The Year in Drama at the Emmys

Finally! The "Year in Drama" video montage shown at the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards, featuring a clip from BSG and Bear McCreary's music. Again, mixed emotions here, but welling up with pride and joy nonetheless.


BSG Emmys recap

Well, one win isn't bad I guess. Yay for sound editing! But no nom for Bear McCreary? Not even for his work on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Eureka either? So many categories BSG *should* have been nominated for, and some of the winners that beat BSG in it's nominated categories is certainly criminal - but I don't need to tell other fans that.

If anybody watched the Emmys broadcast on TV, they may have noticed the clips from BSG that were included in a video montage of various TV shows in the drama category, as well as Bear McCreary's music in the background. Too bad that's the only peep we got of BSG during the show that was broadcast, but they were only showing the "big" awards on air. Grumble. Anyway, still looking for video online of said video montage, but have had a frak of a time finding it. I have to wonder if the award academy has some sort of hold on things like that being posted online.

The following is a listing of the categories Battlestar Galactica was nominated for at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. Included are the winners of the category. The other nominees can be viewed by following the respective category link.

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:
Nominated: Battlestar Galactica - Daybreak (Part 2) - Syfy R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions - Michael Rymer, Director
Winner: ER - And In The End - NBC Constant c Productions, Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Television - Rod Holcomb, Director

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series:

Nominated: Battlestar Galactica - Daybreak (Part 2) - Syfy R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions - Andrew Seklir, A.C.E., Edited By; Julius Ramsay, Edited By; Michael O'Halloran, Edited By
Winner: Breaking Bad - ABQ AMC - High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television - Lynne Willingham, Edited By

Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs:
Nominated: Battlestar Galactica: The Face Of The Enemy - SyFy.com
Universal Cable Productions - Ronald D. Moore, Executive Producer; David Eick, Executive Producer; Jane Espenson, Executive Producer; Harvey Frand, Produced By
Winner: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - drhorrible.com Mutant Enemy, Inc. - Joss Whedon, Producer; Michael Boretz, Producer; David Burns, Producer

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series:

Winner: Battlestar Galactica - Daybreak (Part 2) - Syfy R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions - Daniel Colman, Supervising Sound Editor / Sound Designer; Jack Levy, Supervising Sound Editor; Vince Balunas, Dialogue/ADR Editor; Sam Lewis, Sound Effects Editor; Doug Maddik, Foley Artist; Rick Partlow, Foley Artist; Doug Madick, Foley Artist; Michael Baber, Music Editor

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour):

Nominated: Battlestar Galactica - Daybreak (Part 2) - Syfy R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions - Rick Bal, Production Mixer; Michael Olman, C.A.S., Supervising Re-Recording Mixer; Kenneth Kobett, C.A.S., Supervising Re-Recording Mixer
Winner: House - House Divided - FOX Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions - Von Varga, Production Sound Mixer; Richard Weingart, Re-Recording Mixer; Gerry Lentz, Re-Recording Mixer

Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series:

Nominated: Battlestar Galactica - Daybreak (Part 2) - Syfy R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions - Gary Hutzel, Visual Effects Supervisor; Michael Gibson, Visual Effects Producer; Jesse Toves, CGI Artist; Sean Jackson, CGI Artist; Kyle Toucher, CGI Artist; Pierre Drolet, CGI Modeler; Greg Behrens, Visual Effects Coordinator; Heather McAuliff, Visual Effects Compositor; Dave Morton, CGI Artist
Winner: Heroes - The Second Coming/The Butterfly Effect - NBC Universal Media Studios in association with Tailwind Productions - Mark Scott Spatny, Visual Effects Producer; Eric Grenaudier, Visual Effects Supervisor; Gary D'Amico, Special Effects Supervisor; Michael Cook, Lead CG Artist; Daniel Kumiega, Lead CG Animator; Chris Martin, Compositing Supervisor; Meliza Fermin, Lead Visual Effects Compositor; Ryan Wieber, Lead Visual Effects Compositor; Diego Galtieri, Lead Visual Effects Compositor


No EWwy wins for BSG

The competition was tough, especially when Lost is in the mix and there are so few categories to vote in. Out of the three categories BSG was nominated for in the fan-elected Entertainment Weekly awards; The EWwys, it won zero. Here are the category links with notes on how close we came (the one vote miss for Mary McDonnell for Best Lead Actress is a crying shame!):

Tricia Helfer lost to Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

Mary McDonnell lost to Emily Deschanel of Bones for Best Actress in a Drama

Battlestar Galactica lost to True Blood for Best Drama Series

At least the Tubeys were a little more in our favor! And don't forget, you can vote I believe once a day for the Spike TV 2009 Scream Awards, which will be open until October 27. Follow the easy links below to vote for BSG in the nominated categories:

Battlestar Galactica for Best TV Show

Katee Sackhoff for Best Science Fiction Actress

Battlestar Galactica for Best Ensemble


Fighting Breast Cancer with Teddy Bears!

The Project Teddy Bear 2009 auctions are now live! Several BSG cast members, as well as lots of other celebs have signed bears that are up for auction, and more people are joining on all the time. I'm not sure if there is an official end date for the auction, but it seems that many of them will close by September 24. Check back to the above site to see if new bear sponsors have been signed on, or to click through to the individual auction pages. Right now the BSG tally is James Callis, Aaron Douglas, Richard Hatch, Michael Hogan, Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Mark Sheppard (a repeat offender!), Erik Stoltz, and Michael Trucco. Yay for fighting breast cancer with bears!

BSG's Tubey triumphs and otherwise

Television Without Pity's 2009 Tubey Awards winners, losers, and runners-up are now in. Fans and staff voted on various categories for television shows, and BSG shows up aplenty! Here's the breakdown:

In the Actors & Actresses category, BSG was less than 10 votes shy of winning Best Cast, but the Galctica itself won for "Best Performance by an Inanimate Object" (it was also the staff pick for this category which seems to have been created specifically for the Galactica).

In the Episodes & Moments category, BSG was the staff pick for Worst Season Finale, but Dualla was the staff pick for Best On-Screen Death Scene. "Starbuck vanishes into thin air in the finale" was the staff pick for Worst "WTF" Moment, and Daybreak Part 2 was also the staff pick for Worst Single Episode - Drama (Getting the feeling that the TWoP staff wasn't keen on the BSG finale). It's pretty surprising to me that there wasn't any mention of BSG for Best or Worst Dream/Hallucination/Fantasy Sequence since there are so many of them, particularly with the head people!

In the Relationships & Storylines category, Bill Adama and Laura Roslin won for Best Romantic Relationship. Aw!! "Cally cheated on Tyrol with Hot Dog, who fathered her child" got the staff pick for Worst Retcon.

That about sums up BSG at the Tubeys. It seems the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles fans were also very outspoken about the show with the Tubeys as well.


BSG Dragon Con panel Friday night

A huge thanks to LJ's hikaruchan for putting up a 7 part video of the full Friday BSG panel at Dragon Con. Posting the first section here, and commence to this page to watch them all.


New BSG Concept Art

Not sure if you have already seen this - click on the title for the images.



Forget the Emmys... bring on the EWwys!

Entertainment Weekly has given a second chance for some of the most popular Emmy snubinees by having their very own awards - The EWwy Awards. Fans can vote for BSG in the following drama categories:

Mary McDonnell for Best Lead Actress in a Drama

Tricia Helfer
for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

and for Battlestar Galactica as a whole for Best Drama Series

It's hard to say what kind of prestige the EWwys may gain winners. Street-cred perhaps? Unfortunately, snub awards only lead to more snubs. Where are the nominations for Eddy for Male Lead? James Callis, Jamie Bamber, and Tahmoh Penikett for Supporting Actor?


Vote BSG for Scream 2009

Get all the BSG votes in while you can! Go here to Spike TV's Scream 2009 voting site, and vote for BSG for Best TV Show, Best Ensemble, and you can vote for Katee Sackhoff for Best Science Fiction Actress. Some of the other categories are interesting too, but there's a few in which I wasn't quite sure what the vote was for specifically (Ultimate Scream? Holy S*** Scene of the Year?)


Ode to Zoic and District 9

I recently got a chance to see District 9 and I think it's worthwhile for BSG fans and sci-fi peeps in general to go out and see this. Yes, I was pleasantly and very enthusiastically surprised. I'm not going to get into a review of that, and don't want to give away any spoilers because it's really best to watch with fresh eyes.

It wasn't necessarily the story of District 9 that impressed me as much as the incredible visual style and effects that were employed throughout the film. This movie was filmed entirely in digital high-def with a Red camera (interestingly also in unmatted 16:9 format for theater projection, which will transfer superbly for "home video", i.e. DVD and Blu-Ray, for HDTV viewing) and relies heavily on computer generated imagery to make the movie work. I have to say it's the most impressive CGI melded to live action I have seen yet. It's a testament to the evolution of high-def digital technology that we have today. That of course, is thanks to the outstanding special effects work done largely by three Vancouver based FX houses. Image Engine held the main contract, followed by The Embassy and then the Zoic Studios Vancouver branch which opened in 2006. Peter Jackson's New Zealand company Weta Digital, who are credited for their work on Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, handled the remaining FX (close to a third). Check out this Vancouver Sun article for more details on the VFX production, but not if you don't want spoilers! Battlestar (the recent one) fans will surely recognize the CG work in District 9 to be in the same style and spirit that we see with the all CG Cylon Centurions of the series. It's inspired me to post a little about the history of Zoic with Battlestar Galactica here.

Way back around 2001, Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer (who coincidentally is a hot news item right now as he has been confirmed to direct the Larson BSG theatrical movie - see previous post for more) had been approached by Studio USA (under the USA Television Production Group) to develop a reboot of the 1970's Battlestar Galactica TV series. Zoic Studios was reportedly indirectly associated with this project through one of it's owners, but largely due to the events of 9/11/01 the series came to a halt before production could get a real start and it's pilot could be aired, which was to be hosted by Fox Television (Phew! Thankfully *that* never happened). The project was awash, and just as the smoke began to clear Studio USA turned to David Eick, who reuptook the project on the premise that he could redesign Battlestar apart from what DeSanto and Singer had begun. For the longer version of this story, check out this article on battlestargalactica.com.

David brought in Ron Moore who was fresh off the Star Trek franchise, which Zoic Studios had done a considerable amount of work for. With that in consideration, Zoic was brought on to do the special effects for the Battlestar Galactica miniseries Eick and Moore were developing. Zoic's Emile Smith, who is a professed fan of the original Battlestar series from the 70's, worked on the pre-visualization of the miniseries, and helped develop the look that was retained throughout the series. Smith worked closely with Zoic's Gary Hutzel, Visual Effects Supervisor for BSG, co-supervising mainly for digital effects and remained involved in the series. Kristen Brenan, Head of Production for the Zoic team that worked on District 9, held the same position for Battlestar in 2004. The Zoic team earned the Visual Effects Society's 2004 award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Television Miniseries, Movie or a Special for their work on the miniseries, along with several other nominations.

Previous to their work on Battlestar, and in addition to Star Trek, Zoic had also gained recognition for their work on two Joss Whedon series; Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both earned them Emmy nominations for their VFX work, and Firefly also earned them a 2003 VES award for Best VFX in a TV Series as well as a 2003 Emmy for Best VFX in a TV Series. Buffy won them the 2004 VES Best VFX in a TV Series. Battlestar earned Zoic additional nominations for a VES and an Emmy in 2005, and in 2007 they received a Constellation Award for "Best Technical Accomplishment in a 2006 Science Fiction Film or Television Production for VFX in Battlestar Galactica".

Because of Zoic's earlier work on Star Trek and Firefly, a keen eye will spot both the USS Enterprise and a Firefly class ship (or perhaps serenity herself) in the Battlestar Galactica miniseries. To find out where they are, and for more tidbits on Zoic's work on Battlestar, see their entry here at Battlestar Wiki.

Sometime after the new Battlestar Galactica sailed through it's first season, VFX Supervisor Gary Hutzel decided to make the formal departure from Zoic to create an all in-house VFX team for the show, in order to save time and money. Even though Hutzel's (and Smith) team was no longer under the Zoic name, they still retained the style and look consistently throughout the series, and Zoic did step back in to the series at later points to help supplement the in-house team for heavier loads in some of the season premieres and finales as well as doing work on models and miniatures.

Aside from their involvement with District 9, Battlestar, and the other projects mentioned above, some of Zoic's other work includes Joss Whedon's Angel, The Day After Tomorrow, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Serenity, Jericho, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Hello Bear McCreary!), Fringe (already nominated for an Emmy for the pilot! - and I think they already took home a VES for this), Eureka ( More Bear! Zoic also nabbed a Leo award for this), Prison Break, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, True Blood, Dollhouse, and Chuck... just to name a few!

Edited 8/17/09


Singer confirmed for Larson's Battlestar movie

Yesterday, HitFix posted about the possibility of Bryan Singer getting signed on by Universal to direct the Battlestar Galactica feature film that producer and original series creator Gary Larson entered talks with the studio for earlier this year. Apparently today Variety confirmed from Universal that Singer is indeed going to direct the feature, and the next stage will be to find a writer.

Lots of questions are certainly going to get re-churned with this news, including what kind of effect if any a new-new take on Battlestar will mean for the recently finished RDM series and it's spawn in Caprica which airs January 2010.

The HitFix post has some great links to some of the original plans for a series reboot from Bryan Singer and Tom DesSanto, who cut the project just before starting it back in 2001. They also go back to Richard Hatch's attempt to do a reboot. All of these treasures can be found in the archives of BattlestarGalactica.com.

Personally, I have mixed feelings. There are rumors of grudges Gary Larson has toward the RDM "reimagined series", and I can't help but wonder if Larson is pushing for this in spite of Moore's version. At the same time, I think Bryan Singer is a good choice to handle the project, as long as they let a little more time go by and Singer is given some creative control. I wish Bryan Singer would rehash his Logan's Run reboot he teased about several years ago before BSG gets put in the blender again.

Also at The Hollywood Reporter

Discussion at io9



Thanks to a Nicki Clyne update via Facebook which pointed to this awesome post at Bear McCreary's blog, we now have this spectacular in depth account of the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra concerts that took place during SDCC - a first hand account at that! Bear posts some awesome pictures and two video clips (below), one of which is an interview hijack by Eddie Olmos himself, who took over the mic from an SDNBC reporter and proceeded to interview Bear, Brendan, and Raya himself.

The blog post also touches on Bear's journey at the convention itself, including his participation in Richard Hatch’s Battlestar Retrospective event on the first Thursday of SDCC.

Don't forget to go to Raya's and Brendan's myspace pages to check out and download tracks from BSG episodes!!

Eddie's interview:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/video.

Concert excerpt - Tribute to Michael Jackson with "Earth Song":

Bear mentions that a live concert DVD might be on the way! Wee! Keep your eyes on the official Battlestar Galactica Orchestra site for upcoming news on that and exclusive clips and audio. W00t!

"In fact, one of the greatest compliments I heard from a fan all weekend was a girl who told me that she might never again be able to attend a punk concert because it would sound so weak in comparison to the BSG Orchestra."

- Bear McCreary

BSG: Program of the Year!

Fans and sensible critics around the world are gasping a big "Finally!" after Battlestar Galactica brought home the Program of the Year award from the Television Critics Association. Take that Emmys and Golden Globes! LA Times

< Proof in the pudding: Jane Espenson brings home the goods.