July 3, 2004 - - Finnegan's Squad panel at Toronto Trek 18
FINNEGAN'S SQUAD PANEL
@ TORONTO TREK #18 - JULY 03, 2004
MODERATOR: MALCOLM XERXES (MX)
PANELIST: GARY DAVIDSON (GD)
22 ATTENDEES* * * * * part three * * * * *
ATTENDEE: I have a suggestion. Release the prologue before the [series].
GD: Oh yeah. It'll be released in one way or another. If we can't get it broadcasted, it'll be web-casted. It'll be out there. DVD's will be available. If somebody won't buy it we'll get it out there. Because there is critical information in there that will... augment? I want to say augment, the appreciation of the rest of the story.
MX: Augment... supplement... catalise? All those things apply.
GD: Yeah. We're toying with how much we want to refer to this [shuttledown] because I like the idea of people watching the Pilot, and then watching all the episodes that follow the Pilot through to the end of the season and then the summer starts. And then we release the Prologue and you get to watch it all over again with even more information.
( Sounds from the audience that somehow remind one of the Campbell's soup ads are muttered by various members of the audience )
MX: (To audience in response to these noises) That's what i said.
Attendee: I'd still like you to release it before the Pilot is aired.
GD: It'll be available but for the people such as my great-grandmother who do not have the internet...
Attendee: So it's going to be available for people with that technology.
GD: Yeah. I want to get that out as soon as we can. I'm getting rather impatient with our inability to get it finished.
Attendee: If the funding were to come in tomorrow or such, when, obviously this would be an estimation, when do you think the soonest that you would be able to bring the episodes to air?
GD: To air?
GD: January. Is the window that we're looking at right now. If we could go into production, I'd say before the end of September, we'd be looking at January. Most of the broadcast stations, from what I understand, are already starting to schedule their Christmas stuff. The nice thing about January is that's when a lot of new series are presented. So if we could get the green light January would be the earliest. I like the fact that networks like Fox are experimenting with summer series. ABC's... well, unfortunately they're using it just to clear out Drew Carrey, but uh. I do like that idea because, we're are... look at the cable channels, they don't even start their series until the networks have gone into reruns because they don't want the competition. So, I like that idea. And I'm not against cable. We're writing it for cable because it's easier to film for cable and edit down to basic tv, rather than the reverse.
( GD rises and starts wandering amonsts the attendees handing out the special Toronto Trek booklet supplement made for this panel)
GD: So I'm just going to hand these out here. There's a number on the back of each of these booklets that is unique to each of them. And once I figure out how many I've handed out, we're going to do a draw for the colour version of the cover. ( Continues making way through crowd ) There you go. Is that everyone?
( General nods of Yes )
( GD returns to the table, pulls out the pile of numbered tags which will be used to do the draw. He looks at MX )
MX: Ohhh, ahhh.
GD: Ohhh, ahhhh. ( to MX ) Do you have your pen with you?
MX: I have several.
GD: Well no, the one you were autographing with.
MX: I have several of those too.
GD: Ok. Because who ever wins this, if they want, can get it autographed.
MX: And, because this is exclusive, I'll even use my left-hand to do it.
GD: ( chuckles ) Have you? You haven't been doing that, have you? Signing with your other hand?
MX: What? Shouldn't I have mentioned that?
GD: I don't... I don't know...
MX: Well that way, if I start to get tired, I can switch and nobody'll go... "Oh, he's ambidexterous!" and "Isn't he clever". You know...
GD: Ok. ( To audience ) What I will add. You guys, I assume a majority of you are communicating with Malcolm or hanging around and seeing things on sites and stuff. We will make sure, when we're ready to post the trailer for both the Prologue and for the series, or any news, we'll make sure we get it out there because obviously the people in this room right now are my favourite people on the planet. And having grown up as a Star Trek fan and having gone to see Gene Roddenberry speak a couple of times, I can tell you, those are moments that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed that he listened, whether he actually did anything or not because of what he heard or not was immaterial.
( Stops seeing someone new has joined them )
GD: Late arrival?
Late Arrival Attendee: Yeah.
GD: Ok! That's fine.
( GD reaches for an extra booklet for the new arrival and the corresponding slip for the draw )
MX: And someone with him as well.
( GD repeats the procedure again )
Attendee: Why does the booklet spell 'Lieutenant' as L-E-F?
GD: The Canadian and British military tradition is to say it as 'Lef-tenant' and to make sure that we don't have actors goofing that up when we don't want them to we spelt it that way.
Attendee: Ok, but why don't you have it that way everywhere?
GD: Right. If you're reading the scripts and it's not somebody who is in the United Network Command Authority (the Good-Guys) then they are spelt 'Lieutenant' and you would say 'Lieutenant'. Similarly, the Good-Guys are always referred to as 'Troopers' and never 'Soldiers'. The Bad-Guys are always referred to as 'Soldiers' and never 'Troopers'. And these are just little subtle continuity things that we put in it.
( GD reaches for the bag in preparation of the draw )
GD: Ok, everybody has one, everybody has a number. And no one has a number on the back exceeding 'Twenty-Two', correct? Does anybody have higher than 'Twenty-Two' on the back of theirs? No?
( GD picks up the bag and holds it up for MX to selection a tag from )
GD: Mister Xerxes, if you would be so kind?
( MX turns his head and reaches with his left hand for the bag, but misses it )
GD: You missed it.
( MX tries again while the audience laughs )
MX: See. It's my left hand... Why I have choosen... the number I have choosen is double-oh-six.
GD: Oh. That's our favourite number.
Leah: What, you mean like the last three digits?
GD: Would be the last three digits.
Leah: Ok. ( She rises with the winning tag )
MX: Leah! Gasp! Congratulations!
( Leah approaches the table to collect her prize )
Leah: Well thank you very much. That's right, right? I didn't just take it from somebody else.
MX: ( to Leah ) Would you like something on it?
Leah: Of course!
( GD holds up the prize for everyone else to see )
GD: Just to give you an idea. It's just the colour version of the cover.
Attendee: Who did that?
GD: One of the production people we have. It's actually inspired by a Russian painting of a cosmonaut. [Josef Minsky's "Oh, God, How tired I am"]
Leah: He looks so sad.
GD: He's tired.
Leah: ( to MX ) Is that you?
MX: No, but I'd like to stay there. [ The picture actually is intended to be a representation of Malcolm's character after a very tiring mission )
Leah: Well, thank you very much.
MX: (Ready to sign the print) So now, is it spelled "L-E-I-A"?
Leah: No, not at all actually. It's spelt "L-E-A-H".
MX: Oh! ( Repeats the name, heavily emphasizing the throaty sounds of the phoentic )
Leah: It's a Hebrew name!
( GD reaches for his book and starts writing the name down )
MX: Ok, ok.
Attendee: ( to GD ) Better write that name down, it can be important.
GD: Oh man. Let me tell you, names are the things that drives me crazy.
Leah: Is there anyway to get like a newsletter or something so I can find out when the show actually starts airing, because as I said, I live in the U.S. so most likely I won't be able to see it for a while.
GD: If you check on titanrainbow.com or any of the stuff through Malcolm. When it's... the moment we've got an airdate, we'll be on the CN Tower with a megaphone. And that should make International news.
( laughter )
GD: Yeah, well. I'm a huge fan of Elvis Costello and anyone who is a fan of Elvis Costello will enjoy reading the scripts when they are printed because you'll find tonnes of references. I love the fact that in order to get his first record contract he rented a flat-bed truck, pulled it up of a hotel that the CBS executives were at and then played until they arrested him.
( laughter )
Attendee: It worked?
GD: Yes it did. ( Nods toward the door) So, we received a little hand single from a gentleman with a headset a couple minutes ago.
MX: oh yeah. What did he want? Was he packing heat?
MX: Well, ignore him then.
MX: No, I'm kidding.
GD: Are there any last questions? (Suddenly realizes the person in the front row who has been participating the most is wearing a robe and other mythical ecoutrements) I just realized what you are wearing.
( much laughter )
GD: I was terribly at 'I-Spy'. ( Motions to the very back of the room ) Yes, sir!
Late Arrival Attendee: At what stage are you in filming of the movie or Pilot....?
GD: Oh that's right. You were the late arrivals, right?
Late Arrival Attendee: Yeah.
GD: Yes. We're trying to put together the package. We're trying to get it going. We have done, what I think is going to work out to be a 40 minute Prologue episode, that we'll be making available. That's almost finished. It's music, and scoring, editing and special effects are happening as we speak. But until we get a production partner, because our pockets are just simply not deep enough to go any further with this, there will be nothing happening on that. We are in discussion with quite a few people though, including a company in Britain, and we do expect to within the next couple of months to hear something.
Late Arrival Attendee: So, yeah. This will be in Canada right?
Late Arrival Attendee: Will you be hiring actors or extras?
GD: Yeah, we've had that job question come up a few times.
( laughter )
Late Arrival Attendee: Just plain volunteers!
GD: Man! Wouldn't I love that. Oh... ( as Glaswegian Scotsman) Okh, my Scottish ancestors are really happy 'bout that one.
Late Arrival Attendee: I also work as security. Off-set security for any locations.
Attendee: And don't forget you've got a broom pusher.
GD: All I'm going to say is keep in touch with Malcolm on the bulletin boards and if you identify yourself as the guy, with the red... in the back.
MX: It's Kevin!
GD: It's Kevin. Ok, good, then if that's possible... Wait a minute, not Kevin Smith, Kevin?
GD: Keep in touch with Malcolm because like I said 'you people are my favourite people in the world right now' so I'm not against including things like that. And love what they did in Star Trek: The Motion Picture during the recreation deck scene where they just loaded it up with Star Trek fans.
MX: Rec-creating.... Oooo.
GD: Yeah, it was during the announcement scene.
MX: Yeah! I know exactly what you mean.
( members of the next panel begin to enter. MX rises addressing everyone )
MX: Thank you, very much!
( and at that the first Finnegan's Squad panel at any convention came to a close )
* * * * * THE END * * * * *