It has been over two months since the release of Stargate: Continuum
on DVD. Whether you like it or hate it, the film would not have become what it was without the contribution of one fan, Barry Campbell
Campbell, the Head of Operations at the Navy's Arctic Submarine Laboratory in San Diego, approached producers at one of Creation's official Stargate conventions and piqued their interest in visiting the North Pole. After lengthy talks, Stargate
productions spent a week on the arctic ice to shoot for the second direct-to-DVD SG-1
In our interview, Barry discusses the process of negotiating to get a skeleton Stargate
crew to the arctic, his respect for the team during their production shoot, elaborates on the aftermath of the accident aboard the HMS Tireless, and much more!
GateWorld's interview with Barry runs over 21 minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe now to the iTunes podcast
! The full interview is also transcribed below!
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net I'm David Read and I am here with Mr. Barry Campbell. You are the Head of Operations for the Navy Arctic Sea Lab in San Diego. Did I say that right?
Barry Campbell: That was pretty close. Navy's Arctic Submarine Laboratory, and we're in San Diego.
GW: And what do you guys do down there?
BC: We're the Navy's center of excellence for anything having to do with nuclear submarines that go under or near ice. We're a small group, less than 20 people, almost all civilians but because we're civilians we don't get transferred around every two or three years like the regular Navy folks do. So we build up an expertise in operations of nuclear submarines in the Arctic.
GW: How many years have you been making this pilgrimage to the Arctic?
BC: I've been going for about 23 years now. [I've] gone on I think about fifteen trips to the North Pole on nuclear submarines and worked at about seven of the ice camps that we did, similar to what we did when Continuum was up there filming.
GW: And you had something to do with that but I'll get to that in a minute. First, tell me, what was the genesis for your love of working on the ice and submarines? Where did this come from?
BC: Well it was fortuitous, when I was in the Navy 150 years ago ...
GW: [Laughter] Give or take.
BC: I was an officer on a nuclear submarine and we were sent to the Arctic just by happenstance. So I got to go the Arctic on a submarine as an officer in the crew. And then I got out of the Navy after about six years. I stayed in the Navy Reserves. In the Reserves I met up with a fellow who knew a fellow who was the head of operations then for the Arctic Sub Lab and needed someone to work in Hawaii as their representative on the Pacific submarine force commanders staff.
Campbell is interviewed for the Stargate: Continuum DVD.
I was living in Hawaii at the time and I had been there once so they flew a guy over to interview me and he liked what he saw and hired me on to be their representative on the staff of the submarine force at Pearl Harbor.
GW: Oh! So you were stationed at Pearl? OK
BC: Right, I was stationed at Pearl. When I got out of the Navy I just stayed in Hawaii because Hawaii's nice.
GW: Oh yeah! I've been [to Pearl].
BC: So about four weeks later I was on my first Arctic trip with the arctic sub lab and it's been doing that ever since. I was in Hawaii for about 17 years and then the job for head of operations came open and I applied and was selected, so I moved to San Diego then about five years ago.
GW: OK then. And you've been there ever since.
GW: Now Martin Wood and ... who was it that he was with at the time?
BC: John Smith and Andy Mikita.
GW: John Smith and Andy Mikita! That's correct!
BC: I was there.
GW: They said that you approached them at a convention in Vancouver.
Creation's official Stargate conventions gave Campbell the opportunity to introduce himself to producers.
GW: Did you come up as a fan?
BC: I did. When I moved from Hawaii to San Diego I realized that you can drive from San Diego to different places. Unlike in Hawaii where you can't go anywhere. And I found out about this convention up in Burbank and drove up.
GW: Oh, in Burbank!
BC: In Burbank. So I found them at a convention in Burbank and loved it. It was a great time and I met a lot of great people and got a chance to see some of the actors and this and that. It was just fun. And they announced then that they were going to have one in March. This was in 2005, in Vancouver, and they were going to offer set tours. And I was a sucker for that. [Laughter]
So I headed up to Vancouver just to get the set tours and that's where I ... That's why I came to the conventions in Vancouver and that's how I happened to be in line and had a chance to meet John and Martin and Andy.
GW: Yeah. OK. And you let them know what you did and ...
BC: Well I came up with a scheme to be remembered by, anytime anybody would sign an autograph for me I would give them an autographed picture of me at the North Pole. And it worked. People remembered me because of that. And it's kind of a unique thing.
So that's what I did. And I presented a picture of me at the North Pole to John, and he said "What's this?" and I said "Well, that's what I do. I go to the Arctic on nuclear submarines." And he said "Man, I've been trying to get to the North Pole for ten years. I've been trying to go up on a tour or this and that. Can you get me to the North Pole?"
He was just being friendly. And I said "Well I don't think I can get you to the North Pole, Mr. Smith, but I might be able to get you to the ice camp a few hundred miles south of the North Pole." Well he almost broke his arm trying to get his business card out of his wallet to say, "If you're really serious about this you give me a call."
Well, I don't know if I was serious or not because I don't get to make the rules. I came back to San Diego, talked with my boss, and felt like if we could make it something good for the Navy and good for the Stargate folks ... Initially it was just going to be John Smith and a few other people, including a couple of the actors who might go down and meet some of the boys on the submarine.
" When Brad -- who is no dummy -- wrote a script that had the U.S. Navy saving the U.S. Air Force, that's all it took."
GW: A visit.
BC: Yeah. A glad hand, give the guys on the submarines a chance to meet some of the actors. Over the next year, it blossomed in to "Why not do a little filming up there?" John got Brad Wright involved and excited about putting a script together and the Navy thought it was pretty cool so we did it that way.
GW: Now Bridge has always had a very positive relationship with the Air Force...