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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old February 3 2011, 08:15 PM   #871
Maurice
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

DestinyCaptain wrote: View Post
While we're all here... I do have a couple of questions. Some of the uniforms are a bit off, a couple are in rough shape, and still others look perfect. I have always wondered what the specifics were. I think I heard that the Doc's uniform was fitted for another actor? Garrovick's wrap around has a texture to it I am unfamiliar with and the braids seem really high up the forearm. Also, the helmsman, his uniform looks like it was just pulled out the laundry bin. Maybe he was late to his duty shift. Of course these a little things, just curiosities really. Given the superb amount of detail and work that went into everything else, this has always stuck in my head. Anyone know? Anyone?
I wasn't there, but the realities of filmmaking sometimes force you to use things you didn't plan to. People drop out or can't make it and you have to switch actors or you're forced to use a prototype costume or whatnot.
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Old February 3 2011, 08:25 PM   #872
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

That's really quite beautiful.
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Old February 3 2011, 11:42 PM   #873
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
I wasn't there, but the realities of filmmaking sometimes force you to use things you didn't plan to. People drop out or can't make it and you have to switch actors or you're forced to use a prototype costume or whatnot.
That was certainly true when I was there. They needed a replacement red shirt to stand near the turbolift on the bridge because the person who was doing the job before wasn't available for the shoot. I was just standing off to the side watching the proceedings when Scott (the director) yelled "we need another red shirt for continuity!". So I volunteered and found a costume to squeeze in to. Incidentally, after viewing the footage and seeing what I looked like - I went on a diet/exercise routine and lost about 20lbs

Last edited by dayxday1000; February 4 2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old February 4 2011, 12:28 AM   #874
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

dayxday1000 wrote: View Post
Incidentally, after viewing the footage and seeing what I looked like - I went on a diet/exercise routine and lost about 20lbs
Well done.
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Old February 4 2011, 01:21 AM   #875
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

One promising thing I've been looking at is the visual effects. Most of the elements (ships, mattes, starfields, "weirdspace") had been completed long ago, but the final shots hadn't been composited. This is finally happening, but it's a lot of work because Act 4 probably has almost as many pure VFX shots in at as the rest of the show put together.
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Old February 4 2011, 03:34 AM   #876
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Yeah, I think Michael from Neo FX said to me the first time we talked "why did you write so many effects into Act 4? You've created a lot of work for yourself" or words to that effect.

Of course, later on it turned out that I'd created work for him as well.
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Old February 4 2011, 05:12 AM   #877
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Dennis, do you think the episode will turn out the way you wanted it to?
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Old February 4 2011, 01:40 PM   #878
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

[/QUOTE]
I wasn't there, but the realities of filmmaking sometimes force you to use things you didn't plan to. People drop out or can't make it and you have to switch actors or you're forced to use a prototype costume or whatnot.[/QUOTE]

Oh sure, I just want to know the inside scoop.
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Old February 4 2011, 03:03 PM   #879
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Dennis, do you think the episode will turn out the way you wanted it to?
I've learned on Exeter and since on Polaris that this is really not the best question. There is an aphorism to the effect that the movie you wind up with is never the movie you started out to make.

And I think the subtext there is "and it's a damned good thing." There's a point where you see that all the folks who have gotten involved in the process who you hoped would know more than you do about a thousand things actually do (if you're lucky) have skills and ideas that you would never, ever have been able to anticipate.

At least, that's the way it is in a collaborative, volunteer production - again, if you're lucky. Someone sitting heavily on top of the cast and crew with an inviolate "vision" is an albatross.

Exeter has already turned out to be a lot more, a lot better than I thought it would when I volunteered to work on it in 2003. And also very different.

The scale of what the producers were attempting just grew, week by week, and there were a lot of lucky breaks that could have gone another way. For example, Jimm started out looking for a large barn or other facility where they could construct part of a bridge set; he wound up shooting on a sound stage at Austin studios. People with skills and experience in film making and as artists contacted him from all over the U.S. and abroad, wanting to help.

"The Savage Empire" includes the credit "produced by Jimm and Josh Johnson" in place of the "created by Gene Roddenberry" card from the original Star Trek. When I was finalizing the title cards for "The Tressaurian Intersection" Jimm told me to take that out - he said, in essence, that so many people had brought so much to the show that he didn't want to take special credit right at the beginning of it for what we'd all done together.

Jimm's a real good guy.

Long-winded essay there. I guess the real point of the question in some ways is "will you be really happy with the show when it's done?" and the simple answer to that is yes, seeing what DS9Sega is doing with the final part of it I think all of us will be proud of it.
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Old February 4 2011, 04:58 PM   #880
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

I appreciate the insights. As we're beginning to edit our first, full-length episode, "The Void," I'm not sure that the episode is quite the way I (as the writer) intended, but again, (as executive producer) I'm not sure that's a bad thing at all. And since we've only got a rough cut of the teaser, maybe I've just got the expectant parent willies... Thanks for the reply.
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Old February 4 2011, 07:37 PM   #881
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

As long as you are happy, that's good. I have, at times, gotten e-mails from 'scriptwriters' of fan films who feel the final product has little to do with what they wrote, and wanted their names removed from it. If and when I write a review of those (I stopped writing reviews last spring, although I have now completed the indexing work on Star Trek Reviewed, except the Go!Animate stuff which changes continuously.), I will feel the need to ask the writers if I can quote them in the review in which they choose to separate themselves from the final product. That will give them at least a half-year from release to reconsider their angry, and see if they still think the editors 'ruined' their work. (Yes, that's the word they used).

I am aware of how hard that can be. I wrote a play about 15 or 20 years ago, not science fiction, called, "The First Amendment" based closely on the real events that took place at Yale in the 1974-1975 school year, concerning issues of speech and religion, and how that played out on the Yale University college campus. The two central characters were platonic friends from different parts of the political spectrum. He had a girlfriend who was important, but not central, to the story. I had two cold readings, and what I found out was that the audience didn't care that the female friend was good to her male buddy, and was looking out for his best interest, and was strait-forward and truthful. What was more, it was clear that he found her unacceptable as a girlfriend, because he was a social climber, so it was not her 'fault' they were not a couple. Nevertheless, the audience hated the platonic girl, and loved the girlfriend, who lied and schemed throughout the play, and was only interested in getting what she wanted from the guy, even if it made him miserable. The audience wanted, "The love story, not the dumb stuff." They loved the scheming girlfriend. Since then, Smallville has had a major platonic relationship (Clark/Chloe) as a central theme, so it's a less revolutionary idea. But my audience hated it. I realized that, to make it marketable, I would have to so change the play that I had no interest in writing it.

I did start a rewrite, I just couldn't get into it.

So, I just hope whatever happens in Exeter, in Potemkin, in Polaris, in whatever projects your work on, you are happy with the outcome. The most important critics are always the people involved in the production(s).
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Old February 5 2011, 04:08 AM   #882
Maurice
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Dennis wrote: View Post
...There is an aphorism to the effect that the movie you wind up with is never the movie you started out to make.
QFT. Depending on the breaks, and which people you've landed to work on it with you, it'll either be much better than you hoped or much worse than you feared, but in either case it'll likely not be much like what you planned.

At least, that's the way it is in a collaborative, volunteer production - again, if you're lucky. Someone sitting heavily on top of the cast and crew with an inviolate "vision" is an albatross.
As a director part of the trick is being able to recognize when better ideas come along, but also be able to keep the long-view so that ideas that seem great in the context of a given moment don't sabotage the bigger picture. A simple for-instance: sometimes cast have ideas for dialog changes, but sometimes those changes, while good, might break a connection to another event or piece of dialog elsewhere in the script. You have to be cautious about things like that, as, in editing you may find the dots don't connect.
Long-winded essay there. I guess the real point of the question in some ways is "will you be really happy with the show when it's done?" and the simple answer to that is yes, seeing what DS9Sega is doing with the final part of it I think all of us will be proud of it.
Wow, no pressure there! hee hee. But thanks!
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Old February 5 2011, 05:33 AM   #883
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
As a director part of the trick is being able to recognize when better ideas come along, but also be able to keep the long-view so that ideas that seem great in the context of a given moment don't sabotage the bigger picture. A simple for-instance: sometimes cast have ideas for dialog changes, but sometimes those changes, while good, might break a connection to another event or piece of dialog elsewhere in the script. You have to be cautious about things like that, as, in editing you may find the dots don't connect.
During the production of "The Void," one of our cast members simply bailed on us. I had seen this character (and actor) as really critical to the episode. He was essential to my script. But when the guy only showed up for one day, we ended up giving his lines to the helmsman (and Doug did a really good job with it) and to the relief engineer (and Chris did a really good job with it). So the writer in me is pulling out my hair at what happened, and the producer in me is patting myself on the back for the way we solved the problem (and it really does work). Last night, as a writer, I was feeling disappointment in the no-show's decision not to even bother telling us he was going to bail on the project. As the producer, though, I'm happy with the way things turned out.

And in regards to changes in dialogue, I've got to admit that they never bother me. If the person speaking the lines thinks that it's more natural to say a line or two slightly different, as long as the story isn't affected and as long as it stays true to what we've seen in Trek, I've no problem with it as a writer. And as the producer, if it makes my cast member happy and my writer doesn't object, then go for it.
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Old February 5 2011, 06:34 AM   #884
Maurice
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

The realities of filmmaking, especially when dealing with tight deadlines and limited resources, are many.

Here's a horror story for you.

In 2007 I was doing the 48 Hour Film Project with TTI's Director Scott Cummins. The contest gives you only 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and deliver a 4-7 minute short in a genre that they assign you at the contest start. I wrote the script overnight and we shot the next day (Scott directing).

To make a long story short, the location we planned to shoot in first opened 4.5 hours later than we'd been promised, so the shooting order got flipped, costumes that weren't supposed to be needed until midday had to be made in the early morning, etc. By early afternoon it was apparent we were behind schedule, there were time issues with moving the crew to the final location, and we were at risk of losing one of the leads before we would finish. In order to make sure we could the whole film all the remaining shooting had to take place in the bar.

For that to happen I had to rewrite the last half of the 10 page script on the set. I did it. I wasn't happy that I had to do it, but we got the film done.
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Old February 7 2011, 02:06 AM   #885
Maurice
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?


What do you mean? We still won't know if the
Tholianss ssssucsssesssfully ssssteal our ssspacssse
until 2011?! And humanss sssay WE'RE ssslow!

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