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Babylon 5- The Lost Tales *SPOILERS*

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  • It's legitimate. It came from the B5 Scripts Team address, and was sent out to those who are on the alert list and (presumably) those who have bought scripts. No one but Iva was sensible enough to post it in the newsgroup -- my excuse is that I figured that anyone who needed to know it was already getting notified via the Scripts Team.

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    • Just a few replies to some different comments. To someone who has lived in the south her whole life, Zack does not sound southern. I think that actually Jeff Conway is from New York which would explain why he's played so many New Yorkerish characters. However, if you go to New Orleans, which is pretty dang south, you will be amazed. The majority of the natives sound like they're from Brooklyn! Explanation? Many, many years ago, a group of nuns came to New Orleans from New York to teach some of the black children how to read and the accent spread.

      This next comment should not be taken in any way to mean that I think JMS should replace any of the actors.

      There is a type of cgi known as cell shading. It's been used on one or two movies recently such as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. The movies were filmed with real actors and then "shaded over" with cgi imaging. These movies have a kind of cartoony look because the effect was done as if someone were animating the movie. However, there is another movie, a Japanese anime called Appleseed that has been done with a similar process. And I swear to you, there were scenes in the movie where the characters looked almost real. It can be done, but it's expensive and I don't think the WB is willing to give that kind of budget.
      "Sector 87 by 20 by 42. At least a dozen ships have reported seeing something rather godlike in the area, and since neither you nor I were there, it must be one of the first ones." -- Marcus to Ivanova (J. Michael Straczynski)

      Comment


      • I don't know why I didn't think of this before today when I was reading the paper at work, but one of the Oakland A's' pitchers is named Huston Street.
        Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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        • Originally posted by Stunning_in_Purple
          This next comment should not be taken in any way to mean that I think JMS should replace any of the actors.

          There is a type of cgi known as cell shading. It's been used on one or two movies recently such as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. The movies were filmed with real actors and then "shaded over" with cgi imaging. These movies have a kind of cartoony look because the effect was done as if someone were animating the movie. However, there is another movie, a Japanese anime called Appleseed that has been done with a similar process. And I swear to you, there were scenes in the movie where the characters looked almost real. It can be done, but it's expensive and I don't think the WB is willing to give that kind of budget.
          Technically, I believe the drawing over part is called rotoscoping. Which can be done by hand (e.g. see some scenes in Bakshi's Lord of the Rings), or by computer (e.g. A Scanner Darkly, the film you mentioned). Quickly looking up some things, A Scanner Darkly seems to use a type of vector rotoscoping, that then was digitally adjusted by hand. I'm not sure if it counts as 'cell shading', since it doesn't use a 3d object as base.

          Cell shading is just a choice in how to render any sort of 3d computer graphics. It has been used in video games (e.g. Nintendo's the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker), and in computer animated films or television, to make it look more hand animated. Many Japanese 'anime' cartoons and films use it these days, to varying degrees, since it often is cheaper and quicker to go the 3d animation route for certain things, and make it look like hand animation through the technique of cell shading afterward.

          As far as I know, it simply means you render your 3d computer objects using cells consisting of a single solid colours, to mimic traditional cell coloured comics and cartoons, rather than using more smooth shadow and colour transitions, that are closer to how things look in reality.

          Anyway, after all this pontificating ( ), my point basically is that I'm not sure why you would want to use it for B5:TLT. The CGI used in B5 has always been about realism, and I'm not sure what they, artistically, would achieve by going with cell shading. I see you mention using it to replace actors, even though you in no way think that JMS should, but for replacing actors, you would want to go with the most photorealistic option available to you, no? Cell shading is a way to make something look less realistic intentionally, to achieve a very specific artistic effect.
          Shabaz
          Confirmed User
          Last edited by Shabaz; 08-25-2006, 07:18 PM.

          Comment


          • Talking about CGI for TLT, I do think JMS's reply to Jan's question about directing them was interesting. To wit, for those that missed it:
            Jan wrote:
            > JMS,

            > Back when B5 was being made, you seemed pretty indifferent to ever directing but
            > you directed Sleeping in Light, seemingly at the urging of WB. At the time you
            > didn't seem to have fallen in love with being a director even though SiL was
            > just perfect (IMO, but also many other folks).

            > Last month you announced that you told WB that you wanted to direct the Lost
            > Tales. I just wondered what might have changed your mind about it?

            I directed SIL because...well, I really kind of had to, in order to get
            that one last note out just the way I wanted it. I've had no desire to
            do any directing since (though I did a little uncredited second-unit
            directing on Jeremiah when we ran short of people.)

            I'm doing this first one for B5:TLT because it's going to be something
            of a redesign in how we shoot B5, nothing major, just the feeling of
            the shots and the CGI and to set a tone for the films. It's six years
            after B5, and there are a number of tools available to us now that
            weren't available then, there's been more openness and experimentation
            in television directing, and I'd like to explore those in the capacity
            of someone who is also kind of the caretaker of that universe to set
            the tone for future installments.

            Once that's done, and the tone is set, I'll probably pull back again
            and let others pick it up. Again, I have no real desire to direct,
            just to set the tone as it impacts the story.

            jms
            The choice to go with CGI in B5 was primarily financially motivated, from what I understand. However, the choice allowed them certain artistic choices, and some of the choices they made were groundbreaking for space based television, in part because their initial (necessity inspired) choice for CGI had given them options that no one else had before in television.

            However, they made some very clear artistic choices, that made their CGI scenes look better, or at the very least different, than if they had not been made. Choosing to let their fighters behave with proper momentum and physics, rather than 'engine out is dead stop'. Choosing to go with fighter fleets for a lot of the big battles, rather than just big lumbering ships hacking away at eachother. Certain directorial choices they made in what to do with the camera in space. Stuff like that.

            Now, without the benefit (and curse) of being really the only player in television using a certain tool, but on the other hand JMS himself helming the directorial side of things with one of his stated goals to set the tone for CGI and directorial style in future episodes, I'm very curious what choices he will come up with. (I haven't seen LotR yet, so I'm not sure how that fared as far as doing something new with these tools)
            Shabaz
            Confirmed User
            Last edited by Shabaz; 08-26-2006, 07:36 AM.

            Comment


            • Now, without the benefit (and curse) of being really the only player in television using a certain tool, but on the other hand JMS himself helming the directorial side of things with one of his stated goals to set the tone for CGI and directorial style in future episodes, I'm very curious what choices he will come up with. (I haven't seen LotR yet, so I'm not sure how that fared as far as doing something new with these tools)
              LoTR was a mixed bag. Some shots looked nice, but others not so good. The motion of objects seemed to have a more artificial feel to them. I believe the FX were rushed and the result showed.
              Only a fool fights in a burning house.

              Comment


              • I've posted the entire JMS update in the General Discussions Forum but thought I'd go ahead and place the bit about TLT here also:

                I've also started in on the writing for the first B5: Lost Tales
                script, and we've now spoken to several of the original cast members,
                who are on board with the idea. It's still going to be a factor of
                what deals can be made and with whom, as well as story elements that
                are now being worked out, but things are moving ahead. Because some of
                the crew and others we wanted won't be available until October, we've
                pushed a bit, which is fine, since it gives me a bit more time to get
                the script where it needs to be and start laying out my shot list as
                director.
                Jan
                "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by AmyG
                  Now, I'm sure Jan is going to chase us away to another thread if we keep this up, ...
                  That's right...

                  ...so let me just add that I think it's really exciting that JMS is starting to make deals with cast members for TLT!
                  And crew, too. I wonder if any of the original crew will be rejoining for this project.

                  Jan

                  EDIT: For those looking for the 'Southern Drawl/Houston-Houser Street/pronunciation' discussion, click here.
                  Last edited by Jan; 08-28-2006, 12:10 PM.
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jan
                    And crew, too. I wonder if any of the original crew will be rejoining for this project.

                    Jan
                    I'm already anticipating the return of mister Franke. Seems likely enough that they will try to get him to do music again, no?

                    Comment


                    • Oh, I *do* hope so!! At one point JMS wrote that he couldn't imagine doing another B5 project without him so I'm hopeful. I simply adored his new suite on the DVDs.

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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jan
                        Oh, I *do* hope so!! At one point JMS wrote that he couldn't imagine doing another B5 project without him so I'm hopeful. I simply adored his new suite on the DVDs.

                        Jan
                        I hope so to, and I'm confident that he will be used if he's (a) interested, (b) available and (c) a deal can be made. When the Rangers pilot was being planned JMS mentioned that both he and The Sci-Fi Channel saw it as a B5 project that was being done because of B5's ratings, and that as far as he was concerned Franke is the composer for B5. If Sci-Fi ever expressed an interest in doing something with Crusade, on the other hand, he'd call Evan Chen. Seems fair enough to me. And he did, indeed, get Christopher Franke for Rangers, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

                        Regards,

                        Joe
                        Joseph DeMartino
                        Sigh Corps
                        Pat Tallman Division

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                          I hope so to, and I'm confident that he will be used if he's (a) interested, (b) available and (c) a deal can be made. When the Rangers pilot was being planned JMS mentioned that both he and The Sci-Fi Channel saw it as a B5 project that was being done because of B5's ratings, and that as far as he was concerned Franke is the composer for B5. If Sci-Fi ever expressed an interest in doing something with Crusade, on the other hand, he'd call Evan Chen. Seems fair enough to me. And he did, indeed, get Christopher Franke for Rangers, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

                          Regards,

                          Joe
                          JMS did say in a recent newsgroup post, however, that he wants to set a new tone for B5. Although, he did point out that it wouldn't be major... who knows?

                          I guess the only way to know for sure is to ask JMS

                          Comment


                          • I went and checked the recording from SDCC this morning because I remembered JMS saying something about the look of the new segments. I'll post the transcription of that segment when I get home but basically, he said that he wants the feel of B5 but he's going to utilize many of the new tools available now that weren't available then.

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

                            Comment


                            • I wonder if Warners will wait until the sales from the first installment of B5:TLT are in before green lighting further installments?

                              Assuming the first installment is released Q2 next year as planned; we could be waiting until this time next year (or longer) before knowing if there will be more installments. That would limit us to 1 B5:TLT DVD per year if that pattern is followed. Perhaps if the first is successfull they will order more than one?

                              Although I'm obviously chuffed that the first one has been green lighted, if WB really had confidence in the project, you would have thought WB would have ordered a batch of DVDs in one go. 1 DVD per year just isn't going to satisfy my B5 cravings.
                              ljg702
                              Confirmed User
                              Last edited by ljg702; 08-30-2006, 09:55 AM.

                              Comment


                              • I don't see why we'd be limited to one per year. The first one obviously will require the most set-up and post-production and design work for the distribution, not to mention promotion. After that, it seems to me that there might well be the possibility of 3 or 4 or more per year, depending on how WB greenlights them. If there are multiple disks greenlit, they can work out from the same model as for making TV episodes, I'd imagine. It would certainly make more sense that way rather than having to contract for crew each time a disk is greenlit.

                                How long it'll take for WB to get sales figures is more difficult to guage, I think. They could wait for all merchants to report and make any returns which would take just slightly less than forever. On the other hand, they're likely to be monitoring orders from the online merchants like Amazon closely which would speed things up.

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

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