|Burbank 2003 In-Depth: Day 1 (Friday)|
An in-depth run-down of the first day's events...
This convention coverage is courtesy of Thinkum at A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape. I'd encourage you to check out the site – one of the best Farscape resources on the net. Many thanks to her for compiling this report and allowing us to use it, and also to PyeCat for his help.
- Richard Manning
- Virginia Hey & Paul Goddard
- Panel: Save Farscape
- Panel: Farscape on the Net
- Lani Tupu
1. Richard Manning
Opening the convention was Richard Manning, who initially appeared onstage wearing a suit (a frightening sight indeed!). Fortunately, after a few minutes he asked for something more comfortable to wear, whereupon he was supplied with an appropriately loud Mambo shirt.
"Accept the genuine article only!"
David Kemper was described as being hard at work in Australia, on a project that will be very important for all of us. In his absence, Ricky had been authorized to make an important announcement; after feigning nervousness, and fumbling in several pockets for his notes, he announced, "Blue Toyota Corolla in the parking lot, your lights are on!"
"Well, heard any good rumors lately?"
While he's talked with the Henson company and other interested parties, right now there's still no news "that he can give us". Making anything - television, movies, even anime - is complicated. Any question with a future tense in it can only be answered with "only time will tell". The Henson family knows what the fans have been through, and what they've done to bring the show back on the air.
The number one thing that anyone can do to bring Farscape back is to get someone else hooked on the show.
A question he's frequently asked is, "What was it like to work on the show?" All television shows are crazy; it's not a business for adults. But there was something especially wonderful about Farscape because it was such a collaboration. It was an Australian production with Australian people - they are really very strange people, they do wonderful things (like shirts!). It was a very give-and-take, creative environment.
Everyone was encouraged to contribute, to sit in on story meetings, even if it wasn't their character, and if they had a good idea it was used.
People from the Creature Shop would walk up and say "I had an idea, look at this", and show off some new creature. They'd ask if it could be used somehow, and usually it was, within the next several episodes.
For example, Andrew Prowse and Dave Elsey came up with the coolant rod on set; the producers didn't know anything about it or see it until the dailies. All that backstory sprang from that one visual idea, which got thrown in to improve a scene Andrew thought was visually boring.
"What is that?"
"I don't know, but it's cool."
"Well, let's play with it and use it."
From that developed the heat characteristics of the Scarrans.
David Kemper is a Gatling gun of ideas. Like a radio deejay, he can't stand silence. 99% of the ideas he comes up with may be garbage, but one of them won't be, and it will lead to something great.
Justin Monjo has a strange way of thinking; he's the one who thought of Scorpius eating the brain matter from Crichton's neural chip, where Ricky had originally scripted it as Scorpius pulling the matter off, dropping it on the floor and stepping on it. Justin read that, and said, "Oh Ricky, no, he should eat it." "Thank you, Monj!"
Ricky closed by asking how many folks in the audience had never been to the Burbank convention before. It was a surprisingly large percentage - it looked like almost half the attendees raised their hands.
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2. Virginia Hey & Paul Goddard
In contrast to their characters' normal appearance, both Virginia and Paul sported full heads of hair for their appearance onstage.
Ginny: Stark found me, he found me! And he found me out in the back eating doughnuts. He's my baby. I love him, he's my baby. I love his nipples too! Well, get prepared, because we only have half an hour and I give half-hour answers. So come up and ask questions, we won't bite you. Well, we might.
Audience Member: You're prettier in person.
Ginny: Me or Paul?
Audience Member: Yes! You make a lovely couple.
Ginny: Yeah, I want to marry Paul.
Audience Member: How did you manage to have so many clothes in the Uncharted Territories?
Ginny: I'm a girl! No, I think we have some seamstress DRDs working away in the basement of Moya, making clothes for me and Aeryn. And we probably took some... Ask Ricky!
Ricky Manning: Part of it was that you killed so many people.
Ginny: Yes, and we just happened to kill a lot of 6'3" women.
Audience Member: If (when!) the show comes back, would Zhaan return?
Ginny: Well, the answer to that is, I don't know! We cannot confirm or deny ... that we are an item. I would like to. I can't come back permanently because the makeup makes me feel not so good, but some little visits here and there, that would be lovely.
Audience Member: What was the most emotional moment?
Paul: When Stark was running around in the hallways when Zhaan was dying [SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS]. It coincided with Virginia actually leaving. And when 10,000 Baniks got whooshed away into nothing [LIARS, GUNS AND MONEY].
Ginny: The final moment of Zhaan's final scene was the saddest for me. Zhaan felt a lot, and she cried a lot. I'm a very emotional person, and I used to read the script and practically cry reading it. The last scene that I did, the big scene, the kind of death scene, the moving into another dimension scene, I chose to try not to cry - it was the most heart-wrenching moment for her [Zhaan] and I thought she should try to contain it.
Audience Member: What was the funniest moment?
Ginny: I don't think there was any one funniest moment. I thought seeing Ben as Scorpius was funny. I thought he was Wayne, and I thought, why did his eyes look funny? I'm an eye girl, I notice eyes. Ben had the voice, it was absolutely perfect. When I found out, I roared with laughter.
Paul: Mine was getting vomited on by Pilot.
Audience Member: What was your reaction when you first saw the script for Stark?
Paul: I just heard about this science fiction show, it hadn't been shown in Australia. And I was really surprised, they were doing some schlock shows [like THE LOST WORLD] up on the Gold Coast, offshore American shows, and this was a really great script. It had a broad range to play with, the character was great, sort of spiritual and demented at once. I had no idea that I would be coming back later on. Rowan Woods encouraged me to go ballistic with "my side, your side" [NERVE/THE HIDDEN MEMORY], those are still my two favorite episodes.
Ginny: [hovering over Paul] When Paul's around I almost have to stand over him. Separation anxiety. I love Paul, I do. We didn't do it- oop!
Audience Member: Is Stark a vegetarian?
Paul: As Ginny said, we didn't consumate the relationship. But there was that episode with the photogasms, and Stark does have that light... If it ever got to the physical plane, I thought that's what he would do.
Ginny: Hey Zhaanie! Whoop! [mimes Stark flashing his light] Yeah, the light is something that is sold in the Delvian XXX shops. When I sent out my newsletters (which I can't any more, but that's a long story), I used to sign them with "xxx Virginia" - I didn't realize that it was getting blocked by some servers as sex spam! When I went to New York, I was in a cab and I saw a store with that sign, the three X's, and I thought it was sweet. The cab driver looked at me and said "Lady, are you for real?"
Audience Member: How were you affected by playing these two characters?
Ginny: You dare ask me that? I'll be talking for an hour! A friend has said I'm like a Labrador puppy, with my tail knocking things off the table, because I'm very excited and bouncy. Zhaan is so very still. Rowan told me that I needed to cultivate that. "Stillness is your friend, you have to contain all that." It taught me stillness, put me in touch with my spirituality in a totally new way, it really changed my life. It taught me a lot, big-time, and I talk about it a lot on my site.
Paul: It was a fantastic opportunity to watch a variety of actors, it taught me how to play a gamut of emotions. But it also taught me that I'm not comfortable with low status characters after a while. In MATRIX, we're very powerful, but Stark is very low status. In Farscape, except for with Rygel (we were equals), I was very low-status. I really liked JOHN QUIXOTE, where I had power again, because Stark got to come out and play a more important role. It hasn't changed me too much. I think because I've done a lot of stage, where you play the same character for weeks on end, you take on some of those qualities into yourself. But then, you move on and let those go, because they're replaced by a new character. I never thought Stark was mad...
Audience Member: Could you two do your signature things?
Ginny: Oh, let's just do a Unity for them. [she and Paul pose accordingly] Got a cigarette?
Audience Member: Ginny, I heard there was a part on Andromeda you were looking at.
Ginny: I haven't heard anything back about that. I get a lot of that. I'm always hopeful. There was a lot of movement that way, but it didn't happen. About three times I've been told they wanted me for a role, and then it evaporated.
Audience Member: What was it like working on the Lost World?
Paul: I had fun on that one, because I was playing a high status character. It was fun. It was a new director who worked on Farscape last year, I'd never worked for him before, and he was very good. It was with Sean Taylor [Lt. Reljik in INTO THE LION'S DEN], who's a chum now. We had fun with it, because it was a big cartoon, a one-dimensional villain. We'd work for a morning, then spend the afternoon on the Gold Coast (which is like Florida), drinking and relaxing.
Audience Member: Ginny, I wondered if you've ever been involved with the Unitarian church, since your prayers as Zhaan are a lot like the Unitarian children's prayer.
Ginny: No, I haven't, but I'd love to hear more about it, so stop by my site!
Audience Member: Did you ever change a line that you didn't like?
Paul: Whenever people had Stark call Crichton "John", I would change it back because he was never invited to - I thought Stark would be more formal. The only exception was in JOHN QUIXOTE when Stark was a construct; then he called him John.
Ginny: I always thought Zhaan spoke very formally and precisely, so I would change contractions back to the long form: I'm became I am. Otherwise, no, I trusted the writers.
Audience Member: What have you been up to lately?
Paul: I've just finished a play at the Sydney Opera House...might be doing [another] one in March. I've got a music studio and I'm working on an album. Or a CD, whatever you call it these days.
Ginny: An album's still an album, I don't call them CDs.
Paul: I play keyboard and use synthesizers; I've been getting live musicians in recently. Kind of chill out, jazzy, dancy music. I'm going to finish the beast first and see what it is, then I'll figure out how to release it. I want to give it the best possible chance.
Ginny: I've had so many close calls, but nothing has come of it yet. It took me about a year and a half to get my work papers, but I've finally got them. I couldn't work, but now I've started again. It can take years, but the casting agents don't know me. I'm still plodding along, you have to be patient.
Audience Member: How many times did you have to shave your hair?
Paul: Every day.
Audience Member: How many times did you have to gargle because you screamed too much?
Paul: I never gargled! On camera, I did find that I'd have a bit of a sore throat at the end of the day. When I works on stage, I can't do that - you have to ration your voice so that you can continue to perform every night. I found that on camera I went beyond what I normally do [on the stage].
Audience Member: What was kicking Maldis' butt like?
Ginny: It's very unusual for Zhaan to kick butt! They had me on wires, and I got to play with the stunt guys. We did a lot of preparation for the one scene - it was quite fun. I always felt weird about Zhaan carrying a gun, even.
Audience Member: Doing any seminars soon?
Ginny: Actually, yes, at Dark Christmas on Dec. 7th and at GenCon. I've been meditating since I was 14 (39 yrs ago!), and I've done so many courses since then. People demand to know how I prepared for playing Zhaan, and where I got that energy; they slowly started to ask me to show them a few mediations, and now it's grown into full-blown workshops.
An audience member asked for a photo. Ginny put her fingers up in a 'V' behind Paul's head, then played innocent when the audience cracked up and Paul whirled around.
Audience Member: I think the still silence made you [Ginny] powerful. And your deep voice, Paul, is fabulous. Were either of you sci-fi fans before you got involved in Farscape?
Paul: I was a LOST IN SPACE fan as a kid, and THE AVENGERS.
Ginny: I actually met Patrick McNee a few weeks ago
Paul: You did?
Paul: He's still alive?
Ginny: He's still alive, and he walks with a walking stick.
Paul: I also watched TREK, and since then I've watched ROSWELL, and I got into Farscape as well. I think it's so unique.
Ginny: What show was that?
Ginny: Fire escape? The first science fiction I fell in love with was 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. But yeah, I'm a big fan.
Audience Member: What was it like playing someone who was really insane?
Paul: [after first looking at Ginny] I didn't think of him as insane, just as hyper.
Ginny: [to the audience] Denial.
Paul: I thought maybe if you met his family, other Banik slaves, they're all like that, he was normal. It was more the pain he was carrying that was hard.
Audience Member: Did you think that Keanu Reeves was dreamy?
Paul: Uh, no, I didn't. Good actor, very energetic...
Ginny: I'd like to get my hands on that boy, and give him a massage. A woman came up to me at a convention, and said "I know you're into natural therapies, and I have a friend who's volunteered to come up and get a massage". I laughed, and said it was the best line I'd ever heard, and I said I'm going to use that line on Keanu Reeves.
Audience Member: This is for Paul, because he's got a Q&A debt to catch up to. Did the mask ever cause you trouble, like near misses with the wall?
Paul: Initially the mask did rub my eye, but then we gouged out the leather. You lose your depth of vision; I did run into a few things on that side.
Ginny: We used to make fun of him [by making faces] because he couldn't see us.
Paul: I actually did see you! I used to turn and run into people, because I didn't know they were standing there.
Audience Member: From a 1-month watcher... In GREEN EYED MONSTER, when Rygel puked on you, what was that liquid? You got it in your mouth, that made me hurl!
Paul: That was the second funniest moment on Farscape. It tasted awful. It's one of those takes that you have to get right on the first try. We didn't know what it [the fake vomit] was going to be, as far as consistency etc. And then I had bits of it on my costume for the rest of the day. There was a scene where Stark was thinking about things, and picking the bits off his clothing. It wasn't something toxic, but it wasn't nice.
Audience Member: This question is for Virginia-
Ginny: No, you can't have my phone number! Spanking, though? Oh, yeah! [fan runs on stage, elaborately bends over, she swats him once]
Audience Member: Did the actors have a chance to keep any of their costumes?
Ginny: Unfortunately not.
Audience Member: Can you do an American accent now that you're in this country?
Ginny: I really can't. I actually went to a coach, but it was too complicated. I tried for a while, but I just kept laughing. He had this classical textbook with lots of nonsensical things to use complex dipthongs. I can't do this in an American accent: "Thaw out the chicken, Alice." I just broke down laughing, because it sounded so Monty Python. He pointed out that I put an "R" at the end, and I said "No, I don't!", but then I realized I did. So, I never wanted to play a part ... and now Ricky is going to write something that is all about thawing out!
Audience Member: Everyone seems to be getting into music since Farscape ended. It seems more like a rock band than a tv show. Did that influence the show, that so many of the actors were musical?
Paul: We didn't talk too much about music on the set. You do find that actors who are into music have a very good ear for accents. So there's some overlap with actors like Anth, who can do accents so well. The attitude was an Australian thing.
Ginny: I don't know, it's a hard question to answer.
Audience Member: Have you been doing voice-overs for cartoons?
Ginny: I've done three auditions for Cartoon Network for voice work, but they didn't give me a job! [makes humorously sad face] I did an audition for a female spy, but I didn't get it.
Audience Member: You played some of the more intense characters ... was there any other character that you would've like to play that would've been easier?
Paul: I actually auditioned for Scorpius, and then I got offered Stark. The big difference was the prosthetic makeup! That was something I liked about Stark, because makeup was really brief. Scorpius was delicious, would have been fun to play, although e can't do a lot of physical work because of the costume. And maybe Rygel!
Ginny: You can't beat Zhaan, she was extraordinary. Zhaan is so multifaceted, so maternal, so spiritual, she's everything that I'd like to be. If I could have another 100 years on this earth, I would aspire to be her. Obviously I'm human, I have my mother and father's DNA, and I get cranky before breakfast. I'm human like everyone else, and I get cranky when I'm hungry. Zhaan didn't. Everything that you see in Zhaan is me. I had just done a 2-year energy healing course, and no one in casting knew. No one in Australia knew. For years and years I wanted to be a natural doctor. So there I was, auditioning for a priest, and I thought how could I make this character believable? What's different about a priest? It's this light, this absolutely beautiful healing energy light that comes over them, no matter what religion they are. So I thought about the spirituality, and everything that I learned, and packaged it all up for her. She is absolutely stacked/packed with everything that comes from me - except for the bad stuff. She's amazing. I could talk about her forever. What job can you have that you get to meditate and pray all day?
Audience Member: In MELTDOWN, when Stark is suspended in the pilot's chamber, he tells Crais, "I know everything". What was that about?
Paul: There was a seed of an idea for something further along. I think ... it was something that Talyn had told him, that he knew the way Crais had treated Talyn, something he could use later on, that gave him some power. We had an idea that it would carry on later on, but it didn't. [from the audience: Yet!]
Audience Member: What was your experience on THE MATRIX?
Paul: It was very exciting. A lot of time sitting around, but you could tell it was very exciting, that it was going to be something quite special. They had all the drawings up around to look at.
Audience Member: If there had been a musical episode of Farscape, what [sort of music] would you have wanted?
Paul: I remember them talking about (a musical episode), but I don't know what kind of music. It was disappointing that it didn't happen. [from the audience: Yet!]
Audience Member: What was your strength, what was your weakness that you brought?
Paul: A willingness to make an idiot of yourself.
Ginny: That'll do for me, too.
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3. Panel: Save Farscape
(Notes for this panel are courtesy of PyeCat.)
- Red (SaveFarscape.com)
- Voy (Chicago Scapers)
- DaniMoure (FarscapeWorld.com)
- BritAngie (BenBrowder.co.uk)
The panel was introduced by Red, who was also the moderator for the discussion.
Voy: I wanted to come out here, and thank everyone for the support they've shown SaveFarscape. Chicago Scapers covers Chicago, and the area around it. I heard about it [the cancellation] after the chatroom announcement - I wasn't in the chat, because I was at another convention. When I came back to Chicago, I heard that a rally was being organized, and I wanted to help out. About 60 people in total showed up, we had a picnic in the mountains and we talked about what we would do. Basically, that was where ChicagoScapers was formed. Today, we have about 155 people in the group. We go to conventions and hold parties with food (and Jello shots!). We've done slide shows in movie theaters, radio appearances.
DaniMoure: When we heard about it, we were shocked and wondering what we could do. We heard about websites like SaveFarscape.com, and worked to get people organized and write in. That's really all I've got to say, I didn't come prepared!
BritAngie: I found out about the cancellation in the chat like everyone else. I didn't think I would be doing things like sending my bra, but ...
Red: I wasn't really paying attention to chat when the announcement was made. I got an e-mail later that evening suggesting that some of us with websites should organize a small campaign ... SaveFarscape.com is a wonderful website, and it's not much without all the wonderful people that are part of it.
Audience: Who are you sending your therapy bills to?
Ricky Manning: Can I have a hug? Can I have a spanking? With all your best efforts, do you really think you'll get Lexx back on the air?
DaniMoure: Oh yeah, we sent in our fake breasts to SciFi.
General Comments -
DaniMoure: My favorite rumor is that Season 5, the show is going to be taken over by Maay Soo.
BritAngie: My favorite rumor is that you [Dani] cancelled Farscape.
DaniMoure: Yeah, that's true. We all secretly work for Farscape.
Red: In the end, it's a business. I think that it's great most of the fans understood that, and acted from knowing that it's a business. If Bonnie Hammer has enough money to sue in support of The New Roswell, she has enough money to put Farscape back on the air. [audience applauds with great enthusiasm]
Red: What really helps getting attention at a convention is a large poster of Aeryn, Chiana, and Jool. (We're not anti-Sikozu, that's just what our poster has.) Every guy in the place - doesn't matter what the convention is for - every guy will stop and look.
DaniMoure: Updating the website takes time and money. Any time that I can, I do.
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4. Panel: Farscape on the Net
(Notes for this panel are courtesy of PyeCat.)
- un4scene (Ultimate)
- Thinkum (Snurcher's Guide)
- AmyJ (Karlsweb)
- KernilCrash (Kansas)
- Angie (BenBrowder.net)
Ricky Manning generously agreed to moderate the panel on very short notice - thanks, Ricky!
Angie: I stayed friends with a lot of people that I met [online]. I went from text-based to pictures, and it's just been incredible. There are a lot of boards, and you have to find your niche. I decided I had to try it [running a website]. It's more for my entertainment, and I found that other people needed to be entertained as well. Don't be afraid to explore online, and don't be afraid to start your own website. Do something that's fun and entertaining for you.
KernilCrash: I'm one of the administrators for Kansas, a bulletin board. This is my first fandom; I've never gotten involved with a show like this before. I knew Farscape was coming (TV Guide, etc.), but I just couldn't get it. I started watching when season one was on DVD, and SciFi was playing reruns of season two, and watching it all at once. I wandered on this thing called the Dominion Board, and found the most articulate and intelligent people that I've ever found in my life.
AmyJ: I could do the thing in pantomime, or I could do the hula. [To Ricky: You're going to be disappointed; I'm not going to do it!] I came across the show because the cable company made a mistake. I came across the site, and struck up a conversation with this really strange guy named Karl. The site just grew, and metamorphosed.
Thinkum: I came into Farscape in the middle of seasone one, when the cable company finally added SciFi to the lineup. The first episode I saw was JEREMIAH CRICHTON, so whenever people say that it's their least favorite episode, I have this little sentimental reaction. I came in at the beginning of the hiatus, and was looking for more information. I saw SciFi's URL on the screen, went to the bulletin board, and became an IRC addict (I can stop any time I want!). I've met phenomenal numbers of people. My quest was to get information on the episodes I missed, and get the backstory. I decided I needed some place to really concentrate the information. I started Snurcher's just for myself, but it really snowballed and got away from me. Snurcher's is more of a static site, an information resource rather than an interactive forum. My challenge now is getting messages like "Why haven't you updated the site for this episode?" Some of us have jobs and lives! [Ricky makes sad face] I've explored a lot of other areas of the web-based community since then. There are IRC servers, news servers that (theoretically) discuss the show, and I've met lots of folks - there are some really great people out there.
un4scene: It grew out of the Dominion early on, because people wanted something large. The Dominion was very large and not very organized. I was channel surfing and stumbled into CRACKERS DON'T MATTER. I kept watching, and knowing that it should make more sense. I knew it should, and I got online very quickly searching the websites for information, and pieced them together based on sound clips. Definitely interact [with each other]! If you're new to fandom, don't be afraid to send feedback, they love feedback.
Ricky: Who are these people, and why are they here?
Ricky: Farscape on the Net. Threat or menace?
Ricky: One thing I've noticed about this fandom is that it's extremely self-policing. Whenever questions are asked about the actors' personal lives, everyone jumps in as one and says "that's out of bounds". Rumors are not plastered excessively. There seems to be a lot of responsibility; why do you think that is? Is this common to all fandoms, or is it unique to Farscape?
Angie: I think most people have respect for the production company, and understand rumor. I think they approach it in a responsible way, and it shows that they have respect.
KernilCrash: I think it's because the cast and crew came to us on the Internet, and gave us the opportunity to be part of the show. That's rare, and it means that we take responsibility. Now that I'm an administrator of Kansas, I want to carry on and with a light hand guide that.
AmyJ: Unlike the X-Files fandom which was extremely vicious, and the JAG fandom which was extremely cutthroat, I think the Farscape fandom feels a family connection. When family is attacked, you fight back.
Thinkum: So essentially what we're saying is that it's your fault. [grins] The cast and crew reached out to us through events like this, and it became more of a friendship relationship, and you don't stalk friends, it's not cool. We're accepting you. I think there is that very personal connection to the people that have given us this show. It's a mark of respect, that's true, but it's also instinct.
Ricky: Various studios and shows have various policies about how much infringement they're willing to support and turn a blind eye to. I'm asking because I honestly don't know; have you ever heard from Henson or the other companies that you've gone too far?
Angie: I think there's a lot of maturity (age and attitude), and that we contact Henson and the other companies up front and ask what is acceptable. When people didn't really know, when it was their first venture into fandom, they didn't know that you have to be very careful putting clips and pictures up. I had a friend at Fox, and I asked her.
AmyJ: It's been my experience that Henson has been very permissive, compared to companies like Paramount. If you put up anything even closely related to Star Trek, you get a very strong [negative] communication from Paramount. You're getting a lot of trust that you're not going to smear their name.
Ricky: Let's take that one step further. A lot of websites (Amy!) take spoilers as their stock in trade, with varying degrees of accuracy. Assuming some of them are accurate, knowing DK's attitude toward spoilers (he hates them), how do you reconcile that attitude by one of the people responsible for the show with the continued presence of spoilers?
Angie: Respect only goes so far. :)
AmyJ: First of all, spoilers were never my stock in trade. They were like the weather report: they will or won't happen no matter what I do. If we had a spoiler, we tried to verify it's integrity. There were pictures published in the UK that were from episodes that didn't happen in the US. At some point you make the connection that it's okay to put that up on the website because in the future, it will happen.
Ricky: Ladies and Gentlemen, the next governor of our state. But really, if you were really, really tempted, and someone came up to you and said "On this disc I have the scripts for season five", what would you do?
Thinkum: How do you know that hasn't happened already? Seriously? That hasn't happened to me, personally, but when you run a site you do learn things, you hear from sources. And sometimes you just have to suck it up and keep your mouth shut. There are some things that you just don't do.
Angie: Some of us in this room have gotten valuable information, and we've elected to not post it out of respect. But I am a spoiler whore.
un4scene: There was a lot of conscious posting of spoiler warnings on our site.
KernilCrash: It's a gray area: what do you put up and don't put up. As a bulletin board, it's a question of what you leave up. It's a question of personal values, and we encourage everyone to err on the high side.
Ricky: You say it's not hard [to run a website], but it looks awfully professional to me, perhaps better than some of the official sites. Some of them aren't updated regularly [looking at Thinkum] ... You say, "it looks bloody marvelous, and don't you have a life?"
Thinkum: You have to love it. A static site like mine doesn't take as much time (I'm guessing) as an interactive forum. For me, most of my time is spent coding.
KernilCrash: It's self-policing. They come to us and say "Do you know it's going on?" It's self-policing. It's Scapers!
Angie: I'm a soccer mom, and I can tell you that some of the other moms' hobbies take far much more time than my hobby.
AmyJ: I knew nothing about Photoshop or other things, and over the years I learned. I consider myself having a life; it just is doing this.
Thinkum: It depends on how technical you want to get. You can put a lot of effort into it, and program a whole backend to adminster your site [looks pointedly at DaniMoure in the audience] or you can do something casual that you update once in a while. If you're interested, it's worth doing a site. My only advice is that you should find a niche, something that isn't already being done. It doesn't have to be a big site to be used an awful lot.
un4scene: It's watching the episodes with friends, and then staying up until 4 in the morning coding.
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5. Lani Tupu
Lani was introduced by an extremely well done, quasi-operatic video titled "Sleeping Sun".
Lani: If you see my twin running around ... I got in early last night, but my twin was out until the late hours.
Audience Member: Why'd you cut your hair?
Lani: I needed to test for other things, and it was just a look that I needed to just change. I just decided one Friday to go down the road and do it. And also it was a bet. I won the bet. So, Jean...[looks expectantly at Jean (his rep) as if waiting for her to pay up] There are only so many roles that you can get, looking like a biker.
I'm working on shooting a film when I get back ... I recently had a role in "Away" (an Australian play) for three months in New Zealand, where I played a gentleman from Wales, with a really bad Pom [English] accent.
[settles himself into the chair onstage] I'm not used to sitting in a director's chair. I'm going to take it back to Australia...
Looking back at that body of work, if I pass away tomorrow, I'm very glad to have left something behind that made a mark. I'm grateful to the crew, the writers, and the other actors I worked with, and I think we've left behind something really wonderful.
I think it's always great to acknowledge you guys. Without you guys, we don't get up there and do it - stories are made to have a reaction to. Otherwise, you stand in front a mirror every day, and that's scary.
Audience Member: Why did Crais decide to sacrifice himself? Was it to keep his promise to Talyn-John to take care of Aeryn and the others, or was it just part of the general plan?
Lani: Both. I always saw him as a noble character. I was blessed in having that role, and I played it to the hilt. It was great, because when I was really cranky in my off days, it went well for me.
Audience Member: Sci-fi has a really loyal fan base. Did that enter into your mind when you auditioned?
Lani: No. I had no idea what kind of fan base existed. Farscape has been fantastic, it's brought me halfway around the world, and I've had a great time visiting America and meeting people. So for that, thank you!
Lani: As far as leaving your mark - I saw a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, and the centurions were all dressed as Peacekeepers in broadcoats.
Audience Member: When you were on THE LOST WORLD, Jennifer O'Dell mentioned something about you reminding her of the Burger King.
Lani: We blocked the scene, and I went up to the Gold Coast to film it. I had not, until that moment, seen the Burger King outfit. Have you seen the Lost World?
Audience Member: I've seen the outfit, and it's shirtless.
Lani: Props came over and handed me the hat. They said "Roll Camera", and Jennifer took one look at me, and burst out laughing. "My God, this is the Burger King!"
Audience Member: At the photo op, you looked in really good shape. Just how much weight have you lost?
Lani: Oh, cut my hair, that was it. I've been doing some landscape work, which is what I did before, which is good for me, I just talk to myself in the garden. Atkins, Atkins man, that was it, I'm sold on it!
Audience Member: How long did it take for you to understand what Ben was saying to you?
Lani: I still don't understand.
Audience Member: Are you considering anything in the States?
Lani: I can't actually work here, no green card yet. Until I get that, I can't really do anything.
Audience Member: Hello Mr. Tupu ... just to let you know, if you want to get a Green Card, you can marry a US citizen.
Lani: Let's talk later!
Audience Member: How much of Crais is you, and how much is the writers?
Lani: You don't give somebody two roles unless you know that they're really mad, schitzophrenic. I'm sort of crazy, really. I'm an actor, I throw myself into the deep end and that's what you got.
Ricky: I think what you brought to the role was your tortured-ness. You see that [as a writer], and you write to it. You brought that wonderful tortured soul. We wrote the roles as very one-dimensional so that people would recognize them, knowing that they would evolve over time and add dimensions. We also looked at the actors and thought about what they could do well, and really drew on the actors in fleshing out the characters.
Audience Member: What went through your mind with Pilot?
Lani: When I was working with Pilot, my sole purpose was to get a team from A to B, safely. That was what I wanted to do.
Audience Member: I enjoyed your role in JOHN QUIXOTE. Did you think about doing different roles, and different costumes?
Lani: With that role, I'm so pleased that I never ... I auditioned for D'Argo originally. It took me 5 minutes when getting into makeup [for John Quixote] to know that I had the better role. I have no patience for prosthetics. When I was screaming - as I do most days - I had this massive headache, and didn't know that Wayne goes through that every day.
Audience Member: What would you have brought to D'Argo?
Lani: D'Argo, I don't know. I probably would've made him Polynesian. He would eat a lot more... No, I couldn't have done what Anthony did. I think he did a fantastic job. I think actors are given roles that they're chosen for, for particular qualities. During casting you look for qualities in the actors, and cast them appropriately.
Audience Member: What do you miss most about doing the roles?
Lani: I think I miss just being out there. To me, working on the set is like coming home, a sense of family for me, I think that's what I miss most of all. To me, working on a set is like coming home - that's what I miss most of all, to not be able to just have some fun.
Audience Member: In MIND THE BABY, when you and Aeryn were going at it, fisticuffs, how many good ones did she get on you for real?
Lani: Heh ... you know Claudia, she can pack a punch! We design it in such a way that we don't try to hurt each other. The camera angles are designed so that you don't have a very badly bruised actor or actress. The fight scene was about a morning's work.
Audience Member: How many takes did you scream in the Aurora Chair? And how bad did your voice feel after?
Lani: The funny thing is, the first time in Aurora Chair when I was spun around and screamed, the lights went off in the studio. That was a great moment. Pretty much every time I did a screaming scene, my voice would feel it afterwards.
Audience Member: Who had the idea in THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC to make Crais look like he just woke up?
Lani: Well, the makeup department has to have some fun.
Audience Member: Can you do Pilot's voice without digital editing?
Lani: Crichton! Starburst!
Audience Member: How did you prepare for those intense moments? "Fire!" "Starburst!"
Lani: If you get up at 5:00 in the morning and skip breakfast... [laughter] That's where it comes from.
Audience Member: Is there one particular scene, or moment, where you feel, this is it, I nailed it, it was perfect? Is there a moment that defines the experience?
Lani: For me there are many, many moments. There's a wonderful scene [FAMILY TIES] where I'm sitting talking to Ben, and I'm behind bars. That's one. When Crais was being quiet, I always tried to make sure the audience was trying to figure out what he was thinking. Rhapsody in Blue (the tune) - the highlight is in the middle when it goes all quiet.
Audience Member: Between the combination of your voice and the puppeteering, the range of emotion that Pilot could express was just amazing. You had to be reacting to something, what was it?
Lani: I'm sitting in a dark room in front of a microphone, looking at the rushes. I was working with a great technician. For me, the most difficult part was when there were different continuity people (male and female) doing Pilot's voice on set; I had to recreate the rhythms.
I would do Pilot and Crais at the same time, and I would always do Pilot first before all the screaming ... Ricky, come to mention it, how come I wound up screaming in every damn episode?
Ricky: I told you, we write to what the actors do best, and we said the first day, "He's a screamer!"
Audience Member: Was your scene in LANTANA originally longer?
Lani: The director assembled a cast of people that...it's the first film work where I've been to where I was reading to the actor. What ended up on the cutting room floor will not be mentioned! I loved that film. Working with Ray Lawrence was wonderful, he just let the actors do their stuff and run with it. The difficulty for me was convincing him that I could do the role with long hair. It took a whole day of negotiations! I read for the role, and he said "There's no role for you." At the end of the day, though, he said "We can work around it."
Audience Member: Did you like Crais or Pilot more?
Lani: To me, the only way to answer that is to say both; I can't say that I liked one more than the other. They're both affectations of who I am.
Audience Member: If "Rhapsody in Blue" is Crais' music, what is Pilot's music?
Lani: Ooo, there's a question. Gosh. Maybe he's more into hiphop or rap.
Audience Member: Shall we ask you after you've been in the bar?
Audience Member: What were your feelings when you first read that Pilot was going to disengage from Moya to fly the shuttle? [in BAD TIMING]
Lani: One of the best lines I ever spoke for Pilot, was just Pilot saying "The End." That for me was nice closure.
Audience Member: We heard that there's an interesting story from GREEN EYED MONSTER about the woman who was Claudia's body double.
Lani: I'm lying there, thinking of England, and there's this woman sitting on top of me as it happens. Minding my own business ... You know what, it's very very difficult to do. it's really hard, when you're making love in public, to get it up. I didn't just say that, it was my twin.
It was just business, but it was really funny because my wife was walking on set I said "Just get her off me." But she saw everything anyway, because there's a monitor. "Oh, hello." It's one of the perks.