(Please follow the link for the complete interview. There are photos at the site.)
Close-ups: Shooting in the Sanctuary
Digital workflow rules CG-heavy online series.
By Terence Keegan
After spending the last decade producing and directing TV’s sci-fi cult hit Stargate, Martin Wood is no stranger to virtual worlds.
So when Stargate collaborator Damian Kindler came to Wood last year with a new script—in which an ass-kicking mother-daughter team chases a bald-headed bad guy through a world rife with mutant creatures, labyrinthine underground hideouts and time-travel portals—the director immediately saw a videogame look and feel for the project.
Add to the mix Vancouver, B.C.-based Stage 3 Media, a new media design firm, along with a few visionary production partners, and Sanctuary was destined to become the biggest-budget direct-to-Web series to date.
Wood notes that a traditional live-action production could have burned through the series’ multi-million dollar budget in the blink of an eye. “To make Sanctuary look as big as it needed to, we couldn’t do it traditionally, [building] massive sets and [shooting on] locations. You can blow $100,000 on constructing a set, and people would never know.” Instead, Sanctuary would integrate real actors into a virtual world, somewhat in the style of a 300 or Sin City. Stage 3 completed some two hours of HD sequences featuring monstrous CG beings, period settings, and a cavernous virtual church for $4.5 million CDN (about US$4.3 million).