Now that 2011 has expired, it is time to look back at the year that was. I didnt travel too much this year, but that was ok, as elite names were roaming the streets of Vancouver throughout the year... now only if I had ran into some of them.
20 - Ellen Degeneres
I managed to get the talk show icon twice on her trip to Vancouver, including the 1st autograph I got in which I had to run 4 blocks to get after being given up to the second info on where she was. Few if any autographs I got this year took more energy out of me than that 1st 1 I got from her. Next day, she signed again and was happy to do it.
19 - Axl Rose
For a long time, I had heard nothing but horror stories about the lead singer for Guns N Roses. So I was not eager to go for him. However, this past time thru Vancouver, not only did the band actually play the show they came here to play, but Axl was even a willing signer. Pretty much anyone that went for him here got him.
18 - Simon Pegg
While here for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Mr. Pegg was the most often seen of the films stars. Whether it was at the airport, his hotel or the movie theatre, the Hot Fuzz star signed whatever was asked more often than not.
17 - Henry Cavill
The new Superman has been very good here so far. Although he is strict about limiting his autograph to 1 per person each time you see him, he has still been terrific in the interactions people have had with him.
16 - Cast of Sanctuary
Never had a bad experience with this cast, this year was no different. Whether it was at the Leo Awards, the airport or a charity event, each member of the cast was exceptional.
15 - Cast of The Secret Circle
This cast could have made the top 10, if it werent for 1 exceptionally bitter & sour life hating senior cast member of the show. That exception aside...the rest of the cast has been terrific with us.
14- Matt Barr & Aly Michalka
I miss Hellcats. Not just because of the campy cheerleader drama storylines. But because 2 of the nicer celebs we have had in Vancouver in a long time left when the show did. While some other cast members were a lot less thrilled to interact with fans during the shows 1 year run, Matt & Aly were as accomodating & friendly as you can expect. Class acts.
13- Cast Of Supernatural
Much like Ms. Torv from Fringe, the cast of Supernatural, whether its Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver or the recurring characters of the show have been quite good to us Vancouverites when we run into them. Long as the regulars respect the no asking them on set policy, they are more than receptive to signing and chatting with us away from set when we see them.
12 - Leo Awards
This years award ceremony for BC film industry was not as spectacular as past ones I had hounded. Much of that was because of an unexpected change of venue & the loss of 1 or 2 shows since last year. Still, a list of names came out that made the effort worthwhile.
11 - Amy Adams
I had heard that Ms. Adams was a very willing signer, but till I saw it for myself, I didnt understand just how good she was. She willingly signed for everyone till there was nothing left out there to sign. She did it too with a smile. Wish all movie stars could have that level of appreciation.
10 - Booboo Stewart, Myanna Buring, Julia Jones, Guri Weinberg
This past year, the final installment of the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 was filmed here. In the years prior, some of the bigger names in the film were at times, pretty decent signers. This year however, there was VERY FEW great interactions with the cast. The names above were the very few I can say were outstanding. Considering how massive the cast was, its sad you can count the great experiences on 1 hand. Not to say ALL the others were terrible, but that they didnt neccesarily stand out as great.
9- Cast Of Fringe
The cast of the hit FOX show Fringe is generally friendly (the occasional grumpy Mr. Noble encounter not withstanding) the true star from a fan interaction aspect is usually Anna Torv in past years. Despite seeing the regulars probably 100+ times combined over the shows run here, she still willingly signs for us, even at the absurd time of 5:30 AM. This season, Seth Gabel became a regular and skyrocketed up along side his Fringe co-star for terrific interactions. Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole & others are terrific as well.
8 - John Schneider
Although from an excitement standpoint, getting Mr. Schneider wasnt overly high for me (I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan..but not a massive fan), it was how wonderfully personable he was each & every time that won me over. My 1st interaction with him was 1 of the rare "I wasnt expecting that" situations where we were at the airport for persons unrelated, and saw a sign for him there. Knowing he was coming in for an episode eventually, we waited to see if it was him, it was. He happily signed then. Seeing him 2 more times after, he was just as gracious each time after, even at the Smallville wrap party, where some of the bigger stars were nothing short of rude, Mr. Schneider was 1 of the ones that made the fans waiting out there happy.
7 - Cast Of Once Upon A Time
Usually when new TV shows roll into town, odds are someone on the cast thinks more of themselves than they actually are. Not so with the cast of the new ABC fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Each & every cast member I have met has been terrific with interacting with the fans & the pros. It was the overall attitude of this cast that made me hope for it to do well...I'm glad it is succeeding, this cast deserves it.
6- Sharlto Copley
The District 9 star is simply, awesome. How awesome is he with fans? After a flight that was the better part of a day, he stopped, chatted with fans at the airport, did photos with, and even cracked a few jokes. So awesome he did an autograph session for a local African import store "African Breese Imports" just because they asked...and at the autograph session, he had no qualms signing stacks for fans, collectors or dealers alike. One guy plopped down 30 or so photos, Sharlto went thru the entire stack, not once groaning about doing it and thanked the guy for coming afterwards.
5- Callum Blue
Being a huge Dead Like Me fan, I still get a bit excited when I meet any of the cast. This past year, I had a 4th (or 5th?) chance to meet Callum Blue. He was in town reprising his Smallville role as Zod. What made this meeting stand out more than others prior though was how it went down. I first learned he was going to be coming back..I then contacted him thru a site I knew he was a member of that I too was a member of. He replied back with when he was coming. I then tried, several times, but without success, to cross paths with him naturally. So I gave him another message & he told me what day he would be off. So I tried that day, called his room & he answered & came right down. In the pouring rain, he stood, signed, and chatted with my friend & I for several minutes.
4- Chloe Moretz
At 2010 TIFF I had Ms. Moretz high on my list of people to get...but she cancelled. This year however, Hit Girl was there, and made up for the year long wait. One of the best signers at TIFF. Even with volunteers telling her she had to go, she still kept signing.
3- TIFF - The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Individually, several of the events from Tiff could make this list, and a couple I did list individually. But for the mostpart, the entire event of the Toronto International Film Festival falls under 1 event for me. So thus, why it is going here. This years fest was certainly my most successful from a star power aspect, and total wise, it was close to my best. Stars like George Clooney, Megan Fox, Madonna, Nicolas Cage & Ryan Gosling made the event quite successful for me. It was the newer names I wasnt as faimiliar with before going that made some of the more cool moments though, like Chris Pratt, Ezra Miller, Dominic Monaghan and Sarah Bolger who all made me fans of them with the way they handled their attention.
2 - Tom Cruise
While I did get a disappointingly low total of 2 autographs from someone I was told "signs everything", a lot of that wasnt any fault of his or really mine either. It was just dumb luck. Still, I managed to get 2 from him, which was still 2 more than most hounds in Vancouver got from him. The 1 and only night outside the trade & convention center unfortunately turned out to be the 1 and only chance Vancouverites got to get the Mission Impossible star. He made the waiting worth it though, as Mr. Cruise strolled over to a crowd of 20-30 people (which swelled to 75-100 when extras & crew came over too) around midnight & did a 20-30 minute meet & greet with fans, taking photos & signing autographs. Each interaction he made feel special, he asked fans to make sure their photos turned out and even acknowledged autograph requests with a level of respect, and not just a "ugh, fine" mentality to it.
No disrespect to Mr. Cruise, but at the end of the day, a rare, hard to obtain signature is a bigger deal on average than a classy, easier to obtain star.
Anytime you get someone of Madonna's level of fame, its probably going to make your best list. The Material Girl has been known for quite awhile as, at best, an unwilling signer. However, when you are promoting a movie you directed & has been panned by many critics, you are on your best behaviour.
That is what fans in Toronto got when the pop icon was there to promote W.E. this past Summer for TIFF.
Madonna signed probably 75-100 autographs on the red carpet, and signed at dinner a bit later after her event as well.
Some honorable mentions should go out to the likes of Patrick Gilmore, Rose McGowan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Ben Cotton & Lyndsy Fonseca.
So, that concludes 2011. Some amazing successes for me. Granted, there was some downright failures as well. I somehow never got Matt Damon despite him being here for 2-3 months. All my Saoirse Ronan autographs were ruined by an ugly fading silver sharpie. I missed Robert DeNiro AGAIN by mere inches, and same with Brad Pitt this time.
Who will grace the list at the end of 2012? Going into 2011, there wasnt a lot of "sure things" I could see making the list. To be honest, most of the list is a complete surprise, simply because I didnt know going into 2011 these people would cross my paths.
On June 28, 2011 a couple things happened in my life.
One was less than interesting, as it was my birthday. Which I really am indifferent to, and frankly want to ignore...especially since I woke up with a slight scratchy feeling in my throat that day, and its since progressed into some type of cold/fever... which I am currently pushing thru to get this blog done.
On the bright side. I also uncovered the official location of the Dead Like Me restaraunt "Der Waffle Haus".
Yeah I know, lots of fans had the impression it was all in studio...and for episodes 2 thru the duration of its run, it was. A soundstage that MGM ran. But for the pilot episode, it was a different place. An on location place.
When I originally realized this, several years ago (not when it first came on air... I joined in after its 2 season run was already done) I picked up on some details immediately. 1- There was a KFC across the street. 2- Trolley buses go by there...something that most of Vancouver & its outskirts DONT have. Theres probably a dozen or so trolley bus routes in Vancouver. 3- It was on a major street. Something that was at least 2 lanes across each direction.
For a couple years, I had given up finding it. I had googled all the KFCs in Vancouver and none of them seemed to stand out as a possible match. Yesterday, I was again drawn into this mystery by a simple notification from facebook telling me the Dead Like Me page on there had been updated. Like several others I was drawn in to talking about the show again in the various posts on the board.
A post about where Georgia got torpedoed by the toilet seat drew me in. I responded to tell those in the thread where that spot was...then follow up posts had people asking about the location of Der Waffle haus. As usual, the simple answer that it was a studio location was brought up, once again, I knew that was infact false for the pilot.
I was determined, like I have been several times prior....to prove the Der Waffle Haus was an On Location spot somewhere. I re-watched the pilot, especially the parts where they were in the DWH. The night scene verified my old assumptions of there being a KFC close & a trolley bus going by. It was however, when I watched the daytime scene where they had "banana bonanzas all around" I clued in.... I'VE BEEN THERE! In fact, I for awhile, was a semi-regular there. How I didnt notice a hotel in the background on the day shoot in my previous attempts I dunno. The original KFC that was tip 1 back then has long since been closed & re-opened as a Starbucks. I was 99.9% sure this was the locale....now only to prove it.
I hopped on the bus (a trolley bus funny enough) & took the 10-12 min bus ride thru East Vancouver to my destination. As soon as I got off the bus, I knew it....now, to get some photo proof. I walked inside, and sat down. My lack of immediate material to guide me made me sit 1 booth off from where I assumed If only I had the common sense to watch a clip on youtube on the blackberry I had in my pocket before sitting down.
The booths still had the blue seats you see in the pilot. Where the daytime scene is done is almost right inside the door. In the pilot it was behind a wall...which till a couple yrs ago, actually used to still be there...but has since then been taken down. There was 2 sets of booths, I picked the wrong set lol. As I perused a menu I was already familiar with, I asked the waitress if anyone had been working here over 7 yrs, she said she had. I asked her if they filmed anything in here back then, she said "we've had several things done here". My 1st hope for solid confirmation was dashed. I proceeded in photographing different angles & things, like the Starbucks, the hotel across the street, a trolley bus going by & of course, 1 of the booths...which I thought at the time was THEIR booth for the daytime scene...but as it turns out, was not, but shows a part of it to the side where Roxy & Georgia would have sat.
I walked around mostly empty restaraunt after my meal looking for where the night scene was shot...as it turns out, I wasnt even close. Like the daytime shoot, I missed the night time shoot table by 1 table. I will likely go back when I am feeling better & get shots of the proper locations....but for now, the mystery thats befuddled an entire fanbase for years, where is "Der Waffle Haus" has been found.
I welcome you to the diner "Tom & Jerry's" at the corner of Hastings St & Kaslo St in Vancouver... just 1 block west of the entrance for the PNE.
I used to eat here a fair bit when the prices were cheap. For quite awhile, its had the same name...certainly been T&Js since before DLM shot there. Its changed gimmicks several times over the years, not that long ago, it was an "everything on the menu under $10" place, and for its price...was adequate. Then, they started pushing the prices up. Now the menu has gone up anywhere from 20-70% on some items, but the quality hasnt matched the raise in price.
For nostalgia. Sure, go there just to say you have been. The staff is friendly enough. The food just isnt up to the average price of $15 that it now has. Sadly, they dont have a banana bonanza on the menu....maybe if enough people go in & order it, it will exist.
I spent a LOT of hours digging this info up over the years. Its sad that it actually was a place I have frequeneted probably 50+ times over the years since then. I used to do occasional google searches to see if someone else had a clue, and no one ever got it...yet everyone asked about it. It was my own personal birthday gift to myself....and hopefully, some of you die hard fans will enjoy it too.
Last night was the Gala event for the 13th annual Leo Awards. The best of British Columbia's TV & movie industry gathered to hand out their top awards. This years event was held at the Hotel Vancouver, after a scheduling change prevented them from holding it at their usual place, the Westing Bayshore. With the change in venue came a few challenges.
The most notable challenge was the red carpet set up on Georgia street. In the past, at the Bayshore, the carpet was set up along a very quiet and spacious sidewalk along side the hotels convention centre. This set up was great for everyone involved, as it was spacious & well lit with natural light when it is sunny. This year however, the red carpet was set up on the sidewalk of a mains treet that dozens of people use every minute. The carpet itself took up about 2/3 of the sidewalk, leaving a slim 3-5 ft ledge for fans & onlookers, uncredited media, autograph hounds & passer bys to navigate, with a lane of a busy thoroughfare just behind them. Thankfully for the awards there was no incidents with traffic hitting any people, despite many people, myself included, occasionally using the 1st lave of the street to walk in.
The cast of "Sanctuary" was the front & centre draw of the television side of the awards for the mostpart. With the loss of "Stargate Universe" this year, the gang from Sanctuary made up a lot larger portion of this years TV representation. SGU did have 1 representitive there, Jennifer Spence, a nominee for Best supprting actress in a drama, but failed to win, losing out to Lucia Walters from "Life Unexpected" in their 1 & only nomination as well. Ryan Robbins did bring home a solo award for the Sanctuary cast in the Best Supporting male category.
Many of the more notable Vancouver based shows won some awards as well. Fox sci-fi hit "Fringe" lead all TV shows in wins with 3 (tied with Sanctuary) for Cinematogray, Production design & best guest actor for Michael Eklund. "Supernatural" won for best visual effect. "Smallville" won for best program in its final season. "Human Target" won for best stunt co-ordinator.
Smaller shows like "Blackstone", wich won 2 awards walked away with the more notable awards for TV acting. Carmen Moore won the best actress award. The best actor went to Callum Keith Rennie from "Shattered"
In the movie side of the awards, "Gunless" walked away with 4 awards including best prgraom, cinematography, production design & stunt co-ordinator. "Altitude", "Transparency" & "Fathers & Sons" won 2 awards each, the latter taking home best supporting actor Jay Brazeau. Several movies snagged 1 award each, including "Life, Above All", "Amazon Falls" which April Telek took best lead actress, "Tucker And Dale VS Evil" which Tyler Labine took best lead actor & "Repeaters" which Alexia Fast took best supporting actress for.
Other notable winners were Paul McGillion for best lead actor in a short drama movie "A Fine Young Man" (which lead the way with 4 wins in that section..including best program), Shirley Broderikc for best actress in a short drama "The Closer You Get To Canada". "Mighty Jerome" won 4 awards, including best documentary program. "The Haunting Hour" won 4 awards as well in best youth or childrens program, including best show & best performance for Richard Harmon.
"Hiccups" had 5 wins, including best comedy program & best performance for Nancy Robertson, that was the most of anyone at the awards.
Below are some pics of the presenterrs, nominees & winners as they arrived for the awards.
Pictured "Blood & Chrome" & "Hellcats" star Ben Cotton. "The Listener" star Lauren Lee Smith, "Robson Arms" star Gabrielle Rose, "Intelligence", "Smallville" & "Alice I Think" star Michael Eklund, "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" & "Reaper" star Tyler Labine, "The Killing" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Brandon Jay McLaren with "Whistler" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Jesse Moss, "Wolf Canyon", "Harpers Island" & "Health Nutz" star Ali Liebert, "90210" star Dustin Milligan, "Smallville" star MacKenzie Gray, "Robson Arms", "Supernatural" & "Amazon Falls" star April Telek, "Stargate Universe" & "The 4400" star Jennifer Spence with "Kingdom Hospital" star Ben Ratner, "Twilight Saga Eclipse" "Kingdom Hospital" & "Dead Like Me" star Jodelle Ferland, "Charlie St Cloud" & "Whistler" star Amanda Crew, "Sanctuary" "Stargate SGI & Atlantis" star Amanda Tapping, "Sanctuary" "Dawsons Creek" & "Dead Like Me" star Robin Dunne, "Sanctuary" & "Dan For Mayor" star Agam Darshi.
One of the perks of what I do is, when someone comes to town from something I really like, I have a better than average chance of meeting them. Those odds are multiplied when you have an inside line on how to contact them.
Recently this was the case when DEAD LIKE ME's Mason & current SMALLVILLE baddie Callum Blue came to town to reprise his role of Zod.
As a huge DLM fan, I am always a bit giddy when the prospect of seeing a former castmate from the show arises. I've now met Callum on 4 (or is it 5?) different occasions, including while grocery shopping once, and hes always been relaxed, cool & easy to chat with, and this time was no different.
Callum chatted with my friend & I about a literal plethora of categories, from the death of DLM, to the weather, to not drinking, to his sudden curiousity to check out the cheerleader driven Tom Welling produced drama Hellcats. Basically, the man was a fountain of chatter.
When I asked him if he had any other projects on the go, he mentioned his next project he will work on after finishing with Smallville will be over in England called "Happy Musical" (directed by Andrew Le Pera) which will be an independant film.
He also has two upcoming projects.
"Colombiana" (in theatres this September) directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) which stars Zoe Saldana as an assassin out for revenge after seeing her parents killed as a kid.
"Super Tanker" (made for TV movie for Syfy) with a still unknown release date that I couldnt find much more info on at this time.
Oddly, the 1 thing I didnt really ask him about, was his role in Smallville. In my original contact with him to find out when he was coming, he told me he was coming for episode 20. However, he also came in a couple days later than originally planned and left a bit later than originally planned... so who knows if that is in fact which episode he was here for. Mathematically, it about adds up... but as Smallville dans already know, they have filmed other peoples roles out of order to conform to the entertainers schedules, so perhaps he is in the finale as well? Guess you all will just have to watch to find out. In the meantime, heres a few pics from him while he was here.
But it will take even more luck & work than even the likes of the characters have had in surviving as many near deaths as they have.
Last month, a post made by a site called deadline.com stated that Syfy, a station allegedly for science-fiction television, was going to cancel 1 of the few shows, on their quickly depleting list of original programs.
Stargate Universe (aka- SGU) cast & crew learned this news not thru a phone call, but a tweet. A 140 character or less update on their livelyhoods & careers. While the utter lack of class Syfy station has shown to their possible former employees is appalling, and should be a red flag warning sign to anyone who in the future thinks of working on a project for them, what is actually more disturbing is that they let this news slip out to a website to tell the world first. They didnt even have the respect, decency or professionalism to tell those who it affects themselves. They let a website tell it, then later used a 140 character or less post on twitter to confirm it. It really makes you wonder how Syfy president Dave Howe was ever given the job if this is how he handles such major issues.
The amazing part is that the station has currently 6 actual sci-fi style original program shows to its list. Of it, there is really only 3 they have that can without question say they outperform SGU at this time.
"Being Human" 1st season- Unproven
"Caprica" Already Cancelled
"Eureka" which started with 4.1M for the shows premiere episode, and is down to 2.5M now in its 4th season.
"Haven" in only its first season Unproven.
"Sanctuary" one show that has managed to capture an audience.
"Warehouse 13" which started with a 3.5M opening & has dropped off to 2.4M for its S2 closing.
While the numbers for SGU are below that of Eureka, Sanctuary & Warehouse 13, the fact still remains that Syfy had very few shows they can call their own & are often filling their television voids with marathons of shows that fans have very likely watched already, dont care for specifically, or more likely, already own the box sets of. Even the most ardent Star Trek fan can only sit thru their favorite versions of the show so many times.
This is a station thats been so desperate to fill time, it has resorted to adding Professional Wrestling & a reality game show about video game players to its table of shows. While I have been in the past a pro wrestling fan & have nothing against those that still are, reality is, it has no right being on a network solely devoted to sci-fi programming. But, it is a ratings juggernaut for a station & has low costs to them as WWE picks up much of the production costs. There in lies the problem. Syfy has sold out. Its no longer about creating programming for a subsection of society that tend to be loyal to a fault for products they like. Its about whoring themselves out for ever last penny they can, even at the cost of the stations soul.
This station has very few of its own shows, so why cancel 1 that has held its own in season 2? While season 1 saw a sharp drop in ratings, season 2 has been steady. There is something to be said about a show, on a station where almost everything it airs has massive ratings drops, is holding its own & not losing viewers. While season 1 was finding its feet & at times, may have been a bit long in getting to its points, season 2 has been intense, full of action & arguably amazing. If S1 was "decent", season 2 has been "absolutely amazing". If fans from S1 were to rejoin, they would be blown away at the changes & character development that has happened since then. but we may not see it develop beyond, because as it stands right now, its to be terminated at seasons end... despite being probably the best show currently on the network & arguably, one of the top sci-fi shows on all of TV.
The question is "what now?" for the show.
Various campaigns thru twitter & facebook have popped up to "Give SGU another season" & it certainly is a campign that has garnered a lot of attention. One campaign has garnered over 8500 fans on facebook (probably be 10,000.. if they hadnt spit in the face of the fans by alienating them thru actions depicted by the leader whom told a cast members mother to 'fuck off" in a disagreement), while smaller campaigns have popped up ranging from a few dozen to several hundred. These campaigns are so passionate about what they are doing, they now find themselves at odds over how to best promote the concepts & gameplans to save the show. But I am not going to get into the politics of fandom in here...this is about coming up with a gameplan for the show. This does show however, excessive devotion. To fight this hard, so hard you are even fighting with yourselves, means you want to see the idea succeed. It might be self destructive, or, it might be healthy.
While shows that are cancelled arent all that often saved by their networks, or new networks, it does happen. I can vouch for that on 2 different fronts. Two of my all time favorite shows, Dead Like Me, and Robson Arms both came back from essentially being dead for short lived returns.
DLM managed a straight to DVD movie to quell its fans & while it was not anything near the 3rd season fans screamed for, petitioned for, wrote into Showtime & MGM for, and even held rallies for outside the offices, it was something...even if it was a hack version of something (try to not rant about Sarah Wynter's lack of acting skills right now...*deep breath*). The shows fans fought hard and got something.
While Robson Arms was the little show that could. It first fought just to get on the air. After season 1, it sat, with no 2nd season announcement for over a year. Its second season aired 19 months after the final episode of S1 aired. It fought & clawed its way back from death to manage not just a 2nd season, but a 3rd too, before again, meeting an unjust fate by CTV. The fanbase for them was admittedly far smaller than DLM or SGU. But they were devoted & let the station know what they wanted....and they got it. The reality is, fighting sometimes works.
All that being said, stats dont lie, lots of shows have campaigns to resurrect their programs, and most fail. But I can tell you, from my personal experiences, it can happen.
SGU is 1 that could have that lifeline to draw from. It has some things going for it, such as it is a Canadian based show. This means a Canadian station could look at a show, with an already developed fanbase & jump in & just fine tune things to their liking a little. The most likely choice for this is "Space" the Canadian version of Syfy (they have many of the same programs on), but Space isn't known for creating its own shows too much. In fact, they have already come out & said its not feasable. Like Syfy, who gets their approval from the pursestrings of a bigger media conglomerate (NBC), Space also is under the umbrella of a media conglomerate, CTVglobemedia, arguably the largest such television empire in Canada. Besides Space, the CTV empire is responsible for over 20 other stations from basic cable to pay per view channels in Canada. It is, without question, the most viable solution for a home for SGU to end up on if a Canadian company steps up.
The question becomes, how to convince them to run with the show.
Well, the first fact is simple. SGU is filmed in Canada. As a Canadian station, Space is obligated to show a minimum amount of Canadian content. Sure, they have quite a bit already, including EVERY...SINGLE...SHOW Syfy carries right now, but this would give the CTV empire 1 more, which they also could move to their flagship station CTV for any variety of schedule filling needs (a weekend afternoon filler, or late night marathon materials)
The second fact needs to be about financial potential. They are business people afterall. Can they make a profit from this? Or, at least make it financially sensible thru selling off international distribution?
The U.S. has 10Xs the population of Canada. It is also the primary financial centre for television. Ratings in America count exponentially more than ratings in Canada. So for a Canadian show to do well, they theoretically need far beyond 10% of the domestic numbers to warrant labelling something a success...unfortunately, the budget of the show still needs to stay comparable...so suddenly, you need to have better results than even that assuming U.S. numbers struggle to rise. That is where it gets complicated...proving that is possible without being able to show it first. I dont know what the numbers are on SGU showing on Space, but theoretically, if its doing about 150,000 households or more, it would be doing approximately 1.5Xs better here than in the U.S. currently, where its doing about 1.0M households a week. Those numbers may not be enough for CTV to take a chance on it by itself. This is where the idea of a split cost idea with a foreign station may come in.
Why couldnt the Canadian company work on a split deal with another country that admires their Sci-fi programming? Hello U.K?? We might have a business proposition for someone there. With a split cost between two stations in two different companies, it becomes quite financially feasable...then take into consideration distribution rights still in the rest of the world...well, how could it NOT look appealing?
The complexity of striking a deal to get the shows rights might be confusing as well. If Syfy has the rights, what might happen could be a deal where CTV, for the Space Channel, buys the rights from Syfy, in agreement, they give Syfy a deal on the U.S. rights for broadcasting it, taking away some bargaining power for looking for the best financial situation in the U.S. market.
Maybe, there is even a deal, like how other shows from other networks have done it. Where CTV, for the Space Channel, doesnt actually buy the rights, but instead puts up some $ for the production costs to Syfy to continue making the show.
If MGM is the owner of the shows rights, what do they want? Do they barter a deal where they get to choose the U.S. distributror? Do they get a nice deal on DVD sales? Or do they simply look at it as a dead asset that they can turn into liquid asset now & sell for whatever they can get?
Theres still even outside all of those question, the possibility that maybe they cant work out a deal to generate a 3rd season...so what about a few straight to DVD movie like Dead Like Me or Firefly managed? Simply to wrap up loose ends & complete the story? Correct me if I am wrong, but the sales for Dead Like Me: Life After Death were financial gold for the company. I vividly recall it being in the top 3 in Canada & top 10 in the U.S. opening day on Amazon. In the top 5 in Canada after a week & top 20 in the U.S. Unfortunately, Firefly was not something I followed when it did its movie, but I recall hearing a lot of buzz about it, I am sure its sales were just as incredible. If they put together a 2 or 3 movie set to wrap up the storlines (although its being suggested the creators are saying they cant do it with anything less than a season...you take what you can get).
How can you, the fan get involved? The obvious answer- BUY SGU PRODUCTS. But also, make your voices heard. Let the stations know, let advertisers know, hell, even let the cast know, that they are wanted back.
Any potential suitors will want to see a healthy show. So alienating & abandonning it is not the best avenue. Support is. Buying the DVDs is good, buying episodes online is good, but in the end tv viewers matter the most. ALSO, key battle point people often overlook.....
MAKE NOTE OF WHAT PRODUCTS ARE PAYING FOR ADVERTISING TIME!!
Seriously. This can make a difference. If you see a product being advertised during an episode, whether its first run, or a repeat, make note of it, and definitely let that company know that you saw their ad on an SGU broadcast. Whether its a short email to their site, or a phone call into a comments/questions/complaints line, let them know. They are, afterall, the ones who pull the pursestrings open or closed. DO NOT take commercials lightly, they have more influence than most board members. If the products tell Syfy, or other stations "we are getting a lot of recognition off this show..." trust me, they will find a way to magically come up with the $ in their budget to keep making it.
Theres a lot of questions that I personally cant answer, but this does show that there are a multitude of potential options still out there for SGU to breathe more life. It is just a matter of whoever is holding the keys, to hand them to someone willing to take over.
Saving SGU is a real possibility. It will just take all hands on deck to steer the Destiny to that outcome... to complete its mission.
Buy SGU Blu-Ray, DVDs & single online episodes on Amazon
(U.S.) http://amzn.to/fNmE0K (Canada) http://amzn.to/elGBzq
Want to learn more about the campaign or the cast? Check them out on twitter or facebook.
Helping to resurrect SGU campaign twitter accounts.
Cast's twitter accounts
http://twitter.com/AlainaHuffman - Alaina Huffman (Lt. Tamara "TJ" Johansen)
http://twitter.com/AtleastLevesque - Elyse Levesque (Chloe Armstrong)
http://twitter.com/BrianJacobSmith - Brian J. Smith (Lt. Matthew Scott)
http://twitter.com/Cpbinder - Carl Binder (crew- writer)
http://twitter.com/DavidBlue - David Blue (Eli Wallace)
http://twitter.com/Ivonbartok - Ivon Bartok (crew- producer/director)
http://twitter.com/jbowyerchapman - Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Private Darren Becker)
http://twitter.com/Julia_Benson - Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James)
http://twitter.com/JulieMcNiven - Julie McNiven (Ginn)
http://twitter.com/limajamil - Jamil Walker-Smith (Master Sgt. Ronald Greer)
http://twitter.com/LouDPhillips - Lou Diamond Phillips (Col. David Telford)
http://twitter.com/MingNa - Ming Na (Camile Wray)
http://twitter.com/PatrickGilmore - Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker)
http://twitter.com/PeterKelamis - Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody)
http://twitter.com/SpenceJen - Jennifer Spence (Dr. Lisa Park)
Want to tell MGM or Syfy or Space how much you want this show to continue (being respectful works better than crude & angry letters with these people....and thats coming from ME)
Email Charles Cohen Executive Vice-President of MGM email@example.com (also believed to be a Stargate fan)
Email the Syfy Station firstname.lastname@example.org or post on their facebook wall http://facebook.com/SyFy
Contact Space Channel on their facebook wall http://facebook.com/SPACEchannel
With me out of town for much of September, making it tough to promote the polls much, numbers were down noticeably this month.
That aside, this month brought the closest margain of victory in the current show scores yet, it also brought the largest magain of victory in the former shows poll.
So lets start there....
GOLD - DEAD LIKE ME 20.0 %
SILVER - 21 JUMP STREET 10.7 %
BRONZE - (tie) SLIDERS & DANGER BAY 8.0%
The X-Files 6.7%
Robson Arms 6.7%
Stargate SG1 5.3%
Battlestar Galactica 5.3%
Dark Angel 4%
The Outer Limits 4%
DaVincis Inquest 2.7%
Neon Rider 2.7%
Stargate Atlantis 1.3%
Breaker High, Intellegence, The Twilight Zone, The Sentinel, The Collector, The L Word 0%
The L Word, Breaker High, Intellegence, The Sentinel & The Collector are all on the chopping block this month....if you like these shows, you better vote for them this month & show it.
For the current shows... its been all Supernatural so far...but Fringe is showing signs of life, cutting the gap this month to a single digit percentage & vote total deficit.
GOLD - SUPERNATURAL 30.9%
SILVER - FRINGE 22.2%
BRONZE - PSYCH 8.6%
Stargate Universe 3.7
V The Visitors 3.7%
Life Unexpected 3.7%
Human Target 0%
To show you how special some people are...I received 1 write in vote for TWILIGHT!!!???? I dont know of a TELEVISION show anywhere called "Twilight" that is currently being produced...and certainly not one in Vancouver.... This does make me wonder if I need a Vancouver shot movies poll though.
In 3 months now, Supernatural has dominated the current show category, finishing first all 3 times. Fringe has dominated the 2nd place podium just as much, claiming the runner ups title all 3 times as well. Third place started with Sanctuary in the first poll, them had Smallville & Psych tie last month. This month, Psych finished 3rd all by themselves, but by only 1 vote over newcomer Hellcats.
In 3 months now, Dead Like Me has shown to be the top show amongst those no longer running. Winning the title the last two months & finishing in a tie for 3rd the first time. While The X-Files started big, winning the inagural poll, they have slipped in the past two months. To 2nd last month & all the way to 5th this month. Stargate SG1 had 2nd the first month, but hasnt been able to find the podium again since. Dark Angel earned the bronze the first two times, but slipped substantially this month. 21 Jump Street snuck in for a silver this month after continually being "close", while Sliders takes a suprirising bronze after 2 months of being in the middle-top part of the pack, but as amazing as their claim of a bronze is, they split it with even more shockingly Danger Bay, who never did better than 12th prior to this month.
Biggest climbers this month were
Former shows- Danger Bay 6.5%+ from 14th ranked to 3rd ranked.
Current shows - Hiccups 4.1%+ from 11th ranked to 5th ranked
Former shows - The X-Files 7.2%- from 2nd ranked to 5th ranked
Current shows - Human Target 2.3%- from 10th ranked to 12th ranked
Day 7 was a short one for me. It was also a great one for me, despite moderate numbers.
I didnt start till late afternoon, as I got into Toronto around 4 PM & instantly went over to Roy Thompson Hall to get set for the premire for Peep World. It was the biggest event on the entire schedule for me, as it had my top priority of film fest, Michael C. Hall.
Michael was the first person to show up. I eagerly hurried into the swarm to get him, just to assure I was going to get at least 1 from my main target. I soon had 1 & had a 2nd shortly after. A bit of a lull after that before I got my 3rd, which included a near fight with old people of all things. Some older woman was getting mad at another hound for being in front of her & she actually punched him in the back. Me reaching around her seemed to be her last sstraw & she elbowed me multiple times to move back. Now I have been in countless scrums & 1 of the reasons I dont seem to get as much as some is because I usually am a little too respectful of people...so when someone is giving ME grief, they are actually being unreasonable I would say. Its a scrum envirinment, dont go into it if you arent expecting to be in a condensed space & perhaps jostled a little. This lady seemed to be under some impression she was entitled to a couple square metres of space. The elbowing continued, my persistence then elevated to compensate for her aggressiveness brought in her husband who made the foolish mistake of grabbing my by my jacket. I gave him 1 good hard shove off, he pushed back & I walked away as frankly, I was far more focused on autographs than hospitalizing an old person because his wife is a fucking dumbass.
As I went to go reposition myself a few metres down security came over to me (of course, the younger, larger, professional hound MUST be at fault here) and wanted me to walk over & have a few words with him. I declined his invite & continued into the crowd. I told him, if he wants to talk, go ahead. I was very willing to debate everything that just happened, but I wasnt going to lose out because of it. Instead, he just gave up. After the scrum ended, where I eventually got 4 more Halls, and a few words out of him about the upcoming season of Dexter that he is filming. I went over to the same guard, I apologized to him for having to deal with it, explained my side & went on my way. I still dont think he bought my side of it..although he word for word stated exactly what I said as well (with the exception of the continual elbowing), except making it sound like I somehow insitgated it.
With 6 Hall autographs in my possession it was pretty tough for my day to be bad.
Shortly after his co-star, the cutie comedienne Sarah Silverman showed up & I was able to quickly get thru the 3 items I had for her, and even helped out another hound get 1 of his giving me a total of 4 autographs on the evening from her.
From there I headed over to a premiere across town for Ryan Gosling. Once there I heard news of an after party for Michael C. Hall's film, and I soon decided to abandon the Gosling premiere, as I really wanted a photo with Dexter Morgan.
Arriving at the party early I sat around behimd where the roped off area was, till just before the first star showed up. Judy Greer, who also is in Peep World showed up first. She was pleasant & friendly, and even posed for a photo out on the street before getting to the red carpet set up at the party. Across the street we noticed another party going on, it was for a movie that had Jennifer Connolly, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan & Yeardley Smith. Smith showed up & we hurried across the street, others got autographs, but I squeezed in to get a photo with. Besides being Lisa Simpson, I am a fan of hers, because she was a character on my favorite show Dead Like Me for an episode or two.
Immediately back across the street we went & a few minutes later Michael C. Hall showed up. He was patient & friendly, signing for everyone & doing photos with anyone who asked, including myself.
I instantly headed back to RTH for the night premiere of a movie with Malin Akerman & Ryan Phillippe. Once I got there I found out both stars were already done signing & neither signed much. I SHOULD have just called it a night, or headed back to the Connolly party, but I foolishly waited around for Akerman leaving & was shut out.
My night ended poorly, but the evening went so well I called the day a success. Afterall I got 6 autographs from my top priority of film fest, and a photo with.
A+ MICHAEL C. HALL
A Sarah Silverman
A Yeardley Smith
A Judy Greer
C- Malin Akerman
C- Ryan Philippe
10 autographs for the day & 2 photos with.
So in July, Supernatural won the inagural current show title, while The X-Files took home the inagural former show title. Were they able to hold on this month? Or would new champs be crowned?
Lets first take a look at the former show category.
In this category, we have a new champion...much to my liking.
BRONZE MEDAL - Dark Angel 10.8%
SILVER MEDAL - The X-Files 13.9%
GOLD MEDAL - DEAD LIKE ME 17.0%
The entire list of shows beside the top 3, in order
Battlestar Galactica 8.2
21 Jump Street 7.7
Stargate SG1 6.7
Twilight Zone 4.1
Stargate Atlantis 3.1
Outer Limits 2.1
DaVincis Inquest 2.1
Danger Bay 1.5
Robson Arms 1.5
The L Word 1.5
OTHERS- The Sentinel & The Collector 1 vote each
For the current show.... Supernatural managed to keep its title. In fact, they won by a larger margain than the month prior.
BRONZE (tie)- Smallville & Psych 7.2% (by one vote)
SILVER- Fringe 16.6%
GOLD- SUPERNATURAL 51.7%
The entire list of shows besides the top 3 include.
Stargate SGU 3
Life Unexpected 3
Human Target 2.3
Now I am a little shocked I must saw that SPN is running away with this so handily. I really like the show, and I understand I have a lot of Supernatural fans that come by here. But I also thought I had a lot of Fringe fans as well, I really expected more of a fight from them. I am also a bit shocked, granted they arent my main fanbase, that Smallville and SGU dont get more attention than they have so far.
There was a slight drop is participation this month from last on both polls. But still over 450 total votes cast between the two polls. Only a drop of 11.4% between the two polls...the former show poll having a more substantial drop.
Big climbers this month were.
Former shows- Highlander 3.3%+ from 15th rank to 9th rank
Current shows- Life Unexpected 2.7%+ from 11th rank to 6th rank.
big droppers this month were.
Former shows- Stargate SG1 9.2%- from 2nd rank to 6th rank
Current shows- Sanctuary 6.5%- from 3rd rank to 9th rank.
The September poll is up, as Supernatural looks to try & 3-peat. While Dead Like Me & The X-Files will undobtedly battle it out for 1st on the former shows list again.
My poll for Best current & former Vancouver shot TV shows was 2 of the more popular ones I have had.
I have decided...it will be monthly... and maybe at the end of the year, I will have an annual winner based on the monthly totals.
There is also the chance bad performers will eventually be axed from the former show list, as it gets longer.
For now though, the unveiling of the first ever monthly champions.
First up... the top 3 for shows no longer filming.
Apparently, Vancouver does Sci-Fi like nothing else. The top FIVE int his category all have spent time on Sci-fi channels.
BRONZE MEDAL (tie) - Dark Angel and Dead Like Me 12.4%
SILVER MEDAL - Stargate SG1 15.9%
GOLD MEDAL - THE X-FILES 19.3%
The entire list of shows beside the top 3, in order
Battlestar Galactica 10.3
Stargate Atlantis 4.7
21 Jump Street 3
Outer Limits 3
Twilight Zone 2.6
Danger Bay 2.1
Robson Arms 2.1
The L Word 1.3
For the next month, additions have been made to the list.
DaVinci's Inquest & Intelligence have been added to the list. In the future I might delete shows if they continually perform poorly since this list could get pretty long after awhile.
Also, a section for "other" has been added now. So you can suggest other shows.
Now onto the poll that got the most votes, despite hacing a maximum of 3 votes per person....the current TV show poll.
Lets get to the top 3, shall we?
BRONZE- SANCTUARY 8.8% (by one vote)
SILVER- FRINGE 18.4%
GOLD- SUPERNATURAL 38.8%
The entire list of shows besides the top 3 include.
Stargate SGU 5.4
Human Target 3 votes (% not shown)
Life Unexpected 1 vote
Currently, no new shows were added to this list. But with the new TV season coming, some additions might be coming. for sure Hellcats will be added once it airs.
Thats it for "July" (which actually ended in early August because of the shortened time the poll was open. August poll is already open, so go vote for the August winners.
A total of 527 total votes between the two polls were made.
With 114 votes, Supernatural had the most of any show in both polls. That gave them 21.7% of the total votes...good enough percentage to be 1st in either poll on percentage alone.
With 1 vote, Life Unexpected was the only show not to register multiple votes in either poll. The least any other show got was 3.
The 2010 Leo Awards, the 12th annual awards show for excellence in TV & Movies in B.C. took place last weekend.
With an array of stars mainly from the sci-fi world there from such shows as Sanctuary & Stargate SGU dominating the red carpet, perhaps the most sought out star was from neither of those programs, and is merely 15 years old.
Of course Jodelle Ferland, the teenage girl who plays Bree Tanner in the 3rd installment Eclipse, of the mega-hit movie series, The Twilight Saga was one of the most desired interviews there. Not even old enough to drive legally yet, the pint sized cutie from the lower mainland was in demand on the red carpet. She was there as a nominee for Best Performance by an actress in a short drama, for her role in "Everything's Coming Up Rosie", but it was her role in the hit movie series that was getting her the most attention.
Even though I still know her as the 1st girl Georgia Lass reaps in the TV series Dead Like Me, and to many, she is known in films like Silent Hill or Good Luck Chuck, it will be the Twilight series that for awhile people will know her from most likely.
To her credit, she handled it very well. With her agent at her side on the carpet, she answered questions about the film she was there for, as well as her upcoming work in Twilight Saga Eclipse that hits theatres later this month (June 30th).
She willingly signed autographs for the handful there asking. She posed for pictures with the fans & collectors, and even was willing to talk breifly on camera about the new book about her Twilight character "The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner" which hit the shelves that same day (you can see that clip in my 1st Leo Awards blog)
Here is some shots of her from her red carpet arrival.
More shots will be added later today or tomorrow.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.