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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Filming Episodes Out of Or
    Date: 10/2/1993 6:27:00 AM  

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The reason you don't generally hear about shows shooting episode 22
at number 12 is that most series don't know where they're going for the
length of their season. They're individual stories, rather than an overall
vision for a whole season at a time. That is what makes B5 different, and
what makes what would otherwise be a huge and expensive SF series
manageable from a fiscal point of view.

Because we know what stories we'll be shooting for the whole season,
it lets us budget and adjust in ways no other show really can. If we can
only make a deal with X-actor for a limited period of time because he or
she has to go off and make a movie, but we WANT X-actor because he or she
is best for the part, we can push those episodes together and write and
shoot them together for production purposes, and then air them later in
the correct story sequence. If we know we're going to be using X set --
a very big and expensive set that takes up a lot of room -- in certain
episodes, but not in others, we make it a point to try and shoot them
back to back. We're able to look ahead and match a certain kind of
story with a certain kind of director, rather than being haphazard about
it. (I.e., even though it's not written yet, we know that story 11 will
be a big action piece, and X-director is *great* on action, so we'll slot
him in for that one, and use Y-director, who's good with smaller, more
intimate stories, for episode 10.)

If we're not doing things the way you're accustomed to...then as far
as I'm concerned, we're doing our job. We're trying hard to redefine how
you do a TV series, particularly in SF, if you approach it as a novel
rather than as a series of disconnected stories.

And if I seemed to come down hard, it was to squelch this asap. I've
been on systems long enough to know how this works: person A says, "Gee,
I'm worried, this could be a problem." Then person B reads it, and passes
onto another system, "Some guy over on Internet who knows this stuff says
this could be a problem," after which it turns up on Compuserve as "Word
going around says there's a problem." And suddenly you've got ten zillion
people asking you what the problem is, what you're going to do about it,
when there IS no problem. I've seen this happen again and again. So when
I see it, I figure the best way to handle it is to just come back with the


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