Cooper: "I Could Make It More Grand"

Morena Baccarin as Adria in "Stargate: The Ark of Truth"

MGM’s Sharon Gosling has published Part 2 of her interview with Robert C. Cooper, writer, director, and producer of Stargate: The Ark of Truth, the first of the SG-1 direct-to-DVD movies. In Ark Angel – The Ark of Truth, Part 2, Cooper said of taking Stargate SG-1 to its next level as a film, “I think I consciously tried to take more time with events. In the show, where you might not have the money to address something with more screen time, I could make it more grand. I could make more of it in the long form.”

Having more money to produce the story gave Cooper the freedom to task composer Joel Goldsmith to “write big sweeping musical pieces that were going to carry sections of the movie.” Cooper continued, “That doesn’t really happen on the show very much. There’s a pace to the series that’s just different. In order to give this a little more scope, a little more of a movie feeling, I wanted to tell some of the story more visually and with big, grand musical accompaniment.”

Not only did Cooper write the script for the movie, but he also directed it. “I will write sequences with an idea in mind of how I want to direct them, so when the time comes to do the directing work, it’s already down on the page. A lot of directors, when they get a script, have to break it down and figure out how they want to shoot it. I’ve imagined it visually in my head as I’ve written it, so I don’t have to go through that process again.”

Julian Sands as the Doci in "Stargate: The Ark of Truth"

One of the biggest challenges faced by the production team was getting all of the cast together again after they had gone their separate ways after the final wrap of Cooper’s series finale “Unending”. Especially difficult was getting Julian Sands (Doci) and Morena Baccarin (Adria) back. Cooper mentioned that they went dangerously into overtime because Baccarin was working on another project and had limited availability (she was filming TNT’s Heartland at the time). Cooper admitted, “Literally, if something had gone wrong that day, the movie might have fallen apart.” When Sands and Baccarin were only available for one day of shooting, the crew had to stay until their scenes were done. “And so we did what we had to in order to make that work, but it ended up being probably the longest day Stargate’s ever shot. We came very, very close to a second meal penalty on the crew, which means we were almost nine hours past the point that we were supposed to be. It was about four in the morning …”

Part 3 of the multi-part interview will cover more about the filming of the movie. Visit MGM’s website for the complete Part 2 (and if you missed Part 1, it’s HERE).

Stargate: The Ark of Truth is due for release on DVD on the following dates:

  • March 11, 2008: North America
  • April 9, 2008: Australia
  • April 14, 2008: UK
  • April 23, 2008: France

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