IN THE BEGINNING (by Karen)
Swirlygate Atlantis was originally created as an entry in the McKay Stargate Atlantis YouTube contest held in the summer of 2007. It seemed like a fun way to do some shooting, with a fandom that I loved. Also, the chance to win a Macbook Pro and a talk with DH didn't hurt. Swirlygate just sort of wrote itself, if I'm honest. I sat down to write the script and that's what came out. I didn't plan on writing a satire on science fiction, or SGA. Perhaps is has something to do with unfortunate ingrained, traditional notion that female characters don't play the leads in Sci-Fi, or action, or what-have-you. And this is something I've had to contend with since I can first remember watching television or film, and that distinct lack of the leading female adventurer, scientist, explorer.
The Doctor Who element is in there both because it's another one of my favourite shows, but also because I know DH likes it as well, and I thought it might be an interesting way to grab his attention during the judging. As it turns out, he was only the secondary judge; only the "top 10" made it to his eyes, of which Swirlygate unfortunately didn't make it.
However, the feedback on Youtube was so great that J.M. and I decided to make a sort of series out of it, the second installment of which you'll be able to view here shortly. I wanted J.M. to play Sheppard not only because I knew she could act, but because I knew she could act well. And that she could pull of playing Joan. I played Mer, mainly because everything came together with such short notice, but also because I didn't know anyone else who might be able to do McKay the way I had in my head. But I'm not an actor, so please forgive my attempt.
The original Swirlygate took 6-8 hours to film - longer than I had intended, but that seems to always be the case with filming. We ate way too much popcorn, which I couldn't even look at for a month or two afterwards, without feeling ill (poor J.M. - I hadn't expected HER to eat as much as she did. I hope she'll forgive me for the jalapeño flavour). We had one other person on set - Steph - who I must thank profusely, for without her, we could never have gotten through filming in one piece.