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Production budget cut too much?

02 Nov 2016 21:46 #51012 by andyf
Production budget cut too much? was created by andyf
I don't think the production values for season 2 are better than season 1. Has the production budget been cut a lot?

One thing I now notice about season 2 is there seem to be less close up flying sequences of Kara. Scenes that filmed with Melissa in a harness off the ground in front of a green screen. Have they cut back on those kinds of scenes out of fear of harming Melissa's back or is it because they can't afford to film them anymore?

I also don't think they're doing as much on location filmed as they did in season 1. Sure , they did a lot of location filming for the for the first 2 episodes, but a lot less for eps 3 and 4.

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02 Nov 2016 22:05 #51015 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Production budget cut too much?
Maybe so, but I got my Summer's wish. I think Melissa is spending more time in her red and blues.

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03 Nov 2016 11:34 #51025 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Production budget cut too much?
You are more creative when you have less to work with.
The budget cuts have not hurt the show so far in my opinion.

There seemed to be a lot of harness work in episode 4.
Supergirl was suspended for some time in one scene.

I too enjoy seeing Supergirl in costume for great lengths of time also.

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03 Nov 2016 12:11 #51026 by five_red
Replied by five_red on topic Production budget cut too much?

andyf wrote: One thing I now notice about season 2 is there seem to be less close up flying sequences of Kara. Scenes that filmed with Melissa in a harness off the ground in front of a green screen. Have they cut back on those kinds of scenes out of fear of harming Melissa's back or is it because they can't afford to film them anymore?


When people talk about the cost of special effects they naturally think of the flashy computer graphics effects; indeed when the show switched networks to CW a lot of people were worried that there would be less CGI. But people often forget that the biggest cost in any business is usually manpower.

Consider a simple shot or Kara levitating in mid air. When done using the CGI model of Kara, this can be produced by one person at a desk in an air conditioned office. When done using the real Melissa Benoist it requires Melissa, her stunt double, various technicians to set up and operate the rig that hold Melissa in mid air, someone to check that the rig is set up in accordance with health and safety rules, medics on standby in case anything goes wrong... etc. etc. That's considerably more people, for a lot longer -- and they are all getting paid union rates.

It occurred to me that for a show like Supergirl, with flying and stuff like that, that the special effects that were going to suffer the most on a reduced budget were not the computer generated effects produced in air conditioned offices, but the physical effects that require lots of people and lots of time and lots of equipment.

I also don't think they're doing as much on location filmed as they did in season 1. Sure , they did a lot of location filming for the for the first 2 episodes, but a lot less for eps 3 and 4.


For season one they were based at Warner Bros. in Burbank, which is a large studio complex that has an extensive collection of outdoor sets right next to the sound stages (literally several fake streets of houses and buildings in different styles.) Much of the location filming was actually done inside the studio, just a couple of minutes walk from the interior sets. Some episodes were shot almost entirely within Warner Bros: for example in the episode were Max tests Supergirl by setting off various bombs, the office building Supergirl holds up was actually the studio's multi-storey car park with added CGI, and the National City airport was actually the WB admin office (known as the 'bridge building') right next door to it.

Season one locations .

In Vancouver they no longer have an extensive collection of purpose built outdoor sets available, so any outside locations you see are likely to be real locations, and presumably they have to get permission to film them.


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03 Nov 2016 13:20 #51029 by mo
Replied by mo on topic Production budget cut too much?

ace191 wrote: Maybe so, but I got my Summer's wish. I think Melissa is spending more time in her red and blues.


Same for me. She looks so good in that costume. If I was being picky I'd like the fight scenes with Supergirl in to last a bit longer but overall I'm loving it! The diaogue and pacing feels much better to me this season and another 19 episodes to look forward to!!!

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03 Nov 2016 14:27 #51031 by andyf
Replied by andyf on topic Production budget cut too much?
I know about the Warner Bros backlot. What I'm saying is compared to the first two eps, episodes 3 and 4 had a lot less location filming.

The writing for season 2 has improved, but I'm skeptical of the over all production values. Where's the Noonan's set?
The bar that the main characters in season 1 were always hanging out at?

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04 Nov 2016 01:35 #51049 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Production budget cut too much?
I disagree-i kinda think it looks better.

But a valid point-supergirl is a show that is shot realistically with hair and makeup and lighting over say 10 hours in n eight days. And for a 48 minute show thats about 2 hours a minute which is pretty quick(working in film in LA i have worked 12 to 14 hours on 1 minute-but thats luxury of time they don't have with there schedule). Filming in a flight rig realistically tkaes an hour at minium to do, probabbly longer,

But thats the thing-that hasn't changed. Los Angeles Vancouver that's the same. Supergirl and the CW style of superhero show is all about kinda tricks of showing special effects and setups they don't have the budget for. You want to do a closeup filmed on the greenscreen in 15 minutes to suggest a flight? sure. make it 5 seconds so you don't realize it was there. That ellement was always there from the beggiining in supergirl kinda of its to detrement. It was always a show that took shortcuts, it was always a show with tricks. Someone commented recently about a shot that mirrored Supergirl movie with her going behind a pillar to change-fair enough one of the thing i realized watching it was-oh this is all shot on Stedicam. Which is reasonably quick way of making stuff look dynamic. i thought they didn't do that in season One but i rewatched a couple of epiosdes recently-and nope starting around halfway through season one its alot of stedicams.

What has changed with Vancouver Vs LA? Stuff but not maybe as mch as you think. Yes theres purpose built sets on the Wartner Brothers lots and real back lots-but weridly i never got that much a sence they where using them. Last year working in the inddustry and going around LA a lot, i never worked a day on the show(sad) but i saw there production trucks going around. I know for a fact for example that Karas apartment was a real Loft-which is basically purpose for filming these days but there you are(i know becuse i have filmed there). There is a lot of spaces like this in LA-real, but we let you come in or "former werehouse we have a police station set built in" but in terms of time working in these kinda spaces its not always there that much convient-theres power issues and transpo issues and all the other things that you have to do-and most of them aren't real Studios, with studio power studio rigs etc.. And Filming in a studio is easier and faster then a location, but not that much. .

And from what i know there is some of that in Vancouver to. They have been filming in Vancouver for decades. The american TV show comes to Vancouver was true in the 80s and 90s. As a guy who is involved somewhat in these kinda project. Honestily i think from an action stand point-stuff done in Vancouver is better then stuff in LA. Its got a quicker energy to it. Flash and Green Arrow where always filmed in Vancouver-and part of me still kinda think there better looking shows.

But like i have said before: i am liking the new "lets make it like a Grand movie "look, which is color correction more then anything. I think some of the sbutle special effects are quite gorgious . . From what i have heard there was a studio mandate in CBS "Nothing sexy" and this is a" family show". CW there allowing this-the most recent episode really hit that home. Roulette is nothing if not sexy and perhaps not concidently easily the best costumed villian i think ever on the show(yeah you may not like her tattoo yeah yeah) and they are going for a LGBT subplot(if partially i am kinda worried to deflect critism of a more unforutnite lgbt Subplot). How they kinda of make the show work in this regards. will see.

As i mentioned last year-it takes about 10 episodes for a show to actually see whats the reaction is to airing and make changes so these can sometimes be a little akward. I think they are adjusting to the new production style and what it is, and maybe haven't quite gotten the rhythm of it yet of production
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04 Nov 2016 13:44 - 04 Nov 2016 14:26 #51055 by five_red
Replied by five_red on topic Production budget cut too much?

castor wrote: What has changed with Vancouver Vs LA? Stuff but not maybe as mch as you think. Yes theres purpose built sets on the Wartner Brothers lots and real back lots-but weridly i never got that much a sence they where using them. Last year working in the inddustry and going around LA a lot, i never worked a day on the show(sad) but i saw there production trucks going around. I know for a fact for example that Karas apartment was a real Loft-which is basically purpose for filming these days but there you are(i know becuse i have filmed there).


Kara's loft was only a external location (Hudson Loft, 1200 S Hope St.) for the pilot. From episode two onward it was a reconstruction on a soundstage at WB (which is how they were able to get Melissa Benoist to fly in and out of the windows so easily.) :)

Although they did a fair amount of filming outside of the studio, that was complimented with an awful lot of studio work. Some episodes, like Livewire, seem to have been shot entirely within the studio. Other episodes, like Childish Things (the Toyman episode) and the crossover, were shot using lots of footage from several external locations. However, most episodes used only one or two external locations for only a few minutes of screen time, with the WB backlot and interior sets being used for most of what was on screen. It is quite amazing what they shot without leaving the studio: eg. the jungle where J'onn Jonzz met Jeremiah Danvers was the WB lagoon set (the same forest where the Master Jailer had his secret base), and the school Carter Grant attended was the studio's front entrance.

The problem Supergirl now presumably faces is that if they want to shoot 'outside' they surely have to get permits and whatnot to film in a real place in Vancouver, and relocate the team there to do the filming. In LA, if they just needed an anonymous street location they had the option of booking Hennesy Street etc. at the WB studio and walking thirty seconds from the interior sets. So I imagine that that might restrict the number of casual outdoor shots that get included in an average episode (obviously some episodes will have more and some will have less.)

Link: How many of these streets do you recognise?

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Supergirl Pre-Crisis Chronology: www.superwomenmania.com/supergirltl/
Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El: maidofmight.wordpress.com/
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Last edit: 04 Nov 2016 14:26 by five_red.
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05 Nov 2016 11:50 #51064 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic Production budget cut too much?
With the studio having three other shows filming in Vancouver and a whole industry up there (there's TONS of other genre productions that have been based from there, Stargate SG-1 and Continuum springing immediately to mind) you kinda have to assume that the studio has had years building a good rapport with the city's film commission. And the film commission is already well acquainted with accommodating TV production houses and the revenue they bring to the city. It may not be Los Angeles levels of casual, but it's probably surprisingly close.

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05 Nov 2016 12:13 #51065 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Production budget cut too much?

AuGoose wrote: With the studio having three other shows filming in Vancouver and a whole industry up there (there's TONS of other genre productions that have been based from there, Stargate SG-1 and Continuum springing immediately to mind) you kinda have to assume that the studio has had years building a good rapport with the city's film commission. And the film commission is already well acquainted with accommodating TV production houses and the revenue they bring to the city. It may not be Los Angeles levels of casual, but it's probably surprisingly close.


And i will comment that Los Angeles is after 100 years of filming a suprisingly not very casual place to film. While working on a lot(as R5 mentioned) is easy enough(though expensive) filming anyone else involves tons of permits that aren't that are theroetically easy but in practice very tricky. Locations can cost a lot of money to get- i have heard people quote 8000.00 for houses-which is high, and you can do cheeper, but even for a show like Supergirl adds up. This has a lot to do-well filming can be a hastle, and people know that. Vancouver probabbly has some of that built up...but maybe not all of it.

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06 Nov 2016 04:18 #51071 by Random321
Replied by Random321 on topic Production budget cut too much?
I feel like I've noticed a style change on the flying composite and the modeling of the cities the characters are flying through. Maybe a small drop in quantity/duration.

However on every other SFX item I've not personally noticed a drop in quality. The one and only exception so far being - I didn't love the sky scraper garage column save in season two. I thought the building save in season one was very well done.

The digital characters are still being done well. There is a drop in the amount of background digital masking/set extension I think - but most of us don't care about that.

I love Vancouver BC personally. I've enjoyed the location change and even getting to recognize some streets. It is a different feel - more clean, more green, more clouds, narrower feeling streets downtown.

The one things that I have noticed - something is wrong with the sound mixing. The music just booms over the Sound FX and even Voices in some places. Now I've found good sound mixing to be very-very hard on my videos - but even more than SFX it's sound and editing attention to detail that separates the small fish from big fish.

The fights really are a lot of fun on this show. I feel like they do a good job on the wire work and choreography.

The difference (and sometimes lack there of) between a four, and five digit budget and six, and seven digit budgets really is amazing sometimes.

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07 Nov 2016 13:11 #51094 by andyf
Replied by andyf on topic Production budget cut too much?
Where's the Noonan's bar and café set? 4 episodes in and not a single scene at Noonan's. All you see are random Noonan's coffee cups. And where's Kara's office that Cat gave her?

Not enough studio space for those sets?

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03 Dec 2016 22:47 #51520 by andyf
Replied by andyf on topic Production budget cut too much?
It still seems to me that the production budget has been cut a fair amount. Besides less flying close ups, Supergirl seems to be doing less superheroic things in general. How many times this season so far has she helped people on the street unless it was directly related to fighting a villain?
You really don't see her do things like hold up a falling building like in How Does She Do It?. She seems to be using superstrength less and less and her heat vision more and more. Especialy in the Invasion! finale.

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04 Dec 2016 13:02 #51525 by dauntingmold
Replied by dauntingmold on topic Production budget cut too much?
I too noticed that Supergirl only seems to use heat vision and flight. Very few uses of super strength and even less super breath. I'm wondering though if this is more a deliberate act, due to CW's policy of wanting to showcase strong males rather than production cuts. Both Hank and Mon-El have plenty of super strength scenes, or perhaps they have decided to downgrade her strength. I was surprised when both Parasite and Cyborg Superman were unfased by her punches.

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04 Dec 2016 16:38 #51532 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Production budget cut too much?

dauntingmold wrote: I too noticed that Supergirl only seems to use heat vision and flight. Very few uses of super strength and even less super breath. I'm wondering though if this is more a deliberate act, due to CW's policy of wanting to showcase strong males rather than production cuts. Both Hank and Mon-El have plenty of super strength scenes, or perhaps they have decided to downgrade her strength. I was surprised when both Parasite and Cyborg Superman were unfased by her punches.


God forbid that CW show a female with greater (or even equal) strength to a male superhero. Women use their wiles and men use their muscles on CW. I guess wiles could include eyes and flight, but certainly not raw strength.

Agree that this change is rather noticeable after the network move. I suppose they want Kara/SG to remain cute and approachable, so using her fists should be minimized. She needs the men to do the physical stuff. We've seen this kind of thinking come and go in the comics since her arrival in the late 50's.

The classic scene for me was after Parasite drew some power from SG, and then he crushed a gun in his bare hand like it was rubber. Never seen SG do that on this show, yet he was just borrowing her strength.

It's also why Powergirl is so refreshing and fun. She goes in with fists first. Raw strength is her primary power. She has no wiles, only steel muscles.

One other gripe is that SG seems intent on killing all her adversaries in a single show. That wasn't the case in the comics. Parasite (for example) kept coming back again and again in different guises to nearly defeat SG and SM. They never killed him. The goal was only to stop him and incarcerate him. At this rate, she's going to kill off her entire cast of villains.

So, she can't use her superstrength, but she kills the bad guys far more willingly than in the comics. Weird. Maybe TV just needs high body counts to get ratings. I always liked the days when the act of SG or SM killing someone was horrifying and totally out-of-character.

But I suppose in the culture of 2016, killing is kind of normal and more easily accepted, even by children. A side-effect from first-person shooter games? Or a disturbing trend in society that ends in disaster? I can't judge. Just don't like it, in reality or in entertainment (which shapes perceptions of reality).

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04 Dec 2016 17:10 #51534 by dauntingmold
Replied by dauntingmold on topic Production budget cut too much?

It's also why Powergirl is so refreshing and fun. She goes in with fists first. Raw strength is her primary power. She has no wiles, only steel muscles

Would it be too much to hope for Power Girl to guest star in an episode, that would be one episode I would want to see :)

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04 Dec 2016 18:37 #51536 by andyf
Replied by andyf on topic Production budget cut too much?
Most likely the fewer heroic acts have to do due with the CW having less money for its shows production budgets. That's why most of it shows film in Vancouver or Atlanta.

After Supernatural moved from the defunct WB Network to the CW, I saw a drop in production values that continues today.
The monsters on that show really don't look like monsters. They really don't use heavy make up and monster costumes.

MTV's Teen Wolf has far better production values than Supernatural.
I once read a story about the CW on the Hollywood Reporter's website. It said that the typical production budget of a CW show would make a HBO series showrunner cry.

The CW in CW should really stand for Cash Weak. But, at least Supergirls writing has improved a lot from season 1.

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