Origin Hated Petrarca?

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
I was reading the Blair thread and LOAF said something about "sour grapes" between Origin and Petrarca. I had never heard of this before. I knew he refused to do the voice over for Secret Ops, but was this the cause of the bad relations, or were the bad relations why he wouldn't do it?

Perhaps a lot of trouble on the set of WCP?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Perhaps a lot of trouble on the set of WCP?
I didn't imply anything of this sort. Various people who worked on the film shoot say that he was a mistake in terms of casting, not that he was some kind of horrible villain. A different casting agency was used for Prophecy, and the consensus seems to be that they didn't do a particularly impressive job of understanding the roles the characters would be playing -- Petraca just wasn't a good 'avatar' for the player.

He refused to do the voice work because it was a significant cut in pay, not because of any 'bad blood'.
 

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
Oh okay. I just misunderstood. I take it they never said exactly what they found wrong with his performance? I certainly don't think he's the best actor in the world or anything, but I think he did a respectable job.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I didn't find him particularly bad, but after everything, I certainly did not connect or relate to him the way we did with Blair. This is a crucial flaw in the last third of the game where it felt like the FMV scenes were more sparsly layed out.
 

Dahan

Rear Admiral
I cant say much for the actor who plated Lance Casey but I admit that he did lack something which I cannot put my finger on.
At least with Todd Wilson, Mark Hamill, Ginger Lynn Allen still remember playing what their characters were like from Wing Commander 3. It kept something true with the characters and all.
But I suppose people have different views on the FMV scenses and the plot
 

Iceblade

Admiral
In a nutshell, you didn't feel like you were that character. And I played WCP before 3 and 4. Heck, I think I felt more like Lev Aris when playing Privateer 2 than Casey in WCP. It may be just the fact that you couldn't choose how the dialogue went or it may just be that Petrarca was a "glove" that didn't fit.
 

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
Piggybacking Iceblade's idea here, I'm inclined to agree (for my own part) that part of the potential problem with Casey's character was that we couldn't choose what he did, so it was less of a choice from a personal standpoint.

Beyond that, I just feel that the storyline itself rather than the actor's performance is what made me feel distant from Casey. He felt a bit like an immature goofball who was just there to show off than a serious guy who took everything to heart and stood as the generic, stabilizing force of the situation. In some ways, I can't help but feel his written personality's distance from the people around him is what made me distant from him. People weren't leaning on him for emotional support; they were rolling their eyes behind his back because he was the top dog and he knew it.

As bland a character as Blair was in all previous games, it always felt (again to me) like he was the countering force to the people around him - Hobbes' pre-WC3-end feelings of abandonment by his anti-Kilrathi comrades, the sane counterpart to Maniac's bouts of insanity, the love & life to balance Angel's occasionally distant coldness and strict adherence to duty. It just felt like Casey was more the guy who was just there that was so better and greater than everybody else that the whole script was written different. In previous games, it seems like there was a background story hashed out for the supporting characters, and what defined Blair was his relation and rapport with them. In Prophecy, it seemed to me like Casey was completely running the show from the backstory standpoint, and the supporting characters were built around him being super cool and showy, with the only background details of the supporting characters being given short blurps in a manual that never really figured into the gameplay or dialogue at all.

So for my own part, I think the fault lies more in how the character was written than the actor's portrail of him. Couple that with the fact that this was the chapter that was passing the reigns from Blair to the next generation, and the character felt (to me) like he was being treated as this boyish goofball who Blair was trying to lecture on how to grow up to be a suitable replacement, and it seemed (to me) like the whole story played out as though Casey just rolled his eyes and said, "whatever," till the bitter end when Blair's out of the picture, and then Casey's standing there next to Talvert/Stiletto, having one of those disparaging "oh hell" looks on his face like all of a sudden, he doesn't have a clue what he should do.

So yeah - my idea is that the actor was fine, but the material was lacking. I loved the previous games for the interpersonal relationships, banter, relations, and situations - it gave the game a lot of heart, and something I loved to watch develop. There just didn't feel like there was enough of that connection there in Prophecy to sink my teeth into - it just felt like we were wasting time in-between missions.

The scary alien thing is DEFINITELY cool, and I personally think the concept of the Nephilim (and Blair's disappearance/death) is a very powerful idea worth talking about and developing in the future...which is why I think it requires more from a main character than to just be the next hotshot pilot who kicks butt and is nothing more than a drinking buddy at a bar who rarely has an intimate moment talking to a distinct personality to figure out what makes it tick and thus build that supporting character into something great himself/herself. For every conversation there's been about Hobbes, Maniac, Doomsday, Bear, Spirit, and Angel...I'm guessing darn few in comparison talk about the adventures, trials, and tribulations of Zero, Maestro, and Stiletto. There were other battles going on in the previous Wing Commander games than just the Confederation vs. the Kilrathi, and you got a feel for that when you talked to the other characters. I dare say 99% of the dialogue in Prophecy (short of maybe the beginning part of Casey talking to O'Hearn/Zero about why he wasn't given an easy ride) was professional distance - it was to talk about the enemy, plans, orders, news, etc.

Anyway, that's my feeling on the matter, and everyone's entitled to one, so let's hear the next one (I've yacked too much!). :)

- Falc ~};^
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I agree with you 100% (well except my persecptive on Blair only goes back to WC3 with pieces from WC1/2). But yeah, what was everyone doing on the ship besides their job...drinking?

And on this note, what with the fact that all of a sudden it is okay to get boozed up right before a mission...I don't know if restricting alcoholic drinks is just a thing introduced in the books or if it had some play in the games as well, but it just seems stupid to allow that level of drinking with the Nephilim knocking on the door.
 

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
Yeah the whole open bar thing didn't really make sense. I also agree that the largest problem with Casey's character wasn't the actors portrayal, but the way in which he was written. I still think he makes a fine player character, just he wasn't written as deep as Blair, but then again, as Iceblade said the only thing the pilots in Prophecy seemed to do other than fly was drink. :p

However there are a few cutscenes that stand out in regards to character relations, with Casey and Zero talking about their fathers, Hawk and his bloodlust, Maniac and his inability to lead a squadron, Maniac when he loses the rookies. The problem I think was that by the third disc everybody seemed to just become a background character.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
I don't know if restricting alcoholic drinks is just a thing introduced in the books or if it had some play in the games as well,
It had some part in the games - ol' Shotglass was retricting drinks if he had info of upcoming mission in WC1 (or was it SM1/SM2?). He would probably smash his had into the wall, if he saw what was happening in midway bar :D And in WC3 we could see what happend if you didn't stop drinking before the mission - the only way of surviving that part for me was to eject - never actually made it alive to the end... and what happend in that particular mission should happen to every midway pilot in almost every mission, including Casey

As for Casey, i didn't like both how the character was written - espettialy his relations with women - and the way he was portrayed - even in his conversations with Hawk he wasn't very conviencing for me
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think you're all missing the point of this topic completely. The issue isn't what you thought about the actor, it's what the people who did the FMV shoot thought of him and why.

I'm going to disagree with everyone who is pining away for the "dialogue choice" sequences, though. They're such an essentially silly gimmick concept, and one that people will still be pointing to for another ten years when they're trying to explain why interactive movies didn't take off like they were supposed to.

Movie movie movie movie... FULL STOP! Obvious good choice or... obvious bad choice? Movie movie movie movie movie.

You *knew* it was a trick when you were doing it... a little bit of exposed innard that never felt right with the rest of the game. A proper sequel to WC3 should have based its scenes on how the player played the game... if you shot down civilian ship, you'd get wrong-Blair, and so forth. The binary thing just didn't work for anything other than literally justifying Wing Commander 2's "interactive movie" claim.

I still think he makes a fine player character, just he wasn't written as deep as Blair, but then again, as Iceblade said the only thing the pilots in Prophecy seemed to do other than fly was drink.
Exactly how 'deep' do you think Blair is? The entire point of the character is that he doesn't have a character -- he's you, and what he thinks and feels and does and says corresponds to what you think and feel and do and say.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
The issue isn't what you thought about the actor, it's what the people who did the FMV shoot thought of him and why.
And it's an interesting issue. Why didn't they feel he was not right for the part? And what did they think the casting company didn't understood?
 

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
Bandit LOAF said:
I think you're all missing the point of this topic completely. The issue isn't what you thought about the actor, it's what the people who did the FMV shoot thought of him and why.
Sorry about that, LOAF.

Bandit LOAF said:
Various people who worked on the film shoot say that he was a mistake in terms of casting, not that he was some kind of horrible villain. A different casting agency was used for Prophecy, and the consensus seems to be that they didn't do a particularly impressive job of understanding the roles the characters would be playing -- Petraca just wasn't a good 'avatar' for the player.
I think we all flew off on a tangent like dogs with a bone after you posted that part above, but you're right - doesn't address the initial point - it just turned into a whole side conversation over the idea you posted, and people weighing in on it. Sounds like it wasn't even necessarily a knock on the man's acting ability, though, necessarily; especially that part about not doing the voice-over due to a pay cut, maybe he figured he was worth more than that at that point? If so, geez...I wonder if he's one of those actors with an overinflated opinion of himself? Hell, if it were me, I'd just be happy to have a job! :)


Side-note here: as for your mention of the movie segments, yeah...you have a very valid point there too - it was gimmicky. Even so, though, it still felt like it gave the player some kind of choice on who the main character was (hey, in WC3, you're the guy who ends up with Flint, Rachel, or alone after Angel's death, right?). But yeah, it would've made more sense to integrate it into missions a bit, and I guess we do see that briefly with Prophecy when you can side with Hawk to take out the cats in that one mission. Unfortunately, it didn't have a story-spanning impact, but then making a game that essentially driven by different acted scenes would no doubt be a pricey endeavor (wasn't WC4 the most over-the-top one in terms of production costs?).

Anyway, an apology especially for my own contributions in derailing this post's original intent. Going to duck out at this point seeing as how I know nothing about the relationships from the FMV shoot of Prophecy, though I'll keep following the post to glean any additional contributions.

- Falc ~};^
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
If so, geez...I wonder if he's one of those actors with an overinflated opinion of himself? Hell, if it were me, I'd just be happy to have a job! :)
Well, most actors don't actually negotiate their own salaries - they employ agents to do that for them. And, needless to say, an agent's job is to get the best deal possible, so they definitely can't try to sell them short :p.

Even so, though, it still felt like it gave the player some kind of choice on who the main character was (hey, in WC3, you're the guy who ends up with Flint, Rachel, or alone after Angel's death, right?).
Although I really liked the dialogue choices, however gimmicky they may have been at times, that particular choice is a really bad example. The whole romance thing in WC3 was terrible, and very poorly contrived.

Also, there's really no need to apologise for "derailing" the thread... especially since you didn't do any such thing.
 

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
Quarto said:
Well, most actors don't actually negotiate their own salaries - they employ agents to do that for them. And, needless to say, an agent's job is to get the best deal possible, so they definitely can't try to sell them short .
Good point; did this happen in this case, or did this guy go through the same agent/agency as some of the newer cast? They got the same people to do the other voices for Secret Ops, right? What was so special about this dude that he didn't? Just from the way it was mentioned above, it almost sounded like the whole Halle Berry/X-Men thing - you get this one actor or actress who really thinks they're God's gift to the universe, and they demand to get more face time, larger pay, etc. I guess I'm just wondering in the case of Casey/Petraca if the fault was with his agent (assuming he had one) or him? And where is he today? I thought I saw awhile back that he had some kind of background appearance in Ring Two or some-such; beyond this, is he in anything well-known? And if not, why's he entitled to anything more than peanuts from anybody's point of view? Ehhh it's just a whole side of the world I don't understand. My job ain't exactly great, I'm sure I get paid far less, and the only fantastic acting I do is pretending I have any love for the person on the other end of the phone! :)

Quarto said:
Although I really liked the dialogue choices, however gimmicky they may have been at times, that particular choice is a really bad example. The whole romance thing in WC3 was terrible, and very poorly contrived.
Yeah, another good point...that WAS a bad example; the whole romance thing just didn't even exist. It was just the kind of thing where you either made Mark Hamill face-suck this person or face-suck that person, and then they're with him at the end. I know it's sci-fi and all, but COME ON! ;) Anyway, it was the first thing that came to mind that had some distinctions, but perhaps better inserted here would be the winning campaigns vs. the losing campaigns (but even there, it's not dialogue-based decisions, but mission success or failure, right?). So if that's the case, then all the more reason to agree with LOAF on this one. I guess my whole point with the dialogue choice was that people felt just a tad more attached to the character because he didn't have to be the drunk or the good samaritan, he didn't have to back Maniac up all the time, etc. Yeah, it's gimmicky...but it also at least enables you to make the character be the way you want him to be, rather than locked into certain conversations and outcomes. There's probably a better way to do it, but my point was that it DID enable you to connect a little more with the character in the cutscenes. If you wanted to be an evil Blair or Casey by shooting a ship, what if you're not evil but just accidentally landed a stray shot?

The dialogue options in WC3 and WC4 made you connect with the main character a bit more, I thought, than WC1 or WC2. Now maybe there's a better way of handling it or treating it, but take the company Bioware (who made Neverwinter Nights 1, Knights of the Old Republic 1, Jade Empire, Mass Effect)...they made a name for themselves by allowing you to alter your character's fate not just by the battles you chose to fight, but by the things you chose to say. I think if Wing Commander were to make a comeback, it would be shooting itself in the foot to not have such a system in place in some capacity. But it should probably have subtleties to it (free roam around the ship, talk to who you want, choose the different approaches, etc.).

Quarto said:
Also, there's really no need to apologise for "derailing" the thread... especially since you didn't do any such thing.
Yeah, I know I didn't make the first post that started the side tangent, granted, but I did have the longest post talking about something other than what the intial post was about. Others gave a quick blurp; I gave a whole lengthy discertation. If nothing else, I'm apologizing for not being brief in my reply, especially seeing as how it had darn little to do with the original post.

And if that's not a good enough explanation, I was worried LOAF wasn't happy. :) And if LOAF's not happy, the community suffers a bit, I think. I'd rather erroneously heap the whole responsibility for stepping out of line for everybody and bring us back to topic to make everything peachy once again.

For my own part in the past, I've been instrumental in sparking some very harsh dialogues (the usual - religion, politics, and even just simple matters like this where conversations get sidetracked) with people online in the past and sowing a lot of resentment because I was pushing too hard with my own ideas to give the other people a chance to breathe. I figured I'd just do my part to help diffuse a potentially volatile situation and get us back to the first topic we were talking about to begin with like LOAF was saying. My ideas and thoughts aren't overly spectacular or generally all that important, so I just wanted to take a step back and let things continue without there being any hard feelings. (Also, I realize this reaction I just explained is based on my own perception rather than universal truth, so hey - everybody just ignore it if it doesn't apply; just thought I'd give the rationale behind it.) :)

- Falc ~};^
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
What was so special about this dude that he didn't?

Just from the way it was mentioned above, it almost sounded like the whole Halle Berry/X-Men thing - you get this one actor or actress who really thinks they're God's gift to the universe, and they demand to get more face time, larger pay, etc.
It was probably that he was being payed by scale - voice over work doesn't pay as well as live action. Maybe he didnt think it merited a paycheck? Maybe he had something better to do that weekend? Who knows.

But there is nothing to support the idea that he had a bad attitude. Malcolm McDowell didn't do the Wing Commander movie because he was busy with Fantasy Island - does that mean he has a bad attitude? Not at all. He was just busy with something else.
 

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
Exactly how 'deep' do you think Blair is? The entire point of the character is that he doesn't have a character -- he's you, and what he thinks and feels and does and says corresponds to what you think and feel and do and say.

Well by "deep", I meant that Blair seemed to interact with and care more about the supporting characters. We got to make choices that impacted their lives, and see how that affected Blair. With Casey we didn't get as much interaction, and he was more "along for the ride". At least that's how it seemed to me. Prophecy is still my favorite WC, but I did like the way Blair's relationships with his shipmates developed more than Casey and his friends.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Well by "deep", I meant that Blair seemed to interact with and care more about the supporting characters.
I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of Blair - YOU care about the supporting characters through Blair, not because you're watching Blair care about them.
 
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