Friday, 30 November 2012

Blood and Chrome - watch episodes 7 & 8

ben cotton,luke pasqualino,blood and chrome
Episodes 7 and 8 of Blood and Chrome have been posted. You can watch them below or on YouTube. Two more to go.

Bear McCreary is doing a Q&A on Reddit at 6 pm EST. Head over there to ask questions.

The episodes:

Episode 7

Waylaid by a ferocious storm, Adama (Luke Pasqualino), Coker (Ben Cotton) and Becca (Lili Bordan) reluctantly follow their eccentric savior, marine recon sergeant Xander Toth (John Pyper Ferguson), to shelter in an abandoned ski lodge. Adama and Coker finally find some common ground and secrets about Becca’s mysterious mission are revealed.

Episode 8

The tentative safety of the ski lodge is abruptly shattered as Cylons breach Toth’s defenses. With Becca and Toth nowhere to be found, Adama and Coker face off against their deadly robotic pursuers. Becca makes a horrifying discovery about the Cylons’ agenda on Djerba.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Blood and Chrome - watch episodes 5 & 6

Machinima has posted two new episodes today. You can watch them below or on the Machinima Prime channel. The first episode has over 2 million views so far and episodes 2, 3, and 4 around 600,000. To watch all the episodes from start to finish, go here.

Jill Teed and Ty Olsson are back in episode 5 and John Pyper-Ferguson shows up to take the kids for a walk in episode 6. Also, there is the cython.

Watch the episode, and there is more stuff after the jump.

Adama dogfights Raiders while the Battlestar Osiris tries to hold off a Cylon Basestar.

Just a few more tidbits from this week for people who aren't on Facebook and Twitter.

First, there was Patton Oswalt talking to the A.V. Club about his most memorable roles:
Caprica (2010)—“Baxter Sarno”
PO: That was very frustrating, because I got a glimpse of what the second season of Caprica was going to be, and the stuff they had planned for that show was fucking amazing.

patton oswalt,eric stoltz,caprica
Beyond the stuff I was going to be getting to do, what they were going to do with that world, and with its darkness, would have been so thrilling. But I love the fact that even in a show as dark as Caprica—and in a lot of ways, that show was as dark as Battlestar Galactica—[Sarno] was very aware that people want their fucking distractions. Even in a future science-fiction world like Caprica, they’re going to want their Jon Stewarts, they’re going to want their Bill O’Reillys and their Rachel Maddows and their things to get all up in arms about, their Jay Lenos and their Lettermans.

So I was playing that role, and I would talk to [series creator] Ronald D. Moore about what happens to a guy like this who is kind of aggressively shallow in a lot of ways. When he’s engineering that whole fight between Eric Stoltz and Stoltz’s rival, it’s not because [he cares] about technology and where humanity is going; it’s great fucking ratings. So what happens when the shit comes down? It reminds me of that moment in Cabaret when they’re singing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” and they cut to the Emcee from the Kit Kat Club just smiling and nodding in his dressing room, you’re like, “What happens to that guy when the Nazis rise to power? Why is he smiling? Why is he nodding?” That stuff is really intriguing to me.
^ You can catch Patton on Burn Notice next week (Thursday, 10/9c, USA).

There is a new interview with Doug Drexler over at Snippets below, more at the link.
How is the production of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome unique?
It really is an amazing experience that’s unlike any other. It’s unprecedented for guys that we’ve brought onto the show; they don’t believe me at first when I tell them, ‘This is as close as you can get to get to making a show. You won't be some nameless guy across town in a cubicle.’ We cut our own shots in with the editor. If it doesn’t work, we do a new shot, run down the hall, put it in, and look at it together. If it doesn’t flow, if it doesn’t work... there’s no approval process... we just do it.

That’s how we are able to do so many amazing shots in so little time on Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. In eight months, we did more than 2,000 shots with nine guys— that’s because we had unprecedented freedom.

How do other production workflows compare?
I was on all the various Star Trek television series for 17 years—including Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise—and there was a really strict approval process. You couldn’t just take a leap by putting together a sequence and saying, ‘This is what we might do here.’

The process on Battlestar Galactica was a stark contrast. We did a show called 'Razor' where the Scorpio Shipyard is attacked by the Cylons. In the script, it read: ‘A dot of light approaches the station and there’s a huge explosion’—and that’s the end of the sentence! [Digital Artist and CGI Sequence Designer] Kyle Toucher and I read that and we said, ‘No Way! This is our chance to do Pearl Harbor!’ So, Kyle laid the whole sequence out—it was awesome—and Gary sold it to Ron Moore. has an exclusive VFX featurette that has some BTS footage from next week's ep and interviews with David Eick, Gary Hutzel, and Jonas Pate.

Here are a few things David Eick said on YouTube last week:
For the love of all things Cylon will you get Caprica up and going again?
Alas, Caprica was "one and done" -- although the story bible we drafted for a possible Season 2 was awesome. Really focused the Cylon/Colonial historical struggle in a much more accessible, American Civil War metaphor. I really felt SyFy should've given it another shot. Oh well, one day....

Will we be seeing any of the 'bigger questions' that we saw in BSG in Blood and Chrome, or will this be more combat/CG and less 'why they hate us'?
B&C will definitely deal with the "why they hate us" premise... and will definitely wrestle with larger issues attendant to the BSG theme -- what it means to be human, etc. But probably a bit less esoteric and contemplative than BSG Season 4. Closer in tone to Seasons 1 & 2.

You truly captured the feel of a sub inside the Osiris. Also Galactica's 'CIC' looks a lot different than the recent series. Did you look back to the original series for ship design?
We had the original sets scanned so that we could implement/augment in a digital space. Glad you dug the Osiris -- we were definitely going for the "Das Boot" vibe...

The ship design for the Osiris is so distinct. The antennae at the rear and the reflective shell, there's no doubt it's a stealth ship. For this and other ships where did your dev team look for inspiration?
All R&D, like BSG, rooted in naval and AF tech. Definitely erred on the side of reality wherever/whenever possible.

Hi David! Do you think that there is still a market for multi season space operas like bsg in tv? Can platforms like youtube & itunes provide new possibilites for the genre?
Always a market for great scifi as long as creators and distributors are gutsy enough to allow it to be metaphorical/allegorical. When they get too soft/escapist, they tend to have shorter half-life. Works great in movies but doesn't have the "legs" for TV unless there's real depth.

For us Caprica fans, will any of the loose ends from that show be tied up in this series?
We don't address the world of "Caprica" in B&C except in offhand moments... but if there are future B&C episodes (beyond the first 10), we'll definitely get into William Adama's youth, family and culture.

Hi David. Whats the word on a tv series after the Blood and Chrome movie airs? Are you guys waiting to see how many views this minishow gets before committing?
This was always designed for online, the "digital space." That said, all our futures are tied to current success!

Will any of the human cylons be making an appearance or will it just be toasters and I'm assuming the hybrid if you were to show the end of the war?
B&C will definitely investigate the "evolutionary" nature of Cylon tech... how their process of going from rivets and metal to soft, Tricia Helfer-flesh did not happen overnight... there were several experiments in between...
And another Blood and Chrome featurette from Wired that also has some BTS footage and interviews with Michael Taylor, David Eick, Gary Hutzel, Jonas Pate, Luke Pasqualino, Lili Bordan and Ben Cotton:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Blood and Chrome - watch episodes 3 & 4

Machinima has posted episodes 3 and 4 of Blood and Chrome. You can watch them below or on the Machinima Prime YouTube Channel. Episode 1 has had 1,773,800 views so far and episode 2, only 517,234. Some high-traffic sites didn't embed both episodes last week, so if you haven't seen ep 2, you should probably catch up first.

battlestar galactica blood and chrome
And a slight correction: Machinima has released the full schedule for the show, and the final two episodes will be posted on December 7, not November 30, which makes more sense since they are being released in pairs.

David Eick will be answering questions about the show on YouTube any minute now, so if you have an account, you can head over there.

Nerdist has a new interview with Eick. Here is a snippet that probably isn't a surprise to the conspiracists among us (the part about those plans for a B&C TV show not being what they were cracked up to be):
N: What challenges were there in cutting the show down to smaller, webisode-sized segments?
DE: I think that question unfortunately comes from a misinformed place. People have developed a belief that we developed this pilot for SyFy Channel and they passed on it, but then said, “Let’s put it online.” It was actually the opposite. We developed this as an online project, but then SyFy read the script and said, “Let’s keep our options open.”

As the production started coming together, we decided to go back to the original plan because there was a real opportunity to blow the wheels off of the level of quality you would expect from a web-based production. So, when people come to me saying that SyFy passed on Blood & Chrome, I’m like, “What the f@$# are you talking about?” They didn’t pass on it; we simply went back to our original plan of action. It was always going to be a ten-part story and a one hundred minute movie that you could divide into ten-minute bite-sized morsels. We embedded natural cliffhangers and segues within the episodes that lend themselves well to serialization. This has been a part of the plan since the get-go.

When we were thinking about how to crack the digital marketplace with the Battlestar franchise, I just thought about Raiders of the Lost Ark and the world where that came from with these movie serials that you would go and see each week, they would end on a cliffhanger, then you would come back and see the next little installment the following week. You might be able to build something like that if you rushed mission design; military missions are made up of many smaller missions.
And Spoiler TV has the transcript of the conference call he did with Luke Pasqualino last week. A lengthy read, but well worth it. Here is an interesting snippet:
There are a number of little Easter-egging nods to the Battlestar faithful that anyone watching the DVDs or seeing this online will be able to recognize. But I think one of the things that will be less resistance to is to think about, do we [get] Esai Morales who played William Adama's father, to reprise his role in some capacity in a future episode? Do we show some of that conflict and strain between father and son and some of the uniquely kind of contradictory impulses that a mob lifestyle and military lifestyle sort of present?

That's all really rich storytelling—top soil for us—to pursue if we get the chance to go forward.
blood and chrome,jill teed,ty olsson
The new old faces making an appearance in the new episodes are Jill Teed (Col. Patel on Caprica, Sgt. Hadrian on BSG) and Ty Olsson (Capt. Kelly on BSG).

The episodes:

Episode 3

Reeling from the discovery of the ruins of Battlestar Archeron, Adama (Luke Pasqualino) and Coker’s (Ben Cotton) small Raptor is nearly outmatched when they engage with three enemy Raiders. More secrets are revealed when the crew makes a shocking discovery deep in Cylon space.

Episode 4

Adama and Coker prepare for a dangerous mission above the Cylon occupied planet Djerba. Coker reunites with an old friend (Sebastian Spence) and reveals startling news.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Blood and Chrome - first two episodes posted

battlestar galactica blood and chrome
Machinima has posted the first two episodes of Blood and Chrome. You can watch them below. New episodes will be posted every Friday on the Machinima Prime YouTube channel, and the finale will be available on November 30.

CG Society has an interview with Doug Drexler (CG Supervisor) and Gary Hutzel (VFX Supervisor). You can read the full article at the link.
Blood & Chrome was a natural progression for Hutzel and his team, as they moved out of Caprica. In the last half of the season, the artists working on Caprica started to expand the show’s VFX footprint by doing entire virtual sets—something they perfected in Blood & Chrome.

Blood & Chrome is, nonetheless, a departure from previous productions in the franchise. “The show is unusual in the sense that it is cut very, very fast,” Hutzel describes. In fact, most of the shots in the two-hour movie span three seconds or less. “Consequently, we ended up with more than 1,800 shots, either full-CGI shots or shots with virtual backdrops created completely in-house for the scene. Battlestar Galactica never delivered anywhere near that number of shots.”

A staff ranging from 22 to 35 VFX and CG artists also delivered the shots on a short schedule. “We delivered up to 150 shots a week, which was barely getting it done in time,” Hutzel affirms. “When I did the Battlestar Galactica miniseries—which, for the time, was a huge VFX show—we had six months to complete 320 VFX shots in the show. Now, we’ve just completed 1,800 shots that are an order of magnitude more complex in five months.”
The unrated version of Blood and Chrome has a release date now. It will be out on DVD and Blu-ray (you've read that right: Blu-ray) on February 19, 2013. You can pre-order them on Amazon:

Here is the DVD trailer:

And back to the episodes. Ben Cotton, Brian Markinson, Carmen Moore, Zak Santiago, and Mike Dopud all make an appearance in the first 20 minutes. (There aren't that many actors with speaking parts who weren't on Caprica.)


Episode 1

Ensign William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), barely in his 20′s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the colonial fleet: The Galactica. He quickly clashes with his co-pilot, Coker Fasjovik (Ben Cotton), a war-weary officer with just 47 days left on his tour of duty. In pursuit of the intense action that the Cylon war promises, Adama can’t wait to enter the fray.

Episode 2

Adama and Coker’s supply mission features a surprise: their cargo is the beautiful and enigmatic scientist Dr Becca Kelly (Lili Bordan). The routine mission quickly becomes deadly as the small crew pilots their Raptor into Cylon territory.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Blood and Chrome premieres online this Friday

Well, holy frak. The sequel has a release date.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Blood and Chrome will be released online on Machinima Prime's YouTube Channel in ten 7-12-minute installments starting this Friday, November 9.

The full two-hour pilot will air on Syfy early next year, and an unrated version will be released on home video some time after that.

Refresher course from EW (because it's been a while):
For those who haven’t followed the B&C saga, the project was originally developed as a series for Syfy following the conclusion of the critically beloved Battlestar Galactica reboot and its movie spin-offs The Plan and Razor. BSG vets David Eick and Michael Taylor are executive producers, with Taylor writing the script from a story by Eick, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. Jonas Pate (Caprica) directed.

The prequel follows young William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, UK’s Skins) during the first Cylon War. Assigned to the Galactica, the eager Adama finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton, Alcatraz). (...)

“With its top-notch storytelling, pulse-pounding action, and cutting-edge visual effects, Blood & Chrome is the perfect extension of the Battlestar Galactica universe,” said Mark Stern, Syfy programming president and co-head of original content at UCP. “We are thrilled to see this hotly-anticipated event premiere on Machinima, an online network that is unparalleled in its delivery of high-class digital content to millions of viewers.”

Other than Ben Cotton, Caprica actors appearing in B&C include Brian Markinson, Jill Teed, Mike Dopud, John Pyper-Ferguson, Carmen Moore, and Zak Santiago. Lili Bordán plays Dr. Beka Kelly, an ex-employee of Graystone Industries.

Here is the official trailer (yes, that's Bear McCreary putting the music in the frakking ship):