Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kail, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, it isn't. In both cases one is making the choice not to watch an actor because they disagree with decisions that actor has made. The scope of the decision is irrelevant.

    I could just as easily say I don't ever want to watch Brad Pitt because I don't agree with his hairline. That might be silly and arbitrary, but it's my choice to do so, and why should anyone else care if I've made that decision if it has no bearing on their own access to Brad Pitt's works?

    We all choose the things that matter to us.
     
  2. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wanted to pass along that JMS will be interviewed tonight on the radio program Coast to Coast AM (airs from 1am-5am ET). He's being interviewed about his new autobiographical book Becoming Superman, but I'd be surprised if there isn't some discussion of B5 along the way.
    You can find a local affiliate here: https://www.coasttocoastam.com/stations
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well that's a complete load of bollocks on the face of it.

    By that logic all decisions about anything would be of equal weight and value, so that there's be no difference between deciding to eat a salad sandwich and forcing a person head first into a wood-chipper.

    As for the larger issue, sure, people can choose to watch or not watch an actor for any valid or asinine reason they like. But they can still be objectively valid or asinine reasons and it's ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

    Opinions don't exist in a vacuum and lets say for the sake of argument that a person's stated reason for not wanting to watch an actor is say "because they're Jewish" or "because they're not white" or "because they're trans", must we then respect their opinion, or call them out for the bigots that they are?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If someone told me they didn't want to watch an actor because they were Jewish I'd say that was their choice and they were entitled to make it, but that it sounds racist to me.

    I generally don't associate with people who support the current American President because I find his policies racist/homophobic/sexist and I feel that anyone who is willing to support him in the face of what I consider to be overwhelming evidence of such attitudes is essentially condoning such attitudes.

    But you've stripped the post you quoted of its original context, which was my drawing a comparsion between being uncomfortable watching an actor because of their politics with being uncomfortable watching an actor because of their deeds.
     
  5. Santa Quark

    Santa Quark Admiral Admiral

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    There is a difference between expressing those feelings behind the scenes with your friends, and actively trying to push those politics.

    I think you can separate the art from the artists. Lots of historical great artists are in fact horrible people. The only time it becomes wrong is if by supporting them, you are supporting activism of those views.
     
  6. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I used to think along similar lines, but then I found out what some artists who's work I enjoyed put some of the money I indirectly gave them towards. The thought that even a fraction of a penny that came out of my pocket went towards some gay kid being sent to a "deprogramming camp" or some such horrific ordeal makes me want to wretch.

    I'm sorry, but so long as an artist is alive and profiting from their art, you cannot separate their work from their views. By funding them, you're potentially funding what they stand for and frankly: fuck that noise.

    As for the dead ones: yeah, it's by no means as immediate an issue, but still let's not just sweep it under the rug like it doesn't matter. That only allows the still living ones to point at them and cry "but it was OK for them!"
     
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  7. Santa Quark

    Santa Quark Admiral Admiral

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    To each his own, I'm certainly not boycotting The Good, the Bad and the Ugly just cause of the crap Clint Eastwood does now. :)

    Maybe the ethical thing to do for Clint Eastwood movies is pirate them.

    But Bruce Boxleitner isn't an activist, is he?
     
  8. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I saw that. I'll be listening to it at work.
     
  9. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

    One thing that I always found a bit groundbreaking was their choice to film the show in widescreen. I'm not sure if that was just done for the dvds but my set has all the episodes in widescreen and I'm pretty sure they did that from season 1 onwards.

    But I found that a bit ahead of its time. I don't think those kind of TV sets were widely available, if at all back when the show was brand new.
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I think it was filmed in 16x9, but originally broadcast in 4x3. The effects were all done 4x3, so a 16x9 presentation looks off in the effects scenes.
    Or was that the other way around?
     
  11. Jed-Gelt-67

    Jed-Gelt-67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They filmed in Widescreen but cropped to standard for broadcast. The idea was they could "uncrop" for future home release or syndication; except that the FX house didn't have widescreen monitors available for pre-vis.
    According to various sources, some of which are contradictory; the studio didn't want to spend the approximately $5,000 on widescreen monitors; the fx house didn't requisition the appropriate monitors or somehow or another bureaucratic hell caused those screens to not be obtained.
    The result was that the fx were modeled and animated for standard, not wide, the rendered, composited episodes were completed in standard; and re-rendering and re-compositing all the elements in widescreen at this time would be extremely expensive and time consuming, if even possible, and unlikely to be profitable.
    When the DVD wides were made, the finished footage was simply panned and scanned or letterboxed to fit, using the worst resolution source available rather than any masters that may or may not have been available.

    JMS has claimed that at the conclusion of each season, the entire seasons completed and mastered episodes were "printed" to film and given over to Warner's archives, and are there, for the taking, if Warner ever wants to do an upscale-HD.
    While it can't be proved that JMS is wrong, it's far more likely the season masters were provided on tape, not 35mm or that they were the final "live action cuts" rather than final "conformed."
    It's also possible that these masters have been lost in a fire, misfiled or otherwise not obtainable.
     
  12. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

    But why did they choose widescreen? It wasn't very common in the day or did they have some idea it would be common in the near future? I'm sure whoever made the decision might have had some kind of thinking that TV would go that way.
     
  13. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Babylon 5 wasn't the only one. The X-Files (1993), and Friends (1994) were both shot with widescreen in mind, even if all the footage isn't completely widescreen friendly. With laser discs, and the first widescreen VHS tapes, widescreen TVs started becoming commonplace in the 1990s. I got my first widescreen set in 1996, and back then, practically half of the larger screen sizes were widescreen, with 4:3 sets more prevalent at size 32" and below, although Europe went widescreen before the US.

    See this report from the 2000 about the growth of widescreen broadcasting the UK...

    https://www.itu.int/ITU-D/tech/even...tion of Widescreen Broadcasting in the UK.pdf

    It's clear that programme makers and broadcasters had widescreen as a potential format in mind since the early nineties.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  14. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member


    Oh wow that's interesting. I thought it was later then the 90s. Thank you.
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Keep in mind that people in the industry usually have a sense of what's in the pipeline, partly just because of the natural overlap between media producers and media R&D but also because as a general rule, the tech that goes into professional grade gear usually winds up on the commercial market about a decade or so later once it becomes economical (which is true of a lot of industries.)
    So it's not surprising certain forward thinking productions would try and future proof their shows, even if Babylonian kinda half-arsed it.
     
  16. Jed-Gelt-67

    Jed-Gelt-67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Joss Whedon got in trouble with Fox when he shot Firefly in widescreen. It was more expensive to produce and it wasn't widespread yet - I don't recall if they made him change it after the pilot or they were just annoyed at him until they pulled the plug.
     
  17. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    On the commentary, he mentioned he'd intentionally stage scene with actors at opposite ends of the screen so if Fox cropped it to 4x3, they'd just get a pair of noses looking at each other. IIRC, I don't think that stopped them, and some episodes went out on SD cropped, and some were letterboxed.
     
  18. Trinity Jinglebrocks

    Trinity Jinglebrocks All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member


    I generally don't like him but applaud this decision. He took a risk. But FOX being FOX killed a great show.
     
  19. Jed-Gelt-67

    Jed-Gelt-67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's what I said, but you said it better lol
     
  20. Mrs. Silvercrest

    Mrs. Silvercrest Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have done this just gone back and watched those episodes. Just for the deep plot of the show. :)