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Old February 22 2011, 09:03 PM   #946
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Dennis wrote: View Post

WEAT is the only Trek fan production I've seen that meets all of the minimal standards of competence for a professional production across the board - everything. Some parts of it are quite good; the worst parts of it are good enough, IMAO, to actually be on television.

As much as I admire a lot of fan films there's not one besides WEAT I've seen that you can actually say that about - the best fall down in one area or another, and my personal bias is that it's most likely to be in the writing. DS9Sega has a good thread going about addressing a lot of the shortcomings in fan films that I believe is currently focusing really nicely on camera angles and editing.
This pretty much echoes my own feelings. For the sake of discussion if we break a production into three categories, writing, acting and production standards, even the best fan films will come up short in one area or another. I agree that WEAT is the only one I've seen that measures up to professional standards in all three areas.

Not to pick on anyone, but just as examples, while Exeter is an outstanding effort there are places where some of the editing just goes "clunk". There are also a couple of acting performances that don't quite get there either. While Intrepid's writing, acting and video production quality are as good as anything out there, they acknowledge that they have had sound quality issues at times.

There's really no argument that a good script is a sine quo non for a successful project. However, as consumers, we are accustomed to the professional standards of shows we see every night on network and cable productions. The talent pool is incredibly deep in the professional world and even the worst shows will meet standards for acting and production values that if you think about it are incredibly high. You just don't see jump cuts or edits that cross the axis in professionally produced shows. While some actors are better than others, there aren't many times that you see a performance that really spoils a show or makes you suspend your disbelief. But to keep that in perspective remember that the people who make that happen are well trained in an incredibly competitive environment. Trying to match that kind of talent in a volunteer production is so difficult that it's amazing anyone even comes close. It's like comparing a full on Broadway play to community theater.

I know as someone who's been involved in an audio project just how difficult it is to produce a quality project in that medium. Throw in the video aspect and all that entails (SFX, Lightning, Camera Work, Editing, etc) along with the extra talent demands leads me to believe that anyone who tries it is borderline insane, or will be that way at the end of the process.

However, as someone who has gotten a lot of enjoyment out of any number of fan produced projects I'm well pleased that there are people willing to take on the challenge, and at times do it very well.
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