3,291 comments posted · 85 followers · following 11

2 hours ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Scienc... · 1 reply · +2 points

Fgenatyr rabhtu, V whfg fgnegrq svanyvmvat jurer gur arkg FbQ obbxf jvyy raq hc, naq V gubhtug gung jr pbhyq qb gur guveq bar pbapheeragyl jvgu Znxvat Zbarl, orsber urnqvat bss vagb Hafrra Npnqrzvpnyf. Ubj qb l'nyy guvax gung jbhyq jbex bhg?

9 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 0 replies · +4 points

V zrna, gurer jvyy arrq gb or n arj onaare va gur shgher....

9 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 0 replies · +2 points

I appreciate it for the gentle levity it provides from the heaviness of the episode (see also my MR Twilight joke on today's post). I hadn’t considered it flippant, but I can see where that feeling might come from. I hope the community understood it in the spirit it was made. (I mean, it seems like they did, anyway.)

...Also I am a sucker for that particular reference in general.

11 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 5 replies · +10 points

  • "A lot of fans have asked how we were able to make those battle sequences so dynamic and exciting... well, a lot of the credit for that has to go to Christopher, and the way we mixed down the SFX and his music into a seamless whole."
  • The siren used here is a recording of an old, original World War II air raid siren.
  • While Sheridan took a nice, hot shower on the station, in real life, Bruce was taking a very cold shower with artificially produced steam. Brrrrr!
  • "Interestingly, many voices wondered if we really needed that shot, given how much time would be spent setting it up. I offered that if it were a woman in a shower, nobody would think twice about it. So why should that be different for Sheridan/Bruce?"
  • Spoilers!! Lrnu, guvf vf bar bs gur srj nccrnenaprf ol Qenny. Gurer jrer vagrerfgvat cynaf sbe Qenny naq Rcfvyba Guerr, ohg, jryy, gur npgbe gurl'q erpnfg raqrq hc trggvat n ebyr va n Oebnqjnl eriviny bs "Uryyb, Qbyyl," naq gb rkcynva nabgure punatr gb punenpgre jnf trggvat bhg bs unaq. Naq, jvgu nyy gur bgure guvatf gung unq gb or punatrq, vg jnf zber guna pbhyq or onynaprq, naq gur cevznel pbaprea unq gb or gur znva punenpgref.
  • The head-butting gesture between Draal and Delenn came from the actors -- they thought that since Minbari had large, protruding head-bones, maybe at some point in their evolutionary past they had been deer-like, crashing horns together in play, war, or affection.
  • W. Morgan Sheppard, who plays G'Sten (and who earlier appeared as a Soul Hunter) was one of the finalists for G'Kar. "His performance in this episode gives a glimpse of what G'Kar might have been like had Morgan been selected."
  • A lot of WWII overtones here. The use of the mass drivers is the same logic behind using atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the penalties for the killing of a Centauri by a Narn parallels how Nazis would kill dozens or more civilians for every German soldier killed by the resistance.
  • Spoilers!! Va gur fprar jurer Ybaqb qrznaqf T'Xne or rkcryyrq sebz gur pbhapvy, uvf pbhtu urer "eryngrf gb gur pbafgnag pbhtu ur unf nf rzcrebe yngre ba."
  • Regarding the scene in the council room: "There are some moments when you can feel the electricity coming off a scene, and this is one of them. As a writer, as a producer, you live for those moments, and hope to get even one or two of them in a season. This was just such a moment, especially when Londo shouts 'Now!' and G'Kar gives his quiet, but lethal response. It was a brave, heartbreaking performance on both parts.
    "And they wondered why the heck I was always there when they were working.

11 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 3 replies · +6 points

  • Londo looking out the window during the Centauri bombardment of Narn was one of the longest single shots they did. With the crew being unsure how much would be needed for the final shot and not wanting to have Peter do something that would interfere with the CGI, Peter ended up standing almost completely still for the whole thing -- great for the CGI, not necessarily great for a performance. "Then we noticed that after the director yelled, 'Cut!' Peter lowered his head and nodded. So we bagged that shot for his look down... but as soon as 'Cut!' was yelled, the camera operator turned off the camera, so we didn't have enough to really make the scene work, it ended too abruptly. So we slowed down the footage, which is why it looks kind of weird and staggered as it fades to black."
  • Spoilers!! Erzrzore pnaqyrf orvat n ivfhny zrgncube sbe yvsr? Abgvpr T'Xne'f hfr bs pnaqyrf qhevat gur onggyr bs Tbenfu Frira. *funxrf svfg* Fgenpmlafxv!!
  • And now for a diversion into the final stages of completing an episode with particular reference to the music of Babylon 5, composed by Christopher Franke. Once an episode was edited and all (or nearly all) of the CGI put in, the sound editors would work on designing the sound effects. They'd put in all sorts of gun blasts, explosions and laser sounds into battle scenes, and then sometimes JMS would tell them to lose it to make room for the music.
  • "That was kind of a signature move I developed for Babylon 5. If you look at a battle sequence, you have ship whooshes, lasers, explosions, and music which often incorporates high and low frequencies that could bump up against the sound effects. As a result you could lose a lot of the sonic detail as the sounds mush together. What I realized early in the first season, and began to apply more and more in the course of the show, was that Christopher's music invariably contained a percussion track that hit on most if not all of the major action pieces... gunfire, explosions, name it.
    "So while in the mix, I would often climb down from the seating area and stand right in front of the big projection screen, so I could see every detail... and tell the guys at the mixing board to play everything out really loud. Then one by one, I'd locate the sound effects that were hitting at the same time as the percussion hits, and remove the former in deference to the latter. The result was that the music and SFX were totally interwoven. [...] Sometimes music became SFX and other times SFX became music."

11 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 10 replies · +11 points

Tales from the Scripts: The Long, Twilight Struggle
[Also known as the start of the Mark Does Stuff empire. Ahem. #SorryNotSorry]

  • The title comes from JFK's inauguration speech, and JMS considers the title "emblematic of our characters' struggle[s]."
  • "For as much as Londo has increased in power, Peter brings to that character the look and feel of someone trapped in a nightmare he created and cannot now escape."
  • "I loved watching Peter work, especially in scenes with Andreas as G'Kar. I would check the day's schedule upon arriving at the stage in the morning (well, my version of morning, anyway), and if there was a Londo/G'Kar scene, I'd make it a point to be on-set to watch the master shot being filmed, even if my writing schedule made it impossible to be on-set the rest of the day. What I didn't know until about this point in production was that Andreas and Peter thought I was always out there for their scenes because I didn't like what they were doing, and was keeping an eye on them, or giving instructions to the director to fix their performance. When Peter finally explained this to me, I told him that the reason I made it a point to be on-set for their dual performances was that it was the high point of the day for me, and gave me the impetus to go back to my office and keep writing.
    "So after that, they worried whenever I didn't make it to set while they were working."
  • This episode features some of the shows most ambitious special effects sequences so far. "In the [battle at Gorash 7], there's a sense of scale, of fleets in combat, that we hadn't really seen before to this extent."
    "As part of the Gorash 7 battle, [...] I wanted to create a sense of great distance, which would be the case in reality. You wouldn't have massive battleships going toe-to-toe until and unless necessary. The tactics would be long-range, happening well beyond where someone could see the results. It was crucial that we really see the power of the Shadow vessels, but at the same time it couldn't be an easy bloodbath, there had to be a sense of struggle, showing the courage and resolution of the Narn warriors in the face of overwhelming power. Those considerations made this one of the hardest CGI battles to choreograph, and required long discussions with the CGI animators and designers before we finally ended up with something satisfactory."

1 day ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 2 replies · +9 points

omg thank you for "That's rough, buddy."

1 day ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 32 replies · +13 points

  • Spoilers, maybe?! (Vaguely expectational, I guess.) Fb gur ovt dhrfgvba: jul qvq guvf unccra? Jura gur fubj fgnegrq, WZF znqr vg pyrne gb gur pnfg gung gurer jnf n ynetre fgbel ng cynl, naq gung juvyr gurl zvtug abg nyjnlf trg ybgf gb qb, rirelbar jbhyq unir gurve ghea va gur cebireovny fcbgyvtug naq jbhyq cynl na vzcbegnag ebyr va gur birenyy nep bs gur fgbel, naq gung fcbgyvtug gvzr jbhyq bayl or qrpvqrq ol gur fgbel, abg ol snibevgvfz be yboolvat sbe zber fperra gvzr. Naqern Gubzcfba ortna nfxvat sbe zber fperra gvzr ng gur raq bs frnfba bar naq xrcg nfxvat va frnfba gjb (naq gura rayvfgrq ure arj uhfonaq Wreel Qblyr gb wbva va); WZF fnlf ur rzcunfvmrq gung gurer jrer ovt fgbevrf sbe ure punenpgre pbzvat hc. "Gur nafjre, va nyy pnfrf, jnf gur fnzr: Abg abj. Yngre. Jnvg. Vg'yy trg tbbq, V cebzvfr."
    "Gura, bar qnl, naq dhvgr hafhecevfvatyl, pnzr gur pnyy sebz ure ntrag. Zl pyvrag vfa'g unccl, fur srryf fur vfa'g orvat hfrq rabhtu, naq fur jnagf gb frr guvf pbeerpgrq be gb or yrg bhg bs ure pbagenpg.
    "Gurer jnf abguvat V pbhyq punatr rira vs V jrer bs n zvaq gb gel. Orpnhfr ba gur bar unaq, [...] gur fgbel jnf gur fgbel, naq gurer jnf ab jnl gb punatr gur pheerag nep jvgubhg qbvat znffvir unez gb vg. Shegure, vs V qvq gel gb nppbzzbqngr guvf, gurer jnf ab dhrfgvba gung gurer jbhyq fbba or bgure fhpu erdhrfgf, naq V zvtug nf jryy guebj gur jubyr svir-lrne nep bhg gur jvaqbj.
    "Guhf qvq gur veerfvfgvoyr sbepr zrrg gur vzzbinoyr bowrpg.
    "Gur fgbel pbhyq abg or zbirq. Fb fur bcgrq gb qrcneg gur fubj naq, abg ybat gurernsgre, nyfb qrcnegrq Wreel Qblyr."
  • Spoilers of the same vaguely expectational variety as above, continued!! "Ohg, nf gur fnlvat tbrf, sbe rirel qbbe gung pybfrf, nabgure bar bcraf. Jura Naqern pybfrq gung qbbe ba ure jnl bhg, fur bcrarq nabgure qbbe gung nyybjrq sbe gur erghea bs Cngevpvn Gnyyzna, jub V unq jnagrq sbe gung ebyr nyy nybat.
    "Bar qbbe bcraf, nabgure pybfrf.
    "Naq Xbfu pna'g jnyx guebhtu nal bs gurz."
  • Spoilers!! Bs pbhefr, guvf punatr fgvyy unq pbzcyvpngvbaf. Juvyr Gnyvn unq vavgvnyyl cvpxrq hc fbzr bs Ylgn'f fgbel nep, WZF pbhyqa'g tb gb gung jryy ntnva. "V'q vagraqrq gb qb dhvgr n ovg jvgu gur tebjvat Gnyvn/Vinabin ybir vagrerfg, juvpu V'q orra ohvyqvat fybjyl naq cngvragyl, svthevat V jbhyq unir cyragl bs gvzr gb qrirybc vg. Oevatvat Ylgn onpx naq univat ure qrirybc n guvat sbe Vinabin frrzrq... sbeprq. Fb V unq ab pubvpr ohg gb qebc gung guernq, juvpu V jnfa'g unccl nobhg...." Zrnajuvyr, ur unq gb oevat Ylgn rira pybfre gb gur Ibeybaf va beqre gb trg ure cbjre yriryf jurer gurl arrqrq gb or sbe gur Funqbj Jne naq gur erghea bs ure fgbel gb ure.
  • "A number of people have wondered if we edited out a kiss in the scene where Talia decides she can only trust Ivanova. The answer is: no. It gives that impression because of a mismatch in camera angles, so that when we come around to the other side of the scene, they're not standing in quite the same perspective to one another. There's about a three inch slide to one side, but on a television screen that slight change becomes a big visual jump. So there wasn't a big, wet kiss there. [...]
    "But when Talia reaches over in bed that night, there's no question that she's reaching for Ivanova."

1 day ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 41 replies · +12 points

Tales from the Scripts: Divided Loyalties

  • Pat's return to B5 was strange for everyone, but especially Pat. Since filming the pilot, she'd had a child and was "just starting to get around and in shape again." And the cast of the show had changed drastically since the pilot, so it was a bit awkward.
  • JMS says that the actor playing the wounded character who gives the Ranger the datacrystal "came in to audition [and] gave a gay sensibility to the voice and body language of the role. Our reaction on seeing this was... why not? Why can't a gay person be as much a hero as anyone else? [...] So we went with that approach to the character. Again, as noted in the discussion about Richard Biggs and ethnic roles, we never made a point of it, it's just there."
    [I feel like this is an... unfortunate way to phrase the actor's characterization? I'll let others speak to that specifically, but it comes across as at the very least not how we talk about this now? Or something?]
  • "[O]ne of the earliest instructions I gave to the assistant directors, the ones who deal directly with extras on-set, was that if we had a dozen tables at which sat various couples, one or two of them should be same-sex couples. This was not meant as a political statement, only to show that such folks continue to exist in our world... which, on reflection, may be a political statement after all."
  • The personalized editions of Universe Today can be seen in personalized home pages and news stories that various internet services offer.
    [Great Maker, it's the less annoying version of Facebook and Twitter timelines showing you recommended posts and tweets from people you know or based on your interests or whatever. At least the Universe Today situation is (presumably) opt-in on content.]
  • "If you look carefully at the set for the Zocalo right after we cut from the bathroom scene, you will be able to see pretty clearly that at the far end of the set we use dolls instead of people standing at the kiosks to help to create the illusion of distance. On the left side in particular a female doll in a red dress is very visible. This is something you shouldn't have been able to see if the scene had been shot properly, but since it's visible, I figured I might as well point it out."
  • Apparently the women on B5's editorial staff called the scene where Ivanova invites Talia to stay at her place "The Battle of the Big Red Poofy Lip Glosses."
  • In the script, during the scanning scene Lyta asks for each character in the room to have a gun so that everyone would have their guns at the ready should one of them be found out as the traitor, but in the end, they decided that it was a cool idea that didn't work practically, so it was dropped.

4 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 0 replies · +9 points

sometimes, it really is possible to wait too long and miss your chance to fix things.

I think Emperor Turhan would agree.