Attn JMS: Movie scripts

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat May 23 06:10:59 EDT 1998

From: Randall Crist <crist at>
Date: 20 May 1998 12:09:30 -0600
Lines: 23

Dear JMS,

It seems to me that  it is impossible to maintain a uniformly high level
of writing, or anything for that matter, over a long period with the
deadlines. There have been a few episodes that, I think, would have
benefited from some tinkering (Grey 17 is Missing and the Mars comedy
scene in Between the Darkness and the Light are two that stuck me as
moments that weren't effective). Then there are the others-Whatever
Happened to Mr. Garibaldi is stunning every time I watch it, not to
mention 10 or so other episodes that are equally astonishing for their
lyrical quality. You have a remarkable batting average in this respect.

Thus my question:  if  a B5 theatrical movie was given the green light,
would you take more time to polish the script than for a typical pair of
episodes (what I am figuring is the equivalent in length)?  I have read
much of what you have written on the 'net about how you work with the
"white heat" of inspiration, so I was curious to see if you might take a
different approach with a different vehicle.

Thanks for one of the most remarkable achievements I have seen in any

Randy Crist

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 20 May 1998 17:23:47 -0600
Lines: 19

Actually, I think where my episodes have had problems has been where I've had
too much time to think about them, and second guess myself.  The more time
between starting it and finishing it, the more I tend to lose the fingerprints
of the characters and the situation.  Both the examples you cite, for instance,
were that way, and suffered from too MUCH tinkering on my part, frankly.

As for the feature...that one is going to be the object of some considerable
attention from me.  I'll probably do what I tend to do for special stuff
(should it get into development): noodle it and play with it and outline stuff
until finally it refuses to wait any longer, then take a week or so and do
nothing else but burn through the draft, then stick it in a box for another
week, not look at it, then come back and pretend somebody else wrote it and
tear it to shreds, then rebuild.


(jmsatb5 at
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