Why are you here (rastb5)?

 Posted on 6/4/1995 by jmsatb5@aol.com to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated

A postscript to my previous note. I debated including this, because
it sounds self-serving, but it also happens to be the truth, so after
thinking about it, I'm going to add it anyway.

I don't get paid to be here. Nobody asked me to be here. Nobody's
forcing me to be here. (And a few here would, apparently, love nothing
more than to drive me off here so they can say whatever they want without
the inconvenience of the target for their attacks disagreeing with them
with anything as unfair as facts.) I'm a voluntee

I am, insofar as I know, the ONLY television producer to be on-line
to this extent, creating what is really an interactive experience. This
is a great experiment, one which will probably go down in the record
books when people look back at the history of the net. There have already
been huge articles about this in books and magazines. We're pioneering
something here. And a lot of other producers I know are looking on to see
how this all shakes out. If it works, others will come on-line. If not,
if they're just going to get hammered and slandered and abused, they're

Maybe the problem is...I'm free. And you respect something to the
extent you pay for it. My consulting fees are in excess of $100 per
hour. I spend 3 hours per day just on the internet. That's 21 hours a
week, 2 and a half work days per week. Most of that I spend not in
forwarding my own ego, or selling merchandise, or making money...I spend
it answering questions. Who was this actor? What did this mean? Why
are CGI used? How long does it take to make an episode? What does a
producer do? How do you write a character? How do you sell a show?

It's the kind of information you can't get anywhere else unless you
want to take one of those triple-damned McKee seminars and spend, oh,
about $500 for one weekend doing so. I read and I read, 500 messages per
day slip past me, some in detail, some less so. I provide a service. I
provide information. I answer questions. I don't do it for the ratings,
beause if you added up all the people who read this group, which I think
is about 10,000 people, they won't even show UP on the Neilsen ratings.

I do it, in addition to the reasons given a moment ago, to provide a
service. Were I providing this service to a studio, or as a consultant
on another project, it would cost them a couple thousand bucks a week. I
do all this without asking for money, or gifts, or even respect (he said
with a glance to the people riffling their papers in the back of the room
and tossing spitballs). I have only ever asked for *one thing* in exchange
for this service: no story ideas.

And I honestly don't think that's a terribly high price for the hours
and days I spend here when I should be writing, or trying to relax a bit,
or maybe going out to dinner once in a while. I'm chained to the keyboard
when I write scripts; and then volunteer to stay up here, until 2 or 3 or
even 4 a.m., dead-tired, answering one more ATT: JMS note, because I think
maybe, just maybe, it's important, and right, and honorable, and
respectful. I don't think most folks understand what this takes out of me
on a daily basis. And I suppose they shouldn't have to. It's not their
problem. It's my choice. I don't even like bringing it up, because it
sounds self-serving. But with all this going on, I figured maybe it
SHOULD get mentioned. Because it's the truth.

Anyway, enough. It's now 2:03 a.m., and I have 248 Internet messages
in my mailbox to get through before I crash tonight.