The City in the Dark (2010) Picture

After the commercial success of their various mystery series, Spyglass View had the funds and ambition to try to stretch into the science fiction/fantasy genre arena, with somewhat mixed results. First up, released in late 2010, was a reworking of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, called "The City in the Dark". Continuing their good luck streak with lesser known actresses, they recruited Calais Lilith to play the crucial parts of Maria and the Machine Goddess. This version of the story was set in a large, multigeneration space ship, headed to a planet with the remnants of the human race. As will happen with human society, the people had become heavily stratified between the haves and havenots.

Calais Lilith noted that, while the shoot wasn't as brutal as that of the original Metropolis, it was still quite difficult. "First I had to get up at an ungodly hour so they could coat all of my visible skin in this hot silver makeup. Then they had to put me in this costume, and the top half was almost completely immobile. Then there was the skirt and the overcoat and the whole thing weighed a ton. Then --- then there was the headdress, which was the oddest thing to work with. It was actually pretty lightweight, but it was so tall and weirdly shaped that it kept pulling my head to one side or another. It was a very difficult shoot, but worth it, ultimately."

Critical reception to "City in the Dark" was extremely mixed. Most lauded its ambition, but felt that it needed tighter control over the rambling script. Calais Lilith's performance was uniformly applauded, but most felt that her supporting cast wasn't up to her level, especially the male support. Everyone acknowledged the remarkable results Spyglass View had gotten out of the technical side, especially given that it wasn't at all an effects heavy film, despite being set on a spaceship.

This time, Spyglass View made an effort during awards season, pushing hard for the technical side, but also for Calais Lilith. Their efforts were rewarded with varied and sundry nominations for makeup, costume design, production design, art direction and set decoration, and occasional nominations for Calais Lilith's performance. Some of the technical arts societies did reward the film's achievements, although Calais Lilith never progressed beyond the nominations stage herself.

Unusually, some of the set and costuming for "City" was designed to serve double duty. Spyglass View was shooting a rock musical version of "Queen of the Night" directly after "City", and since many of the same people were involved -- not including Calais herself -- they saw no reason not to reuse items. This, understandably, resulted in a common look between the films, which the filmmakers and producers handwaved as "Queen takes place before City, of course."


-- I. Noah Lott, professor of current history, comparative and modern mythology and modern media studies, Serenity Falls University, Hollywood Roars, book 2: the story of one little studio and how it couldn't before it could.

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Basically, this started out as an entry for this week's Platinum Club contest at DAZ, and the base image behind the top poster is in that contest. But then it ... veered a bit.

Credits in the poster are essentially the people who created many of the items in the images. The credits are slightly wonky because Steel Tongs font doesn't have glyph options for set design or set decoration or lighting design and a few other standard categories. Images contain: G2F with Calais head morph by AprilYSH (needed something stylized without Aiko's cartoonishness), Amazing Skins for Lilith 6 with one of the Tek options by V3Digitimes -- I don't know why the top one looks slightly green, since it's the same texture settings and same lighting in both images. Lighting is Expanded Godrays by SickleYield and Marshian. Clothing is DAZ GIS Empress and GIS Bodysuit second skin. Main set is Forlorn GIS Project, by DAZ and Forbidden Whispers.

And yes, there will be images from "Queen of the Night" forthcoming. Though possibly not for a bit. Got to do more Shooting Stars first. And then .... a couple other things. Maybe. (Purely a side note: I just realized that according to the poster movie credits, I've been writing and directing films for roughly 75-80 years now. Got to keep working those brain cells when you get older! Leaving aside the whole "nowhere near 75 years old" thing, of course.)

By the by, the Spyglass View set is going up very much out of order. At the moment, there are two posters from the 1940s still to do, one from the 70s or 80s (although that will be something of a redo of one that's already here, I think), "Queen of the Night" from 2011 or thereabouts, and one more from the near future, as well as a close to the series that is going to be massively self-indulgent and unexpected. Also, at least one publicity still from "Queen" done purely as fan service. As one does.
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