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Script Book 2.5 - and a coupon

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  • #76
    Okay, I've had the weekend to fully digest the 2.5 script book, and I'm afraid I'm with SamusekTDS on this one. I think in general, this one strays too far into the 'niche / extreme fandom' territory for my tastes. I'll be returning the book, and have emailed Jaclyn laying out my reasons for the decision (duplicated in part below). Before I get into this, let me say that I absolutely appreciate the work that's gone into the product, but it's just not for me. This isn't to say that the book doesn't have value, it's just not what I'm after as a fan.

    Here's a breakdown of why it didn't quite float my boat. This is merely my opinion:

    As most of you will know, I'm relatively new to the whole B5 Books phenomenon. I picked up Other Voices Vol 3 last year to dip my toes into the proverbial waters of B5 fandom, and I enjoyed that book a great deal. I felt it offered some fascinating insights into the making of B5. I also found some of the other JMS Script books on the second hand market, which I also loved (especially Joe's notes and forewords). So, when 2.5 was released, I figured I'd give it a go. Sadly, it didn't quite meet my expectations.

    Here's why...

    The negative:

    - The differences between the original incarnation of the script and the final produced version aren't anywhere near as pronounced as I'd expected. The changes (to me) seemed quite minor, and could have easily been surmised in a few pages. I didn't feel it was 'completely different', and even did a re-watch of 'Points of Departure' with the book in hand to do a detailed comparison, reading along with the old script as I went. Yes, there are definite differences, but the changes just didn't strike me as too earth shattering or interesting. I felt there wasn't enough to chew on here.

    Had the presented script been say, the Chrysalis Part II story that was discussed in the introduction, then maybe I could understand a complete book dedicated to it. However, in this case, I was left with the lingering feeling that this simply didn't justify an entire book. I consider myself a big B5 fan, but for me this is just a bit too 'niche / archival' for my interests.

    - The screen caps + text were a good idea and I appreciate the effort that's gone into producing it. Personally, I found that it didn't add much to the experience. I would have been happy with just the script, which again, certainly wouldn't justify a full printed book.

    One thing that struck me as a good idea, (and perhaps one which was considered by the scripts team) would have been to create a slide show with the audio track synchronized to it, so you could actually pop the CD into your computer and 'watch' the episode as it was. That may have been more immersive than an audio CD and black and white stills. It's something that could be achieved with relative ease, and there are any number of freely available software packages that can do this. *Jan already mentioned that doing it in this way may stray too close to a video presentation, and as such might irk Warner Bros and raise sticky legal issues. None the less I've suggested the approach to Jaclyn, as I know Dave Narn has definite skills in this area.

    The positive

    -I liked the outlines for the novels, those were informative and interesting.

    The end result was that I ended up feeling like I hadn't gotten much out of it. Some fans may be absolutely into the content, may revel in those tiny details, but I guess I'm just not too into that. I felt it presented a script that wasn't dramatically different from the final incarnation (in my humble opinion). I feel that, in terms of the B5 Books, I'm far more interested in the stories behind the making of the show. As I said before, what I loved most about the Script books I do have are those lengthy intros by Joe, that tell the human story... The struggle to get it made, the what and how of putting B5 together and making it work despite the odds. I think that's where my interest lies.

    (Thinking of Jan here) I am sorry to moan and complain, because it's clear that the scripts team have worked very hard on the book. I don't want to come off as overtly negative, and hope the points raised above don't seem unreasonable. It's more down to what I want as a fan than the books itself.

    I respect the work the scripts team does, but this one's just not for me.
    Last edited by Ubik; 02-03-2013, 02:53 PM.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

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    • #77
      Addendum to my previous post:

      Just got a email back off Capt. Jaclyln. Never before in my life have I experienced such GOOD customer service. Kudos to the whole scripts team for that. Now I feel bad for saying anything negative, but hopefully what I've said will be fuel for well reasoned debate, maybe feed into future projects.
      Last edited by Ubik; 02-03-2013, 02:15 PM.
      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

      Kosh: Good!

      Comment


      • #78
        Ubik,

        Thanks. I really mean it. If it's not to your taste, that's absolutely, perfectly fine. And thank you, also, for stating what you liked and didn't. In the past, Jason has all but begged for that kind of feedback and it's seldom been forthcoming.

        Captain Jaclyn's customer service has been legendary from the beginning. CafePress already has customer service but JMS and Captain Jaclyn have always wanted that extra layer for the fans.

        Thanks again.

        Jan
        "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Jan View Post
          Ubik,

          Thanks. I really mean it. If it's not to your taste, that's absolutely, perfectly fine. And thank you, also, for stating what you liked and didn't. In the past, Jason has all but begged for that kind of feedback and it's seldom been forthcoming.

          Captain Jaclyn's customer service has been legendary from the beginning. CafePress already has customer service but JMS and Captain Jaclyn have always wanted that extra layer for the fans.

          Thanks again.

          Jan
          Jan, so glad to hear that. I hope the feedback is of use. Perhaps helpful that it's coming from a B5 Books newbie?

          The last thing I wanted to do was seem negative and put a downer on a new product that you've put time and effort into.
          Last edited by Ubik; 02-03-2013, 04:26 PM.
          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

          Kosh: Good!

          Comment


          • #80
            re:Ubik

            Hmm... that's what I was afraid of - but with the coupon and the fact that it was now an original series script - I took a chance (despite my by now well voiced reservations - thought it might have a bit more (from the description) When I get it I may follow your suit and return it...

            Again I say - I wish I could hear from a broader cross-section of B5 fans. If I'm just a vocal minority I'd like to see that... and see what more people think. It's too bad this place is pretty quiet since JMS went all Facebook and Twitter and stuff.
            ---
            Sam.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by SamusekTDS View Post
              re:Ubik

              Hmm... that's what I was afraid of - but with the coupon and the fact that it was now an original series script - I took a chance (despite my by now well voiced reservations - thought it might have a bit more (from the description) When I get it I may follow your suit and return it...

              Again I say - I wish I could hear from a broader cross-section of B5 fans. If I'm just a vocal minority I'd like to see that... and see what more people think. It's too bad this place is pretty quiet since JMS went all Facebook and Twitter and stuff.
              ---
              Sam.
              Well, I thought very hard about whether to bother with 2.5 and ultimately decided that I would, because it made a change from spending money on books for my degree course ... honestly, anyone who thinks the script books aere expensive should try buying the required texts for a Computer Science degree sometime.

              I enjoyed it ... particularly the novel outlines, and it appealed to the completist in me that already owned the other 15 books of the original series. Beyond that, I enjoyed the Echoes series, but the only other thing I am the least bit interested in is the Crusade stuff (when/if that ever sees the light of day).

              I would also back up Jan's point that what I got was exactly what I expected based on the website description ... I was slightly surprised that it wasn't more different to the produced episode, but not enough for me to have any regrets about buying it.

              One thing does need to be repeated though ... as far as costs/profit is concerned, unless the scripts team has a special arrangement with Cafepress, these are print to order books. This means that the cost of producing and selling 1 copy is effectively the same per copy as producing and selling 10,000 copies, so (overall) changing prices should have nothing whatever to do with how many are sold ... in this case however there was the added cost of image production and sound cleanup to consider, and I guess the price of the book factored that in assuming similar sales levels to previous books (and 80% of buyers buying at $10 less than the headline price).
              Last edited by Garibaldi's Hair; 02-06-2013, 06:19 AM.
              The Optimist: The glass is half full
              The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
              The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                I enjoyed it ... particularly the novel outlines, and it appealed to the completist in me that already owned the other 15 books of the original series.
                I've been wanting to see the novel outlines for ages so I was really glad they came to light. I hope someday the Psi Corps one might surface, too. I didn't expect anything very different from the books but I'd never seen anything like them and the process interests me. Maybe after the re-watch, I'll re-read the trilogies with the outlines fresh in mind.

                Jan
                "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                • #83
                  BTW, the note in the book about when Corwin got his name is incorrect - he was named on-screen in the caption that appeared in "And Now for a Word"

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