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Sunday, September 03, 2006

For Sunday, BattleStar Galactica: The Resistance

I think we've talked about this before, but I thought I'd pop in with a reminder. To ease into the third season of Battlestar Galactica, SciFi Channel is airing ten webisodes called BattleStar Galactica: The Resistance. Oddly, even though it's already been advertised on television, it gets a bit confusing to hunt them down online. If you directly to the the BattleStar website, you'll see the "next episode" block is featuring The Resistance Part One, but when I click on it ... nothing loads.

Probably because it's not scheduled to appear until Tuesday. I wish this surprised me ... but I've been in webdev for a while and it's often a case of one hand designing a flash animation while the other hand is surfing the web.

Also of note is the studio debate that apparently raged behind the scenes on the webisode:

In August 2006, news began to leak out that the release of the webisodes would be delayed, though they were essentially finished at the time. NBC-Universal did not want to pay the writing team for webisodes content, holding that they were not actually covered under Guild contract, and were technically just promotional material. The Battlestar Galactica writing team embraced the new story opportunity, but other NBC-Universal series such as The Office felt that webisodes were nothing but extra filler they were being forced to crank out. According to Thompson, the writing team was given extra pay for vaguely described "extra work", but no long-term resolution was ever reached. The WGA is concerned about the long-term implications of online content: writers are not specifically compensated for their work on them, and NBC/Uni might argue that they have no claim on redistribution profits if they try to classify it as "promotional" material. In any event, by August 2006 the negotiations between the WGA and NBC/Uni broke down, and the WGA ordered all series producing webisodes (such as Battlestar Galactica and The Office) to refuse to physically deliver the webisodes to NBC/Uni for distribution online. NBC/Universal, who produces both shows, has filed a complaint with National Labor Relations Board, claiming that this writing is included in the current WGA contract and urging the NLRB to make the series release the material.
-- BattleStar Wiki on Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance

OK - despite not being able to make the official website too accurate ... in general BattleStar gets my award of really grokking the modern Internet. They have podcasts which serve as commentary. Ron Moore's blog is always an insightful read on the show. They're utilizing iTunes and when given the chance to develop some webisodes ... they insist on taking it as a serious production effort and not simply a marketing gag.

Honestly, I don't know of any show out there utilizing the Web quite so well.

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Thomas said...

See webisode 1 yet?

I'm not quite sure what to think of it. They might be having trouble writing for such a constrained format. I wonder if the BMWfilms would have been a better model.

Josh said...

I haven't yet ... I'll probably see ep1 and 2 tonight and post some thoughts over the weekend.

It must be a hard format. Course, I thought Clone Wars was awful until I just watched them back to back.