20:03, 17 December 2011 /
General Star Trek
StarTrek.com has a two-part interview with Doug Drexler. It is mostly about his work on Star Trek (TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise), but he also gives an update on Blood and Chrome. Here is the excerpt.
Your current project is the pilot Battlestar Galactica:
Blood and Chrome. How did that go, and in what ways, technologically
speaking, does it push the envelope?
Drexler: It’s huge. I worked with Gary Hutzel, who once again is our
visual effects supervisor. He is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. We
had a blast. In one very important way it was different from anything
else I’ve ever worked on. The entire show was green screen. There were
no sets. This happened because of the shape of the economy. Building
sets for a television show like TNG or the last Battlestar Galactica is
just prohibitively expensive. No one wants to take that chance.
Besides, the way the networks have been doing business lately, it’s kind
of bizarre. They’ll cancel a show after one episode. If a show doesn’t
perform right out of the gate, they cancel it. In the day when you
thought a show would be kept on the air for a year, you might take a
chance because you think it will develop an audience over time. With the
current network mindset, there’s no chance of building an audience,
when after one or two episodes, it’s canceled. It’s just impossible. So,
they want make a show as inexpensively as possible, so if it’s canceled
after one or two episodes, no one gets their head chopped off.
That certainly upped the ante on Blood and Chrome and put a lot more responsibility on you…
Drexler: Oh, yeah. And we love it. That’s where we live. The way things
used to be, on DS9, Enterprise or Voyager, we’d get a shot list, and
we’d stick strictly to the shot list. You’d do your job and they’d plug
the VFX sequences in. Now, on Blood and Chrome, with the visual effects
department building practically the entire show, we naturally have
broader responsibilities. We’re not just creating a plug-in visual
effect… a ship flying from left to right. We take an active part
telling the story. We’re art-directing the show, and building the sets.
It’s very fluid and adaptable. We’re lighting and framing the shots as
well. Every scene the actors are in, the DP on stage is lighting, but
once we get it, we create the atmosphere and the visual direction. That
all falls to us. We’re practically producers, because we’re responsible
for so much.
What’s next on the Blood and Chrome front?
Drexler: We’ll see whether or not it goes to series. We’re hoping it
does, and we should know in February. Decisions are never made over the