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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: A bit of an update....
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 8/27/1994 8:57:00 PM  

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A bit of an update....

Early last week, we got the director's cut of our first episode of the
second season, "Points of Departure." We went in Friday to do our producer's
cut (me and John Copeland, whom I've dubbed Mister Action, since he's very
good at action sequences), and that's now finished. All the CGI is in, absent
three virtual set shots, so otherwise only music and sound effects are
missing. We'll get to those next week.

The episode is *very* nice. In some ways, it's almost a whole new
series. Right off the bat, what you'll notice is how much better (and bigger)
many of the sets seem. We've also modified the lighting just a tick; I like
it dark, but over the course of the season it was apparent that it was *so*
dark in places that you really couldn't see or fully appreciate a lot of the
details in costume, sets and other areas, so we lightened it just a notch, but
counterbalanced by greater use of shadows (no play on words intended) and
color and textures, so that the show on one level looks moodier, but is more
accessible. A shadow on black can't be seen; a shadow that's visible carries
more impact.

We've built all new EA uniforms, and added a few small touches to make
them better; a bit of red piping along the collar and leather to make the
dividing line pop slightly; a better grade of letter and fabric so that the
uniforms look and wear better; slight modifications to the cuffs so they'll
end clean without gathering in a blousy kind of way; shirts of better fabric
with military tailoring so they wear better.

Ron's effects continue to get better, both here and in what I've seen of
the CGI in "Revelations." There's one particular shot in "Revelations" of a
Narn ship, very close-up, that I think has finally cracked the line between
models and CGI...it looks absolutely *solid*.

As I said, we're doing more with virtual sets and digital effects, and
we'll be seeing some two-story sets in many places.

Ivanova is all through the story, in practically every scene (and being
driven thoroughly nuts by various situations), with Sheridan also coming into
a very difficult situation. Both are absolutely excellent in the role. Bruce
brings a strength, and a vulnerability, to the role that is very nice to
watch. Sheridan and Ivanova play very well together, and I think you'll be
very pleased.

Though deliberately not as intense as "Chrysalis" or "Revelations," which
sandwich it on either side, it's got a lot of twists and turns and surprises
in it. It's very much a character driven story, with several arc elements,
where the other two are very strong arc episodes.

In any event...I'm extremely pleased. When you start changing elements,
you never really know how things will turn out, despite your best intentions.
In this case, I think this is a great episode, and it actually seems to be
coming together wonderfully.

I am profoundly relieved.

And given what I'm seeing in "Revelations" (we have one more day of
filming on Monday) in dailies...this is gonna be one hell of a season.

jms

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