1. Lani Tupu
Lani was introduced by a "video tribute" to Crais, set to "Absurd", which was excellent.
Lani began by speaking a bit about filming his last scene, his last day on the set; it was odd, interacting with the crew, with everyone knowing that his character died in the episode.
Who was responsible for the red heels in "Won't Get Fooled Again"? Ricky Manning, according to Lani -- at which point Ricky jumped up from the front row, and called for a copy of the "Sacred Text". From a copy of the script, Ricky read the pertinent information aloud: his script called for Crais to be wearing Y-fronts (briefs) over the outside of his uniform. Manning pointed out that he therefore couldn't be blamed for the red shoes, and that this was an example of how "sometimes you can improve even on perfection". Ricky: "You can't expect the actors to read the big print. Have you ever seen an actor read a script? 'Crap, crap, crap, my line...'"
Even three years into the show, some of the crew didn't realize that Lani voiced Pilot. This didn't seem to bother him: "You don't really want people to know that it's you, if you voice more than one character."
A cellphone went off, somewhere in the audience. Lani immediately called out, "Whose phone is that? That's a slab!"
On the demise of Crais and Talyn: "I read the script, and went, oh, this is good. Turned the page. Oh god. And David Kemper was out of town and couldn't be found."
They told him his [Crais'] body wasn't found, so "Don't worry. This is Farscape, everyone comes back."
Since season four wrapped, he's been doing a lot of local productions in Sydney, although some film work he was pursuing didn't come through.
Lani really enjoyed doing the movie "Lantana".
He doesn't usually voice other Pilots, when we see other Leviathans on Farscape.
On voicing Pilot in "Out Of Their Minds": he just had to think of Anthony running around the set in boxers and that got him going for mimicking D'Argo's voice. "Chiana...hard to imagine that...[laughter from audience]...nope, not going there!"
Lani can't really explain how he does it; he just has a mental image when he goes in to voice Pilot. If he doesn't get it in the first two takes, he comes back to it at the end of the session.
In "John Quixote", playing The Ogre was fun. The hardest part was keeping a straight face with Claudia -- that was hard! He came onto the set and saw Claudia for the first time in costume and he cracked up. For one scene they were lying on the bed together, trying not to crack up while snoring. The director kept telling them, "yeah, let's try a different snore," and all you see are two different heaving bellies on the bed.
Lani found it very hard to deal with the prosthetics, as The Ogre. "God bless Anthony!" Lani doesn't have the patience to sit in the chair for makeup and then work through 12 hour days. "You get a blinding headache, because your voice resonates against your head inside the prosthetics."
Somewhere in Texas, in a science fiction museum, are Crais' red pumps (size 34, according to Lani) that were actually used in filming "Won't Get Fooled Again". A fan wondered why the shoes in the episode weren't an exact match to the shoes auctioned off at a convention last year; Lani said they always had two sets of shoes, as backups.
One fan suggested that for his next role, he could star in "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Part 2."
Where is Pilot right now, physically? Probably in a warehouse somewhere. There's still a possibility that there's a film somewhere down the track. He doesn't know how far that idea has advanced; nothing has been done so far as he knows. But the puppets and wardrobes have all been saved for possible future use.
Question: Which as more fun, the Ogre makeup or the red shoes? Answer: "Oh, without a doubt, the red shoes!" [laughter from audience] What was his first reaction? "I wanted to do something to the person who wrote it..." (Ricky Manning again consulted the Sacred Text, and tried to look innocent.)
The most difficult thing he did on the show was being spun around in the Aurora Chair, "but it was taken care of by PK Barbie, and she made it all worthwhile."
Lani originally did a pilot for "The Lost World" as the expedition's guide; he came back in the episode "Salvation" as the 'Burger King' (his nickname for the role, due to the costume). The first time one of his co-stars came into the scene, she laughed so hard that she cried. He came back on the show for a third time, as a Shapechanger.
In his free time, Lani likes "to watch as many movies as I can, to catch up". He also likes to catch up on his reading, and figure out what should happen next [in his career path]. "It's always an uncertain income, so you need a sideline occupation to keep you going through those tough times and still keep your creative juices going. Otherwise you become a bit twisted before too long. There are a lot of actors who sit around during the quiet times, and become twisted. If you take it on to be an actor, that's part of the life." He's been acting now for the best part of 25 years. Lani started as a teen, and only came to Oz (from New Zealand) about 16 years ago. He had worked with everyone that he wanted to in New Zealand, and was working steadily; it was deciding to make the step over the Pond to Oz that brought him to the [convention] stage today. "Overnight successes develop over many many years. If you think you can do it, then you've got to give yourself the chance and opportunity to do that. It's all about following some sort of passion. If you have children, you must pass on the idea that there's never anything you can't do in life."
"You have to have the claws of an eagle, hide of a rhino, the heart of a lion, and the grace of a dove to be an actor."
Question: Did you hate Scorpius when he first appeared, for stealing your title of 'Crazed Military Commander'? Answer: Oh, yeah. But without friction, you don't have anything going dramatically. With Crichton, you're always trying to find some middle ground, so when someone like Scorpius comes aboard, you know it's going to be fun.
Lani was presented with the 2001-2002 Roswell Award for being the Most Missed Character on a science fiction series. "I can't do it without the team. It's a team effort...but this [award] is coming home with ME!"
When a fan wanted him to settle a domestic debate about whether or not Pilot's voice was digitally enhanced, Lani brought him up on stage and got out the "Through The Looking Glass" script. He had the fan read Crichton's role while Lani did Pilot's voice. The difference between Lani's live performance and Pilot's voice on the show was surprisingly minimal. Lani says there may be some slight filtering done on his voice when it's coming through comms, but that's all.
Question: What formal voice training have you had? Answer: He started at the Royal College of Music, with piano training. He went on to the National Drama School in New Zealand, and did some voice training, then went to Auckland and worked in performing the classics (Hamlet etc.). Working in the theater is how he started out; he was trained to work without using a microphone. Question: Is there any chance he'd sing with Number 96 next year? Answer: (laughing) "The boys have to ask me first!"
He doesn't know if he'll being doing extras for the season 4 DVDs.
Is there any scene he would have liked to play, that the writers didn't write? "Getting to be with Crichton... I mean Aeryn! A scene with Aeryn in bed would have been good."
Was Crais ever truly redeemed, or was he really just manipulating events to get his final revenge? Lani's motivation was always driving Crais, and never letting anyone know what his goals were. "The writers didn't really let us know, because of time constraints, where the arc was going. Each script was a surprise. But yes."
2. Fan-produced music videos
The next set of videos included "St. Elmo's Fire", "Days Go By", and another one from Hank Shiffman, set to "I Believe in You" (from "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying").
3. Raelee Hill
Raelee came out singing "On A Clear Day", because she had decided that no way was she going to try to mimic Tammy's backflip act from last year's convention.
"This chap named Ben -- damn, girls, isn't he pretty?"
She originally tested for the role of Grayza. "I had always played the virgin, the victim. I've been beaten up on air so many times I can't tell ya... But they found Rebecca [Riggs] to do that [role] and she did Nasty, Very Well." She didn't have an actual role when they hired her; Kemper just wanted her on the show. She had to endure three weeks of 12-hour days of test makeup sessions, before they settled on her final look. She shot her very first episode with Ben: "Talk about being thrown into the deep end!" She can tell exactly which scenes in episode 401 were filmed in that first week, because she has this look of pure terror -- because her initial contact lenses were too big, very uncomfortable, and kept popping out.
"I had a really crazy, really good year [on the show]."
Raelee was presented with the 2002 Roswell Award for Best New Actress in a science fiction series.
On her work in the film "Hotel de Love": she was 22 at the time and had a stripping scene. "My agent didn't realize that I would have to take off quite so many clothes, and was really mad." She seemed extremely embarrassed to be discussing the role: "I can't BELIEVE we're talking about this film..." Every actress has got some seedy story. "My dad hasn't even seen it, he doesn't even know." The day before she was to film her love scene, she was playing baseball and slid into home base. She got the run, but she also got a massive scrape on her face, which the film team had to disguise with makeup. If you see that scene in the film, you kind of only see the other side of her face clearly.
She had long hair at the start of the year, but because it's so hard on your hair during filming, they made her a wig; she was getting migranes, from all the weight, so she cut her real hair short. Her agent caught site of her and got really mad again...
When she joined the cast, Kemper had never told her about any sort of love triangle involving her character, although he told the press there would be one. She didn't want to split them up! Sikozu gets off on intelligence; she thinks Crichton is capable, but "ain't got that much up top for her". Scorpius, on the other hand, she finds very fascinating He has "a mind like no other", and she's also intrigued by his being a Scarran hybrid.
Sikozu's gravity shifting is all wire work, with some additional work from the stunt team. That big leather jacket hides the harness -- and turns her into an arthritic old lady, who can hardly move. "Whenever you saw wirework in the script, you knew it was going to be a long day." She had already played Peter Pan on stage, where she flew around 50 feet above the stage on a wire, so she was familiar with the mechanics of it.
It was great fun doing a guest stint on The Lost World, even though it was 40 degrees (centigrade) on set, and everyone was sweating like crazy. She had her 29th birthday on the set.
There's a fine line with Sikozu; she's strong and arrogant, but arrogance gets boring. She wanted to give the character some fallibility. Sikozu needed some flaws. It's nice to see someone have moments of inner dialog, when you can see them thinking "oh god, what am I doing here?"
Early on, she called up Andrew Prowse saying that she couldn't play an alien; he reminded her that ALL aliens are played by human actors. She had rattlers in her head the whole time, trying to figure out her character's feelings. Prowse told her that if the audience couldn't figure out she was an alien from the hair, eyes, walking on walls, speaking weird languages, etc., then "to heck with 'em!"
Professionally, she has nothing scheduled at the moment, and would really like to do some travelling. She's only just gotten back from trips to Czechoslovakia and London. The plan for now is that she "will have Christmas [at home] and worry about it next year".
She prefers Ben with a beard, and he loved having it, but Fran did Not. He was bummed that he had to lose it.
Her costume was incredibly uncomfortable, especially when she had to wear that heavy jacket; she called up her mom in the early days, whining, "the show Hurts!" In one episode, "the director wanted me to crawl across the room in one scene with explosions going on, and I physically couldn't. They had to re-block the whole scene."
Farscape is the third show she's joined in progress, so she had some experience, but it was still hard. She didn't know the history of the show; she tried watching a few episodes but they confused the heck out of her. The show's cast works as a group effort, which is great and how she works, but it's hard when you don't know already know the group dynamic and have to figure out your niche as an actor and as a character.
Was it weird to see all the Farscape-specific jargon in the scripts? It's another language completely, and she struggled with it; it was made harder by the fact that she hadn't seen a lot of science fiction prior to taking the job. "I walked up to Ben and asked 'Frell? Hezmana? Who's hezmana?'"
Anthony is the funniest cast member. He's just hysterical. "Cheeky bastard!" He thought she didn't like him early on because he was crass, etc.; he told her that he thought she was scared of him. "Of course I was scared of you!" He's weird, but he always had them in stitches. He should be a standup comedian. He's an amazing actor, and is very, very good as a straight dramatic actor.
The last scene shot was of Sikozu talking to herself, and was shot just after lunchtime the day they learned of the cancellation. It was very surreal, with everyone in shock, and very quiet on set.
Sikozu started off as very oriental, an albino Japanese person with freckles. The network said nay to the knots in her hair ("I'm an alien, but I have to have hair?"), so she lost those early on. She complained about the restrictions of that uncomfortable jacket...and they gave her the bra costume, which came as a surprise to her, just as they began shooting the next scene. "Um, how does everyone feel about this? Where's the rest of it?"
She and Gigi tried to soften a lot of the catfighting bits between their characters. They tried to assert themselves as allies in "A Prefect Murder", even though they still had a bit of friction. It wasn't in the script, that bit of being buddy-like at the end.
She loved Paul Goddard's work, and it was great fun for her to play Stark. She appears only minimally in episode 412, because she got chicken pox halfway through the year; she came down with it the first day she shot as Stark, and by the end of the day she was practically delirious.
Who won the chess game between Sikozu and Scorpius, seen at the start of "John Quixote"? "Sikozu won! She cheated, but she won."
She had met Ben only twice, before their first day of filming, when they had to shoot the scene of the two of them in Farscape One. The only way she could fit into the module with Ben was by straddling him. "Ben is very quiet and reserved, shy (Ricky is over there shaking his head and saying no, he's a nightmare!). Oh, this is get-to-know-you day!"
She never attended actor's school; she learned her craft on set, doing soap operas. In that environment it was not permitted to change lines in the script, so adapting to Farscape's ad libbing approach was very weird. Quite confronting. In prior roles she would "sort of get my script, say oh, thank you, bye! [while bobbing in respect]" Farscape was freeing and liberating, but very confronting, a different way to work.
Question: Farscape is sort of just this side of an improv show from the sound of it -- how much precise direction did you get, or did you get thrown to the wolves? Answer: "I got thrown to the wolves, yes."
"I'm kind of an extinct kind of actor. I love scripts. The writer is god. It's really invigorating to bring a writer's words to life."
Raelee started acting at age 3, even before realizing it. "Make-believe was a safer place to be." At age 12 or 13, she realized that she had to make a living at it. "There's never been anything else but this. I don't know that I'll be an actor forever, don't know that it's particularly healthy to be an actor forever." Her future career might well include something behind the camera. "Nothing makes me soar like acting. It's quite a safe place to be [psychologically]."
4. Ricky Manning
No news to report at this point, regarding renewal, pickup, movies, etc. "There are discussions, but no decisions. David is tenacious. You guys are already doing so much, it's absolutely unbelievable. The crew is all gobsmacked down in Australia. There has never been anything quite like this. You're more than just a devoted bunch. This is a very devoted and Intelligent following. You guys are talking about demographics" that even Ricky didn't know. "The most important thing is to get as many new eyeballs as possible watching in January. It all boils down to the numbers."
"I turned my friend on to the show and they're hooked" is the second best thing a fan can tell him (the first being, "come upstairs" [audience laughter]).
"That's what we need -- emissaries out there. You never know which new viewer has a Neilsen box."
What's next for him? "Right now, doing detox and drying out. Drying out from four years of absolute panic, exhaustion, and a lot of fun." He's looking at some new projects, not necessarily science fiction. "Let's see what happens. It's television, we all may wind up working on something, in the meantime [before Farscape returns]."
The fact that any television show at all gets made is a miracle. The fact that one gets made with even half the stuff they did in Farscape is even more so. Farscape managed to do it 88 times! "The fact that we managed to do it 88 times is a testament to everyone's hard work." Working on a television show is an intense grind, more so when you want it to be good; everything else in your life disappears. "Season of Death" referred to the staff, not the characters, facing 22 episodes to put together that season. "Oh, 22 more of these? Just nail me to the wall when I'm done. You hope that everyone's got the patience to wait for you when you emerge from the cave at the end of the show." "But it's an amazing rush." The collaboration is rare, in Hollywood as well as Sydney. "Creative anarchy, that just isn't on most shows. They don't even want to hear ideas. Farscape was an open environment; we wanted to hear ideas, we didn't care where they came from." They weren't keeping score with regard to who contributed what. "We all were in there, and amazing things could happen, we just had to let them."
"Would I do it again? In a minute. (I wouldn't mind a couple of weeks off, first...)"
On working with Rockne, David, et al: "I will follow those gentlemen into battle anywhere, any time, any show."
Most of the time (not just sometimes), he got feedback that they'd gone too far over the line. They didn't necessarily want to shock us, but they did want to push the limits, and it was better to have too much than too little.
SciFi told them to go for alien, and don't be afraid to shock. Occasionally they pushed it too far, "but that's the risk you run. It's better to be outrageous than boring."
"Won't Get Fooled Again" will always have a fond spot in his heart, in part because it epitomizes the idea of pushing the limits. It polarized the audience, and that's also very gratifying. It's on both Best 10 and Worst 10 lists. It was a lot of fun to do. Most of what was in the script made it to the screen, and what got changed was improved. The episode is "my special, favorite child".
"We didn't want to do what was expected [and immediately continue the story arcs at the beginning of season four]." They try not to take anything for granted. "If there's a fun digression, we'll digress."
Is there any venue where the fans will be able to see the other people beyond the cast? It takes a lot of effort and money to bring over the talented non-actor production staff and crew from Oz, for a convention. "I just have to drive over the hill, I'm cheap." (His wife Cheryl made a wisecrack comment from the front row, which he pretended to look offended.) "Has everyone met my Current wife? It's the Farscape Springer show..."
Question: Can you tell us why Tammy left the show, and don't say "did she?". Answer: (slightly crestfallen look, that he got beaten to the obvious punchline) Tammy is doing "All Saints" in Oz; she was offered nice juicy role on that show -- with lesbian scenes, "and I don't know if that played a part in her decision, just giving you the news". We always wanted Farscape to be a revolving door, with people coming and going. "There's just too bloody many people on the boat!" They had to tell David to stop bringing in new characters. "If you're going to get a new kitten then get rid of an old cat." Fewer characters lets you do more with the characters you keep. "We do miss Tammy -- notice we didn't kill her!"
Would he ever consider working as a comedian? "As opposed to?"
An audience member asked, since Ricky has written some of "the best smart-ass romantic dialogue," how did he propose to his wife Cheryl? "Well, I was drunk! I think drugs were involved! And whips! Actually, it was on New Year's Eve, 1982; we got married in 1983. '82 was a relatively rough year for both of us, and I decided that I was going to wait until '83 to actually pop the question. It seemed like a good idea at the time." They were at his father's home in Florida for a dinner party, which was a total disaster from start to finish. In the midst of all this, he waited for midnight. His brother and and a long-standing girlfriend had just split up half an hour before, and his father was bemoaning that he would never marry them off, when Ricky came back to say "well, Dad, you're down one, but you're up one, too". "Dad was gobsmacked."
A lot of the Australian sensibility that he can now see in Farscape (although he couldn't before), a lot of the craziness, the family aspect of the show, comes from being made in Australia. "I don't know if we brought down a show that really clicked with them, or if they influenced us." He can't even imagine what the show would be like, if it were shot anywhere else. It's not just the Oz crew, but the Oz mindset.
Who's the father of Aeryn's baby? "Does it really matter? It might not be as important as you think, given future events you haven't yet seen..."
They actually do follow the scripts; "we're talking about words, voice changes". Ben says he changes about 25% of the Crichtonisms and pop culture references. But mostly it's only minor moving-things-around around sorts of changes.
Is there any chance that Maldis will ever come back? "Oh, well, this is Farscape, anything can happen. And how much do we really know, have planned out, behind the curtain? Does David Kemper have it planned out for 90 years of Farscape, or do we just know about tomorrow?" The truth lies somewhere in between. Kemper has the general arc, the final image, in his mind, but along the way there's a lot of room to detour.
The coolant rod mechanism for Scorpius was Prowse's idea; the concept of the Scarran heat problem grew out of that, not the other way round. Ricky claims the writers didn't see it (the coolant rod) until the dailies.
5. Gigi Edgely (& David Kemper)
On the cancellation: Gigi was in her trailer (which she shared with Claudia), it had been a long morning, and she put some music on to dance to. There came a knock at the door; it was her makeup artist, who said,
"That's it, sweetie, it's over."
"The show is over?"
"You've been sniffing too much hairspray..."
"That's it, it's a hard wrap."
She had one more scene to do, and it was surreal, bizarre. She was sitting in her trailer, thinking that she had one last time to play with Chiana, when Brian Henson walked by. He offered moral support, and said to just take it day by day. "It sounded like I was going into rehab." Gigi told Brian that she'd had a great time on this set, and if it all ended today, she wasn't sorry to have had the experience. Then she had to ask to him to leave, because she was still in makeup and so couldn't touch him, and she could feel the tears welling up.
She kept crying during the final scene, which was supposed to be a funny one; the director had to tell her to stop playing Chi so sad, and she kept apologizing, "I'm so sorry!"
Gigi was presented with the 2001-2002 Roswell Award for Best Supporting Actress in a science fiction series.
By request, she posed with a fan's poster that read "Chiana Loves Leroy".
Where did her inspiration for Chiana's breath patterns and movement come from, when she was creating the character? She had spiked hair, and was wearing all her piercings, leathers and fishnets, with her headphones on, when auditioning. She asked them, "Do you want me to be...'alien'?" Andrew Prowse replied, "Just act." She went through several more auditions, and layers of costuming and makeup. When she finally started work, hours passed the first day, until the lunch guy came, and they said, "You can go home now." "Am I fired? 'Cause I haven't done anything yet." "The set you're working on, we blew up, so we'll see you on Monday." Still in makeup, she went back to her trailer, looked in the mirror, and saw this creature. She started with just sort of grounding herself down in the posture, then added the breath, and played with it for about an hour. "And now you should see my posture! My boyfriend loves it..."
Favorite episodes: ""John Quixote" was great, I got to play with swords, got to play with Ben's sword... [audience laughter] "Durka Returns", because she's [Chiana] the most alien in that episode. The cliffhanger to season one [Family Ties]. And and and...there's lots." Many episodes have moments that just catch her, and make it hard to choose a favorite from among them.
Three or four days ago she was in Boston doing some gigs, when her agent called to say she'd landed a 6-month gig on "Secret Life of Us", starting in February. She'll be playing an industrial student. "It's either that or the lesbian role. How did I miss out on the lesbian role?" When she gets home from the convention, she has to move to Melbourne in about a week, which will be difficult, living in a different place. But she really wants to play over HERE [in the United States].
Little Girl from the audience: "What's your favorite character?"
Little Girl: "Thank you."
On doing wire work in the show: "They bring you to the top of the warehouse on the wires, and then sort of decide to break for lunch. [You hang there, flailing and yelling] Guys! Guys!"
Why didn't she keep the costume they used in "Home On The Remains"? That costume had all kinds of problems, and didn't allow her to move at all; Chiana's in the back of the scenes, sort of moving very stiffly. They tried to fix the outfit with some padding, but then she couldn't move at all. It was just a side effect of the short window of time in which they have to design new costumes -- they can't always get it right at the drop of a hat.
What's the process of 'becoming' Chiana? She starts with green foundation, then gray is applied on top of that, then she's airbrushed, then all her hair is pulled back in a stocking cap, lashes and contacts are added, and finally shading is done, "mainly around here" [the chest].
What didn't make the cut, as far as movements or stances go? She was limited "only by fear, by pulling myself back. Some of the fight scenes and stuff were hard. You've got creatures and animatronics and stuff, and it starts getting tricky."
On fire twirling: she was standing by her trailer twirling (sans flames), when Prowse walked by, asked what she was doing, and decided that they should put it into the show. She thought it would be shot outside, but it turned out to be set indoors in a club. Everyone came to watch, from all the different departments of the production, so there were too many people; she didn't have enough room to perform safely, so she kept screwing up. Additionally, the costume wouldn't let her cross her arms; they ended up putting her in a stunt jacket, and then everything was fine..."until the fire alarms went off."
During her first audition after Farscape, she was reading a really intense scene, and yelled "FRELL YOU!" It [the slang] does come up even in daily life, and [her inner Chi] pops up every now and then.
On dancing in the "Won't Get Fooled Again" bar scene: "That was pretty funny, particularly as I can't dance." They waited around one whole day due to weather and lightning. Finally the AD came in and asked if they were okay to come outside, whereupon three painted people, and their three makeup artists, all said, "I don't think so!" So, the scene that should have been shot outside (in a car) got moved inside.
After appearing at a British convention, she missed the flight home from London, and missed a whole day of shooting on "John Quixote". The Powers That Be were a bit grumpy! She caught the same flight leaving the next day; it was a 26 hour flight, and they met her at the airport with the script, whisked her straight to Homebush, and she found herself made up as an alien without having any idea what was going on.
She demonstrated her fire twirling skills by request, using balls with attached ribbons which a fan provided.
When did Chiana really start to feel like she was part of the Moya family? It was weird, because it's so easy to play a baddie...but it's easy to slip into being a goodie, when you enjoy working with your costars so much. In her opinion, Chiana slipped [into the family relationship] a bit too soon, during "the Moya split apart starburst episode" [Through The Looking Glass]. It's quite tricky, when you're doing two or three episodes at the same time, to get a real clear idea of what your emotional journey is like; plus, script and makeup changes are being thrown at you, and you have to accommodate those as well.
One of the convention staffers interrupted at this point, and told her that she had a package backstage that she needed to accept. Looking extremely puzzled, she peeked behind the curtain...and came back grinning, pulling David Kemper by the hand.
Kemper said he'd called the convention organizers from Oz to say he'd come out on stage, if he got to do it with Gigi. He wanted to know who the ringleader of the pending television advertisement was, saying it was a "really smart" effort. "Writing letters is great but it won't turn the wheels much. Ratings turn wheels."
Was the final secret of season three (Aeryn's pregnancy) revealed to anyone other than Ben Browder and Melissa Jaffer? And how did Gigi react to that development? Gigi: "How did I find out? Well, when she asked me to take her to the clinic..." Kemper: The only people who knew were Ben and Claudia, Manning, Kemper, Monjo, Lily Taylor, Prowse, Russell Bacon, and one AD. For that script, only one page was printed, all but two copies were destroyed, and Melissa Jaffer read the line very quietly. They didn't even tell the network. Henson kept the copies of that episode under lock and key, prior to its airing.
On "Different Destinations" [ed. note: this sounds more like it refers to part two of "Self Inflicted Wounds"]: How much of it was Gigi saying goodbye to Virginia, versus Chiana saying goodbye to Zhaan? Lots of Gigi was coming through in that scene, and a lot of things were going on in Real Life for both of them, that influenced it. Then they had to ADR the whole thing because of their sniffling.
"Taking The Stone": that was mud and sticky grime in her hair, not a wig. It was a nice way to actually see Chiana's face, but it was a bugger to get out. "Would you mind just staying in it for the night?" "Yes I would!"
Kemper checked his cellphone and his watch, and noted, "Ben's on his way to ADR."
Kemper: "It doesn't really matter if they pay us or not, we're making the 5th season. [cheers from audience] It'll be 'Blair Witch Farscape', shot in Ben's backyard...Moya's toilets actually look a lot like duplexes in Australia. Wait a minute...isn't there a scene in the last season where we filmed you [Chiana] in a bathroom? Yeah, somewhere in the last eleven episodes of Farscape, Chiana has a scene in the bathroom, where she's not wearing much clothing (maybe!). That's a spoiler; now you have to figure out where it is and why."
Becoming MORE alien after already playing an alien Chiana was a fun task for Gigi. Chiana's been possessed by other aliens, and had to play other characters. "It was fantastic, any chance you get to do a taste out of your character is a fantastic offshoot of Farscape. To play around with Ben, he's great to play around with." [laughter from audience]
Gigi: "I was working with this female director, and it was really exciting because we had just two female directors at that time. It's a very misogynistic show at times, so it's nice to get your female energy in there." Tony Tilse thought she would do the energy rider voice all low and gravelly, but she thought the more sweet, "the more orgasmic", the better. Catherine (the director) wanted to chop up the lines, which interrupted Gigi's ability to flow through the character, so the initial takes failed totally, and they just had keep working with it to get the finished product.
Kemper: "You've just told them what actually happens [during the filming of the show]. You've ruined the illusion! You should've just said 'I'm really good, the acting's real easy, the scripts are real easy, the directors aren't a pain in the ass...'"
Who is Thomas Holesgrove, and are we ever going to see him at a convention? Or even just see his face? Kemper: "They called the mechanical shark in Jaws "Bruce", and when we build the framework of an alien we call it "Thomas". He's actually a real guy, he's in Florida right now, working at Universal on something. Try going into a very small closet filled with clothes, put a paper bag over your head, then a plastic bag, seal it tight around your neck, then when you're about to pass out, jump on one leg and hop around. That's Holesgrove's skill."
On meeting a female Hynerian in "Fractures": All of a sudden there was a female voice coming out of Rygel, and it was like "so, how long were you in Amsterdam?"
A fan had built an "1812" edition of a DRD, with a remote controlled car underneath the shell to run it. Kemper brought it up on the stage; when it had a hard time moving around, he joked that that's exactly what it was like on set. "If you gave it [the DRD] to me, I'd take it to Oz and give it to Ben, and he'll give it to his son, and he'll [stomping motion]."
Andrew Prowse, and either Ricky Manning or Ben Browder, got the idea of naming the DRD "1812", and painting him red, white, and blue, since he was playing the 1812 Overture all the time. This was while Kemper was back in the States, so when David arrived in Oz a week or two later and saw the film, he said "What the hell is that?"
Gigi's makeup time never got down to less than 2.5 hours, and she needed touchups all through the day. "Fight and love scenes are a mess." Her love scene with Molnon in "Taking The Stone" didn't make the final cut because their makeup kept mixing together, and it was taking too long to shoot.
Is Gigi going to be in the next show Kemper produces? Kemper: "The next show that I do? She's going to be in it? You bet your ass!"
What was it like for Gigi to be eaten by a giant plant during a guest stint on "The Lost World"? Rachel Blakely was nice, totally crazy. The plant was even more fun. There were six puppeteers in the stem; Gigi was balancing in the middle, looked up, and all she saw was this giant glop of goo coming down at her, that looked like K-Y. "It was bizarre, you have to laugh at yourself in those situations. Have to think to yourself then, how it's all make-believe."
The editor of the fan-produced commercial brought press packets and DVDs of it for Kemper & co. It's scheduled to run Nov 24-Dec 1, on cable outlets in 27 cities. Kemper: "I don't think we got that much promotion from the SciFi channel!" Also, "naked people in the streets gets all kinds of press attention..."
On SciFi's decision to move the final episode of Farscape into an 8 p.m. timeslot: "They must have moved the last episodes to 8 p.m. because they think they're going to get great ratings."
Kemper: "The landscape [of television] has changed. Shows are still made by idiots. The good part of the internet is that it has connected everyone from disparate places and lets you work on a common thing. You guys are blazing a trail. It's really remarkable. The more people that watch the show, the more buzz that will be going on. Productive noise is good! Get press, get news. The last eleven are the best eleven episodes we've done. We didn't make any concessions to circumstances. We finish production in about two weeks, I'm going back down there. Enjoy the eleven episodes, instead of being pissed off. It would have been off after only about a year or two, if not for you guys. Don't let anyone across the dial feed you crap! If you demand good tv, you'll get it. And the way you demand is by voting with the dollar."
Kemper: "Is the auction over? How much did we get? I have this card in my pocket, that has Ben's private phone number on it..." (wild response from the audience) Kemper, mimicking a crazed fan, pretended to dial, and said "Hi, I love you! I'm having your baby, we just haven't met yet!" "Wouldn't that be great? If I were pissed at Ben, that would be so great..." Maybe he'll auction off the card next year, when Ben is back in the States and the number is no longer in service.
Kemper: "We saved all the props, we saved the costumes, the sets can be rebuilt, we saved most of the actors (Thomas Holesgrove is hanging on a hook somewhere). Season 5 is outlined, season 6 is in note form, there's a feature script floating around, we could go into syndication, so you never know. We'll be back here next year!"