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  • Your thoughts on Director Steve Beck.

    Hi. I noticed that there hasn't been a great deal of discussion about the Director of TMoS, namely Steve 'Ghost Ship/13 Ghosts' Beck, a Director with a strong background in the visual effects field.

    I think that Mr Beck is a solid (if not inspired, sorry!) choice to direct what will hopefully be the first film in a new B5 franchise. Kind of reminds me of Paramount choosing Robert Wise to direct Star Trek: TMP.

    It has taken a long time for this baby to be delivered. It makes logical sense to have it in the hands of someone with experience.
    "We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us!"

  • #2
    In the respect that he is a hired gun, he is very capable. I posted an interview over at b5tv.com, where his take on things was very refreshing. He also didn't like 13 ghosts, admitting there was no story and all you could do was make it visually interesting.
    Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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    • #3
      Could you send me a link to the interview that you mentioned, or possibly cut and paste it here?

      Many thanks!

      NP.
      "We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Too long to post. Here's the link.

        Dark Horizons
        Only a fool fights in a burning house.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not familiar with his work as director (horror films don't attract me much), so I can only go with that interview to form an opinion.
          I give him the benefit of the doubt.
          From that link:
          Question: Apart from drama, are there any other genres you'd like to tackle?


          Answer: This is the oddity because my commercial reel shows it more than anything, I'm interested in doing more science fiction work as well as comedy - so here I am flashing open bodies left and right, I'd like to do something in that vein. [...]
          Looks like he got his wish!
          Question: Did you have much input in the script?


          Answer: Just a tiny bit, my input which was accepted was essentially production oriented: we can't do this because we can't afford to build this, but we can do 'that' so maybe we've got to work with that. Creatively, story wise I was not addressed - which is why I won't do that again.
          Mmhhh... well, as long as he doesn't try to force a re-write and can contribute good creative ideas to TMoS it might do no harm that he wants to have input into the script.
          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)

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          • #6
            I can't really speak for his features work since I haven't bothered to see either GHOST SHIP or 13 GHOSTS (and frankly, the reviews don't make me interested in watching either)... but I did get a chance to meet him briefly when he was still at ILM and he's an extremely nice (though quiet) guy. That interview fleshes out a lot of his background, which is very art/production-design oriented, and his commercial stuff while at ILM was very cool.

            Assuming that the whole casting hoopla works out ok, I think he could well be a solid choice for a director, as he's very visual, but (presumably) would have an excellent JMS script to work from. The big question mark is how well he works with actors and what he can draw from them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't get me started on Beck...he's a lack-luster choice at best. Although I will always admit that there is a potential that this could be his first real break-out film where he's finally inspired in some way. But I must say, good directors who are saddled with bad scripts and films find a way to shine through the horrible and at least let their talent reach through. Beck has not been able to do so with his first two films.

              And, really, I don't mean anything rude by this, but to compare Beck to the great Robert Wise is an insult to great directors! Wise is in another class of filmmaker altogether! Beck is, as was stated in this thread, a hired gun. He's one of those industry types that has abilities elsewhere but chooses to direct because there's more money in it...not because it's a passion or a dream for them.

              From his first two films, I would easily lump Beck in with such people. While he may be good as an FX man, that does not mean the man could direct to save his life...and thankfully, his life hasn't depended on it yet or he'd be a dead man.

              Nope...I'm not expecting a visionary film as I'd hoped...not from Beck. My greatest hope is that JMS' vision and passion can overcome anything Beck screws up....so at least it's not as noticable. I had hoped for a visionary director, but now I can only hope Beck doesn't misdirect the whole thing.

              They needed someone with passion and a vision that could lift JMS' vision to an even higher level...guess we will only get JMS' now.

              You can all argue with me...but trust me...I am a director...and I could direct TMoS better than Beck with my hands tied behind my back, blindfolded, and with earplugs.

              Now...could he suddenly find some passion and vision and burst from some shell with a talent he's not even hinted that he has so far? Yes. Will he? Most likely not.

              CE

              PS: "Inspired choice"!!!!?????? The only inspiration in the chioce of Beck was that he probably didn't cost much.
              Anthony Flessas
              Writer/Producer/Director,
              SP Pictures


              I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

              Comment


              • #8
                Again, I'm certainly not the biggest cheerleader for Beck, but the vast, vast majority of B5 was directed by those who would be considered journeyman directors.

                Like I said in my post, the key will be what sort of interaction he can have with his actors, and what sort of performances he can help them create. Having a strong FX background will certainly help in the production logistics of B5:TMOS (which shouldn't be underestimated).

                As to being a commercial director with only a couple of lackluster features to his name.... *shrug* it's hard to say definitely whether this means he'll be a successful choice or not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Telemachos
                  Again, I'm certainly not the biggest cheerleader for Beck, but the vast, vast majority of B5 was directed by those who would be considered journeyman directors.

                  Like I said in my post, the key will be what sort of interaction he can have with his actors, and what sort of performances he can help them create. Having a strong FX background will certainly help in the production logistics of B5:TMOS (which shouldn't be underestimated).

                  As to being a commercial director with only a couple of lackluster features to his name.... *shrug* it's hard to say definitely whether this means he'll be a successful choice or not.
                  Says you. I can admit that he might break free and shine...but I'm certainly not expecting it. Decent directors are just that...decent...not great.

                  Beck is, at best, decent...though I wouldn't list him as that. His visual style on both films was horrible, so him being good at visuals doesn't give me much hope either. As for performances...well, there's the rub. A bad director doesn't know how to get good or great performances from their actors...that was the point.

                  Journeyman directors are fine for TV...this ain't TV and Beck isn't a journeyman director...he's an FX guy (FX guys historically don't make good directors). Look to such bad directors as Jonathan Frakes to see how TV directors cannot understand the difference in the languages of TV and film...which are very different languages. On that note, at least Beck speak the features language, since that's all he's really known.

                  I have always stated that a part of what didn't work well during the series was "ok" or lackluster direction. There were many high points...but I would rather have Mike Vejar directing TMoS (which I've been verbally against on the forums) than Beck. At least Vejar would know the universe and its language.

                  Neither is a great choice to me. A more inspired choice for me would've been someone who is still out to prove themselves as a great filmmaker.

                  We had long conversations about this back when TMoS first became known. Both here and at B5tv, there are threads where I've explained my thoughts and even suggestions at length.

                  CE
                  Anthony Flessas
                  Writer/Producer/Director,
                  SP Pictures


                  I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by colonyearth
                    Journeyman directors are fine for TV...this ain't TV and Beck isn't a journeyman director...he's an FX guy (FX guys historically don't make good directors). Look to such bad directors as Jonathan Frakes to see how TV directors cannot understand the difference in the languages of TV and film...which are very different languages. On that note, at least Beck speak the features language, since that's all he's really known.
                    I never suggested a TV director. (Though Frakes falls into a different category, more of an actor-turned-director, IMHO... and then again, weren't a lot of people happy with TNG: FIRST CONTACT?)

                    Neither is a great choice to me. A more inspired choice for me would've been someone who is still out to prove themselves as a great filmmaker.
                    Who, frankly and pragmatically, probably wouldn't have gotten the chance regardless (Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson are two recent but rare exceptions to this and both had an extensive body of work prior to their high-profile successes).

                    Presumably JMS had some sort of input as to who would direct this. Given that, it certainly appears he's going more of the Lucas route on the OT (exec producer with most of the creative power, director as implementor of the EP's vision).... though certainly with the casting fracas happening who knows what's going on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by colonyearth
                      You can all argue with me...but trust me...I am a director...and I could direct TMoS better than Beck with my hands tied behind my back, blindfolded, and with earplugs.
                      So, has your agent mentioned your name to Warners and JMS?
                      Have YOU e-mailed JMS and offered your services?

                      And I mean this seriously!

                      /IamS
                      Interstellar Alliance - Sweden's largest Babylon 5-club
                      http://www.babcon.org/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iamsheridan
                        So, has your agent mentioned your name to Warners and JMS?
                        Have YOU e-mailed JMS and offered your services?

                        And I mean this seriously!

                        /IamS
                        I'll second that! This sounds to me more like a case of sour grapes than an actual examination of merit on behalf of the director. I for one am glad that they have hired a feature film director as opposed to one of the 'name' B5 episodic directors (Mike Vejar, anyone?)

                        No disrespect to Mr Vejar, but TV Directors have a hard time breaking out of the mold, and i doubt that Mr Vejar (or other JMS favourite) would create anything other than 'television for the big screen.'

                        Please do let us know how your attempts at joining the B5 crew turn out. After all, they may still need a 2nd Unit or Addional Unit Director. Beware though, the food over here in the UK is crap...
                        "We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iamsheridan
                          So, has your agent mentioned your name to Warners and JMS?
                          Have YOU e-mailed JMS and offered your services?
                          Originally posted by NivenPournelle
                          Please do let us know how your attempts at joining the B5 crew turn out. After all, they may still need a 2nd Unit or Addional Unit Director.
                          Let's keep the discussion to opinions on directing, shall we? I think both of those comments were uncalled for.

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan
                            Let's keep the discussion to opinions on directing, shall we? I think both of those comments were uncalled for.

                            Jan
                            I am really sorry I wanted to know if CEs name was in the hat they drew names from.

                            Sorry for that. Sometimes my curiosity makes me do stupid things.

                            I shall not make such a mistake again.

                            /I am Sheridan
                            Last edited by iamsheridan; 01-25-2005, 12:37 PM.
                            Interstellar Alliance - Sweden's largest Babylon 5-club
                            http://www.babcon.org/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iamsheridan
                              I am really sorry I wanted to know if CEs name was in the hat they drew names from.

                              Sorry for that. Sometimes my curiosity makes me do stupid things.
                              It came across as extremely sarcastic I'm afraid. Check out CE's website by clicking on the WWW button on the bottom of one of his posts.

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

                              Comment

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