About the New KITT Design

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Victor Kros
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About the New KITT Design

Post by Victor Kros » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:44 am

(See the various photos of the new KITT for reference, too many to repost here)

I want to make it very clear that I am not against them using a Ford Mustang as the choice of the new KITT for the NBCU backdoor pilot.

I think Mustangs have a sleek look to them that fits in some ways with the style of the Trans Am, especially the older models.

Honestly they could use any car they wanted but the devil will always, ALWAYS be in the details.

My problem is that there is nothing about these cars that makes them unique from other cars out there. Nothing here says that this car is ahead of it's time although granted the shifting abilities will better display the advanced abilities through the use of CG effects.

Yes you have a few additional options added, which you could get done at any customizer shop. What here looks like effort was taken into designing it?

Where is the heart? Where is the spirit? Why did they just settle for the quick and easy route? The beauty of Michael Scheffe's work on the original KITT is yes, the car was for the most part a stock 82 Trans Am but the way he modified the nose cone to fit the curves of the body with the scanner and just create this visual flow avoiding the use of straight lines...

It's just a work of art. Art of that calibur that's a great deal of thought and consideration. Scheffe made KITT look like nothing else out there and kept a less is more approach that worked.

Sleek and black, he made the Trans Am look like it could go 200 MPH just standing still. Just the little details he took to make it stealthy without being overly angular or bulky.

Then there's the interior...I mean honestly there is no other show out there that had a dash with the high tech brilliance Scheffe invisioned.

He used to work for Mattel, he knew how to make a dash that would make even the kid in us would want to play with. He paid attention to bright attractive lights that capture your attention and made sure everything in the dash looked futuristic. He didn't need HUD and holographic technologies to sell the idea of futuristic invention.

You could argue that HUD and holographic technology wasn't availible at the time but really the key word here is tangible. Even with a lower tech vector graphics screen we still bought into the idea KITT could do what he was designed to do and at that time, was able to do things that were far ahead of what cars were meant to do that that time.

You believed that when you pushed those buttons, something would happen and when the car accelerated, the digital readout was accuratly displaying how fast the car moved. When you open the door to your replica KITT's you believe that the dash inside really controls the car, not just the gull wing steering wheel but that every button in there can do some sort of function be it fictional or realistic.

He did it with sleek artistically scuplted curves, sexy elegance that made the exterior of the car flow with the interior. Press buttons, LED lights, bright white labeled text and lines...all things that could not only be believable but tangible...everything in KITT has a physical and visual interaction with the driver.

Michael still pressed the buttons to turbo boost or activate his functions. He still pressed buttons to send messages and engage features. Everything about the original design work put into the original Trans Am is just a beautiful work of art that DID NOT feel stock or slapped together.

Michael looked to KITT's voice box as if it was KITT's face, especially in times of great danger. The magic of design meeting personality and creative storytelling (for the most part) and yes David's uncanny ability to make it feel as if him and KITT were actually talking back and forth to one another.

From the futuristic, symphonic theme music, to the car, to the relationship of the characters, Glen put so much effort into making sure as executive producer and creator of Knight Rider he was giving the world something it had never seen before.

Glen had pride in what he was doing and he gave his all to make this impossible probability into a probable one and he's in the process of trying to focus that creative energy into the feature film.

You believed just by looking at the car and the time put into it's design that this car was unique and together Michael and KITT could make a difference.

Not just a talking car but a whole new level of unique artistic flair that could not easily be recaptured or duplicated. Even a little detail like the front end scanner light and voice box made you believe KITT was a living entity that could see, hear, touch, smell.

A soul of sleek metal and transistors, circuit boards, and leds but a living character who was given just as much attention as Michael Knight himself.

Michael even dressed the same as KITT, both had a sleek outer appearance (Michael with his black leather coat, KITT with his MBS) and both were more then they appeared on the outside.

In the pilot there is a reason why Michael wears a red shirt. He's mimicing through dress the same black/red motif that mirrors KITT.

They both strived to do what was right and help those in need. Michael and KITT were made for one another not just in appearence but by their very design influences.

These are the details that make KITT work. I just don't feel that any real time was taken to address that if this show is a continuation of the original series while the Knight Industries 3000 just doesn't have any trace of the unique design so brilliantly captured long ago.

How can they just toss all of this away? Turbo boost, ski mode, push buttons, even the signature KITT voice box isn't here. Maybe it appears in a HUD but is that really tangible? Does that really give you a sense this car has a life of it's own?

Remote control that's a gimmick to be quite honest, the same effects were used in the original by keeping Jack Gill concealed from view. That's not something that makes this KITT "better" it just makes the effects easier.

Call me old fashioned but as an artist and a fan of art, I will always stand by the work Michael Scheffe did and I will go out of my way to make sure in the feature film, our KITT does not dismiss the roots of it's original design elements.

I would gladly risk a few people calling push buttons in a new KITT with LED screens "cheesy" and "old fashioned" then completely destroy what made Knight Rider unique from a design standpoint to every other show out there.

We can't get Scheffe back but we can make it a mission to honor him by taking what he has done and push it to the next level, keeping not just the spirit of the Trans Am alive externally but Scheffe's influences on the internal/external details as well.

If you try to dismiss the interior as something you can add on to in CG, CG is just not tangible, even externally you lose the believability factor.

Take a long hard look at what is being done before you rush to accept what's been given to you or buying into the marketing hype that's been designed to influence your acceptance to something you know just isn't what the spirit of Knight Rider is all about.

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Post by James_kr » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:00 am

Victor,

The way you are making this new Knight Rider movie sounds perfect at the moment. Everything you say there you are right. The whole remote control thing has nothing to do with KITT in the show, just the effects.

The Mustang really hasn't been changed which is actually what I thought is that it hardly has the quality of Scheffe's design. I am guessing that KITT's voicebox will be like KIFT's.

This movie you are making isn't being rushed like the series seams to be and its going to be worth the wait!
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Post by d_osborn » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:12 am

I would gladly risk a few people calling push buttons in a new KITT with LED screens "cheesy" and "old fashioned" then completely destroy what made Knight Rider unique from a design standpoint to every other show out there.


I COMPLETELY agree with everything you've said, except the above statement. What really grabbed my attention to KITT as a kid was that it took believable technology... flashy LEDs and buttons... and ramped it all up to the next level. Everything looked like it served a purpose, and was real at the same time.

In my opinion, the same process could be used today, while using the basic elements of Scheffe's design. Take the coolest new technology, ramping it up, while maintaining believability. The 82 KITT had push buttons and LED readouts... now, we have touch panels with animated graphic interfaces. Look at the Apple iPhone. Why not apply the same technology to the KITT design, only taken to the next level, while maintaining the classic design elements that were apparently ignored with KRINO...

If I had time, I would whip out a quick Photoshop render...

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Post by cloudkitt » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:36 pm

I agree with everything you said AND I hate the fact that it's a Mustang.
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Post by goldbug » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:58 pm

Victor,

Reading over a couple of your posts, I see you have a definite passion for how KITT should look inside and out.

I am curious however, many of your posts assume the one interior pic out there is THE interior. However, it was stated in the article that pic came from that interior pics of the other two cars were not allowed, only this one. And this is the remote control one to boot, meaning it is quite possible we have not yet seen the "true" new KITT interior. You do understand it's possible the interior looks much more advanced than the one seen in that one photo, correct?

Also, I am curious as I am new here. I see that you have some role in the development of the new film and that's great. I'll support any new KR project if it shows promise. However, have you talked to the people who worked on this KITT? Your posts seem to indicate you believe they didn't have any heart or soul when designing it, and maybe you're right, but I'm curious if you've actually talked to the people who worked on it to confirm that they were rushed etc.

The reason I say this is that I have been involved in design of other things before (toys most notably) and often, a lot of work goes into a product but fans will poo poo it anyway without giving any benefit of the doubt. I'm just wondering if you have talked to the designers and have they indicated "Yeah, we were rushed into production so we slapped together what we could." which seems to be your belief.
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Post by Shapeshifter » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:06 pm

You have to understand something about Victor.

He is personally involved with the Glen Larsen project, and is very passionate about it. Which is fine. But occasionally he crosses the line and makes inflammatory and unsubstantiated remarks about the NBCU project, which he clearly doesn't like.

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upgrade kitt

Post by veeates » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:07 pm

They could have used the original KITT and upgrade him, but on 18 inch wheels and updated interior. We need the screen, buttons, lights and everything else. The main thing would be the overhead console, it was highly used by Micheal, I dont see it on the new KITT. God it was bad choice by NBC :twisted:
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Re: upgrade kitt

Post by Mango19 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:19 pm

veeates wrote:They could have used the original KITT and upgrade him, but on 18 inch wheels and updated interior. We need the screen, buttons, lights and everything else. The main thing would be the overhead console, it was highly used by Micheal, I dont see it on the new KITT. God it was bad choice by NBC :twisted:


Yeah, but if the new KITT was just an updated old one then you couldn't hold out for the idea (if this goes to series) of maybe someday seeing the two versions of KITT charging to the rescue together across the desert in a season finale.

Just talking out of my *ss here, but it could happen...

If William Daniels is game, the old KITT's reaction to the new one would be priceless (and could probably be copied verbatim from this forum).

Just my own little fanboy hope... :)

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Post by MJknight » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:53 pm

Until I see what Glen delivers with the movie;I still see KITT as an '82 Trans Am.

That reminds me, is there any truth that the original KITT will be returning for the TV Pilot? We know Hasselhoff is coming back to be Michael, but is the original KITT coming back?
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Post by Solid Snake » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:06 pm

It seems yes that he will.

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Post by Lost Knight » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:00 pm

With all the talk of the original Trans Am making an appearance, I haven't heard a word about William Daniels returning. But then again, he's always chosen to not be credited for voicing K.I.T.T., so perhaps that's helping to keep the secret if he does return. It's not like he has to appear on-set or anything, as he always did the voice acting at a later date in a studio booth.
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Post by Shapeshifter » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:04 pm

Lost Knight wrote:With all the talk of the original Trans Am making an appearance, I haven't heard a word about William Daniels returning. But then again, he's always chosen to not be credited for voicing K.I.T.T., so perhaps that's helping to keep the secret if he does return. It's not like he has to appear on-set or anything, as he always did the voice acting at a later date in a studio booth.


William Daniels will not be back for the TV pilot; the KITT v/o will be done by Will Arnett. Maybe for the movie, but I doubt that as well.

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Post by Lost Knight » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:12 pm

:( Well, at least I won't have any false hopes now.
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Post by Victor Kros » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:01 pm

Shapeshifter and I have an agreement, I will not discredit the tv series and I haven't attacked its script, cast, or shooting locations much less anything else.

As far as production value goes, I really don't have to say much about it that people can't already see for themselves and speaking of Knight Rider in general, I see no continuation in design from the previous tv series nor do I see any effort invested in carrying on the design principles established by Michael Scheffe.

As far as being in whose camp goes, if I wanted to violate our agreement Shapeshifter I could go through and disect point by point everything contained in the script and compare and contrast not just the differences between the original tv series from both a design and production standpoint but also a conceptual standpoint and I have chosen not to do so...because of our agreement and also because Knight Rider fans in general have a right to decide what they like and do not like.

If anyone gets dangerously close to violating a agreement it is you implying that just because I happen to support Glen's feature film I will automatically hate whatever NBCU tries to do.

I've already stated quite clearly my reasons why I feel that the attention to detail isn't present based on the press photos released and that is a opinion based on material released specificially to influence the public into accepting the design choices they've made.

I will not be the last person to object to those decisions but at least I have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what I believe in and not sit back and let some network or individual tell me what I should like or dislike.

I do not come here and tell people to boycott Universal and to protest against the Mustang and rally to overthrow the network or not to buy any merchandise. I haven't said do not watch the pilot (if it airs), I do not even condemn people for speculating about the tv series.

I speak my mind in a clear and concise manner and I tell the truth. Whether people wish to listen, agree, or disagree with me that's their choice to decide.

I do not tell people to reject the tv series, from my point of view in my opinion I do not support what's been done from a design standpoint and I have expressed why, if people want to support the car more power to them but what I've said is factual based on the photos presented and I will not change my stance until something is released to prove to me otherwise.

Not because I'm in Glen's corner but because as a Knight Rider fan, I have come to embrace certain elements that make Knight Rider what is was and that individuality is not present based on the information provided.

So please do not presume to make me out to be the bad guy because I do not share your optimism about the direction of the backdoor pilot. The next time you address me with accusations, make sure your facts are in order and keep our agreement in mind.

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Post by young-nyc » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:10 pm

rightly said..

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Post by Shapeshifter » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:09 am

Not going to respond, no point.

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Post by Transparent » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:53 am

The majority of my friends, collegues etc believe Knight Rider to be aimed at children.

Please peeps, stop squabbling like kids, you're making me look bad :)

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Post by Shapeshifter » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:27 pm

Sorry, won't happen again.

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Post by Mango19 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:16 pm

victor kros wrote:The next time you address me with accusations, make sure your facts are in order and keep our agreement in mind.


Victor, I've reviewed every post you and Shapeshifter have made on this board. Do you really believe you haven't taken every opportunity to dump on the NBC pilot?

In another thread, you just called the pilot a pile of crap. But, hey, at least you're not being critical.

Not sure what sort of "agreement" you have with Shapeshifter, but every time Shapeshifter has shared something here, he has been invariably respectful, helpful, and, above all, accurate. He's also never said an unkind word about the "competition." You, not so much.

And you might want to work on your own accuracy. How's that "storm" coming, BTW? You know, I checked the trades like you said, and all I came up with is this:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i00627c6566fe8f5f80934b6d38cf98a8

Guess the Weinsteins sent out the wrong press release, huh?

Fact: you have done everything possible to be negative about this project and have no intention of giving it a fair shake. Fair enough, your perogative. But at least be honest about it and don't insult our intelligence by pretending you have an open mind, when it's clear that you don't.

You have made your mind up. Please allow the rest of us the same courtesy.

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New Car Design

Post by hotrod1178 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:26 pm

Hey Everybody,

I am a huge Knight Rider fan and this is just my opinion, but the new car design SUCKS! Why would they use an existing model like the Mustang for a futuristic car? How much did Ford pay NBC for product placement? Come on! When the original Trans Am was introduced in the early 80's, there were no other cars like it ANYWHERE? That's what made all the more appealing to car enthusiasts...which I'm not. All I see when I look at the new design is a suped up Mustang that I see on the streets all the time.

I hope the story lines are strong and can help me get over the "safe" approach they are using. Even in the Knight Rider 2000 movie, they used a new car design. Hopefully, Glen A. Larson's movie won't make this mistake. The more I think about it...the more I am not excited for NBC's version. I will keep an open mind, but I won't be suprised if we have another Team Knight Rider on our hands. Long live Glen Larson!

I'm not trying to start a fight here. I'm only expressing my opinion and trying to understand what is going on.

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...

Post by tharpdevenport » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:15 pm

Victor, I am with you.


After reading all the crap, reading about an "artist" doing the theme tune (that worked real well on "Enterprise"...) and seeing the sh!tty new KITT ... I have decided to personally boycott the new show; not owning a TV makes it easier, but it will obviously show up on YouTube be airing (like the new "Futurama"), but I will still not watch it.
I am a man of principal. Back when they rejected Marc Shaiman's score to "Team America", I boycotted the movie; when it was shown for FREE on TV, I still avoided it.


I look forward the movie and hope you are doing the kind of kjustice you say, and not just a KITT 2000 thing. And hopefully TKR and KR2000 will be forgotten.
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Post by Shapeshifter » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:25 pm

When I said artist, I was not referring to Michael Bolton. Or William Shatner. It will be a rap or hip hop guy, and it will be cool. I just don't know who. And since you don't own a TV, I guess the production will survive without your participation. Enjoy the movie, when it comes out (if it comes out).

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Post by Solid Snake » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:05 pm

Guys come on... get along here... we should be happy that a TV series from 25 years ago is getting a revival on TV and in the Theatres. I for one love the new approach and guts NBC showed to not follow the easy route... I even love the car. And if Glen will restart the KR universe by remaking the pilot of the original I will love that too... but please, do not judge anybody or anything withour seeing a second of footage... and please do not provoke each other to say things that one might regret later... let us just be very happy and lucky that our favourite show is getting a new chance in 2 very different fashions... what other show can say that? Virtually none... I for one am very happy that KR is as alive as never before and can not wait to see BOTH of the new incarnations with the NBC one coming the soonest.

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Post by Mango19 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:58 pm

Solid Snake wrote:Guys come on... get along here... we should be happy that a TV series from 25 years ago is getting a revival on TV and in the Theatres. I for one love the new approach and guts NBC showed to not follow the easy route... I even love the car. And if Glen will restart the KR universe by remaking the pilot of the original I will love that too... but please, do not judge anybody or anything withour seeing a second of footage... and please do not provoke each other to say things that one might regret later... let us just be very happy and lucky that our favourite show is getting a new chance in 2 very different fashions... what other show can say that? Virtually none... I for one am very happy that KR is as alive as never before and can not wait to see BOTH of the new incarnations with the NBC one coming the soonest.


+1

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Post by Victor Kros » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:08 pm

Mango19, you're new so I will understand your lack of respect accordingly.

Instead of fueling the fire, if you choose to continue to confront me, I would appreciate you present some actual evidence to support your accusations because thus far "in another thread" amounts to "I don't know exactly what you've said but..."

In another thread, you just called the pilot a pile of crap. But, hey, at least you're not being critical.


I assume you're referring to the OFFICIAL KITT EXTERIOR PHOTOS thread. I did not call the pilot "a pile of crap", I used an analogy that every artist knows of and explained that in my view no effort was taken into the design of the new car to carry over any of the design influences Scheffe did and I further covered this subject in a new thread (this one) to further explain why I felt that way which is again MY OPINION based on the photos released.

No where will you find me attacking the pilot in general other then claiming it was a rushed effort that quite frankly doesn't retain the spirit of the original series. I'm aware this is a "new" series but it's also claiming to be a "continuation" of the old series and yet it's using revisionist history to do so. I will not get deeper into it then that.

I have avoided addressing the pilot's script in general because again, I have an agreement with Shapeshifter and I have kept up my side of the bargain.

Fact: you have done everything possible to be negative about this project and have no intention of giving it a fair shake. Fair enough, your perogative. But at least be honest about it and don't insult our intelligence by pretending you have an open mind, when it's clear that you don't.


The points I raised in my Scheffe post would disagree with you and your "fact" is your opinion not factual. I have a right to express my opinion which was made abundantly clear it was MY OPINION. I did not say "Glen Larson says" this or "TWC" says that.

I said the following

I've already stated quite clearly my reasons why I feel that the attention to detail isn't present based on the press photos released and that is a opinion based on material released specificially to influence the public into accepting the design choices they've made.


I do not tell people to reject the tv series, from my point of view in my opinion I do not support what's been done from a design standpoint and I have expressed why, if people want to support the car more power to them but what I've said is factual based on the photos presented and I will not change my stance until something is released to prove to me otherwise.


Too many times as of late people have misquoted what I have said on other forums or in other disputes they've attempted to start with me.

You don't know me and I don't know you. How do you know what my intentions are? Because I had a disagreement with Shapeshifter that did not involve you? I haven't ghosted his posts attacking everything he has said since the time we made an agreement in private.

The first time he appeared, I did attack his credibility because I knew from day one he was hiding his involvement in the NBCU backdoor pilot project and I did not approve of that choice which explained his blatant undying support for a backdoor pilot that hasn't even hit the air yet not to mention his incites into script details, casting, etc.

We've settled that dispute as far as I know.

I questioned the new KITT from a design POV, and I will not repost the other points I've listen to support why I feel that way. You can re-read them for yourself.

As far as Shapeshifter is concerned, he has nothing to say because he knows I'm right in expressing my opinion on why I do not agree to the design decisions made (in my last post regarding Scheffe) and I respectfully allow that conflict to resolve accordingly.

As far as a storm coming, it is coming but there are legalities to consider and yes you are correct, the plans to post reponses in the trades was delayed because of those legalities. You will however find this subject will become very public most likely beginning next year.

I will not disclose the reasons because I have already said what I've needed to say about it and will comment no further on the subject beyond this post.

Near as I can tell your interest is in starting conflict and I will not fuel your fire. If you choose to defend your accusations that is your choice to make but in the end it's not going to help your case nor is it necessary to the fans who are at least happy that Knight Rider is coming back next year no matter which side presents it or who gets it to the screen first.

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