[B5JMS] Further B5:TLT update from jms

b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu
Sat Oct 14 04:57:52 EDT 2006

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com
Date: 3 Oct 2006 00:17:35 -0700
Lines: 39

I'm kind of up against it right now on an assortment of deadlines, so
this'll be quick, but I did want to address some of the questions that
have been asked.

Yes, we're shooting this HD, so this is going to be quite a learning
curve for me as a director, since I've never shot HD before.  There's
also a HUGE amount of green-screen involved, so again, lots of learning
to be done.

For those who are getting the B5 scripts books -- and eventually the
B5:TLT scripts will be released -- you'll notice a substantial
difference between them and these scripts in that I decided to kind of
direct them on the page more than usual: calling out specific angles
and camera directions, locations and setups more than in any prior B5
script.  It probably resembles an animation script more than a standard
TV script, because it incorporates my directorial notes, shot for shot,
as we go.

The first three-segment DVD is called "Voices in the Dark."  We've
narrowed down the cast, and hope to have their deals closed this week.
There are already ten crew members working on this thing up in
Vancouver, pulling together stages, offices and other prep work.  The
first day of shooting will likely be either November 13th or 14th (due
to a Canadian holiday).  The last twiddlings to the script should be
done by this coming Monday.  Storyboarding starts the end of this week.

It's balls-to-the-wall right now, but it should be fun in the end.


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From: jmsatb5 at aol.com
Date: 12 Oct 2006 01:02:13 -0700
Lines: 29

Just a quick follow-up...I'm in Vancouver (coming back in 24 hours)
finishing up a round of final staff interviews for B5:TLT.  Thus far,
we've hired two other producers, a script supervisor, a post
supervisor, the editor, a production manager, a conceptual
artist/storyboard guy, an art director/production designer, a first
assistant director, and closed several cast deals, with the rest
probably to be closed next week, at which time I may be able to say who
they are.  Pending final negotiations, Chris Franke has agreed to come
on board to do the music.  We're interviewing CGI houses up here to
decide which to go with.  The three scripts have been completed, and
are now being storyboarded.  We've narrowed down the director of
photography options to just a few last guys, and should have that
decided by week's end.  We've also locked down the stage and have
started putting together our package (camera, lights, grip and

By this time next week, about 80% of our crew will be in hand, the rest
coming aboard during the start of prep.


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 synthetic worlds, ltd.
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From: jmsatb5 at aol.com
Date: 14 Oct 2006 00:52:33 -0700
Lines: 56

Fast follow-up....

Just got back tonight from Vancouver, and we've now nailed down/hired
nearly all of our key department heads and the Director of Photography
who I'll be working with closely during production.  We spent today in
the first informal production meeting going over how we're going to
shoot this, reviewing the storyboards, determining what's going to be
green screen and what's going to be practical set...this should be a
pretty cool looking project, with some sights we haven't really seen
before as well as some more familiar sights.

What I can say about the three episodes is that we go to Mars, Minbar
and of course B5, we introduce a new kind of Minbari cruiser, and
there's a rather startling sequence on Earth.  I've decided to shoot
each segment a little differently from each other, so they each have
their own visual style that complements that particular story.  On
Monday the B5 team up north will be checking out the stages, and about
a week or so from now the actual B5 offices will open up and folks will
start moving in.

It's starting to feel a lot like fun.

We'll also be working with WB to put together a special reel from the
shoot that we can bring to debut at San Diego Comic Con next year.

Meanwhile, not only has the Universal feature deal noted in another
thread been finalized, so I'm writing that now, but the Paramount
feature deal has *also* been closed, so now there are two big-budget
feature screenplay assignments that I have to write, the first due by
late November/early December, the second one sometime to be delivered
shortly after the first of the year.  A third assignment is kind of
nibbling around the edges which could be very cool, even though I
couldn't start writing it until I finish the other two, which means
it'd have to be spring 2007 to turn in the script if the assignment
comes in.

Finally, now that Ron has said it's okay to bring in other directors on
Changeling, there's been a small flood of a-list directors coming
around to try and pick up the assignment.  Part of the attraction is
not just the script, but the acting talent involved...as noted in the
LA Times piece, Reece Witherspoon (and two other oscar-winning leading
female actors) are extremely interested in the lead role.  I imagine
we'll start having meetings in the next few weeks to narrow down the
list of directors.

It's crazy-busy, but good.


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