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Old October 1 2012, 02:27 PM   #1
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Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

Sir Terry has launched a new production company along with the producers of the previously made Discworld stories. With Good Omens and The Watch being the first productions they're looking at making.

Sir Terry Pratchett has joined forces with former Prime Focus Productions boss Rod Brown to launch a television and film production company.


The author has established Narrativia to exploit the TV, film and digital rights of his prolific canon of work. The indie will take control of existing Pratchett projects, previously being produced by Prime Focus, as well as develop new ideas.
It will be overseen by Pratchett’s business manager Rob Wilkins, Brown and Rhianna Pratchett - the writer’s daughter. Each will have an equal stake in Narratavia, named after one of Pratchett’s own creations - a deity of narrative who smiles down on writers.
As part of the project, Brown has taken with him two Pratchett developments he was working on at Prime Focus. In return, the post production specialist’s facilities will be used if the shows make it to air.
The developments include The Watch, a police procedural series based on characters from Pratchett’s Discworld series of fantasy novels.
The 13 x 60-minute series, which Brown estimates will require a budget of £13-15m, will be written by former Python Terry Jones and Small Soldiers writer Gavin Scott.
Also on the agenda is a 4 x 60-minute adaptation Good Omens, co-produced by STV Productions.
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Old October 1 2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

"The Watch" certainly sounds very interesting. The City Watch related books are by far my favourites of the entire Discworld canon (followed hotly by the Death/Susan books.) I mean there seems to be no stopping the unending tide new police procedurals from being made every year, so one of them may as well have a werewolf, a troll and a Nobby Nobbs.
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Old October 2 2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

The Watch certainly has potential, although it doesn't seem like much has happened with the production since it has been announced. A lot of it depends on the casting, the unsuitable casting in the TCOM adaptation really hurt it, so they need to cast Vimes and the others well for it to work. I'd like to hope that they could get Charles Dance to reprise his role as Vetinari as he was damn-near perfect, but that might not be possible.
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Old October 3 2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

I suppose more Pratchett on TV could be good, but...

Pratchett books have a lot of important narration and the thoughts of characters are prominent (except for Carrot, so that we mainly see him through the eyes of others), and so far, this hasn't translated to the adaptations. For me, that's half the book thrown out of the window. Even Going Postal (the best of the adaptations, for me) was neutered in such a manner.

Just my two penneth.

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Old November 14 2012, 05:32 PM   #5
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

Looks like there's some early movement on The Watch, and appears it's the BBC working on it...

From Bleeding Cool

We have been reporting pretty regularly on The Watch, a new TV series set in Discworld, and jokingly referring to it as CSI: Ankh Morpork. The last we heard, the show had hired some writers and drawn up a budget. Baby steps, but in the right direction.

According to the new piece, Terry’s daughter Rihanna Pratchett is one of those writers.

[Rhianna] will be a co-writer on the BBC Discworld series The Watch, news of which has had fans like me chewing their cheeks in excitement. Mine may never recover after hearing some particularly exciting casting details that I’m absolutely not allowed to tell you about.

Run by Pratchett’s new production company, Narrativia, The Watch will continue the well-loved City Watch saga where the books left off, and Rhianna will be an important member of the writing team. The author tells me that he will be happy for her to continue writing the Discworld books when he is no longer able to do so.

That excerpt is bookended with surprising but welcome news. I like particuarly that Pratchett wants to leave behind the keys to Discworld, that he’s planning for his creation to live on and on and on. He said:

The Discworld is safe in my daughter’s hands.

Which reads like peace of mind.
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Old November 16 2012, 02:47 PM   #6
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

I'm surprised that it's the BBC that's producing it, I was expecting it to be Sky again. Not that that's a bad thing, if anything I'm more interested in seeing what they'll do with it.

I'm not sure what to think about Rihanna taking over the Discworld. As ITL said, the narration is a huge part of the series and that's all Terry. She may end up being very good at it, but I'm hopeful that Terry still has a few novels left in him yet and, more importantly, he's able to get them out.
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Old November 16 2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

Sky's deal came to an end, that's how the production company ended up getting put together. But it'll be interesting to see what happens with it.

In the interview he said that he can't type at all any more and writing by pen is getting more difficult, so it's all dictated or done using Voice to Text software.
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Old November 16 2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

Are they still doing 'Unseen Academicals', or did the licence on that run out too?

Looking forward to the new series and I like the idea that'll be a continuation of the books rather than an adaptation. For me, a major part of the appeal of the City Watch books has always been the ever growing ensemble. Because of this I've always been a bit wary of them adapting any particular story since it took a few books for everything to really click. With that in mind, I think starting with the full cast of characters is the most appealing way to go.

In a way I think this is best for the characters too since they've become such a large an nuanced group that it's been hard to give them all due time in the novels.
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Old November 17 2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
In the interview he said that he can't type at all any more and writing by pen is getting more difficult, so it's all dictated or done using Voice to Text software.
The last few novels were written like that, so he might be able to get a few more done before his memory and concentration give out. Hopefully his planning for the future of the Discworld after he's gone is just prudence and not an indication that he'll be taking a holiday to Switzerland any time soon.
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Old November 17 2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what to think about Rihanna taking over the Discworld. As ITL said, the narration is a huge part of the series and that's all Terry. She may end up being very good at it, but I'm hopeful that Terry still has a few novels left in him yet and, more importantly, he's able to get them out.
Well, if it's managing the property vis a vis making it TV series and movies then I think she could be a good custodian because she'd know what works and doesn't with Discworld adaptions.

But I really don't think there should ever be a Discworld novel that isn't by Terry Pratchett, i.e. I hope she'll be more of a Christopher Tolkein (albeit one more in favour of media adaptions) and less of a Brian Herbert.

The Watch is something I'm excited about because it's really the best novel series to adapt for television particularly given TV's long dependence on the police procedural. But that casting is gonna be key.

I just can't think of anyone I'd want to see as Cheery Littlebottom, for example, and I love her.
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Old November 18 2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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Re: Sir Terry Pratchett launches independent production company

^For practical purposes I think they'll probably be casting midgets (are we still allowed to use that word?) to play the dwarf roles. I can't see a TV budget being able to deal with the kind of in-camera forced perspective or post production compositing that would allow someone of average height to appear to be under 4'.

With that in mind, whomever they cast as Cherry would probably be an unknown actress. Either way, I can't help but wonder if they'll chicken out and loose the beard.

To my mind, Carrot and Angua are the real challenge. It's not enough to cast people that look the part, they really need to embody some really rather complex and subtle characteristics.

The trolls might be a little bit tricky too. I mean I'm sure they can build a costume, but getting it to emote might be tricky.
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