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Old August 12 2012, 10:02 PM   #22
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

One thing I give this piece a lot of credit for is having original music. Michael Klubertanz's score gives the piece it's own aural identity. Too many fanfilms "track" existing Trek music onto their shows, which is distracting. Kudos to the makers for not taking that path.

The costumes look great. Very well done. (But when the Captain opens the shoulder of his tunic I was immediately reminded of why Bill Theiss balked at showing how the costumes were fastened. It suddenly feels less futuristic when I see the zipper.)

Of the cast, I like the two female leads the most, as I feel like both of them can deliver dialog. What issues I'd have with what comes out of their mouths is more about the script than the delivery.

Speaking of mouths, the sound remains the Achilles Heel of the whole production. Seriously, most of looping most of the episode would help a lot, as so much of it is hard to make out.

I agree that some of the edits are...odd. Sometimes there's a super quick cut to another character that doesn't communicate anything, and often the cuts are too short.

There's the usual beginning filmmaker problems with mismatched looks and eyelines and constant "crossing the line" (described here). I always urge fan filmmakers to learn the most basic rules of cinematography, because even simply things like the not crossing the line makes a big difference in making a film feel more professional and well made.

There're some bumpy visual effects. The spaceship shots are mostly fine, but the phaser beams and alien aircraft and stuff are rather clumsy. The shuttle never actually looks like it's actually there on the planet (the shadow under it isn't even as dark as those of the actors passing it). Notably, there's one moment at about 21:00 where U'nara is in front of the shuttlecraft, but when she turns she passes behind the shuttle. Oops.

The Captain's beard is wildly inconsistent. At 17:00 it's basically stubble, and at 20:00 and forward it's much more grown in. Another oops.

Hopefully these are first voyage bumps that the filmmakers can address in future episodes.
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