So are you watching "Once Upon a Time" yet?
For Mouse House fans, half the fun of watching this acclaimed
ABC Studios production is its funhouse mirror take on so many of Disney's animated
classics. Take - for example - tonight's episode, "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree."
Which introduced the Genie from "Aladdin" as well as some serpents from Agrabah
that Jafar would have been proud of.
Or - better yet - "Skin Deep," the episode of "Once Upon a
Time" which will air on February 12th. Which will brings Belle from "Beauty and the Beast " to the canvas. Emilie de Ravin of "Lost" fame has been
hired to play this particular Disney princess ...
Emilie de Ravin dons that famous
yellow dress in a special Valentine's Day episode of "Once Upon a Time." Photo
by Jack Rowand. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights
... and you can expect Maurice, Gaston and the Beast to show
up as part of "Skin Deep" as well. But not in ways that you've ever seen these
Disney characters before.
Which brings me to the other fun aspect of "Once Upon a
Time." This hour-long drama's rich production design. Some of which comes about
because this show is shot in Metro Vancouver. Which gives the production team relatively
easy access to the sorts of deep dark forests that are supposedly found in the
Lana Parilla as the Evil Queen
emerges from her coach. Photo by Jack
Rowand. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Not to mention the picturesque fishing village of Steveston,
British Columbia. Which is where "Once Upon a Time" 's Storybrooke, ME scenes
have mostly been shot.
Jennifer Morrison, Raphael
Sbarge and Pongo during a last-night shoot in Steveston. Photo by Jack Rowand. Copyright
American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
But when it comes to some of the more elaborate fairytale settings
that you see on this show ... Well, that's where the visual effects wizards at Zoic
Studios step in. They take the sets & props that set decorator Mark Lane
has placed on the green screen stage at
Bridge Studios in Burnaby, B.C. ...
The Good King (Richard Schiff)
accepts birthday greetings from his daughter, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin).
Photo by Jack Rowand. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All
... And then using their Environmental Unification System
(Z.E.U.S.) , Zoic marries "Once Upon a Time" production designer Michael Joy's
ideas for the overall look of this set with real time camera tracking.
The finished version of the above
green screen stage shot with the virtual environment now in place. Copyright
American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The end result is feature- film quality visual effects
delivered on a television budget and schedule. What's more, Z.E.U.S. gives the cast
and crew unprecedented creative flexibility while working on a green screen stage.
Take - for example - how the director of photography can tailor the lighting
for this virtual environment to create a specific mood in the scene being shot.
Emilie de Ravin on set for "Once
Upon a Time" 's "Skin Deep" episode. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies,
Inc. All rights reserved
Mind you, it's sometimes a challenge striking just the right
balance between "Once Upon a Time" 's practical and virtual sets. Figuring out
just how many pieces of furniture & props to place on the green screen stage
so that the actors then have a better sense for the virtual space that they're
Richard Schiff in the Good King's
very green royal bed chambers. Photo by Jack Rowand. Copyright American
Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Just so you know, Zoic Studios has been working the same
sort of magic on ABC's "Pan Am." Using CGI and a green screen stage to create a
replica of a New York City airplane terminal from the 1960s.
(L to R) Karine Vanasse, Michael
Mosley, Margot Robbie, Mike Vogel, Christina Ricci and Kelli Garner from "Pan
Am." Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All
Of course, delivering feature-film quality visual effects on
a weekly television budget (not to mention its super-compressed production
schedule) can get to be pretty stressful & pricey. But given how well this
ABC Studios production has been doing in the ratings (EX: When "Once Upon a
Time" returned from its holiday break, its already-impressive ratings actually
went up by 11%), at this point, this serialized drama is now a virtual shoo-in for
renewal for ABC's 2012 - 2013 television season.
So given that it's rumored that Robin Hood
himself will soon be appearing in this twisted fairytale, what other characters
from Disney's animated classics would you like to show up in Storybrooke, ME?
I know it's a TV show, but they really need to step up the visual effects in season 2.
Hmmmm... No mention of how utterly boring the how is?
I live the references to classic tales but the show simply draaaaaggggggssss. I quit watching a while ago but will tune in for Beauty and the Beast. Maybe.
Once Upon a Time is...okay. The show is taking itself WAY too seriously. They could be having a lot of fun with the fairy tale elements, but they haven't so far. The show has somehow completely managed to eliminate whatever joy existed in the original movies.
I still love the concept of the show, but the end result hasn't been much fun to watch. And both of the other commenters before me are dead on.
Which show are you guys watching?? I am absolutely hooked on Once Upon a Time! The writing is fantastic, the acting talent is brilliant (Robert Carlyle in particular. Watch episode 8, "Desperate Souls," again), and I love the whole "E True Hollywood" story spin on these fairy tales. The special effects are great, especially for a TV budget. Better than Grimm, better than Terra Nova.
Typos make your posts that much more credible... just sayin'.
The CGI and Costumes are very well done especially for something on TV. It gives light to the fairytales we all love, with a traditional twist. I can’t wait for the Beauty and Beast Valentines Day episode. But if I miss it on TV at least I have a place I can go watch it online for free, that’s DISHOnline.com. I first heard about DISHOnline because I work for DISH, but it’s free for everyone to use and there are thousands of titles to choose from. I don't think Rumple is really The Beast, I think it’s a trick, when it comes to him, things just wouldn't be that simple.
It's not really a 'typo', you're just using the wrong word. It should say 'Emilie de Ravin dons that famous yellow dress!
They need to work on the lighting. The most recent episode's early outdoor scenes were so obviously done in front of a bluescreen, and it was just due to mismatches of the lighting of the actors and the colors of the CGI. (This could also be solved with better editing, I suppose).
At times I do notice the green screen, and it can be annoyingly distracting. Most of the time it's fine, but time times it can be shockingly off. While I'm moderately hooked on the show, I'm hoping the writing gets better. It is getting a bit predictable. Accuse the mayor of wrongdoing, she has a logical explanation, followed by private confirmation of her sinister deeds. Let's up the quality, please.
I LOVE this show! It's become our "water cooler" show at work; Monday mornings we all gather 'round to discuss what just happened and squeal. I think the acting is top-notch and every time we think we've got it figured out, a new wrinkle comes into play. I don't think its particularly slow - if they answered the big q's right away, what would I tune in for next week? And its' far outshown Grimm, the other big fairy-tale themed show.
As for the effects, it's TV. I'm not going to get the best of the best on network TV. But I think they slide it in nicely (not garish - except for the castle exterior). And I appreciate the costumes - WHOA!
The set itself is framed by light wood columns in a color that complement the green walls in the newsroom behind. A large anchor desk, fronted by matching wood and a metal plate ... with flat screen that anchor Will McAvoy uses for live interviews. Overall, the set and newsroom have a bit of a tired look, bland look and certainly lacks some of the “bling” that has become so popular on news sets today, though the wide rear project screen is a step in the right direction.
Recently, green screen rentals have been noted to gain popularity with most filmmakers in the country. This is primarily due to the fact that studios offering green rental services produce quality videos for their clients.