Friday, 2 August 2013

50th Anniversary Special Funding Problems

The Radio Times is reporting that Steven Moffat had quite a lot of trouble with the budget for the 50th Anniversary special. Here's the quote: “It was unbelievably tough actually making the 50th...It was extraordinarily difficult mainly because we were trying to push the boat out and as ever we didn’t have enough money. We were making a feature-length Doctor Who on the schedule and budget for an hour. We’re doing it in 3D on the budget for 2D.”

This sort of using-Doctor-Who-as-a-testbed for shiny new special effects isn't unprecedented; as mentioned in "The Writer's Tale", RTD recorded similar woes about the budget for "Planet of the Dead" and "The Waters of Mars". He'd been asked to start making high-def telly but didn't get commensurate funding for it (reading between the lines, it would appear that they pulled it off by cutting some FX shots and the miracles Julie Gardner could work negotiating with other BBC departments to obtain extra funds; unfortunately, Moffat doesn't have a Julie Gardner). We've mentioned the show's funding issues before (and, for that matter, that the BBC has decided to scrap future 3D productions on grounds of not being worth the trouble for money), but Moffat has been fairly discreet about the show's budget up to now. Perhaps that's something to do with why Moffat was so cagey on the length of the anniversary episode, if he wasn't sure how much money he was going to have to work with (and BBC Worldwide, which is putting up part of the funds, just did their annual budget).


Joe Shelby said...

well, one issue with 3D is portability. Just like everything else, there are multiple 3D high-def standards and what works in the UK doesn't work in America without very expensive conversion software (that doesn't always get it right).

So all the work they might do for 3D and it 1) only goes the viewers in the UK, and 2) doesn't even get to all of them, and 3) doesn't make any more money from any other source.

3D in America has the advantage of standardized conversions to 3D Blue-Ray for more sales later. 3D from the UK doesn't have that option to go to America easily.

James Walker said...

i'd rather a good story told at the length it needs to be then 3D.

heck, i'd prefer a BAD story to 3D. its a waste of time and money and its just kind of unnecessary to tell a good story.

also, i already wear glasses (and i'm sure i'm not the only who fan who does) and 3D is a huge pain in the arse for me. definitely not worth wearing glasses on top of glasses.


also, as america helps fund things like the anny special, perhaps UK fans should stop bitching that the BBC is "courting" US viewers?