The latest Stargate series is taking on the fake TV documentary trend. And the show's producers say their inspiration for the newer, darker series is Joss Whedon's Firefly.
Show creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper opened up on a few Stargate Universe secrets at the latest Gate Con, and revealed that the new series would be shot documentary-style, but we needn't fear the shaky-cam.
"The concept is that we wanted to shoot this a little bit like a documentary crew would shoot a ride-along to a space ship out in the universe - that maybe we could get audiences to embrace the science fiction elements and the characters in a realistic way if we shot the show using the ‘language' of documentary and reality.
"So rather than just necessarily waving the camera around, we're trying to put the camera in places where a documentary crew might have to go in order to capture the performances or the action. And what it is allowing us to do, and in working with our DP [director of photography] on the pilot, Ronn Schmidt, and Jim Menard and Michael Blundell, our regular DPs, is we're trying to light the sets in a very natural way - which allows the actors to walk in and basically perform as though they're on a stage, as though they're really in the situation. And what we're finding we are getting out of that is far more real performances."
And strangely enough it was Firefly, not BSG that inspired this revamp.
It's not intended to be style for style's sake, or to emulate any other show," Cooper said. "Although, to be honest with you, one of the shows we both love that we did look at and say, ‘That's a style we would love to try and approach,' is Firefly. That's how Firefly was shot. There's a lot of hand-held stuff. Cameras were placed in places that were non-traditional or [not] typical of film-making. But we examined that quite closely and looked at other dramatic shows that are shot like that, as well."
I'm definitely intrigued. And we can all agree that Stargate needed a little dirtying up around the edges. Plus, with some of the more serious subject matter we hear it's tackling, the on-set look would probably not be too believable.
Also, the cast isn't going to be stuck on a stuffy old ship the entire time. We're getting new technology for face-to-face time with the people left behind on Earth, Cooper explained:
"There's a component to the new show that allows our characters, even though they are trapped on the ship, to still relate back to Earth and to people on Earth," Cooper said. "It's going to allow us to tell stories about them interacting with their loved ones, and essentially tell Earth stories."
For more information from the convention check out Gateworld.