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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: It occured to me that I hadn't left...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 9/11/1992 9:59:00 PM  

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It occured to me that I hadn't left a really *substantive* post since we
finished filming last Friday. There's a certain burn-out that happens after
you finish a major project like this; you just sort of shut down for a while
and stare at the walls a lot. So between that and catching up on M,SW
work...you understand.

Most everyone is now taking a sorely needed rest from the grueling
schedule; Michael O'Hare and Mire Furlan have headed back to New York, and the
rest are out here, working on other stuff while we gear up for Phase Two on
B5. The film is now being edited together, and the editor is now close to
finishing the first rough assembly. (They've been doing some of this all
along.) The assembly will be in-hand Tuesday, but that's for our director's
eyes only. Right now, we're running a bit long, but the cuts, I hear, are
*very* loose, and can be trimmed quite easily.

The editor is quite astonished at what he's seeing; the scope of the
thing, the look of it. I share that feeling. What happens when you make a
project like this is that you spend a whole day on one set, doing X-number of
scenes in that set. Then the next day, you watch the dailies from that set.
And soon you lose track, a bit, of how it will all look when you cut it
together, and you're in LOTS of sets, and scenes. It's like thinking of your
house ONLY in terms of the kitchen, or the dining room, without putting it all
together in your head into a dynamic system...a home.

And that's what happens during editing. I spent the first part of the
week going over ALL of the dailies, tape after tape, pulling out shots to be
used in promos. And so for the first time saw the WHOLE movie, not
necessarily in order, but all of the scenes, all of the sets, the whole look
of the thing. And the overwhelming sense that I get is of the sheer,
seductive feel involved, the sumptuous sets, the gritty darker stuff...thanks
to Richard and John Iacovelli and so many others, it's really a feast for the
eyes. I honestly, truly believe that it's going to leave a lot of people
boggled.

We're trying to continue the momentum now that we have film to show.
Watch for a big photo layout in the next STARLOG SPECTACULAR, and a *huge*
story, 20 pages or so, with lots of photos, in CINEFANTASTIQUE around
December/January. (There'll be a smaller piece in, I believe, the next issue,
with a photo or two from the set.) I'm pretty sure that BROADCASTING MAGAZINE
will also have a story in next week or so.

In a way, this is the really hard part...you've *made* the film, so by
all rights this is where you should be able to relax and savor it, but there's
a lot of ground to cover, a lot of work to get out the word about the show,
lots of post-production to do...and we haven't even gotten to the sound for
the show, audio mapping,any of that. (I hope to be able to announce a
composer in the next week or so; I think you'll all be quite pleased by who we
think we've got, pending the fine points in the deal being nailed down.)

There's an *awful* lot of movement going on behind the scenes, all of it
wonderful, but I can't say anything about it for the time being.

Picked up the Don McLean CD collection today, and was surprised to hear
his song "Babylon," which I'd practically forgotten. The song triggered off
an image that just slammed into my head; it comes not from anything IN the
song per se, but the tone, the mood, and I think I'm going to work an entire
episde around that image, maybe year 3 or so.

Meanwhile, as indicated, we're currently in the eye of the storm, the
quiet between the end of filming and the delivery of the first real cut.
Expect to see a *lot* of activity when the eye passes and we're back in the
thick of it.

(Final aside...in looking at the scenes, there's one in which Londo is
mourning the loss of the great Centauri empire, and talking about how they've
gone from running everything to being just a few worlds, living on memories
and stories, selling trinkets...and I found myself wanting to tag on that line
from THE PRODUCER, "...AND I'M WEARING A CARDBOARD BELT!")

Oh...and there *is* a blooper reel. I've seen the first part of it.
Very funny stuff...sick and twisted, but funny.

jms

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