We were lucky enough to have been invited to a press call interview with Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti and Aaron Ashmore from Warehouse 13, to discuss the new season. Syfy has sent us a full transcript of the conversation - it's long but there are some gems in there
Gary Morgenstein: Welcome everyone to the Warehouse 13 press call. The series got off to a strong start Monday. And to talk about Week 2 and the rest of the season, san spoilers, are stars Saul Rubinek - yes, Artie lives.
Saul Rubinek: Hi.
Gary Morgenstein: Allison Scagliotti.
Allison Scagliotti: Hi.
Gary Morgenstein: And Aaron Ashmore.
Aaron Ashmore: Hello.
Operator: The first question comes from the line of Erin Willard from SciFiMafia.com. Please go ahead.
Erin Willard: We had a call last week with Jack and Joanne and Eddie on the call, and they were...
Saul Rubinek: Oh, my condolences.
Erin Willard: Yes. It was fun.
And, they were talking about some of the episodes that are coming up, and I was wondering if you could say if you have a favorite episode or story line that’s coming up the second half of the season?
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Go ahead Allison.
Allison Scagliotti: Well, I would say I actually just got off another call where I was talking about favorite episodes, and the one that immediately comes to mind is - Saul, you remember when we go out in search of Beethoven’s clock and how much fun we had together.
Saul Rubinek: Oh, God. That was hilarious.
Allison Scagliotti: Wasn’t it great? We...
Saul Rubinek: Yes. Yes.
Allison Scagliotti: And it’s the episode where Claudia turns 21. I have a big musical episode at the end and it was nice. But I just remember looking back on that week and just remembering how much fun I had doing it.
Saul Rubinek: Well, we just - we - you know what happens is that now that - a little bit what happened was in order to build the relationship between Jinxy and Claudia, because they knew that his death was going to come and they knew that there was a huge - the stakes had to be really high. You know, Artie’s and Claudia’s relationship had to take a little bit of a back seat because of what was going to happen.
So this second part of the season we’re back in a way to where we were a little bit - a little bit. Claudia and I get to do stuff that we did in Season 2 in a way. It wasn’t - right?
Allison Scagliotti: Yes. I mean that’s what I think. That’s why that episode sticks out for me because it had been so long since we got to you know do our thing and do our little lightening in a bottle dance.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. That’s right.
Aaron Ashmore: So guys what I'm hearing here is basically - is that Allison, you - because you don’t have to work with me...
Saul Rubinek: Here’s the thing. We actually had a blast. Aaron and I did a couple of things together when we were a B story and trying desperately to turn it into an A story. We had a lot...
Aaron Ashmore: Milking it.
Saul Rubinek: We had a lot of fun together climbing poles in the Warehouse, whatever the hell we were doing. Battling flying gargoyles or whatever we were doing. I have no idea.
Saul Rubinek: We’re like a group that’s in Heaven and when we have guest stars that come in - and we do have, you know, some great people. We have this - I'm terrible with names, but I know Jaime Murray’s coming back once her schedule is - you know, once we’ve figured out her schedule because she was shooting the first season of Defiance.
And we’ve managed to find a way to get Kate Mulgrew back, and we had some great - Joel Gray of course, which was really great for all of us, because it was kind of awesome to have him on our set. What an icon.
Erin Willard: Sure.
Saul Rubinek: And you know, we really had a great time - a really great time this - the whole last part of the season because Artie could be Artie again and we could go back to what we were used to.
Although, it was really cool doing a very dark arc. Really cool.
Aaron Ashmore: And there still is some interesting stuff, you know even though things kind of get back to a little bit more maybe what we were kind of used to in the previous season and that.
But also, you know, we don’t erase the things that happen, so all the characters have changed and then we’re all sort of still dealing with these things in these episodes coming up, so I think that’s really interesting for the characters as well.
You know, there’s not really a reset button to take away what happened to Artie and what - you know, what did, so I think that’s really cool too is getting to play all those things and seeing how the characters change and adapt to that stuff.
Saul Rubinek: Well you know what’s really kind of interesting. I mean, watching a lot of different kinds of series of TV. And because we - because of the mandate that Jack has set up and has gotten agreement from the studio network to do - because right from the very beginning, it doesn’t take itself completely seriously. The show is able to put so much story - to pack so much story in an entertaining way.
When you've got a really serious show, like your brother is doing which I like, and it’s a very successful show, the Following, they can only do so much. If they were going to do more, it would have to go comic, which is the last thing that that show needs to do. They can only set so much in motion you know.
But you look at like some of the serious shows that are on, we do three episodes worth of their stories in 40 minutes. I mean I was looking at - just the premier of our show, setting up two major characters, finishing an arc that had to do with the whole destruction of the planet, trying to figure out a way psychologically for Claudia to forgive herself, and setting up an entirely new premise for a season all done in 40 minutes. I mean, I was very impressed with - I continue to be impressed with the storytelling.
It’s probably why we have such a good time is because we bounce around like that from humor to seriousness. And this next nine episodes, I really want you to tell your readers about is probably the most - the biggest chances that they’ve ever taken tonally from anything we’ve ever done. I think it comes from - I don’t know, what would you say Allison? Confident? I guess they’re just confident now. Completely confident that they’re - our audience is going to follow us you know, as long as we’re true the characters.
Allison Scagliotti: Well yes. I mean, to borrow some language from all the (unintelligible), we’re road tested and fan approved.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. Yes. I think that’s it. Well, I mean that kind of answers your question.
Erin Willard: No, it absolutely did. Do you want to illuminate us at all about the biggest (unintelligible)?
Saul Rubinek: You know if we did that - I can tell you this; that it was really cool - you're going to get to meet Steve’s ex-boyfriend. I don’t think (unintelligible) a lot. Give them - and that’s a very interesting emotional and hilarious episode you know.
What else can I - can we tell you?
Allison Scagliotti: I was straight up mad I was not on that storyline.
Saul Rubinek: Yes, I know. We all were actually - both of us were.
Aaron Ashmore: You guys would’ve just embarrassed me. I know it.
Saul Rubinek: The other thing - yes, the other thing that’s going on - but this is really interesting and one of the most interesting parts of the arc of the whole show. From the very beginning of bringing Allison on as one of our team is that her growing up and getting older has become a part of the show for the character, and that’s been because I think Allison has fought for it.
Two, didn’t have to fight hugely hard because Jack is a friend and has worked with Allison when - how old were you when you first worked with Jack? 13 or 14?
Allison Scagliotti: Yes. I was 13 when we did a pilot together.
Saul Rubinek: 13, yes. So he has seen her and she got hired when you were 18 you know?
Allison Scagliotti: Yes. That’s right.
Saul Rubinek: And so we watched - so now she’s going to have the responsibility of the Caretaker of the Warehouse that’s coming. That’s certainly been set up.
Allison Scagliotti: Sure.
Saul Rubinek: And whatever that does for her, both - I guess it’s something that she can’t help having this responsibility, and it’s a daunting one.
Listen, it’s - they have found a way - you know it’s interesting. I tell you what I think is interesting is that they found a way, way back when - to make the series go on the air - I mean, you guys I guess were also fans of Battlestar Galactica like I was, so they were able to talk about politics.
Erin Willard: Sure.
Saul Rubinek: Battlestar Galactica was - one of the reasons it was such a great series was that it was able to talk about modern politics freely because they didn’t have to name any names and it was done metaphorically because it was talking about the future.
In this sense, the writers have found a way of talking about what their concerns are. Whether it’s sexual politics, family dynamics, mother/father relationships, how grief plays out in a family dynamic, and how you have to find a way to keep a sense of humor or keep yourself going in the face of tragedy. These are the most important elements.
The rest of it, the storyline stuff and how that plays out, how an artifact is found is fun and inventive for sure, and they have a lot of fun with history. And, I doubt if any writer’s room uses Google as much as our writer’s room.
But, the most important part of it has to do with the way they’ve been able to talk about their concerns.
Look. I think any successful show on television - really successful show on television - even if you're talking about the Walking Dead, it’s because people care about how that family dynamic works and how the relationships work, and that’s what our writers have done.
It’s why we’ve stayed on the air. It’s why I hope we stay - keep staying on the air, which we’re not sure about. You got to get your readers to watch us, and hopefully our core audience will come back and tell their friends.
We are not a sure thing you know.
Allison Scagliotti: Maybe we could start a fan campaign like you know have fans that mail endless amounts of fudge to Syfy. Do you smell fudge where there once was no fudge?
Saul Rubinek: Good idea. A campaign writing in saying you know, “We want more.”
Anyway, I'm sure there are other questions here from people.
Erin Willard: Thank you very much.
Operator: The next caller comes from the line of Kyle Nolan from NoReruns.net. Please proceed.
Kyle Nolan: So we have heard that Kelly Hu would be joining the cast to run the bed and breakfast. Can you talk about what it was like working with her and what she adds to the dynamic?
Saul Rubinek: I guess I'm the one who worked with her most at the very beginning because she was brought in not only to run the bed and breakfast, but also in order - and I think you find this out fairly quickly, and I'm not sure when you're printing this, but to help Artie. And she’s going to - she has the ability to help other people and not just Artie.
But it’s the last thing that Artie wants is any kind of shrink-type character and he has to figure out a way to deal with her.
Kelly had to come into a show after it had been on already for three and a half seasons, and a very hard thing to do. But luckily, she knew Jack beforehand and she’s such an accomplished professional and so funny, and easygoing, and really good that she got us right away.
You know - and she understood what was going on right away. How the - what the temperament - what the temperature of the set was, so we were very, very lucky that she was able to juggle her schedule from Arrow, where’s playing a very dark character - a very mean character 3,000 miles away in Vancouver where she was shooting that. So she was able to juggle and come on the show for quite a few episodes of the last ten.
And that was - she was - you know, she really worked out well. It was really fortunate for us that she was able to do it.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes. I got a chance to work with her a little bit kind of further down, and I think that she brings - I mean, she’s sort of playing a - you know, a therapist. And like Saul was saying, to kind of you know bring Artie out of his shell or help him, but she’s also I think there for all of us. Because I think on some level, you know, the Regents are like, “We’re putting these people through an extreme amount of stress and they might need a little bit of help from time-to-time to sort of deal with these things. And, maybe stuff that they can’t discuss with each other because of the relationships that are already,” you know, sort of formed. It might be difficult to have those conversations or whatever.
So - but I thought Kelly did an amazing job because she’s incredibly likable and warm, and I think just even meeting her I was like, “Oh, if she was a therapist, I'd totally you know just open up to her and start talking to her.”
And, I think she just kind of has this energy that’s sort of different from anybody else in the show as well. I think that that is an interesting kind of take. She’s so - there’s just something really, really warm about her. Not that other people aren’t warm, but there’s just something kind of very different about her energy that I thought was really interesting.
So again, good job on the casting of bringing a new element in.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. I mean, the vulnerability of the character coming into a situation where somebody has died recapitulates an actor coming into a new situation where someone has been - a character has been killed off. So what was really going on for Kelly personally was kind of going on for her character as well.
So - and the writers are very aware of it, and were able to use that reality of what was going on in order to help what was going on the show. It’s why we have a good time. We never do anything by the numbers on our show, and that’s what I'm really proud of. That we’re always turning pages going, “They’re doing what? How? What? You're kidding.” So that’s one of the most fun things about this job. It’s why we don’t want it to end.
Kyle Nolan: Now you had mentioned this vulnerable side to the character. Do you prefer - do you find it more challenging to do those darker, more dramatic things, or the straight out comedy?
Saul Rubinek: Who are you talking to? Me?
Kyle Nolan: To all of you.
Saul Rubinek: All of us? Go ahead Allison.
Allison Scagliotti: You know, it’s so funny. When I was a kid and I first started doing this, casting directors and producers refused to see me as a serious dramatic actor. I booked three sitcoms my first few years out here. I, you know, recurred on a kid’s sitcom for a long time.
And so I had to like really work to get people to give me the opportunity to show my teeth a little bit. And we’re lucky with the show that we get to do both. That we get to you know laugh in the face of danger a little bit and make jokes when we’re uncomfortable or vulnerable. But at the same time, you know, really get to rest in the gravitas of you know - for example, Steve being killed or this evil festering within Artie and making him murder Leena. You know, it’s - we get to walk that amazing tightrope.
What’s hardest for me isn’t particular one or the other, because we have the relationships and the rich character (unintelligible) to support all of it. What’s hardest for me is keeping it fresh. You know, I'm just not - you know, letting episode-itis take over and not getting tired by the fact that it’s a job.
You know because no matter what, as much fun as we’re having, we are still up in Toronto for months at a time you know working very long hours together. So, that’s what I find the most challenging.
But you know in terms of comedy or drama, you know we’re circus people. I personally love all of it you know.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
It’s - for I guess the old man on the show, for me it’s the variety of work within a scene - within a day’s work, I guess. Not just within a scene, but certainly within a day’s work we’re doing four or five different genres of work because of the demands of the writing and the kind of series that it is. And, that’s what keeps it most fresh you know.
And in some way, it’s kind of the - doing series work is kind of the closest thing to what they used to do back in silent movie days in programmers when you'd be doing a different movie every couple of days you know. You do one-reelers and you just have to keep - you’re working very long hours and you're - you've really got to push yourself in all physical and psychological directions because those are the demands of all these different things you've got to do.
And that’s what keeps it alive. We’re not a procedural. A procedural - it’s a well-known fact that on a procedural, the people that are really having the most fun are the guest stars and the bad guys, and the people that are coming in to play guest starring roles.
Because, the procedural actors have to - you know in a procedural, the main actors have to you know keep a solid base. They very rarely get much personal stuff to do. They’ve got to follow a routine you know. So we’re lucky. We’re lucky that way, and our audience seems to follow us.
Kyle Nolan: Yes. Well, I'm really enjoying the season so far, and hopefully this is just the half way point in the entire series, so thanks a lot.
Saul Rubinek: Well, that’s a Jack Kenny line. Yes.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision. Please go ahead.
Jamie Ruby: So yes - so you - you sort of mentioned briefly - you said about being surprised by the script and the things they continue to do. But can you give some examples? I was curious. Like what do you keep getting surprised by after - I mean, you guys are veterans. You've been there awhile now, so what is it that surprises you and keeps you going?
Saul Rubinek: Aaron’s very surprised that people actually pay him for what he likes to do.
Aaron Ashmore: I'm - constantly. “You guys want me to what? Oh, you guys want me to come back?” I'm surprised when they send me the script each week. I'm like, “Oh, they - I'm still in it. Okay, good. Good.”
Allison Scagliotti: Oh, whatever. It’s so funny.
Aaron Ashmore: Well, it kind of started off that way, so I'm just going to - at the beginning of this interview, so I'm just going to stick with that for this.
Saul Rubinek: Stick with it. It’s working for you man.
Aaron Ashmore: Oh, yes.
Saul Rubinek: Four or five days and a lunch - during lunch. You know, we all take our lunches up to a conference room and then we do a table read of the episode that’s coming up which is listened to on speakerphone by the writer’s room, by the network, by people from the network and by people from NBC Universal.
And then after we’re done, then Jack Kenny and the writers listen to the notes from studio and network and address those. And it’s our opportunity also if something is not making sense for us or if we have questions to put in our couple of cents.
And what I mean by surprises - we enjoy those table reads. They’re never a burden. They’re never, “Oh, my God. I'd rather - give me a lunch or something.” It’s not like - again, we’re not doing a procedural where you just have to plug in an X or a Y or a Q, and basically, we say the same lines every week. We - it’s always a different situation. We’re always in the middle of a page-turner because we want to know how it turns out.
We only are given - and we only usually ask, “What is a general arc for the season?” We have an idea of what’s going on so we can play it intelligently. We don’t really want to know too much, you know, because we want to take it as it comes.
So in that case, it’s surprising that - it’s not that what we’re going to do isn’t going to be inventive or interesting. It’s that it’s fun for us to turn the page and go, “We’re doing what? What happens? What’s the artifact? What’s the downside of this artifact? You're kidding,” you know? And that’s where we have a lot of fun the same way the audience does. We have that opportunity when we first read that script, and that’s good for us.
Aaron Ashmore: The table reads are fun too because you know we’re not always in all of the scenes obviously. You know, there’s usually an A storyline and a B storyline. So to sit down and get to hear everybody read the stuff that you're not actually going to be a part of, to see the guest stars that you might not.
Because we get such great guest stars. And if you’re not in the scenes with them, some of them you kind of just pass by. So to get to sit down and see them and see what they’re going to do is also a lot of fun. Because you know again, there’s always different storylines that - we’re off in different places, so it’s really cool to just sit down and get to hear everybody do their thing for the episode.
It’s kind of exciting, especially when we have such awesome guest stars that - you know, I don’t know. Kind of nerd out sometimes. James Marsters and stuff like that.
I may or may not have watched Buffy from time to time.
So you know like that kind of thing. Just to be able to sit down and you know see these people do their things. It is. It’s a lot of fun.
Allison Scagliotti: I'm always impressed with who we manage to get. I mean, we have Missi Pyle coming up in noir episode. We have Joel Gray in our magic episode. You know, and not to mention the cavalcade of you know Syfy personalities that we get.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes.
Allison Scagliotti: I mean, I'm just - but I think it’s a testament to like how much fun we are as a show that people want to come and play with us.
Aaron Ashmore: There are rumors that we’re fun, and then they come to play.
Saul Rubinek: And they do have fun. We do have a lot of fun.
We - I - there’s 20 people, right, of - there are at least 20 press people and you're all listening to this as we’re talking, right?
Jamie Ruby: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: So my question back at you, and as you come online I really want to know what you guys think about the fact that we’re on at 10:00 instead of 9:00? Although, we are on at 9:00 Central, which is to 85 million people you know still. And where we used to be on for those people at 8:00.
I'm really curious how people - how your readers are - respond to that? I'm also curious about all of you who are - you know, watch a lot of television, you know how you feel about what the changes happened for online viewing to - you know, this really affects our lives.
It’s your lives and our lives as series regulars, and other people’s lives as series - the whole industry is being affected by how Nielsen is now changing to accommodate live plus three viewing, plus seven viewing. And the same number of eyes are on the same number of commercials.
I mean, people who own a DVR can skip through a commercial. You're watching stuff on Hulu Plus or on Syfy, you got to watch the commercials that are on. Can’t fast forward through them.
Jamie Ruby: Right.
Saul Rubinek: And so I'm really curious about that because it affects us. I want to know what you guys think, you know, and what you're...
Jamie Ruby: Well, no. For me I watch regardless of what time it’s on.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. You're a die-hard fan.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Lisa Steinberg from Starry Constellation Magazine. Please proceed.
Lisa Steinberg: I was wondering if you all could talk about what aspects of your character that weren’t originally scripted for you that you added to your roles?
Allison Scagliotti: For me it was music. I - it was important to me because it’s such a big part of my life playing guitar and singing that - you know, we add this sort of artistic element to a hacker.
Also because I spend so much time on Warehouse 13, might as well, you know, kill two birds.
Saul Rubinek: Music for me at the very beginning because I wanted to play some classical piano on it. And also, you know, I decided to tell the universe that I'm really not, you know, Scottish. I'm Jewish. So I wanted that to be a part of the character for the very first time in my career.
Lisa Steinberg: Aaron?
Saul Rubinek: Aaron, what did you add?
Aaron Ashmore: Well, what did I add?
I can tell you some things that I took away from the character, because originally he was a martial arts expert, and I was like, “No. I don’t think I'm going to be able to do that you guys, so that’s not going to work.”
But you know, I think adding - it was a lot just talking with Jack at the start because I - you know, we kind of spoke in the first episode and I said - you know, because I hadn’t seen a bunch of the scripts. And I said, “You know, like who do you want this guy to really be? Like there’s obviously like a - you guys have a plan. Some sort of you know blueprint.”
And he said, “Yes. But, we’re really going to figure it out together.” So it’s more - I think for me, it’s like I don’t think I've - you know, there hasn’t been a ton of stuff where Steve is like showing his interests or whatever. But I think, you know, Jack sort of is really good at sizing people up and just sort of bringing some of their natural things to it.
So I can’t say that I definitely talked to him. It was like, “Look. I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to do this.” But, I think that he sort of finds little things in us and kind of writes towards them and stuff like that. So probably not anything that I really went out of my way to add, but just things that he sees and kind of you know puts in there. So I could guess at those, but I'm not exactly sure.
Saul Rubinek: The most important thing that happened for Artie is Claudia. I mean - and it’s probably how Jack got the job - one of the reasons Jack got the job, because Jack was not involved in making the pilot of this.
And when they were interviewing the show owners, I know that he said, “Look. You got to give them somebody to talk to. This poor guy is going to be alone in the Warehouse sending people out on missions and then what? You know, he’s got - who’s he going to talk to? Got to find a sorcerer’s apprentice here.”
And, that’s what got - what was incredibly lucky is that Allison and I - and we spoke about this actually right at Comic-Con when we’d only met like about two weeks before Comic-Con. And when we first were shooting the first season is that we talked about the fact that we felt like we’d worked together for years you know.
Now as I began to work with Allison, I realized it was because in many ways, she’s you know 50-years older than she looks.
Aaron Ashmore: You don’t look so old.
Saul Rubinek: Certainly as a professional, and as somebody who knows...
Allison Scagliotti: You know what it is? It’s really good moisturizer you guys.
Saul Rubinek: Really good moisturizer.
So there you go. Use that metaphor however you want.
But that was - Allison (unintelligible) - that was the biggest thing was that Jack played on my being overweight and older, and her being young and slim, and how that worked as a father/daughter relationship for us was fun.
And we - and also, I'd been thrown a tremendous amount of exposition on this show and I have a quick memory. And so - and I get away with it because I've learned how to do it for many years.
But it was so much fun to say to Allison - to throw - to turn the exposition into an argument so that you find out stuff because of the relationship between Allison and I on the - between Claudia and Artie on the set.
Then we - the exposition would go by. You'd learn information without really realizing that you had just had a scene that was all about giving the audience a bunch of facts because we turned it into a humorous argument that had to do with who we were as people. And that’s the most important thing that was added to the character that didn’t exist in the pilot.
And, how that...
Allison Scagliotti: Yes. (Unintelligible) the fact thing and emphasizing the banter.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. Yes. Yes. That was the most important thing that’s going on.
And to the point where I noticed it, and then you guys must notice it on shows where it doesn’t work very well. Where there’s somebody who’s forced to give all this exposition and there’s not a lot of fun doing it you know.
Lisa Steinberg: Well, there’s such an addiction to watching this show. You want to see what artifact they have this week. You want to see that banter between all of you. Is that what you find is the reason why people keep tuning in and have made it a fan-favorite show?
Saul Rubinek: Really good question.
Aaron Ashmore: I think so, because - I think there’s lots of - I mean obviously I think - Saul, you said before, like obviously it’s so much fun - the creativity of coming up with this stuff.
But the characters - even like working on the show, even when I - like I just saw the Episode 4-11 that just aired. And even being part of it and reading the script and knowing it, like watching it is enjoyable. And I can’t say that that’s always the case for things that I've done.
And I think a lot of it is because it’s surprising and the relationships are genuinely a lot of fun to watch. And I think that Saul, as a person working with you, as far as like banter and stuff, it’s like you want things the way you - you know, like the timing and all this stuff.
And you know, sometimes you know when you're there you're like, “Okay. Yes. That’ll work.” But then when you see it back, you're like, “Oh. There it is.” Like that’s why this is working. That’s why this is so much fun is those details and such.
So I think that’s a big part of the characters and banter, and how fun that is.
Saul Rubinek: We want to get the crew home on time. It’s important on a series to do that. It isn’t the most important thing. But when you're doing the series, it is an important thing.
And at the same time, you don’t want to short-sift what’s going on. It’s a very important lesson in doing the series for all of us not to indulge ourselves in takes that maybe as series regulars we can ask for. And really not to overindulge - not to indulge ourselves at all, but to do the work as quickly and as efficiently as possible is what they’re counting on.
And the more - and they write for us that way. They give us a variety of things to do. And Jack has said really, really nicely to us - but he means it, and it’s back at him, you know our mutual admiration society, is he has versatile actors. I mean, the reason - and Aaron’s not seeing it.
The reason that Jack wasn’t worried and came to us and said, “I think you're going to have fun,” is because Aaron is deceptively simple when it comes to work. Very simple and easy. Learned a lot from watching Aaron, even though he took him right on the show. Because, Aaron is a very unstudied actor. He does a tremendous amount of - you can’t see him at it.
Plus, he’s incredible versatile, and you don’t see the seams, and you don’t see the stitched together. It just is - it comes from experience and raw talent, but from a lot of experience.
And, they’re asking that from all of us all the time. And if they don’t get it - you know, if they wouldn’t get that, we wouldn’t have our audience.
The truth is - and this has to be said. We’re a secret. We’re being watched by I guess you know, around two million people live and - or somewhere between a million and a half and two million people live. We’re being watched online by another two million people either - on various media we’re watched by three million people.
But the truth is, is that we are - the reason that we’re being watched - yes, we’re a good show. But the reason - one of the things we’re being - the reason we’re being watched and we’ve always known it, is because I'm a dad and I know it - there are not a lot of hour-long shows that you can watch with your family. They just don’t exist.
You're not going to watch some of the - violent shows with your kids. Our violence is kept at a minimum and most of it is off screen. We have a sense of humor. It’s a really fun show to watch with your family and it’s written so that the adults are going to get some jokes that the kids aren’t going to get.
So if you're ten years old, there’s something for you on this show. And if you're 90-years old, there’s something for you on this show that you can relate to. It’s the reason that we’re being watched.
But you know what happens is that - and this is important to know, and I don’t blame anybody for it. This is the way all series go. When you're in your - starting in your third season, a network and a studio don’t want to spend advertising money on you. They expect you - and rightly expect your audience to follow you.
So it’s up to us to deliver great material and have people talk about it, you know, now at this point in the fourth year of a show. And we’re really - all of us are really proud of the work that we’ve done and that’s why we Tweet so much.
Hey guys, you got to tell me, what does trending mean? What does it mean when it said we were trending? Just at our premier? What does it actually mean?
Allison Scagliotti: When a topic is trending, it means that it’s trending. I mean, it’s a topic that’s being discussed by a larger quantity of people that - yes, than any other topic.
Lisa Steinberg: It’s so popular that so many people - it’s so popular that this is one of the most talked about topics of the entire Twitter.
Saul Rubinek: So that’s what happened to Warehouse 13, which I guess is going to get translated to online viewing mostly because those are the people that do that.
So it’d be very interesting to see how those numbers translate. I was really proud.
And my son, who’s 18, said, “Hey, dad, you're trending like in Australia, Chicago, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, all across the world.” I said, “Huh?”
Lisa Steinberg: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: Well, that’s got to be important to us and to our viewers and to the network too.
Lisa Steinberg: Oh, of course. Networks determine based on different trending topics how that popularity trends - links, because it’s people watching the show, and that shows in the numbers. If it’s that popular, then clearly the numbers for watching will be high.
And I appreciate your time guys.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Tony Tellado from Sci-FiTalk. Please proceed.
Tony Tellado: Hi guys. Loving the season so far.
Saul Rubinek: Thank you.
Tony Tellado: Looking forward to Episode Number 2.
I just have an opinion question for all of you. Do you think the show has evolved? Maybe it was like - maybe two or three leads and now it’s more of an ensemble piece.
Saul Rubinek: It’s interesting. What do you think, Allison?
Allison Scagliotti: I got to say I think it was an ensemble right out of the gate. I think the family dynamic has changed and we’ve introduced new people and said goodbye to others.
But, I think from the beginning - from the inception of it, at least Jack Kenny taking the helm, it’s always been about the group.
Certainly Pete and Micah are the focus. They’re our number one and two. They’re on the billboard. But Pete and Micah couldn’t do what they do - they couldn’t exist without the support of Artie. Without the thrall of Mrs. Frederick. Without the assistance of Claudia and Steve.
You know, I think - and honestly, I think that’s why the fans keep coming back is because we’re a family and we’ve always been a family.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. I think it’s evolved only in the sense that not as a conception, but as the writers had more and more fun working with the ins and outs of the dynamic - the relationships, the comic potential, the dramatic potential of how relationships work.
There’s only so much you can do with the sexual tension between - you know, the kind of intuitive, goofy brain/soul that is Pete and the kind of nerdy by-the-book brave and very smart character that is Micah. There’s only so much you can do just with the two of them without adding in other elements.
And they knew it right away, and they were cast because of the potential comic relationship/chemistry between them that already existed. But once everybody else got added, it was exponential. It was way more than the sum of its parts.
And I think that Allison’s right. When Jack - once Jack was on board, he always saw this - no matter who was on a billboard. Whatever they’re doing to PR it; we always feel we’re part of an ensemble. We always have operated that way.
And I think - I don’t know if it’s - you know, you might have a better sense of it, but I know it goes back and forth. You know sometimes - for example, there is a noir episode that is coming up where certainly that story was - is an A story that involves Pete and Micah absolutely, and we are doing another part of the story that has to do with a whole other plot that is Jinxy, and Claudia, and I.
And, our story is fun and really interesting, but that is an example of like two leading actors getting to play a noir episode in black and white. But that - you know, that happens occasionally, and then sometimes the tables turn in what they’re writing about. And sometimes we all go off together.
So, there aren’t any rules as far as (unintelligible). It’s not - it doesn’t operate that - other shows do the same - similar things. And I - and we’re - we benefit from the fact that Jack insists that - in the writing, that it stays ensemble.
Aaron Ashmore: I think it would’ve been a mistake if they’d sort of taken the show just to be you know like you have your A characters and then everybody else is just way in the background. And I think that that’s - yes, like you said. If that’s the direction that they choose to go, Jack was like, “No. No. This is a family.” And obviously, that’s what the show is really about and really represents.
But again, you know I think that that’s just the decision making that people made. You know, whether it be Jack or the network to be like, “Yes. Let’s make it a family,” and you can’t have a family with just focusing on you know two family members. So I think that that’s you know one of the strong points.
But again, if everything didn’t play so well together, maybe they would have to focus on one versus the other. But, everybody kind of fills and plays their part so well that it works so well together. So again, maybe that’s why they’re - it’s possible to really make it an ensemble.
Tony Tellado: Cool.
And just quickly, Saul, I don’t watch anything live these days. So for example, I can actually watch an Ashmore double-header. Watch an episode of The Following followed by Warehouse 13.
Aaron Ashmore: Right. It was lucky timing that he was on before me, because we - Warehouse would’ve crushed him if that hadn’t been the case. The Following was lucky that week.
Saul Rubinek: That’s very funny.
Allison Scagliotti: That’s double your Ashmore, double your fun.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes, that’s exactly right.
Allison Scagliotti: I can’t wait until we do the twin episode. And I know that they’re talking about it going into Season 5 about Jinks getting twinned.
Allison Scagliotti: Claudia sandwich.
Saul Rubinek: Oh, that would be very funny.
Aaron Ashmore: I think - yes, I think that would be so much fun.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Jennifer Sylvia from NerdSpan.com. Please proceed.
Jennifer Sylvia: Hi guys, and so glad to have you here. Thanks so much.
Saul Rubinek: Our pleasure.
Allison Scagliotti: Thank you.
Jennifer Sylvia: My question for the day is with all that character development in mind, is there a specific artifact you think that has really lent itself to that development, or that there is a favorite artifact your characters have had?
Or, you as the actors have had?
Aaron Ashmore: Well, it’s pretty simple. I...
Saul Rubinek: The - go ahead.
Aaron Ashmore: Sorry, go ahead. No I was just - no, no. After you, because I know what I'm going to say, but...
Saul Rubinek: So what I was just going to say was pretty obviously the whole last season, the artifact was the Astrolabe, and that was what - that artifact - there’s nothing that can compare to the damage that that’s done. It precipitated the murder of a regular character and it destroyed Artie psychologically, psychically, and every - spiritually in every way. So there’s nothing that can compare to the downside.
And there was no choice. Artie had no choice because if he hadn’t used it, even knowing that there was some horrible thing that was going to happen, I'm sure he knew given his experience, then Pete, and Micah, and Claudia - well certainly, Claudia and Pete and the Warehouse, and Mrs. Frederic, and H.G., and Steve, and everybody’s dead.
And it would be - so in order to - and then he gets to use it. So there isn’t anything that compares to the Astrolabe for me.
Allison Scagliotti: My - I said now for a couple years - I always say the same thing, which is that my favorite artifact is the Metronome because it brought Steve back.
Saul Rubinek: Right.
Allison Scagliotti: It’s true. It’s true. I would not have had a very good time in Season 4 if we just left Steve for dead at the hands of Marcus Diamond. So - and also I'm a musician and I use Metronomes, so I've been bugging Jack for awhile to let me take the (stuff home).
Saul Rubinek: Yes. That’s funny.
Aaron Ashmore: I think - I totally agree with Allison. I think on many levels, the Metronome - for Aaron as an actor, was like, “Sweet. I get to come back,” because I was having a good time and I just didn’t know.
But also, I think it helped sort of solidify and develop the relationship between Steve and Claudia because you know they were tied together and I think you know going through that with somebody, it kind of - you know, you're always going to have something sort of special and interesting there because of that we were so tied together.
So on two levels, that was really good for me.
The other thing that Steve I think as a character totally changed his life and he couldn’t believe is when he saw Dorothy’s slippers. That just kind of connected to him on some level. His heart just warmed and grew a few sizes when he saw those ruby red slippers there.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from The TV Megasite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne Lanoue: Saul, for your question I just wanted to say I watch everything on DVR like the other person said. I don’t watch anything live because I hate commercials. But I understand the commercials are important, so - but I think most - a lot of people do watch, like you said, online or on their phone, or on iTunes or whatever.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Suzanne Lanoue: And I agree with what you said about the - being a family show, and I also think that one of the things about science fiction viewers - I mean, there’s different kinds. You know, we’re not all the same obviously. And I think that the people who like to have a light, fun show that’s not - I mean you mentioned Battlestar Galactica, and that was a great show and I loved it, but it was so hard to watch sometimes you know because it was so depressing and dark.
Saul Rubinek: Sure.
Suzanne Lanoue: And I think your show is like the opposite of that in terms of tone. I mean, you have your heavy moments sometimes, but it’s just always such a fun ride. And I think that for people who appreciate that, that that’s what Warehouse 13 really excels in. Like you said, the ensemble and then the really fun stuff that goes on.
Aaron Ashmore: Thank you.
Suzanne Lanoue: Do you have any comments on the tone of the show or how you feel it’s developed over time?
Saul Rubinek: Well one of the things that happened was that Jack was - we were all a little worried how dark Season - the first part of Season 4 was going to be, and it looked like our viewership was down and we were all wondering - a little bit, and we were all wondering whether or not it had to do with the tone of the show?
And after it was over, the research came out saying how much - the research showed that nobody - that there was so much online viewing that it was a tremendous boost from the season before, and that there weren’t viewers - there was no significant reaction to the fact that it was dark.
In fact, people liked the fact that we had gone so dark. It highlighted whatever humor was there.
So we were a little concerned. They took some chances.
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: They’re taking chances again. I can’t tell you exactly in what area, but I can tell you that there isn’t a season that we’ve done that hasn’t taken some serious risks about where we’re going to take the viewers.
And we don’t always succeed. No show succeeds 100% of the time. But you've got to fall down a little bit in order to succeed in new ways. And so that’s what I feel is that this show continues - I - like I said this from the very first time we ever had a Comic-Con, and everybody got really tired of me saying it, and it was - I mean, the network executives would just roll their eyes.
And I looked - and I thought to myself, “Okay. Let them roll their eyes, but it’s true.” And what I said was, and I continue to say it in terms of not necessarily about renewal or what numbers do, or how they figure all those things out, but I'm talking about whether or not we have a - whether our show is great or not. Whether it really continues to have a life - creative life is that the minute that they figure out exactly what a Warehouse 13 show is and try to write for it, we’re screwed.
That’s not where it exists. They continually are reinventing the parameters and the perimeter keeps stretching.
Yes, we’re a show where you collect artifacts. I mean, that’s about as much as you can say that’s consistent. There are artifacts out there that are going to screw up the world today. We’ve got to snag them. We’ve got to bag them. We got to put them in the Warehouse. That’s it. That’s about as far as close as you can get to what a Warehouse 13 show will have in it. And after that, we’re up for grabs you know.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right.
Saul Rubinek: One thing that they’ve learned. One thing that they have learned, and I can say is that if it’s only going to be funny, or if it’s only going to be melodramatic, or if it’s only going to be a thriller ride, or if it’s only going to do one thing, then it’s not a warehouse show. That we know.
It’s going to have a variety of genres within every episode in a way, and they’ve got to meld somehow. So that’s the mandate.
I'm - I think what we keep - we say it over and over again in many different ways, but it’s what keeps us interested and it - I know it’s what keeps our fans coming back. Got to.
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, that’s very true because it’s definitely having the surprise all the time what’s going to happen.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Suzanne Lanoue: You know, it’s not just about the artifacts. It’s what are they going to do to blow our mind type of thing? And you guys do that well.
And I think the acting - like you said before, the character interplay and the - you know, the actors really are what keep the show together. If you - if they had messed up the casting or whatever, I don’t think it would’ve worked. I really don’t.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Robin Smyth from SpoilerTV.com. Please proceed.
Robin Smyth: What I wanted to know is what artifact that you’ve had on that you want to have back?
Allison Scagliotti: Oh, what artifact we’d like to bring back?
Saul Rubinek: What do you want have back? What do you want? What do you want, Claudia?
Allison Scagliotti: Jimi Hendrix’s guitar for the obvious reasons.
Saul Rubinek: I knew she was going to say that.
Allison Scagliotti: Oh, sure. Of course. Yes. I mean, what else am I going to say? Rheticus’s compass? No. I don’t want to go back to a non-dimensional stage for 12 years. Like - I mean that was Joshua, but you get my drift.
Saul Rubinek: Well, I guess we could bring the Metronome back. We could bring - you know, we could bring everybody back. We could bring everybody back.
Robin Smyth: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. What artifact?
Aaron Ashmore: I think one of the first scenes I ever worked with you, Allison, was you playing the guitar - Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. And I have to admit, I was impressed with the confidence and gusto that you just wailed on that thing. I was...
Allison Scagliotti: Well, I mean you can’t - it’s not exactly a throw away, right? You only get so many opportunities in your life to play Jimi Hendrix’s guitar.
Aaron Ashmore: No. And you fully relished in it. I just remember being like, “Damn. This girl’s got some styles on that guitar.”
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
Allison Scagliotti: I did work on that. I worked on it for awhile.
Saul Rubinek: Well, there is an artifact that we use constantly that’s never been really identified as an artifact, and it’s the secret artifact of the show. Do you know what it is? It’s in ever...
Aaron Ashmore: I do. Can I say what it is?
Saul Rubinek: Yes, go ahead.
Aaron Ashmore: It’s your bag.
Saul Rubinek: That’s right. It’s Artie’s bag.
Allison Scagliotti: What?
Saul Rubinek: Artie’s bag is the - I mean, don’t you find it interesting, you guys who are writing about this show, that Artie seems to have whatever he needs in that bag at exactly the right time you know?
Allison Scagliotti: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: And that one of the things that they say to - I think that they say it to Jinxy, I think that Mrs. Frederic says before - you know, when you're going to try to bring Artie out of this whole thing, you might need this bag. Did they say that to you or do they say it to Pete?
Allison Scagliotti: Pete and Micah, because they take it...
Saul Rubinek: Oh, it’s Pete and Micah.
Allison Scagliotti: ...because they take it - they have to go to the...
Aaron Ashmore: Yes. Yes. At the beginning of the...
Saul Rubinek: Oh, Pete and Micah. They say, “You might need this bag,” yes.
And does it pay off yet for them? I don’t remember. Does the bag pay off?
Allison Scagliotti: It does. Yes. They have everything they need during that episode. They’ve got your code breaker.
Saul Rubinek: Oh, that’s right. They’ve got the code breaker. Right.
Saul Rubinek: Yes.
So the bag has a thing.
And then for Ron, who plays the head Regent, told me that I now do not remember the name of this object, there is in - he’s originally - his family is from Pakistan, and he said there is a kind of a mythic great story, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears kind of story, about a bag called something -- I forgot what it’s called -- that does have whatever you need in it at all time.
It does come with a downside. I guess like the Genie, but - can also bring a curse as well as a blessing. But that is the secret artifact that we have throughout the show.
I don’t know if we have a Season 5 whether they’ll talk about that in more detail, but it was - it’s the one where I go, “Hmm? Why do I always have exactly what I need?” You know?
Aaron Ashmore: I took you awhile. You're like, “Well, hold on a sec. Hold on a sec. What the hell?”
Saul Rubinek: I just thought it was a little convenient, and then Jack just went, “Oh, it’s an artifact. Shut up.” I just - I don’t think he really thought of it as an artifact. I think it was just like, “We need something from this bag and we’re not going to go through six pages describing how we got it. You're just going to have it.”
“Well, how did I do that? How does it happen?” “It’s an artifact. Shut up.”
Aaron Ashmore: I also - well and the one thing - I guess it’s not really an artifact, but I like that it keeps coming back, and I guess it’s this season coming up I guess that we really - that we really see what it is, is the fish finder.
Allison Scagliotti: Yes.
Saul Rubinek: Oh, yes.
Allison Scagliotti: The fish finder.
Aaron Ashmore: You know, that weird - yes.
Saul Rubinek: The fixer.
Aaron Ashmore: It’s the fixer. Okay. Okay. I thought it was the finder.
Allison Scagliotti: Oh, right. Right. Right.
Saul Rubinek: What it - “I was fixing a fish. I was fixing...”
Allison Scagliotti: I forgot about that.
Saul Rubinek: The fixer.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes. Because the first episode that I was in, Claudia gives it to Steve to carry in, and he’s like, “What the,” you know I mean? Like it just kind of shows up. I think that’s really a hilarious - but I think that in this...
Saul Rubinek: Yes. We find out a little bit of what it...
Aaron Ashmore: In this season we find out, yes, what it does, so I think that’s really cool
Saul Rubinek: We find out what the football does. Yes.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes. So I don’t know if the fish fixer is actually an artifact? I guess it’s - I don’t know. But it’s just cool. It’s weird.
Saul Rubinek: Yes. It connects to an artifact. It connects to all the artifacts actually in a way.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes. Yes. Yes.
Saul Rubinek: But the football is an artifact.
Aaron Ashmore: Yes.
Allison Scagliotti: Well, artifact locator so to speak, right?
Saul Rubinek: Yes, that’s right. That’s right.
Gary Morgenstein: Thank you everyone. Syfy’s Warehouse 13 Monday’s at 10:00 pm. Thanks again. Take care.
Operator: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. That does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines. Thank you and have a good day.