JMS Speaks

Still a favorite with many of our regulars, come on in and share your insights on this ground breaking series.

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ProfCrash
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JMS Speaks

Post by ProfCrash »

I read this and thought people might be interested so I thought I would share.

Okay, I've given it some more thought, and there are a couple of things that I can say...but again, I have to keep some of this close to my vest for a while in terms of details, at least in the first regard.

I've just had a treatment purchased for series development by a major studio/network. (This is non-B5.) The cool thing is that this is for one of the major broadcast networks and, if it ends up going ahead, would be for a prime-time series. But I have to attach all the usual caveats: the process is this...you write the treatment, then you write the pilot, then if the network likes the pilot script, they produce the pilot, and then if they like the pilot they give you the series. It's a very, very long process and like 90% of all development deals in town it can stop at any given point.

But I'm very pleased about it because it's a major studio, major
broadcast network, and that's terrific. More than that I absolutely can't say because everything about the story being developed is totally confidential.

Now, that said, there's a little something else....

For years, I've been at conventions and had fans come up with
photocopied scripts they'd purchased from script stores or dealers for $20 a pop, many times in poor condition...with loose or missing pages, hard to read, and thought, there has to be a better way for fans to get these scripts without paying that much for copies that are often inferior.

So now, at some point in October, we're going to fix this.

All 91 Babylon 5 scripts that I wrote are going to be made available through an independent publishing firm in trade paperback form. We're still working out the final details in terms of how to put the scripts together, but right now the plan is to do 7 scripts per book, each volume released every two weeks or so, at a cost of about $29 per volume if ordered in the first week or so it comes online) or $39 per for those who buy later. That's four bucks per script if purchased early, about five per script if published later...which saves fans a HUGE amount of money.

There will be 14 volumes in all, each again containing 7 scripts AND newly written introductions and commentaries about each episode that are thus far averaging about 30 pages per book, telling some of the behind-the-scenes stories that have never been told before (and some that have), talking about the writing process, how the arc was created and maintained, anectodes about cast and crew, what went into the stories...enough so that at the end, at 30 pages over 14 volumes you get about 420 pages of new material on the making of B5...a book unto itself.

On top of THAT...some of the books will contain rare b&w photos from my own personal archives, taken by me on set, which have never before been seen by anyone else.

The very first book will have the Gathering script, plus 5 additional scripts (to make up the 7 hours of material) BUT...and this is the cool part...the script of the Gathering included in this volume will be one that has NEVER BEEN OFFICIALLY RELEASED BEFORE.

See, when we went to sell Babylon 5, I wrote a pilot screenplay to take around. When we made the deal, the notes process began...and the script went through considerable changes. But this is the ORIGINAL draft, the one only seen by the studio and the other producers on the show.

What's different? How about Garibaldi trying to get hold of his dying father back on Mars...how about a shape-shifter instead of a Minbari assassin with a changeling net...Londo as a part-time pick-pocket...Dr. Chakri Mendak instead of Dr. Kyle...new scenes between Lyta and Laurel, Delenn and others that were later cut...a LOT more character scenes with Sinclair and Garibaldi...a discovery about Delenn's lifestone and what that means to the Minbari...where Sinclair is NOT put on trial, but finds a whole different and more interesting way to solve the
mystery of Kosh's assailant...and the introduction of Kosh's life-mate, Velana, who plays a very important role in the script. (Didn't know Vorlons had life-mates, did you?)

This script is HUGELY different from the one we filmed -- funnier in places, with more character moments -- and it has been kept under lock and key all this time. Now, for the first time, it will be officially released in the first volume of this set.

And here's the coolest part...as a gift for the fans...a FIFTEENTH volume will be given FREE to those who pick up the other 14. And what is IN this 15th volume, you ask?

Remember the lost script for "Soul Hunter," of which only 5 copies existed before I pulled them back, destroyed all but one copy for my files, and wrote a brand new script to replace it...all because it felt too much like a Star Trek script? Well, THAT one is in the free fifteenth volume. It also features a comic sub-plot concerning B5 being audited.

As if THAT wasn't cool enough...nearly a YEAR before we began writing episode scripts, before we HAD the series commitment, WB wanted to see what a typical episode might look like. So I wrote a draft of "And the Sky, Full of Stars," one of our most important episodes, that is massively different from what we would later produce...including fantasy sequences with Knight Two as the proprieter of a dark carnival of sorts.

It will also contain the Babylon 5 writers bible...the production draft of "The Gathering" as a companion to the original draft offered in volume one...and something very special.

For over ten years, fans have asked "What would Babylon 5 have been like had Sinclair stayed?" Well, that question will be answered in this volume.

After we finished the movie, but before we got the series going, WB asked to see a breakdown on this five-year arc thingie. So I wrote a six or seven page, single spaced outline of the ENTIRE FIVE YEARS with Sinclair still in place. The document makes for fascinating reading when compared with the series as it developed. NOT ONLY THAT, but the same document has a brief outline for A POTENTIAL BABYLON 5 SEQUEL SERIES, which would have been entitled BABYLON PRIME.

Again, that's what will go out FREE OF CHARGE to those who pick up the full set. While obviously all these volumes can be purchased a la carte for those who don't want all the script, this fifteenth volume will ONLY be sent out free, it cannot be purchased directly.

So for roughly a quarter of what fans would spend to buy the scripts individually from dealers, which are often poorly photocopied or otherwise in bad shape, you get uniform trade (large-ish) very handsome paperback editions, WITH the introductions, photos, and the bonus book.

(Doing the math more specifically...to purchase all the scripts one at a time would cost nearly $2,000. Here, if copies are purchased as the script books first come online, the full set would cost around $420; if purchased after the discount period, we're talking about $560...which is, again, for 15 volumes counting the free one, amounting to nearly FIVE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PAGES OF MATERIAL.)

I'll post another message when they officially go online at
babylon5scripts.com but in the interim...know that they are coming.

jms

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Post by Qray »

I could see Londo as a part time pick pocket.

HiHo PC. I recall reading something similar a while back. When did JMS say this? Just curious if it's the same thing that I read.

That and why does Straczynski always say "I can't divulge everthing."

He's a tease i's tells ya! A tease!

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Nomad
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Post by Nomad »

Wow! Awsome! Too bad Im a new homeowner and cant affort the first page that the scripts are written on. Anyway
where Sinclair is NOT put on trial, but finds a whole different and more interesting way to solve the
mystery of Kosh's assailant...and the introduction of Kosh's life-mate, Velana, who plays a very important role in the script. (Didn't know Vorlons had life-mates, did you?)


I'd love to see a story on the vorlons love life!
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Post by Bmat »

babylon5scripts.com

Supposedly this site will have the news first.

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Merle
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Post by Merle »

Nomad wrote: I'd love to see a story on the vorlons love life!


??? Ohhhhhkaaaaaayyyyy. Not that kinda site, my friend! :P
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Oh, come ON merlie! You KNOW you want to!
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to open it and remove all doubt."
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Post by iznardy »

I'm delighted to hear from Crash that JMS will be saving her huge amounts of money by publishing 14 books at $29.00 a crack, thus making her pay only $406 to acquire more B5 stuff. Generosity like this is indeed rare. I am a bit miffed, though, that he is offering this SAME incredible savings to thousands of other less loyal and deserving fans. You'd think for Crash he'd at least knock off the extra $6.

:)

I love his work, but does this guy have an ego or what? I mean, now that everyone has blow several thousand dollars on the VHS and DVD versions of the series, what, he wants to give us the opportunity to buy the same words in print! Has he seen the price of gasoline recently? Who has spare change for this!?

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Post by ProfCrash »

LOL Iz. I am not buying them. I am insane, just not that insane. I figure someone more insane then I will buy them and post all the material I care about on the internet. If not (shrugs) such is life.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Although I do live in the land of plastic boobs and adjusted noses, I don't have the 'connections' that I might wish in being able to keep up with where the whole thing is going regarding JMS's movie ideas/script ideas. I'm just glad that there are a few people more crazy than I that are willing to spend time that I'm finding to be most rare and precious *rubs his little gold ring, mumbling* commodity available to me right now. It's good to see both you, PC, and Iz as well posting again on here. I hope we see you so rarely because of your busy lives and not due to something that one of us has said/done... *mutters, "Like when I told everyone what I saw when I saw you..."*
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
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second attempt

Post by iznardy »

well, i'm not posting much because of my busy and boring life. nothing to relate. no time not to relate it.

this may be the second message of its kind. i'm not sure the first one went through.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Well, if so, more of you to love, then... right?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by Nomad »

LoL Merle! I wouldnt even know where to begin to imagine the actyual love making rituals of a Vorlon. They being energy and all. ;) :roll:
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