Monday, April 14, 2014

An effects shot from the premiere episode of Battlestar Galactica -- "Saga of a Star World." Here, the Battlestar Solaria takes hits amidships, gouts flame, and then explodes.

A whopping $9 million was spent on the three-hour premiere. In comparison, Fox spent $11 million on Star Wars two years earlier. (Accounting for inflation, it's about a third less than Lucas had at his disposal.) BSG spent most of that money on sets and effects.

Even so, this effects shot is not noticeably great. Notice how fire gouts upward due to the effect of atmosphere and gravity? In space, fire would gout in all directions. While there is a little bit of debris, it's not much. They are not using matting for the fire effect (only the Viper is matted in, which is clearly seen by the silhouetting around it), which enhances the image's impact. Most effects creators using fire film from below, so that the effects of gravity on the fire and sparks is reduced. But they didn't both on BSG.

Redressing the Galactica model so it looks like the more advanced Solaria also took money, and is why very few battlestars would be seen in the future (not even in flashback). Even the appearance of the Battlestar Pegasus is limited.


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