David Eick on ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ And The Future of ‘BSG’
“Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. It originally aired on Machinima’s Youtube Channel and it was also broadcast as a TV movie on Syfy.
“Blood & Chrome” follows the story of William Adama (Luke Pasqualiano) during first mission in the Cylon Wars, with his co-pilot, Coker (Ben Cotton) and his potential love interest, Dr. Becca Kelly (Lili Bordan). Spoiler warning, our interview with producer David Eick discusses the plot of “Blood & Chrome” and the potential for future series, the things you’ll want to know after you watch the movie. And spoilers for “BSG” while we’re at it, just in case.
CraveOnline: I know it was really important to Ron Moore that the series have a definitive end in the fourth season. Was it a tough sell to go back and tell more stories in the Cylon Wars era?
David Eick: Not at all, because like the World War II movie, you’re kind of going back into a known, or in this case known if you’re a “Battlestar” fan, a known world and a known time and explain how certain things came to be.
That’s a very specific category of storytelling that’s existed for a long time and I think this is just our version of that, so that didn’t seem like it would conflict at all with the decisions that have been made about where it all ends up.
CraveOnline: How much of this story was based on things laid out in the original series, and how much was new when you started thinking, “Well, what did happen during the Cylon Wars?”
David Eick: We had a skeleton that was governed mostly just by the fact that we knew we wanted to take who we’ve established Adama as being and subtracting down to an age appropriate to being fresh out of flight school and on your first mission.
That was pretty finite, so from there it was just a matter of okay, given what we’ve established and what we’ve committed to, where does that place us in the arc of the Cylon Colonial Battle? Once we did that simple arithmetic, we said, “Okay, this is where the story is set.” In this particular part of time.
CraveOnline: How different was the production with Machinima from producing an on air series?
David Eick: Not in any way at all. That part of the process, which is to say the distribution part of the process, is largely invisible to people in my job. The studio sort of handles that with the network if there’s another distributor. From where I sit, the only way in which it affects me is just how big is the sandbox I have to play in? How healthy are my resources to make this with? And how it might impact the script in this case.
When we originated it for digital distribution, we designed the story so it could be easily cut into 10 little pieces if necessary with little cliffhangers at the end of each piece. So that was in response to where the distribution was aimed, but it was not the kind of thing where the making of it was affected once those decisions were made.
CraveOnline: How is your relationship with Syfy since “Caprica” was cancelled?
David Eick: Well, the thing is that that was so close. These are all decisions that are made ultimately by people in other cities who you’ve never met, so at that point in time, everyone we dealt with at the network as jumping up and down to get this thing picked up as we were.
It was in other hands and reliant on other issues that were out of our hands so they were as bummed as we were it didn’t get picked up so when we resumed conversations, there were no hard feelings, but it was close and we still have a pitch if they ever change their mind, a hell of a plan for season two of “Caprica,” I’ll tell you that. We’re excited to make that.
CraveOnline: What was the decision to go largely on green screen for “Blood & Chrome?”
David Eick: It was where pragmatics and reality meet up with the creative actually, which is really just a function of we had been exploring the further and further reaches of green screen and compositing technology on a TV budget and schedule while we were making “Caprica.”
We used it in several episodes but never really did an entire story using that technique. So this seemed like an opportune time to explore that step, and I think that Gary Hutzel and Mike Gibson, the visual effects guys, did groundbreaking work. Stuff that, it’s not perfect and there are 10 shots I’d still like to have back, but for a fraction of a fraction of the price is 10 times better than that dinosaur show last year which was a big deal.
So it’s groundbreaking and on that front, it was a creative agenda but also the tone of this story was lighter and designed to be more mainstream than “Battlestar” so I wanted a fresh visual approach that would accentuate that and make it invoke “Battlestar” and stay true to the basic ideas of that show but also have its own stamp.
CraveOnline: What are some of the 10 shots you would like to try again?
David Eick: Well, I don’t want to say because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it’s just like anything else. There’s not an episode of any show I’ve ever made or any pilot I’ve ever made or movie where there aren’t 10 shots I’d like to have back, so it’s not really saying much. It’s just saying that I’ll beat myself up on anything I watch of mine for as long as I live, because of whatever those 10 shots are.
CraveOnline: What are the plans to continue “Blood & Chrome?”
David Eick: Don’t know yet. I think they’re still crunching the results of the Machinima hits and the TV ratings and soon to come now are going to be the Blu-ray numbers. So I think they’re still gathering information but I know that they would very much like to do more and so would I under the right conditions, so we’ll see.
CraveOnline: Could it be a series rather than a standalone movie?
David Eick: That would be my hope but that’s not necessarily the only option.