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    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Yeah, we're trying to come up with...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/12/1991 7:00:00 PM  

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Yeah, we're trying to come up with new ways of doing stuff. Makes it
more interesting.

Quite a day today for B-5...exhausting. First in come the color
portfolios at last, then we have THE FOCUS GROUP!

I know, I're wondering what a focus group is.

The studio pays lotsa bucks to engage a research group to bring in two
groups, one group of women, one group of men. They are then given synopses of
the movie, the series episodes, the characters, all the stuff that for now
can't be posted here. And they get to react, giving us some parameters in
terms of marketing and, to a smaller extent, the story and presentation.

Going in, we were told how it would probably break down: "The women will
love the character stuff, the relationships, and hate the action, and the men
will love the action, but hate the character stuff and the relationships as
'soap opera.'"

Sonuvagun, but that's how it turned out. And after having worked for so
long to convince studio heads that SF fans want other than EFX, there were
these guys saying, "Oh, yeah, special effects is the most important thing to
me...and action, heck, science fiction MEANS action, fights and stuff." I'm
surprised they couldn't hear me banging my head against the wall through the 2-
way observation mirror.

That stuff aside, though, we tested VERY positively, and even got some
good ideas out of it. It was strange, as the person who created all this, to
look out through a 2-way mirror and see, for the first time, "civilians"
discussing the characters and situations of Babylon 5.

One more step on the long road set before us....


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