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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: JMS's Spotlight at SDCC
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 7/24/2006 3:44:13 AM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Jeremy Nickurak wrote:
> [ The following text is in the "UTF-8" character set. ]
> [ Your display is set for the "ISO-8859-1" character set. ]
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>
> On Sun, 23 Jul 2006 02:22:09 -0400, shawn wrote:
> >>--JMS was up in Toronto recently and they did a 12 episode radio drama
> >>series for the CBC called the Adventures of Apocalypse Al. It~Rs kind of
> >>a film noir style comedy drama science fiction supernatural series a la
> >>Men In Black or Hitchhiker~Rs Guide to the Galaxy. It~Rs in little 5
> >>minute chunks and it~Rs fall-down funny.
> >
> > Too bad we probably won't get to hear it in the states.
>
> No idea about scheduling, but CBC broadcasts over the internet too,
> http://radio.cbc.ca/

Also, CBC has a standing deal with Sirius Radio to pick up its shows in
the US. There will also be a deal sometime after that with NPR, BBC,
and elsewhere. The series will eventually be released on CD as well.

To the other questions that have arisen: we're looking at 3 half-hour
episodes/stories for the first DVD, with additional features and the
like in the other half hour. Each story will be worked around a given
established character, the specifics of which are still TBD contingent
upon availabilities and other issues.

We have a budget, we're greenlit, we're going.

As for what prompted the interest now at WB...it's only recently that
they've finally run through all 5 seasons, which for many years now has
been a constant source of revenue, and I think they would love to have
something to continue to with. The recent news re: Changeling probably
didn't hurt, but the deal was actually being negotiated long before
there *was* a feature film deal with Imagine. As I recall, we
finalized the deal right around the time that the Imagine news was
announced.

It was a rather extraordinary 24 hours.

I held off saying anything until I was cleared by WB to announce it as
a go project. Ultimately, whether we shoot in Vancouver or elsewhere
will be a function of the deal that gets made locally.

jms
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: JMS's Spotlight at SDCC
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 7/25/2006 11:29:50 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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I am living in such strange times right now. So I figured I'd share
them.

Prior to the announcement of "Changeling," my film agent tried to get
me to understand what would happen in the aftermath of that
announcement, even though he said "you really won't get it until you're
in it."

I had no idea.

See, there's a real class structure to this industry. A list directors
only buy scripts from A list writers. That's kind of the rule, with
very few exceptions. I've been working in the TV business for over
twenty years, but in features I'm kind of an unknown equation. Always
have been, mainly because I really haven't sought it out much; I figure
films are like going to Vegas, you can invest years in one shot at the
dice. So I stick to TV. I thus have not been in that class of A list
writer. Nowhere near.

When Imagine and Ron Howard bought that script, the effect was
electric. Suddenly everybody in town wanted to know who the hell was
this guy they'd never heard of who just sold a script to Howard and, in
essence, jumped the line from "who?" to A-list without much in-between.
Twenty years in TV, now suddenly an overnight success.

Within hours of the announcement, every studio in town was calling my
agent to get a copy of the script. As it got read, they started
calling to set up meetings. Not us calling them. Them calling us.

And then the offers started. Rewrite offers. Original film offers.
Adaptations. I've had no less than one and in many cases two or three
studio meetings every day for the last several weeks, and my calendar
is one big mass of black type for the next four weeks. A big-budget
feature that Sony wants me to rewrite because it has to go into
production fast, one that Universal wants developed, on and on and
on...all I have to do is say yes to whichever ones I want and they're
mine. Everything I've ever written is suddenly being pored over and
optioned.

I have never seen anything like it. I've read about this sort of
thing, but to experience it personally is...strange, so strange. The
stuff I've had out there before, the novels and short stories and the
like, are all exactly what they were before this...the words didn't
change on the page, the stories didn't alter, but suddenly the
*context* in which they are being seen has changed radically.

I'm being very, very careful and very selective in what I say yes to,
because I want to make sure whatever I take on adds to rather than
subtracts from the momentum we've now achieved.

The really odd thing is that I'm not running around, jumping up and
down, celebrating or hooting or hollaring or any of that. It's moved
me in the other direction, I've gotten really, really quiet, and
careful. It's like all of my antennae are up. Everybody around me is
thrilled, and can't figure out why I'm being so reserved. I'm not
really sure myself, to be honest. Just a strange sort of wariness,
like when I'd move to a new neighborhood as a kid and I'd go quiet
while I sussed out the area.

Odd. Nothing bad, it's all to the good, lord knows. Just odd. Very
odd.

jms
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: JMS's Spotlight at SDCC
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 7/26/2006 2:48:54 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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Neil B wrote:
> jmsatb5@aol.com wrote:
> > Odd. Nothing bad, it's all to the good, lord knows. Just odd. Very
> > odd.
>
> So is television writing and production behind you now, or does your
> clout in Hollywood give you that many more options for the small screen?
>

It seems to be the latter. Funny, innit?

jms
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: JMS's Spotlight at SDCC
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 8/5/2006 8:19:56 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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kruegerb76@hotmail.com wrote:
> Opie301 wrote:
> > A good man once said...
> > "All life can be broken down into moments of transition and moments of
> > revelation. This [has] the feeling of both."
> >
> > Congratulations to you, Joe.
>
> Yes, Ron Howard is one director who might be trusted with your work.
> :)
>

I just got back today from two days spent at Ron's farm up in
Connecticut going through the script and doing what's necessary to get
this thing up and on the rails with him and several of the brass from
Imagine, and boy, I gotta tell you, it was maybe one of the best
creative experiences I've had in a long time. To work with guys who
really know story, who when they discuss the script it's all about what
makes sense rather than giving notes out of agendas or egos...it's like
a breath of fresh air, and nice people on top of that.

It's all very exciting, they're already budgeting and doing schedules,
talking to actors, and talking about the film as a prestige project.
This was my first meeting with Ron, and it confirmed everything that
I'd heard: level-headed, incredibly smart and creative, grounded,
friendly, it's all about what makes the best story, the best scene, the
best shot.

As if this were all not enough, late Friday, after a number of
conversations with a major studio about another project -- a big-budget
historical action piece, think something along the lines of Braveheart
or Gladiator -- they called to offer me the gig. I accepted, and we're
off to the races. My first priority of course is to Changeling, but
once that's up and moving ahead, I go right to this and B5:TLT.

The script for Borrowed Lives will be going in this week to Touchstone,
and we'll see what follows thereafter. But I'm very happy with the
script at this point.

Amazing times....

jms

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