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January 09 2006

Firefly F/X Led To Battlestar Galactica. Loni Peristere at Zoic Studios says the visual effects pioneered for Firefly directly influenced Battlestar Galactica. Ron Moore and others told him "that's the way it should be photographed, and please bring those rules to Galactica".

Ah, well, maybe this will settle the argument I saw at some point during the past week (no idea whether it was here, the gossiboards, or elsewhere) about whether or not Galactica's creator had plotted out this approach before or after Firefly was doing it.
So that's where I saw those sudden zoom-ins before! Really have to give those Zoic guys mad props (I turned so homeboy this weekend, yo! ;-)) for the awesome *SPOILER* Incredible!
Heh, well, we allways knew the effects were strikingly similar and that that was caused by the fact that Zoic did both shows. But now we know that there was a conscious decission on the part of Moore as well, to use the Firefly way of things. Well, that settles that then :-).

Billz: where did you see that spoiler? I didn't spot it in the linked article?
But now we know that there was a conscious decission on the part of Moore as well, to use the Firefly way of things.

Well, thing is, that's been known all along. It's just that wherever it was I saw that argument, no one seemed to give any link to back it up and convince the other side.
GVH, the episode aired in the U.S. on Friday. Are you outside of the States?
billz: Yep, I'm in The Netherlands, but I did see the episode and I now get what you wrote. I thought you were sarcastically 'thanking' the article for spoiling you on what you mentioned, whereas you were really thanking the Zoic guys for their work on last week's episode which could still be considered a spoiler.

So: check. Got it. Nothing to see here, move along, move along.
*whistles casually and looks the other way*
Convenential wisdom was that the two shows developed independently of each other in terms of style.
Convenential wisdom was that the two shows developed independently of each other in terms of style.

I don't know whose convention that is, because I remember discussion of Zoic's involvement in Firefly and then Galactica back when it was happening. It's just that there seems to be a fandom contingent that forgot.
I believe some of the confusion over Firely and BSG may be partly explained by the following remarks made by Ron Moore:

It's an attempt to try something different and more creative. Ever since Lucas reimagined space battles as WWII dogfights, it's been the standard approach for this kind of material. We're looking to try something new and hopefully the splits will give us a new dynamic to sell what's become a familiar sequence on screen. Losing sound in space has been done before in 2001 and more recently in Firefly (which I never saw, but heard about) so it's not like this is an insane notion.

Check. That would seem to say it was develloped independently. Well, it seems that Zoic pitched the idea themselves, based on their work for Firefly and Moore got excited by what they showed him. So for Moore himself, that link was probably less obvious.
Zoic does a great job! Useless Zoic trivia I just happen to know:
Firefly appears in pilot episode of Battlestar 2005 series.
Zoic did the effects for those HP commercials where people
put picture frames in front of something and then take it away.
For those who haven't noticed, there is a poll at Scifiwire at the moment asking what project you would like to see from Joss next. The options are another Serenity movie, the Spike movie or Wonder Woman.

Currently Serenity is way out in the lead with 68%, Spike trailing far behind with just 21%. C'mon all you Spike fans! Show the love and get voting!!! :)

Oh yeah, and Wonder Woman is at the bottom with 11% ... meh!
Vampire With A Gun, I have no objection if you or anyone want to do a link to the SciFi Wire poll on Whedonesque's front page.
Thanks, Simon. Wasn't sure that is was worth a link all of it's own. I'm on it! :)
TaraLivesOn I love that ad - it is so clever - nice bit of trivia that I can bore my other half with when he gets home :)
ZOIC was also responsible for a number of other cool things including an award winning Blue Man Group video... go to the ZOIC site and download their demo reel, its great fun :D
But doesn't everyone remember when BSG first came out, and all these articles praised it's visuals, with Moore saying it was the first show gutsy enough to shoot it with the zooms, and use a hand-held, creating a more 'you're there' feel. As well as the no sound in space. And we all looked around and said 'What about Firefly?'. Truth be told, I've always resented BSG a bit just because of that. So it's nice to see them now acknowledging that Firefly did, in fact, do it first.

[ edited by zimshan on 2006-01-09 17:58 ]
Well, I don't remember reading those (then again, I got into BSG somewhat later, when season one was already airing in the states), but I can imagine resenting those comments. The effects in BSG obviously owe something to Firefly. But then again, maybe Moore just didn't know better. Who knows?
I've been digging Battlestar Galactica a LOT. Besides the effects, the show is very good, almost Whedonesque in some ways. It is a show about characters and the relationships between those characters, and as Joss likes to do, putting the characters you like in tough situations. (If it were a real Whedon show, it would have much more of the funny. But then, I guess it's hard to laugh too much when you're being chased around the galaxy by killer robots. Sexy killer robots.)
My girlfriend is the one that has got me into watching Battlestar Galactica, despite her being one of the least likely people i know to be a fan of that show. Her taste in television is generally very much the opposite of science fiction or fantasy, unless you were to include Desperate Housewives in the fantasy category, with it's "beyond the grave" elements.

For my lovely lady to be watching, not to mention pushing me to watch, a science fiction series then it must be doing something right.
Yeah, Battlestar is great. Although the Sexy Robot[tm] is starting to annoy the crap out of me. If you'd ask me to change one thing about the show, it would be to end those Gaius/Six scenes.

Other than that, it's great stuff, yes. But it often reminds me more of a West Wing/War movie mix than a typical sci-fi show. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Not at all, even.
Everything I've been hearing about BSG is giving me Deja Buffy vu. This was just on today:
What's strange is that, even when people told me, very directly, that the new "Battlestar Galactica" was a really smart, character-driven drama that just happened to be set in space, I didn't believe them. .... Even though I heard "dark" and "smart" and "unpredictable," all I could picture was Captain Kirk in a toga. Complete story.

Dark, smart, unpredictable...just happens to be a genre show. What did I use to hear that said about? Maybe this time I'll check it out sooner. But I'm not sure I want to see another show that can moves me as deeply as Buffy.
GVH said:
If you'd ask me to change one thing about the show, it would be to end those Gaius/Six scenes.

I think the last few episodes have really turned those on their head and it should be very interesting to see how Gaius and Six interact after his experience with Pegasus!Six.

barboo said:
But I'm not sure I want to see another show that can moves me as deeply as Buffy.

I'm not sure I've ever been as deeply moved by BSG as I was by Buffy, but BSG is much more of a head-screw. It's very much a character-driven show, so you can relate to the characters and feel for them, but it's a different kind of series; it doesn't affect the viewer in the same way.
BSG is darker than DS9 and as gripping as Angel in terms of plot arcs and characters. I adore it and can't wait to see the new season starting on Sky tomorrow.
I'm with Simon :) By the by, the Sexy Robot(tm) stuff all has a point and you can choose to view it at surface value or you can see it how I do which is that its a fascinating study of Gaius' internal monologue/dialogue as well as being an 'is he or isn't he crazy' ongoing mystery. Add Pegasus' version of Six (or Gina as Ron & the gang call her in scripts, playing off the G.I.N.O. - Galactica In Name Only folks' protests) and it amps it up another several notches. I think its wonderfully done, dark, surprising, character driven stuff and I love it.
Oh, yes, I agree zeitgeist. It's not that the Sexy Robot[tm] stuff is meaningless fluff, it's actually quite interesting in itself. But the way they choose to explore that stuff isn't how I'd do it. The whole Sexy Robot[tm] thing looks tacky, and I can't quite seperate myself from that when watching those scenes.

The fact that Six in her red dress was used on the promotional material actually led me to not watch the show when the miniseries came around, because I thought it'd be dumb fare with hot chicks to pull in the teens. I was very, very wrong, but I still can't quite leave that notion behind as far as Six is concerned. But like Keith G said, the scenes have taken a turn for the better so it'll be interesting to see where they go now.
I'm still catching up on BSG through DVD, but I think the Gauis/Number Six stuff is the most interesting storyline. Perhaps Number Six looks "tacky" with the way she dresses, but she's supposed to be that way because she's kinda part of Gauis' fantasy. And if you're a straight male, I'm guessing that women look like that in your fantasies too.
Add me to the list of not liking the Gaius/Six exchanges up till now. I like it much better when he is talking to someone in front of him, like Pegasus!Six, instead of a figment of his imagination or an implanted chip or whatever his Fantasy!Six represents. It confuses me in an I'm-annoyed-not-intrigued way. Other than that, BSG *rocks*! :-)
Awww...the Firefly and BSG connection. I knew it was there. I love watching Six play with Gaius. Good times.

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