A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

Burbank 2001: Day 1

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Event Schedule:

Welcome from Brian Henson & David Kemper

Gigi Edgley

Producers & Directors (panel discussion)

Tammy MacIntosh

Blooper Reel

Anthony Simcoe

Full Weekend Schedule

1. David Kemper & Brian Henson:

Ben Browder is writing episode 7 of the fourth season.

They would like to do a feature film, possibly concurrent with season five.

Regarding the season three finale: whatever you felt last year, you'll feel something different, but twice as strong as last year.

The "Charted Territories" were charted by Peacekeepers, and are roughly equivalent to the Peacekeeper "empire", or sphere of direct influence. "Uncharted Territories" simply means anything other than this PK-controlled space.

How is it that Sebaceans can look so much like humans, even while having different organs, etc.? Kemper says that he knows the answer to this question. Naturally, he didn't share it with us. ;-)

According to Brian Henson, the decision to partner with Nine Network Australia is the worst thing they (the production company) have ever done. The show should have been on Australia's Channel 10, but for weird reasons went to Nine instead. Kris Noble, the head of programming for Nine, loves the show, and his staff loves the show, but the higher-ups at the network don't like or support science fiction.

Rygel will have additional character development in the final four eps of season three. Kemper also thinks *very* highly of the puppeteer who voices Rygel on set during filming, as an actor.

The "house style" for Farscape episodes is "no style".


2. Gigi Edgley:

Gigi and Claudia just spent a few weeks in Mexico, where Gigi learned that "gigi" has another meaning south of the border...relating to a female's physical endowment. She tried to talk Claudia into going bungee jumping while they were there, but without success.

Every producer was keeping an eagle eye on her during her fire-twirling scene in "Scratch 'N Sniff".

She wanted to bring her fire sticks over from Oz, but they caught her at Customs.

Most embarrassing moment: while filming one of the scenes where Chiana and Jothee are being intimate, her modesty patch (Oz equivalent of pasties) just popped off.

On her role on Farscape: "Just as you figure out where your character is going, it turns on its head and goes in the opposite direction."

She's been trying to portray her precognitive skills in an understated manner. Watch for more to come in the final four episodes of season three.

Chiana moves differently than other Nebari because she was never "brainwashed" like the rest of her people.

The first three days of the season finale were shot without a script.

She and Anthony play *as* action figures on set, a la mime skills.

She describes Jool as "Lucille Ball's evil twin".


3. Producers'/Directors' Panel (David Kemper, Ricky Manning, Andrew Prowse, Tony Tilse):

Prowse described the Jackench Cockpit scene from "Look at the Princess" as a 'magic moment' -- they got it in one take, and everything just flowed perfectly.

In "Liars, Guns, and Money", Tilse went to Kemper and asked if he could light a guy on fire. Kemper was okay with it, and four different stuntmen asked to be set on fire for the scene. However, saner heads at a higher level said "no way" due to safety considerations. When this was relayed to Tilse, he said "Okay", and went back to work. Sometime later, Lily Taylor came running up to the Writers' Suite to tell them that Tilse had just set someone on fire anyway; you can see it in the final corridor shootout, where a man in flames is running around behind Scorpius.

Rockne O'Bannon said from day one of the show that he liked the NYPD Blue style of shooting; hence there has always been lots of sense of movement of the ship (Moya).

Prowse describes the show's visual style as being unique to each episode.

Question: "What do you guys want to do when you grow up?"
Answer 1: "I don't want to grow up!"
Answer 2: "We're grown up at home."

There really are no internal politics on the show, which is highly unusual for a production. The cast and crew are genuinely friendly and family to one another. They try to follow a "guns on the table" policy -- you can toss any idea you want out to the group, and no matter how stupid others may consider it to be, they won't kill you for suggesting it.

Someone inquired about a possible spin-off; Manning suggested, "Rygel, P.I."

The idea for the chip in John's head developed of the course of season two, but was initially sparked by the concept of Scorpy's coolant rod.

They shot the bumpercar and rollercoaster scenes in "Infinite Possibilities" at Luna Park (an amusement park in Oz), which was closed for remodeling at the time.

Tilse just shot a new pilot for an Oz show.

Tilse: "Every day on set you realize you know nothing. The bar is so high on Farscape, you're just always realizing how much you don't know. As a director, Farscape makes you always think outside of the box."

Kemper swears he will never work on another show better than this; he considers this the pinnacle of his career.

Prowse: "The problem with going to another show after Farscape is that it's going to be boring. I've never experienced a TV show before where EVERYBODY pushes the envelope, despite fixed time and money for production."

Kemper: "[Farscape production is] the biggest toy set in the world."

Manning: "[The Australian members of the team are all like] kids in candy stores, because Oz doesn't have the extensive SF experience that they do in Hollywood. The Farscape effects guys created the "goo" from Matrix. World-class film makers, but no SF experience."

Matrix 2 & 3 are shooting right next door to Farscape's stages.

Kemper: "I don't know anything about Moya." At the time of Premiere, Moya had 3 prisoners and 3 Peacekeeper guards, and a control collar. Leviathans are intended for cargo, not troop support, so there never was any intention that Moya would have had a large contingent of PKs on board at the time D'Argo, Zhaan, and Rygel made their break.

Moya has seven maintenance bays.

On their avoidance of technobabble on the show: "How did that work? How the hell do I know?"

Kemper loves the emotional stuff -- there are favorite moments, yes, but he doesn't have whole episodes as favorites. He loved the vial at the end of LATP. Loved SnS and RA this year. "I'm bored. I'm in my 40s and I've done this for a long time."

Prowse was terrified of "Revenging Angel" until he heard the final sound mix. Only then did he believe that the episode was going to work.

Prowse stays over in Kemper's guest room at least twice a week.

Tilse is "unflappable".

When they're all terrified, that's when Kemper knows the show's gonna be good.

Tilse: during Fractures, that moment of John(M) going through John(T)'s personal effects just kind of appeared during filming.

Tilse: something goes wrong every day; it's just that every day, you don't know WHAT's going to go wrong.


4. Tammy MacIntosh:

[Note: she is one of the most delightful people you could ever hope to meet. No matter how much you might hate Jool, you can't not instantly like Tammy.]

She went through a 6-7 month audition process. At her final audition, Ben threw her over his shoulder; she was upside down over his shoulder, whacking his tush, saying "put me down!". She got the role.

Tammy is 31 and proud of it.

Tammy has some background in gymnastics, and did her own flipping in the Scratch 'N Sniff bar scene; however, after 6 takes, she said "I'm too old for this". She did several cartwheels and a flip for us, on stage.

From the audience: Jool and Chiana are the Thelma and Louise of the Uncharted Territories (Tammy liked that).

Tammy would really LOVE to not have to scream any more.

On funny moments as she was settling into the role: As she and Gigi were off set preparing to shoot the serpent scene in Self-Inflicted Wounds, where they run in screaming, Tammy was all wound up. She was babbling something along the lines of "Oh, my god, what are we going to do?", and Gigi yelled back at her "Shut up!" and whacked her. This was before Action! was ever called.

It's hard keeping Jool as painful and princessy as she is, but she is trying to keep the character as irritating as possible, for as long as possible.

In response to one fan's question: "Wow, you're good. I have to think. And I'm blonde!"

Jool saw her situation as analogous to going from a nice little house in the suburbs to a third world country straw hut covered in urine, with cockroaches underfoot.

The night before shooting "Different Destinations", she had some friends over for a dinner party, and after a few drinks came up with Jool's 'burbling' method of drinking. She just tossed it in the next day, on set.

Her wig is worth $5000, and is made of human hair from Russia. Naturally, Makeup & Hair was against her doing the "thrown in the mud" scene in Different Destinations, but she talked the director into letting her do it.

She and Gigi are both method actors.

On doing scenes which will have CGI added later: "Ben acts to nothing, reallllllly well."

She loves the action and pyrotechnics of Farscape.

In Self-Inflicted Wounds, Ben and Claudia kept cracking up at the model of the serpent (a stand-in for future CGI) chasing them into the Luxan ship.

There is a really good secret at the end in the final four. There's also a "secret scene" that only two members of the cast (neither of them her) know about.

"Do not let me keep talking; I can't be David Kemper."

It took 3-4 hours in a special tub to film the bat dren scene from Revenging Angel. Hair & Makeup had a cow about her cossie and hair: do not get them in the muck!

Her favorite thing about Farscape: the catering.

This was Tammy's first time at a Con or anything else fan-related. "I thought I would get here to a lot of Booooos, I really did. Because *I* can't stand her!"

In Fractures, she talked Lani into doing the Boolite scene scream for fun: "They won't use it, Lani, it's not in your character."

She demo'ed Jool's scream, then mimed into the mike like we'd gone deaf or the mike had melted or she had lost her voice.

Career-wise, Tammy started out doing a live-to-air children's show, talking to a pink duck.

Jool was named after Kemper's Hungarian grandmother, whom he adored. He incorporated elements of his grandmother and his wife Sue in the character of Jool.

Job-wise, there's nothing else she wants to look at other than Farscape, right now.

Jool's eyepatch was the result of an accident during Fractures; she got a bit of paint in an eye duct. It was no big deal, but she couldn't wear the contact lens, and she had to have it treated at the hospital.

She loved walking in the bat dren in Revenging Angel; it was cool and comfortable. The bath in Scratch 'N Sniff was the same substance; she kept floating up on it during shooting.

Re future developments for Jool: "I'd like to see her go home!"

Would like to see some of Jool's background be put to good use -- intelligence, education, etc.

Personal similarities to Jool: "We both do backflips!"


5. Bloopers:

The blooper reel was hysterical. During the making of "Farscape Undressed", Claudia's line was supposed to be "E.T. Extra tentacles." Instead, she accidently said, "E.T. Extra testicles." Her reaction when she realized what she'd said was priceless.

Anthony clearly has a lot of fun "blooping". In one take, he had D'Argo pitching a self-improvement book. (There were a number of other hysterical bits, notably the Three Emotions of Acting, but they lose something when reduced to written words.)


6. Anthony Simcoe:

Anthony made his entrance by pelting around the periphery of the auditorium at StarBurst speeds. He then led the audience in yelling, "I vow, I will never be taken prisoner again!"

He hates getting into the chair at the start of the day, so he hides from the makeup crew in the morning. However, once they'd snagged him, they've got the process down to 1.5 hours to put the makeup on. Removal is down to an hour.

He keeps a Nintendo 64 in his dressing room, and plays vid games until call time.

Regarding Jothee's departure: "I kicked his butt off the ship!"

They pitch-shift the crew's voices in post-production, for when Rygel expels helium.

Doing D'Argo's voice on set is not a problem, since he only speaks a couple of times an hour; ADR is more problematical, since he does 2 hours at a time. (Ben & Claudia do longer ADR sessions -- 6-8 hours.)

Despite hating the makeup chair, he loves working in prosthetics, and would rather be D'Argo than any other character.

His favorite moment: D'Argo burning the tatoos at the end of Suns and Lovers.

"I care more about the goof reel than about the show." He spends the show in a constant state of self-embarrassment.

On Scratch 'N Sniff: had a lot of fun in that ep, especially the dancing; he decided D'Argo would be the rockin' out dancing type. Sometimes he puts in a mimic of a dance routine from the group "Bros" (although when he tried to put it in the closing scene from Revenging Angel, and director came over and hit him).

"Well, I'm not married yet, but I hear that sex rocks."

He did seven auditions for the role, and they didn't tell him anything about prosthetics until audition #7.

Till the Blood Runs Clear was his favorite ep to make, because they did a location shoot in Stockton, and Farscape almost never gets to go on location.

Anthony has a master's degree in training actors and teaching drama; he was the youngest instructor at NIDA (Nat'l Institute of Dramatic Arts, in Australia).

On Out of Their Minds: his breathing patterns were different while playing Chiana; in the heat, he hyperventilated, and his blood sugar dropped below safe levels. He was delirious and rushed to the hospital by paramedics ("so that was a three o'clock moment"); he had hysterics on the stretcher about having a needle in his arm (he hates needles).