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September 23rd, 2004, 10:29 PM
From the Vancouver Film School site:


Discovering Atlantis
Five Writing Students visit the set of Stargate Atlantis
September 20, 2004

The success of a sci-fi show lies mostly in its following; once people become attached to characters and storylines, the dedication of the viewers becomes cult-like. Movies are made, conventions held, and in the case of Stargate, a spin-off is created. Recently, five writing students from VFS were invited to visit the set of the Sci-Fi Channel's newest cult hit, Stargate Atlantis.

The producers of Stargate came to the VFS Writing department to speak to students about the experience of writing for television. On the heels of their presentation, Stargate representatives offered five invitations to students to visit the set and meet the staff writers.

After demonstrating their knowledge to the Stargate universe through a series of trivia questions asked by the producers, students Kathryn Cottam, Sam Mukherjee, Jeffrey Campbell, Rebecca Hales, and Ryan Galletta were given the opportunity to spend an entire day behind the scenes of the sci-fi show. "This gave our students a real good look at what a professional television writer does in a typical day," says Writing Department Head Robert Gray.

Stargate Atlantis is a spin-off of a spin-off. The idea originated from the syndicated science fiction hit Stargate SG1, which spawned from the feature film Stargate in 1994. Already with a strong following Stargate Atlantis premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel with some of the highest viewership numbers in the channel's recent history.

"It was wonderful meeting the two writers, who answered all of our questions and were incredibly honest about their experiences in writing and the television business," says Kathryn Cottam. "The day left me feeling inspired and excited about the industry I am about to enter."

Although the show was shooting on location the day of the visit, students still received a first hand show-business experience. "It was really easy to relate to the writers because at some point, they were all in our position," says Jeffrey Campbell.

A major highlight of the tour was when the set lights were suddenly switched on; giving life to what was once just words on a page. "The sets were awesome and seeing the number of people and the amount of effort that goes into shooting a single scene puts our writing into perspective," says Rebecca Hales.

"I'm a huge fan of the show, so this was a big deal to me," says Ryan. "It really goes to show that if you can tell a good story, people are going to listen."

Copyright 2004 Vancouver Film School




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