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  • Random thoughts about B5 and the future, if any

    I love and deeply respect the work of everyone who made Babylon 5 possible.

    I understand JMS will only write more if the price is right.

    I also understand that he once said in regards to Dr. Franklin after the passing of Richard Biggs "That character will not be recast."

    Just wondering, since the technology is nearing perfection...

    What if Peter Jackson and WETA wanted to made a Babylon 5 movie and include the original characters? After seeing the impossible on the screen under Jackson's direction, it now seems possible to re-create the image and expressions of Richard Biggs in CGI. If it was done with deep respect, and an actor could be found to immitate perfectly the voice and speaking mannerisms of Richard, Dr. Franklin "could" be included in a collaboration between JMS and Jackson. Everyone would have to agree to it, especially Richard's family. But what better tribute to his gifts as an actor and person could there be?

    If Gollum can be brought to life so perfectly, surely soon a real person's likeness will show up in a motion picture in the near future.
    Michael Malloy

    Never forget:

    Moscow; Beslan 2004
    Kosovo: 1999, 2004
    New York City: September 11, 2001
    Smyrna: September 9, 1922

    http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
    Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

  • #2
    I don't think Jackson directing style is good with B5.

    Comment


    • #3
      This idea has been around for years but no one seems to be able to do it as yet! The closest we've got so far has been JFK 'talking' to Forrest Gump, and the CGI folks in FINAL FANTASY who were good but not great.

      Personally, I don't really like the idea. I feel it is much better to be beyond replacing, rather than become a victim of the 'we don't need actors, we have computers' mentality (just like a certain Hollywood director seems to be in love with at the moment). I cannot really imagine JMS going for it either. Rick was one unique facet of the BABYLON 5 'family' and I can't see - even in theory - JMS trying to replace him with a CGI version, I sincerely feel that JMS might see that as a slap-in-the-faces of the Biggs family and would want no part of it.
      http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
      Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
      47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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      • #4
        ... An artifcial, computerized reconstruction of Dr. Franklin would be a fabulous achievement - if it looked and sounded real, but it would also be in extremely poor taste . . . in my opinon.

        ... It is like taking the rights away from, and using a person because they can no longer speak for themselves. The dead should be remembered, but not recreated.

        ... Technological advances bring up some interesting ethical / moral questions from time to time, do they not?
        "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

        Comment


        • #5
          quite right too
          http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
          Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
          47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you! Excellent issues you raised.

            I meant no disrespect from Richard or his family. I miss his gifts.

            My suggestion was a pathetic attempt to get around the appearance of him in "Sleeping in the Light", which occurs long after the last time he was seen in Crusade.

            Without Richard Biggs, it would be very difficult (but not impossible) for JMS to write a viable script including the original characters. On the other hand, he did it all the time during the five year run of Babylon 5. We didn't see every character in every show. Sometimes they just weren't there.

            If my idea offended anyone, I offer my sincere apology.
            Michael Malloy

            Never forget:

            Moscow; Beslan 2004
            Kosovo: 1999, 2004
            New York City: September 11, 2001
            Smyrna: September 9, 1922

            http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
            Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
            http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

            Comment


            • #7
              ... No one's offended. No worries.

              ... Biggs was great, wasn't he? Doctors tend to be 'useful additions' to a cast of characters, who pop on screen only long enough to explain a problem, then vanish while the heros resolve the conflict...

              ... Dr. Franklin was as as 'real' and as important as everybody else on B5, and he was great.
              "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it won't be too hard to explain away Dr. Franklin's absence from any projects. Aside from the fact that all of the fans know that Rick is off having a tea party with the Great Maker, characters have not always had to "die" in order to be absent from a particular episode. In fact, the only character that I can recall being killed off because he was not available for filming was General Hague.

                Just some mention that Dr. Franklin is off doing some project or another for the President of Earth (being that he is after all the head of xenobiological research for Earthdome, not for the Alliance.
                "Ivanova is God!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would not mind, as long as they pay the Biggs-family the same amount of money that they would have paid Richard had he played the part himseld. And if it's done with taste.

                  I wouln't recommend Jackson though, he would be better at making a Crusade-movie. Enough room there for personal input. B5 is pretty much a holistic show, not much room for improvement there without making another part of it worse...
                  "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Towelmaster
                    I would not mind, as long as they pay the Biggs-family the same amount of money that they would have paid Richard had he played the part himseld. And if it's done with taste.
                    ... I don't think it works that way, Towelmaster. The title and name, "Dr. Stephen Frankilin", belongs to JMS, who can do with it whatever he likes. I'm no legal expert, but I'd bet money I'm right.

                    ... To use Biggs' face - video or even just a picture, that's another story.
                    "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Puzzled Pak'Ma'Ra
                      ... I don't think it works that way, Towelmaster. The title and name, "Dr. Stephen Frankilin", belongs to JMS, who can do with it whatever he likes. I'm no legal expert, but I'd bet money I'm right.
                      Not quite. The characters, universe, logos and all the rest belong to Warner Bros., not to JMS. If he wants to write a story in the B5 universe, feature film excepted, he has to have permission from WB.

                      In order to use a likeness of Rick Biggs for a new commercial product, I believe they'd need to negotiate with Rick's estate. Existing items are probably already covered in the original contracts.

                      Still, I don't think Towelmaster was saying that they'd *have* to pay Rick's family the same amount, I think he was saying that that's what it would take to be acceptable to him.

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ... Didn't mean to be short with the Towelmaster, and I was apparently wrong to boot.

                        ... The SCRIPTS written by JMS belong to JMS, I believe that's what he (jms) said, and that is why the scripts written by the other contributing authors are not included in the books (legal paperwork, etc..) (read that in a JMS post someplace)

                        ... But still, a fictional character is (in this case anyway - Dr. Franklin) a creation played by an actor. Not the property of the player himself.

                        ... Still, Towelmaster's take is an interesting one.

                        ... Cheers
                        "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Puzzled Pak'Ma'Ra
                          ... The SCRIPTS written by JMS belong to JMS, I believe that's what he (jms) said, and that is why the scripts written by the other contributing authors are not included in the books (legal paperwork, etc..) (read that in a JMS post someplace)
                          Yes, that's true. According to the Writer's Guild of America, JMS owns the physical scripts that he wrote.

                          ... But still, a fictional character is (in this case anyway - Dr. Franklin) a creation played by an actor. Not the property of the player himself.

                          ... Still, Towelmaster's take is an interesting one.
                          It is. And it'll be interesting to see what comes of the new technology. My personal opinion is that it takes a real human to convey truly complex, compelling emotions.

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm guessing that anyone who thinks this technology is acceptable is someone who has never done any sort of creative performance work in their lives.

                            As a musician, the idea that somebody might attempt to recreate any of my performances, or my performance style in the form of a singing simulacrum, is just....disgusting and gruesome to me, and the height of disrespect. You're saying that a crafty impersonator and a bit of smoke and mirrors via technology can recreate _my_ artistry? I don't think so.

                            Of course the dead are unable to express an opinion on this, but my bet is that if you polled living Hollywood and the music industry, most would report that they find this concept ghastly. What the estate of any particular late performer thinks is another thing entirely, but of course their motivations might be quite different from the late artist whom they represent.

                            It's like that old Saturday Night Live bit that featured Ellen Kleghorn impersonating Natalie Cole, singing duets with her dead father and many other dead singers. Instead of "Unforgettable" - the title of her actual duet with her dead father - the album in the parody sketch was entitled "Unforgiveable." That was, IMHO, apt.

                            My hope is that the B5 universe never, ever, ever goes this route.

                            As a final thought, I'd like to address one more of Michael's comments. You wrote:

                            I understand JMS will only write more if the price is right.
                            I'm not sure that's accurate, and it's certainly not a flattering or convincing portrayal of JMS. Not saying that he'd write more B5 for free; after all, writing is what he does for a living and he deserves every penny he gets. But I don't think that's the major, or even the only consideration for him. I think the story would have to be right; the venue for telling it would have to be right; and all of the details surrounding any new production would have to be right. Do you think, for instance, that if someone offered JMS a gazillion dollars to make a musical-comedy variety show of Babylon 5 for showing only on airplanes, and that required the producing entity to have creative approval of every script before they shot any film, that he'd do it?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jan
                              Still, I don't think Towelmaster was saying that they'd *have* to pay Rick's family the same amount, I think he was saying that that's what it would take to be acceptable to him.

                              Jan
                              Yep, indeed. I do believe there is something called 'portretrecht' (portrait-rights?) that exists worldwide. Same thing prevents your famous brother's face(for instance) from appearing of shampoobottles without his consent. Footballplayers(Sorry! Soccerplayers for all you yanks! ) use this legislation to protect their marketing-value.

                              But as Jan said : I would personally find it acceptable to have a virtual Rick Biggs in a new movie/series, as long as his estate is paid for it. And as long as they make a good Dr. Franklin of course. But I trust JMS would take care of that.

                              Update : I also think they should have explicit permission from the family. Because I can imagine that seeing your deceased husband in a new movie is something some people can't handle.
                              "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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