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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: JMS "fan favorite"
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 3/21/2001 8:27:00 PM  

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(2 messages)


There are several glaring inaccuracies in your message....

>Then too, consider that the Skiffy
>Channel had $2 million to cough up for "Battlefield Earth" but didn't have
>the cash to buy out "Crusade" (thank goodness, IMO) from TNT before it was
>canned

It's not that SFC didn't have the money, it's that the situation came up when
they had *already allocated* all of their budget for the year, and would have
to have dug into their budget for the *subsequent* year and they just couldn't
do that. If the situation had occurred a few months earlier, it would have
been very different.

Remember also that SFC wanted B5 as well to make the deal, and TNT was asking a
heinous amount of money for the B5 reruns to *deliberately* prevent anyone from
obtaining both shows because they were afraid that Crusade would do well at SFC
and embarrass the network. What TNT was asking to get bought out on B5 was
more than ANYbody sane would pay.

>(and TNT in turn, didn't have the money to hire Tallman for one
>episode)

Also incorrect. When you do episodic TV, you look at the days per episode that
somebody works. When, for instance, we had Richard Biggs do an appearance in
Crusade, it only required being there for a couple of days out of a 7 day
schedule.

It's standard in that kind of situation to look at the actor's weekly fee and
pay them for the number of days they appear. In other words...and these are
totally bogus figures, just for ease of discussion...if Actor X gets 7,000 for
a 7 day shoot, then if you only need him on another show for 2 days, you pay
$2,000. If you need him for the whole episode, you pay the full $7,000.

That's what we did with Richard, and what we've always done. We offered Pat
the same kind of arrangement on Crusade; we only needed her for one day's work
on "Path of Sorrows." She asked to receive her usual salary for a full week.
We couldn't make that deal because it would establish a precedent that would
come back to haunt us bigtime.
>In other words, we're talking a production on the cheap -- hence
>the Vancouver shooting location. This issue (money, honey) alone, pretty
>well eliminates ANY of the main characters appearing for more than a walk-on
>unless they're willing to work virtually for scale, which one would hope
>none of them are so hard-up for cash as to do.

LOTS of shows are shooting in Vancouver, with all KINDS of budgets, so I don't
see that your slamming Vancouver as being a cheap place has anything to do with
reality. X-Files and Millennium shot up there for years and were *massively*
expensive shows. So right off the bat you're dealing with a false premise.

Our budget for the TV movie is absolutely in line with what's usually
spent...and if you actually knew anything about TV production, you'd know that
you don't spend the money to fly someone from LA to Vancouver, put them up, and
do all the rest...just to use that person for a walk-on.

The role, as written, is extensive and all THROUGH the movie. So on that final
score, you're just plain wrong.

Just an advisory that one should get ones facts a bit more in line before going
around slamming on people and whole cities....

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
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