Star Trek Phase II has been blessed with some of the best talent of any fan-film production. They aspire to and often achieve a professional standard of quality because the goal is to achieve a professional standard of behavior behind the camera as well as in front. All the shoots I've attended have been exemplary.
Where there have been problems, it has almost always been because someone forgot to check his/her ego at the door. This is true of any production. If you are not focused on doing the best job possible and making the best product possible, then YOU are the problem.
The blame game is a great way to destroy morale, but there are three other things that are also inappropriate in a professional environment: complain, compare, and conspire. "I don't like the way this is going. The other guy was a better director. Let's you and I take over." Every fan-film has had to deal with these problems. Because Phase II is the leader in fan productions, when these things occur they look larger. But yes -- situations have occurred -- it's fair to say that there are a few people who will not be invited back.
But while it's easy to say, "leave the past behind," it's also fair for professional people to warn each other about problems they have had to deal with so that others can also be aware and avoid the same mistakes.
Looking to the future:
James Cawley has consistently assembled the most qualified teams in fan-film production. When he brought myself and Alec Peters aboard to manage production issues, both in front of and behind the camera, we were both honored to become a part of the high quality team already in place. Our job will be to focus on streamlining the mechanics of production.
Because of Phase II's popularity, over the years a lot of people submitted scripts, a lot of people have declared for the parts they want to play, and a lot of people have offered to come in and direct. There's a wealth of ability available to us. It's overwhelming. And because there have been so many "that's a great idea" statements that have been perceived as "okay, it's a deal, you're up next" it has increased the challenges in front of us.
As much as I personally would like to see every commitment honored, I know that's not going to be possible. As much as I would like to see us shoot two full episodes per year, we have some work to do behind the scenes to get ourselves up to that speed.
We have several remarkable opportunities in front of us (that I cannot discuss until we have actual commitments), and all pending scripts are on hold while we see if we can make those opportunities into realities.
The other point that I want to make is a personal one. I don't want to put any script into production unless and until it is as good as any of the episodes of the original series. Story, idea, theme, structure, dialog, character, relationships -- all that stuff. It's not easy to write a great Star Trek script. We've seen the evidence that even some of the professionals in the film industry still don't understand the heart and soul of "exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations." It's my commitment that we will aspire to achieve the standard of excellence set by the original series.
I know that all of the people involved in the production of Phase II are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by our millions of viewers. I know that we welcome the feedback of the audience. But at the same time, please be understanding that what we're doing is extremely difficult because it is almost all volunteer work. We're not perfect, but we are working for excellence.
Let me say it another way. We appreciate the cheers. You can hold the jeers. Not because we don't want to hear them, but because most of the time they're unnecessary. We're much more aware of our stumbles and bumbles and fumbles than you are.