with Ron Blecker
of publishing: 17th June 2005
Ron Blecker is the military advisor and weapons handler/armorer
on many shows such Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, X-Files,
Millenium, Smallville, New Battlestar Galactica and big movies
such X-Men 2 and 3, I Robot, and many more. He also played
a role in Stargate SG-1 "The Lost City" as a member
of SG-3, in Stargate Atlantis and the new Battlestar Galactica.
But Ron is first of all a military person, he spent almost
15 years in the Army then was forced to give up his career
in 1998 when he was injured. Quite simultaneously Chris Carter
contacted him to help them on the X-Files show as military
advisor. Hence he rapidly became one of the foremost wanted
Technical Advisors in the industry. Don't hesitate visiting
his web site for more information about him and his job: http://www.def-con-5.com
Gilles Nuytens: Can
you speak a bit about yourself, about what your role on Stargate
consists of and about your work in general ?
Ron Blecker: I'm from
the United States and was born in Illinois and raised in Oregon.
I joined the United States Army right after graduation from
High School. I spent almost 15 years in the Army and shortly
after that was working in the motion picture industry. My
role on Stargate depends on the episode. Sometimes I will
work as the Technical Advisor and sometimes I work as the
weapons handler/armorer and sometimes both. I was asked once
to be in an episode and that was a good time although at the
time I was doing all three jobs.
Nuytens: You contributed
to an impressive number of TV shows, how are the things going
between you and the crew/cast members? Are you still in touch
with some of them ?
Ron Blecker: My relationship with
the cast members I have worked with has always been a good
one. When actors meet military advisors for the first time
they don't know what to expect. Sometimes they expect me to
be rude and yell all the time but thats not the way I work.
I have established some very good working relationships and
long lasting friendships with cast members. As for the film
crew's it seems as though I have a new family with most of
them. The industry is a small one and I can walk onto any
set and run into someone I have worked with before. It's always
nice to see a friendly face when I walk onto a new project.
Gilles Nuytens: Do
you miss your military career?
As for my military career I do miss parts of it. I miss my
friends and the adventure. I loved the Army and I met some
fantastic people and learned about myself and my character.
Many people go through life never really being challenged
and not taking advantage of the opportunities that come with
learning about yourself. I am glad I did it and I'm glad that
it has led me to the job I have now.
Gilles Nuytens: The
producers of the Millennium show came by themselves to hire
you in order to give help on their show, and that started
your new career and influenced you to create Defcon-5. What
do you think had led the producers towards choosing you ?
Ron Blecker: It was
actually the producers of the X-Files that gave me my first
break in the business. They also produced Millennium but the
X-files was my first job. They had heard about me from the
Vancouver Police Department because I had done some training
with the Vancouver SWAT team the year prior. They couldn't
provide the technical support the production was looking for
so they are the ones who passed my name and number on to the
producers. I went to an interview at the X-Files production
office and was hired on the spot by Chris Carter and property
Gilles Nuytens: The
military aspect is very present in Stargate, do you take part
in a lot of episodes ?
Ron Blecker: My work on Stargate
as become less and less over the years. The cast have been
doing this for a long time now and they pretty much have the
whole military thing down. The producers also have access
to the United States Airforce public relations office and
between myself and them the producers have the bases covered.
If the episode calls for very technical military manuvers
I will be called in to work with the cast. Most of the time
I'm there now to handle weapons and with that job I will always
answer questions and help out with blocking the scene if it's
Gilles Nuytens: According
to your resume, you haven't worked on Stargate Atlantis, Would
you like to take part on it because the military part is quite
important, especially with season 2 which seems to be more
on the military side with the arrival of Mitch Pileggi ?
Ron Blecker: Actually I need to update my
online resume because I have worked on Atlantis and as a matter
of fact I was asked to play a part in the season two opening
episode. I had a great time and was able to blast a Wraith
in the process.
Gilles Nuytens: Which
is the best memory you've got working on Stargate? Have you
got an anecdote ?
One of my favorite memories of working on Stargate is the
first time RDA used the M249 SAW. He was supposed to be shooting
at an invisible character and none of the cast or crew had
ever seen this weapon before. I showed him how it worked and
how to fire it and when we rolled the cameras and he fired
off 200 rounds. When they yelled cut he went nuts, he loved
it and the crew were all cheering. After that you'll notice
that just about every cast member has had a chance to fire
the SAW in one episode or another.
Gilles Nuytens: Which
was the show you preferred to work on and who's the person
you preferred work with ?
Blecker: I can't answer this question because I love
to work on all the shows and it wouldn't be right to pick
one person out of all of them as my favorite.
Gilles Nuytens: Cheyenne
Mountain is a real military complex, as a veteran have you
ever had the opportunity to get in and talk to the people
who work in there? If yes, do you know what they are thinking
about Stargate and about the fact that they see their base
on a TV show every week?
Ron Blecker: My job in the Military never
took my to Cheyenne complex. I have talked with allot of Airforce
personnel who have watched the show. Some love it and some
just don't understand the film making process. They get way
to picky about something they see. But there's nothing wrong
with that. It's just people who are passionate about the military
and want to see everything exactly the way it is in real life.
But the film industry make films to entertain and I think
Stargate and Atlantis do a great job of that.
Gilles Nuytens: Looking
backwards, what do you prefer, your military career or your
career as a technical advisor? Or maybe there are some points
in each that you like most ?
Ron Blecker: I couldn't have
my career now without my time spent in the Army. I loved the
Army and I love my current career. It's challenging and it's
always different. It keeps me from sitting behind a desk all
day and if you really think about it the film industry is
like the military in many ways.
Gilles Nuytens: Is
it easy to work with the actors, to get them to understand
the military « spirit », how do they react ?
Ron Blecker: I have only had one
actress in the last seven years who just didn't want to have
anything to do with understanding the military. And she was
playing a soldier. Despite that single setback every other
actor wants to know the military mentality, spirit and life.
For some they only want to know because it's part of thier
job as an actor. For other's they have a genuine interest
in the military. Overall it's pretty easy for what ever reason
they are motivated to learn at least they learn.
Gilles Nuytens: Thanks
a lot for this interview and on behalf of all the team of
Stargate Ultimate, we wish you the best.
Ron Blecker: My pleasure,
I'm very impressed by the work you put into your website.
I hope I have answered all of your questions to satisfaction.
by Gilles Nuytens for Stargate
Ultimate / The