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17 September 2007 @ 10:00 pm
Differences Beyond Special Effects  
[Crossposted from forkni-l. Backdated. In reply to discussion of how FK might fare in today's television market, especially given its low production costs.]

Cost always carries weight, and with cheaply-produced "non-scripted" shows as competition these days, perhaps the expense factor is even more pivotal than before.  This made me start thinking: what if FK were up for this season?  What if this were the year in which the same ideas had been pitched to the same major network with the same hole in its late-night schedule?  If we were looking at Crimetime after Primetime for the very first time, I think the question might be not whether it would be picked up -- after all, Moonlight -- but at what in FK's execution would be different in today's environment?

The biggest difference, I suspect, might be forensics.  In FK, Natalie stands in for all the scientist and technician characters who now populate the CSI shows and their imitators (she's the structural inverse of CSI's Brass character, I've often thought, who stands in for all the detectives and officers on that show).  If FK were made today, do you suppose that some of the budget for recurring supporting roles (Norma, Grace, Miklos, Brianna, Urs, Screed) might have been routed into a forensic technician character?  We do have the Daphne forensics technician in "Beyond the Law," and a few other named CSI-types around the edges in some episodes -- Schanke once picks on a technician named Artie; do I remember correctly that Artie was played by JK's brother? -- would one of them have been more than a one-shot guest star?

A small but noticeable difference would surely be the glowing vampire eyes.  What was once so very difficult -- think of the yellow light beam on the actors' eyes in so many first-season shots, and what happened when they moved their heads even a little -- would be digitally simple, convenient and more convincing, as well as doubtless also cheaper than the time and effort spent the old way.

The "guppy" flying would have to benefit from digital effects, too, I'd guess!  So would there be more flying?  Would flying be more pivotal in plots or themes?  What might that mean for stories?

Would other things be different?  Shifts in emphasis?  Between the original Nick Knight and our "Dark Knight," Jack became Natalie, of course.  Could other such shifts be imagined to align the story with today's typical show structures?

It was just a bit of fun to think about. :-)