Cooper on the Opening Credits for "The Ark of Truth"

“It’s funny, because originally I was not going to do an opening credit sequence,” Robert C. Cooper told MGM’s Official Stargate website’s Sharon Gosling. “I was going to do an end title sequence, and basically just start off with the title and then go right into the film. But I didn’t really know how to start the movie.”

Teal

Cooper said, “I felt it was important in Ark of Truth to really create sequences that we wouldn’t normally see in an episode of the series.” One such sequence was Teal’c’s isolated trek across a mountain-top. In scouting for the location for these scenes, the director and his small crew recorded the scenery as seen from a helicopter and still within visual range of Vancouver. “We were actually based out of Squamish, which is a small town with an airport just north of Vancouver. Then there’s a little 10 minute helicopter ride up to the area where we shot.” The production had to paint out signs of civilization in the final film because they were so close to it. “That was fine, we knew we were going to have to do that — but that’s how close we were to the city.”

The shoot was riddled with difficulties, but the crew finally got the shots that Cooper had envisioned … plus, a bonus: while editing the film, Cooper finally realized how he was going to open his movie. “We wanted to create a little bit of a build up to the ledge where the Ancients had built this almost Masada-like village. When I looked at the footage from the helicopter, I thought, ‘Well, listen to what you’ve said to Joel [Goldsmith, who wrote the score],’ which was ‘Let’s make some opportunities for music.’

“The movies that I used to love as a kid had these big sweeping introductions that gave you a chance to settle into the experience of ‘Okay, now I’m watching a movie’ and that’s what Joel’s music does, right off the top. It’s obviously a throw back to the old David Arnold score from the feature. That gives you that sort of nostalgic Stargate feeling. Then it dips into the Ori theme and brings you forward to the more modern Stargate story. I think it really serves as an opportunity to get into the movie as opposed to starting right away with our team. So I actually changed my mind as we were editing the movie, to put that sequence at the beginning and put the scene and the titles up front.”

After experiencing the finished movie that combines the impressive helicopter shots with Goldsmith’s sweeping music, Cooper said, “It’s one of those things that’s very exciting and it’s certainly something that you look back on and are happy that you did.”

NOTES:

  • To read the complete interview, visit MGM’s Official Stargate website: Ark Angel – The Ark of Truth, Part 3.
  • In case you missed the other parts to the interview, here are their links: Part 1 and Part 2.
  • In an interview conducted recently by Gateworld, composer Joel Goldsmith stated that they are trying to coordinate the release of a soundtrack CD with that of the movie’s DVD on March 11.
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