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BSG All Access Event, Part V (The End)

So I'm standing in the line next to the microphone, alternating from admiring Jamie, and trying to catch what was being said.  Here are what I can remember:

A fan asked the actors if there ever was an instant when he/she hesitated to get behind his/her character's actions the script dictated.  Mary gave the example of Roslin's endorsement on genocide.  She said it was not something she wanted to do.  But she tried to open her mind to the character and the situation.  Factoring in the very persuasive producers, she turned herself around and committed to portraying Roslin's stance on the show.

A fan voiced the thought in many of our minds that we are reluctant to say goodbye to BSG.  He wanted to know what's the likelihood the story would move on beyond season 4 in a feature film.  Ron said it's not very likely.  He had always intended for BSG to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Once it's ended, it will be a definitive ending.  So there will not be any story past season 4.  He mentioned they did work on the project Caprica which predates BSG in time line.  When he said that, some people clapped.  Ron got excited a little and told us to clap harder for Caprica.  I do wonder what happened to that project--are they still working on it, put it on hold, or did it get nipped in the bud?  Having just watched an episode of BSG on the big screen, I think it's such a pity there won't be a feature film.

A guy wanted to know from the actors what inspirations did they drew to play the Admiral, the President, the CAG, and the hotshot pilot, and how they expanded these roles and made them engrossing characters.  Katee was the first one to answer.  She said when she first got the role, she had never seen the original series because she wasn't born when it was aired!   She explained she modeled Starbuck after her brother.  In fact she said Starbuck IS her brother--a strong, capable, and emotional man.  He's temperamental, but fiercely loyal and protective of those he loves.

After Katee finished her input, at Lucy's prompt Jamie gave his perspective.  He said in the mini series, his take on the character was it's a generational thing--the story was about a son trying to find out what his place is in the world.  He felt the character seemed to have trouble making decisions in the beginning.  So Jamie focused on these aspects more for the character instead of the military side.  Then Jamie brought up his recent experience of flying with the Blue Angels (U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron).  He said it opened his eyes on how real military ace pilots behave.  He was deeply impressed by the professionalism he witnessed.  He wished he could've done it earlier when he first started shooting for BSG.  He was awed by the sight the six pilots walking up to their jets whilst a large ground crew (close to 200) was there doing their best to ensure these planes get in the air, and then land safely.  He felt the genuine love and respect these people had for the planes, the pilots, and the military.  Jamie said it was at that moment he was hit with the revelation the responsibilities he (and his fellow cast mates) had in portraying all that.  Jamie emphasized he didn't come from a military background, so he wasn't familiar with how real military people operated until he witnessed all these.  Lucy asked him if he would've done things differently if he had known this beforehand.  Jamie shifted in his seat a little and smiled coyly.  At the end of the day, he said, he asked himself the same question.  He ended up "smile smugly" and went to bed happily thinking he did a good job.  The audience laughed and clapped.  Jamie said it was just a fluke.  He went on saying the ace pilots he saw were not flamboyant--they were incredibly restraint with discipline and assured of themselves, yet there's also the  arrogance.  Unbeknownst to him, while he said that, Mary pointed her finger at him behind his back!  We laughed.  He summed it up by saying the pilots were not cavalier, and Lee would fit right in with them--he was quite proud of it!  I must say I'm happy to hear what Jamie said--I had always felt Lee was very real.  In fact, I feel Lee is the most realistic character on the show (Chief Tyrol is a close second).  At work, I'm a very good friend with an ex-navy pilot.  Based on the numerous discussions we had over his past experience, I think Lee acts exactly in the way of what I understood as a well trained military ace pilot.  I also think Jamie was being modest in saying it was a fluke he played Lee the right way.  I believe it comes from his well educated and trained background--he was able to pick up on the core of his character right away, and instinctively knew to be an ace at anything (not just the military), that's how a person would behave in real life.

Lucy commented the balance of the four characters portrayed by these four actors in the last 7 episodes were so troubled and so beautiful to watch--they came in and out of each other's life--she said it was so beautiful to watch them interact with each other.

I was getting real close to stand in front of the microphone, my heart was beating faster and faster, and it was almost impossible to have my mind stay on what was going on.  I don't recall what led up to it--at one point, Ron mentioned that while he was working on another project, he received a tape with the scenes that had been made for the mini series.  He said he really wanted to see if they shot the first scene he wrote in the first draft where Starbuck was running circuit on the  Galactica.  He held his breath to see if what he wrote would be realized.  Turned out that was the very first thing he saw on that tape.  Ron said he then knew he had a production team who understood his visions.

Another thing that stayed in my mind was a fan wanting to know where Bulldog went.  Ron answered there was a "technical term" in the writers' room that's called "mistake!"  Many of us chuckled at his frankness.  He went on saying sometimes the writers' ideas don't pan out--they would write something that just doesn't go anywhere.  "Where's Boxey?"  he raised the question.  David cut in and asked if anyone knew what happened to Chuck from the first episode of Happy Days.  Jamie answered "He's with Bulldog!  I saw them..."  We laughed and got their drift.  I'm a little surprised Ron candidly referred to Hero as a mistake.  To me, aside from the time line screw up, it was not bad.  I particularly enjoyed the scene between the Adama men, the obvious progression of the father and son relationship.

There was a very funny moment involving Mary--a fan wanted to know if Laura is going to be the dying leader because some of the fans really would like to see her build that cabin of hers.  As soon as the cabin was mentioned, Mary pretended she was smoking weeds.  In between taking drags, she said in a stoned voice:  "Well, I don't know...  What was your question?"  The fan repeated her question, and Mary answered that she really had no clue.  It would be nice to resolve the dying leader issue before the show's end, or before her character's end, she added.

A fan asked a question myself had been wondering for a long time--he wanted to know how many regular cast members would be involved in the two hour special they are making:

Ron answered as far as he knew, most of the cast members are in it.  I breathed a sigh of relief--in all honesty, I really wouldn't be all that interested in the project unless Lee, and  preferably along with Bill, are both in it!  Ron went on further by saying the events in Razor took place backward in time--he put the time line to be primarily in the second season, and the story would also go back to the time right after cylons' initial attack (sounds to me like the time line maybe jumping back and forth a la Unfinished Business).  They are going to show Cain, and a new officer who came aboard the Pegasus just prior to the attack (Hmm...  mirroring Lee!)  And the story also deals with Lee in his first command of a Battlestar (OMG!  Now, it has my FULL attention--finally they are going to show in more depth how Lee took on the responsibility of being in Command!!!)  So, Ron said, most of the main cast if not all will be in it.  Mary joked that she has a "walk-on" part, she would only make a cameo appearance.  I hope she didn't really mean it!

My mind was still reeling over the possibilities for the two hour special, I missed most part of the next Q&A except the guy smartly asked on behalf of his girlfriend who's too shy to go up there if they need a "post coordinator" in Vancouver.  The guests on stage all jokingly listed the "trash" magazines they read on the set.  Then it was my turn in front of the microphone.  HOLY FRAK!  I was nervous as hell, and I had at least a couple of questions I would like to ask.  I stumbled through my words.  I said I had many questions, but first I'd like to ask on behalf of my friend qqzj who wanted to know, uhm, from Ron's past public interviews, it seems he is someone who believes in happy endings, but what exactly constitutes a happy ending?  I think as soon as I mentioned the words "happy ending", it drew some chuckles and funny faces.  I knew I had botched the question, I tried to explain further--by happy ending, does he mean characters and their relationships all develop in cycles, that they'd reach a new beginning, or...  Before I had the chance to complete my sentence, Ron and David started to answer my question.  David said they "owe" the studio a happy ending because back when the first season premiered, they had a bleak 33, in which Lee shot down a ship full of civilians.  In the original cut, David said when Lee flew his final pass by the Olympic Carrier, there were the faces of the civilians on that ship peering out the windows eagerly looking for Lee in his Viper as their savior.  But the savior turned into the destroyer in order to protect Galactica.  When they showed this to the studio, there was a great deal of concern because they were having the main character, one of the heroes, doing something pretty difficult to swallow.  So they had to make adjustment to not show the  faces in the window.  The aftermath of that, David explained, was the discussions on happy endings with the studio people.   He joked they discussed about birthday parties, maypole dances, etc... (Yiiiikes!)  Lucy interjected she thinks they do elegance and beauty really well.  The "thing" between Starbuck and Lee are done beautifully (by the two actors); and Roslin and Adama, although it's unclear what was going on, there's such love between them, which is "kinda happy" (Methink the lady doth like the word beautiful too much!)  Finally, Ron started to answer what I asked--HIS definition.  He said he believed it's all in the yarning, it's not about the completion of them, it's about the struggle.  He said he had a conversation with Michael Rymer the other day, and they discussed so much on the show is the lack of satisfaction.  These people can't decide what they want, can't be safe, can't find what they were looking for.  The show hinges on the fact these people are unsatisfied, they never quite reach the goal they set for themselves, they never quite safe, they never quite know what they want.  After Ron said this, Lucy pointed to the mike at the other aisle and called for the next question.  I really wanted to ask the questions Apollo's Lady (from The Adama Realm) and laurie31    had:  would Adama ever admit he was wrong to his son? and if Lee end up going back to the military, would the fallout from his resignation be dealt with?  But I had no chance to ask these at this juncture except to say thanks and hightail back to my seat!  It wasn't until I got back in my seat I realized I never took the opportunity to thank them, especially Jamie for their wonderful works!

I didn't quite hear the question following mine at all because my mind was still on how my question went down (not my proudest moment I must admit).  Then someone thanked Ron and Co. for putting up the picture of Sarah, a fan who died in a car accident vacationing in Mexico on the Memorial Wall.  Personally, I think it's such a wonderful thing to do, and it's things like this sets BSG and its production team a notch above other shows in general.

The last question I remember was a fan asked of the actors:  if there's a genie to grant their wishes, what do they wish for their next role?  Nobody volunteered anything in the beginning.  Jamie seemed to tilt his head upward a little, and Katee seemed to want say something but bite her tongue instead.  Then Jamie bursted out:  "Oh fuck it!  I'll say it--Hamlet!"  We laughed, clapped, and cheered.  But then, dead silence again--nobody would say anything.  So Jamie protested:  "Okay Katee, you are chickening out after I busted my balls on the tablet!"  And Mary immediately jested:  "And those are nice ones..."  I was too far to see if Jamie blushed or not, LOL!  Finally Katee said she's just looking forward to work with David again.  Eddie said something about being a Latino, and Mary said she'd be a Latino in space!

To sum up, Mary, Jamie, Katee, and Eddie each gave their thanks to the fans. And they were ready to show the sneak peek for the two hour special.  Before I go on to talk a little bit about that, I must add that I'm racking my brain trying to remember at which part Ron wanted to see all the signs rooting for Romo Lampkin--I can't remember exactly, but they ended up calling "Romo" to stand up.  I was like--"Huh?!  Romo IS here?"  I strained my neck trying to catch a glimpse of him, and there he is--dressed in the all black suit.  I swear that was the guy who walked past me when I was waiting in the line earlier!

Okay, it was a collage of scenes, and they all happened really fast.  There was a young female officer reporting to Cain on Pegasus.  There were shots of Gina, and when they discovered she's a cylon agent.  There were a scene where Lee was asking someone to be his XO.  My first instinct was he was asking that new girl.  But after I thought about it for a while, I wasn't entirely sure--he might be asking Dee because the profile of the person seemed rather dark.  It all happened so fast that I really couldn't make out the details.  But I'm fairly certain there are going to be battle with the cylons when Lee was in command of Pegasus.  Neither hubby nor I could make out the last sentence of the clip, spoken by Gina to an unidentified person.  The closest thing I can make out is something like "The end world is full of human."  Huh?  That doesn't make too much sense to me.

Omitting the tedious 5 hours plus of driving home, this concludes my report on the BSG All Access Event!

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
liebestrume
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
...I had many questions, but first I'd like to ask on behalf of my friend (stilettos81) who wanted to know, uhm, from Ron's past public interviews, it seems he is someone who believes in happy endings, but what exactly constitutes a happy ending? ...

Have you told you lately that I love you? I DO!!!

You didn't bungle the question. Did you see the longarse original version I posed him on skiffy board? That'd have been a mouthful to ask there.

... [RDM] said he believed it's all in the yarning, it's not about the completion of them, it's about the struggle. He said he had a conversation with Michael Rymer the other day, and they discussed so much on the show is the lack of satisfaction. These people can't decide what they want, can't be safe, can't find what they were looking for. The show hinges on the fact these people are unsatisfied, they never quite reach the goal they set for themselves, they never quite safe, they never quite know what they want. ...

I simultaneous love and hate his answer re "happy ending;" in either case, I do not regret forcing the issue. I'll comment more on his answer later, but first things first ... did you see his latest blog entry commenting on Soprano's ending? Do you think that particular question forced him to think about this issue even a bit? It makes me happy to pretend it might, because the greatest joy that BSG has brought to my life is that it makes me think.
xwacky
Jun. 12th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
Have you told you lately that I love you? I DO!!!

Love you back!!!

Did you see the longarse original version I posed him on skiffy board? That'd have been a mouthful to ask there.

Actually, I didn't find it. Which thread did you post it? As to the way I asked the question--I wish I can do away with the nervous giggles. I hate giggles. Unfortunately I'm afflicted with them, especially when I'm nervous!

I mostly enjoyed listening to him explain on what he deems to be important--the yarning, the incompletion, the unknown, the struggle. I think he and Rymer were head-on when they said the show is about the lack of satisfaction, the lack of quick gratification, and I thankful for that because when it comes down to it, that's what makes a great drama. On the other hand, I still feel Ron was more talking about the process rather than the end here. I think he either doesn't want give up the things up his sleeves too early, or hasn't quite make up his mind yet. The former probably is more the case here.

I do not regret forcing the issue.

I'm very proud to be your "mouth piece." I just wish I had done a better job!

Can't wait to hear more of your comments!

did you see his latest blog entry commenting on Soprano's ending?

No, what did he say? I never watched Soprano, so I'm not familiar with the show except that it's about a mafia family.

Do you think that particular question forced him to think about this issue even a bit?

I don't know what he said about Soprano's ending, but I do feel he did given the question some legitimate thoughts. He didn't quite join David and Lucy's jokes about birthday parties, maple dances, etc.

It makes me happy to pretend it might, because the greatest joy that BSG has brought to my life is that it makes me think.

Just run off and read the blog. OMG, I still have no clue what went down in that show, and don't really care, but Ron's comments are certainly tantalizing with the possibilities of what he's gonna do with BSG finale. And to answer your question, in my perfect little happy world, I'm pretending too your question had made him think!

I do want to make a little comment on Ron's words in his blog: When he said Chase "thumbed his nose at the tyranny of the narrative drive to bring things to a tidy conclusion", my cynical reaction was Soprano's producers are setting things open ended so that they maybe able to squeeze out some future stories!
roadrunnerdm
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the detailed recap. I'm glad you had the chance to go.

I'm so pleased to hear Jamie declaring that he wants his next role to be "Hamlet". A few years ago he said it was his career ambition, but he was glad he hadn't been asked to do it yet and he didn't feel he was quite ready for it. Apparently, he now feels he's ready...and I think he's right. Here's hoping he gets the chance!

I must say I'm happy to hear what Jamie said--I had always felt Lee was very real. In fact, I feel Lee is the most realistic character on the show (Chief Tyrol is a close second).
I agree with you that Jamie's portrayal of Lee is the most realistic portrayal of a military leader on the show (even more so that EJO), and of a fighter pilot in particular. Though I haven't served in uniform, my father did and I've worked with the military for my entire professional career. Fighter pilots are all A-type personalities with rigid self-discipline, focused, and with a high-degree of professionalism. As much as I like Starbuck as a character, she's a total piece of Hollywood invention. In reality, she'd be regarded as a liability and be more of a pariah than a hero to her crewmates. No one with a negative discplinary report would be granted a commission, let alone be given a job as an instructor or promoted to a higher rank. "Starbuck" is basically another instance of the Hollywood "Top Gun" falacy. At least with Lee, Jamie and Ron Moore did get it right.
xwacky
Jun. 12th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the detailed recap. I'm glad you had the chance to go.

You are welcome! I feel so lucky to be able to attend the event.

I'm so pleased to hear Jamie declaring that he wants his next role to be "Hamlet".

Me too, and so did a lot of people in the audience judging by the applauses and cheers he received when he said that! In a lot of ways, I'm relieved Jamie isn't jumping on the next chance to star in the another scifi show--I would hazard my guess that he must've had people approach him based on the fact he had one of the largest followings on scifi. I think Jamie is a very talented and versatile actor, I really wish to see him in a variety of genre and medium.

Fighter pilots are all A-type personalities with rigid self-discipline, focused, and with a high-degree of professionalism...

Your description is right on! Like you, I was able to observe a lot of military officers through work. In my observation, the higher they are in rank and the better they are at what they do, this trait is more prominent.


As much as I like Starbuck as a character, she's a total piece of Hollywood invention.

This was my impression from the get-go. As the story went on, I felt more so that her character was a pure dramatization.

"Starbuck" is basically another instance of the Hollywood "Top Gun" fallacy.

I had to chuckle a bit that you said this. During one of my business trip, I had tried to convert an Army officer into watching the show, so I lent him the mini-series. After he watched it, and we were talking about the characters, his first comment on Starbuck was "you know she's really Tom Cruise's character in Top Gun, don't you?"
helen_c
Jun. 12th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
Jamie answered "He's with Bulldog! I saw them..."
lol. He truly was on a roll...

I'm a little surprised Ron candidly referred to Hero as a mistake. To me, aside from the time line screw up, it was not bad. I particularly enjoyed the scene between the Adama men, the obvious progression of the father and son relationship.
Ditto. As far as I'm concerned, Bulldog is still recuperating somewhere in the Fleet. ::shrugs::
And they seem to have painted themselves in quite a few corners, doesn't it? The Cylons' plan, the glowing spine in the mini, the 12 models, now Bulldog. Of course, it doesn't beat the President's MS in TWW.

And the story also deals with Lee in his first command of a Battlestar
Yeah, that sound you just heard was my whooop of joy!
I'll be quiet now.

The show hinges on the fact these people are unsatisfied, they never quite reach the goal they set for themselves, they never quite safe, they never quite know what they want.
Dare I say that this makes me slightly nervous? I want the characters to get some closure, to find peace... I want the good guys (the humans) to win.
OTOH, I must admit I'm very, very curious about what they're going to find when they reach Earth.

Then Jamie bursted out: "Oh fuck it! I'll say it--Hamlet!"
Heee. Nice--as well as the following comment by Mary.

Thanks so much for the detailed account of what happened! I really enjoyed reading it.
xwacky
Jun. 13th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, that sound you just heard was my whooop of joy!

So that's what that sound was! I was wondering about that.

Honestly, if I could squee when I heard him say that I would too!

Dare I say that this makes me slightly nervous? I want the characters to get some closure, to find peace... I want the good guys (the humans) to win. OTOH, I must admit I'm very, very curious about what they're going to find when they reach Earth.

Maybe because I'm not a shipper in particular, I'm actually okay with it if Ron leaves things a bit open ended. I don't believe the last scene we'll see is cylons about to blow the humans "out of the sky" so to speak. But I'm guessing we probably won't find out the humans are definitively safe either--from what we've seen so far, they can't even be safe from themselves!

The joy I got from watching the show is seeing my favorite character(s) struggle to grow, overcome his/her weaknesses, and discover what he/she is about. I guess that's why I'm particularly enamored with Lee's character arc. As long as Ron delivers a satisfactory character development in the upcoming season, I will be very happy, and not too concerned with how things will end.

When Ron alluded to they (the characters) can't quite fulfill their love, my instinctive reaction was Starbuck isn't back in flesh & blood, that she's a different "entity." But then again, I just couldn't quite see Ron make his favorite character into a supernatural being.

As to Jamie's next hopeful role, I got the feeling he's itching to try something entirely different from Lee in a different genre. Despite he's so passionate with this show, I don't see him doing another science fiction TV series anytime soon (or I should say I hope he won't!)
helen_c
Jun. 13th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
(or I should say I hope he won't!)
Right there with you... I think Jamie, being fairly aware of how things go, would probably refuse another role in a sci-fi show, knowing he would end up totally stuck in that kind of roles for the rest of his career.

And I don't care about the shipper thing resolution either. I think Apollo and Starbuck, in the end, will admit they love each other but can't be together, and move on, which I'm okay with.

I meant that I want some resolution for the other characters (most importantly, Bill and Lee)... :p
xwacky
Jun. 14th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
I meant that I want some resolution for the other characters (most importantly, Bill and Lee)... :p

Aha! I see... I too wonder what would happen to them in the end. I have no doubt that they'd reach understanding and respect by then, But I'm nervous that maybe one of them would die...
helen_c
Jun. 14th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
No, no, no, don't say that! Please. Just don't. :(
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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