Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Caprica score to be released in May

Bear McCreary posted an update on his blog to clear up a few things related to release dates of his upcoming soundtrack albums (Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Razor/The Plan, Caprica). He says that the Caprica album will be available in late May:

The album is finished and is currently being mastered. It will hit stores in early June, but will be available early from the label’s website in late May. The sound of this score is much more intimate than Galactica, but I think fans will nevertheless be surprised at how lyrical, passionate and thematic it is. In fact, many of the musical shifts you heard in Daybreak were inspired by the harmonic language I devised for Caprica. [BearMcCreary]

8 clips from the Caprica pilot

The clips from the Caprica pilot that made their way online a few days ago were pulled and then replaced with these:

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New Caprica pilot review

A new review of the two-hour Caprica pilot popped up over at the Televisionary Blog.

Here are a few snippets:

Like Battlestar Galactica before it, Caprica explores the themes of free will, identity, and what it means to be truly human. Using both Zoe and Daniel's experiments, the writers create a rubric for understanding the building blocks of creation, of humanity, of artificial intelligence. Through their actions, the audience sees the birth of a new race and how that very creation spells the end for the human race as we know it.

Caprica is very much a different series than Battlestar Galactica. Unlike BSG, which took place in the dark recesses of space, Caprica is much more grounded. There are no Viper dog fights, no Battlestars jumping to coordinates. It's set in a world that's very much like ours, with characters that are hauntingly similar to you or me. The design work is absolutely breathtaking, with modern sets daringly juxtaposed to vintage suits. Both Joseph and Daniel wear clothing that would be right at home in the confines of AMC's Mad Men, with beautifully tailored suits and fedoras, while the Greystones' home is all sleek, clean lines, glass and steel, and robot attendants.

Likewise, Caprica feels much more grounded in reality as well, promising more a drama about the "extraordinary" than a just strict space opera. Personally, I think it's a narrative approach that works; by placing the plot in a more "real" setting (literally grounding it on a planet), the dramatic uses of technology sound out more as surprising and innovative than they would in a full-blown sci-fi action piece.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

"Two Daughters" preview + interviews with cast & crew

SCI FI Wire posted a new teaser for the Caprica pilot a few days ago:

And this is what some of the cast and crew members had to say at the upfronts last week:

7 new Caprica clips

Bear McCreary talks about the Caprica score

Caprica-City.de has a new interview with Bear McCreary. He mostly talks about his work on Galactica, but also mentions Caprica, Terminator and Eureka. He are the relevant bits:

"Caprica" is interesting because it's the first show that I'm completely creating music from the ground up. But even there, I'm not, because I need to acknowledge or not acknowledge "Battlestar". I mean, if I use taiko drums people go "Oh, he's doing 'Battlestar'", and if I don't use taiko drums people go "Oh, he's doing something different than 'Battlestar'". It's kind of the elephant in the room, it's like "Battlestar" exists. And with me scoring "Caprica", I have to acknowledge it. Now the fact is, you're not going to hear a lot of "Battlestar" music, so in many ways "Caprica" is the show that I'm creating from the ground up. But you'll hear some nods [to BSG] for sure.

"Battlestar", you have to remember, musically started out very simple. There were no character themes, in fact I was told not to have character themes. "Caprica" is very different because at this point, the producers know me well and they are more open to ideas. The score to "Caprica" in general is simpler, much more western. It's much more classical. I think I wanted to do something different and ultimately I was faced with this question, what is different than "Battlestar Galactica"?

Well, in "Battlestar Galactica" there is a lot of ethnic music, it's music from every continent, with instruments from throughout human history. It covered a lot of bases. What could I possibly use on "Caprica" that I haven't used on "Battlestar"? That's when it occurred to me, the way to make "Caprica" different is to make it more normal, really. "Caprica" should not sound so weird, more like what we are used to hear in film and TV.

And there's also a benefit to that. "Caprica" takes place before the apocalypse, not afterwards. In many ways, this event in the "Battlestar" miniseries, it kind of hits the reset switch. We've gone from this society to this rag tag fleet. The tribal drums and this ethnic instruments felt very appropriate. "Caprica" is very different, our society is refined and polished and the infrastructure exists. It's totally different. The music is more baroque, almost. It's not actually baroque in style, but it feels more constructed and more western, more symphonic. It felt appropriate.

And then, of course, this also gives me a place to go because should the series live on for multiple seasons, we know how it ends, where the series goes. The neat thing is, it gives me the opportunity to slowly evolve the score so that it becomes more like "Battlestar" the closer we get to the nuclear holocaust it ends with, or presumably ends with.

So I think people will hear that it sounds very different. There are also some musical nods to "Battlestar". I think people will recognize that it's me writing it. But as you can hear from that little snippet, it is a sad tone. It's also very lyrical like the piece that I just played to you. In "Caprica" I'm much more direct than in "Battlestar". The emotions are, at least in the beginning, more direct, a little more obvious, simpler.

Tonally the show is quite similar to "Battlestar". The characters are very dark, very conflicted and so it's the music that's a little different. More traditionally actually. I think people assume that I'm "Mr. Taiko Drum" will be surprised. I mean, I don't find it surprising because when you watch "Battlestar Galactica" carefully, you'll hear that there's a lot of very different orchestral inspired pieces in there. But I think a lot of people that assume that I just do taiko drum battle music are going to be surprised. We'll see.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Interviews with Paula Malcomson and Esai Morales

With the Caprica DVD a month away, Esai Morales and Paula Malcomson both talked to the press recently about the show. SCI FI Wire interviewed Paula (a couple of quotes below):

What can you tell us about your character, Amanda?

Malcomson: Amanda! We'll have to find out. I'm just finding out, you know? In the first two hours ... I don't want to say too much. I don't want to give too much away about her, but she's a complicated woman. Most of my stuff [in the pilot] is with Eric Stoltz, who plays my husband [Daniel Graystone, creator of the Cylons]. He's great, and we'd worked together before, luckily [in the 1997 short film The Rocking Horse Winner]. So we knew each other, and playing husband and wife, I think that really helps

What's the timeline here? What have you shot so far, and when do you go back for more filming on Caprica?

Malcomson: We've only done the pilot, which is two hours long, and we shot that in May/June last year. So it's big, big gaps in between. The writers are writing right now, and I guess we're going to do 18 [more] episodes. So we go in July until however long that is, I suppose until February. We'll be cracking away at that. So I'm excited to get in there and see what they're doing. We don't know. [SCI FI Wire]

And io9 caught up with Esai:

When you found out you would be related to Admiral Adama did you practice the low voice at all?

I thought about that [laughs]. They told me I didn't have to imitate him. I was prepared to have at least half of my genetic material compared to him. It's a thing that I really evolve into... I don't want to start right then and there with the gravity. I start this character very light, before certain things happen in the very early parts of the pilot. The stress that makes him so intense isn't there [yet]. So I start him different, and by the end of the first season, you'll see something of where he gets that intensity from. But Edward [James Olmos] has put his own stamp on this character. I think it would [be bad to] limit myself to his wonderful work - I have to find characteristics that make sense, that he then picks up.

From the brief previews I've seen there are plenty of intense moments between you and Eric. What was it like filming these moments?

Believe me, the fireworks are there. And that's what I love about Ron, David and Remi, who created the show. [They] understand the special effects aren't that special, unless they come from a human context. For example if you see something blow up, it means nothing, unless you know what's in that explosions. The emotional effects are really what take this show off the ground.

Who has been your favorite character to go off on or argue with thus far?

I can't say. Really it's Eric and I, that's where the passion comes out. I love my brother Sasha Roiz [Sam Adama] - who technically looks nothing like me, so I guess mamma had a little affair. But we're brothers in spirit, and in heart. We share a heritage that he handles differently than I do. I want to go through the system while he skirts around the system.

Since you're on Caprica long before the big attack - the futuristic world that we never really get to see that much in BSG - what was your favorite futuristic gadget or machine that was used in Caprica that we should get excited about?

The first cylon. I was blown away. I don't want to give it away, but the ending is haunting. It's so funny because I finally saw the pilot and I was scared, because I'm afraid to watch my own work because all I see is where I missed my mark. But I was very impressed, the technology is amazing. I like the butler, the robot thing, that's cool. But it's so similar to how we're living today, it's so similar. It's eerily like today's world. I like the games [such as] Pyramid... Oddly enough, I saw something and I want to approach the writers about it, there's a game now called slam ball. It's basketball with three trampolines on the basket, that looked like somewhat to me like some sort of space-age game. I loved that. [io9.com]

Monday, 9 March 2009

Caprica review - The Futon Critic

Brian Ford Sullivan has reviewed the Caprica pilot, which will be released on DVD next month. For the full article, visit The Futon Critic.

Here is what he says about what does and doesn't work:

What doesn't work: The first 15 minutes or so are something of a challenge - a weird mix of teen angst, hedonism and virtual reality - that the uninitiated will likely find either incomprehensible (you don't quite understand what you're seeing at first) or frustrating (tuning in to find out the origin of the Cylons and finding 15 minutes of The WB-era teen drama), making it a rocky start to say the least. And for those ultimately who just want answers here to solve the remaining questions in the current show - prepare to be disappointed. Sure there's plenty of geekasms to be had - the eight-sided paper, Pyramid, "So Say We All," the first "Centurion" (complete with voice from the '70s series), etc. - but there's nothing here that really informs what's happened on "Galactica" thus far. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that for better or worse "Caprica" is very much its own entity.

What does: The good news is though once established, the world of "Caprica" has the potential to be just as compelling, interesting and multi-faceted as its "sequel" - minus of course the cool shit blowing up in space. In just 92 minutes, "Caprica" manages to dish out a surprisingly dense, but not too overwhelming, array of plot threads - the government's investigation into the attack (spearheaded by Brian Markinson's Durham); the teens' school with potentially sinister ties (run by Polly Walker's Sister Clarice Willow); Daniel's business foibles; Joseph's obligations to the Tauran mob; and whatever the STO and Zoe are ultimately up to. And that's on top of yet another fascinating window into the Colonists battle between monotheism and polytheism not to mention a surprising look at the demographics of the time (Capricans are the elite while Taurans, dubbed "dirt eaters," are the despised colony) as well as the inevitable showdown between Daniel and Joseph over what they're doing.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Bear McCreary plays a portion of the Caprica score

While visiting Hagen, Germany, Bear McCreary played a portion of the Caprica score for the users of the website Caprica-City.de. The video is embedded below.