Updated on 25 Aug 2015 with news about the doc being available in US on Hulu
Stargate fandom gets in touch with its feminine side, and FANomenon is there, to observe and to tell the story. Lynne Carter’s documentary features Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Torri Higginson and Martin Wood.
After having the world premiere at Dragon Con and being awarded second place in Feature at Dragon Con Film Festival, the documentary aired in Canada, on Global TV, on 12 October 2013.
If you’re in Canada, you can watch all the aired docs in Global TV Obsessions line-up, incl. FANomenon, online on web, or iOS/Android devices glbl.tv/1bJIhFD Hopefully it will be distributed outside Canada, stay tuned for news.
Update 16 Oct 2013
We’ve asked Lynne a few questions about her adventure and she graciously accepted to answer them, so here you have below our second interview with a celebrity (the first one was of course with Joe)
We are very grateful to Lynne for this talk and for sending us several stills from the filming that you’ll find below. She also declared herself open to answering any other fan questions, so you may ask them in the comments here, or better still directly on twitter or Fanomenon facebook page.
1.Your documentary aired in Canada on Saturday night, but what about the Stargate fans around the world? When and how are they going to be able to watch it?We hope to find an international distributor for Fanomenon, but it’s not an easy thing to do! The subject matter, although of interest to Stargate fans, is actually quite niche, so finding a distributor is difficult. Most distributors only take on films they think they can sell in a fair number of markets, and most only acquire a handful of titles each year. When you think about some of the amazing documentaries out there, competition is tough!Having said that, we are looking, and also exploring other distrbution avenues, like Netflix. It is all quite a complicated process, takes time (you send off the film and wait, and wait, and wait), and I’m doing it by myself. Hope to have something positive to report in the next month or two. So stay tuned!2. We can actually see Joe in it?
Yes, you can actually see Joe in Fanomenon! Filmed over two weekends in two different cities (Toronto and Atlanta) our primary interview (about 40 minutes in length) was shot with a full crew, (2 cameras, sound, lighting, producer, director) very relaxed, very candid and I believe he enjoyed himself. He appears in the film 4 times, and I think his onscreen time, although brief, is heartfelt and genuine. He definitely comes across as the hero of the story. I was really pleased that we captured a side of Joe I don’t think has been shown before, at least not in anything I’ve watched. Most of his on camera interviews have been for press purposes, quickly grabbed in often poorly lit press rooms, hallways, etc and the questions/answers one would expect in that sort of situation. Those are all great interviews but I was looking to dig deeper and I think we accomplished that.3. You said you’re a fan of Joe, just like the film heroine: how was it working with him as a director/producer?
I’m actually more a fan of Sheppard, but working with Joe became a fan of his too! It took a long time to ‘get’ him (I could write a book on how complicated and humorous it was to ‘get Joe’ – the crew joked that should have been the title!) but once we had him, he gave himself wholeheartedly to the project. Joe took his involvement in the doc very seriously, making changes to his schedule so that we could maximize our time with him, and really going out of his way to make sure we got what we needed. Most of you have not seen the film but part of it involved military like execution, with only one shot at getting a very key scene, and he played his part perfectly! He was charming, relaxed, engaging, curious, very funny at times, serious and reflective at others.
The main interview was done in August 2012 while Joe was in Toronto for FanExpo. It went so well that I asked him if we could do more with him in Atlanta the following week, and he readily agreed. While at DragonCon we filmed part of his photo op session, the key scene, and the SG panel on the Saturday, and then did a follow up interview on the Sunday to get his final thoughts on his role in that one pivotal scene.
One example that illustrates what it was like to work with Joe? He told me to signal him from the sidelines if we wanted to film our main character, Suzie, asking a question of the panel guests. She was quite content to just watch from her front row seat though so I didn’t have any need to send a signal. (note: we had a crew member line up for 3 hours to get that front row seat – we didn’t ask for favoritism from any of the cons we shot at!). After the panel, as people were leaving the ballroom, the crew and I were standing off to the side, packing up the camera gear, talking about how it went, how fun the panel was, etc. I had my back turned away from the others, busy putting my stuff away when I heard the crew call my name several times. Impatiently I said ‘hang on a minute, I’m busy!’ Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I whipped around to say WHAT? I found Joe standing there. He’d come out from the backstage area to make sure we got what we needed – he was concerned Suzie wanted to ask a question and wasn’t given the chance, that he may have missed my signal. Just one example of many to illustrate how committed he was to ensuring we got all we needed.4. Your film witnesses Suzie’s first encounter with her hero. Tell us about your own first encounter with Joe
My first encounter with Joe is actually rather a dull story! I’d been trying for about 6 months to get an interview with him, and having no luck at all. I’m in the television business and had been through all the tried and true methods (agent, publicist, people who know people who know him, etc), as well as several back door approaches (including giving another fan a letter to give him at a con in France!) Nothing was working!! In April 2012 the crew and I flew to Vancouver to shoot Suzie attending her first convention, the last SGA con in the city the series was shot in. We were not allowed to shoot inside the convention, so my first meeting with Joe was just like any other fans would be. I nervously lined up for an autograph, trying to figure out how I was going to tell him in 10 seconds why he should be in my film ;) Professionally though I knew it was not the time or place to try and talk to him about it, so left Vancouver no further ahead in the quest to ‘get Joe’. We did however shoot lots of other great material for the doc, including a fantastic interview with Martin Wood.
So that was my first experience! However, as I said, I’m in the business and not used to taking no for an answer so I wasn’t about to give up!! I had decided months before that I wasn’t going to give up until Joe told me that to my face that he didn’t want to be involved.
Thankfully, almost a year after I first started trying to ‘get Joe’, a mutual friend stepped up to the plate and opened that last door, telling Joe about me and the film in advance of his FanExpo appearance. So on the first night I went to the convention centre, stood in Joe’s autograph line (there was only a handful of people around), and when it was my turn went up and said hi, how are you, etc (the usual pleasantries fans manage to utter in the 10 seconds they have with an actor at these things) Then I said I believe so and so told you about me? Instantly he was asking questions about the doc and working with his agent to set up a time for the interview the next day. I was acting all calm but inside I was screaming YES, I GOT HIM!!! FINALLY!!!5. What’s your next film going to be about and when can we expect to watch it?
I don’t know that there will be a next film! I’m a full time network executive for a major broadcaster and have my hands full overseeing a number of shows (including the Canadian version of Big Brother). Fanomenon took 2.5 years to make from start to finish and although I wasn’t working on it every day, it was still difficult to do. Directing a film of any kind is really a full time job but I somehow managed to do it while still responsible for a full slate of original productions. That was my choice though – I’d been given a great opportunity, was sooooo passionate about the material and wouldn’t have given up the chance to make the doc for anything! You never know though! I’ve got lots of ideas, and making Fanomenon was just the best experience ever :) I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Update 10 dec 2013
Lynne is working hard trying to make the documentary available outside Canada, so that everybody would enjoy it, but things are not moving as quickly as she had wanted. So, guess what? She decided that, while we wait for the release, we are worth (maybe) a Christmas gift.
Can’t say what it is, it’s supposed to be a surprise, but we are talking about a director who interviewed Joe on camera, so we can pretty much imagine what to wait for, right?
So stay tuned here or on the documentary facebook page and you’ll definitely love it! It’s going to happen in a few days from now!
Update 23 March 2014
News from Lynne, posted on the facebook page of the documentary, and some actual footage with Joe! Enjoy!
Many have asked to see some of the raw footage not used in the final edit of Fanomenon. It’s taken me forever to get organized, and editing is not high up on my list of skills! However, I think I’ve figured it out and for those that are interested I’ll be posting a series of unedited clips from some of the interviews. First up? Joe Flanigan on how he became an actor.
Update 27 March 2014
New video uploaded by Lynne, with this background info:
Thanks for all the new Page Likes! As promised, here’s another raw interview clip of Joe Flanigan. I asked Joe if he was aware of the impact something like a tweet has on fans…
*Note – this looks very fuzzy to me so I will re-edit and re-upload as soon as I get a chance*
Update 22 May 2014
A new Joe Flanigan raw interview clip has been posted on Vimeo. In #3 Joe talks about the magic of making television, the benefits of shooting a series, and how Stargate lives on around the world.
Update 12 July 2014
We’re truly spoiled by Lynne, who recently uploaded two more bits: here (#4) and here. Joe speaks dearly about fans, and also very unassumingly about his work and the impact of the show. And that’s why we love him.
Update 25 August 2015
Lynne announced the doc is available for the US based fans, on Hulu. Enjoy!