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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 19 2008, 08:42 PM   #61
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
It doesn't matter whether Ellison's an asshole or a victim. Or both. If he thinks he has a case, and he can produce his contract to support it, he has every right to take this to court, regardless of his motives or his personality.
Exactly so.

I have no particular rooting interest, but certainly no special love for Viacom as an entity and it's always more fun to cheer for the little guy (and Ellison is a little guy). As Gene Roddenberry said at the dedication of the Roddenberry Building at Paramount in 1991 , "...Paramount...has paid me more money than I really feel I deserve -- and they earned more for themselves than I really feel they deserve!"
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Old December 19 2008, 08:45 PM   #62
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Naughty Boy wrote: View Post
This mean he'll come into my house and rip my Guardian ornament off my Christmas tree?
He'll try.
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Old December 19 2008, 08:58 PM   #63
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

And then he'll break your pelvis with a scale model of the Seaview. Happy Holidays, yuckamuck.
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Old December 19 2008, 09:36 PM   #64
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

When HE first noticed the Crucible books the first had already been released. He claimed he was going to get litigious and he'd decide if he'd 'let' the other two books be released.

We've seen how that turned out.
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Old December 19 2008, 09:46 PM   #65
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

It wouldn't be good for Pocket to lose a lot of money, as then they'd cut more people, the workload of the remaining ones would skyrocket, and the number of new books would probably be scaled back quite a bit... I for one would not enjoy that.
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Old December 19 2008, 10:30 PM   #66
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

You bring up a good point Marie. If he did win his law suit, would it have any kind of effect on the currently published or upcoming books? They wouldn't have to pull the Cruicible books or stop the publication of the omnibus would they?
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Old December 19 2008, 10:36 PM   #67
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

A few years ago I read Ellison's book about the whole COTEOF drama ... it was aptly titled "The City On The Edge of Forever" and featured the words "Star Trek" prominently on the cover as well as a big photo of Shatner and Nimoy on the Enterprise transporter set, which suggests that he's not all that shy himself about cribbing someone else's intellectual property to make a buck.

Regardless, after reading his lengthy "essay" that accompanies the screenplays in the book, I honestly wondered about his mental health. The writing becomes more and more ... well, unhinged as the pages go by and he tells his story about how he was persecuted by virtually everyone. It came across as the rantings of someone with some serious issues with anger and paranoia.

Still, the guy is a great writer, no question about it. And despite the changes and editing, the core of COTEOF is still his story, and it remains of the great moments of Trek, and he deserves a lot of credit for it. I guess the court will decide if he deserves more cash as well.
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Old December 19 2008, 10:38 PM   #68
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Naughty Boy wrote: View Post
This mean he'll come into my house and rip my Guardian ornament off my Christmas tree?
Not if you leap into it first. Then you'll change history as we know it, and we'll all vanish in mid-
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Old December 19 2008, 10:39 PM   #69
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Arm yourself with jelly beans; that will keep Ellison at bay.
"Repent, Harlan!" Said the Star Trek Fan.
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Old December 19 2008, 10:51 PM   #70
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
Given ... Ellison's ... history of (not unjustifiably) regarding himself as ill-treated by Star Trek...
Oh, it's completely unjustifiable. They treated him better than any other writer would've been treated in the same situation. He spent months laboring on a draft and was unable to come up with anything filmable, but they gave him every chance to keep trying, staying patient with him far longer than they would have with a typical author, because they had so much respect for him and his work. Bob Justman even let Ellison sleep in his office and eat leaves off his plant. And when they finally did have no choice but to assign the rewrites to someone who was capable of turning in a logistically feasible, filmable script, they nonetheless allowed Ellison to retain sole credit and thereby get all the money, even though as a rule Roddenberry was never loath to stick his own name on someone else's work. They treated him like royalty, and the so-called "wrongs" he's been screaming and whining about for 42 years are just par for the course in the TV industry, in any collaborative enterprise. Ellison's complaints are about as "justifiable" as someone who applies for a coal-mining job and then complains that his rights were violated because he was required to get his hands dirty.

What shit! Just because something's always been a certain way that doesn't make it right! The entertainment industry's treatment of writers has been notoriously abusive. There's a real resentment towards the creators of filmed works. Especially once the fucking autuer theory migrated over to the United States. Autuer theory made sense when it was directors writing their own flicks but never every directory happened to be a writer. Unfortunately ever goddamn directed wanted to be known as an autuer whether or not they were the actual author of the fucking work. Over and over again the credit for the work if it was successful got heaped onto the director and denied the writer. Yeah the writer got credit if the work was unsuccessful because hey, that's the way it's always been!

Let's go ahead and villainize Ellison for having the balls to stand up for himself in a industry where most writers would just lube up and bend over. Let's hate on Ellison because he refused to spin the Hollywood wheel of abuse that keeps on spinning because writers agree to it because that's how it's always been done.

It's responses like your Christopher that make it clear to the world why the WGA is a fucking joke. Not one writer in that town has the balls to actually call the studios bluff and strike. To withhold their much needed creative services until they're given the power, the respect and the money that is their due. It is patently unfair that the director's get creative credit when their art is purely interpretive. It's unfair that directors get the big money when the people who create everything that they put up on the screen get peanuts.

Guys like Ellison who don't take shit from the studio machine are heroes because they don't accept the way things have always been. I can appreciate a gutsy, tough, bastard like Ellison. His biggest gripe on Trek have never been that his work has been rewritten. It was that Roddenberry constantly took credit for City and implied that Harlan wasn't needed at all. Harlan has done nothing but set the record straight time and again and gotten crucified by those who felt he should have just handed Roddenberry the keys to his asshole and let that fat bastard pump his pulpy load straight up his doughy rear end. It boggles the mind that passivity is tolerated and any resistance to abuse is condemned. Especially by those that claim to be writers. I especially don't understand how a writer who has had no success in the entertainment industry could be anything but appalled that someone who has had success is standing up for his rights. I don't understand that at all.

You attitude almost makes me want to have the word "writer" removed from my custom title and have it replaced with "whore" or "chump" or "pussy" since according to you the words should all be recognized as synonyms.

Then again maybe I should have the word "writer" replaced with the name "Ellison" because that's a name that deserves a lot more respect that any mere job description.
I was trying to just move past this post, but I have to ask, are you or have you ever been a hollywood screenwriter or WGA a member? Because from what I've seen and heard most writers seem to be pretty happy with what they do (other than the stuff that the strike was over, of course). As for writers not getting enough credit, I really think this has started to change recently as we are starting to see and hear more stuff from the writers thanks to DVDs and Blogs.
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Old December 19 2008, 10:53 PM   #71
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

CaptJimboJones wrote: View Post
A few years ago I read Ellison's book about the whole COTEOF drama ... it was aptly titled "The City On The Edge of Forever" and featured the words "Star Trek" prominently on the cover as well as a big photo of Shatner and Nimoy on the Enterprise transporter set, which suggests that he's not all that shy himself about cribbing someone else's intellectual property to make a buck.



No words on the original hardcover edition, and "Star Trek" isn't very prominent on the paperback edition. For that matter, the cover photo is probably from Ellison's personal collection, and therefore his own property. Just to nitpick, that looks like it might be a set from "Mudd's Women."
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Old December 19 2008, 10:56 PM   #72
Dayton Ward
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Man, Shatner's really coppin' a feel in that shot, ain't he?
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Old December 19 2008, 11:07 PM   #73
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

CaptJimboJones wrote: View Post
Regardless, after reading his lengthy "essay" that accompanies the screenplays in the book, I honestly wondered about his mental health. The writing becomes more and more ... well, unhinged as the pages go by and he tells his story about how he was persecuted by virtually everyone. It came across as the rantings of someone with some serious issues with anger and paranoia.
I've read it myself, and no.
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Old December 19 2008, 11:07 PM   #74
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
Man, Shatner's really coppin' a feel in that shot, ain't he?
He was trying to finagle a make-out scene with Joan Collins in HE's next draft.
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Old December 20 2008, 11:01 AM   #75
Maurice
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Re: And Back To The Ellison/City Lawsuit...

Christopher wrote: View Post
DS9Sega wrote:
I've read Ellison's 1st draft City. Even it is filmable.
As a very expensive feature film, sure.
Think so? Let's test that.

Since this rumor of an impossibly expensive script keeps rearing its head, let's look at what Ellison's script called for vs. the episode we saw.

Here's a rough breakdown of Ellison's City 1st Draft:

CAST
  1. KIRK
  2. SPOCK
  3. RAND
  4. BECKWITH
  5. LEBEQUE
  6. EDITH KEELER
  7. TROOPER
  8. 1ST GUARDIAN
  9. RENEGADE (ON CONDOR) (4 lines)
  10. CREWMAN
  11. ORATOR
  12. JANITOR (9 lines)
  13. COOK (8 lines)
  14. TRANSPORTER CHIEF (1 line)
  15. VOICE OF TRICORDER
That's 15 speaking parts. The aired episode had 12 listed on imdb.
NON SPEAKING PARTS/EXTRAS
  • GUARDIANS 2 AND 3
  • 7 POOR MEN ON STREET
  • MEN ACCOMPANYING TROOPER
  • 4 SALVATION ARMY TYPES
  • MISC. PEDESTRIANS
Ellison doesn't call for any big crowd scenes. He suggests groups of about 6-7 men, and even call out for how the same extras could be reused in several scenes (the men who chase Kirk and Spock become the fellas backing up Trooper). The aired episode has similar numbers of men in small crowds.
SETS
ENTERPRISE
  • BRIDGE
  • KIRK'S CABIN
  • BECKWITH'S CABIN (REDRESS OF KIRK'S)
  • CORRIDOR
  • TRANSPORTER
The aired episode used three of these, leaving out on the cabin sets.
GUARDIANS' PLANET
  • FLAT EXPANSE
  • GUARDIANS' PLATEAU
The aired episode had one location
1930 EARTH
EXTERIORS
  • NEW YORK STREET (VARIOUS SPOTS)
  • ROOFTOP
  • ALLEY
  • BACKSTREET
INTERIORS
  • BASEMENT
  • EDITH'S APARTMENT
  • TENAMENT STAIRWELL & VESTIBULE
  • RESTAURANT KITCHEN
  • LIMBO SET (BLACK W/ LIGHT FX)
A similiar number of interiors to the ones in the aired episode. For the episode exteriors they shot around the Forty Acres street backlot in various places, which could just as easily served to cover the setups here.
VISUAL EFFECTS
  • ENTERPRISE FLYBYS (STOCK)
  • TRANSPORTER EFFECT (3)
  • VORTEX EFFECT (could be anything)
  • HISTORICAL STOCK FOOTAGE SUPERIMPOSED
  • TIME VORTEX TRANSITIONS (4)
  • PHASER BEAMS (4)
  • PHASER DEMATERIALIZATION (2)
  • TIME TRANSITION EFFECT (OPTICAL PRINTER)
  • BECKWITH FATE VFX
This is the only part of the script that's much bigger than what was aired. BUT, the finished episode had matte effects using the tricorder that are not called for in this script.
THE GUARDIANS
As to the Guardians, they are described as nine feet tall, terribly old (makeup) with tall mitred headpieces and shapeless robes. They're not giants talking statues. They would have been done by standing the actor and extras on boxes, making them up, and draping their robes over what they were standing on. The script calls for no ruins, no physical structure, just a spot where the vortex effect appears. This could easily have been done on the planet set with their stock rocks.


IN SUMMARY
The first draft would have been too expensive to do under Trek's budget, but not on an order of magnitude. And it certainly wouldn't have been a very expensive feature. Based on the above, if I had to ballpark it, I'd say the first draft, if shot, would have cost maybe 1.5 times what the final episode cost.

By Ellison's second draft he'd already tossed Beckwith, LeBeque and the Guardians, and thrown out the whole "ship in danger crap Roddenberry had asked for, losing the Renegade and his pirate crew, and several associated transporter effects. The Guardian already became a disembodied voice.


I could go on, but I believe I've made my point.

If anyone wants to persist in arguing this, I'll be happy to get even more specific.
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