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Could this be the future of making mini-series?

Last night I binge-watched a truly ground-breaking series – “Undone”.

This movie, completely aside from the wonderful way it handles what can be quite sensitive subject matter of mental illness while combining it flawlessly with science-fiction, illustrates techniques that may become one of the new normals in television production by using 3D animation, oil painting, and a technique first created around 1910!

Alone, not one of these techniques is new – as I mentioned, Rotoscoping has been around since it was patented by Max Fleisher and first show in his amazing 1919 short, ‘The Tantalizing Fly’ – and we have seen live-action and animation combined, green-screen techniques, as well as a range of computer-generated applications… examples such as Avatar, Tron, Disney, Star Wars…

Why could this be a new normal?

In a post-covid world, the notion of making movies on location around the world, with large productions, hundreds of extras… that may all be a thing of the past with only a few exceptions being created.

If one considers that ‘Undone’s eight-episode miniseries isn’t a major blockbuster – it is essentially a traditional eight-episode television drama – but was shot in a way that could for the most part adhere to what today we call ‘social distancing’ – the production may be an example of what is to come as the various technologies we have at our fingertips merge according to the limitations now placed upon us.

Filming in an empty sound stage and adding in extras later is nothing new, but as the world adapts to a new way of interacting – or not interacting – with one another, ‘Undone’ may just be an example of the new ‘normal’ when it comes to making television mini-series.

…and before I hear, “the graphics and 3D took forever and would cost a fortune” – just look at how far we have come in such a short space of time…  How do we know what’s possible/impossible?

…and I have been thinking about writing, “The Butterfly Matrix”, that picks up where “Quantum Lace” left off, and am giving serious consideration to the possibility of using something similar to this technique to turn the entire series into a mini-series… but that’s still quite a way off yet…

The man dreamed he was a man, having a dream that he was a butterfly, that was dreaming it was a man… How do we know what’s ‘real’? Master Chuang Chou Zhuang, was a Chinese philosopher, who is supposed to have lived during the Warring States Period, corresponding to the Hundred Schools of Thought. “Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”

~ Bella