctor in Victorian England and basically took over her father's practice. Wherein he brings in these disparate abnormal creatures from around the world which is reviled by society and creates a sanctuary for them and studies them and creates a safe haven but also studies them for scientific reasons believing that they are in fact the evolution of our species. She takes over that practice basically and there's a big danger factor involved and there's big intrigue and adventure factor involved but it is also from a scientific perspective, that's where she gets jazzed. And a 150 years down the road she has a daughter who is now a part of that process helping her collect these creatures and she hires a young psychiatrist to help her. Part of the curse of living 157 years and not aging is that the people she has working with her get old and die and she has to replace them so Will the character played by Robin Dunne is her latest psychiatrist to come along to the Sanctuary team so ...
DK: And not all of our proteges die in pretty ways.
Amanda: Right, oops.
DK: They often die strangely and oddly so it's not fun boots to fill.
Interviewer: As it's supposed to be.
Interviewer: I was just going to ask, as you're filming this, is there a large difference how you approach filming this new stuff for the web versus how you do with say Stargate or one of the other shows?
Amanda: Yeah, we're shooting it entirely on green screen so all of our sets and all of our big pieces and our mattes and everything are all basically we're shooting with a table and chair would be on set or a door but other than that it's all left up to the imagination and interpretation of our computer graphics department. The physicality of filming it is completely different.
Interviewer: Well, I guess that's the thing you kind of have an idea onStargate and Atlantis of what things look like, working on this kind of green screen, do you have any idea what the creatures are going to look like before hand or is that all done in post concept?
Amanda: No, we have renderings to look at before hand. We have a pretty clear idea where we're going and what the hallways going to look like and what the doorway is going to look like and what creatures we're looking at and what the lab is going to look like. But it's a lab and it's huge. Sanctuary itself is an abandoned church and then down in the gunnels of this church and it's huge, it's absolutely massive like stories-high laboratory and ...
DK: It's one of the things that is going to make Sanctuary very different. There's so many ... you can have a long list of the reasons why it's different conceptually but also technologically. I mean we were using ... and this is what happens when you mash up technological experts from different parts of media, we were using 3D computer imaging for our pre-vis which was tied directly to the head of the cameras so that we could literally go behind a monitor and see the camera moving with actors on it with the partially rendered backgrounds already in place and moving in 3D real time which we had people coming from all over Vancouver checking out the way we were using this new technology. We shot on High Definition tape but the tape was only backup, we mainly shot tapelessly and direct to hard drive in High Definition. There was a lot of technological firsts, a massive amount of pre vis is done you really know you're kind of doing your post before hand so in post you're actually executing the rest of the plan. So the whole the two hour shoot was such a huge treat for a lot of people involved because it was a very new way of working and a lot of people are believing it's the future of the way genre programmes are going to be shot. Either features, series or webcasts or what have you because we're going to create looks and places that you just couldn't go to on location. You know we're not going to the same British Columbia looking like treed forests and planets of Stargate. We're doing what 300 did like they shot their entire movie inside one big gigantic soundstage.
Interviewer: Or it's reminding me of Sky Captain world of tomorrow.
DK: It is in a way and Sin City.
SB: So what are your ideas for expanding in the gaming and the social networking, like are people in Second Life going to be able to open the door and take a peek at the castle or is there going to be a full game where you try to be one of the new employees and not die? (laughs)
DK: You know, that stuff is all going to have a natural evolution. We have a basic plan that's being based into the way it's going to be released. Where there'll be social networking and gaming and interactivity and 3D movement through elements of the programme and lots of assets that are going to be released for people to use, avatars of monsters and you'll be able to, you know, take stuff and do your own green screen mashups all sorts of fun things and that's just the beginning. Where it goes from there is based on how much people using these and what ways they are using them and what are the limits of our technology and how fast can we build together, you know, online virtual interactive worlds for people to play in because that's the next level of suturing in, you know, dramatic entertainment that's so malleable that people can be a part of it as opposed to just passive viewers and then having to post forums and stuff. We want to take it to the next level there, so...
SB: Last question, the website is www.sanctuaryforall.com and when will people be able to view the first episode?
DK: The tentative schedule is to roll out ... now let's just clarify a few things, there's going to be eight webisodes.
DK: Yeah, there's going to be a full two hours of stories, we shot a full two hour pilot, so we're going to be releasing eight webisodes that are roughly, approximately 15 minutes per webisode and the first of those webisodes is set to go live sometime in May. But between now and then we're going to be releasing a lot of assets. We're going to be showing, we're going to be releasing concept art, there's a blog you can be watching, and there's going to be a lot of information about the show that's going to be rolled out bit by bit. There'll be a smaller trailer then there'll be a longer version more involved trailer that will give you a sense of the world that you're going to be seeing and you're going to get a real sense of what the show is bit by bit. But let me put it this way, the fans are really going to have to want to, we're not going to spoonfeed it to people. People who want to know about the show are going to come and find it in all sorts of interesting places on the web and the site www.sanctuaryforall.com will be the base platform for all that information that is slowly being put out and it will all lead to the launch in May.
Interviewer: Wow, that's excellent.
SB: That sounds amazing.
Interviewer: I want to hear more but we are completely out of time.
Amanda: We'll have a lot more to tell you in a couple of months maybe.
SB: I think we'll be bringing them back for an update very soon.
SB: Well thank you, Amanda and Damian, for your time this morning.
Amanda: Thank you.
DK: Thanks so much.
GENEROSITY CHANGES LIVES
KITCHEN MAKER SPRING
KITCHEN MAKER SPRING
ONE weekend in November, Kitchen Maker witnessed an amazing event. A small group of people, no more than 300 in number, managed to raise a grand total of 21,865 GBP for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People - and that had not even been the main reason for their coming together. So, what had inspired such overwhelming generosity from a group of people?
When Gabit Events had begun organising quality scifi events the previous year, it had done so with the intention of also providing an opportunity to raise funds for good causes. After considerable research, organiser, Julia Hague and her team, together with special guest speaker, Canadian actress, Amanda Tapping, had selected Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as the charity for their event in October 2005.
Everyone was thrilled to have raised over 5,800 GBP on this occasion - enough to provide for the training of one dog and over 800 GBP to spare - and, when Amanda was invited back for an event in November 2006, the decision was made to attempt to at least equal the previous year's figure.
Instead, around four times as much has been raised: enough to provide for the training of four dogs and thus significantly change the lives of four deaf people for the better.
With the help of Selina Gibsone and her dog, Kai, a Finnish Laphund demonstration hearing dog, Hearing Dogs head of public relations, Jenny Moir demonstrated to those at the event the benefits that a hearing dog can bring. When an alarm clock goes off, a hearing dog will gently wake its owner. A hearing dog will alert its owner to the sound of a doorbell, or a telephone (which can then be connected to a Minicom unit), or can inform an owner that another family member, perhaps in another room, wants their attention.
On these occasions, the dog will lead its owner to the source of the sound. A hearing dog will recognise the sound of a smoke alarm, or fire alarm and will still find its owner, but this time will drop to the floor and lie down. In this way, neither dog nor human finds itself walking unwittingly into danger.
Dogs are matched to their eventual recipients as early as possible, so that they can become accustomed to the sounds present in what will become their home.
Ian Joyce was also introduced to the audience, along with his dog, Hettie. In his first experience at public speaking, Ian explained the difference Hettie had made to his life.
Although he had been born profoundly deaf, Ian had, to all intents and purposes, grown up as a hearing person, using a hearing aid in each ear.
His life changed radically through a series of ear infections, which began when he was in his late twenties. Medication and a series of operations failed to provide a solution: in the end, he was simply told that he should not wear his hearing aids. No other option was offered to him by the medical professionals.
Overnight, Ian found himself cut off from hearing society, from friends and family, as well as from music. As he had grown up using hearing aids, he had no experience of using sign language and no deaf friends. He described the feelings of isolation and depression that this brought him.
There were also practical implications. By way of an example, if a tradesman was expected to arrive at 10am, but failed to appear until 1pm, he would spend up to three hours simply looking out of his window, afraid that if he left his position, the tradesman would call while he was elsewhere and end up going away, believing no one was home.
With Hettie coming into his life, all this was changed. Once more, he felt able to interact with others, as well as benefiting from the companionship that Hettie brought him: a joy that was evident in the way he described her to his audience.
Now, he was working to ensure that others would also benefit from the companionship of a hearing dog.
Various hearing dogs were at the venue all weekend and they were so well behaved that, if you were not looking at them, you would not have known they were there. Attendees at the event were encouraged to go up and greet the dogs, to aid their socialisation, this process, meeting such truly wonderful creatures, may well have helped in the fundraising effort!
When Kitchen Maker spoke to Jenny Moir on the Sunday afternoon, she was aware that two dogs could be sponsored and said that these would be Iris, who had been introduced to Gabit as a puppy the previous year, and Iris's brother, Ives.
She was considering who would be a good candidate, should enough be raised to sponsor a third dog, unaware that a fourth dog would need to be nominated as well.
Kitchen Maker encourages everybody to give generously, not only to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, but to the many other charities doing good work in this world this Easter time.