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  • Triple F
    replied
    I know that due to some of the things I’ve said (and even done with regards to B5Scrolls) some view me as a borderline jms-hater. Just to be clear, that’s nonsense. Quite the opposite really. I genuinely admire his tenacity as a producer and his talent as a writer….. But.

    I’m not blinded by that. Way back when jms first boldly and confidently announced that there would be a script written by this year, getting finance would be easy enough and if WB didn’t want it he’d make it himself, etc. I noted that the timing of the announcement coincided with the start of the filming of Sense8. A potential Babylon 5 movie was an extremely newsworthy story and unsurprisingly hundreds of articles were written all over the place about it……… along with jms’s new project….

    So Sense8 got a lot more virtual column inches, and a lot more buzz was generated in the wider sci-fi community, than it would have normally (even with the Wachowski’s involvement)…. Now here’s the thing. Noting and commenting on the timing of such and exciting, unambiguous and definitive announcement – although some would view it like that – isn’t me ‘joe-bashing’ again. As an executive producer one of the things in his job description is to promote his – new - projects as best he can…. And I tip my hat to him for doing so…… If that’s what he was doing by confidently announcing a B5 movie like that, out of the blue, at that moment in time…….. and to be honest, that’s exactly what I believe he was doing....

    Now I really do GET IT that some fans view jms almost as a friend, and he’d never do something like that to them……… But the reality is he’s an executive television producer. That's just something that some fans can't easily accept sometimes.
    Last edited by Triple F; 06-11-2016, 05:29 AM.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Hey guys and gals, it's cool!

    I don't mind people jumping to defend JMS or the way the fan community can sometimes behave. It's just that I got really excited at the B5 announcement and signs do not point to it going full steam ahead. Jan, I can understand your lack of patience with these kinds of comments though, because it's the kind of stuff that pushed me out of a few B5 Facebook groups. However, we should all be allowed to occasionally critique JMS as well as praise him here. At least my complaints are based on real tangible information and I caveat it with 'JMS owes me nothing' and 'I generally hate fan entitlement'.

    I will wait patiently like everyone else and I hope the JMS spot at SDCC gives us a clearer picture or a revised timeline, and yes, I totally appreciate everything takes FOREVER in Hollywood.

    I can't complain too much, cause we got Sense8 last year and we are getting MORE soon. My little moan only reflects my interest in seeing some new B5.
    Last edited by Ubik; 06-11-2016, 01:57 AM.

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  • Looney
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Heck, wasn't it Looney who follows all the buzz and keep us up to date on 'Lantern City'? Why isn't anybody complaining that they started something and it hasn't happened yet?

    Jan
    YEAH! COMPLAIN ALREADY! For all you know I totally made Lantern City up from my own twisted imagination. (Unless you saw or read any of the comics.) BUT if you didn't see the comics then who's to say it was ever a real thing. And if anyone wants me to send Team Lantern City emails about their total failure to force someone to give them the money and distribution deal they want for their TV show I will do it. PM me and I'll forward all of our disgust at their four year journey that gave us a book and a comic book instead of the TV show they said they wanted to do. HOW DARE THEY! ! ! (And always remember, any publicity is good publicity even if it comes from a Looney - GO LANTERN CITY!) [If this didn't make you laugh, then be very afraid of me because I laughed the whole time I was writing it. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LEAD IN JAN! ]

    And Jan if you want to continue to rant about something, tell them about the little group I ran into at Space City Comic Con that seemed to be in agreement that JMS was the reason B5 is locked away somewhere never to be seen in reruns or on streaming sites. I have no idea where they came up with that idea, but one guy in a line said it out loud and someone else agreed like it was a real thing. I am so glad I was there to set them straight. They were glad too.

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  • Delenn_of_Mir
    replied
    Awe, hope you feel better soon, Jan!!!!!!!!

    And you are totes entitled to rant as much as you'd like to, and to be as optimistic and rah, rah, JMS, rah, rah he's the best, as you want to be!!!!!!!!!

    I for one, really like your enthusiasm and optimism and cheerful positivity!!!!!! It's great to see and I enjoy your polite rants, too. "giggles"

    I also share in Ubik's pessimism and suspicion that we will not see any more B5 in a very long time.

    It's true Joe doesn't have to share anything with us, and nope, we a'int entitled to anything from him. But it would still be nice to hear of any forward motion, if there was anything to hear about, of course.

    And a line-by-line script update would be awesome!!!!!!

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  • Jan
    replied
    WARNING: Rant below. Skip it if you don't want to read more blunt posting than I usually indulge in. Note that this is a general rant even though I quote Ubik.

    Originally posted by Ubik View Post
    Jan, I take your point, I really do... but I sure wish JMS wouldn't make bold anoucements like this, and then drag his feet.

    I wish he'd wait till he had something concrete before teasing the fans like that. It just looks kinda bad on all levels, both for the fans and for drumming up support and hype for the project. The announcement generate quite a lot of media interest from SF centric sites, but with no real follow up to keep it going.
    Nobody who's likely to finance the project is reading these forums. They're simply not. As for other sites, yeah, drumming up interest is part of the idea. Just as the Free Babylon 5 movement was as much about keeping B5 alive in people's minds. Anybody who's ever followed a show that's looking to return *knows* that generating 'buzz' is part of the process. BSG - Trek - Captain Power and on and on. Heck, wasn't it Looney who follows all the buzz and keep us up to date on 'Lantern City'? Why isn't anybody complaining that they started something and it hasn't happened yet?

    I'm not the sort who goes in for fan entitlement, and I maintain that JMS owes the fans nothing... but, this was 2014 and as far as we know there's still no completed script. So, hence my pessimism. It's just a shame, I'd love some new B5!
    We're still well within the timeline in that video I shot, aren't we? And the one time a year when JMS gives us updates on everything including the kitchen sink is coming up in less than six weeks.

    I will continue to wait patiently, but may occasionally have to let off some steam. You shouldn't begrudge us that, it's totally fair!
    Occasionally? Occasionally????!!! How about every. single. solitary. time he says anything at all. Yep. Every time. There's always a chorus of 'I wish he wouldn't say anything until...' or 'Why hasn't he...'

    And what's the complaint this time? That he sounds 'wishy-washy' in an interview that wasn't even about B5 at all. What he did is stay "on message" and not derail the interview with a subject that wasn't key to the point of the interview.

    So the bottom line is he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Because the ones who don't know what he's said about projects in the past like to spout off about how JMS has 'abandoned' B5. Or 'doesn't show any commitment' or some other hogwash. And the ones who do know want to nit-pick about him not keeping them abreast every time he writes a paragraph...or don't want to know...except they do because every time he says there's an announcement coming up there's a chorus of 'Is it B5, JMS????' 'I hope it's B5, JMS or I'll cry!' and the like.

    So if you guys can blow off some steam...so can I. Because I've learned over the years that nothing in H-wood *ever* goes according to plan or schedule.

    Sorry folks. Not feeling well today and my nerves got frazzled. I'll be my sunny self again soon.

    Jan

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Sigh...Yes, of course JMS is going to be extremely detailed in describing every step of every creative impulse and every business meeting in an interview primarily about Sense8, isn't he? How could he possibly have not been?!?!? </sarcasm>

    Y'know what I really want to ask him at SDCC this year? "What's the average time something takes from idea to finished product in the theater?" Oh, he won't be able to answer, of course, but I wish he could. Because so many people get blindered and seem to think that a project should take up ever waking moment when the reality is that the process is slow - years and years in many cases. Look at the history of Sense8 for a perfect example.

    Jan
    Jan, I take your point, I really do... but I sure wish JMS wouldn't make bold anoucements like this, and then drag his feet.

    I wish he'd wait till he had something concrete before teasing the fans like that. It just looks kinda bad on all levels, both for the fans and for drumming up support and hype for the project. The announcement generate quite a lot of media interest from SF centric sites, but with no real follow up to keep it going.

    I'm not the sort who goes in for fan entitlement, and I maintain that JMS owes the fans nothing... but, this was 2014 and as far as we know there's still no completed script. So, hence my pessimism. It's just a shame, I'd love some new B5!

    I will continue to wait patiently, but may occasionally have to let off some steam. You shouldn't begrudge us that, it's totally fair!
    Last edited by Ubik; 06-10-2016, 03:39 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Looney View Post
    Ummmmm . . . Jan . . . is that really going to be your question? I mean I am hoping you will be stumped because THAT is the venue where he would make any big announcement like "script is finished.", not some random interview or whatever. I am hoping you will be so flustered you won't actually remember what question you were going to ask.
    I never know what my question will be until I ask it! Sometimes I'm certain right up until he says something and then I ask something completely different. I very seldom get a second question in - though why he doesn't just turn the mike over to me is a true mystery!

    And if he doesn't have an announcement like that to make then I don't expect you to say anything about it. Just make sure he sees you in all of your splendor - looking very forlorn. That will be message enough. LOL
    I doubt if he's ever noticed one way or another but I try to sit in the same general place depending on the room. Usually about 3-5 rows back as close to the microphone as I can. That way my recorder picks up everything.

    ETA: 'Fraid I wouldn't be looking forlorn at all. While I'd love to see more B5, I'm happy with the story we have. I'd love to see the station again with modern CGI, though. JMS showed the opening sequence of the Lost Tales on a big screen in New York and it was fabulous!

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 06-10-2016, 12:32 PM.

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  • Looney
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Sigh...Yes, of course JMS is going to be extremely detailed in describing every step of every creative impulse and every business meeting in an interview primarily about Sense8, isn't he? How could he possibly have not been?!?!? </sarcasm>

    Y'know what I really want to ask him at SDCC this year? "What's the average time something takes from idea to finished product in the theater?" Oh, he won't be able to answer, of course, but I wish he could. Because so many people get blindered and seem to think that a project should take up ever waking moment when the reality is that the process is slow - years and years in many cases. Look at the history of Sense8 for a perfect example.

    Jan
    Ummmmm . . . Jan . . . is that really going to be your question? I mean I am hoping you will be stumped because THAT is the venue where he would make any big announcement like "script is finished.", not some random interview or whatever. I am hoping you will be so flustered you won't actually remember what question you were going to ask.

    And if he doesn't have an announcement like that to make then I don't expect you to say anything about it. Just make sure he sees you in all of your splendor - looking very forlorn. That will be message enough. LOL

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
    I would have liked it better if he'd said, "yes, I've written a really interesting movie script, it's sitting in a drawer of a WB exec, right now, being totally ignored. But by May 2 of 2018, if I still haven't heard from them I'm going to make the movie myself. I already have 14 investors who have double pinky sworn that they'll give me the money, and I'm really really excited about it."
    Originally posted by Ubik View Post
    Yep, sounds way more wishy washy than the original announcement. I guess he's trying not to get people's hopes up too much. I hate to be the pessimist here, but I highly doubt we'll see anything new in the B5 universe for quite some time.
    Sigh...Yes, of course JMS is going to be extremely detailed in describing every step of every creative impulse and every business meeting in an interview primarily about Sense8, isn't he? How could he possibly have not been?!?!? </sarcasm>

    Y'know what I really want to ask him at SDCC this year? "What's the average time something takes from idea to finished product in the theater?" Oh, he won't be able to answer, of course, but I wish he could. Because so many people get blindered and seem to think that a project should take up ever waking moment when the reality is that the process is slow - years and years in many cases. Look at the history of Sense8 for a perfect example.

    Jan

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
    *I plan to try and get a Babylon 5 feature in the works soon"


    I'm not really sure what this means or if I should feel excited or not. He plans to try, sounds very wishy-washy and non-committal. It's nice he'd still like to do it, but it doesn't sound like he has any definite plans or steps to take to make it actually happen.

    Of course maybe he's just being purposely vague and his plans are more concrete than him simply thinking it would be a fun thing to do, maybe, one day, somehow, wish upon a star....

    I would have liked it better if he'd said, "yes, I've written a really interesting movie script, it's sitting in a drawer of a WB exec, right now, being totally ignored. But by May 2 of 2018, if I still haven't heard from them I'm going to make the movie myself. I already have 14 investors who have double pinky sworn that they'll give me the money, and I'm really really excited about it."

    "giggles muchly"

    But thanks for sharing that he did mention it again, at least.
    Yep, sounds way more wishy washy than the original announcement. I guess he's trying not to get people's hopes up too much. I hate to be the pessimist here, but I highly doubt we'll see anything new in the B5 universe for quite some time.

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  • Delenn_of_Mir
    replied
    *I plan to try and get a Babylon 5 feature in the works soon"


    I'm not really sure what this means or if I should feel excited or not. He plans to try, sounds very wishy-washy and non-committal. It's nice he'd still like to do it, but it doesn't sound like he has any definite plans or steps to take to make it actually happen.

    Of course maybe he's just being purposely vague and his plans are more concrete than him simply thinking it would be a fun thing to do, maybe, one day, somehow, wish upon a star....

    I would have liked it better if he'd said, "yes, I've written a really interesting movie script, it's sitting in a drawer of a WB exec, right now, being totally ignored. But by May 2 of 2018, if I still haven't heard from them I'm going to make the movie myself. I already have 14 investors who have double pinky sworn that they'll give me the money, and I'm really really excited about it."

    "giggles muchly"

    But thanks for sharing that he did mention it again, at least.

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  • Jan
    replied
    No real news but at least it's confirmation that the feature film's still being planned:

    ADTV: Hollywood loves reboots. Would you like He-Man to get a reboot? Or even Babylon 5?

    JMS: He-Man I don’t own, so I can’t comment. I would love to reboot Babylon 5 as a series, but Warner Bros. has made it clear that they don’t want to do anything with the show since it didn’t come about through the WB Television division (it was developed by WB Domestic Distribution during the PTEN network stage), so as far as they’re concerned it simply doesn’t exist. I do retain the film rights, however, and I plan to try and get a Babylon 5 feature in the works soon.
    Sense8 writer/co-creator J. Michael Straczynski talks about the creative process behind bringing the controversial Netflix streaming series to fruition.


    Jan

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  • Delenn_of_Mir
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Short answer: Because he's a professional. That's not meant to be rude, it's how professionals do things-they get paid for working, same as you or me. Writing is how he makes his living. You seem to be (correct me if I'm wrong) positing that he have actual, completed scripts all written and waiting just in case somebody commissions something? It doesn't work that way.

    For instance, TMOS. That was a commissioned script and the group that commissioned it had input into what kind of story they wanted to tell and maybe even what characters they might want (we don't know, though there was some issue with wanting to re-cast characters). Or they might have asked JMS to pitch ideas he already had. However it went, that script (which from what JMS posted underwent numerous revisions) belongs to the group that commissioned him to write it.

    Ditto the TV series that WB commissioned. In that case, JMS said that he'd gotten complete creative control written into his contract. Not knowing exactly when the proposed venue dead-ended, we don't know whether he'd completed any scripts or just made notes. But since WB is a signatory of the WGA Basic Agreement, outlines and scripts would trigger certain payments.

    Your (apparent) thinking is that JMS should have finished product ready to whip out at a moment's notice. Given that he doesn't own those characters or the B5 universe (except for the feature film rights), that would be the equivalent of him writing fanfic that could never see the light of day. Why would he do that instead of contracting for a feature film script that will keep him in coffee and chocolate and kitty treats for the next while?

    But when you talk about will... What about his engaging in a couple of years of negotiations to try to buy back the rights to B5 so that he *could* do something with it? In my book, that's putting his money down on something he believes in and, if he'd been successful, would have been a far greater service for B5 than writing a few scripts for 'just in case'. And given those negotiations, chances are that he's got a pretty good idea of where WB stands on the idea of making new B5. My impression is that they (WB) have no intention of doing anything whatsoever. And given that they're the only possible market other than JMS' own feature film efforts is another good reason for him to not have written any scripts 'on spec'.

    Hoping this doesn't come across as confrontational - just want to give you as good an answer as is my understanding.

    Jan

    Great answer, Jan! That makes a ton of sense. Also I wasn't around for the TMOS days and I always wondered what happened to that script.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Technomage-Galen View Post
    Why doesn't he have a number of polished ready-to-go B5 projects in the hopper and ready to go? It's been nine years since the lost tales, and 12+ years since TMOS.
    Short answer: Because he's a professional. That's not meant to be rude, it's how professionals do things-they get paid for working, same as you or me. Writing is how he makes his living. You seem to be (correct me if I'm wrong) positing that he have actual, completed scripts all written and waiting just in case somebody commissions something? It doesn't work that way.

    For instance, TMOS. That was a commissioned script and the group that commissioned it had input into what kind of story they wanted to tell and maybe even what characters they might want (we don't know, though there was some issue with wanting to re-cast characters). Or they might have asked JMS to pitch ideas he already had. However it went, that script (which from what JMS posted underwent numerous revisions) belongs to the group that commissioned him to write it.

    Ditto the TV series that WB commissioned. In that case, JMS said that he'd gotten complete creative control written into his contract. Not knowing exactly when the proposed venue dead-ended, we don't know whether he'd completed any scripts or just made notes. But since WB is a signatory of the WGA Basic Agreement, outlines and scripts would trigger certain payments.

    Your (apparent) thinking is that JMS should have finished product ready to whip out at a moment's notice. Given that he doesn't own those characters or the B5 universe (except for the feature film rights), that would be the equivalent of him writing fanfic that could never see the light of day. Why would he do that instead of contracting for a feature film script that will keep him in coffee and chocolate and kitty treats for the next while?

    But when you talk about will... What about his engaging in a couple of years of negotiations to try to buy back the rights to B5 so that he *could* do something with it? In my book, that's putting his money down on something he believes in and, if he'd been successful, would have been a far greater service for B5 than writing a few scripts for 'just in case'. And given those negotiations, chances are that he's got a pretty good idea of where WB stands on the idea of making new B5. My impression is that they (WB) have no intention of doing anything whatsoever. And given that they're the only possible market other than JMS' own feature film efforts is another good reason for him to not have written any scripts 'on spec'.

    Hoping this doesn't come across as confrontational - just want to give you as good an answer as is my understanding.

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 04-05-2016, 07:18 AM.

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  • Technomage-Galen
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Ain't it the truth! When I was (much!!) younger I used to wish really hard for a writer who could write fast enough to keep up with my fast reading. Wouldn't start series until the trilogy or whatever was complete. (Piers Anthony actually almost came close to being fast enough except for the fact that he pretty much wrote the same book over and over, just with different puns.)

    And then came JMS who writesandwritesandwrites and I figure I probably don't even know about half of the stuff he's written and shoved in a drawer (and boy, does that drive me crazy!!). And the interminable wait for things to get made IF they get made...? Well, let's just say that there's more than one qualification for that 'Jan Schroeder is insane' that JMS has commented about me...twice.

    Okay...gonna wander away and fondle my script collection now...

    Jan
    So here is my question Jan.

    Firstly, I'll take your word for it that JMS is a prolific writer. You know him probably as well as any fan.

    Why doesn't he have a number of polished ready-to-go B5 projects in the hopper and ready to go? It's been nine years since the lost tales, and 12+ years since TMOS.

    My thinking is that if he really had the will (and desire) to create more B5, that he would have been working on material over this period of time. I'm guessing he probably has notes dating back decades, but I'm speaking of more active and focused writings. His movie hints from last year and beyond make it appear he's pretty much starting from scratch.

    I know he's a busy guy, and maybe it's his business sensibilities that would keep him from putting effort into something that maybe/probably will never see the light of day? I guess that is where I look at the desire aspect.

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