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Back from LA with Honorverse move news

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by Werrf   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:39 pm

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petercharters wrote:I'd say that the conventional visible lasers, noise in vacuum and so on will have to happen most of the time, just to keep up with audience expectations. Noise can always be turned off for a few seconds here and there for dramatic effect when it makes sense (long distance views of damage and so on). Think of it as transplanting the interior noise onto the exterior shot, if you like.

There's all kinds of ways you can get sound in space without violating physics. Put the camera in contact with the ship, and you will get sound; add a cloud of vapour around the camera from bleeding atmosphere, and add a muffled effect to the sound. As long as you add some kind of physical connection between the source of the sound and the POV, there's no problem.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by Taurus2   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:07 pm

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petercharters wrote:Communications is where everything is going to have to completely change. FTL comms will have to be in there from day one. Nobody wants to sit and wait for ten minutes between each line of a conversation. Sure, it's a major plot issue in the books, but in film I suggest it's just glossed over quietly.


"More quietly," you mean. I don't know about anyone else here, but I don't pause my reading for the requisite time lag whenever it comes up in the books.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:15 pm

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Orangesky wrote:I am actually quite exited regarding the movie. Here is my opinion regarding two of the issues:

1. The need to differentiate between the ships of the two major navies (Heaven and Manticore) is of course there, but it does not need to be extreme.

As RFC mentioned, the real life differences between ships of different navies are subtle to a lay person, because similar constraints guide the design and if something works for one Navy, the other will adopt is as well.
The Honorverse has the same realistic approach to design and the movie should reflect this realism.

For example, if you look at WW2 ships of the Japanese Navy and the US Navy, they are visually very similar. Basic hull form, position of weapons, sensors etc.
Despite this, people do not have problems telling who is who in a WW2 war movie. Subtle design differences, different uniforms, flags, music, lighting, colours etc. should be sufficient.
There is no need for grey inverted spoons vs green birds like Star Trek. Cigars with hammerheads vs slightly different cigars with hammerheads is just fine.

2. In most scifi movies the battles are fought 10 metres apart between ships. This is done to get them in one frame and show the sparkling action.

This is also not necessary. If you look at submarine movies, such as Hunt for Red October and in my opinion the best one Das Boot, they do not usually show the opposing ship in one frame.

Tension and action can be generated without the ships being in viewing distance of each other and works very well. They show the actions of one ship and then the effect of these actions on the other. Personally, I believe that such submarine movie style action would be appropriate for the Honorverse.
This style lends itself well to the type of weapons the Honorverse has:

Missiles are visible and can be shown when fired and when they impact. The rest of the time they are shown on a plot, which the characters look at on the bridge.

Lasers, Grasers etc. are invisible in vacuum. A firing sequence can be shown as a glowing point on the hull. The beam itself would be invisible. Then the enemy ship is shown. When the beam passes through its side walls, it can become visible (just the end of it where it passes through them) and the impact.

That does not mean that there is no room for Honor to come straight at a battle cruiser in a cruiser, slice it in half and emerge victorious on the other side. But it should be kept at a certain realistic level.



I can't disagree with anything you've said, although I think the need for a clear visual differentiation between the various navies is probably greater than you seem to be implying. Your comments about the similarity between USN and IJN World War II warships are well taken, and, in fact, I've used exactly the same analogy with Evergreen. By the same token, if you put a last-generation USN battleship beside Yamato (or one of the earlier Japanese battleships refitted with the enormous "pagoda" masts) there are huge cosmetic differences. All of those differences are the result about different navies' decisions about how best to deal with the same problems — an example of the "form follows function" problem being solved in different ways — and that's basically what I'm hoping for at this point from Evergreen.

Your point about fighting ships not having to be on the same screen is also very well taken, and one that Evergreen and I have been discussing — and bearing in the front of our minds — from the beginning. It's not quite as simple as submarines fighting surface ships because in that instance the combatants are effectively in two separate combat media, but there are certainly ways to produce the tension and the sense of danger — and distance — without putting the combatants cheek-by-jowl the way Enterprise seems to be constantly finding herself vis-à-vis Klingons or Romulans or what-have-you. This is especially true given the range at which missile combat occurs in the Honorverse, and I think that the use of missiles rather than energy weapons will actually make that easier to accomplish.

As for your point about the invisibility of lasers and grasers, you're absolutely correct. However, I think it's going to be a lot harder to not have any "death race" flashing around the screen if/when Honorverse ships get into energy range of one another or the laser clusters opened fire against incoming missiles. It's not all simply move magic madness, either.

You guys are an informed, well educated, deeply interested audience. That, by the way, was the conclusion of the "fanothropy" Evergreen commissioned, a survey and analysis of existing Honorverse fans, their interests, educational level, and concerns about any attempt to bring the Honorverse to film. By and large, I think the guys who produced it pretty much nailed the target, and Evergreen has made it clear to me that they intend to pay a lot of attention to who and what existing Honorverse fans are and care about.

But because of who and what you are, you understand that lasers will be invisible in vacuum. A lot of movie viewers don't understand that, just as a majority of college juniors recently failed to identify Joe Biden as vice president of the United States. For them to make the connection between the active defenses and the disintegrating missile coming in on Fearless, they'll have to see the connection, and that means, I fear, that we will see lasers and grasers streaking across the screen. For that matter, you may even see ionized "wakes" following ships around at high rates of speed. When you do, I ask you to remember that you are not necessarily seeing them because the people making the move believe they'd actually be there. Sometimes, much as we all hate it — and as firmly as I've had to bite my own tongue on more than one occasion sitting in a movie theater — we're stuck with the visual clichés which have become science fiction movies' furniture. I promise that Evergreen and I will attempt to hold that sort of inanity to a minimum, but for the movie to be a financial success (thus hopefully paving the way for additional movies), some concessions are going to have to be made to the expectations (and, alas, sometimes ignorance) of an audience which extends far beyond the existing fan base.

I don't want you guys to get swelled heads, but the truth is that you tend to be better informed, better educated, and more discriminating, than 90% of the moviegoing public. Unfortunately, if we only sell tickets to 10% of the targeted moviegoing public, the picture will be a financial disaster. :roll:


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:17 pm

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clancy688 wrote:Starting with HotQ? That's great news in my opinion. :)

I was hoping for such a decision. While OBS is a great story to read, I just can't imagine it being impressive in a movie.

In wet-navy terms: OBS would be a slugfest between an underarmed frigate and an armed tanker. HotQ on the other side is a duel between two fast, lethal cruisers (one just a little bit more deadly than the other).

(probably with at least some flashback to OBS)


Well, that would be nice. Similar to the first new Star Trek movie. Which begins with USS Kelvin getting pounded into scrap by Nero (and Kirk's father dying a hero). That would be a nice start for the movie. Honor remembering her battle in OBS, and then waking up - or similar.


Regarding sound effects:

I always thought that there's one perfect way, to make the soundlessness of space warfare audible (as paradox as this statement may appear) - and that is using Subwoofers. Using sounds, which are so deep that they are more or less felt by the audience than heared.


Regarding different ships:

I don't have an idea for dealing with outside issues, but for inside ones there's the great precedent of Hunt for Red October (already mentioned in this thread) - give each ship's bridge another colour!
If I remember correctly, USS Dallas' bridge had a bluish tint, Red October a green one and the Alpha-class (can't remember the name) was red.


And last but not least:

Will the movie be 3D? :D
And will it be a cinema-movie, or a TV-one?



It will be in 3-D and it will be a cinematic release, not made-for-TV.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:21 pm

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61Cygni wrote:One question I have is just what kind of production the movie will be and if there is a major studio ultimately behind it, at leaast for distribution. Is it going to be a wide-release theatrical movie with a decent budget, something like Serenity? A lower-budget limited-release then right to video? Or is this a direct-to-video/cable TV low-budget production? The 90-minute run time seems to me that it's intended for cable broadcast--add 3o minutes for commercials and there's your standard 2-hour time slot.



Ninety minutes is the target for the first screenplay, because they always grow. I'm anticipating that the final movie will actually be in the 2-hour range. Getting the distributors to geek to a movie much longer than that when it's the first one in a new franchise (i.e., a standalone as far as the distributors are concerned) could be a problem. Which, obviously, does not foreclose a "director's cut" release at a later time.

Evergreen will be producing the movie, but distribution will be through one of the major distributors. Their current CGI dinosaur movie, which is coming out in December, I think, and which my kids are already determined to go see, is a 20th Century Fox distribution.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:28 pm

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hvb wrote:
runsforcelery wrote: The point about the size of the ships, especially for the first movie, is well taken, and one that I've raised with them myself. However, they are deeply committed to making this only the first of several Honorverse movies. Clearly, moving beyond the first film is going to require the initial movie to be a financial success, which is part of their thinking, but if we do make a second and/or third film, simple size will be a much weaker way to differentiate between individual ships. This is particularly true because Evergreen recognizes the distance scale on which Honorverse battles are fought and doesn't want to squeeze down to the kind of ridiculous pointblank ranges at which supposedly deep-space warships engage in all too many movies and television productions. This is part of what I mean when I say they want to do the movie right.



Hi David (and the rest of you all)

I have a few (like five-ish) comments on this; and as Honorcon is somewhat inconveniently located for a Dane, I will just have to contend myself with making them here:


1: HotQ: Great Choice!
As you yourself (and others) note OBS would be harder to transfer to film.

90 minutes is problematic even so, I hope extending to 2 hours (or more) is a possibility if it becomes a necessity; because I think it will.



2: Regarding early introduction of ”the intelligent Nimitz”, how about a scene similar to the swimmingpool & tennisballs scene from SVW (IIRC)? Shows he is a tool user and has a (particular ...) sense of humor. Have him use a lift (elevator for the Havenites, eh, Americans around here :P ) on his own a couple of times, and mission accomplished.


3: As for the religious aspects, a longer briefing in of Honor (maybe while in-route, from Courvoisier, so as not to make the beginning of the movie too boring) could both give more exposition to Courvoisier, and be used for such things as ”for some misguided reason chose to call their new world Masada”. Add a few ”compare and contrast” comments as to the number of denomenations are represented in a single of the Queen’s Cas; costs 1-2% of the screentime available.


4: On the ”onscreen size comparison” of ships, two scenes come to mind: when Honor is contemplating the convoy in-route out of a window (IIRC in a grav, wave, so we get to see the sails blazing), one could have one of the freighters pass behind the Apollo, while Honor’s comments to a mr. exposition slips in that they are medium-sized freighters.

Then later on, when the Greyson navy comes out to greet them, have one of their LACs or tincans pass in front of the Apollo (or the Star Knight).

Sidebar here: I hope we will also establish that there is no sound in space in the Honorverse. I am not expecting kubrickian use of silence thoughout, ... but just one scene of blaring alarms, screaming, and fogging air as a laser rod penetrates into a core hull (e.g. Madrigal’s bridge), instant cut to the outside with a plume of air venting, while the missile tubes continue to fire _All In Utter Silence_. Please. I can go with visible beams for the sake of making the action visible, but not sound in vacuum.


5: Regarding differentiating the hulls:
AFAIK it is canon that:

Both RHN and RMN ships usually sport white hulls, but is it the same shade? Oh, the horror! Stuck with egg-shell ships! :D Ecru or Bone white for the RHN.
(when ”running silent” switching to a mat black would be visually invocative.)

The RHN and the RMN display class, hull number, and name differently (and from the IAN).

RHN gundecks are all one type (except CM/PD decks), RMN gundecks are mixed.

RHN & RMN (& SLN) hammerheads are visibly distinguishable.*

CM launchers are the same size on all classes(sizes) of ships.

*: IIRC the models for SITS have hammerheads that are:
Pyramid-base frustrums on a square base for the RHN.
”round but with a slice taken off top and bottom” frustrums on ditto for the RMN.


So building on this canon and quasi-canon; the GSN (and the Masadan ships) should have distinguishable hammerheads, coloration, and weapons-deck layout, and all should use a different font for their hull number/name.


The Masadans may have opted for a vengeful Red or cleansing flame Yellow for their hull paint (not smartpaint in their case).

Similarly the GSN may have stayed traditionalist and chosen ocean gray, (not light grey, to stay noticeably darker than the RHN ”white”, and not haze gray as that is reserved for when the IAN is introduced), or they may have gone with dark blue.

GSN & Masadan hammerheads may have some distinctive shape too, e.g. hexagonal-base frustrums for one of them, dedocahedral for the other (the description of SLN hammerheads evokes octagonal-base frustrums to me for some reason, which would make that unavailable if others/tMWW agree with this perception).


Finally, if the Hull names and other identifiers are kept in a standardized size (across all navies and hull sizes, and in different fonts; all for the viewers convenience), then the lettering, as well as the size of the CM launchers, will clearly indicate how large a ship is:

If Troubadour fills the entire length from bow hammerhead to beginning of the broadside, you are looking at a tincan. But if the text looks small, then HMS Reliant is one big piece of metal. ;)

Length of hull goes down by [8M-ton/80k-ton]^1/3 or a factor 4,64 between a DD and a SD, so it would still be legible, just a lot smaller, so this would work!



Additionally; if one absolutely have to have a blatant visual distinction between ships of different sizes, it would make sense for classes with armor to truncate the top and bottom more than ships without armor, as the usable (core + weapons deck) hull width would decrease as the decks approach the roof or floor, but the (horizontal) armor thichness must stay the same.

Lighter, basically unarmored, ships only have to pay for the skin of the hull, so they would include this volume; but heavier ships (SDs especially) might omit these decks to mitigate somewhat on the already inflated armor percentage.
(or they might not, just a for instance, for if it proves needful.)


Oh, and during the Blackbird-orbitals energy range engagement, Breslau’s missile volley should be followed from launch to impact, with number of frames reflecting the real distance between the combattants, to give an impression of how long-ranged Honorverse ”close range” is. :D


That game ... not a first person shooter where you protray a Leveler? (Brair Rabbit asked with fear in his voice). Still Alive Bonus only if you capture the cabinet before Adm. McQueen inacts her appellative. :twisted:

Hope you will forward what of this you find useful to the Evergreen team (dumping any chaff).



Wow. :D


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:34 pm

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KNick wrote:
dewdrops wrote:Very exciting stuff. Thank you, Mr. rfc, for sharing on the thought process of turning the world we all love into something the whole world can see and get. The points about Peter Jackson's work on Lord of the Rings are reassuring to me.

My big question is prolong. Can it stay in the storyline? It seems to me the implications of prolong's life extending properties are pretty central to the Honorverse. The casting and visuals, especially over multiple films(we hope)can be tough to keep people looking as if in their twenties.


Welcome to the forums. It seems that there are plenty of people out there offering suggestions to improve the movie. With the effort to keep RFC in the loop, we can hope.



Prolong is going to be a problem and — at present — Evergreen is definitely planning on keeping it. Finding an actress in her 20s with the gravitas to play a starship captain in her mid-40s is going to be a nontrivial challenge. And it will also be a nontrivial challenge to do the number of movies they're hoping for without the aging of the characters becoming a factor. Like a lot of things in life, the best you can do is the best you can do, and that's what Evergreen intends to do. The very best they can.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:41 pm

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61Cygni wrote:
Werrf wrote:There is a space between "fantasy nonsense" and "completely accurate in every detail". It's known, at least in some circles, as the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction hardness. I put the Honorverse at a solid 3 or 4 (somewhere between "Physics plus" and "One big lie"). Doctor Who is a solid 1 ("Science in genre only"), and Star Trek just about scrapes a 2.

I have to wonder, though, if the Honorverse's tech is not what you like, why are you reading them?


Because there is much else to like about them, starting with the characters. The magic tech by itself isn't solely going to turn me off, just saw it as a lost oppurtunity. And to give Weber some credit, at least there aren't any Trek-style transporters (what do you call being broken down into sub-atomic particles? Death :D). Also, I love the graphic descriptions of the ship combat in the early books, all those high-powered energy weapons wreaking the same kind of havoc that cannonballs and grapeshot did on the wooden ships of the Age Of Sail, where "splinters" caused most of te injuries and deaths. It's unfortunate that we're probably not going to see that kind of stuff in the movie as a PG-13 rating will be desired. Lots of the usual shaky cam and sparking consoles instead, grrrr...I want R-rated combat! :)



As I've said repeatedly, it's early days yet. But having said that, Evergreen very much wants to maintain the sense of fleet combat at vast distances. We've got a new screenwriter working on a starting over screenplay, and he and I have had time for only a fairly brief conversation at this point, but I strongly expect them to follow the same pattern we were following when we were looking at OBS last year. What was happening then was that they were sending me the script and I was giving them a point-by-point critique of it, to which they were actually listening and incorporating many of the points I was raising into the next iteration of the script. When the weaknesses (from a cinematic perspective) of OBS became sufficiently clear that we shifted to HotQ, we found ourselves with a clean sheet of paper, and I do not yet know precisely what's going to be put down on it for the first draft. Evergreen is very insistent, however, on maintaining the feel, the characters, and the technology of the books. All of us know there are many a slip betwixt cup and lip, but I am entirely satisfied at this point about Evergreen's intentions and the technical capabilities they're bringing to this project.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:43 pm

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Neitz wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:Another point that established fans are going to have to deal with will undoubtedly be the physical appearance of the ships......

Because of this, there’s going to be a significant degree of “reimagining” the ships, although I think I can guarantee that the redesign process won’t step on the established physics of the Honorverse.


Since I first heard about the movie project in October 2011, I have been wondering if they will also do a bit of “reimagining” with RMN uniforms, with production designers saying about the existing designs: "that doesn't really read well on the screen."

Which will mean that TRMN members like myself may someday need to decide to keep our "classic uniform" or change our impression to "movie version uniforms." :?

We'll see!



That's one of the points we're . . . discussing right now. ;)


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Back from LA with Honorverse move news
Post by jthoma8318   » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:21 pm

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I guess I'm in the easily amused and suspend belief category, because I just go sit and enjoy the movie without over analyzing them. Not a judgement just how I am. Having said that Battleship was worth going to see just for seeing Rihanna, as I'm sure namelessfly will agree, LOL. I'm totally stoked for the movie, and I'll be happy unless Evergreen just totally screws the pooch.
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