The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive


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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: For those who might be interested,...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 11/24/1991 7:59:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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For those who might be interested, I have just uploaded a file -- #3085 --
into library 5. It's a .PCX graphics file that contains the BABYLON 5 logo.
I did the scanning myself, so it's a little rough around the edges, and it's
based on the initial draft of the logo, which is now being cleaned up. But
this is fundamentally it.

One note: please understand that this logo is both trademarked and
copyrighted, and is uploaded here ONLY for individual viewing. Any other use
is strictly prohibited.

Most graphics display programs like Compushow (CSHOW) will work just fine
on the file, as will Microsoft Paintbrush.

For the show, the logo will be split at a diagonal, raggedly. We will
see the two parts in space, rotating toward one another. The line where the
two should join will begin to glow. Music rises. The two halves come
together with a FLASH of light, and we get a metallic looking complete logo,
looking like it's made out of heavy-gauge steel. We then PAN OVER the logo to
reveal Babylon 5 in all its glory.

    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: For those who might be interested,...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/14/1993 6:17:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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For those who might be interested, I thought I'd pass along a
quick view
of the process of producing a show like B5, step by step (though

Day Minus 21: The script is finalized and distributed to all
cast and

Day Minus 14: The episode goes into serious pre-production,
with meetings
on visual effects, wardrobe, CGI and so on. Props are designed and
construction begun on both props and wardrobe and any sets that are
to that episode.

Day Minus 10: Tone meeting with director and producers to make
sure all
parties see the story the same way. Casting, begun on day 14, is
about this time.

Day Minus 6: Major production meeting with all departments, at
which each
scene is gone through in detail, examining and reinforcing what
costumes, extras and lighting requirements are needed per scene.

Day One: Filming Starts.

Day Seven: Filming finishes. Editing has been going on since
day 2, as
dailies arrive at the studio, with editors making rough assemblies
of the
scenes as they come in.

Day Eight/Nine: the director works with the editor to make the
Director's Cut of the episode, relying to some degree on the
Editor's Cut.

Day 10/11: Producers begin making their cut. (Mainly me and
Copeland.) Sit with editor and view each scene, picking out
various takes and
angles, integrating CGI. Sometimes the cut varies a lot from the
Cut and is a whole new version...or it is very close to the
Director's Cut.
Producer's Cut finished around day 12/13.

Day 15: Producer's Cut is sent to primary editing bay for
editing, at which the frames of actual film are slugged and readied
for the
real thing (as opposed to editing computer images on the Avid).

Day 20: Episode is color-timed to make sure color values are

Day 25: Spotting session...producers, sound designer,
composer, dialogue
editors meet and review the on-line edit or CTM (color timed
master) to
determine where sound and music should be placed, the kind of sound
or music
required, and number of frames/seconds duration. Second spotting
session with
visual EFX supervisor to determine rotoscoping or other non-CGI EFX

Day 39: Final mix-down of all elements: music, sound, looping,
effects and other elements. For this we sit in the mixing bay from
9 a.m. to
7 p.m. nonstop, bringing in lunch, to determine balance of sound to
music to dialogue, which elements to use or lose, and so on.

Day 46: Finished episode delivered to PTEN and in-house.

Total time required: 57 days. And during this period, we are
simultaneously editing at least 4-5 other shows, and have shot
another 6 episodes, which are also in various stages of editing.

I've glossed over a few things, but that should give you some
idea of the
process and the highlights thereof.

    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: For those who might be interested,...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/17/1993 4:48:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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For those who might be interested, we've come up with some
name for the
various clans of the Minbari warrior caste. The primary five are
the Star
Riders (the oldest), the Moon Shields, the Wind Swords, the Night
Walkers and
the Fire Wings. (The first three refer to the early Minbari
version of a
mounted force, for which you need riders with shields and swords,
with #4
referring to foot soldiers, and the last to those whose clan first
used flying
machines in battle.)

(Oh, and Star Riders refers to those mounted soldiers who were
trained to
use the stars for navigation. Behind them came the foot soldiers,
who were
expert at traveling by night.)


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