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Old November 1 2013, 06:45 AM   #22
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Location: Maurice in San Francisco
Re: Star Trek Redux

trekkist wrote: View Post
And as for "comparing it to other shows" -- without plot details, isn't that how pitches are typically done? "It's 'Basic Instinct,' but with a woman cop." "It's 'Nutty Professor,' but with a black scientist."
That's the one line pitch. But that's not what I see above. A one-line pitch would be something like "It's Star Trek by way of Das Boot".

The issue with summarizing characters as one word like "Muslim" or "gay" or "Chinese" is that it reduces them to labels and utterly fails to define them by the content of their character. I once pitched a character as "a 'Cafeteria Muslim' [like a Cafeteria Catholic] who picks and choose what aspects of the faith he likes or finds convenient and discards the rest." THAT is a character.

Here's the practical advice I'm going to give you.

If you've never made a film before, this is NOT where to start. Just to shoot this trailer would require access to sets, costumes (not to mention a Gorn suit?!) and whole mess of VFX. It's a whole lot of work, and it's the kind of thing we've seen over and over again. practically every fan made space show tries to create excitement with a trailer full of spaceships going pew pew, and it's tired and isn't going to attract actors.

A good SCRIPT and the ability to prove that you can make a film and finish it is what will draw people to the project.

Here's what I recommend to wanna be filmmakers.
  1. Look to see if there's a 48 Hour Film Project or similar contest in your area, and then either join a team or form a team and go out there and make a movie in two days or whatnot. The actual experience of making a film, even a 4 minute short, will give you a much better sense of what it takes to mount an actual production than just about anything. You get to see all aspects of how a film gets made (write, shoot, edit, deliver) which is invaluable experience.
  2. Read some actual teleplays and screenplays but NOT Star Trek or science fiction ones. You'll learn more about screenwriting when you're not looking at something familiar.
  3. If you write a Trek Fanfilm, try to do one with next to ZERO visual effects. The effects frequently become a bottleneck that keeps films in post for lengthy period or forever. If you can get it all in camera (except maybe some ship flybys) then you actually have a film even if your effects pipeline falls apart.
  4. Partner with someone who has the skills you don't.

Below are some blog entries from 2008 in which I documented the process of making my first completed live action short subject for a 48 Hour Film Project. Maybe you'll find it instructive or terrifying or something.
Part 1: GO! And overnight screenwriting
Part 2: The shooting day
Part 3: Post & Across the Finish Line
Part 4: On the big screen (the screening)
* * *
"If you wanted to get a good meeting... just go in and
say 'darker, grittier, sexier' and whatever."
óGlen Larson, 2010

Last edited by Maurice; November 1 2013 at 08:19 AM.
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