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The Making of Continuum (Part 2)

Sharon Gosling, Jun 5th, 2008

The Making of Continuum (Part 2)

Besides shooting in the Arctic, producing Continuum as a feature film provided some other fantastic opportunities, particularly in the area of production design.

"There were things that we could do in Continuum that we simply couldn't afford to do in the television series. We actually built the bridge and several decks of a 1939 cargo ship, and it looks pretty damn good on the screen," Wright exclaims. "Rather than just doing a cargo hold, we did a gimballed cargo hold, and rather than just saying it's cold, we refrigerated the set. I had originally thought that we could maybe find an old ship in the harbor that we could shoot the deck scenes in, and we would have to just build the bridge. But marine technology has gone so far that there just aren't any ships around that have [that style] -wooden decks, wireless and portholes. Even the slightly newer ships have technology that would have had to have been swapped out, and it would have cost almost as much to refit an existing ship with 1939 level technology as it would to build one on the stage. It would have cost a fortune to shoot it on location and it might have even been dangerous. So, since we knew we had to build the cargo hold anyway, we decided to build the front of the ship, which was costly but it gave us a lot of fun."

Another very significant aspect of Continuum is the wonderful orchestral score, created by Joel Goldsmith. "I wasn't going to do it because I didn't think we were going to be able to afford it, and then when I heard the Ark of Truth score we found ways to make it happen," Wright confesses with a laugh. "Honestly, Joel Goldsmith is so good. He elevates our work. It's astounding. I listen to his soundtrack to Continuum in the car. I've already heard it a thousand times, but I love it so much I still listen to it! I got to drive down to Seattle and watch the orchestra perform it, and to see Joel and Nicholas, his conductor, at work, and obviously the performers. It makes you realize that our music is at the highest level. Joel could do a $100 million dollar feature without blinking in terms of the quality of his music."

And, to top off the team that helped make Continuum work so well, the film was helmed by Martin Wood, Stargate SG-1's most prolific director.

"Martin and I have kind of developed this style together as director and producer, so I feel very connected with what he does. I feel very much a part of how he approaches a scene. I don't go, 'What the hell is that? I would never do it that way.' I go, 'That's exactly how I wanted it,' or more often, 'It's even better than I wanted.' The other thing I love about Martin's work is that he never ever forgets that it has to remain dynamic. Because you can be in a situation where actors and the director will want to be, for lack of a better word, indulgent in the scene, where it really needs to be go, go, go, go, go! And vice versa, sometimes you can blast through a scene that needs to take some time, and breathe. Martin and I are almost always on the same page with that."

Energy is one thing that Stargate Continuum is certainly not lacking. Take, for example, the film's opening scene – which Martin Wood accomplished in one stunning master shot that required 17 takes to perfect: a sweeping introduction to Stargate Command and some of the people that work there. "We did something in that we would never have been able to do in the television show," Wright agrees, "we devoted a couple of minutes to just saying, 'Okay, here's the energy of Stargate Command, there's a ton of things going on, familiar faces coming and going. And it's a beginning. It's something that a good film should have."

So, whether you've been following SG-1's adventures since the very beginning or you've only just discovered the idea of a Stargate, prepare to be swept along at breakneck speed!

"I wanted to prove to MGM and to the rest of the world that Stargate belongs on the big screen," Wright says simply. "And I think we've done that."


Look out for more interviews with the cast and crew of Stargate Continuum – coming soon to Stargate.MGM.com!

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