“Where are the frakkin’ posts?” I can hear you screaming… they’re coming, trust me. I’ve been really focused on previz for show 419 (the Galactica’s landing bay has been totally relit) and so blogging has been slow-going. I’ve actually written most of the next post (VFX for “Revelations”) but I’ve been having issues with my new video host. As soon as I manage to successfully upload video that doesn’t get re-processed into felgercarb, you’ll have something juicy to sink your teeth into. Since I’m heading to Vancouver on Thursday for a few days of R&R, if you don’t see it tomorrow look for it early next week. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely, hi-res image from Rougnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles. While I was working on Voyager, my fellow Foundation Imagers were toiling away on the first all-CG TV series in history (no, Reboot doesn’t count). Check out the DVDs, you’ll be glad you did! Maybe I can get the boys to put together a flashback of that series… anyone interested?
Archive for June, 2008
Happy Friday, nerds and nerdettes! I twisted my wrist pretty badly yesterday, so I decided on a weekend post that would involve as little typing as possible; that could mean only one thing – another tasty edition of Sci-Ficandy! Today we have a selection of never-before-seen images from Star Trek: Voyager. The one you see above is an alternate angle from the episode “Relativity,” which featured a flashback to Voyager being constructed at the fabled Utopia Planitia shipyards over Mars. Continue reading ‘sci-ficandy: voyager strikes back’
Saturday, June 14th was a day to remember here in Los Angeles – it was the day of the perfect Blade Runner experience. The one-time-only charity screening took place on the Warner Brothers backlot (where the film was made) and director Ridley Scott, co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher and a host of others were on hand afterwards to take questions from the audience. For die-hard Blade Runner fans, it was the event of a lifetime; not only was the film presented in reference-quality digital projection and sound, but during the Q&A we witnessed Scott and Fancher engage in a heated debate over whether Deckard is – or is not – a Replicant…
I don’t know what inspired German BSG fan Marco Scheloske to create what you see above, but I have to thank him for the huge laugh. To read more about the project and learn how he did it, check out his thread in the Hobby Talk forum here. At least one other nutty fan has followed Marco’s lead and tried his own hand at a starship in a bottle -clickhere to see what he came up with. And finally, “Bottlestar Galactica” makes an appearance on the environmental website Grist, but in a totally different context. Click here to see why someone over there must be a BSG fan…
Super Summer Movie Fun Club, Go! members did their duty last week and saw the latest new release, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. All we were expecting from Adam Sandler was a bad movie with a few genuinely funny moments, but Zohan skyrocketed past the Summer of Lowered Expectations to deliver a solid, two-and-a-half star behemoth, chock-full-o-laughs and a surprisingly ambitious story. The only thing weighing it down from reaching the coveted three-star rating was its hefty 113 minute running time, providing even more proof that Hollywood has forgotten its own words to live by, “less is more.” So what gives? Why have movies gotten so long in the tooth?
The single most puzzling question no one has answered about Galactica’s triumphant return is why did it come back? When I explain the history to people, it still boggles my mind: it was on for one season thirty years ago. One. On top of that, it was never very popular and no one – not even the fans – regard it as high art. Yet it retained enough of a dedicated, passionate following to insure that one day she would return.
But why? What kept that mediocre one-season-wonder so near and dear to my heart that seeing it come back was literally a dream come true? I think the answer boils down to one word: Cheeseburgers.
Wednesday night was a rare treat – as part of their endeavor to increase visibility of Battlestar during Emmy judging season, Sci-Fi Channel had an advance screening of Friday night’s mid-season finale, “Revelations,” at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. More pictures and totally spoiler-free coverage inside…
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors that there may be some new, Razor-style DVD movies in Galactica’s future. While no official announcement has been made, various sites have reported that NBC/Universal is currently mulling over as many as three new movies. Since the series finale (which airs sometime in 2009) will bring the saga to a close, educated guesses suggest that these DVDs will take place in the past; but how far back? Will there be more, untold stories that cover ground between the miniseries and the finale? How about more backstory for the Final Five? Perhaps we’ll see the return of Young Adama and the first Cylon War. Would you like to see Husker turn more old-school Cylons into scrap metal? I know I would. Well, your voice can be heard! My favorite BSG site, Galactica Sitrep, is running a poll to find out what you want to see. I suggest you click over there right now and cast your vote (scroll down a bit and you’ll find the ballot on the right side of the Sitrep homepage). And if you’d like to see more of our friend in the picture above… you know what to do.
Last year, as part of the Star Wars Celebration in Los Angeles, collectible prop & model makers Master Replicas held a party at Henson Studios. Perhaps their most popular item is the Force FX Lightsaber, possibly the single most fun “toy” ever to grace our green Earth (and if you ever played Star Wars as a kid and have yet to buy one of these, trust me - you want one). The highlight of their party was the Lightsaber competiton, in which dressed-to-impress ultra-nerds duelled each other to the multicolored, LED-strip death. Naturally, I was there grab photos…
How can you resist a review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that begins with “Lucas, Spielberg, Ben Burtt – the legends of film making. The film masters. Ben Burtt is the guy who did the Lightsaber sounds.”
Ok, so this video review is from some fifteen year old kid in his basement and I really shouldn’t make fun… but come on: “I like the fact that in the opening, in the military base, they played that music, like in Raiders of the Lost Ark; I was like man, this really feels like a classic film.” Click inside and watch the video If you want to know how he drew this conclusion: “I don’t usually give a rating, but Raiders of the Lost Ark, Crystal Skull and Last Crusade are all tied. And the lowest is Temple of Doom.”
What do fans do while they wait for new episodes of Galactica? They make their own BSG playsets out of Legos, of course! This morning I received an email from my friend Liz, who wanted to share the Lego Viper her ten-year old son had made. It was quite a complex undertaking for the little Viper-pilot to be, and as I sat back and stared at the Lego Viper that’s been sitting on my shelf since the start of the third season, I began to wonder: just how many Lego Vipers are out there?
So literally seconds after I had finished writing a follow-up comment to the post below this one (in which I talked about how, under the right conditions, you can see the cloud of the Milky Way from Earth) I bumped into this picture (yes, that’s real). But this picture isn’t the story – the real story is that the folks over at GLIMPSE (Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire) have used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (Hubble’s infrared brother) to create a 5 gigapixel image of the entire Milky Way galaxy – the largest in history.
Imagine you’re driving on a moonless night in a desolate area with no street lights. Now let’s say your car’s headlights don’t work and you’re approaching an 18-wheeler who’s decided to have some fun by turning off all his illumination. The above image is pretty much the last thing you’d see before a bright, orange and yellow fireball reminds you to get your headlights fixed. It’s also what you’d see on Battlestar Galactica if we didn’t put some lights on our spaceships!
Babylon 5 turned the sci-fi world on it’s pointed ear by being the first-ever production to use zeroes and ones instead of film and models to create visual effects. That’s right, folks, the CGI nightmares you must endure all summer long can be traced back to 1992 in Valenica, California! Computer effects pioneer Ron Thornton had seen the writing on the wall and convinced Warner Brothers that it was possible to forego plastic spaceships on strings in favor microchips on desktops. Despite being billed as the first all-CG effects show, Babylon 5 almost had a dirty little secret…