Archive for February, 2010

Ghost Hunters 100th Episode Live Event on Syfy

February 28, 2010

Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes celebrate their 100th Ghost Hunters episode in March. Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

ON Wednesday, March 3rd, join Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and the rest of the TAPS team as the Ghost Hunters celebrate their triumphant 100th episode with a LIVE audience from the legendary Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. From 9-11 p.m. EST, the team will present their first-ever investigation at Alcatraz as well as take a look back at the most shocking and spine-chilling moments the hit series has caught on tape over the past five seasons. 

Josh Gates (Destination Truth) will host the event, which will feature investigators from all three Ghost Hunters teams gathered together for the very first time. Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango, Amy Bruni, Kris Williams (Ghost Hunters), Barry FitzGerald, Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari (Ghost Hunters International), Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer (Ghost Hunters Academy) will take the stage and get the chance to talk directly with the fans, answering audience questions from in the studio and Syfy.com. 

Throughout the show, Josh will also reveal some surprises coming up in  the Ghost Hunters franchise! As always, Syfy.com will serve as the ultimate Ghost Hunters destination online, linking viewers to all of the action in the studio in real time. the site will host an interactive center helmed by investigator Britt Griffith, where fans can long on throughout the evening to be a part of the broadcast. Viewers will be able to ask questions of all participating TAPS members, leave comments and feedback, participate in polls, read up on Alcatraz history and more! 

Then, at 11pm, the show continues online with an exclusive post-broadcast streaming event, Ghost Hunters Alcatraz Live Extra, also hosted by Josh Gates. This 15-minute extension of the live episode will feature a Q & A panel with Jason, Grant and the rest of the TAPS team answering viewer-submitted questions from Syfy.com. 

As noted above, photo is copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

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This Week On Survivors – 02 – 27 – 10

February 27, 2010

SPOILER ALERT!! – Abby (Julie Graham) stumbles across a community that could hold the key to everyone’s future. The group is led by Samantha Willis (Nikki Amuka -Bird), the last surviving member of the government. She has set up a community that still boasts light, hot water, food and power, all drawn from sustainable sources. Abby and Samantha hit it off immediately and Abby is full of hope that Samantha might lead the remaining population to build a new and better society. Samantha sees that Abby could become a trusted ally, but Abby’s illusions are shattered when she sees the lengths that Samantha will go in order to maintain control of her fledgling community.

Meanwhile, Greg (Patterson Joseph) and Tom (Max Beesley) are out searching for supplies when they encounter a family stranded on an isolated farm. The father has successfully sheltered his children from the virus by keeping them imprisoned in their own home. When the daughter of the family reaches out to Tom and Greg to set her free, they are faced with a terrible dilemma – any contact with them could kill the family. Episode three airs Saturday night, February 27th @ 9:00 p.m. EST on BBC America.

New Doctor Who Arrives On BBC America In April

February 26, 2010

Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who. Photo copyright of the BBC

BBC America announced today that the new era of the BBC’s iconic BAFTA-winning drama, Doctor Who, will make its U.S. premiere on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, soon after the UK broadcast. Doctor Who, BBC America’s highest-rated series ever, continues its tradition of rebooting with new lead actors and creative team. Matt Smith debuts as the new, Eleventh incarnation of the famous Time Lord alongside a new traveling companion, the enigmatic Amy Pond (Karen Gillan).

“Britain has a tradition of reinventing its iconic characters, like James Bond, Sherlock Holmes – and Doctor Who. In introducing the Eleventh Doctor, writer Steven Moffat is opening the show to a whole new audience, while serving fans with an exciting mix of intergalactic time travelling adventures. We can’t wait to meet his new Doctor!”comments Richard De Croce, Senior vice President Programming, BBC America.

BAFTA-winning writer Steven Moffat, creator of some of the most frightening and award-winning Doctor Who episodes to date, takes over as lead writer and executive producer. Writers for the new series include Richard Curtis (The Boat that Rocked, Love Actually), Chris Chibnall (Law & Order UK, Torchwood), Toby Whithouse (Being Human, Torchwood), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentleman, Sherlock) and Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, Hardware). Guest stars include SAG Award winner Alex Kingston (ER, Flash Forward), Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda) and Tony Curran (24).

Travelling both through time and space, the new series has the mysterious Doctor and Amy Pond together exploring 16th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space. The first three episodes of the 13-part series have been confirmed as The Eleventh Hour, written by Steven Moffat, The Beast Below, also by Moffat, and Victory of the Daleks by Mark Gatiss.

Moffat’s work includes the hit comedy Coupling, the critically-acclaimed thriller Jekyll, the new BBC series Sherlock and, along with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the screenplay for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which is being directed by Steven Spielberg.

Piers Wenger and Beth Willis (Ashes to Ashes) also serve as executive producers on Doctor Who. It is a BBC Wales production for BBC ONE and distributed by BBC Worldwide.

As noted above, photo is copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

This Week On Caprica – 02 – 26 – 10

February 25, 2010

SPOILER ALERT!! – After his public promise to forgo future holoband profits, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) finds himself fighting for his professional life.  

Tamara Adama (Genevieve Buechner) becomes acquainted with some fellow avatars, which is not necessarily a good thing. Photo by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel

The avatar of Tamara Adama (Genevieve Buechner) wanders scared and lost in the V-World, unaware that she died nearly a month ago in the MagLev bombing. Falling in with a group of gamers, Tamara discovers a new side to the V-World…New Cap City, a world of escape where people live alternate lives of violence and crime in search of the game’s elusive meaning. Forced into aiding a digital crime spree, Tamara befriends a young gamer and discovers a devastating secret that threatens everything she knows.  

Willie's (Sina Najafi) weekend with his father does not go exactly as planned. Photo by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), realizing that he hasn’t been emotionally present for Willie’s (Sina Najafi) grief, tries an impromptu fishing trip to bond with his son. The trip reveals new layers of torment for Willie and leads Joseph to conclude that, for both their sakes, he may need hs Tauron roots more than he realized. There Is Another Sky airs Friday, February 26th @ 9:00 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.  

Click on the following link for a preview of this episode – https://rcpt.yousendit.com/824071569/847c792f8807db165712bacf111aab77  

As noted above, photos by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Human Target’s Jackie Earle Haley and Jonathan E. Steinberg – On Target

February 24, 2010

Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero in the Human Target episode "Rewind." Photo copyright of Fox Television

IN 1992, ABC launched what turned out to be a short-lived TV series loosely based on the Human Target comic book title created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino. This past January, Fox began airing its version of the project. Developed and executive produced by Jonathan E. Steinberg, the series stars Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), a private contractor, bodyguard and security expert who supplies a very unique protection service to his clients. Rather than shadowing them, he becomes them, and, in the process, becomes the human target as well. Chance is assisted by his business partner, Winston (Chi McBride) and hired gun/techie, Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley). A few weeks ago, Jonathan Steinberg and Jackie Earle Haley chatted over the phone with myself and several other journalists about their involvement in the series. The following is an edited version of that Q & A. Enjoy! 

Jonathan, what turned you on to this comic book more so than others? 

JONATHAN STEINBERG – It was pitched to me, actually. This was a property that had been in development both for TV and the movies for a while, and I think for good reason. It’s a very enticing idea – a guy who is always looking to or is willing to become you and get into the trouble that you made for yourself, and I think everybody had tried to figure out a way to make it work. It was pitched to me as something that Peter Johnson and Warner Bros. were looking to do. And from there, it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up – to be able to do an action show and set it anywhere in the world for any given story. 

Are there any clients that Chance (Mark Valley) wouldn’t take on. If, let’s say, Bernie Madoff approached him would he turn him down? 

JS -We’ve played early on that there are some hurdles that you need to clear in order to gain his interest or get him to the point where he’s willing to take a case for you. I don’t think that means that he wouldn’t necessarily take the case of somebody who he didn’t necessarily agree with or sympathize with, but you definitely have to make your case to Chance when you ask for his help. 

Did your work with Jericho change your approach you took with putting this show on? 

JS Jericho was actually really good boot camp for us and a number of the other writers on-staff here. It was a big show and one that we tried to imbue with some adventure. However, because we had to make it on our soundstages, we couldn’t really do as much of the action as we would have liked. So it forced us to get better at doing more with less, but now that we have a slightly bigger sandbox to be playing in, hopefully we’ll be able to use every last ounce of what we’ve got. 

Jackie, what turned you on to this role in the show? 

JACKIE EARLE HALEY – Jon came to me and I ready the script, which I thought was real kick-ass and a lot of fun. I liked how it was comic book-related as well as light in tone and this really cool kind of action hero character of Chance, and the Guerrero character supporting him. I also loved the idea of getting in there and working with these guys on a long-term basis and working on one specific character as opposed to what you do on a movie – you do it and you’re done. This is an ongoing process, which is kind of neat. 

What do you think of Mark Valley as an actor and a person? 

JEH – Mark is an awesome guy. He’s fun to hang around and a wonderful actor. I specifically love what he’s doing with Chance. I mean, the tone of this thing is so wonderfully kind of steeped in that 80’s tone, like Die Hard or The A-Team, and I think Mark just seems like he’s nailing it. 

Jackie, how much did you know about your character going into this project, and how would you describe him? 

JEH – That’s what’s fun about this guy – it seems like we’re all kind of learning about Guerrero together. Obviously we’ve shot more episodes than what have aired so far, but it seems like I’m still coming up with more questions about him than we have answers. But I think as each week goes along, we’ll add a little bit more to Chance’s background and the fact that there’s some event in his past that was quite a pivotal one that kind of caused Chance to go from one side to the other. And I think Guerrero was a part of that. That holds a lot of interest for me; I definitely know that Guerrero has worked on the dark side of things and now he’s working on the more righteous side with Chance. What’s neat, though, about my character is that you never quite know where his loyalties lie. It’s really fun riding that line with the writers, and the thing is I don’t think we want to find out too much and too quickly about Guerrero. I’m really enjoying exploring the multi-dimensionality of this guy and seeing where it leads and what makes him tick. 

Having come off doing mostly movies, what else has been different for you about doing a TV series from an acting or even a logistical standpoint? 

JEH – Let’s see, it’s a much faster process, although these guys are really doing a heck of a job technically. It’s amazing what you can do on TV now, and these episodes look like little movies. I think the biggest difference, though, is in the development of the character. So often you kind of get a screenplay and then you can work with the directors as well as the writers in learning about and developing who your character is, what his back story is, what kind of brought him to this point, etc. From there, you dive in, do the work and it’s done. With TV, it’s kind of the reverse of that. It’s like you try to figure out so much before you start shooting, but so much of the development and answers end up coming later. So I guess instead of making one two-hour movie, hopefully we’re making 100 one-hour movies. 

Jonathan, as the series goes on, are we going to get more background on the characters week-to-week or might you just focus on one character one week, and another the next? 

JS – From the very beginning, the back story of Chance, Guerrero and Winston was important, and not just as a mystery for its own sake, but it defines where they came from and their shared experience defines their relationships now. What was interesting to us was that they all share this one traumatic, but also very big mythic experience between the three of them, and how that experience rippled through their current relationships. And I think before the end of this season you’re going to learn a lot more about them as well as that event. 

Jackie, I was wondering how you balance Guerrero’s darker nature with the sort of lighter action feel of the show? 

JEH – It’s a constant balancing act for all three characters, especially for Guerrero. The show needs to be fun, it needs to feel like an adventure in the truest sense of the word, and I think part of what that means is not just that it’s light, but that there’s something underneath, some gravitons to it. In some ways, I feel Guerrero is right at ground zero of that tightrope that we try to walk every week, and it’s a matter of being able to have one foot in both worlds. 

JS – The Guerrero character is in this show that definitely has a fun, kind of tongue-in-cheek element from the 80’s. And like I said earlier, Mark Valley is just nailing that, and Chi McBride is brilliant at playing Winston. As for Guerrero, he’s fun because he has one foot in that world in the sense that he kind of plays the straight guy for Chi’s character. At the same time, there’s an interesting addition to that tone where Guerrero is also this slightly unhinged character. His background is a little bit questionable, as are his morality and ethics. It’s kind of neat how he brings this little darker tone to an otherwise lighter tone. 

As noted above, photo copyright of Fox Television, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Caprica’s David Eick and Paula Malcomson – Vive La Difference!

February 23, 2010

Caprica co-creator/executive producer David Eick. Photo by Chris Haston and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Paula Malcomson as Caprica's Amanda Graystone. Photo by Joe Pugliese and copyright of the Syfy Channel

On January 22nd, 2010, the long-awaited Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica premiered on The Syfy Channel. A few days before, series co-creator/executive producer David Eick and cast member Paula Malcomson, who portrays Amanda Graystone, spent some time on the phone speaking with myself as well as several other journalists about the series. The following is an edited version of our conversation. Enjoy!  

Can you talk about the intention to make Caprica different from Battlestar Galactica, because it definitely has a whole different feel to it.  

DAVID EICK – I think we’re very intently committed to the idea that this show stand on its own, and that it not in any way feel like an echo, a descendent or an extension of Battlestar Galactica. You’ll note that the title is not Battlestar Galactica Caprica, but simply Caprica. The relationship that it has to Battlestar is purely inconsequential. It’s kind of in an Easter egg sense of fun for the fans and audience that followed Battlestar Galactica. However, if you never saw a lick of that show, it will have no impact on your ability to really get involved in and relate to the characters as well as the drama that we’re doing on Caprica.  

People can pretty much watch Caprica in a lot of different places other than on the Syfy Channel, such as on-line. Is that part of your design or does that come from the network?  

DE – Well, it was a network design, but I believe – and I’m not certain about this – that it’s a release strategy or a distribution strategy that other networks have tried as well. I think Glee may have done something like this where the pilot premiered and after a period of time went by, the pilot re-premiered as a launch to the TV series. So I think in a multi-platform universe as it were, where people are consuming dramatic material on their televisions, DVD players and the Internet, it’s really kind of smart and ahead of the game to figure out new and unorthodox ways to launch a TV show. But, yes, that was definitely the network’s call and we were happy to get onboard. In fact, it gave us an excuse to spend even more money on the pilot, and the version that ultimately aired was sort of tricked out with a bunch of new shots and visual effects as well as a couple of scenes we even re-shot. So it’s been worth it all around.  

Paula, it seems from watching the first few episodes that your character has a lot of really tough moments to play, and she makes a lot of choices that might make her unsympathetic in the eyes of a lot of viewers. I’m wondering how you struggled with portraying that and making her a likeable character?  

PAULA MALCOLMSON – It’s definitely something that occurs to you in the back of your mind, but as an actor you have to sort of put aside your own judgements in terms of whether your character is necessarily good or bad. I think being a good actor is sort of understanding the complexity of the human psyche and also knowing that none of us are perfect. So it was tough and I did think about it, particularly that many people would perhaps find Amanda unsympathetic. I just really tried to tap into the character’s loss and pain as well as the fact that she has made mistakes and then go from there, you know?  

DE – I would also add that I don’t think in the sort of canon of this show or shows like it, that there’s a tremendous amount of concern for what I would call old-fashioned television tropes-like sympathetic characters. I think audiences want challenging characters and ones who are neither black or white but somewhere in the middle and who are going to challenge the audience’s expectation in every way. One of the reasons that Paula plays her character so well is that you’re never quite sure what to expect from her. And there are times when you expect her to maybe lose it, but, in fact, she completely holds it together and vice versa. I think that’s human and real and part of what I think is the hallmark of the show.  

David, how much impact did female viewership play in not setting the series in space or relying heavily on space scenes?  

DE – Most of the people I spoke to about Battlestar in terms of the fan base were women, so the empirical demographic breakdown of the audience is something that I just chose to keep at bay and not pay a lot of attention to. So I never really think in terms of gearing a show towards a particular audience. In more general terms, yes, I do recognize the fact that perhaps a female audience might be more inclined to watch a story that’s more of a soap operatic kind of melodrama and without the accompanying visual sort of ghetto and spaceships and outer space. Something like that might have more accessibility to a female audience just because of that generalization. But that was never a motivation for not setting Caprica in space. The motivation was to make it as different and unique from Battlestar as possible.  

David, when you guys did Battlestar Galactica, you and Ron Moore (Caprica co-creator and executive producer) talked about how the plot of the show evolved organically instead of having everything mapped out in a specific direction. Based on your experience, have you changed that creative process, and if not, why have you stuck with that mentality?  

DE -Ron Moore and I had a number of discussions about this very early on. We come from very different backgrounds in terms of how writers’ rooms are run. On Star Trek – and I heard all this third hand and cannot confirm any of it – but presumably the outline process takes place in the room. It’s very precise, very detailed. There’s not a lot of jazz or improvisation invited or tolerated, and it’s almost a military-like environment. That’s not to say that the work was any less good, it’s just that it was run with that level of discipline and structured parameters. I’ve worked with other writers and producers in a variety of different capacities and there was a much looser environment where young writers were encouraged to come up with ideas and contribute. You might throw some suggestions out, and you might find others brilliant. The downside of that is you would sometimes have an episode that didn’t work.  

So I think we wanted to sort of combine the best of both these [writing] environments. When it came to how the writers’ room was run on Battlestar, and then later on Caprica, it’s about having a structure or large picture plan usually concocted by me and Ron during the hiatus. That would then be delivered to the writing staff and everyone was encouraged to improvise and add and subtract and change and go crazy and just sort of create an environment where there are no bad ideas. If then we lost our way, we’d circle back to where we really wanted to go. So it really is a combination of running a tight ship and yet allowing for there to be a great deal of improvisation and changes on the fly, purely with the intent of developing the best ideas.  

PM – That applies on-set with the actors as well in terms of loosely dealing with the script, so when a surprise or something interesting comes up, we have the luxury to be able to follow that instinct. It’s really the only way to work as far as I’m concerned, otherwise there are no surprises and it’s boring, you know? Just the other day one of the directors said to me, “I never know what you’re going to do,” and I said, “Neither do I.” There’s just something amazing and beautiful about that, and hopefully it works.  

Paula, could you tell is a little bit about how you first became involved in Caprica and about your audition process for the role?  

PM – I met with Jeffrey Reiner, who directed the pilot, and I hit it off with him. He’s very smart and a huge film buff, so he just seemed like the kind of director I wanted to work with. So it was first of all responding to the material, and then meeting Jeffrey. I initially auditioned for the role of Sister Clarice, but Jeffrey wanted to see me play Amanda. I was hesitant about that, though, because I didn’t know if I could play that character. I was frightened of that, and I realized that that was a really good thing. Then I met David and Ron and everyone else involved. I think was the first person they cast, followed by Esai Morales [Joseph Adama], Eric Stolz [Daniel Graystone] and then Polly Walker [Sister Clarice], so I was delighted with the people who I’d be working with.  

David, with the first season of the show almost wrapped, what maybe have you enjoyed most so far about bringing the Caprica story to life?  

DE – Well, the biggest and most pleasant surprise was the one that we sort of didn’t allow ourselves to dream could happen, which was to get as lucky as we did with this [acting] ensemble. That phrase about you’re only as strong as your weakest link really applies when you’re dealing with an ensemble cast. And so we were very fortunate to have such strength across the boards from such established and well-recognized actors like Paula, Polly Walker, Esai and Eric, combined with people like Sasha Roiz [Sam Adama], who were going to be brand new to an American audience and are able to hold their own. Those are things you can’t plan for, you just have to hope. We got together in Lake Tahoe way back in January of last year to start breaking stories, so it wasn’t for lack of planning when it came to aiming to make the show good in every way that we could control. But as hard as you might work on casting and such, you just never know until you get there, and we just got incredibly lucky with our cast and crew as well.  

As noted above, photos by Chris Haston and Joe Pugliese and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

BBC America Unveils New Doctor Who Trailer

February 22, 2010

THIS past Saturday, BBC America posted a brand-new Doctor Who trailer to their website featuring the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and his new companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). Check out the link below to view the trailer and more Doctor Who videos! The new season of Doctor Who premieres in Spring 2010 on BBC America.

The Doctor sweeps his new companion off her feet – literally! See for yourself: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/123/doctor-who-video.jsp

This Week on Survivors – 02 – 20 – 10

February 20, 2010

SPOILER ALERT!! – Abby (Julie Graham) and her new friends find a house to shelter in and set about gathering the essential supplies they need to stay alive. When they visit a local supermarket they are confronted with Dexter (Anthony Flanagan), the leader of an armed gang that has laid claim to the contents. Abby is shocked by how quickly people have resorted to selfishness and violence.

As Dexter’s gang is leaving, Abby sees a face she thinks she recognizes – a teacher who took her son to the hospital before the worst of the virus hit. But the gang departs before she can speak to him. Abby cannot forget about the teacher. Taking Tom (Max Beesley) with her, she goes back to the supermarket in the hope that Dexter’s gang will return. Dexter soon arrives, but he has no interest in helping Abby. Instead, he gives her and Tom a chilling final warning to stay away.

Greg (Paterson Joseph) goes in search of the main supermarket warehouse. When he gets there, he finds Bob Murphy (Daniel Ryan) and Sarah Boyer (Robyn Addison). Bob and Sarah had planned to use the contents of the warehouse to start a trading business, but their plans are halted when Bob has an accident and is severely injured. Greg is able to stabilize Bob’s condition and agrees to stay the night to keep an eye on the patient.

Once Sarah is alone with Greg, she tries to seduce him. She needs a man who can protect her and do the heavy work. Greg can see that Sarah wants to use him, but he still finds it hard to resist this beautiful young girl who is throwing herself at him. Episode two airs Saturday, February 20th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America.

This Week On Caprica – 02 – 19 – 10

February 18, 2010

Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) thinks he may have made a terrible mistake, but is he in time to stop it? Photo by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel

SPOLILER ALERT!! – As the fallout from Zoe’s (Alessandra Torresani) involvement in the MagLev bombing grows, Daniel (Eric Stoltz) prepares to defend himself and his company on the hugely popular talk show Backtalk with Baxter Sarno (Patton Oswalt). His plan to distance himself from Zoe finds him alienating his wife Amanda (Paula Malcomson), who is still reeling from her own public detractors. As Daniel steps in front of the camera for showtime, Amanda arrives at the studio, with no intention of staying backstage. 

Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) makes his appearance on "Backtalk" with Baxter Sarno (Patton Oswalt). Photo by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel

After ordering Amanda’s death, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) is wracked with a heavy conscience and desperately tries to stop his brother Sam (Sasha Roiz) from carrying it out…but the hitman is already closing in. Meanwhile, Agent Duram (Brian Markinson) uses his GDD resources to circle closer and closer to Clarice (Polly Walker) and the youth of the STO, forcing Lacy (Magda Apanowicz) and Keon (Liam Sproule) closer together and possibly into an unexpected romance. Gravedancing airs Friday, February 19th @ 9:00 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Click on the following links for a preview of this episode –

https://download.yousendit.com/VGlmRE9nYTJEa1hIRGc9PQ https://download.yousendit.com/VGlmRE9qVEhtUUVLSkE9PQ

As noted above, all photos by Eike Schroter and copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Ghost Hunters International’s Dustin Pari – Let The Spirit Move You

February 17, 2010

 

Ghost Hunters International's Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald. Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

When it comes to job satisfaction, Dustin Pari has no complaints. Since childhood he has been interested in the supernatural, and as a teenager, he and some of his friends would conduct their own paranormal investigations. A chance viewing of the hugely successful Syfy Channel reality TV series Ghost Hunters led Pari to become a member of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and, eventually, the GH team.

In 2008, his investigations went global when he was invited to take part in GH‘s first spin-off series Ghost Hunters International, which has fast become a hit in its own right. Season two finishes airing tonight (Wednesday, February 17th @ 9:00 p.m. EST) and, like the show’s first year, was a joy for Pari to work on. The latter half of GHI‘s second season began with two cases in Argentina, the second of which, Silver Shadow, focused on The Eden Hotel, a 19th century luxury resort once frequented by the world’s rich and famous. This case proved especially memorable for Pari.

“The Silver Shadow investigation is one that became very emotional for me,” he recalls. “I wasn’t expecting it, but the little house and the story of the young child who died there kind of pulled at the heartstrings. Being a father and having children myself, any time there’s a report of an apparition or the spirit of a child being left behind, it’s always something I focus on and see if there is anything I can do to get that spirit to come forward. And more importantly, to urge it to move on from that place.

“As much as I enjoy documenting paranormal activity, I’m not there to leave the place haunted, especially if it’s something like that. When that little shadow kind of stepped out and showed itself, it definitely scared me quite a bit. Again, I wasn’t expecting it and it really startled me. However, I did stay there and try to speak to it further about how to move on.

“The thing is, I look at ghost hunting as more of a spiritual thing, and to have witnessed as well as captured firsthand evidence of some sort of afterlife or spirit world, is especially gratifying for me. Also, on a personal level, to be able to reach out to the spirit of that child hopefully made a difference. I really hope that the little guy found his way out of there.

“It’s funny, too, a lot of people will ask me, ‘How can you speak with the spirit of a child, especially someone who passed away so young?’ I believe the age of this child was around 18 months or so. There are several theories out there about universal consciousness that say after the spirit passes on and we leave our mortal shell, that you tap into something larger than what we are here on Earth. As a result, you’re able to understand other languages for one thing, as well as have a greater understanding of life in general. So in this instance it would be limited to the understanding and vocabulary of a young child, if that’s how old the person was when he or she passed away. So that’s what we keep in mind when we try to make an appeal to a younger spirit.”

Australia was GHI‘s next destination, specifically Quarantine Station, once the first stop for immigrants carrying infectious diseases, and Port Arthur, a 19th century penitentiary known as “hell on Earth” by its inmates. “The cases in Australia were really sweet,” says Pari. “The country itself is fantastic and we had a chance to chase some kangaroos and really enjoy ourselves.

“Of the two cases we did in Australia, Quarantine is the one that really stands out. Obviously there was a heightened probability of capturing [paranormal] evidence just because there were so many locations on the property and such a rich history of people who had been detained there and passed away there. To top all that off was the opportunity to capture that photo of the young boy standing outside the church, which is one of the best photos we’ve captured in a while. I think that they [the show’s production company] did it justice, too. When editing the episode in post-production they put a little outline around the image to give it a bit more contrast, because you do lose a little something by the time it gets to TV. Again, though, I think they did an outstanding job of presenting the image as we saw it, and it’s one of those things that makes you think twice.”

Besides Argentina and Australia, Pari also traveled with GHI to Tasmania and Costa Rica for the season two episodes, Tasmania Death Sentence and San Lucas Prison. “In Tasmania we visited the courthouse, which was particularly interesting because it’s not the type of building that we often get to investigate,” he notes. “There were certainly some unique happenings there that we had the chance to further look into.

“Malaysia I found interesting insofar as catching up on the different ways that they perceive paranormal activity as well as their belief systems and how things are structured, so there was a great deal to look forward to there. It was a challenge as well, though, with the language barrier probably being the toughest that we’ve so far come up against.”

It was necessary for Pari to bow out of GHI‘s season two finale trip to Jamaica in order to help out Ghost Hunters while two of its investigators, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, shot the first season of the second GH spinoff series, Ghost Hunters Academy. Pari and GHI teammate Barry FitzGerald subsequently flew to San Francisco, California to make a guest-appearance on the 100th GH episode.

“That was fantastic,” enthuses Pari. “First off, it’s always good to get that old Irishman [FitzGerald] back in the United States and my home territory, and it was terrific to be back with TAPS and work again with the GH team as well. To then go to Alcatraz was incredible. I hate to sound like I’m quoting an old line here, but it really is a paranormal investigators’ dream location.

“The history of Alcatraz is, of course, extremely well-known and there were men of much ill-repute who were held there. There is definitely some sort of essence within the place when you’re walking around it, especially at night when everything is dark. It almost feels like Alcatraz comes alive. It’s amazing, and to be standing there in the cells and looking at the California mainland; imagine the torture that must have been for those prisoners. To be that close and see freedom, but knowing there was no way you could ever get to it. It really was an unforgettable experience.”

Despite their busy GHI schedules, Pari and Barry FitzGerald managed to find time to collaborate on a book, The Complete Approach – The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide, which was released last summer. “The response to the book has been just phenomenal,” says Pari. “We’ve heard from people all over the world, from different groups and at different points in their investigative careers. They found a great deal of information in the book that they’d been looking for, as well as a number of things that I don’t think a lot of people out there speak about.

“So we were very happy to hear the response to the book. We put it out there in an effort to document exactly what it is we do, how we do it, why we do it, and as a reference for people who want to get involved in this field. Barry and I have now taken that a step further with our second book [So My Home Is Haunted, Now What?], which we’re just putting some finishing touches on and hope to get out in the coming months.

“This book is going to speak more to an understanding of the paranormal field and how to deal with hauntings when they happen. We’ve taken a worldwide approach to this and interviewed people in every country that we’ve gone to, from different faiths and walks of life, to see what their opinions are on why these things are happening and how they come about in the first place. Then from there, what steps do they take to deal with such things, based on, like I said, what their faith as well as family traditions have taught them.

“We actually found that there is a lot of common ground from all corners of the globe, and it was quite interesting to see this underlying understanding of the paranormal community and the spirit world. We had the good fortune to work with several people who are very knowledgable and were very kind in sharing their stories with us. We’re presenting all of it anonymously just to protect those people who wanted to share some of the darker side of things, which I think is good because it really allowed them to open up and say what they wanted to say.”

Of all the people he and FitzGerald talked with for this second book, is there one whose information Pari found especially surprising? “We spoke with this one gentleman in Malaysia about an entity that they know and respect very much,” he says. “We would classify it as an ‘inhuman entity,’ meaning that it was never a person like you or I at any point in its existence.

“The way he explained it to us is that these entities are actually here to test mankind out of a duty to God. However, they can be very destructive and harmful, and he has seen them tear apart families and cause a number of problems. Again, he was really kind enough to go into detail about how these things happen, what signs to look for, and ways to clear them out and release them from someone’s home.”

Away from the paranormal world, Pari holds down what he refers to as three “normal” jobs and takes great pride in being a devoted husband and father to three children. While he is looking forward to production starting up this month on season three of GHI, he is, as always, going to miss being away from his loved ones.

“We’re not exactly sure yet what’s going on as far as what locations the team will be travelling to this time around,” he says. “So at the moment we’re all just absorbing those last few precious moments with our families and enjoying the comforts of home before we get ready to start filming again.”

To find out more about Dustin and his paranormal work, check out his website at www.paranormalrockstar.com

Steve Eramo

As noted above, photo copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!