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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/21/2001 5:49:00 AM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Well, all of last week I was in Vancouver for the first week of shooting on the
two-hour TV movie BABYLON 5: LEGEND OF THE RANGERS. (I'm back now for a
while.) It's been a terrific experience to date. The dailies look great.
Mike Vejar is on board to direct, and is keeping the look and feel consistent
with what we've done before, but at the same time (in collaboration with our
new Director of Photography Henry Chan) is taking the look even a step further.
The sets (courtesy of production designer Steve Gaeghan and his band of
artistic types) look more detailed, more textured, more realistic than much of
what we've done before on B5. (This is in no way to diminish what we did in B5
on sets, it's just a different approach.)

Andreas Katsulas showed up mid-week as G'Kar, and despite having been away from
that makeup for three years, was instantly back in character starting with the
first shot and straight on through.

The cast have proven themselves excellent. It's natural to take some time to
find your character, and find the lines...but from the moment they landed on
set, they had their lines letter perfect, and the chemistry is there between
them. SFC has seen the dailies and they're absolutely enchanted with what's on
film.

I wish I had colorful stories to tell, but we're talking here about a bunch of
dedicated professionals who appreciate the legacy of B5 and are doing
everything they can to make this next installment the best possible. (About
the only negative thing to happen all week was my losing my California state ID
midweek, which I'll have to go in to replace this week at my local DMV.) It's
a very elaborate production, with everything from pyros to wire works and other
stuff, in addition to the usual glut of CGI we tend to do, but so far it's all
going quite well.

I've been taking digital pictures of the production which will soon be
available on the SFC website...and there are some beauts there. I'll let you
know when they're up.

In the interim...know that the show is going extremely well, and I think that
people are going to like the cast a lot. They're good, well-trained, dedicated
people.

I think it's going to go over very well indeed.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/21/2001 6:06:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>> I've been taking digital pictures of the production
>
>Just curious. Whatcha using?
>

Sony MVC 1000 recording directly onto a mini-CDrom.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/21/2001 6:06:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>Mind telling us a little more about the cast? Who's playing who

Just off the top of my head and in no real order... Dylan Neal is playing David
Martel, our lead character, a Ranger who's come through some especially rough
times; Alex Zahara is Dulann, a Minbari, his second; Myriam Sirois is Sarah
Cantrell of Mars Dome One, weapons specialist; Enid Raye Adams is Firell,
Minbari, a healer; Warren Takeuchi as Kitaro Sasaki of Earth, communication and
translations; Dean Marshall as Malcolm Bridges, covert intelligence and
infiltration; David Storch as Tafeek, Minbari, a political and first contact
guy; and a Narn, Na'Feel (played by Jennie Hogan) and a Drazi, Tirk (played by
Gus Lynch), both recent recruits/ members of the Rangers.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/21/2001 6:08:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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>Obviously there's been some improvement in the quality of
>graphics over the last few years, but how committed are you to seeing
>that the new Studio maintains a level of consistency with what's been
>seen in previous B5?

The effects will be consistent, but overall will be an improvement on what's
gone before.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/22/2001 3:02:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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>JMS, is Jennie Hogan (Na'Feel) okay with the Narn makeup? I know you've
>had problems with actresses the Narn makeup in the past.
>

So far, so good.


jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: brief report from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 5/22/2001 3:06:00 PM  

Message 6 in thread 

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>Since there were some, ahem, challenges in the network direction with
>Crusade (and since I play with process challenges for a living I'm
>always intrigued by both the good and the bad processes), I was
>wondering what the process was this time with SCI-FI? How does it differ
>from previous network experiences?

It isn't so much different as it is pretty much the same, in the sense that the
whole TNT situation was an aberration; I had NEVER had that much interference,
that level of interference, on ANY other show before. There have been
headaches, sure, but that's part of the job and never to this extent.

So SFC's involvement has been pretty much on a par with what has gone before.
They had a handful of notes on the outline, ditto on the script, and that was
it. And in both cases they were primarily small notes, line notes or character
bits.

You *expect* to get some notes along the way, because the network/studio is the
buyer. I'm okay with that and always have been. The TNT situation was simply
insane.

>I'm delighted that SCI-FI likes the dailies (and am looking forward to
>being equally as delighted with the finished product). Who sees them?
>Is that their Programming Department? Did script go through a similar
>process?

I know it goes to the heads of programming in NY and LA, possibly to the PR
department, beyond that I don't know.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

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