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Hard Knocks Hollywood: J. Michael Straczynski

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  • Hard Knocks Hollywood: J. Michael Straczynski

    http://www.thewrap.com/article/1687
    The Wrap
    March 03, 2009, 11:07PM PST

    Hard Knocks Hollywood: J. Michael Straczynski

    ôI had one shot at this. And I knew if I didnÆt do it, it was gonna be dead forever.ö

    By J. Michael Straczynski

    J. Michael Straczynski has 10 different feature projects in various stages of development, all of them launched in the two years since he sold his first spec feature, ôChangeling,ö to Ron HowardÆs Imagine Entertainment. Before that Joe, as he is called, worked in television, for which he created the long-running cult hit ôBabylon 5.ö He talks with Eric Estrin about trying to sell what people arenÆt buying and about gritting your teeth until it hurts. ...

  • #2
    Nice picture of Joe.
    What a wonderful world you live in. -
    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

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    • #3
      I think it's a cropped shot from when he was in Cannes. At long last he's being photographed by pros and some decent pics of him are showing up.

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

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      • #4
        Does anyone besides me worry when JM comes out with these stories like breaking his molar, given that he has used the metaphor before but not, insofar as I know, actually claimed that it happened?

        The last thing he needs is to now, after all the honesty he has dealt out over the years, get a reputation as an "embellisher."
        I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by grumbler View Post
          Does anyone besides me worry when JM comes out with these stories like breaking his molar, given that he has used the metaphor before but not, insofar as I know, actually claimed that it happened?

          The last thing he needs is to now, after all the honesty he has dealt out over the years, get a reputation as an "embellisher."
          It's the exact same story as told in Volume 1 of the script books.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by grumbler View Post
            Does anyone besides me worry when JM comes out with these stories like breaking his molar, given that he has used the metaphor before but not, insofar as I know, actually claimed that it happened?

            The last thing he needs is to now, after all the honesty he has dealt out over the years, get a reputation as an "embellisher."

            What, do you mean like this, where Joe implies something about the design of the IA-1 for the lost tales. Unnecessary.
            http://features.cgsociety.org/story_...id=4173&page=1
            ôAt one point, I seem to recall taking the design of this ship and, as with Trek, ended up turning it upside down to get what we have now.ö

            Never heard the molar breaking thing before, will ask Ron about that when/if I talk to him again.


            Though Joe does like his anecdotes. (same interview as above)
            http://features.cgsociety.org/story_...id=3971&page=2
            ôThe initial render farm consisted of several AmigaÆs linked together with wires that ran through the apartment of the guy who initially did the FX. The wires also ran through his rabbit cages. Every so often, in the middle of a render, a rabbit would chew through a wire. They would call me to tell me they had a rabbit crash. And now here we are today.ö


            I know the short interview is relating to jms, but in that little snippet about the birth of B5 . . . . . you just know what IÆm going to say, he wasnÆt the only person at that presentation and if I read many of his posts correctly the dominance of Star Trek was a factor in having difficulty finding a home for it, but so was the cost. ThatÆs also a main reason why other shows didnÆt last more than 2 years cost-return. The use of CGI was a BIG deciding factor (if not the real reason why it was picked up) and it was that æguyÆ (or guys-four of them if memory serves) with the rabbits, who was brought in by John Copeland, that's responsible for that û lock, stock and barrel.

            Anyway, itÆs good to see heÆs getting some recognition now.

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            • #7
              He did mention having a broken tooth in 1992:

              Originally posted by jms
              Anyway, I'm going to go and put my feet up, try to eat around my broken tooth, take some aspirin, and try to get better.
              I guess the story was probably attached to this post somewhere (a missing GENIE post is my guess)

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              • #8
                I have heard him tell the tooth story a few times.

                It was just prior to a pitch to some suits. He was with John C and was waiting to pitch and grinding his teeth when one cracks lengthways. He asked the receptionist for some ice-water and sucks as much in as he can and holds it in until (using his words) He sees colours he never knew existed before. He tells it very well.

                I have, in the past, hinted that JMS is something of an embellisher, but on reflection...his art is all about embellishing. He is a story teller who has to be able to do so to bring out the best in a good but otherwise basic idea.
                http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
                47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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                • #9
                  Telling what happened in an entertaining way is not "embellishing". You can tell the same story of what happened to you in a very prosaic way or a very funny way without altering the facts in the slightest.

                  "My tooth broke. It hurt a lot."
                  "My molar cracked - sideways! I saw colours I've never seen before."

                  Same facts. Different phrasing.

                  ôAt one point, I seem to recall taking the design of this ship and, as with Trek, ended up turning it upside down to get what we have now.ö
                  Not entirely sure that's actually supposed to be Joe talking, if that's what you mean.

                  Also, I must say, I don't quite understand the rest of your post. JMS was showrunner; as such, his pitch was probably the most important one to the suits. That's how it goes. Joe has never denied that the use of CGI was an important factor, but I don't see how that invalidates his story, or makes it an example of "embellishing". Furthermore, as showrunner and executive producer, it was his job to pitch the show.

                  If a director cracks his tooth right before shooting begins, but then chooses to do the episode anyway, does it make sense for us to say "but the CGI in that episode was an important factor in making it good" or "the actors did half the work" if he, years later, tells us the story of what happened to him?
                  Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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