February 25th, 2011 by Scott
SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 93
Our Interview with Dylann Bobei, Creator of the Pieces the Series.
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Song in This Week’s Episode:
What do you think of our current format? What do you like? What would you change? Show 100.
On the menu tonight:
- Interview with Dylan Bobie, creator of the Pieces the Series – February 27th is the launch date so check it out!
- Our new trivia
- SGU: The Final Episodes
- Blood and Chrome Facebook Fan page
- Blood and Chrome News
- Fringe Fans Don’t Need to Necessarily Need to Worry
- The Firefly Shake down
- X-men First Class Trailer
- The Hobbit Cast Assembles
- Amazon Instant Streaming
- Instant Watcher
- No This Week In Star Trek
- The SciFi Five in Five: Scott shares his top five moments at The Farpoint Con
New Trivia Question:
Trivia: Name the shows/movies featured in our intro in order. Extra credit given if you can identify the speaker of the clip. (Thanks to Jason for suggesting this trivia.)
Support by going to their website: Browncoatsmovie.com You can order the movie DVD/Bluray and other merchandise and get a discount using Scifidiner as a promo code.
You will have until March 6th to answer this question. Send your answer with your mailing address to email@example.com, call us at 18885084343, or DM us on Twitter at @scifidiner. Make sure you include your e-mail with all entries! Only one entry per person. The SciFi Diner is not responsible for any injuries occurring if you secretly decide to go all shiny and dress in a browncoat and walk into your local bar
The Interview: Pieces the Series
ABOUT THE CREATOR
Dylann Bobei was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He attended St. Paul’s High School where he graduated in 2006. He then went on to attend Toronto Film School at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto, Ontario where he graduated with a Diploma in Digital Video Editing. He currently resides in Winnipeg where he is attending the University of Winnipeg, expecting to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications.
This is his first major foray into the world of online entertainment, but his ultimate pursuit is an entire online library of original content, starting of course with the amazing new web series, Pieces, which is set to launch on February 27th, 2011!
Pieces is a new upcoming web series from the mind of Dylann Bobei and starring a stellar cast of enthusiastic individuals.
Jacob Clarke leads an ordinary life until the day he finds out he has a brain tumor. It is around this time that he begins to hear the “Voice” call to him for the first time. Initially ignoring it, he is eventually persuaded to listen and eventually, comes to realize that the “Voice” is not merely a side effect of his cancer, but rather, something else entirely. Led by the “Voice”, Jacob’s life is turned upside down and he is forced to abandon his old world and run head first into an entirely new one, evading the police and an entire gang syndicate while he’s at it.
Each season of Pieces begins with a montage of seemingly random images and clips. These will appear periodically throughout the season allowing the audience an opportunity to spot these “pieces” and attempt to piece together the overall fabric of the show as they go along.
Pieces is set to launch February 27th, 2011!
The Main Course:
Without any fanfare, Syfy released its upcoming schedule for March, and that information included the return of Stargate Universe on Monday, March 7, according to gateworld.net.
The good news is that the series will follow the U.S. version of Being Human, which debuts each Monday at 9 p.m. in the States. Also, the program won’t be seen on Tuesday evenings paired with Caprica, which didn’t turn out well for either show.
Each night’s SGU episode will repeat again that midnight, followed an episodes each of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.
Only March’s schedule was announced, and here are the nights the episodes will air:
March 7 – Deliverance
March 14 – Twin Destinies
March 21 – Alliances
March 28 – Hope
“Still no definite word on the Stargate front,” said executive producer Joseph Mallozzi on his blog recently. “Following a flurry of promising developments, things have gone unbearably quiet. Not a bad sign just … no sign. There’s an anticipation that good news could break any day now — but the longer the wait, the greater the challenge when the time comes. To those holding out hope that this could mean a third season pick-up — alas, this isn’t one of the scenarios in play.
“Nevertheless, as I said in a previous entry, if and when we finally do get the green light, Brad has some wonderful surprises in store for fans of SGU (as well as fans of the Stargate franchise in general),” he said.
The following two items are for you Kahless:
Blood and Chrome Facebook Fanpage Thanks B. Hardin
Here is info on the new show. Be sure to become a fan. They have
already posted some cast pictures (in costume), press releases, etc.
It looks amazing!
SYFY’S BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME LAUNCHES
2-Hour Pilot Chronicles Young William Adama’s Adventures in First Cylon War
Production has begun in Vancouver on Syfy’s highly anticipated 2-hour pilot, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, the all-new chapter in the Battlestar Galactica saga. Universal Cable Productions will produce The Event with Syfy utilizing cutting edge CGI and virtual technology.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a young, talented fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful Battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Full of ambition and in pursuit of the intense action that the Cylon war promises, Adama quickly find himself at odds with Coker (Ben Cotton), the battle-weary officer to whom he reports. With 47 days left in his tour of duty, Coker desires an end to battle just as much as Adama craves the start of it. Though they clash at first, the two men forge an unlikely bond when a routine mission turns dangerous and becomes a pivotal one for the desperate fleet.
Joining Pasqualino and Cotton in the cast is Lili Bordan, who will play Dr. Beka Kelly, a Ph.D. who worked for Graystone Industries that created the Cylon robots. Currently assigned to a secret military mission, Beka and Adama quickly establish a rapport.
From the award-winning producers of Battlestar Galactica, this new action-packed chapter of the BSG canon was written by Michael Taylor form a story by David Eick, Taylor and Bradley Thompson & David Weddle and directed by Jonas Pate. David Eick, Jonas Pate and Michael Taylor will serve as executive producers.
Nathan Fillion and Firefly’s writers are ready continue the show
When Nathan Fillion announced yesterday he’d love to step into the tight pants of Capt. “Mal” Reynolds again, we of course liked the idea, but also thought … well, what’s the chance of that? But today, now that a couple of Firefly writers chimed in to say they’d also climb on board a new Firefly in a heartbeat, we’re instead asking—could there really be a chance of that?
This all started when James Hibberd of Inside TV asked Fillion whether, if Fox admitted it screwed up by canceling the series and invited him and Joss Whedon to give it another try, he would. Fillion responded by saying yes, but that he was wary:
Yes. Yes. I would examine very closely Fox’s reasoning—I’m a little gun-shy. If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.
Today, a couple of heavy Firefly hitters popped up to say, sign us up, too!
First, Jose Molina, who is the executive producer of Haven and wrote the Firefly episodes “Trash” and “Ariel,” tweeted a few hours ago that “For what it’s worth, I’ve told him I’d drop what I was doing and follow.”
Replying to Molina, Jane Espenson, who is the co-creator of Syfy’s Warehouse 13 and wrote the “Shindig” episode of Firefly, added, “I’m there, if needed.”
Any comment on the group organized to get @NathanFillion the rights to Firefly? Would u be on board?
@JewelStaite: Is the pope catholic?
Could these three—and the other actors and creators whom we bet will pop up to add their voices over the next couple of days—convince Fox to pick up the series again? It’s doubtful, but we can always dream …
Meanwhile, how about the $300 million Fillion mentioned with which he hoped to buy the rights to the show? Any chance of that happening? Well, it looks like the Browncoats have assembled in an attempt to pull it off.
The fan campaign has already started over at Help Nathan Buy Firefly and Facebook to try to raise the big bucks needed. So what do you say? Will you spare a couple of dollars for a rust-bucket starship?
It’s the longest of long shots, but what do you think? Will Serenity get the chance to take us out to the black again?
Michael Hinman, editor-in-chief of Airlock Alpha to shed some light on one of the most important, albeit least talked about factors: The license fee.
Ratings make the television world go round, and everyone has their opinion on whether television ratings are or have ever been accurate.
But while ratings are an important factor in whether a program lives or dies, it’s not the only factor. Especially today, when a television show can generate revenue in so many different ways beyond a network timeslot.
More and more, attention is being paid to licensing fees — the money networks pay production houses to air their programs. Many — if not most — television shows aired by a network are not produced in-house, meaning they come from production companies like Warner Bros. Television, Universal Media Studios (owned by NBC Universal) and more. Yes, you could very well find an NBC Universal-produced show on a rival network, like HOUSE, M.D. Yes, it airs on Fox, but is produced by Universal Media Studios.
For HOUSE, Universal Media decides its budget for the show and how much it would like to profit, setting a number — a license fee. It then goes to Fox and say, “Here is our license fee, let’s start negotiating,” and before there is a renewal, both sides have to agree on that license fee.
In the old days — say pre-1999 — almost the only revenue stream domestically was network broadcast. Once you got close to the 100-episode mark, you could anticipate selling syndication packages to television affiliates across the country and make more money there, but until you got there, you depended almost solely on the amount of money a network was willing to give you to broadcast a show.
So predicting whether a show would continue or not, especially in the earlier years, would be a bit easier. If you didn’t meet specific ratings thresholds, you were most likely a goner. You may get a reprieve if you were in your third season, and a renewal would mean enough episodes to sell into syndication — and then, as a production house, you might cut your license fee, and even take a loss, anticipating the money you’d make in syndication.
But today, you don’t have to wait until the third or fourth season to anticipate new revenue streams. Today, production houses can start making money outside of a network broadcast from Day One. They can license to Hulu, iTunes and more. Even if they produce just half a season, they can release that season on DVD and sell directly in the consumer market. These were avenues virtually unheard of 15 years ago.
That means that production houses can use an old sales strategy known as a loss-lead. Probably the best example of a loss-leader is in the gaming console market. Sony makes a PlayStation 3, equip it with Blu-ray and the ability to play the latest games. If Sony sold its PS3 at a retail price beyond its cost to produce it, people probably wouldn’t buy. Plus, it has to compete with the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
So what will Sony do? It sells its PS3 at a loss. Meaning, it might sell the console for $250, for example, but it likely cost them $275 to build it. And while $25 might not seem like a lot — multiple that by a few hundred thousand, and that adds up.
Yet, if you’re a PS3 owner, you likely will buy games, which typically have a markup of at least 200 times its total production. You’re also going to buy Blu-ray discs — a technology Sony has a significant investment in. So it might lose that $25 in the console itself, but it now has a device sitting in your living room where you’re willing to pay $100 for a game that probably cost about $15 per unit to create. You’ll spend that extra $10 to buy a Blu-ray disc rather than a DVD, even though the cost to produce that Blu-ray is the same (and sometimes less) than it costs to produce a DVD.
Today’s production companies are doing the same thing. If a network comes back and says, “We’d like to continue this show, but the ratings are down, and we want to negotiate this licensing fee,” in the past, if that fee went below your profit threshold, you would say no, and the show was cancelled. These days, taking that loss with the network might be OK, because the bean counters tell you that you’ll recoup those losses in DVD and iTunes sales, and maybe even a syndication run on top of that.
It’s that loss-lead system that could help save shows like FRINGE. Since its move to Fridays, FRINGE has been struggling big time. Yet, FRINGE does well in DVD sales and iTunes sales. Throw in another season, and Warner Bros. Television — which produces the show — could make even more money by selling syndication packages. So Fox and Warner Bros. might be able to sit down and discuss a greatly reduced licensing fee that would generate potential losses for Warner Bros. short-term, but could end up with long-term profit through DVD, syndication and iTunes sales.
Direct costs aren’t the only thing to consider, either. A couple years ago, many fans were surprised that Fox picked up TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES for a second season. The ratings were not great, and Fox did not seem pleased with it.
While Halcyon — which held the Terminator rights at the time — may not have anticipated making huge amounts of money in the DVD and iTunes market, they did see a huge benefit of keeping SARAH CONNOR on the air a little longer. Its film with Christian Bale, Terminator Salvation, was due out. And having a show like SARAH CONNOR could actually be a weekly marketing arm that could help indirectly promote this new movie.
At the same time, if the movie was successful, it could boost the television show, and maybe even allow Halcyon to move back into making a profit. So it cut the licensing fee for SARAH CONNOR significantly, took the loss, and hoped it would equal greater returns at the box office.
All of this has made predicting whether shows will go or stay much more complicated. There are no magic numbers. You can’t scientifically look at a show’s ratings and predict renewal or cancellation. Sure, there are some that are obvious — NCIS ain’t going anywhere for a long time, and neither is AMERICAN IDOL. But other shows like TRAFFIC LIGHT and PERFECT COUPLES are DOA.
If you want to get an inkling of what shows are staying, or what shows are going, you have to also understand this whole expanded market. Because even if money isn’t really to be made in a first-run airing on a network, it could be made elsewhere, and getting that network exposure might be worth the risk of taking a short-term financial loss as a production company to keep it in a timeslot, and simply make more money on it later.
X-men first class
The first image of The Hobbit cast has finally surfaced and gave us the first public get-together of the cast, along with a Q&A session with the press. On the heels of the March 21 date to begin shooting, it was clear that nothing is standing in the way of this production any longer. While the press conference didn’t yield any notable juicy details about the film, the almost surreal imagery of this newly-assembled cast getting ready to make a movie that the forces of fate seemingly tried to stop many times, was enough induce a smile out of any self-respecting fan.
The assembled primary cast of The Hobbit, consisting of main character Bilbo Baggins and his dwarven companions are: Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Aidan Turner (Kili), Rob Zakinsky (Fili), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Adam Brown (Ori), Mark Hadlow (Dori), William Kircher (Bifur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), and Jed Brophy (Nori).
Unable to attend, was director Peter Jackson, who is still recovering from recent surgery to repair a perforated ulcer, which sidelined him, and caused a slight delay to the shooting schedule. However, he did express his regrets for missing out. However, I suppose we can take the fact that Oceanic Flight 815 didn’t dive head-first into this press conference as a possible sign that this production is not cursed. (At least, not anymore.)
This is really cool!
I also recently discovered a great companion site for users of Netflix
streaming. It’s called InstantWatcher.com and they track when new
titles come on the Netflix streaming service. They have a sortable
database to find things by title, genre, date added, date expiring,
SciFi Five in Five
Scott’s Top Five Farpoint Con Moments
1. Meeting and interviewing the guests
2. Connecting with fellow podcasters (SciFi Pulse, The Geek Quoram, Balticon, Prometheus Radio Theatre)
3. Growing the Geek in my kids: Spider-Woman and the 1990s Batman Animated Series (complete)
4. Chilling with Mike Dougherty from Browncoats Redemption
5. Hearing linguist Mark Okran speaking about creating the Klingon, Romulan, and Vulcan languages.