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So, let's go into deeper B5:TMoS speculation

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  • #31
    And so I don't have to re-type it, here is my take on directors and such for TMoS as stated over at B5tv:

    Ok....time for the filmmaker to weigh in on a few things here. First of all, JDM is right on aspect ratios. There are two standard ratios in practice today, 1.85:1 (Flat) and 2.35:1 (Scope). Spielberg used to shoot in Scope until "E.T", after which he predominantly started shooting in Flat (though I'm a big Scope fan myself, I feel it gives a film a broader and more epic canvas, making it feel wider like the horizon and thus grander in scale and feel). This is why LOTR was shot in 2.35:1 to give it that epic feel(and yes it was 2.35:1...period). This is why Spielberg returned to Scope for "Schindler's List" as well.

    The fact that JMS hints at a 2.35:1 ratio gives me the impression that they are looking at Scope for the film, which means they're going for a grand epic feel and look. This is a wonderful sign.

    As for the director's ego. Yes, that can be a problem, but it can also be an asset, if you find the right director. Whether it's TV or film, a director will always bring their own vision to the project, period. The trick is finding a director who shares the main vision but who can bring his own style and approach in such a way that it complements the story. I feel pretty confident that JMS has contracted many "controls" over this project. I'm also fairly confident that he won't just be the screenwriter on this but a Producer as well, therefore giving him a great deal of power on the set and over the production and over choice of director and other lead crew and supporting cast, etc.

    A good producer will work closely as a team with a director. In Hollywood today, the producer and the director (unless your Spielberg or Scorsese and even then they still are), are a team these days...trying to work in tandem to create the best film. This is the goal at least. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't...that's why I'm certain JMS will do his best to find the right man for job. Someone who will respect JMS's vision and still have his own with which to complement it. If you try to control or limit any director's vision for a film, then it's over...shut the project down because it will end up terrible. Film is a collaborative medium and the best directors out there are the ones who either have a great talent at taking their vision and collaborating seamlessly with his cast and crew to foster extreme creativity on the set, or is someone like Kubrick who's vision was so solid in his head he simply expected people to do as he asked and trust him. Few directors have reached the genius of Kubrick, and the level of respect and awe he fostered in those around him though.

    So as to letting a TV director take the reigns...I would really be a lot more leery of that than finding a proven and visionary feature director who loved and respected JMS's work and wanted to enhance that vision with his own. A few examples of TV directors going big screen are David Carson (ST: Generations), Jonathan Frakes (ST: First Contact and ST: Insurrection), and Rob Bowman (X-Files). The one thing all of these films have in common, is that they were all touted as feeling like two hour eps. on the big screen. Directing TV is a vastly different beast than features. The pacing and the vision are completely different. Besides, a TV director, being given his "big break" notoriously is afraid to ask for vital things he needs and to push the envelope of vision and scope and will accept less when he shouldn't because he doesn't have the clout to demand what he could and should demand from the studio, from the actors, from everyone. No, Vejar is an ok TV director, as is Greek and the others, but trust me...while I respect their work in B5, they are not ready to nor should they direct this feature. This has to work big and feel big. It's too risky to let a TV director take the reigns. Besides, as a director I can truly say that the times I find myself cringing at a bad performance in B5 it is usually due in one form or another to a poor directoral decision. A great director has the ability to draw performances from actors that others can't.

    Example: Watch Hayden Cristianson in "Life as a House" and then watch him in "SW: AotC." The first performance is phenomenal the second is weak and aimless and missing passion. Do I blame an actor who I know is capable of a great performance? Or do I blame the director who commanded that weaker performance and didn't know how to tap into the actor's talent? Answer: I blame the director.

    Compare Ewan McGregor's performances in "Moulin Rouge" and "SW." One is incredible, the other is plain and hollow.

    Nicholas Meyer knew how to draw the best performance from Shatner which is why ST II and ST VI are two of the best. Nimoy discovered better how to do so by ST IV, but wasn't as capable in ST III, which was his first feature by the way.

    Watch David Lynch's "Mullholland Drive." In that film there is a place where a character who's an actress performs the same scene two different ways and it will illustrate the power and influence a great director has.

    A great director can even illicit a great performance from a lesser actor, or can find that talent that before was hidden and the actor feared to open up to the world. Nope. A TV director just doesn't have that level of influence and doesn't command that level of insight into the feature format and pacing and structure nor does he have that immense respect he will need to allow the cast to trust him and his vision.

    As for DP, again, JMS must hire a great feature film cinematographer. Aspect ratio has nothing to do with the quality of lighting and look. And DP can change ratios and still be great or suck. It makes no difference on the talent or knowledge. It's the director who will or won't know how to use the Scope frame to its fullest, the DP is simply there to make sure it's done. The DP is the master in charge of the look and feel of the image itself and he must work closely and in tandem with the director who must also have a grasp on his vision from moment to moment and frame to frame and be capable of communicating that vision to the DP (and everyone for that matter). While Flinn did some good work on the series, JMS needs to find a great feature DP for "TMoS." Otherwise it will end up looking like an ep. on the big screen. Feature lighting is very different and much more complex.

    As for Franke...given more time (which he will have) and more money (which he will have) and the opportunity to compose for a full orchestra (which he will have), he is the one person behind the camera (other than JMS, himself) who I believe has the ability to move to the big screen. His talent is wondrous and I have faith that he would deliver a fantastic score. However, that being said, I also wouldn't be surprised if WB and JMS didn't try to get someone with epic scoring abilities like Howard or Horner or Shore. If they've decided on an epic LOTR scale feel (which my instincts tell me they have and are going to try for), then they're going to want a composer who can deliver one without question.

    Remember, this will be B5 on the big screen, epic in size and scope. It will have to be bigger than it ever has before to pull it off and find a wider audience. It will have to have a newer, grander look and feel. JMS, though loyal to crew, will have to admit this to himself, and go for what's best for the project if this is going to be a success on the scale it needs to be. It's how I would approach it and it's how WB and JMS will have to approach it if they're smart. They don't want to make the horrible mistakes that ST did with the TNG films (mainly by bringing all if the TV people to the features...they were out of their element and didn't understand big screen feel).

    B5 has to leap to a higher level now. And TV folk just aren't going to be up to the challenge and worth the risk they're taking here. History has proven it. Rarely are TV people able to instantly or ever make the leap to features and be praised for it and draw large audiences. It's not going to be worth the risk and JMS has to accept that.

    Continued on next post.....
    Anthony Flessas
    SP Pictures

    I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


    • #32
      Continued from previous post...

      Again, you cannot stifle the director's vision. It's an ensemble effort and every great film usually has been. JMS has to find people who understand and respect his vision, but who are capable and not afraid to bring their own.

      He has his work cut out for him. As for those of you who I've read on here dogging out JMS...shame on you. Oh ye of little faith. I'm certain that, even as tired and drained as he was after B5 and at the beginning of CRUSADE, JMS would've delivered another phenomenal series and story with CRUSADE. I was already being drawn into another wonderful and mysterious story with great and well developed characters. I know JMS would've delivered. Did you all forget S1 of B5? It was all build-up, exposition, character developement and revelation and story set-up. To a degree most of us didn't realize the first time we saw it. But look at it now...yes there were some weak eps. But look at how much set-up there was in S1. And I could tell from 13 eps just how much set-up he was doing in CRUSADE already. For a pilot, LoTR was wonderful compared to VOYAGER's (or any Trek premiere for that matter) or even THE GATHERING. I'm certain some things would've been changed and altered for a series. The characters were interesting and I know JMS well enough to know that we were in for massive revelation and mystery and character growth and developement in a series. What you see in a JMS pilot or premiere is rarely what it seems. Have none of you learned that one yet?

      This time, it's a feature, not a pilot that has to introduce new characters and set up a series arc. He can concentrate on the story at hand and blowing us away with powerful emotion and passion, which we all know from B5 he's more than capable of doing.

      "Faith manages" people. Those of you who don't trust JMS or have faith in him are no better than the suits who couldn't see what he did with B5 and realize that they should just get out of the way and let the master create. There are few writers or filmmakers I will ever use the word genius for: Kubrick...Spielberg...Scorsese...Ford...Demille... and a few more. JMS is one man on whom I easily use the term. He has vision and passion and the will and fortitude to bring it forth, even against great odds and is willing to never allow it to be distorted by outsiders. He can take a past, an idea told countless times, and re-envision it anew and exploding that vision forth from his soul, he carries his own hopes, fears, dreams, passions and beliefs. That is genius. And in the genius, though I do not always agree with them, I see wonder and inspiration that stands the test of time.

      Do not judge something you have yet to see. JMS has yet to really let me down. CRUSADE never got the chance to fulfill its promise though the sign of promise was clearly evident. And LoTR never even got beyond its initial introduction to make it promises. You who judge without sight are no better than SG-1 fans I've run into who are already bad-mouthing and writing off SGA before it's even had the chance to hit the air. Shame. Are you a real fan, or a fair weather one? A real fan will stand by it until they have been completely and totally betrayed to the point where it hurts. This is how is was with me and Trek...I felt betrayed and used and no longer respected.

      I could never believe JMS would do such a thing. And until he faith and my hopes are in him.

      JMS has proven to me that he will make sense of everything he can and that he will repeatedly deliver amazing story and wonderful characters and I will leave his world carrying it with me...and in B5's case, changed forever.

      "What is loved...endures. What is built...endures. And Babylon 5...Babylon 5 endures."

      Anthony Flessas
      SP Pictures

      I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


      • #33
        Wow, that really was an interesting post....erm... three posts of yours, colonyearth. That's the kind of speculation I like. I can't find one sentence here I wouldn't agree on.

        One thing though, It seems to me, that a number of people here seem to have taken my initial post as an attack on TMoS, or at least somewhat hostylily (is that a word?). Needless to say, I have complete confidence that JMS and co. will find the best possible solution, and make it work, and as such, I was just curious on the community's opinion on how some of the problems that might come up could be solved (and god knows that it's possible to solve those problems the wrong way, as evidenced by the Star Trek movies, which on a sidenote of a sidenote are a franchise whose populatirity escapes me). So, apologies to anyone I may have offended.


        • #34
          Nice. Deep. Breaths.

          The music in LoTR had its moments, but during the battle scenes I found I disliked the operatic tone they took.

          Change Cristopher Franke? I hope not! Certainly not in favor of someone more traditional. Chris's music is as integral a character in B5 as the actors themselves. I'd hate for it to sound more like a traditional movie epic and less like a B5 epic....

          If they were doing a Crusade epic though, I'd kill to see how Evan Chen would handle it....
          Last edited by CRONAN; 05-05-2004, 12:57 PM.


          • #35
            I don't know about that. I 'll take the DS9 series premiere "EMISSARY" any day over Legend of the Rangers. That chick doing karate kicks and punches to shoot at the enemy ships was comical.

            Eagle Day
            August 10, 1940


            • #36
              Originally posted by e5comp
              A movie about the Technomages. Blah I hope not. The Telepath war sounds much more interesting to me.
              I am suspicious that Techno-Mage Galen and Telepath Lyta's powers are too similar. I suspect that they are going to end up fighting.
              Andrew Swallow


              • #37
                Originally posted by e5comp
                I don't know about that. I 'll take the DS9 series premiere "EMISSARY" any day over Legend of the Rangers. That chick doing karate kicks and punches to shoot at the enemy ships was comical.

                Emissary was ok...but unfortinately was still Berman Trek...ICK!

                And as for the gunnery pod, that is the main point of contention people have with LoTR, but as pointed out over at B5tv, what made it to screen is not the way it was scripted or intended. Due to budget contraints, what we got for the gunnery room was a last minute, cheap solution to the problem and I'm convinced it would've been changed for any series.

                And Cronan, if you read carefully, I said that if anyone makes it over to the big screen, it will be Franke, especially considering that of all the B5 folks, he is the only one who's actually worked on a feature film. Actually, more than one: two examples, RISKY BUSINESS and LEGEND (both with his fellow members of Tangerine Dream, for whom he composed the majority of the music.)

                However, WB and JMS could still decide to go with a more sweeping and operatic score to enhance the epic feel of a feature film.

                And on the score for LOTR, you'd be in the minority my friend. Sorry. Two time Oscar winner for score and nominated all three times. And for all intents and purposes three of the greatest and most sweeping film scores ever composed. I'd love to find out that Shore was composing for B5:TMoS.

                Anthony Flessas
                SP Pictures

                I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


                • #38
                  Not to mention Joe, you forgot one key person here... Lennier.
                  Actually, I planted a rather obvious reference to Lennier without naming him, in the hope of avoiding a spoiler. Maybe I was being too subtle. I don't try for "subtle" very often, and when I do the results are often other than what I intend.

                  Regarding the Technomages and/or Exaclibur showing up in a Teep War film. Doesn't work with the timeline, folks, The Teep War begins in 2264 and is over in 2265. Excalibur isn't launched until late 2266, the same time that Galen becomes the only Technomage to leave the Sanctuary more-or-less permanently.

                  RE: The Drakh/Centauri connection. It wouldn't at all be necessary to go into the entire history of this twisted relationship. All that anyone in the audience would need to know is that the Drakh are aliens who hate Humans, were allied to the Shadows and who now run Centauri Prime behind the scenes with Londo as their puppet. The whys and wherefores of the relationship would not have to be explained - just the fact.

                  Fans are often too close to a story and think that every aspect of it has to be explained to each newcomer. This really isn't the case. Most movies (and nearly all TV shows) involve a kind of story-telling shorthand that we all absorb without thinking about it. To hear some people talk about involving Londo or Vir in a feature film you'd think a movie could never show us a married couple without then explaining their entire courtship, what their friends and families thought of it all, all the years of their marriage leading up to the moment we meet them and what the caterer served at their wedding reception.

                  The Lord of the Rings is a culmination of a story that started thousands of years in the past, and which was itself the result of still older events. Yet the films tell us very little about all that accumulated history. (And the books don't really tell us that much more until you reach the appendices.) But the fact that Tolkein (and Jackson) know all that history gives the story on film or in print an enormous depth, because it extends far into the past and even farther into the future (because the Red Book is a history written by our heroes and their heirs many years later, and because Middle Earth is our own Earth and we are the ultimate heirs of Gondor and the other kingdoms, living in a world from which all the other "speaking peoples" have withdrawn, except, perhaps, for Hobbits, who live on in legend under various names, and whom we still sometimes glimpse despite their skill at hiding from us.)

                  Again, all that anyone needs to know of the peripheral characters and races is what is necessary to the story being told - whatever that story is and given role a given race/character will play in that story.

                  Consider Garibaldi. If he has a small part in a B5 feature as the mentor of a younger character, what does the audience need to know about him?

                  We need to know the nature of the relationship, regardless. Is the young man an businessman, maybe an employee or a young Mars entrepreneur? Is he an EarthForce officer? Is he the son of an old friend?

                  With the businessman Garibaldi's position as head of Edgars-Garibaldi would be most important. Depending on the film, his service in EarthForce and on B5 might not even be mentioned. He could even be shown to be an old friend of President Sheridan's (or described as such) without anyone's specifying how they know each other if that is no salient to the plot.

                  With the EarthForce officer Garibaldi's military experience would certainly might be mentioned. It might also be vaguely indicated that he's now retired and in business, but it may or may not be a story point that Garibaldi is rich, so that might not come up.

                  In neither of these situations would the fact that Garibaldi is married or that he has a child be especially relevant, so it might not come up at all. Ditto his history with alcohol. OTOH, if his protege is shown to have a drinking problem, that might be the most important aspect of Garibaldi to the story, and we might hear about almost nothing else.

                  In no case would we need his entire biography to understand his place in a scene or two in one of these stories where the young man, and not Garibaldi, is the main focus of attention.


                  Joseph DeMartino
                  Sigh Corps
                  Pat Tallman Division


                  • #39
                    Bottom line here is that this is JMS writing this and he's got a nice amount of cash to pay for it, time to make it right, and the apparent full backing of WB.

                    I really don't think any of our main cast of characters will be relegated to cameo or obscurity. I simply cannot imagine that JMS won't bring back the full cast and give each and every one of them important roles in the story, each contributing vastly to the end result in some way or another.

                    A challenge you say? Yes...but again I repeat, this is JMS.

                    9 days to the Ides of May!
                    Anthony Flessas
                    SP Pictures

                    I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


                    • #40
                      Here's some info I posted over at B5tv.

                      Ah..."And so it begins"...again. The argumentative speculations as to the storyline for TMoS. We really have no idea as to the plotline for this, and JMS is a master of the red herring. It is truly a Vorlon style mystery that will only be revealed when we jump from the balcony in a collective move to jump JMS, throttle him and scream, "Why can't you just speak like a normal person!"

                      I've run the gamut of thoughts and ideas on this subject, and some of you can testify to that effect (especially those who recall the outright civil war between those who agreed with me and those who agreed with JDM back in January when the Great Maker spoke his first words in months and uttered the acronym "TMoS."

                      Since that time, I've watched S5 again and done my research and can now fully agree with JDM that there's a very big chance that we're getting a TW film. I now also can see a lot more potential for such a story than I could back then, since I had blanked on certain things said and done during S5.

                      IMHO this film could well be either a TW film or a DW film. I truly believe both are viable. Or JMS could throw us all off and go in a totally different direction all together. For all we know, he's going to delve into what he was setting up and planning for LoTR and we'll meet The Hand. (Remember, we have no idea who they really were or what they were about, but since JMS has the B5 universe mapped out in detail 1000 yrs in either direction, we know he did know what The Hand was and how they fit into the world of B5.)

                      I've said it before and now I'll say it again...if JMS and WB are smart, they're planning at the least a one-off film that, while it may conclude in a satisfactory manner, will clearly set-up the potential for two more films to make a trilogy. In that vein, a TW film would work. It could stand alone, but still set up and hint at other, bigger events yet to come (think S1 and how much arc material was being dished out and we didn't realize it until S2). Those events to come could well be the CRUSADE arc (which was also a part of the Drakh War), The Hand, or the Drakh War in full. We don't know the full details of the TW...who was involved exactly and how. It could well be intricately tied into the events that were to follow. One must ask oneself why the Drakh took 5 years to launch the attack on Earth? What finally prompted the attack and what else might Earth have done to provoke it in the Drakh's eyes. If there was anyone they would want to get to it would be Sheridan, Delenn, and the Minbari...why Earth? Could it have had something to do with the Shadows and their relationship with Psi-Corps? Could that then start a chain reaction of events that forever tied the destiny of telepaths to the Drakh?

                      Did The Hand have something to do with these events and the Drakh themselves?

                      And finally, could all of these events become a part of the larger picture that eventually led up to the full Drakh War and the fall of Londo, G'kar, and Centauri Prime? In theory, and clearly in my mind it's possible. And we're talking about JMS here who's imagination is fully capable and usually more than willing to tie such intricate webs together in ways he's never revealed. I mean, who saw Sinclair as Valen coming early on?

                      Thus, a TW first film could stand alone while setting up future events and intrigue. Then if it does as well as I hope and dream, JMS and WB have a whole sequence of events, spawned from the first film, that could conceivably tell an even larger tale and in the end be as epic as LOTR.

                      Oh, and for whoever said there were only two battles basically in the Drakh War. You're basing that statement on the things we've been allowed to see only. The Drakh conflict went on for almost 16 years...we don't fully know every battle, every conflict, every event. The Centauri books tell a good part of it, yes...but only from the perspective of Vir and Londo. What was going on everywhere else? We didn't actually see the events involving David Sheridan, we were told about them. Personally, I'd love to see them, and see the full, epic, all perspective view, realized on the big screen of what all happened. I want to see with my eyes the full build-up to Londo and G'Kar's deaths and see that event play out in full...knowing I'll be in tears the entire time. I want to see Vir ascend to the throne and see with my eyes that all will be ok.

                      There is still much to tell and those who think there isn't, either aren't paying very good attention to the detail, or have no faith in JMS.

                      "I see a [great story] reaching out of the stars!" Epic in scope and character, and as moving as the B5 series, itself.

                      JMS himself has spoken of the threads that tie events together. Do you not see how one event, the TW, could set into motion the events that followed? And thus, launch the potential for a trilogy? I clearly see it, but then I'm a storyteller, so I not only can see all of the possibilities, but tend to strive to do so. I pick apart the hints and moments and in my mind allow them to go in every direction possible to find the best and most exciting stories available that make sense and build upon what has come before while maintaining full respect and continuity.

                      As for pulling new butts into the seats, the TW has that potential and can still inform new audiences of prior events much easier. This story cannot and will not be set during the run of the series. If the film(s) are good enough, they alone will make people want to get the series DVD's to find out and see for themselves the full backstory that sounds and looks so cool when spoken of in the film(s).

                      Not to mention, I can see a massive ad campaign and marketing blitz. Any less simply will not suffice.

                      That is all for now...carry on.

                      Anthony Flessas
                      SP Pictures

                      I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


                      • #41
                        And one more piece of info...I hope you all find VERY enlightening:

                        Just a side note to those who think a film isn't viable. According to Box Office Magazine, if you take the domestic gross of any film, you can then triple it, at least, when adding in foreign box office and DVD sales to estimate the film's income. That also does not account for tie-in sales and marketing. So if you figure at the least, 10 million people in the US alone go see the film, that's 10 million times an average of $8.00/seat. That comes to $80 million gross domestically alone. Now triple that to include foreign box office and DVD sales, and a B5 feature film could and will probably bring in approximately $240 million gross (and those are conservative figures).

                        Can we say...hello success? Even ST: Nemesis, though not considered a huge box office hit by a long shot here, ended up more than doubling its cost in the long run when Paramount added foreign and DVD into the mix. (Which I guess expains why they're apparently letting Berman do another one -- *shudders at the thought*.)

                        Anyway, this is a good example as to why WB is so excited about B5. And like I said this doesn't even account for tie-in sales, which could have something to do with JMS' "in spades" statement. You have to figure that WB is going to want this to be very successful, so the marketing campaign I believe is going to be very big and aggressive.


                        Anthony Flessas
                        SP Pictures

                        I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


                        • #42
                          RE: ''IN SPADES''

                          More B5 on tv?
                          B5 Computer Game reborn?
                          New Movie?
                          More Books and Comics?
                          Audio Books?

                          Are we greedy?

                          You bet your arse!
                          Duracell Bunny is arrested and charged with BATTERY!!


                          • #43
                            re: In Spades

                            Don't forget the B5 RPG, published by Mongoose Publishing (in Canada).

                            Very well done, much better than the Chameleon Elcectic "The Babylon Project" which died a horrible and twitching death a decade ago.

                            Each sourcebook goes in depth, one for each season, and one for each of the major governments (Earth, Minbari, Narn and Centauri) as well as one for the Technomages.

                            It is obvious that jms has a greater hand in this project than in the previous one, it is truer to the series. And has little wonderful glimpses of the rest of that "1000 years in each direction" we keep talking about. I can't wait to finish my collection.
                            "Ivanova is God!"


                            • #44
                              I'm posting this here as well so hopefull no one will miss it:

                              Sorry for the double post here, but if you recall the comment I made in this forum previously that it's up to us, the fans, now to spread the word, well, I've posted a poll over at about B5. Everyone head over there, join up and post a positive response to the the poll.

                              It's in the off-topic discussion and called "Babylon 5 poll, What do you think of B5 and the new film".

                              There are some wishy washy types there who aren't convinced and some who haven't seen it really. If such a poll were overwhelmingly positive for B5 (and there are some fans there who've voted positively) we might be able to convince some SG-1 fans to take a first (or even second) look at B5.

                              Help us out!

                              Anthony Flessas
                              SP Pictures

                              I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!


                              • #45

                                This may be a little off the topic but I wonder if there will be room in the movie for Claudia Christian. I know that JMS and CC didn't part on the best of terms but it has been a while. Maybe they can come to an agreement on some type of role for her in the movie, especially if it is about the telepath war.

                                What do you know? I made it sort of on topic.
                                Co-host of The Second Time Around podcast