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  • D.C. Fontana scripts

    Satai Delenn asked:

    The War Prayer ,and Legacies were both written by D C Fontana Jan are they worth the effort of tracking down ?Any cut scenes,maybe background info ? They are both my favorite eps of the first season .I think I would track them down regardless of the answer but was curious.
    I just finished watching "The War Prayer" with script in hand. On the title page, it notes "Based On A Story By J. Michael Straczynski" so this was probably one of his assigned premises. It's also interesting to note that there are 9 revisions noted on the title page.

    Items cut:

    -at the end of the scene where Roberts is interrogated and Roberts mouths off about sucking up to aliens, the script notes that Garibaldi goes for him and is restrained by one of the security officers. This ends up with only Garibaldi's line "Get him out of here." being said offscreen.

    -An entire scene at the beginning of Act 2 in the conference room or council chamber with G'Kar trying to incite the ambassadors. Londo doesn't want to get involved since (at that point) no Centauri had been attacked. Delenn wants to still trust Sinclair. G'Kar addresses Kosh who says that there are greater concerns.

    -In the scene where G'Kar tries to incite the aliens in the central corridor, there's an emphasis on the two aliens who attack Roberts in the next scene. They're also described as Llorts but I think they were actually Drazi.

    -Just after Sinclair announces the investigation of the attacks to be over, then Kiron wakes, there was a scene where Delenn accosts Sinclair and asks for an explanation for his actions. He asks for more time until he can explain.

    -The scene where Biggs meets Sinclair and Ivanova in the cargo bay was longer. There was a sequence where the PPG that Biggs gave Sinclair was a dud and Sinclair actually 'tries' to shoot the Abbai ambassador. Biggs explains that if Sinclair had turned out to no really be on their side, he didn't want Sinclair with a real PPG.

    And scenes that weren't in this version of the script script at all:

    -The scene where Sinclair goes to Kosh's quarters and asks for his help. This is the scene where Kosh is studying Earth history.

    -The scene where Sinclair discusses how the poison got through the encounter suit with Ivanova.

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 11-06-2005, 08:38 AM.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Jan,

    Where did you get the script? Were his scripts ever published, kinda like Neal's Day of the Dead?

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    • #3
      Thanks for posting the script excerpts there were cut it is always amusing to see if any scenes were cut by the director for time or whatever reason and sometimes depending on the content .I wish it had been left in.Like all of the ones you just mentioned .How odd that they dropped all of those scenes when I think they would have added to the story line .
      Last edited by Satai Delenn; 11-06-2005, 10:00 AM.

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      • #4
        Were his scripts ever published, kinda like Neal's Day of the Dead?

        D C Fontana is a female not a he and no to my knowledge the scripts haven't been released .So if your looking for the above scripts check ebay cause I will have to register and start looking.I think Fontana might have sold them on a website ? I am definately not sure about that and besides I don't it would be available anymore so ebay is still the only option.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nacho
          Where did you get the script? Were his scripts ever published, kinda like Neal's Day of the Dead?
          Almost all of my scripts are a collection I purchased from a crew member-one of the art and prop department, Nacho. He had saved almost all of the scripts from all 5 seasons plus Crusade and the movies and was cool enough to sell them to me in season sets as I became able to afford them. He was fan enough to understand the coolness and historical value of keeping the collection together even though he probably could have made a lot more selling them on Ebay.

          I've never heard of Fontana's (I believe the D stands for Dorothy) scripts being published. It's possible that she sells copies of some of them at conventions? I know that Peter David has done that. OmahaStar has met her at one of those. Maybe he knows if she does?

          Originally posted by Satai Delenn
          Thanks for posting the script excerpts there were cut it is always amusing to see if any scenes were cut by the director for time or whatever reason and sometimes depending on the content .I wish it had been left in.Like all of the ones you just mentioned .
          You're welcome. I have to admit that I think that one is the one with the most changes I've seen.

          I just finished watching "Legacies" and there are almost no changes in this one except for a few places where lines are in a slightly different order. At the end, though, as Alisa is saying goodbye to Sinclair, the script says that a Minbari comes to get her (while what we saw/heard was an announcement of her ship over the intercom). The very last scene in the script was:

          In this closer angle, we see the Minbari is the same Grey Council Member previously seen at the end of "Sky Full of Stars." Curious. He guides Alisa down the tunnel, toward the waiting ship as we: FADE OUT
          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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          • #6
            Shaal Mayan was one of my favorite characters automatically almost from the moment I saw the her too bad she wasn't seen in the show again .Except mentioned in Eyes when she was coming back from her trip to Earth . I would like to have known whatever happened to her ? Yes Yes I know JMS can't followup on every guest star but still..

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            • #7
              In this closer angle, we see the Minbari is the same Grey Council Member previously seen at the end of "Sky Full of Stars." Curious. He guides Alisa down the tunnel, toward the waiting ship as we: FADE OUT

              Interesting Jan about the minbari I can't help to wonder if it was going to be another possible storyline down the road.But then either the writer or JMS changed his mind and the scene was removed.Good thing though at the same time as well I didn't much care for the actress who portrayed her.
              Last edited by Satai Delenn; 11-06-2005, 10:28 AM.

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              • #8
                D C Fontana is a female ...
                I've never heard of Fontana's (I believe the D stands for Dorothy) ...
                Ought-Ohh! I'm in trouble now. I have seen her picture somewhere, can't recall where. Perhaps it was somewhere on the Lurker's Guide or a link off of it.

                I should have known better.

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                • #9
                  Jan, I have a question for you. How do you accomplish reading the script and watching the ep at the same time? Or do you have some other technique? Do you find that doing them both at the same time takes away for one?

                  Pardon me 2 questions. Sorry 3 ???
                  Joan

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                  • #10
                    Not to worry, Joan, I wasn't keeping score.

                    Most of the time, I either read the script or watch the episode. Once one gets used to the format (and it does take a little getting used to), your mind's eye will often 'see' the episode unfolding. To find scenes or words that were edited or cut, though, what I do is have the script in one hand and the remote in the other. Read some. Watch some. Read more, watch more...rinse and repeat. It's a really *different* way to experience the show and you'll be amazed at what you learn about the magic of editing. I can't think of a good example right now (and I wouldn't want to 'spoil' it for you anyway) but there've been cases where the snip of a few words would change the mood of an entire scene.

                    I know I've read every script and watched every episode (oh, once or twice... ) but I've probably only done the read/watch thing with about a third of the episodes. It'll be easier with the much more convenient sized books than with the full sized scripts so I'm looking forward to doing more.

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ... Ahhh... Jan, you've got connections... I'm seething with jealousy! Thanks for posting these - very interesting indeed.

                      Originally posted by Jan
                      -In the scene where G'Kar tries to incite the aliens in the central corridor, there's an emphasis on the two aliens who attack Roberts in the next scene. They're also described as Llorts but I think they were actually Drazi.
                      ... Hard to imagine Llorts beating somebody up! I remember JMS saying, (in the Lurker's Guide], something like, "If there's a fight, a Drazi is in the center of it, or at least very near." (Next to the Pak'Ma'Ra, the coolest race, I think).


                      Originally posted by Jan
                      -Just after Sinclair announces the investigation of the attacks to be over, then Kiron wakes, there was a scene where Delenn accosts Sinclair and asks for an explanation for his actions. He asks for more time until he can explain.
                      ... I'm glad that wasn't included. Sinclair has EVERYBODY thinking he's gone alien-hating mad or something. Had this been included, I think it would have lessened the tension too much.


                      Originally posted by Jan
                      -The scene where Biggs meets Sinclair and Ivanova in the cargo bay was longer. There was a sequence where the PPG that Biggs gave Sinclair was a dud and Sinclair actually 'tries' to shoot the Abbai ambassador. Biggs explains that if Sinclair had turned out to no really be on their side, he didn't want Sinclair with a real PPG.
                      ... Again, very glad they left this out. It's a cheap setup I've seen in about ten other movies.


                      ... You know, I think I'm gonna' go ahead and order that first book of scripts by JMS that everybody is talking about. This looks like fun! Thanks, Jan. Enjoyed youe post!
                      "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

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                      • #12
                        babylon1122,

                        If I can butt in and give my two cents worth ..

                        I think Babylon 5 is enjoyable on so many levels. A person could like and enjoy it just by watching each episode, and maybe knowing or guessing there was a greater message/arc to it, but not getting into the arc that much. A person can watch it for that, and get into the arc. A person can get "deep" into the arc, paying a bunch of weight to every phrase that is uttered, to bring that phrase up episodes and years later to meaning so much more than what the words were when they were said.

                        And I'm sure you know that though. Reading the scripts though, especially after watching all the programs first, I think brings you to a new appreciation of the vision jms had and how he meticulously put it all together.

                        With what few scripts I have gotten, I've read and re-read them. I have a hearing/comprehension problem when watching the episodes. I can't quite remember all the details and nuances of what was said. "Closed Captioning" doesn't help as it is frequently wrong or incomplete. So, I was glad to get the scripts. If I read the scripts, it brings about a level of enjoyment in that I can see the "why" behind what is being done/said, because jms puts so much detail in his scripts. And then watching the episodes again, or watching and reading it at the same time brings in a new level because you can appreciate how the director and actors correctly interpreted jms' vision. You can anticipate what the actors are going to say, and what they say fully means given the arc. And if you get behind reading or watching, you can just rewind and replay the tape.

                        And I've got an example for you, to watch and look for. Hope I'm not saying anything that will spoil the scripts for you .. But one of the very first scenes when I first watched the program that always stuck out in my brain is the "teaser" and first act of "Soul Hunter", when the derelict ship was on a collision course with Babylon 5, and how Sinclair got out in his ship and snagged it and reeled it in. How his ship turned, matched speed, and caught up with the Soul Hunter's ship .. that's a pretty accurate description of the way motion and vectoring in space works!

                        Then read what jms wrote up for those scenes and how they played out. It's uncanny the vision of the final product he put in there. I mean, it's just not inserted in the script "we need a "teckie" do a workup here about how a ship in space can snag another ship, and insert that in the episode", he spells it out in detail.

                        As far as how close the episode matches the script in dialogue, of the few I have (16), they match real well. The main differences I remember is the actors tend to use contractions, where jms writes other; "does not" VS "don't / doesn't", etc. And when you read the script you're reading words, and where when it's acted out some of the actors tend to linger on and play out every inflection they can manage on the few words they have to say (but, that's acting ).
                        Last edited by Nacho; 11-06-2005, 06:12 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Just to chip my two cent's worth, the thing that's really interesting about the B5 scripts is that just about everything is there on the page. On some episodic series, particularly long-running shows where the lead actors basically run the show, you'll sometimes see a lot of differences (mainly in dialogue) between the script and the finished episode. With B5 for the most part, the dialogue is largely shot as written. If the actors or director had a problem with a bit of dialogue, the writer (JMS most of the time) would be consulted for any changes.

                          And to ensure that the episodes adhered closely to the writer's vision, JMS still got to do a producer's cut after the director's cut of an episode was handed in. For the most part, the changes weren't all that significant, but I can name several directors who mentioned a particular scene that was changed from their cut, maybe using a different take than the one they chose, where the dialogue is closer to the original page. Offhand, I couldn't give you a specific example, but I know if I pulled some director interviews off the shelf, I could probably cite chapter and verse. But in very general terms, I just thought I'd mention it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Puzzled Pak'Ma'Ra
                            ... Ahhh... Jan, you've got connections... I'm seething with jealousy!
                            Nah...it's another one of those 'anybody could do it' things, TPP. First you need a mild obsession (I've been interested in scripts since the James Blish Star Trek books came out), blend with the marvelous modern invention called Ebay. Watch carefully and write to anybody holding auctions who seems to have been involved with the show, thanking them for their part in making it special (that was fun-nice people) and asking about buying any scripts they might have. Add patience as needed when leads appear and disappear and eventually, you've got a complete collection. See? Simple!

                            Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro
                            And to ensure that the episodes adhered closely to the writer's vision, JMS still got to do a producer's cut after the director's cut of an episode was handed in.
                            Is that unusual, Joe? Do you know if most shows would ordinarily go with the director's cut or is that something producers do as a matter of course?

                            Originally posted by Nacho
                            Reading the scripts though, especially after watching all the programs first, I think brings you to a new appreciation of the vision jms had and how he meticulously put it all together.
                            Agreed completely, Nacho!

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

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                            • #15
                              Regarding my earlier comments, I would imagine a director's cut versus a producer's cut would vary from show to show. And I'm not 100% sure of this, but it makes sense that a director has to hand in his final cut to fulfill his commitment as a DGA member, after which the producers can step in if they see fit. But not being a working TV director or producer, this is just semi-informed speculation on my part. If anyone can provide a definitive answer, I'd be very interested in hearing it.

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