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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: As I write this, we are starting...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 9/25/1992 4:46:00 PM  

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As I write this, we are starting to come out of the lull between storms.
First there was the production itself, then things quiet down while the
editors and our director assemble their cut, which is now ongoing. The closer
the cut comes to being finished, the more things begin to pick up speed.

We're starting to pick up a *little* on the PR stuff. Gave some
interviews to different magazines, and remember, the E! channel 30 minute
Making Of documentary should be hitting the air in the next few weeks to a
month. Now that we have something to show people, it's a bit easier to get
their attention.

On Tuesday I'll be seeing one of the four-minute promos for the show.
The fellow handling that aspect over at Warners is *very* excited by the look
of the thing, and commented today that the task we'd had was to make a TV
movie as a pilot. What we ended up with, in his view, is a Motion Picture
that just happens to have been made for television. "The best I can describe
it is, imagine if someone had made STAR WARS just the way it was made, but for
television," he said.

That's one of the problems with working on a project for so long; after a
certain point, you're no longer capable of really viewing it or evaluating it
objectively. To some degree, you don't even SEE it anymore, there's no
surprise after you've seen each take 5-10 times at least. So we all kind of
take it for granted; it's only when someone sees the whole thing for the first
time that we can even begin to gauge the film.

We're getting absolutely amazing support from Warners, which is just in
love with the project and really smells something special. And that's nice.
They're still amazed that we came in under budget (the precise figure: $1,190
under), given that a certain OTHER show, with fewer sets, fewer EFX, a wealth
of standing sets (the ship-board stuff), established uniforms and some
prosthetic precedents, has apparently, as George Martin mentions above, gone
WAY over budget even at having been budgeted at something between $9-12
million, which is hideous even to start with.

The key to that, frankly, is something where we have a definite edge:
planning. We weren't rushed, we had the script a long time in advance, and
were able to schedule our set construction and other areas to control the
costs. And this will apply to the series as well; we know roughly what half
the stories will be about, so we can spread out the construction, start in on
the required EFX well in advance, so that they look good, and aren't
rushed...simple, basic planning.

At the core of that is something that occured to me today, the one thing
that no one can take from us, and which no one can touch: the other show is
about a space station at which stories take place; ours is a show about one
particular story, one saga, which happens to take place on a space station.
If there is any one thing that distinguishes B5 from everything else, that's
probably it.

jms

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