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Interview with David Eick of
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" on Machina
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME CONFERENCE
Moderator: Sharon Liggins
November 9, 2012
3:52 pm CT
Operator: Ladies and gentleman, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
During the presentation all participants will be in a
listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a
question-and-answer session. At that time, if you have a
question, please press the one (1) followed by the four (4)
on your telephone. If at any time you need to reach an
operator, please press star (*) zero (0).
As a reminder this conference is being recorded Friday,
November 9, 2012. I would now like to turn the call over to
Mrs. Sharon Liggins. Please go ahead.
Sharon Liggins: Good afternoon, everyone. This is Sharon
Liggins from Universal Cable Productions Publicity. I want
to welcome you to the Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
The first two chapters of Blood & Chrome have premiered on
Machinima’s YouTube channel earlier this morning. So,
they're definitely up and available for you to view. We'll
be rolling out a couple of episodes once a week between now
and November 30 and then a two hour movie of Blood & Chrome
will air on Syfy somewhere in the first quarter of 2013. We
don't have an air date yet.
And then DVD release on Blu-ray DVD, random material unrated
will be on sale beginning February 19. So we have with us
right now executive producer David Eick. We're waiting for
Luke Pasqualino to join. He's over in the UK, so we'll start
off with David and then we will bring Luke on once he joins.
So, thank you everyone for participating. Again there will
be a transcript available of the calls in a day or two. But
here we go.
Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentleman, if you would like
to register a question please press the one (1) followed by
the four (4) on your telephone. You'll hear a three-tone
prompt to acknowledge your request.
If your question has been answered and you would like to
withdraw your registration please press the one (1) followed
by the three (3). If you're using a speaker phone, please
lift your handset before entering your request.
One moment please for the first question.
And our first question comes from the line of Erin Willard
from Sci-Fi Mafia. Please proceed with your question.
Erin Willard: Hi, thanks so much for being on the call today
and congratulations on finally getting the show out to the
Can you hear me?
David Eick: Oh yes, I'm sorry. I didn't realize we were
speaking live. Hi, how are you?
Erin Willard: Okay. I'm great, thanks. I've seen the first
two parts; they're terrific and I can't wait to see the
rest. The opening four minutes in particular are just so
David Eick: Oh great, glad to hear that. Glad to hear that.
Erin Willard: Absolutely. Now did you have an entire
13-episode arc planned out?
David Eick: No, there was an entire 10-episode arc planned
out because this was originally developed as an online
And I'm so happy to have such a great and comprehensive
cross-section of the press today because I feel like there's
a certain record to set straight which was a little bit
frustrating to me a few months ago when I saw the headlines
that the Blood & Chrome project had somehow been rejected or
was a failed pilot or wasn't going to make it on the air.
It was never intended to be a traditional pilot, so to
speak, such that Syfy not picking it up in a traditional
manner to an episodic series was some kind of a rejection or
failure. It was always developed at least from my point of
view as a project for an online environment. And there's
something that we would develop and structurally,
narratively build as a ten-part sort of a series.
Kind of like the Raiders of the Lost Ark style, adapted to
the 1930s style movie serials where you have ten minutes of
story and a cliffhanger followed by ten minutes of story and
the cliffhanger. And then after ten of these episodes, it
would all kind of resolve itself in a pre-act structure as a
whole movie. And so when I set out to develop this, my
thinking was to design a mission, so to speak.
Of course, once the characters and the overall idea had been
approved by the network, a mission that could be, as
missions often are, in the military sense divided into ten
smaller missions. And that's really what we wound up with
and what the audience is going to see. I think where the
confusion in is that for a moment the network after seeing
the script said, "Gee, we don't want to rule out the
possibility of just advocating the online venture altogether
and throwing this up as a pilot for a traditional series to
And there were discussions about that, but for a variety of
reasons I think not the least of which was because there was
a genuine feeling that we had really designed something
altogether of groundbreaking from a visual effects
standpoint to stick with the original plan and its future
may be online, may be on air, maybe DVD in terms of
subsequent future episodes or stories—who knows? But it was
never any kind of rejection or failure that this didn't wind
up as another Syfy pilot.
That was always designed to be something much more unique
and special than that and I'm thrilled that it's finally
reached its distribution and it's going to be seen by the
people it was intended for.
Erin Willard: Great; yes, because that's definitely not the
story that was told and we'll definitely make sure to get
that story that's so interesting. So, you have another one
plan hopefully after this series?
David Eick: Well yes, in fact, as an exercise, which is not
uncommon with these things we, myself, Michael Taylor, David
Bradley and - I’m sorry, kind of David Weddle and Bradley
Thompson got together and with Jonas Pate, our director,
hatched a next mission. Sort of what the next leg of this
character study would involve and should we be fortunate to
There was absolutely the kind of very organic kind of
evolution of where we leave the characters at the end of
this story and what we would pursue as our next tale. And
I'm very hopeful and optimistic that we'll be doing that
Erin Willard: That is so great. Thank you so much for all
this great information.
David Eick: Great, thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Jamie
Ruby of SciFi Vision. Please proceed with your question.
Jamie Ruby: Hi, thanks for doing the call today. Can you
talk about kind of the differences in producing a show for
web series compared to television? Obviously, you have to,
from a production standpoint, do things differently.
David Eick: We did nothing differently because it was geared
for online versus broadcast. Absolutely nothing was decided
or complicated or managed to accommodate that difference.
The only choices that were made aesthetically, creatively,
and narratively that were different from Battlestar were
purely driven by a desire to reinvent once again this
franchise and this title for a new audience.
So, if we were doing this for broadcast or we're doing this
as a future film or we we're doing this for any other
reason, or for any other outlet, we would have elected the
site and exact methodology that we employed for this online
exhibition as we did. It was not driven at all by a change
in environment. It was only driven by our desire to do
something unique and that would feel familiar and evocative
of the original Battlestar.
I should say the first remake of Battlestar for our audience
and yet would feel at the same time new and accessible and
fresh for a new audience. And there are a number of ways in
which we shifted and changed our approach to production to
accommodate that agenda, but it was in no way driven by now
we're doing it for online versus on air.
Jamie Ruby: Okay. I didn't realize that. Interesting. So,
what was the most challenging though just in general since
you started developing it?
David Eick: Just to stay on track with your original
question, what we decided to do differently to make it fresh
and accessible and evocative, but not duplicative of the
last Battlestar was to make this a green screen composite
You literally had a green screen stage with a massive
lighting configuration that was something you'd see at a
Rolling Stones rock show that could accommodate a variety of
different looks and environments and then using a
painstakingly built creative army put together by Gary
Hutzel and Mike Gibson, our visual effects guys from the
earliest in the Battlestar days. We were able to achieve a
look and a level of 3-D immersive compositing detail that I
think you would compare much more easily to what you see in
cutting edge feature films than to anything you would see on
And I include, by the way, shows that have ten times the
budget that we had. And then the reason we were able to
achieve that, and I'm not bragging, I'm just giving a
reasonable assessment of what's different, is that where you
spent the last ten years since the first Battlestar
mini-series that we did in '03: building brick by brick this
assembly of artists and experts and engineers and geniuses
who have nothing but love for the product.
We don't use a visual effects house; we don't go outside the
boundaries of our own four wall, in-house unit and we sort
of handcraft these shots. And so, by doing that and by
combining that expertise and those artists with old
fashioned sort of ancient in camera filmmaking techniques,
which because of Jonas Pate and our Director of Photography
Lukas Ettlin, we have the craftsman with the know-how to
We were able to create digital environments that are
completely arresting, totally real and tactile and immersive
and yet never require us to leave that green screen stage.
And when I say old fashioned techniques, I mean diffusion,
darkness, shadow, snow storms, and things that Eisenstein
would've done 100 years ago. That doesn't cost anything
except your ingenuity.
I think because of those factors, we've been able to create
something that feels completely different from the
Battlestar that people may have seen three and four years
ago, but that nevertheless retains a certain echo of what we
had done so the fans still feel like they're immersed in
that same universe.
Jamie Ruby: That's why I wondered, because it looks really
good like it was fully budgeted. That's why I thought maybe
you did something differently. But, thank you.
David Eick: Yes it was definitely different, but there's no
reason why anyone couldn't do it this way. You just have to
have the artist and the people and person that'll do it.
Jamie Ruby: Right, well it's great so far. Thank you.
David Eick: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Tim
Oakland) of Oh Entertainment. Please proceed with your
Tim Oakland: Hi David, it's great to get to speak with you
David Eick: Hey man, how are you? Thank you.
Tim Oakland: I'm well, thanks. I watched the first two
episodes and was blown away. You're right that it feels new,
but it also felt like home and largely also in part to Ralph
McQuarrie's awesome theme and scoring work.
But one thing I'm curious about, I don't know if the story's
been out there, but can you explain the absence of Ronald D.
Moore and if the project ever goes to series on the Syfy
network, do you think he'll come back or he doesn't want to
do the part in the show anymore? What's the story there?
David Eick: No story, honestly. You'd have to ask Ron that
question. I believe he got caught up in another deal or was
wrapped up in another deal when this idea was hatched. He
was at Sony. You'd have to ask him. I don't know all the
details, but unfortunately no dramatic or exciting answer to
He was just busy doing other stuff and we've been able to
proceed forward. But I think the great thing about my
partnership with Ron is that we were always kind of existing
in the same mindset and, as I used to say, finishing each
other's sentences. I feel like there's a proprietary Ron
Mooreness that coexists with my approach to Battlestar, as
I'd like to think there'd be a David Eickness accompany his
approach if I was gone.
Battlestar was a child we gave birth to together and this
new grandchild of it naturally has his genetic imprint on
it. I wouldn't ever claim otherwise, but in terms of his,
the factual answer as to why he's not involved now or won't
be involved in the future is really just a matter of his
having other irons in the fire and these deals that we make
in show business tend to be exclusive. It's hard to get to
work on other stuff once you sign them.
Tim Oakland: Okay. Thanks a lot for explaining that. And
just a pre-follow up; did Bear McCreary score the entirety
of Blood & Chrome or was that found out different episodes
to different composers? And will there be a soundtrack
available also when the DVD comes out?
David Eick: I don't know the answer to the soundtrack
question. Naturally every episode of Blood & Chrome is
simply a ten minute chunk of a larger movie that we made.
And so Bear's score is of course prevalent in all the
episodes and I'm hopeful if we continue on we'll get Bear
back even more.
Tim Oakland: Thank you very much. I'm a big fan of his and
of yours and this was great.
David Eick: Thanks so much. Appreciate that.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of James
Hamilton from Geekstronomy. Please proceed with your
James Hamilton: Good afternoon Mr. Eick. Thank you so much
for taking the time to talk to me.
David Eick: Thank you so much for your interest and time.
James Hamilton: Oh, no problem. I personally feel that four
years of Battlestar Galactica is better than 40+ years of
Star Trek and I felt that Syfy channel didn't give Blood &
Chrome the respect it deserved. What was the delay in the
show actually premiering and why wasn't there fanfare?
It was announced on Monday, shown on Friday. Can you explain
any of that?
David Eick: Well, once again, this was an unorthodox and
unusual distribution approach because this was not a pilot
air. This is not a project that was ever designed originally
to air on Syfy as its initial presentation or distribution.
In those circumstances, when you have a pilot that's going
to premiere as a first episode of the series, we're all
accustomed to billboards on-air and online and we're all
bombarded with a multi-million-dollar advertising budget.
This was always intended and designed to be something that
would premiere in a much more unusual way, in a different
environment, and in a different space.
I don't know what sort of expectations are for an online
premiere. I see on Machinima this really impressive looking
Halo 4 series that's on and I have to say I'm quite
impressed with their production values, with the writing,
with the visual effects. I never heard of it; no one ever
told me about it and it's getting well over a million hits.
So I just think it's a different universe for them. We're in
a much more diversified, much more nuanced viewing landscape
now and I just think things are marketed and distributed in
different ways depending on what their intended venues are
going to be. But as I said earlier I think the delay as it
were had to do more with Syfy finding an online partner, a
digital partner that made sense for a project and a title
like Battlestar Galactica.
And of course as well all know there are a million of them
out there and what outlet is going to be able to carry your
brand and make good on your investment becomes a huge
decision. We won't know if the launch is in any way
insufficient until we know what the numbers are and what
they're called in this universe. They're not called ratings;
whatever they're called.
We won't know if the launch was insufficient until we see
the results, but, to my way of thinking, or in terms of how
I understand the online world, it just doesn’t work in the
old-fashioned way. You're not going to see billboards and a
bunch of commercials; it's all much more, as they call it,
James Hamilton: Okay. And one other quick question; where
did the idea for doing another prequel come from?
David Eick: I was asked by the network to think about a
concept that would be under the umbrella or the rubric of
the Battlestar Galactica cannon that would make sense as an
online series. And I was on an airplane and I was thinking
about the character William Adama and the fact that we had
seen him depicted as a very stoic, strong and very
uncompromisingly anti-Cylon admiral and commander in
And then we've seen him as a child being exposed to an
alternate, immoral world on the show Caprica. I though it
might be interesting for an audience to see what that
character might've been like when he was Lee Adama's age,
the character that portrayed his son in Battlestar when he
was the young, crackerjack hot-gun pilot, fresh out of the
Where did this hatred of Cylons come from? Why was this man
that we will later meet as Edward James Olmos in Battlestar
Galactica so uniformly and uncomprisingly committed to the
utter eradication and disillusion of this race of robot
people? Where did that come from? Was it because he was a
prisoner of war? Was it because he was involved in some
He wants to incinerate them, but why? And, the more I
thought about it, the more I finally came up with an answer
that I thought was emotionally driven..
That [his hatred] came from a very personal place. Through
that experience, [he] came to feel that the Cylons were [an]
unforgivable race of creatures that, of course being
responsible for our genocide and being responsible for
attacking us, needed to be gotten rid of. But beyond that
there was something much more deep and personal driving him
and that was the sort of nucleus of the genesis of it. And I
just proceeded from there.
James Hamilton: Thank you very much.
David Eick: Thank you, sir.
Operator: And this is the operator just letting you know
that we have a Luke Pasqualino on the line. Your line is
open as well Mr. Pasqualino.
Luke Pasqualino: Hi guys.
David Eick: Hey Luke, David Eick here. Long time no talk
Luke Pasqualino: I know. How have you been? Real good.
David Eick: Oh good, sir. I hope you're excited about the
Luke Pasqualino: Oh, I am indeed buddy. I definitely am
excited to come and see the rest of it. Yes.
David Eick: Yes I know. It feels like a generation ago at
this point, doesn't it?
Luke Pasqualino: I know. I remember what (Frank) was saying,
we're going to do some press. Oh, yes I remember that.
David Eick: It's like a high school reunion.
Luke Pasqualino: It was, yes. Good to hear your voice bud.
David Eick: You too, man.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Curt
Wagner of RedEye. Please proceed with your question.
Curt Wagner: All right, congratulations guys. I watched the
first episode so it's good stuff.
Luke Pasqualino: Thank you.
Curt Wagner: For David, I was wondering how important it was
for you to continue this story and to keep telling
Galactica's stories? And then Luke, I was just wondering if
you'd seen the original and how excited you are to be part
of it - or to have been part of it?
Luke Pasqualino: David, you want to go first?
David Eick: Why don’t you go first Luke? I've been talking
everyone's ear off.
Luke Pasqualino: Okay, buddy. Actually, before I even got
sent the pilot I'd always heard of Battlestar Galactica and
the phenomenon it was, but never actually sat down and
And when I found that I'd been offered the role of Adama in
this early 20-year-old period of his life, the furthest
thing from my mind was watching anything that Edward James
Olmos had done because I think you're seeing this guy, this
William Adama character, [at] two completely different ages
and two completely different stages in his life.
I didn't want anything that Eddie did to influence my
interpretation of the material. So, I tried to steer away
from watching any of Eddie's stuff, but I did watch seasons
of Caprica. Mr. David Eick made that a priority, kind of
homework for me really and I loved it. To be part of the
Battlestar franchise now and to be welcomed on board as this
young William Adama character [is] truly, truly an honor and
I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
David Eick: So are we. I think the answer to the question of
was it important to me to continue this?
Yes I am; I consider myself terribly fortunate and uniquely
blessed to have been given the opportunity to jump into this
world and to reinvent and sort of re-imagine as the phrase
became this title in this universe. It has been my number
one vocation, now entering into a second decade of all
things, and remains my very favorite thing to do; that is,
to work on and write and create and produce and be on sets
and be in cutting rooms, visual effect rooms and casting
rooms and all things Battlestar.
It's where I’m happiest and it's where I think I do my best
work, in all humility. It’s something I hope I'll have a
chance to continue to do.
Curt Wagner: Okay. Now my follow-up for both of you is now
[that] we're seeing William, this will be the third age that
we've seen him. When I was watching the two episodes of him
this morning my first thought was, ‘I wonder what happened
to him between Caprica and now.’ Are we going to learn
anything about that?
Luke Pasqualino: I think that's more for you, David.
David Eick: I certainly think we had every intention of
exploring that interesting conflict between the William
Adama who's committed himself to fighting in a war, whose
father we've come to know in Caprica, might have a very
strong opinion against.
And in the show that we're watching now in Blood & Chrome,
[in] the pilot we see an off-hand reference to this idea
that William's father was a mob lawyer and that maybe
strings were pulled to create certain opportunities for
Adama. Those are definitely interesting and complex
relationship trends that we want to explore.
In fact, we've gone to great lengths - we went to great
lengths with Blood & Chrome to not be cute about too many
nods and winks to characters from Battlestar and Caprica. At
one point, there was a discussion about having young William
Adama in the hangar deck maybe bump into some young school
teacher who is getting a tour of the Battlestar Galactica.
And she introduced herself as Laura and they sort of move
past each other and then I just thought, ‘I don't want to be
that cute.’ I don't want to be that literal with it, and if
we're going to do stuff like that, we'll save that kind of
thing [for] later.
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 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.
Curt Wagner: All right, I hope you do.
Luke Pasqualino: So do I, bud.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Terri
Schwartz from Spinoff Online. Please, proceed with your
Terri Schwartz: Hi, thanks so much for talking with us
today. The mythology of Battlestar Galactica is obviously we
all really care about. We're so excited about Blood & Chrome
premiering. So I was just curious if the series is like the
Cylons and the history of the Cylons? How big a part of
Blood & Chrome are the Cylons going to be?
Luke Pasqualino: I think me and David both have different
views on this really, but I think being there in front of
the camera, Michael Taylor's writing and David's input,
ha[s] quite a lot to do with the kind of Cylons and the
birth of the Cylons.
And you actually find things out about the Cylons in these
earlier stages. In Caprica, we saw the complete birth of the
Cylons and to know that they exist. But, to tackle them in a
different angle in this Cylon war and for us to tackle those
questions [like], ‘[Are] there Cylons involved?’
I think, yes, there definitely is; it's a big part of [Blood
& Chrome] because in any kind of Battlestar show you'll see
Edward James Olmos' work on Caprica, or even Blood & Chrome,
I don't think Battlestar would be Battlestar really—correct
me if I'm wrong, David—without the kind of the Cylon element
So, you do see them. I think to see them from a young
Adama's point of view is something completely different. I
mentioned yesterday to another woman that to see there's so
many different stories that come together to make a big
family. There’s the Battlestar story; there's the Adama's
story; there's the Coker storyline. And then there's
definitely the big fourth one—the Cylons. To see their
progression in that story throughout Blood & Chrome is quite
David Eick: For sure. Very well put. The only thing I would
add is that I think what the viewers of this Blood & Chrome
story, these ten segments, will discover is that as the
Cylons embark on their decision to mimic and surpass human
beings, which is a storyline that those who watch Battlestar
Galactica knows all too well, they didn't do it overnight.
It's not like they were machines with gears and rivets one
day and then have soft skin the next day. They took time to
attempt to approximate an evolution. If they'd done their
homework, they wouldn't know the human beings didn't start
out as human beings because they went through [a] fish
stage, [an] amphibious stage, a bird stage and a reptile
stage before finally becoming mammals. Throughout this
story, we will see examples of those approximations of
How the Cylons were attempting to push through their
evolutionary process in becoming more human-like and the
results can be terrifying and unexpected.
Terri Schwartz: Well, that actually ties into my next
question. We know at some point during the Cylon war that
the Clyons teamed up with the Final Five. So I was just
curious if we were going to get a chance to see any of that
either soon or in the future. See them team up with the
Final Five or potentially bring back those actors?
David Eick: Well those actors are stuck in a timeline.
They're just in a finite time frame, so I think it might be
confusing for the audience if suddenly they were to see
Michael Hogan in an episode of the show even with the
minutiae of that mythos apparent to the Battlestar faithful,
I think it underscores the larger point here which is that
we really are making Blood & Chrome for a new audience as
well as Battlestar faithful.
And as adherent and faithful as we are to the mythology into
the history of the Battlestar universe, we're not slavish to
it to the point where only the nine people on the message
boards are going to get a kick out of it and everyone else
Terri Schwartz: Right.
David Eick: That's not our intent or our agenda.
Terri Schwartz: Okay. Great, thank you.
David Eick: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Joe
Nazzaro of SciFi Now Magazine. Please, proceed with your
Joe Nazzaro: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to
me today. I hope you can hear me okay; I've got a bit of a
crackly line on this side.
Luke Pasqualino: I can hear you.
Joe Nazzaro: Great. David, I want to follow up on something
that you touched upon before which was the use of visual
effects and new technology in the franchise. Could you talk
a little bit about some of the more recent innovations that
you were able to incorporate into Blood & Chrome that maybe
didn't exist when you started out with Battlestar Galactica
some years ago?
Or maybe some of those technologies were still in their
infancy and have recently come into their own because having
watched the first two episodes I thought, ‘This is a very
cool, looking very high-techy show.’ And it looks great and
expensive and I suspect you probably didn't have huge piles
of money to do it, but maybe that technology really did come
into its own for you.
David Eick: You’ve answered most of the question with that
astutely put question.
Joe Nazzaro: Sorry about that.
David Eick: Because the truth is it's not [that] the
technology didn't exist, but it has always been
cost-prohibitive and remains cost-prohibitive, frankly, if
you watch a lot of the expensive digital effect shows on
broadcast networks that have five, eight, ten times our
I don't know these people personally. I'm not intimately
involved in their process, but I have to imagine that
bureaucracy and certain traditions of who visual effects are
produced for television remain entrenched in old thinking
because I look at shots that I know cost a lot more and took
many more - much more resources on Fox or NBC than shots
that we're doing for Syfy or Machinima.
I know ours are better and I just know that we're doing
better work and that there's a more tactical, immersive
reality to our 3-D work. For the most part, the short answer
is if you can find the artist, if you can build from within
a uniform apparatus as, I say an army, that is accountable
to production that does not have any overhead, that does not
have any amortization necessary other than your show, [then]
you’re not going to a visual effects house, you're not going
to ILM, you're not going to some company or some house, but
you're just building it in house.
So you have a rag-tag fleet within your rag-tag fleet of
visual effect experts and artists and professionals. If you
have the time and the wherewithal to put together that kind
of squad, you can do amazing things for an amazingly low
What you have to circumvent in modern television making is a
bureaucracy that is attending to most major studios and
networks which demand that you use these visual effect
houses because they're trusted, because the spews aren't
worried about shots not beings delivered on time or shots
not being up to snuff. But it is that bureaucracy that costs
so much more money and then, in my opinion, delivers so much
If you can find an environment as we were fortunate enough
to find during the earliest days of Battlestar where,
despite some pressure and some resistance, we were able to
win that fight to not be forced to go to a visual house
outside, to dump out shots off on, and instead to create
them in-house where we had total control of them. We were
able to deliver better work as the technology advanced as it
did in between Battlestar and Blood & Chrome.
We were able to build fewer sets and create more digitally.
That's the upside, like Blood & Chrome; it also lent an
aesthetic distinction. It's not just that we accomplished it
differently, it's that it looks and feels different from
Battlestar and that makes Blood & Chrome feel new and unique
and different for a new audience (sic).
Joe Nazzaro: Thanks, David. And Luke, if I could sort of
follow that up in a way; I sometimes think there should be a
green screen boot camp out there for actors to learn how to
use all this technology when you work on virtual sets and
green screen. And I'm just curious, as an actor, how do you
retain your emotional core—your performance—when you're
surrounded by so many technical challenges?
Luke Pasqualino: When I first came onto set and I saw this
huge sound studio just full of green, I thought I was in
some kind of field somewhere.
But really, just trying; the hardest difficulties
acting-wise [are] when we're doing scenes within our raptor
where Jonas, our director, will be saying, ‘Okay there's
going to be a bomb lying over top of you now,’ or,
‘Something's going to hit the screen now.’ It is [in] trying
to judge those points which are tough.
But I really, if I'm honest, didn't find it difficult as you
might think to get the emotions and the messages across just
because the cast I was privileged to work with. Ben Cotton,
who played Coker, was absolutely fantastic. He and I
together, we overcame it. We had a chat; we had a minor
conference ourselves and we sat down and realized how we
needed to work how we overcome this green-screen difficulty.
And having people like David and Michael and Jonas all on
board and involved together, pulling together the green
screen was such a small factor of it. I think to try and
pull yourself out of the fact that you're actually working
on a green screen and focus as much as you can on the
material, the heart of the writing, just became so much more
important that we didn't even think about the green screen
in the surroundings that we had.
I didn't realize how lucky we were to be doing this all on
green screen. It's taking slightly longer to air, but we had
this opportunity to take this journey anywhere we wanted
because we could literally put any kind of backdrop we
wanted into this kind of Syfy, Battlestar Galactica world.
We could take it anywhere we wanted to. So, it had its pros,
it had its cons, but I think everything was overcame and we
executed what we had to do and what was most important as
Joe Nazzaro: Great. Thanks guys for taking the time to talk.
And Luke, a big shout out to the UK. It was a lot nicer
riding out the hurricane in Brentford last week than here.
Luke Pasqualino: Oh, my thoughts are with you brother.
Joe Nazzaro: Cheers then.
Luke Pasqualino: Thank you, buddy.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Joseph
Nicholson) with IGN. Please proceed with your question.
Joseph Nicholson: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to
speak with us today.
Luke Pasqualino: You're welcome.
David Eick: Yes.
Joseph Nicholson: I saw the first two episodes this
morning and they were really great. One of the more
interesting dynamics we see in those first two is the
relationship between Adama and Coker (sic). Can you guys
talk a bit about the development of those characters as this
web series progresses?
Luke Pasqualino: David?
David Eick: Well, as I was saying before, the decision to
root Adama's hatred and for the Cylons coming from an
emotion place versus just a war scar place was very
interesting to me at the beginning.
But what trumped that or what maybe was a way of
accentuating that through this story, and this is where you
guys have to be careful with spoilers, Adama will come to
learn through a betrayal that he experiences, he learns that
a more reliable and deeper and trustworthy relationship is
with his partner Coker.
Through this experience, the audience of Battlestar might
project that's why Adama, Edward James Olmos' character on
Battlestar, has this relationship with Colonel Tigh, a
relationship that seems to run deeper and be more impervious
than even Adama's relationship with his own sons or any
Where did that come from? Why is that kind of relationship
viewed by Adama as the more impervious to external factors,
the one that he can rely on the most? And so it became very
interesting to me to explore how what we would call a
bromance usurps the romance and that bromance is, in our
case, between Adama and Coker. And even though Coker is not
Tigh, we might see the echo chamber effect of those ties
that we'll later find William Adama to the man Colonel Tigh
in some later event.
But this story is in part to explain why Adama views that
kind of male comradeship with such unyielding importance and
Joseph Nicholson: Great. And then, just as a quick
follow-up; these two episodes also do an excellent job of
establishing itself in that universe as we come to know,
down [to] the set and costumes and even the dog tags.
You've been talking a bit about the production and how this
was put together. How difficult was it to recapture that
aesthetic we're all familiar with from the last Battlestar
David Eick: Well, we were fortunate to have many of the same
crew people involved in Blood & Chrome who were involved in
Battlestar. So the Bubo's and the dog tags and the helmets
and all the things that seem to be the Battlestar show, had
come to recognize and to associate with our design
We were able to bring back and to recreate and, in some
cases, to buy back from the fans who had bought it at the
auction at the end of the Battlestar. I think in one case we
had to go to some fan who had acquired parts of the rafter
so that we could use it to recreate the rafter on the set.
So, there were some rather unexpected ways in which some of
those items came back into play for Blood & Chrome.
But, it wasn't really difficult at all. I think the bigger
challenge was finding a way to then, while armed with those
familiar kind of reminders of Battlestar, introduce an
aesthetic that would feel different and new and not
necessarily a reminder of the old show. And that was where
Jonas Pate and Lukas Ettlin and guys who were newcomers to
this franchise became so invaluable.
Joseph Nicholson: Great, thank you very much.
David Eick: Thank you.
Luke Pasqualino: Thanks, bud. Thank you, David.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Reg
Seeton of DeadBolt.com. Please proceed with your question.
Reg Seeton: Hi, my first question is for David. Between Battlestar
and Caprica what did you learn from an accessible
storytelling standpoint that you were playing in Blood &
David Eick: That's a wonderful question. As I was saying
earlier, this was a story that came from a very personal
place for me and it was really about exploring the root [of]
what made Adama tick. This would be the Cylons and how that
was informed by his love relationships, his understanding of
the potential for betrayal despite love and the importance
of a male figure in his life who he could depend on even
above and beyond his own blood relations.
Beyond that, I also felt that there was an obligation if we
were going to reintroduce Battlestar into the public that we
tell stories that felt accessible. That we had done a
tremendously thorough job of defining an elaborate and
confluent mythology and that mythology would always stand
intact. It would always be the subject of debate and they
had an argument about what is Starbuck, all those kinds of
But this would be something that would function on a
different level and I wasn't able to write the script
because I was obligated to a couple other projects and I had
this story that I wanted to tell. And I was so fortunate
that I was able to go to Battlestar alumni who had done the
kind of stories in Battlestar Galactica that evoke exactly
what I was hoping Blood & Chrome would achieve.
Hard hitting, mission oriented, accessible stories that had
depth and emotion and would be unusual in that it would
extend into darker places and more human places than science
fiction normally goes, which is always the hallmark of
Battlestar. But it would air more on the side of missions
and objectives that bend mythology. And so Michael Taylor
and David Weddle and Bradley Thompson were at hand. God
Together we were able to break the story in detail. And then
Michael Taylor wrote a gorgeous script that stunned everyone
and got this thing green-lit. That's really the tale of how
it all came together, but the emphasis has always been on
for fans of Battlestar episodes like Ties That Bind and Act
of Contrition and, I'm missing one of the great titles—a
Thompson/Weddle episode—but, these were hallmarks of great
battles or episodes that if you've never seen an episode of
the show before were still wonderfully thrilling and
engaging. Oh I'm sorry; Hand of God was another big
reference point for us which I think was Episode 10 of the
Reg Seeton: Great. Luke, how did you approach William to really
understand who he is in this time period as compared to what
we saw later? Was that easy for you since he was already
Luke Pasqualino: I think, and I mentioned this before, to
try and establish William Adama as an early 20-year-old when
he's already been established in his kind of 40s, 50s as
Edward James Olmos portrayed him, and to see him now as the
Being 22 myself, I know that being this early 20-year-old,
especially when you're going into something new like the
flight school that he attended, can be quite a difficult
time for a young man. But I think my main goal was to not
let anything that Edward James Olmos did influence my
interpretation of the material.
I wanted to go in there with a fresh head and I didn't know
too much about the franchise before I got the role. So, I
did my research and knew Edward James Olmos' and his
character. David Eick gave me some great homework which was
to watch both seasons of Caprica, which I did, and I thought
just to take this on with only the Caprica theme in mind was
key for me as an actor to try and get across the point.
And obviously you know that the producers like Michael
Taylor, David, Jonas, my co-star Ben Cotton, all of us
playing together on our little team helped us get the
message across to bring out the valuable points in the
So, really it was. Yes, I mean it was tough. I did feel
quite pressure doing an American accent. That was a big
factor too, but to try and get as much of that out of your
head—the technical aspects out of your head—as much as
possible and just really trying to kind of connect with the
material as much as possible was key for the final product.
Reg Seeton: Great. Thanks guys, wish you all the best.
Luke Pasqualino: You're very welcome. Thank you, buddy.
Operator: And our last question is a follow-up question from
the line of Jamie Ruby from Sci-Fi Vision. Please proceed
with your question.
Jamie Ruby: Jamie Ruby, hi again. So, can you tell us a
little bit, Luke, about how you got the part and, David, you
can jump in with that, too.
Luke Pasqualino: Well, it was pilot season last year (2011).
It must've been about February/March [that] I got the script
from my team. Essentially, it was a new pilot for a
Battlestar Galactica franchise called Blood & Chrome and
when I got the script I was almost thrown; I was kind of
scared. I obviously had no clue about the franchise. I
didn't have any idea what the premise was.
I was just completely out of my comfort zone. But as soon as
I started reading, five pages in I just didn't want to put
the script down. And Lukas Ettlin is telling us as well that
as soon as he read the script, he said you do really have to
feel that you can kind of connect to the material. And that
was one thing I really did feel.
I felt in Adama's shoes before I even [had] been offered the
role. And then, I flew to L.A. for the test, and to be
offered the role [by Ben and David] two or three days after
that experience was fantastic.
It was one of those things to me where it was more
excitement than anything; the excitement of the opportunity
of possibly having a show where I am the lead and I just
really wanted this. When I finally got offered the part, I
just got so thrilled I finally got to be a part of
something. I wanted the responsibility of trying to make
this what it was.
And, I think you did a good job. What do you think David?
David Eick: Well, what Luke may or may not know is that he
was the only one who writes the role who did so on tape. He
was in the UK and he sent an email with, or his people sent
an email with, his audition done on tape without the benefit
of our casting people to sort of adjust the reading and who
knew what we were looking for [or] any of that.
Usually in the casting session, where you're bringing actors
to network, you're at a disadvantage if you're not in the
room because people in the room are there and they're
physical and you can inter-relate with them. And then,
anyone who's not, you're just watching on a screen. And we
knew—me, myself, Jonas, and Michael—that we wanted Luke.
But, we also knew we were at a disadvantage because he was
on tape and everyone else was in the room in person.
I have to say, to the credit of the folks at Syfy channel,
Mark Stern and his team, we put the tape on after these very
qualified and wonderful actors—any one of [which] would've
been great—but none of whom were as special and as unique we
felt Luke was. Mark looked at the reading; I think Luke was
maybe four or five sentences into it and Mark turns around
and looked at us and said, ‘Oh my God we found it.’
It was just a huge sigh of relief that went out because we
were so concerned that Luke may have been at a disadvantage
because he wasn't in the room. It's just a testament to how
precarious these things are.
You never really know how it's going to go, but we were
driving home that night on the phone with Jonas saying, ‘I'm
so relieved. I'm so relieved. Whatever happens’—I was joking
with Jonas—‘Whatever you do to screw this up, we know we've
got our Adama.’
Jamie Ruby: All right, great. Well, thank you so much both
Luke Pasqualino: I didn't even know that, David, so thank
you for putting a smile on my face as well.
David Eick: Good.
Operator: And there are no further questions at this time.
Luke Pasqualino: Beautiful.
David Eick: All right.
Luke Pasqualino: Thanks, buddy.
Sharon Liggins: Well, thank you everyone for joining.
David Eick: Yes, thank you everyone and we'll talk soon.
Luke Pasqualino: Great, thank you, guys.
David Eick: Take care, Luke.
Luke Pasqualino: Thanks, take care buddy. Bye bye.
David Eick: Bye bye.
Operator: Ladies and gentleman, that concludes the
conference call for today. We thank you for your
participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.
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