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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old December 20 2011, 02:27 AM   #31
MauriceNavidad
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

dayxday1000 wrote: View Post
John Broughton's timely blog on Top 10 Things Regarding Star Trek Fan Films:

http://mycaptainsblog.com/
All good points, but he forgot the most important one:

11. Without a good script, the best you can hope to do is make beautifully produced junk.
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Old December 20 2011, 04:02 AM   #32
dayxday1000
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

Maurice Navidad wrote: View Post
dayxday1000 wrote: View Post
John Broughton's timely blog on Top 10 Things Regarding Star Trek Fan Films:

http://mycaptainsblog.com/
All good points, but he forgot the most important one:

11. Without a good script, the best you can hope to do is make beautifully produced junk.
Someone should pass that one along to the pros in Hollywood.
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Old December 20 2011, 04:29 AM   #33
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

dayxday1000 wrote: View Post
Someone should pass that one along to the pros in Hollywood.
They know how to competently construct a filmable story. That's step one.
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Old December 20 2011, 04:38 AM   #34
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
dayxday1000 wrote: View Post
Someone should pass that one along to the pros in Hollywood.
They know how to competently construct a filmable story. That's step one.
As has been noted before the acting skills and technical aspects such as camera work, editing and audio are so good in "Hollywood" productions that they can for the short term distract attention from a weak script. Look at Miami Vice sometime. In a lot of cases those episodes don't hold up simply because the scripts were weak. On first viewing, the camera work, the stylish sets, the beautiful clothes and overall atmosphere created by the flashy editing were enough to call attention away from the fact that the scripts were full of holes and in some cases the acting wasn't all that great. What often happens with fan films, in my opinion, is that the amateurish camera work, editing and acting leave the weaknesses in the scripts exposed for God and everyone else to see. When you view the various parts of Exeter's "Tressaurian Intersection" the acting is overall good (with a couple of exceptions) and the script is damn good, but there are still problems with jerky cutaways and sluggish transitions that simply wouldn't happen with a "Hollywood" production.
Again, that's no knock on anyone involved with a fan production. Just an honest assessment of what I see.
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Old December 20 2011, 04:51 AM   #35
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
As has been noted before the acting skills and technical aspects such as camera work, editing and audio are so good in "Hollywood" productions that they can for the short term distract attention from a weak script. Look at Miami Vice sometime. In a lot of cases those episodes don't hold up simply because the scripts were weak. On first viewing, the camera work, the stylish sets, the beautiful clothes and overall atmosphere created by the flashy editing were enough to call attention away from the fact that the scripts were full of holes...
I don't agree. We're talking about the difference between competent and not competent. In Maurice's thread on writing he talks about things like three act structure, etc. - the people making a movie like Transformers II at least get this kind of thing right; most fan films don't.
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Old December 20 2011, 06:03 AM   #36
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

Back in high school, my friends and I wrote, produced, directed and starred in vairous super 8 films. One of the books we used to teach us the craft of screenwriting was Syd Field's "Screenplay". I don't know if this book has been surpassed by something else, but we found it to be an excellent guide to writing a proper script.
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Old December 20 2011, 06:13 AM   #37
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
As has been noted before the acting skills and technical aspects such as camera work, editing and audio are so good in "Hollywood" productions that they can for the short term distract attention from a weak script. Look at Miami Vice sometime. In a lot of cases those episodes don't hold up simply because the scripts were weak. On first viewing, the camera work, the stylish sets, the beautiful clothes and overall atmosphere created by the flashy editing were enough to call attention away from the fact that the scripts were full of holes...
I don't agree. We're talking about the difference between competent and not competent. In Maurice's thread on writing he talks about things like three act structure, etc. - the people making a movie like Transformers II at least get this kind of thing right; most fan films don't.
I'm not really disagreeing. My overall point is that the weaknesses and errors of fan films are of a sort that you just don't see in the vast majority of fully professional productions. You just don't see things like framing errors, bad edits or off-mic audio in professional productions and that makes them really jump out. Viewers may not know how to label the mistakes, but they do notice them.
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Old December 20 2011, 08:44 AM   #38
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

I suspect your all right to one degree or another. If all the production components, scripts, actors, camera, ect. is top notch then is easy to make a good film. If one has weak spots here and there then the others can make up for it.

I also suspect that if you don't have a good script to start with then the others don't have anything to work with or the means to make up for it.

Weaknesses can be hidden if there are enough strengths to fill in the void.
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Old December 20 2011, 09:00 AM   #39
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

It's never "easy" to make a good film. You can trainwreck it at any stage. If you want to see how a film project that has EVERYTHING going for it fails, read the book "The Devil's Candy" about the making of "The Bonfire of the Vanities", and you can literally watch as all the little decisions add up to make a supposedly sure-fire hit become a gigantic bomb. (The book is also valuable because it's a rare journalistic look at how a film is make, from greenlight to release).
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Last edited by MauriceNavidad; December 20 2011 at 09:42 PM.
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Old December 20 2011, 12:41 PM   #40
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

x32 wrote: View Post
I suspect your all right to one degree or another. If all the production components, scripts, actors, camera, ect. is top notch then is easy to make a good film. If one has weak spots here and there then the others can make up for it.

I also suspect that if you don't have a good script to start with then the others don't have anything to work with or the means to make up for it.

Weaknesses can be hidden if there are enough strengths to fill in the void.
Maurice Navidad wrote: View Post
It's never "easy" to make a good film. You can trainwreck it at any stage. If you want to see how a film project that has EVERYTHING going for it fails, read the book "The Devil's Candy" about the making of "The Bonfire of the Vanities", and you can literally watch as all the little decisions add to to make a supposedly sure-fire hit became a gigantic bomb. (The book is also valuable because it's a rare journalistic look at how a film is make, from greenlight to release).
Well said, Maurice. There's plenty o f bad stuff out there, some of it made by some of the best in the business. Take "Ishtar"...on second thought, don't. One strong area won't make up for a substandard area, but you are right about the script. If you don't have a good script, even if everything else is great, you'll end up with nothing more than eye candy. If you compare Exeter's "Savage Empire" to "The Tressaurian Intersection" I think you'll see what I mean. Sure, the Exeter crew gained a lot of experience the first time around and put it to work, but the biggest difference IMHO is a professional quality script.
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Old December 20 2011, 04:59 PM   #41
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

[QUOTE=x32;5450653]
Captain Atkin wrote: View Post

I want to point out that none of what I said before was directed toward JimTheBuilder. Jim has been a great asset to the Ajax team and I appreciate the work he is doing in that far away land of his. Wish it was a little closer.

Thanks again Jim.
Thanks for the vote of confidence...had me worried for a second there. However, I WILL think THRICE before opening my big yapper again...
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Old December 20 2011, 05:11 PM   #42
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

Maurice Navidad wrote: View Post
It's never "easy" to make a good film.
If making good fan films was easy, everyone would be making them. The truth is, they are not easy to make at all. You can't sell them to make any profit back, so right away the filmmakers are losing money. Finding the right actors, getting a good crew, a good script, locations, sets... it's a lot of hard work. I give praise to anyone who tries to put a successful fan film together.

Last edited by Captain Atkin; December 20 2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old December 20 2011, 11:12 PM   #43
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

Captain Atkin wrote: View Post
Maurice Navidad wrote: View Post
It's never "easy" to make a good film.
If making good fan films was easy, everyone would be making them. .
Your absolutely right. What I meant is easy relative to what it would be like if all your components were lacking. Then again, I'm sure it's easier to make a bad film.
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Old December 21 2011, 01:23 AM   #44
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

I was just over in the fan film primer thread and noticed that Maurice already posted link to Syd Fields 3 act structure. Lot's of useful tips over in that thread!
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Old December 22 2011, 06:07 AM   #45
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Re: Star Ship AJAX Production

Work continued on the build today however painting did not. It's just too cold here to try to paint and we have too big an area to try to heat. Some of the test patches and green screen we painted Sunday night is not curing, I hope it will given enough time. Bondo and liquid nail we put down aren't drying either. We may be stuck by weather for awhile. Not that there isn't plenty of work to do, but I was hoping to add some color to this ship.

Oh well, work continues tomorrow. Either me or Family Dog will post some new photos soon. Still working on getting some script teaser.
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