Insofar as we can tell, the EFX work via computer will be easier and
faster. The B5 demo that's floating around was done literally in about a
week, by one guy working part time. Look at that and imagine what we can do
once we get our full team working full-time.
I don't know if you'll see more or less such EFX on B5 as opposed to TNG
because I haven't really counted. We'll use them as required by the story. I
think the mix on "The Gathering" is a little light on EFX, because so much of
this story is establishing the characters and the relationships. So we'll
take what efx we DO have in that episode and make them REALLY spiffy.
I'm *pretty* sure that Ron Thornton told me we can generate 5-8 NEW
minutes of EFX every week once we get to series. Bear in mind that many of
the space EFX you see on a show like TNG are recycled or composited using a
mix of old and new film. We can do all that PLUS put out a very substantial
amount of new EFX. And we'll be using those EFX in interesting ways that I
think will be fairly original in look and feel.
One thing that I'm planning toward now is a mid-season crisis, and we'll
be squirreling away bits of EFX for that episode early on, since the script
will be finished well in advance of the shooting. What I want to do -- and
again, this is the series part -- is have one episode where we just kick over
the table and go for it: a major, armed conflict between dozens, maybe even
HUNDREDS of individual ships. Think some of the sequences in RETURN OF THE
JEDI as a boilerplate. And what will be cool, what the EFX guys have sketched
out for me, is that we can begin from the POV of one ship, move away as it's
blown up, move THROUGH AND BETWEEN the other ships, change direction, and pull
back to the B5 POV, all in one continuous take. It means preparing WELL in
advance, but I suspect that the result is going to be worth it in spades.
Which is, again, one of the benefits to working things out on a show or
film far in advance, as with a novel. Instead of lurching from one script to
another, never knowing what's coming next, we'll have a full time-line to work
from...what approximate EFX will be required, what sort of sets we will need
down the road, that sort of thing, which means we can make things look better
I just wish we were PAST the movie already, and moving on. But one
crisis at a time....