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J. Michael Straczynski: the Julius Schwartz Lecture Series

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  • Jan
    replied
    Yes, that's Renata who took some wonderful photos (I love that one with the big-screen JMS over my head) . The other people I finally met in person were WorkerCaste from here at JMSnews and Scott Lerman from the Newsgroup. Interestingly, I met another lady at JMS's spotlight yesterday who said she recognized me from the MIT talk but I didn't have a chance to ask her how she knew my name. I don't know if any other questioners were regulars or not. If so, I don't think they identified themselves as such.

    Jan

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  • Dan Dassow
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    The entire lecture and Q&A sessions are online now. Check out MIT Tech TV

    Renata and I are clearly visible in the front row several times.

    Jan
    Jan,

    Thank you for posting this.

    Your exchange with Joe is at 2:18:05 - 2:19:58 in the video. Your question was thoughtful and Joe's response introspective. It is clear from the video that you and Joe share significant mutual respect.

    I am assuming that Renata is the young lady with the Camera in the attached image.

    Were any of the other people asking questions regulars on JMSNews or RASTB5.mod? Who else did you encounter besides Renata and Joe?

    Dan Dassow
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Dan Dassow; 07-26-2009, 05:28 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    This was one of the really great ones, IMO. Yes, he can be very inspiring but there's a lot of fun there, too.

    Jan

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  • glindros
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    The entire lecture and Q&A sessions are online now. Check out MIT Tech TV

    Renata and I are clearly visible in the front row several times.

    Jan
    Thanks for the link Jan. I'll watch it tonight after work. I love hearing jms speak. He can be so inspiring.

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  • Jan
    replied
    The entire lecture and Q&A sessions are online now. Check out MIT Tech TV

    Renata and I are clearly visible in the front row several times.

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • Belbo
    replied
    Thanks, everyone for the reports. I shudder to think what it would be like relying on some of the bloggers linked here for information!

    I guess I'm more or less agreement with JMS on the various B5 "sequels", although only LotR, a couple of the TNT-mandated Crusade eps and maybe the Lochley segment of TLT count as actual minuses in my book (some of the other stuff is just meh, but the majority is enjoyable on one level or other). Anyway, he got back on form quickly enough with Jeremiah.

    Actually, I must confess I'm a little surprised no-one in the audience seems to have thought to tease Joe about the "Stu Radzinsky" character introduced on Lost this past season. Eric Lange's marvelously cranky performances invariably cracked me up, especially in his scenes with Daniel Dae Kim .... the casting call notes for SR - given under "Trivia" in the link - raised a smile as well.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Dan Dassow View Post
    Despite the signs indicating otherwise, it looks like jms signed at least one person's Babylon 5 DVDs.
    Yes, quite a few people had brought things so the last I saw he'd set up at the ticket-taking table outside of the auditorium and was signing. Hopefully it didn't take too long. I mean, after 3 solid hours in the spotlight he must have been exhausted!

    Jan

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  • Dan Dassow
    replied
    Despite the signs indicating otherwise, it looks like jms signed at least one person's Babylon 5 DVDs.

    Denver Post reprint of the article posted previously
    http://www.doverpost.com/entertainme...f-media-at-MIT


    J. Michael Straczynski signs the Babylon 5 DVDs of Kathryn Hamilton, an aspiring novelist from Medford.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Very nice, WC, thanks. You're off the hook now. See, that wasn't so very hard, was it?

    As a reminder for anybody who missed them, Renata's photos are here.

    Jan

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  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    I would never want to hurt your feelings, Jan. I hold you in the highest esteem.

    Neither would I want to incur your wrath, so here goes for my first-ever report.

    My wife and I arrived fairly early in the day, had lunch, and then walked over to the campus in order to find the venue. It turned out to be surprisingly easy, and feeling confident we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the area on foot. Dinner service ended up being a trifle slow, so we ended up arriving at the hall somewhat later than originally planned. That gave me less time to speak with Jan, but didnÆt hurt the seating too much since the hall was only about two-thirds full. Even had we been in the back of the hall, we wouldnÆt have suffered much since, as advertised, the proceedings were projected onto large screens. My only complaint as far as the facilities were concerned would be with sound quality. I have some experience with doing sound, and this event could have used a lot of work.

    Contrary to JMSÆs assertions, I found him to be a very good, very entertaining speaker. He may not be comfortable doing it, but he does it well, especially when, as Jan pointed out, he is telling stories. Truly a storyteller.

    If youÆre not failing, youÆre not doing it right. Do what scares you. Most people live inside a box representing their comfort zone û often without even realizing it. You need to move outside of the box. A fear of failure can not only keep you from starting something, it can keep you from finishing it. These are the bullet points I got from JMSÆs talk. Being a storyteller, he wove these themes in and around a number of personal anecdotes giving them more depth and meaning. It also made the points more memorable. I was familiar with a number of the anecdotes because I had read them in his collected posts, or because I had read them in script books, interviews or convention reports. That didnÆt detract from hearing them straight from the source. There were some anecdotes that were completely new to me. JMS spoke of a professor who told him he would never be a writer. JMS then proceeded to mail copies of every published piece to the professor until the day he died û at which point JMS gave him one last copy in the grave staked by a pencil.

    The weakest part of the three-part presentation was, in my opinion, the Q&A with the moderator. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the styles of Mr. Jenkins and JMS didnÆt seem to mesh really well. I think Mr. Jenkins could have gotten the depth he seemed to be looking for if he had approached it a little differently. In many respects, the third part, the audience Q&A, was stronger than the moderator Q&A.

    There were a couple of questions from the audience that were cringe worthy. The aforementioned ôburger boyö and a woman whoÆs never-ending question pertained to an inability to finish her story û the irony was not lost an any present. One thing you must give them û the exhibited no fear of failure and refused to be deterred by those who disagreed with their approach.

    Like Jan, I was surprised by JMSÆs statement that Crusade was a mistake. While he thought it had many good points, he felt that it was an effort on his part to stay with something safe. Perhaps thatÆs his example of doing the right thing for the wrong reason making the work flawed.

    I could go on relaying specific stories, but I know I wouldnÆt do them justice and this report is already quite lengthy. On the whole I get the feeling that a lot was said that I should remember, but I have already forgotten a lot. Oh, for JanÆs recorder!

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  • Jan
    replied
    I do believe my feelings are hurt. <sob>

    Now then...when did you say your report would be ready, dear? <taps foot>


    Jan

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  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Now, WorkerCaste...If you go telling people about my dire threats they won't think I'm just the sweetest person on the planet anymore. That would never do, you know
    Ummm. Overall I've found this to be a good environment and a valuable experience. I've learned a lot while I've been here. It's a calm, pleasant environment. I don't think I have ever seen anyone get upset here.

    [looks over shoulder]

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  • Jan
    replied
    Now, WorkerCaste...If you go telling people about my dire threats they won't think I'm just the sweetest person on the planet anymore. That would never do, you know...

    It was nice to meet you, too.

    Jan

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  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    I am back from my travels and wanted to put in a quick word here. It was great to meet Jan and Renata, albeit briefly. This was the first time I had heard JMS speak in person and it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed his talk and all the Q&A immensely. As usual, Jan has provided a very thorough report, but since she threatened me if I didn't do one myself, I'll undertake that task and, hopefully, remain on her good side. It will just have to wait a little bit, though, since work does tend to get in the way.

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  • KoshN
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    One question pertained to the expansion of the original series to Crusade and the movies of the week. JMS responded that on one level it was a fun thing to do but in retrospect he should have refused to do any of them, even Crusade, that it was his own fear of failure that caused him to want to prove that it wasnÆt just a one-time success, and want to hold onto the familiar. It was after the Lost Tales DVD that he looked at it all and asked if theyÆd added to the work or subtracted and concluded that they subtracted and he refuses to do any more until and unless itÆs possible for him to do the series justice in a big-budget feature film.
    Oh crap, now I HAVE TO respond at rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated.

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