Monday Page One

David Kemper 

In his introduction, Mr. Creation Entertainment said that David Kemper had been working with them all year to put the convention together. This kind of participation is unheard of from a producer and Mr. CE was tremendously grateful.

DK_DKM.jpg (17505 bytes)When DK came out, he looked awful – he was really pale. He explained that he was having “a little sinus event” and if he had to leave, he said that he’d bring out a couple of people to substitute for him. “The show must go on and all that kind of crap!” Then he thanked everyone for coming and said that we were the ones that make the show. Without us, they’re out of work! To come out to these conventions gives them such great feedback – the actors, producers, directors – its phenomenal for them.

He asked if anyone had yet named a child or a pet after a character in Farscape? Someone named three pet rats Crichton, D'Argo and I couldn’t hear the third; there were two fish named Moya and Talyn, a flying fish named Harvey, and a gerbil named Chiana.

David invited people in the back of the room to come up first to ask questions because they hadn’t had a chance to get to the microphones earlier. The first questioner wanted to know if they were ever going to have a character who was completely CG. DK said that Andrew Prowse is in charge of all the CG that we see on the screen. The snake in Self-Inflicted Wounds was entirely CG. Occasionally, Rygel was done with CG when they wanted him to do something that they can’t do with a puppet. They’ve had lots of CG, he told the questioner, you just don’t know it.

The next fan said the show is expected to go on for five or six seasons. He was wondering what direction the show was going to take because pretty soon John is going to have the ability to go home. David said, “Just keep watching until the end of the year.” (Was this a slip-of-the-tongue spoiler, the result of DK’s sinus event, or a deliberate misdirection?)

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At this point, David asked for Ricky Manning and Andrew Prowse to come take his place and he left the stage. Ricky said that they’d tell us the truth! There were two chairs on the stage – my side, your side – so they sat down and were ready for questions.

The first fan noticed that the John on Talyn, even when he was dying, never mentioned the John on Moya. Froon said, “Would you? What should he say to the love of his life? ‘I’m dying, but it’s not all bad news!’” 

DK_Prowse03M.jpg (28824 bytes)“Tell us a little bit about the writing process.” The fan wanted to know if they break stories as a group and if they get a lot of notes from DK, the network, the studio. Froon answered that they generally break stories as a group and David is part of the process all the time. David is the “fountainhead”, ideas “spring forth” and the rest of them try to keep up and pitch in.  The network and the studios generally don’t have that much to say about it. They’re at the stage of trusting the writers, liking the show they’re making, and encouraging them to just keep doing it. In fact, they said the network has been tremendously supportive. They’ve pushed the writers to really make the show outrageous. Don’t take the rough edges off, put some on. Go for it!

Next question: Are we ever going to see Scarrans who aren’t bent on conquest and genocide? Andrew Prowse answered that what we’ve seen of the Scarrans so far is probably the military wing. There are others – doctors, lawyers. Ricky Manning said that we actually did see another kind of Scarran in Fractures. Then he said, “Did we keep him around? I guess we’ll see in January? March?”

If Moya is a living ship, what does she eat? I don’t think they had a clue what she eats but they came up with a couple of guesses. Blanc Mange. Space Plankton.

DK_Froon03M.jpg (39635 bytes)How do you come up with names of characters and species? Froon said that most writers are looking for a way to waste time when they should be writing. Ricky’s solution is to steal them from Star Trek and other places. Other times you can take names and mutate them.

Another fan said that her friend wants to know if Zhaan is coming back. “So do we,” said Ricky.

“Which Crichton is the original Crichton?”  Froon: “I think we’ll let the audience handle that one for us.”  Audience: “THEY’RE BOTH ORIGINAL!”  Ricky said, “A difference which makes no difference is no difference.”

“Any plans for making a movie?”  Ricky said that it’s been talked about, but it’s a tricky thing to fit into the schedule. Would it be a stand alone, or would it be a big episode? Obviously, if you put something on a movie screen, you’d want to make it worthy of it. All he’d really say was that it’s on everyone’s mind.

The next fan up to the microphone wanted to know why Farscape is the only scifi show without its own robot. Ricky: “How do you know? Did you know Zhaan was a plant? I rest my case.”

DK_Prowse05M.jpg (35060 bytes)When the fan book for the all the behind the scenes people was presented, Andrew Prowse said that the show couldn’t be made without them. He was especially appreciative of the people who do the CGI because he deals with them the most often. He said that he’s constantly surprised by how good it is. He also mentioned how often the CGI people challenge themselves and keep coming up with better ways of doing things.

A woman asked them if they were to go to a convention as a fan, what show would they go for. Ricky said he wasn’t sure, he’d have to check his Playboy Channel schedule!

“Are you considering recording some episodes in wide screen?” Andrew said that the whole thing is in a state of flux at the moment. Everywhere. Ricky said that if you look at the episodes that Andrew’s directed, there’s at least one wide screen shot in every one of them.

“Can you give us a couple of things we might have missed the first time around?” The questioner used the little bolts of light scene as an example, the part where John shoots the gun backwards. Andrew said, “Maybe you can make a list of what you didn’t catch and we can point it out to you!” Seriously, he said, they do make the show to have a kind of rhythm and people who watch the show twice or three times will get more out of it each time.

“Are you allowed to tell us the titles of the next four episodes?” “Well”, said Andrew, “it’s 3.19, 3.20…does that answer your question?” Froon said that there’s a rumor going around that the last episode is titled Funereal for Everybody, but that it’s just a rumor! 

DK_Froon04M.jpg (38358 bytes)The next questioner wanted to know if the writers ever made an episode that was based on some of their own experiences. Andrew laughed and Froon said that one of the episodes we’ve already seen was entirely autobiographical, but, “We’re not gonna tell you which one!” Andrew said that how they make an episode is always influenced by their life experience.

The same person asked if they have a sort of bible that they keep to when they write. Froon said that DK has a beginning and end of the season in mind, and they know some of the landmarks they’re going to hit along the way, but it’s not set in stone. Andrew said that they pretty much know where they’re going but not how they’re going to get there. They remain flexible.

A man praised the expertise with which they avoid answering questions. Ricky said that they are, after all, professionals.

Lil Taylor is the keeper of the story. If the writers or directors ever have a question about, well about anything, they’ll go to her for the answers. For example, if they want to know if they ever said how big a command carrier is, Lil will get them the answer. Or if they ever said how big it is, but that scene got cut, she can tell them that, too. They have to be careful. If they think they’ve established something but it never got on the screen, it’s important to know that.

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A man who works in the area of screen combat asked if D'Argo is ever going to use his Qualta blade any more. He used it a lot in the first season, but not much since. Andrew said that in DNA Mad Scientist, when he chopped Pilot’s arm off, the Qualta blade shattered and pieces of it flew all over the set. That’s one reason why D'Argo hasn’t used it much recently.

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