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Old 07-22-2016, 11:06 PM
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Just got back from JMS' spotlight panel. Well...that was certainly different...

Okay, best just to tell things as they happened. Don't worry, happy ending.

First they showed a new version of JMS' 'sizzle reel' with new music (several repetitions of 'run boy, run'). The header was along the lines of '32 years of work in 3.5 minutes'. I didn't get a good look because I was setting my recorders up. B5, Thor and Sense8 got the most applause.

JMS came out and explained his usual routine being to talk about the work first and then take questions but that this one would be somewhat different. He mentioned being a private person and pretty shy but that this would be kind of different. He mentioned writing several comic titles each month for several years and how things slowed down - and that he was about to tell us why.

Starting around 2003, he notices increasing trouble with his vision. His doctor told him what his multiple problems were:
- very nearsighted (as he'd been since a child)
- early onset cataracts and
- a rare genetic disorder called Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy

He showed us some slides of what happens to the eyes and what his vision progressed to looking like (picture the dirtiest windshield that still lets light in) and that he had to have a huge magnification and contrast in order to see only a few words at a time. Unfortunately, current treatments could help the cataracts OR the Fuchs but not both and things kept getting worse until a new treatment came up from a doctor in Portland about a year and a half ago. JMS now has 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/25 in the other - and wasn't wearing glasses at all! Which is why his comics output slowed down.

Next JMS talked about Rising Stars being optioned by MGM for a feature film. The outline was approved last week and he should be starting to write the script this coming week. There's hopes that this is only the first movie for this franchise.

Next he talked about Sense8 filming right now. He reviewed the cities filmed in last year and mentioned some of (Italy, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen, Los Angeles) the locations that they'd added this year. He mentioned that (very mild spoilers:
Kala/Wolfgang get interesting and that Sun does get out of jail but it's not the way you'd expect.
He showed some of the photos that have been seen here in the Sense8 forum.

ETA: One other mini-spoiler. JMS showed a photo of Riley as she's DJ-ing and mentioned
...that she has a larger agenda by appearing, that she's trying to attract other sensates to her by being visible.


Side note: There was a Riley Blue cosplayer! Later on there was a question about how the recasting of the Capheus part would affect the show and JMS said that nothing has changed for the character. Also during the questions somebody asked something along the lines of which character he'd choose to be if he could and the answer was Amanita!

JMS did mention the two-hour Christmas Special and that the rest of the season would follow not long after.

The next slide he showed had three names on it:
Bradbury
JMS
Gaiman
...but he didn't say what it was.

And then came the announcement that Midnight Nation will be done as a TV series with Gale Anne Hurd and Universal. JMS will start writing the pilot in probably two weeks. In answer to a fan later on, JMS said that he's broken out the first season already and worked out a 'B' story about the main character's former partner looking for him. The 'A' story will be exactly as it was originally written. He's planning on writing the entire first season.

Then...came a change in tone. JMS talked about how he'd been a journalist and walked away from that to animated TV. Walked away from that to live action TV. There would be a part of his brain that would tell him when he'd learned something really well and tell him when it was time to quit. And so on with comics. But while he was recovering from his eye surgeries, he was mapping out what he wanted to do now that his output would be back up and he considered relaunching Joe's Comics with multiple titles per month when that voice in his head told him that it was time to stop and do something he's not confident he knows how to do well. He's spent the last while finishing things up and not taking any more comics work.

So for the next time being, JMS will be concentrating on writing novels and plays along with TV and fim.

Then JMS took questions. I grabbed the first one and since he hadn't mentioned it, I asked about the B5 movie. JMS said that he's still working on building up his 'street cred'. He figures that once he's got one, maybe two TV shows and maybe another movie go into production that he'll have the credibility to ask investors for a hundred million dollars. He figures that he could probably get 60M or so but that's not enough for a proper B5 film.

One interesting thing happened when a fan asked what form JMS would choose if he could do The Prisoner in any form at all and JMS said that he couldn't answer that - that some things often take a long time but that for now he couldn't answer that.

JMS ended the panel with the story of his friend who's made the change to becoming a pet photographer and how important it is to do what scares you.

A *very* interesting time. I'm really *really* sorry to see him leaving comics and I truly hope that it won't be forever like other things he's left behind.

ETA: I've uploaded the video of JMS' panel before opening it up to questions. https://youtu.be/VN_RJcV64ME

Jan
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"Anyone who advocates for "alternative facts" has moved from the language of obfuscation to the language of tyranny." JMS Twitter Jan. 22, 2017

Last edited by Jan; 07-24-2016 at 11:13 AM.
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