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An Idea for a Show - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
An Idea for a Show
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 24th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC) (Link)


>> It'd be hellishly expensive in terms of special effects, <<

It doesn't have to be hellishly expensive. There are several factors of the show that can be adjusted to accommodate the budget available. If there is lots of money, we can have every planet with a very different environment, most or all races modified, and more dramatic modifications. As the budget shrinks, we shift toward more similar environments, fewer and less complex modifications. Then we define backstory descriptions to support whatever infrastructure we wind up using. Frex ...

Big Budget
Planets marginally habitable for Earth-normal humans are plentiful while Earthlike planets are not, and high technology is widely available. Most colonies can only support residents who have been modified for the local climate. Therefore most or all characters will have significantly alien features, changing dramatically every season. This creates a vivid science-fiction tone throughout. (A drawback is that it somewhat obscures the ethnic representation, but at least we're still hiring people of color in droves.) Many different environments would be represented, either created on stages or shot on site in far-flung locations. Note that a fan-created show could duplicate this effect on low budget simply by having production teams who already live in different parts of the world.

Medium Budget
A mix of planets are available for colonization, and high technology is somewhat available. Many planets are "almost perfect," where unmodified humans can survive but it's easier for modified ones. The changes are less extreme, and populations often have a mix of individuals who are highly, slightly, or not at all modified. A seasonal cast might have one highly modified character, several slightly modified ones, and most unmodified. Some of the terrain would match the studio's local environment, while other episodes would venture into different places.

Shoestring Budget
Humans can only plant sustainable colonies on relatively Earthlike worlds; technology is variable and elaborate measures aren't always available. Most settlements have a similar environment, inspired by the studio-local environment, with occasional glimpses of other types. Few modifications appear, and those are mostly subtle -- the shapeshifting itself may be the most dramatic example, and it's done with actor changes rather than makeup. The diversity comes from the change in ethnicity of actors and in the culture as expressed through architecture, clothing, religion and politics, etc.
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