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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Yikes...111 messages since I left...okay,...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 5/17/1992 6:05:00 PM  

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Yikes...111 messages since I left...okay, several points. I'm going on
no sleep in -- let's see -- over 24 hours now, so if there are typos, or it
gets sloppy, or brief, please bear with me.

One quick piece of business out of the way: the XXLs are *finally* in.
They'll arrive at the office Monday, and will start going out this week. And
yes, they ran out of blue, so they'll be in black. Haven't seen them yet, but
I hear they look terrific.

Okay...so where have I been?

I haven't been away from a keyboard, not working, for more than two days
at a time in over 4 years. With B5 gearing up, and another season of M,SW to
take care of along the way, I needed to escape and clear my head and prepare.
I also needed to do some research on areas of use to B5, and to get a sense of
*time*, odd as that may sound.

So for 11 days I was in Ireland, mainly in Dublin, then down south of
there in (and I'm gonna mess up htis name bigtime) Glendalough (or
Glendaloch), and then up north in New Grange, visiting the neolithic burial
mound that was 1,000 years old when Stonehenge was being built; it's the
oldest human made edifice on the planet, older even than the pyramids.
Stood in the very center of the burial chambers. Talk about getting a sense
of time....

Then finished there, and spent a few days in London before returning
today to L.A. nonstop from Heathrow. (The Irish had considerable cause for
amusement at my name...the usual reaction I got was a widening of eyes, a
shaking of heads, and a muttered, "God bless you" said with something between
pity and awe. So after a while I started saying it was Gaelic. I don't think
they believed me.)

To the message way uptopic...stra-chin-ski or stra-zin-ski are both
equally acceptable; the former is Old Country, the latter the New World
pronunciation.

One bit of information I should pass along:

The plan, initially, was to air B5 on November 17th, with the other two
series/projects to air in February. Now this has always been a little
problematic, not from a production standpoint -- we've been ready to go for a
long time -- but logically, if you're running a new consortium of stations,
it kinda behooves you to start it all at once. Because we would be ready
early, and the other two shows, which got later starts, wouldn't be, the
initial decision was to split them as mentioned above.

As of this time, all three will be airing at the same time, in February,
instead of splitting them. I will admit that I wasn't exactly thrilled about
the delay, for obvious reasons (mainly because it would put us head to head
with another certain show, rather than giving us a head start), but grudingly,
it does make a certain sense: you put it all on line at the same time, you get
more bang for your PR buck, there's cross promotion, and in the final analysis
it'll probably bring *more* viewers to B5 than would have seen it on its own.
There are also a number of good business reasons for it as well, including
details about actors options and the like.

The new airdate for the B5 movie will probably be in the third or so week
of February, whenever Sweeps happens to be. We've re-adjusted our production
schedule to accommodate the new airdate, and on one level, even that works
out. It'll give us more time to polish the effects and maybe do even more
than we'd planned.

Not a crisis, not a problem, just business. And while I'd like to be
cranky about it, it *does* make considerable sense. (And I have reason to
believe that at February, we'll *still* beat DS9 to the punch, given that
there's still not even a completed script, or wasn't when I left two weeks
ago.) So we're now scheduled to begin filming the second week of August.
Tomorrow (Monday), I meet with one of the candidates for cinematographer, and
will see the new designs that were developed in my absence for approval. The
final edits (mine, mainly, plus a few cuts for time) on the script go in on
March 24th.

Meanwhile, on all other fronts, things continue to go well. The studio
still has no script notes, loves the draft, has approved our final budget, and
we're hiring more people. Figure casting at about early or middle July. (And
to an earlier query...yes, we'll be casting mainly actors who are good,
classically trained performers, but who may not be household names...yet, as
was the case was Jonathan Frakes and others.)

As to the question above, how do you prevent B5 from becoming space
opera...define "space opera" a little more in detail and I'll let you know.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'm physically exhausted, absolutely dead on
my feet, but mentally refreshed, which is what I needed before launching into
the main prep work on B5. Also took the opportunity to just *think* about the
show, and the script, and work out some more details in my head that I'd
missed in the current draft. Saw many interesting things (went up to the seat
of the old High Kings on the hill of Tara in Ireland, and generally had a fine
time).

Will post more info once I've had some sleep, and have had a chance to
check in with my associates and see what's transpired in my absence. ("Ron?
Who said anything about putting 1950s fins on a Narn ship? Ron? Ron?")

jms

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