[B5JMS] ATTN JMS: Comments on Ensemble Approach?

b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu
Sun Apr 3 06:37:36 EDT 2005

From: hess-b5group at yacht.com
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 06:46:26 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 24

Dear Joe,

In Ron Moore's Podcast commentary for Kobol's Last Gleaming he
repeatedly describes how various people deviated from the original
intent of how he planned things for the show.  The actors in their
portrayal, the director moving things around, and others all put their
own mark on the show and all seemingly for the better.  This contrasts
to what I remember from your earlier newsgroup comments during The
Coming of Shadows, where you explained how every item was scripted to
the last detail and you saw the entire show in your mind's eye.

Can you comment on the two different approaches to running a show?  I'm
not fishing for you to compare the two shows or the writers but more an
understanding of how the different approaches play out and whether you
always keep a tight reign or sometimes spread the authority around as
Moore seems to.  IMHO both are top notch episodes in their own way,
although I'm partial to B5.

Thanks in advance for any insights.

                                            - Paul

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 08:25:06 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 26

There's really no right (or write) or wrong way to do this, it's all a
matter of how you structure each show.  The B5 story was so tight there
really wasn't much room for that kind of input.  At the same time,
however, I'd have to be a fool not to listen to someone if they found a
logic hole, and I always did listen...I don't care if it came from a
star or the grip, if I'd missed something in the writing, and someone
pointed it out, I fixed it.  But that sort of thing aside, there was no
change in the script allowed once it left my office.  If something came
up on the set, they'd find me and determine if it was a problem or not.

As a result, it didn't happen very often...and when it did, it was
always funny to see how the crew handled it...they'd send for me in
that kind of "oh shit" meets "nobody gets to see the Wizard" meets "you
want to talk to WHO?" way that just amused the hell out of the cast.

On other shows, however, where the through-line isn't as rigorous, you
have to be more open.  On Jeremiah, there was a far greater degree of
give-and-take between me and the various directors and, to some extent,
cast than on B5...but less than on other shows that were even more
collaborative.  So there's really no good or bad way here, it's all a
matter of what works for a given show.


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