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Babylon 5 Movie through Studio JMS

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  • Originally posted by Jonas View Post
    Midnight has plenty of good moments. The biggest problem are just the opening 5 minutes or so. The episode makes a terrible first impression.
    Anything specific?

    Originally posted by Jonas View Post
    Ah, what I wouldn't give for a properly restored version with new CGI... I know it's currently impossible, but that's what I'd really like to see most.
    And what would you like to see? I personally wouldn't want the actual images to change at all other than maybe some minor updating to the quality of the image. As far as color, composition, and content I wouldn't want anything to look different.

    One thing I love about The Lost Tales (2007) is that many of the effects looked better, but still the same. The only thing that caught me off guard was the docking bay when Sheridan arrived with Vintari. I absolutely loved it and I was able to rationalize that this area had been on B5 all along; we just hadn't seen this particular part. As we know the CGI docking bays on the show tended to be dark. When there is a reboot I would not want this to change, but I would be fine with some added shots of bays that are more lit like in The Lost Tales (2007). Basically I want all the CGI shots to stay exactly the same only they could be done using modern techniques for creating clearer, sharper, and more real looking images. Stay with the original artistic concepts with modern techniques. One thing I don't want to see is a reboot where everything looks completely different. I want the station, the ships, the gates, and space to all lead back to the originals; the same designs, shapes, colors. And I want the same thing for all practical effects. Every wall, every corridor, every panel, and I guess every door. I admit, I am not a fan of the doors on B5, but that is possibly the only thing I would change. And I understand that things like the decor of people's quarters would have to be updated, but I don't think they need to go totally crazy with that. One thing I always like about the individual living spaces is that they always looked connected to everything else on the station. And I could go on and on with this rant, but I am out of time and I am sure many people stopped reading many sentences ago.

    And I should point out that there was one other thing that caught me off guard in The Lost Tales (2007), the images of Earth. I didn't care for them. That was not how I pictured any part of Earth when I was watching Babylon 5 and I felt it resembled other versions of futuristic cities too much. The show did other versions of Earth I liked better.
    Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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    • Originally posted by Looney View Post
      And what would you like to see?
      In a restoration (not a reboot):
      • A better copy of the actual film material, completely rescanned (ideally from the originals) and restored to remove scratches, etc.
      • All-new CGI, but keeping the original designs as much as possible. Modern CGI design is actually a lot worse, fiddly and dull at the same time. Keep the shapes, the colours, and so on.
      • Redo the CGI that's integrated with actors or sets - in some cases this would need to involve doing the shots completely in CG, or faking some of the elements, or extending and repositioning some of the existing material. Not the easiest stuff ever, but doable.
      • Possibly various minor fixes to the actual filmed material via subtle CGI enhancement (especially early on).


      I've seen the show on DVD on a fairly big screen a few times and most of it holds up quite well. A lot of what makes older shows look dated, like the editing and the lighting, is top-notch. You could apply a proper sheen of modernity to the show and make it look splendid. It wouldn't be cheap, mind you, but on a technological level it's quite possible.
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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      • Originally posted by Looney View Post
        Anything specific?
        Everything to do with Ragesh 3, from the hair to the sets to the CGI. It just looks cheap, in a way the rest of the show doesn't.
        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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        • I can agree with both of those posts. The only counterpoint I would make is that I wouldn't want to see too many "enhancements", i.e. I wouldn't want to see a lot of new background material added and so forth. Many would point to what George Lucas has done to Star Wars over the years as a good example, but we all know that is more extreme than what Jonas is talking about. The George Lucas example I would give is THX-1138. I REALLY dislike the changes he made to that film. THX-1138 is one of my favorite movies and while he didn't change it on the level that he altered the Star Wars franchise he did change it enough that it effects the overall aesthetic of the film. I wouldn't want to see that with Babylon 5. I wouldn't want to see large backgrounds added to the Zocalo or anything like that. One of the great elements of B5 is that it does feel like they are in a tin can, until you get to see a window in someone's office or that little glimpse of open space above Fresh Air. Those are such wonderful little moments when you catch them. Adding more expansive backgrounds to the moments when people are just walking around the Station would spoil it. Generally speaking I would want added CGI kept to a minimum unless it served a purpose, like showing us something that happened that we didn't see happen originally.
          Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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          • Agreed. I think most of the sets actually look fantastic. Great design, great colours. I wouldn't want to change any of that. What might be worth changing/enhancing (although it would be a ton of fiddly work) would be some of the less successful background paintings.

            I'd also add some CGI enhancements to the inside of the White Star. Nothing massive, just some holographic projections here and there (over that crystal keyboard, for example).
            Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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            • Originally posted by Looney
              One thing I don't want to see is a reboot where everything looks completely different. I want the station, the ships, the gates, and space to all lead back to the originals; the same designs, shapes, colors. And I want the same thing for all practical effects. Every wall, every corridor, every panel, and I guess every door. I admit, I am not a fan of the doors on B5, but that is possibly the only thing I would change. And I understand that things like the decor of people's quarters would have to be updated, but I don't think they need to go totally crazy with that. One thing I always like about the individual living spaces is that they always looked connected to everything else on the station. And I could go on and on with this rant, but I am out of time and I am sure many people stopped reading many sentences ago.
              Agree that much of the original design work is top notch, especially the CGI, ships and costumes. etc... but I would prefer a reboot to be as different as it wants to be. I want to recognise the universe, but equally I'd want to be surprised by a new iteration. JMS hinted quite heavily that his idea of a reboot would be new and surprising. There'd be no point in a straight re-telling. If it were to happen, we should be welcoming of change and difference, because we will always have the original show.

              I think I'm happy for the original B5 to stay as it is. Sure, a better transfer would be nice, but I'm not too fussed. I am fine with my old DVDs. If people can't appreciate the show on its own merits, in the context of when it was made, then so be it. I really doubt a remastered edition of B5 would build a new audience, plus WB will never shell out for all new CGI and composite shots. A new show or indeed a film would have to stand on its own legs again and build a following afresh.

              I've said this before, but personally, I don't see a reboot or film happening any time soon unless someone else with greater influence at WB / Hollywood wants it as a passion project, and is nice enough to get JMS on board. At this point the Wachowskis would likely be our best hope, but they burned a lot of bridges with Jupiter Ascending. Also, I don't know if they'd be the right people for the project. They might make good ambassadors / brokers to get it moving though.
              Last edited by Ubik; 03-12-2018, 06:05 AM.
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

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              • Well I don't think the reboot should be "as different as it wants to be." If anything I want a reboot to look and feel like the original (sets, costumes, CGI), but I don't mind if JMS tells a whole new story that isn't related to the original. I hope he does relate the story to the original, but I really want the visuals to connect. It is his story so he should tell the tale he wants to tell, but I want it to exist in the visual Universe the entire team created for the original show, if that makes sense.
                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                • Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                  I've seen the show on DVD on a fairly big screen a few times and most of it holds up quite well.
                  Speaking as someone in the process of a rewatch on a fairly big screen, the effects in the first five minutes of "Midnight on the Firing Line" do not look good. They look blocky and pixelated. Conversely, the Walker effects in Season 3's "Voices of Authority" look quite good. I'm not sure if it's improved effects or improved DVD mastering. Perhaps a bit of both.

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                  • Originally posted by alpha128 View Post
                    Speaking as someone in the process of a rewatch on a fairly big screen, the effects in the first five minutes of "Midnight on the Firing Line" do not look good. They look blocky and pixelated. Conversely, the Walker effects in Season 3's "Voices of Authority" look quite good. I'm not sure if it's improved effects or improved DVD mastering. Perhaps a bit of both.
                    Well, as I said earlier in this thread, the first five minutes of Midnight really are particularly terrible. And the effects just get better as the show goes. The strides that were being made in CGI technology back then were tremendous, even on B5's tiny budget.
                    Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                    • Originally posted by Looney View Post
                      Well I don't think the reboot should be "as different as it wants to be." If anything I want a reboot to look and feel like the original (sets, costumes, CGI), but I don't mind if JMS tells a whole new story that isn't related to the original. I hope he does relate the story to the original, but I really want the visuals to connect. It is his story so he should tell the tale he wants to tell, but I want it to exist in the visual Universe the entire team created for the original show, if that makes sense.
                      I'm with you to an extent... there should definitely be some visual continuity, but perhaps in the same way new Trek shows always maintain key visual elements of TNG and TOS. Then again, DISCO broke a lot of conventions and it didn't do it that much harm. To me it was the most enjoyable iteration since TNG, but I'm getting off topic a bit here. It's perhaps a useful comparison though. I'm not into nostalgia for the sake of it, too much of that these days.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

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                      • Originally posted by Looney View Post
                        I look at The Watchmen (2009). I know that graphic novel was VERY acclaimed, but does that mean people outside comic circles had ever heard of it? Someone convinced a studio to put major money into marketing and making a big movie. Positive word of mouth about the quality of the graphic novel spread and a successful ad campaign convinced all kinds of people to go see it.
                        I fit that description. And not being a huge graphic novel follower, I have seen some film adaptations that I've liked and some I have not. The Watchmen is the best graphic novel adaptation I've seen. But did it make enough money to be considered a success?
                        "Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact." - William James

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                        • Originally posted by Looney View Post
                          Honestly I think if you took the original series and released it today, by today's standards it would be GIGANTIC. (Maybe if you released it as is it could be huge if people would just choose to watch it.) I say this because now people like me who missed the first season could pick up with season two and go back and watch season one through various means.
                          That is a point that completely escaped me. It sure would have made catching up a lot easier for those of us who joined the series later. But the flip side of that coin is that I'd have hated having the choose not to binge-watch the entire series each time it became available. I think for my brain it is best to have longer series spread out a bit. But if it were on Netflix, it would have been cut to fewer episodes and there would be digital options that could make it feel a lot more up to date. Do you think the ancient races and the god-posing would hit people the same way today?
                          "Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact." - William James

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                          • Originally posted by Hypatia View Post
                            I fit that description. And not being a huge graphic novel follower, I have seen some film adaptations that I've liked and some I have not. The Watchmen is the best graphic novel adaptation I've seen. But did it make enough money to be considered a success?
                            Please, for the love of god, read the comic. It will make you realise just how much Snyder doesn't understand the comic at all. I wish it had been given to someone with a bit more nuance. He does adhere to the comic fairly slavishly, sometimes almost panel for panel, so there are some good moments in there. I thought Manhattan's scenes on Mars nailed it. However, Synder somewhat misses the point that film and comics and are two different mediums.

                            Worldwide gross was $185,258,983, so I think it did okay!

                            I think one of my fav comics adaptations is Persepolis, but then again, that's animated. So it's a slightly different proposition.
                            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                            Kosh: Good!

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                            • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                              In retrospect it was a lot of big talk, with very little action thereafter. Even Studio JMS seems to have faded into obscurity with him winding up the comics end of things which were meant to generate material for possible development in other media (TV, Movies, etc).

                              [...]

                              I occasionally get a bit tired of his own hyperbole around his work, too much "never been done before", when a lot of the time it has been done before.
                              That's what bothers me most, sadly. Thank you for pointing that out, this summarizes a big problem around JMS' PR-talk around a possible B5-reboot and the prehype of Sense8.

                              About the future and status of Studio JMS, I am really worried. The FB-page and the Website have been dead for a long while now.

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                              • Originally posted by Hypatia View Post
                                But did it make enough money to be considered a success?
                                Good question

                                Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                                Please, for the love of god, read the comic. It will make you realise just how much Snyder doesn't understand the comic at all. I wish it had been given to someone with a bit more nuance. He does adhere to the comic fairly slavishly, sometimes almost panel for panel, so there are some good moments in there. I thought Manhattan's scenes on Mars nailed it. However, Synder somewhat misses the point that film and comics and are two different mediums.

                                Worldwide gross was $185,258,983, so I think it did okay!
                                And a good answer that I would add that I did read the Graphic Novel first and I did see the film. I think the Graphic Novel is excellent and while I agree with some of what UBIK said I still think that had I not read the graphic novel I would have thought the film was amazing on its own. I think it is Snyder's best work, but I can see how having read the graphic novel could raise criticism. I am glad I can separate the two and enjoy them separately because I think it is a hell of a movie.

                                And speaking to its success one need only look to the fact that you can still walk into most stores that sell Blu-Rays and DVDs and find it stocked on the shelves. Add to that the fact that they keep coming up with new packaging and incarnations for home media releases.

                                Originally posted by Morden View Post
                                About the future and status of Studio JMS, I am really worried. The FB-page and the Website have been dead for a long while now.
                                Something that has always troubled me about Studio JMS is that from the beginning the website has been VERY poor. I don't understand it at all because JMS has always seemed to be very internet savvy. It really makes no sense to me. I can only assume that he didn't see it as a high priority so he didn't hire the proper staff to maintain it and make it what it should/could have been. I mean seriously, we should be having these discussions in a Forum on that site. The site could have been a REAL way to connect him to his fans. I know that is kind of what Facebook accomplishes so maybe he didn't think the site was that necessary, but I am just not a fan of Facebook. LOL

                                And circling back around to what Hypatia said about binge watching. I have to admit it took me awhile, but I got it under control. I mean Netflix wants you to binge watch the entire show the weekend it goes up, but I just can't do it. You have to learn to pace yourself because it can be an extra long time between seasons, especially with Netflix - as if a year isn't long enough. I mean I am no saint, I might watch two episodes at a time, or even three if it is a half hour comedy or something, but burning through a whole season can make for such a long wait, or worse - the wait is so long you forget about the show. Seriously how many people thought West World was canceled and may still not know there is a Season 2. I mean I didn't think Jessica Jones would really get a Season 2 - and I don't honestly know why it did - but look 3 years later and it is here.

                                And no I don't think the "ancient races and god-posing" would have the same effect because too many shows and movies have used that concept since. The same year Babylon 5 started there was a big Hollywood movie that put the concept out there and it turned into a huge franchise called Stargate.
                                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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