'Defiance': Syfy's Ultimate Transmedia Adventure

The network’s Defiance is a real-time marriage of a TV show and a video game
Art imitates life ... imitates art

One of the business lessons Dave Howe has learned during his time as president of the Syfy cable network: Six-foot-tall extraterrestrials are a lot less expensive than 12-foot-tall ones. That knowledge came in handy during production of Defiance, Syfy’s new series about aliens who come to earth and their prickly relationship with the current inhabitants. Defiance is being simultaneously produced as a video game; the developers at Trion Worlds, Syfy’s gaming partner, wanted some of the alien characters to be 12 feet tall. Howe said this could only be done on TV by spending huge sums on computer graphics. With six-footers all you need are actors, makeup, and weird contact lenses. Much to the disappointment of the video game contingent, the aliens shrank, Howe says.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.