Robert C. Cooper


Robert C. Cooper Trivia


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    • Robert C Cooper: (About getting into the film business) I pretty much did what I just said. I went to film school, first of all, four years of film school. There are really two ways to break into the business. One is to start working as a volunteer, or a trainee, on the crew side of things. And then you work your way through various crew positions. And what you need to do is decide which discipline you want to be involved in, whether you want to start with camera or whatever. I mean, just to say 'I want to be a director,' well everybody can say that. You can go out and get some money and make some movies and prove that you can be a director, and do it yourself. Or you can work your way through the AD [Assistant Director] group. Martin Wood, who is one of our regular directors, was an AD for a number of years before he got the opportunity to direct. Or you do what I did, which is come out of film school and write some scripts. I wrote three feature scripts, and I put them in a bunch of envelopes and sent them out with a letter explaining who I was. And the thing is, none of those scripts were good. In fact, they were all terrible. What got me noticed, and what got the attention of people in the business was that I had three. It's an odd thing, but a lot of guys walk around with one script in their pocket. And what that says is that they sat down and wrote a script. That doesn't make you a writer. What makes you a writer is your commitment to the process, and the fact that you are prolific, and that you're passionate and committed to the idea of being a writer. The fact that I sat down and wrote three feature scripts - now, they were bad by most people's standards - but they still, I think, demonstrated some spark, or some indication that maybe I had some talent. But I think it was more the fact that I had three different ideas, chose to lay them out, understood how a script was written, not just the formatting, but the structure, and demonstrated that. So that got me a job as a junior staff writer at a company that was making low budget feature films. And over that period, the next two or three years, I wrote, like, 20 feature scripts, some of which got produced, some of them with or without my name on them. And they were awful, awful, awful movies, but it was an education for me. It was like going to script camp. It's a process. You've got to be devoted to it. It's not something, I think, that you can do very well in your spare time. There are a lot of books on screenwriting, and one of the best pieces of advice I've ever read in one of them is that a writer writes. And that's what you do. You learn from making the mistakes of what doesn't work, and that comes from writing dozens and dozens and dozens of scripts.

    • Robert C Cooper: (About the Peter DeLuise)I mean, Peter DeLuise is much much farther along in the process now, but he started as an actor, decided that maybe that wasn't ultimately going to be a long term successful route for him, and became a very good director, and then also decided that he had it in him to want to write as well, and be a fully rounded contributor to the creative process. And you know what? He went through a real process of growing and learning how to be a writer, and he has achieved wonders now. I mean, his scripts are great now. He was heavily, heavily rewritten on his first scripts, and will tell you that it was a very frustrating process for him. But he's learned. And it's come from having had the opportunity to do it as much as he has, writing as much as he has, and that opportunity was given to him because he's such a good director. I personally think his scripts last year, 'Orpheus', 'Evolution part 2', 'Enemy Mine', I think they're some of the best episodes we'd done that year. He's been rewritten to a certain extent for the sake of production drafts, things change in prep and stuff, but very much what you see was what he brought to the table. And he deserves a ton of credit for having come that far.

    • Robert C Cooper: (About Carter's personal life)Evaluating where her life was going came out of a conversation that Amanda Tapping and I had. I mean, she tends to be, in our scripts, the person who does all of the techno-babble exposition, and we sometimes lose track of the fact that she's also a woman, who has a life, and we wanted to explore that too. So then 'Chimera' was about her meeting some guy, and this guy having to decide whether he really wants to be involved with someone like that. So, I think that's all fun.

    • Robert C Cooper: (About Season 7 of Stargate SG-1) The thing about season seven, I think, was that they are all kind of departures. Because we were dealing with the Rick issue, and because it was season seven, we took the opportunity to do some stuff that was totally different than anything we've ever done before. I think people probably watch it and say, 'That didn't feel like a 'Stargate', but yet, it still was entertaining.' I mean, it still was something that I think they enjoyed watching for that hour. One of the things we did last year more than ever, I think, was episodes that stand alone. We haven't done serialization so much. 'Revisions' was, I think, more like a classic 'Stargate'. The team goes to a planet, meets some people, gets into trouble, gets out of it, and comes home. We have definitely been doing much more of that. However, all of the episodes have some sequel element to them. 'Space Race' was about Warrick, who was in 'Forsaken'. 'Avenger' was Pat McKenna's character, Felger, from 'The Other Guys'. So they do have sequel elements to them. 'Grace' was a wonderful sort of departure episode. Carter has to deal with the fact that, what if she dies out here in space, is this what she really wanted for her life? And I don't mean career achievement, I mean personal life. She has to explore a lot of the elements of her personal life, and then the repercussions of that get played out in 'Chimera', which is a wonderful parallel story of Carter dealing with a relationship on Earth, and Daniel dealing with his lost relationship with Sarah, who's become Osiris. To me, it's as interesting to tell that story, about how do you have a relationship when you can't tell somebody what you do for a living? You can't come home and say, 'Gosh, I nearly died today, on another planet.' So how do you have a relationship? And that's why Carter has looked at O'Neill in a romantic way, because he understands what she's going through. So in a way, he's the perfect mate for her. And yet she can't make that happen because of the Air Force and their respective divisions. So I don't know how you DON'T tell those stories.

    • Robert C Cooper: (About the Ori Soliders) Yeah, I actually -- I wrote "Crusade" because I wanted to make them not two-dimensional. To me, it was interesting to develop them as a character -- not just Tomin, but Tomin is a representation of them. I think that it's very interesting to look at someone with the strength of belief who's willing to fight for what they want to fight for. It's different from what our agenda is. And I think that type of single-mindedness certainly exists in our world. It's something we see go on around us. I think it's important for us to try and understand why people want to go to war with us, or blow up our buildings, or our airplanes. I don't think that that single-minded devotion makes someone two-dimensional. I think it's more that I was trying to make those warriors more than just people in suits. Because it's science fiction, and because it's far more black and white than our real world is. And we tend to paint with primary colors and archetypes [more] than we do true reality. And it is, ultimately, just entertainment. But we were trying to get to something a little bit more than just people in wardrobe as warriors -- that, in our case, the people who are following [the] Ori, we perceive them to be mistaken in their beliefs.

    • Robert C Cooper: (About Season 9 of Stargate SG-1) Yeah, I don't remember if we talked about this -- I have said it before. Season Nine was about wiping the slate clean, sort of, and introducing the Ori and kind of preparing us for what was going to happen, which is that they were going to invade and kind of take over. The whole goal from Season Nine moving forward was to bring the series back to where it was when it started in Season One. And that was to put us at a tremendous disadvantage -- wipe the slate clean, make us the underdogs again. Because we had gotten to the point where we won every time. We killed Goa'ulds, Replicators at will. The challenge wasn't there any more. And we wanted to create bad guys that would now be as big a challenge as the Goa'uld were when we first opened the Stargate. So, Season Nine was very much not only just about introducing the new members of the team, but also the new bad guys and how that was going to work. And Season Ten is very much about the bad guys kind of executing the plan, the promise -- coming through on what they said would come to pass, which is that they're going to come in and take over our galaxy.