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  • Probably, the last update to B5Scrolls.

    Hi,

    ItÆs been around a year since the last update to B5scrolls, so this one is a bit overdue. Though like the title says, this is likely to be the last one û even though thereÆs still things to add to it.

    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/B5Scrolls.htm


    As I gave up trying to keep track of who I told what and when. Your basically on your own to figure out whatÆs been added. Though hereÆs a few hints to some of the more recent stuff . . . . that I can remember. : )

    Interview with Josh Prikryl û animator at Netter Digital who joined late in season 4.
    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen1_08_1

    Interview with Steve Burg û and if you donÆt know who he is then shame on you. Apparently he only worked on the show for the first two seasons!
    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen1_16_1


    Interview with Mat Sprange has finally been added.
    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen4_09_1

    A few updates to interviews like Paul BryantÆs.

    A few Additions to the B5 Concept Art Section.
    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...#Screen3_02_10

    And a few to the Miscellaneous Art Section.
    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...#Screen3_03_14


    The æStuffÆ section has now been stuffed out a bit, as this is likely the last update, so thereÆs a few downloads been added, credits, stuff like that. Read the ærantÆ at your own risk.

    IÆm sure thereÆs more, some pages have been reformatted to make them a bit easier to read, for example, but thatÆs most of the main bits I can remember.

    Hopefully thereÆs some things in there which are interesting enough, even to the old guard (amongst the fans).

    IÆm off to spam a few more forums now. ; )


    Cheers
    Tom

  • #2
    I'd like to spend more time reading the interviews but I'm afraid the grey-on-black (blue-on-black?) with yellow links is really hard on my eyes. Even highlighting all of the text doesn't help much.

    Naturally, though, I read your 'Rant'. Besides the snarky tone, which we've discussed before, I do want to address one thing. You state:

    Oh, by the way, that "crew of four B5 experts" who helped compile, categorize and edit the books . . . . . . . . . . . They're members of the newsgroup. Man, they really do get around (though that's just another personal opinion of course). I wonder who wrote the advertising blurb?
    Was there a point to that? Were you trying to imply that our newsgroup participation was a key to our being on the team? Each of us were chosen by Captain Jaclyn (who writes the ad copy, btw) at different times for different skills. Different projects have had different teams. If you have any questions about the team, you can address them by emailing [email protected] . And I'm not 100% sure but I think only three of the four of us are posters on the newsgroup.

    I also found it...interesting that you found it appropriate to speculate that JMS came onto the podcast for the purpose of selling more books and somehow neglected to quote his stated purpose for not having appeared earlier:

    Thank you. I always wanted this to be an opportunity for all the others involved with the show, the creative folks and directors and crew to come out and have a moment in the sun.
    'Nuff said.

    Jan
    The Insane One - Past, Present and Future
    Babylon 5 Scripts Team
    Last edited by Jan; 01-18-2010, 09:33 PM.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • #3
      Was there a point to that? Were you trying to imply that our newsgroup participation was a key to our being on the team? Each of us were chosen by Captain Jaclyn (who writes the ad copy, btw) at different times for different skills.
      ItÆs part of a æthemeÆ within the rant û thatÆs the point.

      Which is, while jms does the sort of things IÆd expect a writer and producer to do (with the added benefit of actually providing some very good insightful and honest replies to fan questions). Much of the myth (the silliness) surrounding him is created, spread, perpetuated and augmented by others û and it is done in many ways that often revolve around æcredibilityÆ, real or perceived. And much (though not all of it by any means) can be traced back to the newsgroup and some of its members.

      Do you disagree with that general observation?

      ItÆs pointed out in the advertising blurb for the ôAsked & Answeredö books, that they were compiled, categorized and edited by a team of experts on Babylon 5 (that credibility thing). One was jms, and at least 3 of the other 4, are members of the newsgroup. In the context of the rant, that little bit of trivia was worth inclusion. Though thatÆs just a personal opinion of course.

      I confess to being a little curious. æWhat makes an expert on ôBabylon 5ö? (As opposed to jms and his quotes)




      I also found it...interesting that you found it appropriate to speculate that JMS came onto the podcast for the purpose of selling more books and somehow neglected to quote his stated purpose for not having appeared earlier:
      ItÆs a rant, the whole thing is speculation and personal opinion û didnÆt I make that clear enough in the thing, more than once!

      Actually, now that you mentioned it, I was at one point, going to add that comment jms made about those working on the show coming out for their moment in the sun. But in the context of the rant I actually thought it sounded like a cheap shot û too aggressive, on my part.

      Remember, over a period of essentially two decades, jms was the one providing all those (supposedly) detailed replies on (supposedly) every aspect of how the show was made û he definitely tackled a wide enough range of subjects. By rarely naming any of those æcreative folksÆ and æcrewÆ (and never detailing what they did) it could be suggested heÆs the one û to borrow the metaphor - who kept them in the shade. He doesnÆt appear to have taken the opportunity do much in the way of putting them in the sunlight with himself û by providing too many detailed replies..

      Or have I misunderstood the reasons for jmsÆs interactions with the fans? Was it just meant to focus on more or less him and his experiences.


      'Nuff said.
      No, I donÆt think so.

      You seem to believe that if jms says something then it must be automatically true û with no omissions.

      IÆm not implying or stating, either now or in the ærantÆ, that heÆs a liar. But his replies are often influenced by commercial considerations. Which is absolutely 100% fine û I would never try to imply otherwise. HeÆs a writer AND producer û both of whom need to make a living.

      Let me put it this way. The LoTR example in the rant (screen 5). The jms reply thatÆs highlighted. When compared to what Mike Vejar said, is everything in jmsÆs reply completely accurate û with no omissions û or was Mike Vejar incorrect. Because in his reply jms does infer (by addressing the fans question) whomever said cost was a factor, and it wasnÆt what he originally wanted to show, was wrong.

      Raises an interesting question. Just how many of jmsÆs replies are influenced by considerations other than to inform and educate. Without seeing other recollection of events, from other people who worked on the show, no one knows. ThatÆs also a kind of theme running through the rant û a couple of the problems with having (apparently) a single source of information.

      Is the jms reply highlighted on screen 5 in the ôAsked & Answeredö books?
      Is the Omega one, or those surrounding the split with FI?

      For that reason, and a lot of others, I do find it more than just a coincidence that he chose that time to do the podcast interview, though of course thatÆs just a personal opinion, and as such I can be very very wrong. But the fact it also appears on the site selling the books, and highlighted as a FREE DOWNLOAD . . . . . . . I guess your going to point at ôCaptain Jaclynö again.

      Look, itÆs a collection of personal opinions on a personal fan site. Some folks will agree with some of it, others will not. ThatÆs one of the really great things about humanity, all kinds of diversity. I chose to show a handful of examples to demonstrate why I came to those opinions, and why, as a newbie, I was a little surprised at much of what I was reading.

      Do I really need to quote Harlan? . . . . . . . ; )

      I'd like to spend more time reading the interviews but I'm afraid the grey-on-black (blue-on-black?) with yellow links is really hard on my eyes.
      ThatÆs unfortunate, thereÆs some really interesting details on there, from the contributors who worked on the show, that is. You might learn something new. I know a few folks have monitor set ups and the like that make it difficult to read. But thereÆs plenty of others who can read it just fine û including all the contributers (I checked). It was just the way the site evolved, though it does make the graphics look nicer.



      If you have any questions about the team, you can address them by emailing [email protected] .
      Not for a rant, if I was dressing it up as some type of comprehensive and detailed critique then yes. Besides, ItÆs only one small (rather insignificant) aspect of the thing, thereÆs more interesting points being raised. Besides, no matter what she says the point of newsgroup member involvement is still true, and IÆd have to start going into why she chose newsgroup members as experts on Babylon 5 (that credibility thing again). Though that, as always, is just a personal opinion. ; )

      Comment


      • #4
        Ducking all the heated discussion.


        Thanks for putting the website together. I find it to be a resource that is not available though any other means.

        I do wish the site was a bit easier to navigate through, but it isn't intolerable, and well worth it for the information provided.

        Would you mind if it was mirrored at another site with all credit still given to you?
        Feel free to contact pm if interested. It's a great site for B5 fans, and I would hate for it to ever disappear.
        What a wonderful world you live in. -
        Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Triple F View Post
          It’s part of a ‘theme’ within the rant – that’s the point.
          So...you made a point of pointing out something meaningless just to be snide. Got it.

          Which is, while jms does the sort of things I’d expect a writer and producer to do (with the added benefit of actually providing some very good insightful and honest replies to fan questions). Much of the myth (the silliness) surrounding him is created, spread, perpetuated and augmented by others – and it is done in many ways that often revolve around ‘credibility’, real or perceived. And much (though not all of it by any means) can be traced back to the newsgroup and some of its members.

          Do you disagree with that general observation?
          Yes, I do. Far too vague to quantify and since much of your rant seems to be about the 'Great Maker' moniker and the regulars don't use it except in a joking fashion, yes, I disagree.

          I confess to being a little curious. ‘What makes an expert on “Babylon 5”? (As opposed to jms and his quotes)
          What qualifications others have, I won't address, though they're welcome to address this if they wish, of course. In my case, I've been a fan of the show since the first episode aired, I've watched the entire series at least 8 times and I've been active on the forums and newsgroups where JMS posted about the show for the last 13 years. I had access to the shooting scripts for B5, the movies and Crusade (all purchased legally from cast and crew) long before the limited edition books were ever begun and some of my scripts were used in the Other Voices books when the writers no longer had copies. In addition, I've got all of the novels and tie-in books such as the Making of B5, Security Manual, A to Z of B5 and Cookbook. I've got all of the Official Magazines and the Jane Killik season books. I compiled a comparison between the scripts and the episodes for the limited series. In other words, if I don't know the answer, I've got what I need to find the answer.

          ETA: It's also worth mentioning that even before the A&A series was discussed, I'd previously read all of the posts in the archives from before I began participating.

          Actually, now that you mentioned it, I was at one point, going to add that comment jms made about those working on the show coming out for their moment in the sun. But in the context of the rant I actually thought it sounded like a cheap shot – too aggressive, on my part.
          IMO, it might have given the impression of an attempt to be fair. Depending on how it was phrased, of course.

          Remember, over a period of essentially two decades, jms was the one providing all those (supposedly) detailed replies on (supposedly) every aspect of how the show was made – he definitely tackled a wide enough range of subjects. By rarely naming any of those ‘creative folks’ and ‘crew’ (and never detailing what they did) it could be suggested he’s the one – to borrow the metaphor - who kept them in the shade. He doesn’t appear to have taken the opportunity do much in the way of putting them in the sunlight with himself – by providing too many detailed replies..
          I completely disagree and that's one of my main points. As you yourself noted, there were a number of other people on the boards while the show was on and he often deferred to them. If you look through the B5 magazines, I don't think you'll find a single issue where the behind-the-scenes people were spotlighted, interviewed and given the chance to show and demonstrate their contribution. And yet, those don't seem to count with you. Because JMS didn't take the time to spotlight them every time he answered a question, you rant as though he deliberately was trying to take all the credit for their work for himself. Naturally, it doesn't matter that he was answering questions aimed at him after long days of making the show, does it?

          Or have I misunderstood the reasons for jms’s interactions with the fans? Was it just meant to focus on more or less him and his experiences.
          How else could it have been? I don't recall any instances where he ever tried to speak for anybody else. Yes, he wanted to have a conversation with the fans and tell them what it's like to make a TV show. Yes, it was from his point of view. Yes, he generally just answered the questions he was asked because that's what it was - a conversation. He wasn't out to write a treatise on how to make a show, he wanted to answer the questions that people were interested in asking him.


          You seem to believe that if jms says something then it must be automatically true – with no omissions.
          Incorrect. What I believe is that if JMS says something, it's true to the best of his knowledge. Omissions? I'm sure there were often many since he was answering posts and emails in the wee hours of the morning. There were (and still are) many questions addressed to him that he doesn't answer at all. What do you make of that?!

          Let me put it this way. The LoTR example in the rant (screen 5). The jms reply that’s highlighted. When compared to what Mike Vejar said, is everything in jms’s reply completely accurate – with no omissions – or was Mike Vejar incorrect. Because in his reply jms does infer (by addressing the fans question) whomever said cost was a factor, and it wasn’t what he originally wanted to show, was wrong.
          If you want me to see something again, copy it over here.

          Raises an interesting question. Just how many of jms’s replies are influenced by considerations other than to inform and educate.
          At a guess, I'd say a good many. It's only common sense. After all, he couldn't exactly say that "So-and-so was a real jerk and incompetent at his job.", could he. There are always other considerations when you're an executive who has to answer to the people who pay the bills.

          Without seeing other recollection of events, from other people who worked on the show, no one knows. That’s also a kind of theme running through the rant – a couple of the problems with having (apparently) a single source of information.
          Except that that's not true, is it? As I said, back in the day, several of the crew came online and many were definitely spotlighted in the B5 magazine. Is all of that available now? Yes, if you want to go looking for it. It's not exactly JMS's fault that DougO wanted this site to focus on JMS. JMS gave his permission for his posts and in a few cases, transcripts of his con appearances to be archived here. He has no involvement with this site. Another reason why others aren't represented in the archives here is because they don't have permission to re-copy those posts. As you may know, JMS is a firm believer in honoring copyright. The few posts by others that found there way into the archives here were accidental when digests of posts were mined for those by JMS.

          See, the thing is, I think you've got a great site. I simply dislike and disagree with the tone that pervades the entire site.

          Is the jms reply highlighted on screen 5 in the “Asked & Answered” books?
          Is the Omega one, or those surrounding the split with FI?
          Dunno. Copy it over here if you want me to check. And if it isn't, I can tell you who to blame. Me. It was I who went through the archives and decided which posts to keep and which not to.

          For that reason, and a lot of others, I do find it more than just a coincidence that he chose that time to do the podcast interview, though of course that’s just a personal opinion, and as such I can be very very wrong. But the fact it also appears on the site selling the books, and highlighted as a FREE DOWNLOAD . . . . . . . I guess your going to point at “Captain Jaclyn” again.
          Trust me, he'd have made a lot more if he'd appeared while the 14-volume series was coming out. And yeah, I could point you to Captain Jaclyn as to why the interview was available to download but I don't need to. The podcast folks have been very generous in giving the scripts team air time to promote the book series and this was a way to point more people to their podcast. I thought it was a very well conducted interview. Why not highlight that it's free? It is, after all. That's what's known as marketing: highlighting positives.

          Not for a rant, if I was dressing it up as some type of comprehensive and detailed critique then yes. Besides, It’s only one small (rather insignificant) aspect of the thing, there’s more interesting points being raised. Besides, no matter what she says the point of newsgroup member involvement is still true, and I’d have to start going into why she chose newsgroup members as experts on Babylon 5 (that credibility thing again). Though that, as always, is just a personal opinion. ; )
          I guess that depends on what you mean by 'involvement'. I just checked and Brandon has had a whopping *3* posts to the newsgroup since he became a team member. Before that, his last post had been in 2003. Obviously Captain Jaclyn didn't choose the most prolific posters on the newsgroup so perhaps, just perhaps, it's logical to assume that they have qualifications you might not be aware of. Are there other experts on B5 both on the newsgroup and off of it? Absolutely! I can think of several. Some have helped us on other projects. Some will probably help us on future projects. In other words, newsgroup participation isn't germain to...well, anything.

          Jan
          Last edited by Jan; 01-19-2010, 10:49 AM.
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

          Comment


          • #6
            On behalf of the Babylon Podcast, I would like to comment on the jms appearance. Early on in the podcast jms was asked to make an appearance. He had said he would, but he wanted to let the podcast speak with as many other people involved in the show's success and focus on them. Finally during our fourth year, and into our discussion of season 5 of the show did he finally agree to come on the show. I can't comment on his timing other than his schedule freed up enough to give us the opportunity.

            As far as the free download of the podcast goes, we viewed that as a positive way of advertising the podcast to potential B5 fans that hadn't heard of the podcast before. A win-win for everyone.
            Last edited by glindros; 01-19-2010, 10:38 AM.
            What a wonderful world you live in. -
            Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by glindros View Post
              Finally during our fourth year, and into our discussion of season 5 of the show did he finally agree to come on the show. I can't comment on his timing other than his schedule freed up enough to give us the opportunity.
              Ah, that explains everything. He has a history of cameo appearances in the fifth season!

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

              Comment


              • #8
                IÆm not going to argue with you jan over the wording, motivation or tone of what I wrote. You view things a certain way, I view them a certain way. On some things we agree, on others we do not.

                It would be easy to fill this thread with quotes cross referencing and personal opinions. I donÆt see the point.

                What I did was present some personal thoughts. Made it clear thatÆs what they were, and itÆs for each individual to come to whatever conclusions they wish to, or completely ignore them.

                It means nothing to me either way.

                Personally, the information from the contributors on the site is far more interesting and worthy of discussion.




                @ Glindros
                Yup, I have no problem with it. In fact, IÆm seriously considering making the whole thing as a download so anyone who wants it could have it, as it would be a great pity that the content of the site (minus the tiny bit with my personal opinions of course) should disappear when the site does. It would be cool if someone did that and chose to expand the content into other areas. Still thinking about that one though.

                PM with what your thinking about and what youÆd need. Some friends are currently hosting it, so I have no idea what would be involved.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                  By rarely naming any of those ‘creative folks’ and ‘crew’ (and never detailing what they did)
                  Where did you get this impression? Joe often said "I approved this, but they did the work", "this show could never be done without John Copeland", "Christhoper Franke does the music, because I don't know how music works," "Ann Bruice does a great job selecting fabrics for our costumes." etc. etc.

                  Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                  It means nothing to me either way.
                  Obviously it means something to you or you wouldn't take the time to make such statements in the first place.
                  Last edited by JoeD80; 01-20-2010, 11:40 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                    @ Glindros
                    Yup, I have no problem with it. In fact, IÆm seriously considering making the whole thing as a download so anyone who wants it could have it, as it would be a great pity that the content of the site (minus the tiny bit with my personal opinions of course) should disappear when the site does. It would be cool if someone did that and chose to expand the content into other areas. Still thinking about that one though.

                    PM with what your thinking about and what youÆd need. Some friends are currently hosting it, so I have no idea what would be involved.
                    FFF:

                    You could ask Sanfam at Firstones to host it too... long ago he started a project to archive B5 fan websites (it seems a dormant project, last update seems to have been in 2006, but I'm sure your site would be a valued addition if you ask them to host it.
                    That might even give them the kick in the butt it seems to be needed to revive the archiving project (also not updated much since the original announcement)

                    In any event, your site is the best new B5 site of the millennium (even if it wasn't the only one it would be). Thanks for all the efforts in providing a window into the minds and contributions of other participants in the creation of Babylon 5.
                    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Capt.Montoya View Post
                      FFF:

                      You could ask Sanfam at Firstones to host it too... long ago he started a project to archive B5 fan websites (it seems a dormant project, last update seems to have been in 2006, but I'm sure your site would be a valued addition if you ask them to host it.
                      That might even give them the kick in the butt it seems to be needed to revive the archiving project (also not updated much since the original announcement)
                      I really like the concepts behind Firstones.com. As you say it's a bit of a pity things have become pretty inactive. But given the lack of new B5 material, and the (probable) lack of anything new on the horizon, it's not unexpected.

                      Yeah, IÆll probably end up, offering the thing for archiving. The reason for not doing it right now is thereÆs a few loose odds and ends. For example, Steve Burg went back to work on a new movie after æthe holidaysÆ, heÆs got crates of concepts for various things (which he needs to drag out and sort through) including the early Minbari, Vorlons, Centauri Aliens, etc. along with concepts for their home worlds. One of the last things he mentioned was ôI imagine youÆll have a few more questions when you see them

                      So the concepts will turn up some time this summer (along with some probable new Q&AÆs). With things like Josh digging out a few things when he goes back to the states, and possibly doing a æproperÆ interview with Ron when we both have time û I donÆt want to archive it before the content is rounded off.

                      Originally posted by JoeD80
                      Where did you get this impression?
                      Based on the balance of what I read as a whole (and I read a fair bit).

                      Remember, I jumped in out of the cold, a complete newbie with no prior knowledge, opinions or conceptions about who jms was/is, the fan community or even any of the contributors. The gist of a phrase I used a couple of times in the ærantÆ is û he rarely mentions others who worked on the show and never details their contributions when he does.

                      ThatÆs genuinely - and honestly - the impression I got from reading through his newsgroup replies and various interviews, etc. Not wishing to appear all confrontational or anything, but I doubt very much youÆll find anything from jms (on-line at least) where he does go into what other people did, in anything resembling detail, while naming them.


                      I have a question for everyone. I wasnÆt kidding when I mentioned on one of those screens that maybe I misunderstood the point of jmsÆs interactions with the fans. I openly and readily admit I may have picked up the wrong impression of what they were meant to contain (and achieve). When asked, jms describes his on-line interactions with fans like this.

                      What you have, in this topic/category, from November of last year, until today, is a day-by-day accounting of how a show goes from concept to pre production to production to editing, every stage is discussed at some length.
                      By the time this is all done, there will be an online document of hundreds of archival pages -- maybe thousands -- covering the development, birth and ongoing creation of a TV series at a depth never before chronicled, which will be available to students and universities and ordinary folks.
                      What's the final result? I hope a document, thousands of pages long, that chronicles the making of a show on every level, so that average folks can better understand the process and, thus, better communicate what it is they want, on the theory that you can never have what you want until you know how to ask for it, and what your options are.

                      My question is this.

                      Is the archive (as far as your concerned) meant to be viewed as a comprehensive chronicling of every aspect of how the show was created û æon every level.Æ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jan View Post
                        I'd like to spend more time reading the interviews but I'm afraid the grey-on-black (blue-on-black?) with yellow links is really hard on my eyes. Even highlighting all of the text doesn't help much.
                        Have to echo this one TripleF, as someone with a (relatively mild) visual impairment, it is just impossible to read your site for more than a minute or two before I have to look at something else. Never had that with any other website I have tried to read.

                        Notwithstanding your desire to cease work on it, and not knowing the background technology you have used to build it, is it not possible for you to offer a choice of colour theme for those who have trouble with your choice?
                        The Optimist: The glass is half full
                        The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                        The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                          Is the archive (as far as your concerned) meant to be viewed as a comprehensive chronicling of every aspect of how the show was created û æon every level.Æ
                          Chronicle? Yes. "...at a depth never before chronicled"? To the best of my knowledge, anyway. Comprehensive? Nope. Given the Q&A format, there's no way it ever could be. To put one of the quotes you used in context:

                          Okay, you want it straight up? Here it is. I'm here for a number of
                          reasons. 1) I like to get kind of a sense of the room; I'm not going to
                          change anything, but writing for TV is like writing for a vacuum; you nevr
                          (never) get to see the reaction. This is the ONLY chance I get to get a
                          reaction to something I've written and produced, and maybe it's ego, maybe
                          it's just that I work very hard to make something effective,and want to see
                          if it had the desired effect. Writers and artists and singers are like
                          that.

                          2) I think that TV producers in general get a very skewed sense of
                          who's in the audience. This exchange gives access to people across the
                          country to someone who makes TeeVee, and lets me hear them. How often
                          would someone in Clearwater, Oklahoma, have the chance to express an
                          opinion to someone in LA making a TV series? Not bloody often. And that
                          is in large measure, I think, why TV has become so insular. And so
                          unresponsive to its audience. So I'm kind of a test-case volunteer for
                          this, in the hopes of luring more producers onto the nets and creating a
                          more open exchange, making producers accountable for what they make.

                          3) I've dedicated over 15 years of my life to trying to demystify
                          TV production and writing. I've written columns and columns, reams of
                          articles, a book...all trying to help people understand how this medium
                          works, because you can't control or influence something unless you truly
                          UNDERSTAND it...why things are done a certain way. This is part of an
                          educational project that I've been doing for over a decade, a natural
                          outgrowth of that process. By the time this is all done, there will be
                          an online document of hundreds of archival pages -- maybe thousands --
                          covering the development, birth and ongoing creation of a TV series at a
                          depth never before chronicled, which will be available to students and
                          universities and ordinary folks. I think that's a valuable experiment.

                          Finally: 4) I'm an SF fan. I think SF fans are, overall, the most
                          exploited bunch around. They're expected to line up, buy the toys,
                          watch the show and shut the hell up. I think it's time some respect for
                          that audience was shown by allowing them a voice. This is part of my
                          sense of personal obligation to the field that spawned many wonderful
                          years of reading.
                          In this post, he told us his entire intent for the online conversation (online experiment, as he often termed it) and the chronicle was only one reason.

                          What generally is most comprehensive is when JMS talks about how he tells the story like in this post which is far too long to quote. In it he wrote:
                          Again, this online experiment is about letting people
                          understand the process of telling a story like this, and of making a TV
                          show in general.
                          As I've noted before, telling a story of this nature
                          for television, with all the exigencies and real-life surprises
                          involved, is like doing an elaborate step-dance while people are
                          throwing live chickens and chainsaws at you...but I knew that would be
                          the situation going in, and it was only a matter of whether or not the
                          story was worth the grief involved in telling it.
                          Emphasis mine. Naturally, the part he was involved with, the planning of the story itself is what his main focus was and what people would ask him about.

                          But other folks from B5 were online and would answer questions, too. One of the first people I encountered when I first discovered the B5 section of AOL back in '96 was Matt Plummer, who's credited as a scenic artist. I loved his posts! He was funny and informative (and rather obsessed with the floors). He would get almost as many questions as JMS did at times.

                          You said:
                          he rarely mentions others who worked on the show and never details their contributions when he does.
                          And that's generally true, especially once the team was set up. What he did was let them, encourage them, to speak for themselves. Online, in the B5 magazine, at conventions. Can you, as a relative late-comer find all that? Certainly not as easily as JMS' posts. But remember, it's not as if JMS originally knew that his posts would be collected and archived, either. It was fans who started the mailing lists and DougO who asked for permission to make this site.

                          So, to answer your question...yes, I think you misunderstood the point of JMS' interaction with the fans because there wasn't just one.

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

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                          • #14
                            Cool.

                            The (B5scrolls) site suffers from one major flaw, as I see it. Me!!

                            There was no plan û the site evolved.

                            As a newbie (and late comer to the æsceneÆ) I didnÆt have the depth of knowledge to ask really good questions.

                            Developing the site on my lonesome resulted in thinks like (for some folks) that difficult to read font colour, or æunusualÆ menu system for navigating the place.

                            And perhaps part of that is also not having the depth of experience with regards to the whole asking and answering of question with jms. I think it would have been interesting to have viewed some of those on-line stalkers and real fruit loops who did their thing while claiming to be Trek fans.

                            I think that a lot of his intentions have got a bit lost (or forgotten) over the passage of time. As a late arrival, the overwhelming impression one gets is that an excessive level of attention is focused on jms. Maybe to long term fans that may not always be immediately apparent. But to a clean slate like myself who turned up looking to be educated is was difficult to ignore.

                            Let me put it this way.
                            On here a few months back a model builder came on to thank jms for the design of the Starfury (and Omega) û ôin tribute and thanksö as he put it.. Trust me on this. The simple truth is that he had (with all due respect) no practical input to either, other than to say, cool designs weÆll use them. Which is fine, good decisions on his part. Acknowledging that doesnÆt detract from his skills as a story teller or as someone who wanted a certain ælookÆ to the show.

                            http://www.jmsnews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4017

                            But look at whatÆs said (and not said) on the thread, now put yourself in the position of a newbie who knows bugger all. Multiply that by a couple of thousand similar type threads (many apparently going into a fair level of detail), on a multitude of forums, blogs, review and reference sites, where something from the show is mentioned and the only name being used in connection with it is jmsÆs, and you may start to ægetÆ where IÆm coming from.


                            ItÆs most certainly not jmsÆs fault. To be honest I donÆt think itÆs anyones æfaultÆ as such. It just sort of happened. Though an interesting question is how did the situation arise where such a thing could happen, apparently so easily and widespread?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                              It’s most certainly not jms’s fault. To be honest I don’t think it’s anyones ‘fault’ as such. It just sort of happened. Though an interesting question is how did the situation arise where such a thing could happen, apparently so easily and widespread?
                              I think the primary thing to remember in seeking an answer to that question is simply that the World Wide Web was a very new thing when B5 was on the air. Unlike now, when every new TV show under the sun has message boards for fans (occasionally frequented by the people who make the show) official and unofficial websites, online trailers, webisodes you name it, back in 1994-1998 this was something very very new.

                              I don't imagine for a second that JMS had any notion that 15 years later all of his answers to questions about season one and the pilot would be archived here for anyone on the planet with a browser to roll up and read.

                              The reason JMS has been given the attention he has is precisely because he was the figurehead of the whole thing, the man whose vision created the show and writing generated 92 out of 110 episodes.

                              You are absolutely right TripleF ... that vision could never have come to the screen without the hard work and effort of all of the other creative and hard-working people who made the show happen, but the truth of it is that JMS (uniquely ... AT THE TIME) made himself available as the head honcho of the show for fans to question directly on what was going on. Clearly, if JMS is being asked a question he will give HIS answer from HIS perspective, and as the web developed it is these answers that have been archived and no one else's.

                              You are also correct in that any perception that JMS is solely responsible for the show (and I still don't see where that perception comes from, but then I was around and online when the show and online interaction was happening right in front of us) is erroneous but that it is no one's fault that it is the case.

                              Personally I think it comes down to three things ...

                              1. There are just too many people involved for everyone's input, online activity, answers to questions etc. to be remembered and archived, so attention has focussed (I think, naturally) on the head cheese. NOW, the argument might be that he should know how much attention is going to be paid to his words on the web and ensure that credit is duly apportioned for the record. THEN, however, no one could really have forseen how the web would develop and how quickly.

                              2. The web as an entity was in its embryonic stages and by the time it reached the point where the whole exchanges with other crew etc. could be catalogued and archived, they were simply lost in the mists of history ... I remember my first web hosting account granted me a whopping 10MB of storage space and cost me over £100 per year. Just no room to archive too much of any lasting vaue there. My current one costs around 80% of that amount and gives me 100GB of storage and unlimited separately administered domains and websites to play with. It is likely that I could easily catalogue every post ever made by any member of the B5 crew using that space and still have room left for my own sites.

                              3. Most of the crew probably weren't interested in recognition beyond the people they worked with, they were just interested in making the best TV show they possibly could without blowing their own trumpet. That essentially is me ... I do a vital job in my company, ensuring that the Directors and other commercial staff have the right tools and advice to do the job for our clients, but I doubt that more than half a dozen of those clients even know I exist, and of those that do it is unlikely that they have any idea that I did most of the heavy lifting. And I don't care ... if I wanted the credit I would ask to be moved into one of the client facing positions.

                              Whilst hindsight can be 20/20, it is easy to get the wrong idea of how something worked if we assume that it is always thus. As the environment in which something happened (such as the web) changes significantly in the intervening period, it is too easy to assume that everything worked then the way it works now, and it just didn't.

                              Oh ... and if you get the chance to read the old B5 magazines, don't pass it up. They were an excellent resource in finding out the backstory to how the show was made, and who was responsible. The interviews with, and features about, the other members of the crew; production designers, producers, Optic Nerve, Netter Digital etc., etc., etc. were highly informative.

                              As far as the model maker whose thread you posted is concerned, is that really any different than a Star Wars fan thanking George Lucas for the X-Wing Fighter? Did he design it? No idea? If not, I certainly have no idea who did, but Lucas created Star Wars so that is as good a place to put my thanks as any ... life is just too short to start trawling through website after website trying to find out who was responsible for the design of the X-Wing Fighter so that I can thank them personally for it.

                              And one last thing (given that this post is about 4 times as long as I intended ... sorry), anyone who has ever worked in any kind of team environment will know and understand that ultimately, particularly when the project is long finished, it will be the leader of that team who be given the credit for its success, in spite of the fact that the leader was entirely reliant on the other members of the team to produce it. That is just how teams work.
                              Last edited by Garibaldi's Hair; 02-11-2010, 10:29 AM.
                              The Optimist: The glass is half full
                              The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                              The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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