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Interview with Andy Mikita

Date of publishing: 13th July 2006

Andy Mikita interview Andy Mikita started his career in film in the mid 1980's. As co-founder of the Pincher Creek Film Society, Andy helped assemble a small group of Southern Alberta filmmakers to produce and distributeeducational documentaries on super8 film.
In 1997, Andy signed on as 1st Assistant director for the pilot episode of MGM's Stargate SG-1, and a long relationship began ...
Until now, Andy has already directed 26 episodes of Stargate SG-1 and 7 episodes of Stargate Atlantis.

Gilles Nuytens: Firstly, thank you for taking a bit of your time to answer those questions! Can yo speak about what motivates you in your job and who are the people that influenced your work in a general point of view?
Andy Mikita: Paying off my mortgage is my main motivation. Seriously, it is the script itself that provides the motivation. The story. I am most influenced by the people I work with everyday. Tthere are no specific directors who I try to emulate.
I wouldn't know how to.

Gilles Nuytens: How many Stargate SG-1/Atlantis episodes are you going to direct this season?
Andy Mikita: 7 SG-1 and 2 Atlantis.

Andy MikitaGilles Nuytens: For you, what's the best episode you directed so far for Stargate, SG-1 and Atlantis, and why?
Andy Mikita: SG-1 would be "Hereos" because it was important and for Atlantis it would be "Progeny", because it was cool.

Gilles Nuytens: What do you think is the best evolution in Stargate this year and why?
Andy Mikita: I'm not at liberty to say, but you'll find out soon.

Gilles Nuytens: You are sometimes Director and sometimes Co-Producer on Stargate, what do you prefer and why?
Andy Mikita: Director is my primary job, which I love doing, and producer is my achievement for being part of the Stargate franchise since the beginning.

Gilles Nuytens: What's the most challenging episode you directed or produced?
Andy Mikita: "The Quest" parts 1 and 2

Gilles Nuytens: Outside of Stargate, what are your next projects?
Andy Mikita: I will try to pursue other television work at the end of this season, but at this point there is nothing concrete. I am also trying to obtain rights to some short stories by an east coast canadian author in hopes of someday producing and directing a feature film.

Gilles Nuytens: Could you tell us a funny anecdote that happened on the sets this year?
Andy Mikita: All day, every day with chris judge. And "fight club friday" with Claudia Black. She likes to engage in mock punch ups on set. WWF style.

Gilles Nuytens: This year you seem to direct more than to co-produce episodes, is there a reason?
Andy Mikita: I am credited as a producer on all SG-1 episodes.

Gilles Nuytens: For the past two season, the Ori have been Earth's nemesis, prior to that the Goa'uld were the enemy. What direction will you take in future seasons?
Andy Mikita: Those answers are trapped deep in the bowels of the story department.

Andy MikitaGilles Nuytens: How different is it directing Ben Browder from Richard Dean Anderson as lead on SG1 team?
Andy Mikita: Not too different. We all work together all the time so we work out problems together and share ideas together.

Gilles Nuytens: What's your opinion about taking input from actors on the set while you are directing?
Andy Mikita: I love it. And encourage it. But up to a point, eventually you just have to get on with it.

Gilles Nuytens: Sometimes actors are directing episodes (Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks for example), what is your opinion on this as a professional director?
Andy Mikita: I encourage it. They are talented people who know the show intimately. It makes sense.

Gilles Nuytens: Could you describe how it works with the special effects company (Rainmaker), how do you collaborate with them?
Andy Mikita: I deal only with our in-house visfx department and they, in turn deal with companies like Rainmaker or Image Engine.

Gilles Nuytens: When you direct episodes or co-produce them, is that your choice or did they call you to do the job, how does that work?
Andy Mikita: A bit of both actually.

Gilles Nuytens: What can you say about "The Quest", how could you describe this episode from director's point of view?
Andy Mikita: It was a challenging episode. There were a lot of people in every scene, and many of the scenes were incredibly long. It takes a long time to shoot scenes like that and therefore I felt like Ii was always behind schedule, to the point where it started to become the primary focus of the day, which it shouldn't be.

Interview by Gilles Nuytens & Linda Craddock for The Scifi World


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