Showrunner Kevin Murphy Talks ‘Defiance’

by on April 14, 2013

in Entertainment

Syfy passed out a press release of a transcript to a teleconference for Defiance, that interview being with showrunner Kevin Murphy and Trion’s Vice President of Development, Nathan Richardson.  (Trion is the game platform that Defiance is being played out on)

Highlights from that transcript include…

That this process for Defiance started under development five years ago when David Howe (Remember me mentioning his promise from six years ago in my Syfy upfront report?) approached Trion for a project to do together.

Kevin Murphy got involved with the project about two years ago.

Because the game and the series were developed together, the consider the properties to be equals.  Meaning, what’s good for the game, gets worked into the series.

The tough part was co-creating the content.  Trion would maintain a bible of characters and events in the game.  Murphy would start developing a story around something, then, by the nature of game production, Trion would say, oops, that’s not in the game any more.

So they had a tough time keeping development abreast of the two projects.

They created a “mythology coordinator.”  (Damn, who gets these cool jobs these days?)  The coordinator makes sure nothing in the show contradicts lore from the game.  And that person makes sure that when games watch the show, a sense of recognition evolves from the episodes.

The man who created the languages for Defiance, David Peterson, previously created the language for the Dothraki on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Creating a language not only involves the words but the cultural aspect of a race.  Meaning, it’s not as cut and dry as one might think it is.

So he created the languages for Irathient, Castithan, Indogene and Liberata languages.  Keep in mind each language or culture have their own rules for the grammar, syntax, verbs and irregular verbs.

(Hey!  If anyone ever wonders why it’s worth it to learn things that don’t seem useful this moment, there’s a great example of paying attention in school, and building on something you learned there!)

As far as game play and show go, what happens if you finish the game super fast?

“What happens there is that we have the crossover elements of course between the show and the game, but there are also live events happening in the game itself when it all continues. So you’re still affecting the world itself, even though the show has actually finished its last episode.”

This is tricky, but what I took from further replies was that whatever takes place in the game now, can become source material for season two of Defiance on Syfy.

Characters and races were created for the game, but they did so, while keeping in mind that this content had to be represented by a cast of actors and keeping an eye on production budgets.

So as a working example, you wont see as many Sensoths or Liberatas because those races represent expensive actor suits.

Speaking of visual effects, their visual effects supervisor, Gary Hutzel, his resume includes Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, Caprica, Viruality, Battlestar Galactica remake, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a few more hot properties.

Crossovers?

As far as crossovers of characters between the game and show goes, apparently there will be some.  Murphy was coy about the details, being they don’t want to spoil things, but viewers, keep your eyes open!

Or, as he put it, “But we are passing several characters back and forth in both directions.

More than likely though, the crossovers will be more of an experience for the gamers who watch the show.  (So TV viewers, snag yourself a gamer to watch the show with!)

This is awesome… the character of Doctor Yewill, played by Trenna Keating, is a humorously sarcastic, short-patience kind of creature, and it’s funny to see her spots.

Turns out that the actress that plays her landed the role working for the Casting Director and was the person who read the off-camera lines with the auditioning cast.  She wanted a role and so they let her read for one.

No, the DLC’s (Down Loadable Content) won’t touch on any real, substantive flashbacks to the early days of the Pale Wars.  At least not right now.  But there are flashback moments that explain a few things for the characters, as the story goes along.

As far as network commitment, Syfy has committed to the first season.  So in theorem, it should be run out nicely.  And as mentioned previously, season two is being developed as game play carries on!  (So gamers, if you want to see your hard word make it to TV, you too, should watch the show!)

But, if the show should fail in the ratings, they say the game will carry on.

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