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UK region 2 Lost Tales DVD only ú4.99

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  • princevintari
    replied
    Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
    If they follow the same production model as the first DVD, which use virtual sets and so forth, I suspect the post-production process is a bit longer, so while JMS can write the scripts quickly as we know, and it is theoretically possible to fast-track things on the production end, you can't really make the post-production go any faster without throwing a lot of money at it, which obviously can't be done if these things have to be created within a specific budget. That being said, I could certainly see two DVD's worth of stories getting shot back to back to cut costs, and then finish post on #2 while #1 is being released.
    I can also see at least two DVDs worth of stories getting shot back to back to cut costs as well. I just hope there's a lot more stories per set, there needs to be at least three stories of 30 minutes in my honest opinion .
    Last edited by princevintari; 12-14-2007, 04:52 PM.

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  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    If they follow the same production model as the first DVD, which use virtual sets and so forth, I suspect the post-production process is a bit longer, so while JMS can write the scripts quickly as we know, and it is theoretically possible to fast-track things on the production end, you can't really make the post-production go any faster without throwing a lot of money at it, which obviously can't be done if these things have to be created within a specific budget. That being said, I could certainly see two DVD's worth of stories getting shot back to back to cut costs, and then finish post on #2 while #1 is being released.

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  • princevintari
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow View Post
    Possibly. Alternatively the studio could give JMS three weeks to write two scripts and get them into production a month later. Many sound stages will probably still be empty at that point.
    Yes possibly. However you've still got the length of the strike to consider and then maybe six months in post production. You're also assuming that JMS is available to write immediately after the strike. It seems like he could be very involved in his new mystery project with those two massive sci-fi directors.

    Although in theory by the end of the strike JMS could have written himself countless Babylon 5 scripts, ready to go into mass production of multiple DVD sets... Nevertheless I think we have a long wait before seeing new B5 material .

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    I think that with his recent rise in the pecking order, JMS can simply tell the studio when he might have time for them and they can take it or leave it.
    True but I suspect that someone has to do the thinking for the studios. Then apply methods similar to those in 'Rumours, Bargains and Lies'.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I think that with his recent rise in the pecking order, JMS can simply tell the studio when he might have time for them and they can take it or leave it.

    Jan

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by princevintari View Post
    I guess we'll all have to wait patiently or not because the next Lost Tales is unlikely to hit the streets for at least 18 months, depending on the length of the writers' strike.
    Possibly. Alternatively the studio could give JMS three weeks to write two scripts and get them into production a month later. Many sound stages will probably still be empty at that point.

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  • princevintari
    replied
    I guess we'll all have to wait patiently or not because the next Lost Tales is unlikely to hit the streets for at least 18 months, depending on the length of the writers' strike.

    I think the writers strike is going to last a lot longer than six months though to be honest. I think the TV studios will weather out this winter without giving in and with a combination of re runs and reality TV I think they will be able to hold them out until sometime in the summer. At which point they will want a new material for the fall schedule.

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  • JohnFourtyTwo
    replied
    I'm a little late in this conversation but I couldn't find it at my usual place either. About two weeks ago I did find it at a Wherehouse store for $22.49 after searching for about an hour, it was misplaced. They only had one copy left.

    It was nice to be reunited with most of the characters again, it definitely made me want more, so I'm patiently waiting for the next installment. As G'Kar once said I have all the time in the world.

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    In Britain the sales of the Babylon 5 DVDs has now dropped below 1000th place on Amazon.co.uk. So the Region 2 sales figures should now be in.

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Where did you get that data?
    I estimate the 1000%.

    The exact overhead figure may not be publicly know but it is definitely a lot more than 400%.

    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-17290
    The show, all in, cost about $110 million to make. Each year of its
    original run, we know it showed a profit because they TOLD us so. And
    in one case, they actually showed us the figures. It's now been on the
    air worldwide for ten years. There's been merchandise, syndication,
    cable, books, you name it. The DVDs grossed roughly half a BILLION
    dollars (and that was just after they put out S5, without all of the S5
    sales in).

    So what does my last profit statement say? We're $80 million in the
    red.
    On DVDs alone

    (500,000,000/110,000,000)*100% = 455%

    The episodes were sold for more than the production costs so the above is mostly profit. Costs like security should have been included in the hire cost of the sound stages. The strike information has shown that DVDs are made for about $2 each including royalties.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow View Post
    The studios are running at a 1,000% overhead.
    Where did you get that data?

    They are not organised to perform the cost control needed to reduce that level of overhead. One of the simplest controls is to reward the people who find a cheaper way of doing things such as paying them extra when their sales exceed their costs.
    The ones making TV have a far simpler way: Renewal or non-renewal. Which completely ignores the huge start-up costs of the failed shows. More shows fail by far than become huge and enduring hits.

    It also completely ignores the fact that ALL of the costs of making shows have to be accounted for. What's the studio's incentive for keeping down security costs, for instance? What about the executive dining room? They have little accountability toward the shows/films they make and only have to report to the shareholders.

    Jan

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    So yeah, when JMS says that (paraphrasing) 'When a small studio in Latvia burns down, they can charge it to B5', he's right...sorta. That studio is part of WB and so *part* of that cost will be charged against B5. Nothing dishonest or underhanded about it, that's simply the way accounting works.
    The studios are running at a 1,000% overhead. They are not organised to perform the cost control needed to reduce that level of overhead. One of the simplest controls is to reward the people who find a cheaper way of doing things such as paying them extra when their sales exceed their costs.

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  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    This is why people who are lucky enough to negotiate at a certain level always try to get a share of the gross profits. The net profits, i.e. what's left after overhead and expenses are recouped are basically worth nothing.

    I seem to remember another famous case in which Art Buchwald sued Paramount alleging that the studio basically ripped him off for the ideas behind Coming to America. Although I believe he ultimately won the case, I suspect that revelations about Hollywood bookkeeping were quite eye-opening at the time.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I seem to be having this conversation a lot lately...

    You've got to understand that accounting works a certain way and that way is that all costs have to be accounted for and distributed. It *has* to work that way.

    When JMS says that 5 'made money' every season, what he means is that it brought in more money than the budget was to make the show.

    By *no* stretch of the imagination is that budget what it actually costs to make a show. His budget was for the physical process of filming, that's all. What's not in that budget, but which are perfectly reasonable and necessary costs are all of the other things it takes to make a show. Even though B5 wasn't filmed on the WB lot, it's only right that it 'pay' for a fair portion of the costs to run the studio. All of the salaries for all of the support staff, legal, security, maintenance, roof repairs, whatever...all of that is perfectly legitimate and has to be allocated to the shows.

    So yeah, when JMS says that (paraphrasing) 'When a small studio in Latvia burns down, they can charge it to B5', he's right...sorta. That studio is part of WB and so *part* of that cost will be charged against B5. Nothing dishonest or underhanded about it, that's simply the way accounting works.

    Jan

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  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    That's why folks like Sean Connery routinely hire their own accountants to audit the studio books when they make ridiculous claims that a film didn't make a profit.

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