Those of you into films may know the work of John Stiers, who's done most
of the physical SFX for the James Bond films, for Outland and other films.
He's an academy award winner who *never* works in television, out of choice.
Turns out, he heard of what we were doing with B5, and asked to see a copy of
the script, not believing what he'd heard, that anyone would even TRY
something like this for television. Read the script...and he's aboard B5 in
that capacity. Turned down a film job that would have paid 3 times as much.
At the production meeting today, he commented that he hasn't seen a group of
people, or an operation, or an attitude like this in television EVER...and
that the last time he ran into something like this in film was on the first
James Bond movie, where everyone knew they were creating something special.
It really is astonishing, the calibre of people we're attracting, and
have attracted. We've got academy and emmy award winners working right
alongside what are practially kids, pulling together to create something
Funny stuff, btw...over the weekend, a bunch of the guys (Ron, our
director Richard Compton, the prosthetics team, and some guys from our crew,
including UPM Bob Brown, who came to us from Lucasfilm) shot some, well, for
lack of a better term...commercials. They'll run on monitors in some of the
corridors and business areas. If you have a VCR and tape this show, you may
want to run it back and pay closer attention to some of what's going on in the
background. It's *very* funny stuff, and only occasionally sick and twisted.
(And again, that's indicative of our team...we didn't *have* to have this
sort of thing...it's a hassle, the prosthetics team out there en masse, doing
some location stuff out in the desert in 100+ degree heat, all on their own
time, giving up a weekend without pay, just to *do* it and make something
neat. And only occasionally sick and twisted....)
Nobody else would be crazy enough to DO this on television. Some of the
stuff they filmed...oh, man. Wait until you see it.
But that, again, is part of the point...letting creative people like
these do stuff that nobody else will LET them do. It's very nice. And it
doesn't worry me a bit. No, really. Well, maybe the alien faith healer just
a *tad*...and...well, never mind. Some things are too weird to even TRY and
Tomorrow we start rehearsals in earnest. I've turned in the last few
revisions for pink-pages, in some cases just changing one word on a page, if
that made it the *right* word. And adding in one new scene.
And for those who liked the other funny story, here's another, also true:
a prosthetics guy was running behind on another film, designing one of the
most crucial puppets of the piece. Finally, in desperation, the producer went
down to the prosthetics guy, got right in his face, and bellowed, at the top
of his lungs, "EITHER THAT PUPPET'S READY BY TEN O'CLOCK TOMORROW MORNING, OR
I'M GOING TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE, PAINT YOU GREEN, STICK MY HAND UP YOUR ASS
AND **YOU'RE** THE PUPPET!"
Needless to say, the puppet was ready. At 9:59 a.m.
I love this business....