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Goldkanal  >  News / Newsletter > Babylon 5 / 23.9.2000 Bild /pictures/zentral/seitenkopf/design1-middle-middle.jpg Bild /pictures/zentral/seitenkopf/design1-right-middle.jpg

JMS-Chat vom 21.9.

Hallo Leute und Guten Morgen,
oder wie JMS sagen würde: <jmsatb5> Hey, folks. *g*

Ja ja, ich habe es gewagt und bin um 2:50 Uhr aufgestanden, um meinen Compi anzuwerfen und mit 83 anderen B5-Fans aus
der ganzen Welt zu chatten. Und dann kam der Hammer: es fing erst 4:00 Uhr an. Kleine Änderung des SCiFi-Channel, die man eben vergessen hatte mitzuteilen. Wir hatten schon vorher viel Spaß und dann kam "the great maker" of Babylon 5. *WOW*
Hier also für alle, die es interessiert, der Chat. Es gab ein paar interessante Neuigkeiten und man kann lesen wie viel Humor Joe hat.
Ich hoffe ich werde nicht erschossen, weil es ganz schön viel ist.

Viel Spaß

<jmsatb5> Hey, folks.
<dthomps84> saw the b5 previews on Sci-F, pretty cool
<AlytNeroon> Nope. He stopped at McBari's
<Christian> hey joe
<Jman> LOL
<wookiee23> fabled east???? exsits.......or I'm living in some figment of the imagination..:-)
<Alira> LOL
<nellenoyl> hi, Joe
<FOZocaloHobo> McFlarn
<Moderator> Hi JMS! We'll begin!
<Jman> how bout Burger king?
<MarkB> Hello JMS.
<Jbonetati> Welcome, Joe!
<LadyLaodamias> HI jms
<DarwintheTeep> Hello
<Jman> hi Jms!!
<FOZocaloHobo> Hi JMS
<whitelion> hi mr JMS
<djk5323> Squeezed us in to your busy schedule?
<Vegas-Producer> hi joe
<wookiee23> Hi joe.
<LadyLaodamias> Welcome
<Moderator> JMS can you typr to the screen?
<jmsatb5> Yeah, right here...sorry for the delay, got sidetracked into the dominion chat
<Moderator> That's okay!
<Moderator> ate messages. (To send a private message, either
double-click on my name or type "/msg Moderator" on the command line - only without the quotes.)
<jmsatb5> They seemed rather startled
<Moderator> Ready for the first question?
<jmsatb5> Sure
<Moderator> <Agamemnon2261> to <Moderator>: I think everyone wants to know, what's in our future from the b5 universe
<jmsatb5> Me? You want to know the future from ME? If I knew the future I'd've bought Amazon at two bucks a share...but absent that prospect...there are some online prospects in discussion with WB, and the novels that are currently coming out from Del Rey...
<jmsatb5> but at this point, the B5 story is concluded. Whether or not there are any future journeys into that universe will only be determined by time, fate, chance and the occasional Neilsen rating ga
<Moderator> <Minotaur> to <Moderator>: question: JMS any hope for reviving Crusade on Sci Fi?
<jmsatb5> Er, I did that.
<jmsatb5> It's an open issue. As far as I know, SFC will be looking at the ratings of B5 to determine its next steps. If the B5 ratings do well, then they may very well pick up the Crusade reruns after the first of the year. After that...
<jmsatb5> if THOSE do well, they may commission something Crusade-ish to follow. Or they may commission a B5 somethingorother in advance of that (i.e., maybe a tv movie or something), but all of this is totally speculative, full of balloon juice, and should not be trusted, especially given the source (me). ga
<Moderator> <Alira> to <Moderator>: How did you feel when the series came to an end?
<jmsatb5> It was a mix of things, as to be expected. There was a satisfaction that we'd made it to all five years despite predictions of gloom and doom, outright sabotage and
dead-catting...sadness to be leaving that was every possible emotion all rolled into one. ga
<Moderator> <Tallsor> to <Moderator>: I read online that you write something like 8 hrs a day. How much of that thie is in the actual "writing" process and how much is research, rewriting, and seeing 'what else is out there'?
<jmsatb5> It varies. There's a MarkTwain-drawn cartoon showing him at his writing desk, feet up, snoozing, with the
caption, Just because I'm not writing, that doesn't mean I'm not writing. It's kind of like that some days...
<jmsatb5> but in general, those 8 hours are spent *writing*. I turn out no less than 10 pages per day, every day, rain or shine. The rest is spent on meetings, travel, research, production (if there's a show going on), or occasionally sleeping. ga
<Moderator> <TreyEthan> to <Moderator>: Okay, come clean: Ivanova's "I think I loved Talia": platonic or not?
<jmsatb5> You're asking me, did they shtup, is that it? Is that what it comes down to? Huh? So you want the skinny, is that it? You wanna know did they do the deed, were they lovers, did Ivanova play on her own team, is THAT your question?
<jmsatb5> Yeah, she did. Next question.
<Moderator> <Cyranetta> to <Moderator>: What has been the most annoying misconception about writing or exec-producting that you've run into ?
<jmsatb5> There's just so much bad information and misinformation out there about what the job entails. I spoke with a fan once, and said I was the writer on this new show (early in B5), and
she said...
<jmsatb5> "Oh, you're the your job is to write down what the actors say, right?" I swear, that was it. It's a general lack of understanding of what is done. For instance...
<jmsatb5> at conventions, the actors tend to get character questions, or B5 universe questions...and I get "When are the DVDs coming out? Is there going to be any more merchandise?" ....
<jmsatb5> Understand that in what follows there is NO point of comparison, I'm not fit to carry Rod Serling's pencil box, but if *I* had access to Serling at a convention, I *sure* as heck wouldn't be asking him when the TZ DVDs were coming out. ga
<Moderator> Along the line of merchandise, dvds, etc...Let me slip in a question that many, many people seem to be asking... Any chance of a B5 film on the horizon?
*To Moderator* Is it true that you'll enjoy a convention in germany next year? (Hope so! *g*)
<jmsatb5> You gotta see the world as I do for a second. (So everybody turn sideways for a moment.) Everything comes around in time. Everything. If there could be a Gilligan's Island movie, then sure as heck sooner or later there will be a B5 feature....
<jmsatb5> There have been some informal chats with WB about this, but nothing portentious. I do think it will happen in
time, but again, and to be utterly honest...I'm in no rush. I told the 5 year story I wanted to tell, and I'd rather it
be done RIGHT than fast....
<jmsatb5> Though the idea of Arnold Schwartzeneggar playing Ivanova does seem rather appealing at
<Moderator> <King-Rocketman> to <Moderator>: Did you have
H.P.Lovecraft or "The Great Old Ones" in mind when you penned the screenplay for "Thirdspace"?
<jmsatb5> Yeah, there are a zillion stories that use the Cthulhu Mythos in a nod to HP's work, and I always kind of wanted to play in that playground, so I did so in Thirdspace. ga
<jmsatb5> Yeah, there are a zillion stories that use the Cthulhu Mythos in a nod to HP's work, and I always kind of wanted to play in that playground, so I did so in Thirdspace. ga
<Moderator> <Jbonetati> to <Moderator>: JMS, since you know the characters better than anyone, which do you think was most consistantly underestimated?
<jmsatb5> Vir. From the day he appeared, he got badrapped. "Oh, look, it's Flounder in space." Then after a lot of folks got past that one, they just kinda dismissed him as trivial....
<jmsatb5> but in fact he was the stronger character than Londo. Sure, Londo was more *colorful*, but that ain't the same thing as *strong*. Confronted by the same or similar circumstances, Vir generally chose well; Londo did not. ga
<Moderator> <djk5323> to <Moderator>: How long until the New Show on Pay Cable Which Cannot Be Named will be named?
<jmsatb5> Pilot script is due by December 1st, if everything's copacetic we would start shooting in March, so figure...late summer/fall or thereabouts, if all goes well. ga
<Moderator> <Minotaur> to <Moderator>: I haven't seen the comics you are working on at the local store yet.... where can I find more information on them???
<jmsatb5> has a lot of info on the books (Midnight Nation, which just debuted, and Rising Stars, which has had about 9 issues so far), and there are any number of online sites where you can buy the books over the web (and the URLs for all of them have just fallen out of my head). ga
<jmsatb5> Yo...? Fweeeeeet....
<jmsatb5> Okay, who killed the moderator?
<jmsatb5> (looks at sky, feet quietly dancing to John Lennon music in the background)
<jmsatb5> I think the question that just came in came privately...any chance of my bio? somebody asks. Slim and none. I can't think of any thing less intrinsically interesting.
<jmsatb5> Ladies and gentlemen, we have just witnessed the very first online alien abduction.
<jmsatb5> Y'know, I've had dreams like this.
<NineOneOne> hi.
<GaribaldisUniform> LOL
<Arcanite> Nine, have any idea where the mod has buggered off to?
<Alira> LOL
<GaribaldisUniform> Oh-Oh.
<JustinMBurton> ;p;
<jmsatb5> BTW, my new novel, Tribulations, is now available at and
<GaribaldisUniform> Something is wrong here.
<FOZocaloHobo> oops
<Jman> well this is fun
<NineOneOne> Seems like Moderator crashed.
<LadyLaodamias> LOL.. the mod was taken
<MarkB> The Shadows did it!!!
<gkarfan> We need 911 for the moderator!
<NineOneOne> If we can get everyone back on, we'll resume.
<AZIA3> <AZIA3>to<moderator>:joe , can you tell us about the transfer process to make the letterbox versions & what is the story on "the gathering"
<Cyranetta> Has the physical form of the novel actually shipped yet?
<WWS> if everyone keeps cool, it'll be fine.
<LadyLaodamias> OK so lets do this calmly
<Christian> what ever happend to Mr Moderator
<LadyLaodamias> RUN JS RUN
<FOZocaloHobo> babcom is down for maintenance......:P
<jmsatb5> RUN FOR IT!
<Bob-Marly> lol
<TreyEthan> And the floodgates open....
<FOZocaloHobo> LOL jms
<Crusade-Larida> where have you hidden the moderator?
<LadyLaodamias> Jms, Which character was your most challenging?
<dthomps84> it's total anarchy
<JustinMBurton> wb
<JayBees> wb
<LadyLaodamias> WB mod
<b5guide> Did the moderator fall out the airlock?
<Minotaur> Oh No... Teacher's back....
<whitelion> hi mod
<Jman> What happened?
<jup> OK...had dreams like this
<PsicopJeffG> CHAOS!!!!
<FOZocaloHobo> If you moderate here you will die......
<Moderator> Sorry guys. I crashed
<GaribaldisUniform> Whaddaya say we all keep a low profile in the room until the moderator comes back? :)
<jmsatb5> THE SCI-FI CHANNEL: It's Almost Like Real TV
<Tallsor> Nothin' like a bunch of sci-fi fans left alone with one of their world's creators..... ;-)
<Jman> ouch
<MarkB> Run, he's been turned into a Shadow. <BG>
<Moderator> JMS...still there?
<jmsatb5> ...dude. mom came in and turned off the TV, said it was too loud....
<Moderator> Exactly!
<jmsatb5> ...okay, I'm fine now...was there a...a...ques...tion?
<jmsatb5> it was quiet. too quiet
<jmsatb5> sez you
<Moderator> I'm ready...I think!
<Moderator> <mccready01> to <Moderator>: What would you consider the best sci fi Tv series besides B5?
<jmsatb5> Can I vote on either one of those?
<jmsatb5> Probably the original Twilight Zone. Followed by the original Star Trek.
<jmsatb5> ga
<Moderator> <GaribaldisUniform> to <Moderator>: Joe, since you've written a few B5-related stories for Amazing Stories
magazine, is there any chance that you would be writing more of them and posting them on
<jmsatb5> I was asked by amazing to do some more B5 stories, but apparently they've just been bought by another company, so that issue (figuratively and literally) is now an open question. ga
<Moderator> A reminder. We¹re chatting with J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the Byzantine Babylon 5 multiverse. Please send your questions for our guest to me, Moderator, as private messages. (To send a private message, either double-click on my name or type "/msg Moderator" on the command line - only without the quotes.)
<Moderator> <b5guide> to <Moderator>: JMS, can you say anything more yet about the last new project you mentioned on Usenet a few days ago?
jmsatb5> No, not yet. Soon. ga
<Moderator> <e115> to <Moderator>: First off, Thanks for all the great words and images: they have become a part of me. How close is the finished product to your original vision of the story arc? and how much did outside forces (the threat of cancellation etc.) cause you to alter it.
<jmsatb5> I always took the point of view of just charging along and letting the devil take the hindmost, so it's really about 80-85% of what I had in mind. In some ways it exceeded it, in some ways we could've done better.....
<jmsatb5> but in TV, you're generally lucky if you get 50% of what you have in mind, so to get 80% or so is just phenomenal. The only adjustment I made structurally as a
consequence of possible cancelation...
<jmsatb5> was to pull the first 3 eps forward from year 5 to year 4 because I was told categorically that there would not BE a season 5 and to pull together the main threads. ga
<Moderator> <jrgreenmd> to <Moderator>: WE now know Babylon 5 was filmed for wide screen. Was it all that way? What prompted that decision? Why didn't WB, UPN, TNT, .. consider airing it that way?
<jmsatb5> We tried to be progressive and forward thinking in our production model, which was something rarely done; we did things differently than just about every other show out there, to the point that...
<jmsatb5> WB VPs of business affairs used to come for tours to try and figure out how the heck we were DOING this (coming in under budget and delivering quality and so on year after year)...
<jmsatb5> and as part of that, we looked to the future and HD and said, "We have to make sure this show has a long shelf life." So after the pilot, EVERYTHING we shot was 16:9 aspect ratio...
<jmsatb5> I think only Lois and Clark joined us after a bit to shoot that way. Others are now doing it as well. ga
<Moderator> <Alira> to <Moderator>: in all the 5 years of the show, was there an absolute worst day?
<Moderator> And I would add...the best?
<jmsatb5> Probably the day after the big earthquake...everyone was unsettled and edgy, and homes were badly damaged, but everybody came to work determined to make sure things kept going, to the point where...
<jmsatb5> the Monday after the Saturday quake, we were the ONLY show in town shooting. As for the best day...that would be any day we got the Moments...the moments on script you hope will work on stage...
<jmsatb5> and when things happen when Cartargia is talking to Londo down in his secret room, and it just felt dry to me as it was, and I had this idea...
<jmsatb5> so I grabbed some snacks from the crafts services table, and told the actor, "Midway through this grisly scene, pull out this bowl and offer Londo some snicks.
<jmsatb5> He said it was sick and twisted and funny, and it made the scene. Magic moments like that. ga
<Moderator> This is an interesting question because soon we may be able to trade more than music over broadband connections...
<Moderator> <TreyEthan> to <Moderator>: What's your take on the intellectual property battles today? I.e., open source software, the MPAA/DVD trial, Napster, etc.? Do you feel like you have a vested stake in how it all turns out?
<jmsatb5> Every writer and artist has a vested interest in this. My stance is real simple: there is a qualitative difference between *data* and *creative material*....
<jmsatb5> The internet propeller-heads believe that all information should be available...but a writer makes his/her living by selling the words he/she creates...if you remove that aspect, and cripple the ability of the artist to make a living...
<jmsatb5> then the artist will simply cease creating. Harlan Ellison recently prosecuted (and got judgements against) several such folks who were posting his stories online, folks who got all haughty and said
<jmsatb5> "You can't find us, we're posting anonymously, we can do what we want." Wrong. They were found, and sued, and there were summary judgements. I think that kind of case law...
<jmsatb5> is going to become more important and more consistent in the coming few years as the internet laws start getting made. ga
<Moderator> <b5guide> to <Moderator>: JMS, thank you for City of Dreams. I'm really enjoying it. Any hints about what's in store for us in future episodes?
<jmsatb5> The next one up is entitled "Samuel Beckett, Your Ride is Here," and it's very surreal/existential/minimalist stuff. There's only so much you can do with tricks of audio and the like, I felt it was important...
<jmsatb5> to be experimental with the dramaturgical part of it. So that one should be up in a couple of weeks. ga
<Moderator> <Cyranetta> to <Moderator>: Which B 5 character turned out to be the most controversial?
<jmsatb5> (That's at btw)
<jmsatb5> Oddly, none of them. I'd expected some of them to be controversial, and there was some flack over Ivanova's situation with Talia...but on balance, none of them, to be honest. ga
<Moderator> <Christian> to <Moderator>: What are the chances of having all the short stories written for the B5 universe
released in paperback?
<jmsatb5> I dunno...we broached the idea to Del Rey a bit back, but they had kind of a laissez faire attitude toward the whole thing, "Oh, well, we'll see," kind of attitude. There's certainly almost enough in hand now for a collection. So any publishers out there who want to look into it, feel free. ga
<Moderator> Many, many people in the room seem to want to know what you think of Star Trek in its various guises?
<jmsatb5> In its various GUISES? What, it's been seen wearing a trenchcoat and funny glasses?'s the skinny....
<jmsatb5> Original Star Trek: it doesn't get much better than that, folks.
<jmsatb5> Next Generation: A lot of good stuff balanced against the problem that they began to decide that what ST was...was technobabble and solving problems by inverting the phase warp generator...
<jmsatb5> DS9...they had a nice arc to the story...too bad it was ours....
<jmsatb5> Voyager: a good premise with lots of potential conflict softened and with all the corners knocked off. It could've been so much more....
<jmsatb5> Here's what it comes down to for me, in relation to ST: If I had a show in which I *knew* it would be renewed each season, that had a name going in that guaranteed an audience, that had a huge empire behind it...
<jmsatb5> I'd take every opportunity to USE that venue to push stories to the wall, to do experimental stories, controversial stories, stories with teeth and claws and passion because in most situations...
<jmsatb5> they say, "Oh, you can't risk that, you'll lose the audience." But the ST audience is a loyal one...and the Empire will make money off it regardless...
<jmsatb5> so why not take it to the wall? If you have this terrific fast car, why keep it in the garage? To me, it's a catalog of missed opportunities. But that's just my subjective POV, your mileage may vary. ga
<Moderator> <omega> to <Moderator>: What was the most difficult story in B5 to write and why?
<jmsatb5> Sleeping in Light, which was the easiest on one level because I always knew what it would be...but emotionally it was a *bitch* to write, because it just killed me...
<jmsatb5> and it killed the crew when it came out. I'd be walking to the lunch area behind the stage and hear people just *weeping* as it made the rounds.
<jmsatb5> For me to write something that I hope will affect people it has to affect me I had to be open and vulnerable and willing to be hurt by that script...
<jmsatb5> and I'm a private man, I keep my emotions to myself, so yeah, that was probably the hardest. ga
<Moderator> <indyortiz> to <Moderator>: How did the Bester character developed from inspiration to existence
<jmsatb5> It was a role written for Walter Koenig, because he's a finer actor than any of his prior roles had allowed him to demonstrate. So it started as a character I knew I could use again in terms of the Psi Corps...
<jmsatb5> and he grew over time from a pawn and a one-dimensional bad guy to somebody with a family and feelings and just a cool nemesis who demanded your respect. ga
<Moderator> Several people wonder where the Minbari-language comes from?
<jmsatb5> Me. I have kind of a knack for making up languages, and I used to keep the words I'd used in my head as I created more of them and a rough syntax (which is somewhat Germanic in nature)...
<Moderator> We'll have to hang on a sec and see if JMS gets back on...
<Moderator> I could do impressions while we wait!
<Moderator> If we hit the 11PM mark (Eastern) we may have to call it a night
<Moderator> We'll, it may be that JMS will be unable to rejoin us...
<Moderator> In two minutes I'll reopen the floor
<Moderator> Okay...Well then.... :)
<Moderator> JMS. You¹ve been a great guest, and we are of course very embarassed by our faulty wiring and tech problems..
Thanks for Joining us! We¹d also like to thank all of you in the audience for you thoughtful questions. And of course
we want to remind you to tune in to SCI FI on Monday when we begin airing B 5!

Autor: Andrea-Janina Grieskamp

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