[B5JMS] Further B5:TLT update from jms

b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu b5jms at mail.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu
Fri Oct 27 04:47:01 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: 26 Oct 2006 01:01:01 -0700
Lines: 63

Well, tomorrow I head back to LA for meetings on other projects for two
days, then it's back to Vancouver again on Sunday to continue prep.  So
far everything's laying out very cleanly.  We have an EFX house on
board now, which was the last big step to be undertaken.  It wasn't
until the last day or so that we could really get into the CGI issues,
which are huge on these stories.

And in regard to that...the initial goal was to try and do three big
stories in one DVD. So I wrote three scripts, featuring Sheridan,
Lochley, Galen and Garibaldi.  (I wanted to focus on the human
characters initially so we'd have more time for prosthetics R&D for the
next one.)  The stories, as noted previously, were huge...all over the
map, from Minbar, to Earth, Mars, the future, the distant past, as well
as B5 itself obviously.  We're also going to be trying some new
production technologies, again trying to stay ahead of the tech curve,
the way B5 has always stayed ahead on these things.

And over the last few days, as we began to bring on crew and lay out
the production, looking at just how complicated these mini-movies were
going to be, the idea of making three of these monsters began to become
a bit much for us to pull off on out first time out the gate,
especially since I'm still kind of new as a director.  So we decided to
postpone one of the three to the next DVD, and lengthen the other two
to make up the difference.  GIven that the Garibaldi story was the most
complicated visually and technically, also the most difficult from a
CGi perspective, that's the one that got pushed until, potentially,
next time.

And if the sales are anywhere near what WB expects, and I think they
will be, there's no question that there will be more of these down the
road.  So we're gong to focus in on those two stories and knock them
out of the park.  Same length, same running time, and now even bigger
than at first anticipated since the budget on number three will now be
applied to the other two.

Part of what we're doing is to re-think the look of B5 to some degree.
The show was created using 1993 technology, video toasters and amigas,
and was to some extent limited by the paradigms and production methods
we used in that.  But it's now 13 years later, and while I will keep
the feel of the show the same, and the silhouettes and designs, there's
no reason to limit the look of the feel to what we could do six years
ago (from when we stopped).  So we're going to invest a lot of time,
effort and money into really re-imagining some of the visuals at the
present level -- looking at shows like Battlestar and the like -- and
bringing those tools into B5 while still maintaining the feel of the

I also managed to work in a nice nod to Andreas and Richard in the two

So with that...the team is now in place, the last personnel have been
hired, and as soon as I get back to Vancouver, I get to take off the
producer's hat and put on the director's hat.


 message content (c) 2006
 synthetic worlds, ltd.
 permission to reprint
 specifically denied to 
 SFX Magazine

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