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Babylon 5 Movie through Studio JMS

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  • On a further tangent here... and am kinda thinking out loud, so please don't shoot me down in flames:

    I do wonder if 'box office' results are just a bit silly these days, when you can release to an equally global audience directly online.

    It's been mentioned and dismissed before, but *cough* Veronica Mars film *cough*. Sure, that and the potential B5 feature are two fundamentally different beasts as JMS has dismissed crowdfunding as a viable option.

    I've seen some utterly superb crowdfunded productions. Given B5 was so pioneering with its meagre budget back in the day, I do wonder where that spirit of innovation has gone? I fully appreciate no one wants to stoop to Lost Tales levels of cheapness; an empty B5 is no B5 at all, but there must be a middle ground here. I do admire JMS keeping to 'we do it right or not at all' dictum, but part of me wonders if that does somewhat steer us towards 'not at all'.
    Last edited by Ubik; 09-08-2016, 06:12 AM.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

    Comment


    • Netflix started making original movies but I believe that their most expensive one is "only" $60M and stars Brad Pitt.. (War Machine).

      JMS has a working relationship with Netflix but I can't see them spending $100M on B5 and I don't even know if JMS' theatrical rights would cover a Netflix original movie.

      Lastly, JMS said he could get $60M today anyway.. he's just aiming higher than that.
      My posts are my own opinion and do not represent JMSNews.com's opinions or views. As it's written under my handle I'm "just a fan".

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
        On a further tangent here... and am kinda thinking out loud, so please don't shoot me down in flames:

        I do wonder if 'box office' results are just a bit silly these days, when you can release to an equally global audience directly online.

        It's been mentioned and dismissed before, but *cough* Veronica Mars film *cough*. Sure, that and the potential B5 feature are two fundamentally different beasts as JMS has dismissed crowdfunding as a viable option.

        I've seen some utterly superb crowdfunded productions. Given B5 was so pioneering with its meagre budget back in the day, I do wonder where that spirit of innovation has gone? I fully appreciate no one wants to stoop to Lost Tales levels of cheapness; an empty B5 is no B5 at all, but there must be a middle ground here. I do admire JMS keeping to 'we do it right or not at all' dictum, but part of me wonders if that does somewhat steer us towards 'not at all'.
        It is a bit of circular logic in some regards. To make a successful movie you need to spend 100+ million to attract big talent actors, directors etc., in order to make it successful enough to earn the 100+million to pay for the big named talent…… wtf?!

        But then, what is the motivation behind a movie. Is it just to make millions off box-office receipts, or is it to tell a good story – and make a few bucks off it at the same time, hopefully. If you already own the movie rights, can write the script and have an inexpensive distribution system – ie online (not even necessarily via the likes of Amazon Prime or Netlfix as their just wannabe groups trying to be the virtual equivalent of brick and mortar studios). Then that does remove some sizeable chunks of overhead. Making producer deals with actors and all kinds of key personnel (where they get a percentage of profits rather than getting paid entirely up front) really starts to take huge chunks out the overheads… Assuming you can find people who believe enough in the project to take that risk, of course.

        It's doable, or at least something is doable, maybe not for quite at Veronica Mars money, but not a completely out of reach extension of that. Planned properly and well executed, taking as long as it takes, 10 million is a LOT of cash. Which in itself would almost certainly be more than enough to generate some professional funding if needed. Besides, didn’t jms already indicate he could generate a few 10’s of millions, but that’s not enough on it’s own - which is why he’s hoping StudioJMS gets a bit more street cred in order to raise 100+ million….. I might be misremembering that.

        One of the things that didn’t make it into the interviews on the scrolls is that many of those spoken to view what’s going on within quality fan productions as a good thing – and know that the studio system has to adapt if it wants to stay relevant and a player. We’re basically in the early stages of a fundamental shift, which is empowering individuals and small groups, in how movies are made. And many within the industry not only know it, but welcome it as they want to do it themselves. It’s those a bit higher up, that are dragging their feet, unsure and more than a little nervous about what direction to take.

        Perhaps a more relevant example is something like Riddick. Vin Diesel wanted that made, to the point where he mortgaged his own home according to some reports. Either way he invested a lot of time and effort into pushing it on to the screen. The films reported budget ended up being a mere (he says drooling at the thought) 38 million, and took 100 million in box office alone. So without tv, download, DVD or Blue ray sales a relatively small budget film can still be profitable while looking good. 38 million is still more than the optimistic 10 million which a fund raiser might raise, but then is 10 million optimistic – fund raising has become a far more familiar concept these days….. But what harm would there be to stick a toe in that particular hot tub of an idea….. Someone has to be the first to do it – just like someone had to be the first to use CGI developed in a guys back bedroom which sparked the revolution in VFX production we have now. It was always coming but someone had to be first…… and if it didn’t pan out, what would be lost?
        Last edited by Triple F; 09-08-2016, 09:51 AM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Triple F View Post
          If you already own the movie rights, can write the script and have an inexpensive distribution system – ie online (not even necessarily via the likes of Amazon Prime or Netlfix as their just wannabe groups trying to be the virtual equivalent of brick and mortar studios).
          That raises a question (and somebody will have to find out from the WGA, I imagine): JMS has always used the terms 'movie' and 'feature film'. Now I know that a 'TV movie' has an entirely different definition (and pay scale) but I don't know what exactly is defined as a movie or feature and whether they actually have to appear in theaters.

          Anybody wanna take that one on?
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jan View Post
            That raises a question (and somebody will have to find out from the WGA, I imagine): JMS has always used the terms 'movie' and 'feature film'. Now I know that a 'TV movie' has an entirely different definition (and pay scale) but I don't know what exactly is defined as a movie or feature and whether they actually have to appear in theaters.

            Anybody wanna take that one on?
            As far as I know a 'feature film' is defined by its running time. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Film Institute, and British Film Institute, a feature film runs for 40 minutes or longer, while the Screen Actors Guild states that it is 80 minutes or longer.

            This seems to be the only stipulation attached to the term.
            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

            Kosh: Good!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
              As far as I know a 'feature film' is defined by its running time. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Film Institute, and British Film Institute, a feature film runs for 40 minutes or longer, while the Screen Actors Guild states that it is 80 minutes or longer.

              This seems to be the only stipulation attached to the term.
              What matters, though is how the contract reads, and that's likely dependent on how the WGA defines it. What we'd need is whatever MBA Minimum Basic Agreement was in force in the early 90s, but this is a sample of how they define things.

              following meanings:
              A. GENERAL
              1. The term "television motion picture" (sometimes referred to in
              this Basic Agreement as "television film") means the entertainment
              portion of motion pictures, whether made on or by film, tape or
              otherwise and whether produced by means of motion picture
              cameras, electronic cameras or devices or any combination of the
              foregoing or any other means, methods or devices, now used or
              which may hereafter be adopted for the recordation of motion
              pictures produced primarily for exhibition by free television. The
              prefatory language to this Basic Agreement and the provisions
              cited therein determine the extent to which the provisions of the
              Basic Agreement which are applicable to television motion pictures
              are also applicable to pay television and basic cable.

              2. The term "theatrical motion picture" means motion pictures and
              photoplays, whether made on or by film, tape or otherwise and
              whether produced by means of motion picture cameras, electronic
              cameras, or devices or any combination of the foregoing or any
              other means, methods or devices now used or which may be
              hereafter adopted for the recordation of motion pictures produced
              primarily for exhibition in a theater or similar location in which a fee
              or admission charge is paid by the viewing audience, other than
              those motion pictures produced primarily for exhibition in another
              market covered by this Basic Agreement.
              They definitely make a distinction.
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • I imagine Joe is referring to theatrical rights. Direct-to-video and streaming fall under different parts of the MBA; those rights would still be owned by WB I think.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                  On a further tangent here... and am kinda thinking out loud, so please don't shoot me down in flames:

                  I do wonder if 'box office' results are just a bit silly these days, when you can release to an equally global audience directly online.

                  It's been mentioned and dismissed before, but *cough* Veronica Mars film *cough*. Sure, that and the potential B5 feature are two fundamentally different beasts as JMS has dismissed crowdfunding as a viable option.

                  I've seen some utterly superb crowdfunded productions. Given B5 was so pioneering with its meagre budget back in the day, I do wonder where that spirit of innovation has gone? I fully appreciate no one wants to stoop to Lost Tales levels of cheapness; an empty B5 is no B5 at all, but there must be a middle ground here. I do admire JMS keeping to 'we do it right or not at all' dictum, but part of me wonders if that does somewhat steer us towards 'not at all'.
                  I helped kickstart Henri, a very nice short film. Check out the cast. I also helped kickstart the video game, Dreamfall: Chapters.

                  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2069787/

                  Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder ...
                  Huh, the whole movie in HD seems to be for free at Vimeo now. Cool! And, lol, you're all welcome!

                  https://vimeo.com/61686359

                  P.S. I've seen some fan made movies on youtube that had my jaw dropping. The Judge Dredd one, and The Punisher one with the star from the movie. There was a series of videos based on The Fallout video game that were incredibly well crafted, and very funny.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pu..._Dirty_Laundry

                  Extremely violent, NSFW.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWpK0wsnitc

                  Comment


                  • Yep there some stunning crowd funded / indie / fan films out there. The Dredd and Punisher short films are very well executed. There was a thread a while back about B5 fan films, and the distinct lack thereof. There was a brief effort a year or two back to organise people to do a fan production but the facebook group turned into the biggest clusterf*&k of bickering fans with no direction at all, poor story ideas and not a hope in hell of getting anything done.

                    Most fan films are made by a small group of enthusiasts, usually film students or someone with an avid interest in shooting / editing. I guess there's the old Babylon Park stuff and Star Wreck for B5 Parody, but I remain surprised no one has had a crack at a short film set in the B5 universe. (I always thought something outside of canon or stand alone would work best, as opposed to trying to continue any original plot lines).

                    This one is worth a mention:

                    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...is-heavy-heart

                    Beautifully shot project between Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins. Made for a mere 60,000 GBP. I think you can now buy the films directly from LEX as a box set or digitally. it has a heavy Twin Peaks vibe, transported to Southern England with lots of Burlesque. I was a backer, and was so excited to see this get made. Trailer here:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVam62ZPzr4
                    Last edited by Ubik; 09-13-2016, 05:19 AM.
                    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                    Kosh: Good!

                    Comment


                    • It has been mentioned before, but I really love the effort behind Star Trek Continues.

                      http://www.startrekcontinues.com/episodes.html

                      I don't love everything they do, but I often feel I am watching the original series. I think they really capture the tone. It is far from perfect on multiple levels, but it is still pretty entertaining. Far and away the best Star Trek fan produced thing I've seen as far as level by level effort. Star Trek Renegades productions I've seen have had decent production values and work put into them, but I've also felt like the scripting behind them has been greatly lacking. Star Trek Continues feels more like stories the original Star Trek might have told. Don't get me wrong, I didn't care for more than one of the stories they chose to tell, but that is just a personal opinion on the choice not the effort they put into telling it.
                      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                      Comment


                      • I haven't seen very many but I was surprisingly moved by Phase II's "World Enough and Time" episode.
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                        Comment


                        • Would be very interesting to know what sort of period/context JMS would plan to set any movie against.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Brian G Turner View Post
                            Would be very interesting to know what sort of period/context JMS would plan to set any movie against.
                            A full reboot was what he specified when discussing the possible feature film, but hasn't said much beyond that. I would imagine it would be updated to reflect modern political themes and concerns.

                            Personally, I'd want to see a story that diverged from what we already have, cause there's little point in re-treading old ground.
                            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                            Kosh: Good!

                            Comment


                            • So, when do you folks reckon we're likely to see a B5 feature film? 2245!? Sooner? Never?
                              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                              Kosh: Good!

                              Comment


                              • Hmmmmm . . . I don't think I would ever say never, but I am also not so sure I would say we'll ever see a feature film. At this point I imagine WB will eventually come around to the notion they own the rights to the franchise and the TV rights, so the best we might hope for is a new incarnation on TV or streaming - please not on CW. I've been thinking about it a lot and I don't think they are ever going to let JMS do his own feature without a serious kickback and control over the future. And yeah he owns the movie rights, but I doubt they'll just say, "Okay, make your movie." I mean as far as I know he can't do anything else with B5 other than claim he has the right to make feature films. He can't do B5 novels, comic books, I am starting to think maybe he can't do audio dramas, or basically anything to tell a B5 story other than a movie. Am I wrong? So does it sound like the corporation that controls so much of that franchise is just going to be cool with him making money off of a feature film without them getting a huge piece? Doesn't sound like the way things work in this world?

                                I don't know, I wish he could get everything he wants to make a feature film, but I just don't see WB letting him do it on his own. Now it would be great if they would fund him and let him do it like he wants, but I think we all WB corporate wants to control of everything so that is highly unlikely. Plus we all know WB is not likely to take a chance on an old SciFi franchise right now when it doesn't involve superheroes. They are investing all of their money in trying to match Marvel/Disney. Who knows though?! Maybe there is new blood at WB who are smart enough to recognize quality and know how to get things done. I can't help but think it would be very helpful if Rising Stars and Midnight Nation were HUGE success, but in all honesty I think the best we can hope for is critical success in a market already saturated by comic book superheroes. Sense 8 Season Two being a huge hit wouldn't hurt.
                                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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