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PRESS TOUR: Update on 'Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome'

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

PRESS TOUR: Update on 'Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome'

Saturday, 07 January 2012 17:24
Written by Rob Owen

PASADENA, Calif. -- Casting for Syfy's proposed prequel series "Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" was announced a year ago and the pilot episode filmed at least six months ago.

Set during the 10th year of the Cylon war, the new series would follow rookie fighter pilot William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, "Skins").

This proposed series sounds promising on paper after the disappointment of "Caprica" but so far not a peep about its prospects for going to series.

Is the project dead? Read more after the jump. ...

"No not at all," said Syfy original programming president Mark Stern. "We're trying to figure out the economics right now. I love it but we're trying to put various things together to see how we're going to get it made. My hope is we get it figured out."

The pilot episode was produced by David Eich ("Battlestar Galactis"), directed by Jonas Pate ("Friday Night Lights") and written by Michael Taylor ("Battlestar Galactica").

Stern acknowledged by normal standards it might seem like Syfy execs have been sitting on the show for a long time but he said it took months of post-production work to get it ready. Executives only saw a first cut of the pilot in November.

"It's done almost completely on green screen," he said. "What I love about it is we're applying this idea of virtual sets on a whole new level. We took photos and digitized all the 'Battlestar Galactica' sets before we struck them. So when you see two actors walking down a hallway, they're [really] walking down a green hallway and then we put photo-real shots of hallways and CIC and all the sets we had behind them."

Stern said the pilot was a good test to prove the technology could be used in series, although he acknowledged it will likely take a year to get the show on air after it's ordered due to the amount of post-production work that will be required on every episode.

Stern wasn't sure how much longer he has the actors under contract but he thinks it's a few months.

"Now that we're back from the holidays I'm just waiting to get some foreign [financial] numbers in because we're both the studio and network on this," he said. "I'm hoping to make a decision [about whether to order it to series] in the next month or so."

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:11 PM

Quote

"We're trying to figure out the economics right now."


That's studio code-speak for one of two things:

* Is this turkey worth making into a series?

* We can't get advertisers interested; especially after the pi$$-poor performance of Caprica.

Still not looking good, IMO... :cylonnono:
As for the virtual sets? I stand by my usual answer; the technology is just not there yet. It's going to look like a glossy cartoon (ala the mothership interiors or the "V" remake).
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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:40 AM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 08 January 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

That's studio code-speak for one of two things:

* Is this turkey worth making into a series?

* We can't get advertisers interested; especially after the pi$$-poor performance of Caprica.

Still not looking good, IMO... :cylonnono:
As for the virtual sets? I stand by my usual answer; the technology is just not there yet. It's going to look like a glossy cartoon (ala the mothership interiors or the "V" remake).


Well at least we know it is not dead in the water as I was thinking. It could be that they are being ubber cautious about ordering it as a series given the fact that Galatica's ratings were not the best and Caprica's was nonexistent. So they may decide to put some dollars and cents together as to what they put into effects and see where that takes the show. Or they might revert back to all sets again. Not like they have to build new ones for the Galactica. In my opinion they should just be reusing old footage and special effects and you have yourself a new hit show. Save lots of money that way.
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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:08 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 09 January 2012 - 02:40 AM, said:

Well at least we know it is not dead in the water as I was thinking. It could be that they are being ubber cautious about ordering it as a series given the fact that Galatica's ratings were not the best and Caprica's was nonexistent. So they may decide to put some dollars and cents together as to what they put into effects and see where that takes the show. Or they might revert back to all sets again. Not like they have to build new ones for the Galactica. In my opinion they should just be reusing old footage and special effects and you have yourself a new hit show. Save lots of money that way.

For all the money they're probably going to throw away on VR sets, they might as well just rebuild the old ones. :cylonnono:
Use those same reference shots they used to create the VR models and call some damn carpenters; give some local Vancouver set builders a job. Ultimately, it'll look better onscreen, and in the long run (past the initial cost) it'll be cheaper if B&C goes to series (which I firmly doubt). This could be another 'economics' point they're haggling over; something tells me the VR sets look like a video game and everyone is doing a collective gasp of horror....
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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 09 January 2012 - 09:08 AM, said:

For all the money they're probably going to throw away on VR sets, they might as well just rebuild the old ones. :cylonnono:
Use those same reference shots they used to create the VR models and call some damn carpenters; give some local Vancouver set builders a job. Ultimately, it'll look better onscreen, and in the long run (past the initial cost) it'll be cheaper if B&C goes to series (which I firmly doubt). This could be another 'economics' point they're haggling over; something tells me the VR sets look like a video game and everyone is doing a collective gasp of horror....



Well I didn't see them being cheap on effects for BSG or Caprica. Both were really sharp. So I doubt it will be video game quality. No one will watch if it is that cheep.
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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 09 January 2012 - 08:13 PM, said:

Well I didn't see them being cheap on effects for BSG or Caprica. Both were really sharp. So I doubt it will be video game quality. No one will watch if it is that cheep.

Yeah, but BSG and Caprica didn't blow so much of their budgets on virtual sets, either... :cylonnono:
BSG used digital set extensions (such as to make the hangar deck seem larger, etc), but for the most part they used practical sets as much as possible.
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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 09 January 2012 - 09:26 PM, said:

Yeah, but BSG and Caprica didn't blow so much of their budgets on virtual sets, either... :cylonnono:
BSG used digital set extensions (such as to make the hangar deck seem larger, etc), but for the most part they used practical sets as much as possible.


That is what I loved about it. It was practical. Maybe this is what they are mulling over at SyFy.
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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:17 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 09 January 2012 - 10:21 PM, said:

That is what I loved about it. It was practical. Maybe this is what they are mulling over at SyFy.

With the VR sets, the producers of B&C have almost literally painted themselves into a corner. They've shelled out so much for the virtual set technology (knowing full well that the previous two series weren't exactly big ratings draws), and now they've probably had a good, sober look at the results and are thinking "Oh s**t. Is it too late to build sets?"
:unsure:

Sad truth; it probably is too late. The 'economics' (as the exec so diplomatically put it) of going back and rebuilding practical sets on a show you've already committed a lot of money for FX on (despite its lack of ratings potential) would probably pull the plug on the already troubled production. The fact that they've recycled uniforms and props (and what looks like a raptor) from original BSG kind of shows me that these guys want to put on a 'garage sale' version of BSG; with as little investment as possible. Even the uniforms didn't have the "Razor" upgrade (with the TOS looking outerwear). This is smelling like a big budget fan movie. I hate to see BSG reduced to this...
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Posted 11 January 2012 - 04:18 AM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 10 January 2012 - 08:17 AM, said:

With the VR sets, the producers of B&C have almost literally painted themselves into a corner. They've shelled out so much for the virtual set technology (knowing full well that the previous two series weren't exactly big ratings draws), and now they've probably had a good, sober look at the results and are thinking "Oh s**t. Is it too late to build sets?"
:unsure:

Sad truth; it probably is too late. The 'economics' (as the exec so diplomatically put it) of going back and rebuilding practical sets on a show you've already committed a lot of money for FX on (despite its lack of ratings potential) would probably pull the plug on the already troubled production. The fact that they've recycled uniforms and props (and what looks like a raptor) from original BSG kind of shows me that these guys want to put on a 'garage sale' version of BSG; with as little investment as possible. Even the uniforms didn't have the "Razor" upgrade (with the TOS looking outerwear). This is smelling like a big budget fan movie. I hate to see BSG reduced to this...
:cylonnono:


All the sets have been digitally scanned so there is no reason why the sets shouldn't look top notch. However, I do agree with you that they are mulling the numbers for some reason whether it is to entice advertisers to jump on board or if it is simply going to be an expensive show to produce. Galactica back in the 70's was the most expensive show on air - another reason why G1980 failed due to economics and poor ratings. So what has happened before is happening again. They might just leave this as a stand-alone TV movie as you said but it may end up being a big hit too. You never know what fans and none fans alike are going to gravitate to - especially sci fi fans!

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:16 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 11 January 2012 - 04:18 AM, said:

All the sets have been digitally scanned so there is no reason why the sets shouldn't look top notch.

Have to disagree on this.
Scanning and creating a virtual background based on a photo is one thing, but making it move and seem like part of a natural environment is entirely another; it'll be especially on a show as gritty, realistic-looking and handheld as BSG. Mrs T (who used to teach animation) and I have always agreed that one of the biggest problems with CGI (when it looks 'fake') is that the animators don't spend enough time studying how the real world moves and how objects change perspective when in motion. The lazy ones just make point A and point B and let the computers plot and render all the missing information between. The result? You get motion that looks 'cartoony.'

I don't think this will be a big hit. A modest hit, at best. A lot of scifi shows debut big (the new "V" had HUGE ratings for it's pilot) and then fall off quickly as audiences tend to get bored quickly these days. Sad, but true...
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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 11 January 2012 - 08:16 AM, said:

Have to disagree on this.
Scanning and creating a virtual background based on a photo is one thing, but making it move and seem like part of a natural environment is entirely another; it'll be especially on a show as gritty, realistic-looking and handheld as BSG. Mrs T (who used to teach animation) and I have always agreed that one of the biggest problems with CGI (when it looks 'fake') is that the animators don't spend enough time studying how the real world moves and how objects change perspective when in motion. The lazy ones just make point A and point B and let the computers plot and render all the missing information between. The result? You get motion that looks 'cartoony.'

I don't think this will be a big hit. A modest hit, at best. A lot of scifi shows debut big (the new "V" had HUGE ratings for it's pilot) and then fall off quickly as audiences tend to get bored quickly these days. Sad, but true...


I disagree with your disagreement!

Special effects are somewhat universal, so like you said if you have someone who is lazy, or cheap, then it is going to be reflective in the effect but I somehow doubt that they are going to hold back on special effects. I understand your concern, particularly with V, however, V never used strong special effects in the first place...not in the 80's and not this time around either. Whereas Galactica has a history of using top notch special effects. So I have to disagree with your concern about the CGI.

I do agree that it might be a modest hit versus a big hit, but you never know.


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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:46 PM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 11 January 2012 - 02:57 PM, said:

I disagree with your disagreement!

Special effects are somewhat universal, so like you said if you have someone who is lazy, or cheap, then it is going to be reflective in the effect but I somehow doubt that they are going to hold back on special effects. I understand your concern, particularly with V, however, V never used strong special effects in the first place...not in the 80's and not this time around either.


Disagreeing with your disagreement of my disagreement.... :P

New "V" employed a LOT of VFX; more so than BSG. ALL of the mothership interiors were virtual sets. And to be honest, they sucked most of the time. They had that cartoon-y "Attack of the Clones" Kamino look. Still think they should build real sets for B&C.... :cylonnono:
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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:53 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 11 January 2012 - 06:46 PM, said:

Disagreeing with your disagreement of my disagreement.... :P

New "V" employed a LOT of VFX; more so than BSG. ALL of the mothership interiors were virtual sets. And to be honest, they sucked most of the time. They had that cartoon-y "Attack of the Clones" Kamino look. Still think they should build real sets for B&C.... :cylonnono:



I must protest with your disagreements of my disagreeing with you. :P


The new V special effects sucked! They looked like something out of a cheap video game. At least Star Wars looks slick. IMO!
I agree that real sets would have made more sense unless there is a mutability factor that we are not aware of that would demand a VR set instead of a real one.

I still think that the CGI will be solid. Not to worry about.

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:17 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 11 January 2012 - 08:53 PM, said:

I must protest with your disagreements of my disagreeing with you. :P


The new V special effects sucked! They looked like something out of a cheap video game. At least Star Wars looks slick. IMO!

Yes, but slick CGI to me equals phony. :thumbsdown:
The "Kamino" virtual sets in Attack of the Clones looked awful to me; no reality to them at all.

Posted Image If B&C looks this awful? You'll hear me cry all the way up to Toronto...

BSG is too gritty for a VR set aesthetic. I'd love to be wrong.. but I'm afraid I'm probably not. And who knows? If they ever have the b@lls to actually release it someday, maybe we could actually decide for ourselves, right? :lol:
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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:44 AM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 12 January 2012 - 12:17 AM, said:

Yes, but slick CGI to me equals phony. :thumbsdown:
The "Kamino" virtual sets in Attack of the Clones looked awful to me; no reality to them at all.

Posted Image If B&C looks this awful? You'll hear me cry all the way up to Toronto...

BSG is too gritty for a VR set aesthetic. I'd love to be wrong.. but I'm afraid I'm probably not. And who knows? If they ever have the b@lls to actually release it someday, maybe we could actually decide for ourselves, right? :lol:


Where did you get that awful picture from? Looks like something I did in one of the competitions! My god! Anyways lets say that it is of Industrial light and Magic quality! I will take that any day over V!
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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:27 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 14 January 2012 - 01:44 AM, said:

Where did you get that awful picture from? Looks like something I did in one of the competitions! My god! Anyways lets say that it is of Industrial light and Magic quality! I will take that any day over V!

ILM is usually a gold standard in FX. But their CG sets in "AofC" were dismal, IMO. However the CG sets in "V" were every bit as bad really (and "V" came out 7 years after "AofC". I just don't think CG set technology is there yet. Even when the rendering is really, really good, the interactive lighting usually gives it away or you get that weird 'floating' look feet and hands seem to have when they're interacting with the CG sets (like they're not really 'touching' it). Bear in mind that B&C is also supposed to be an even lower budget effort than a network TV show (like "V"), so I'm not holding my breath that their CG sets will be an improvement (in fact, they could easily look worse).

But technical issues aside, the story is always first and foremost. And from the leaked spoilers I've read about the story (in other B&C threads here)? It sounds like they've dropped the ball on that one, too. B&C was totally unnecessary since BSG finished the story and Caprica was pretty much a crash-and-dive ratings failure; what more was there to say really? and yet it was done anyway. It just reeks of ill-conceived.... :doh: :cylonnono:

A nice, two hour movie bridging the era of Caprica to CW1 could've worked, but a story about the later days of CW1 has already done; hell, we've even seen the END of CW1 (in the "Razor" flashbacks). The only thing this will do is provide more details of an already told tale. And the details probably be contradicting (thus negating) what we've already seen before, too.

We really don't need this. Maybe it IS best that they shelve it indefinitely....
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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 14 January 2012 - 08:27 AM, said:

ILM is usually a gold standard in FX. But their CG sets in "AofC" were dismal, IMO. However the CG sets in "V" were every bit as bad really (and "V" came out 7 years after "AofC". I just don't think CG set technology is there yet. Even when the rendering is really, really good, the interactive lighting usually gives it away or you get that weird 'floating' look feet and hands seem to have when they're interacting with the CG sets (like they're not really 'touching' it). Bear in mind that B&C is also supposed to be an even lower budget effort than a network TV show (like "V"), so I'm not holding my breath that their CG sets will be an improvement (in fact, they could easily look worse).

But technical issues aside, the story is always first and foremost. And from the leaked spoilers I've read about the story (in other B&C threads here)? It sounds like they've dropped the ball on that one, too. B&C was totally unnecessary since BSG finished the story and Caprica was pretty much a crash-and-dive ratings failure; what more was there to say really? and yet it was done anyway. It just reeks of ill-conceived.... :doh: :cylonnono:

A nice, two hour movie bridging the era of Caprica to CW1 could've worked, but a story about the later days of CW1 has already done; hell, we've even seen the END of CW1 (in the "Razor" flashbacks). The only thing this will do is provide more details of an already told tale. And the details probably be contradicting (thus negating) what we've already seen before, too.

We really don't need this. Maybe it IS best that they shelve it indefinitely....



Well we have to be patient...give it a chance. Kind of like giving the new cast of Star Trek a chance to prove themselves and they did so with high honours. So as far as I am concerned, someone thought there was a premise to this series that justified it. I think it would be better to show how it started rather than pick up in the 10th year of its battle. IMO. Other than that the story has my full support as it should have yours as well.

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:09 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 14 January 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:

Well we have to be patient...give it a chance. Kind of like giving the new cast of Star Trek a chance to prove themselves and they did so with high honours. So as far as I am concerned, someone thought there was a premise to this series that justified it. I think it would be better to show how it started rather than pick up in the 10th year of its battle. IMO. Other than that the story has my full support as it should have yours as well.

OT support is not given; it's earned. ;) :P

As for the motivation for this? Ka-ching! Money. Squeezing the BSG teat dry, that's all.
Again, I will get behind it if and when I see it and enjoy it. Otherwise? I stand by my original comment that nothing about this production has me excited so far (not the leaked story, not the idea of the CG sets, and certainly not the 'look-who-we've-had-on-the-show-already' casting (seriously; the guy playing Commander Nash has been in BOTH BSG and Caprica; that's ridiculous... it's not like he's disguised by alien makeup or anything).
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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:17 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 14 January 2012 - 11:09 AM, said:

OT support is not given; it's earned. ;) :P

As for the motivation for this? Ka-ching! Money. Squeezing the BSG teat dry, that's all.
Again, I will get behind it if and when I see it and enjoy it. Otherwise? I stand by my original comment that nothing about this production has me excited so far (not the leaked story, not the idea of the CG sets, and certainly not the 'look-who-we've-had-on-the-show-already' casting (seriously; the guy playing Commander Nash has been in BOTH BSG and Caprica; that's ridiculous... it's not like he's disguised by alien makeup or anything).


Support is earned but I think that the efforts that are being made to make this a good series should be enough to earn your support. At least watch the pilot and see what you think of it. I never got around to watching any of the Caprica when it was on tv due to personal problems and situations that would not permit me to watch it. However now that things are different, I am more than prepared to put my full support behind Blood and Chrome and see what happens.

Maybe Tom could score me another copy of the pilot!?! Tee hee!
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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:40 AM

View PostCaptain Taurus, on 15 January 2012 - 10:17 PM, said:

Support is earned but I think that the efforts that are being made to make this a good series should be enough to earn your support. At least watch the pilot and see what you think of it.


Oh, I'll watch the pilot (if and WHENEVER it comes out). It has the BSG brand name. How could I not? I'm just not getting overly enthused about it, that's all (with good reason as well, IMO). I usually have a better experience with new movies/TV shows when I keep my expectations nice and low anyway...
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