As the edit for Red Dwarf X continues we’ve been starting to see a few cracks appearing, mainly thanks to an alarmingly candid Doug Naylor saying whatever he damn well pleases on Twitter. This is obviously brilliant for fans, but I can’t imagine it’s all that fantastic for the other people on the production.
Alex Newsome, over on rival fansite Gazpacho Soup, has done an annoyingly good job of keeping on top of everything (the prick) but at least it means I can just steal his quotes of combined Tweets wholesale, like this:
Discovered today no money was put in the budget for music, apart from opening + closing credits. Me and a kazzoo for action sequences then. We’ve had music links in ever single series. No-one ever had to hum them + I’m not even allowed to hum Mr Goodall’s as we don’t have rights. Is it possible to make a set of bag-pipes out of a Producer’s intestines? I may try anyway.
There’s already been plenty of discussion about this, so I’ll keep this brief: it’s incredibly strange and slightly worrying that this has been allowed to happen, obviously. You have to assume something will be sorted out in the end, and Richard has been going through all of the old Howard Goodall stings (with the help of our very own Danny Stephenson and his Dropbox account), presumably with the intention of working what they need and how much it will be before taking the hit. Quite apart from this particular production fuck balls, it’s even more bizarre that Doug Naylor, co-creator, writer and Executive Producer would so publicly air the production’s problems, and even go as far to mention a particular producer. I’m not saying this is particularly bad, I love Doug’s honesty and candour, but it’s certainly highly unusual.
So, skip forward a few days to last night, and Doug’s mentioned model re-shoots:
Just off to see Bill Pearson to look at models for our miniature reshoot.
Bill Pearson, you may remember, is the incredibly lovely man the production went to throughout Series VIII to build stuff for barely any money and in even less time. Are we to assume that this indicates that something’s gone ever so slightly wrong with the main model shoot? Peter Talbot is clearly talented and well suited to the show (as we’ve recently discovered, he was Bill’s cameraman for VIII) but I think it’s fair to say a model re-shoot at this point in the production isn’t exactly what was planned, even if we are currently unclear on the finer details.
In fact, AS I AM WRITING THIS, Doug has posted this…
Miniature refurbs looking really good – detailing so much better and not even finished yet!
…and this one, describing the model shoot as “disastrous”. Gulp.
Great news: Steve Begg, Skyfall Vfx super heard about our disastrous first miniature shoot and has offered to help!!
So, what are they refurbing? Some small guest models? Maybe Starbug or Blue Midget (if they’re being used)? or… Red Dwarf? My initial thought was that this re-shoot might actually be just to shoot stuff they didn’t have time to do during the main production, but… no, it does actually seem like that first model shoot has gone wrong in some fairly significant way. His mention of a refurb suggests it might be a problem with the models themselves, but remember the model unit used the main production’s RED Epics, which aren’t exactly known for their suitability for models.
It’s at this point it would be REALLY fucking easy to go on and on and ON about how they should’ve used The Model Unit and Pete Tyler and at the moment that’s almost unbearably tempting (despite being way too simplistic given how we know fuck all about budget restraints and the like), but lessons are clearly being learnt here and there’s obviously real effort being put into fixing whatever has gone wrong.
I’m sure everything will work out peachy in the end but, for the first time ever, we’re actually getting to hear about production horror stories normally reserved for retrospective documentaries released years later. It’s exciting but just a little bit terrifying, too.
Finally, let’s end on some good news. As revealed by Doug yesterday, they’re going to be conducting audience screenings so they can get genuine laughs for the scenes not recorded or shown in front of an audience:
Planning to show some rough edits to invited audience in April to record laughter on show sequences not so far seen.
Smashing. This is something Richard has mentioned in the past but I’m glad this is now looking like a definite thing. As comedy fans, we’re all aware of the moving around of laughs for the sake of the edit, but as there were such a large amount of re-shoots and scenes shot after the fact, it would make me more than a little uncomfortable to see those laughs entirely fabricated in the edit.
So, there’s a lot going on, but at the very least we should start to get a very good idea about how the almost finished episodes are shaping up next month. No doubt we’ll hear how one can be “invited” to one of these screenings soon. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be on Twitter fluttering our collective eyelashes at the Naylors.