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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old April 15 2012, 08:46 PM   #1
GSchnitzer
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A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

The production team at Star Trek Phase II has learned that a preliminary, low-definition "director's cut" of the Star Trek Phase II episode "Kitumba" has been made available online. We're not sure if this slipped out inadvertently or if it was intentionally made public. Of course, having this early cut floating around before the official CEC/RFS Star Trek Phase II release of the episode really steals our thunder and spoils the final episode for everyone. Not only that, but this unfinished "director's cut" seems to have slipped out the day after we released our latest episode "The Child." So not only is our thunder stolen a little bit for "Kitumba," but now it's stolen a bit for "The Child," too. (As a producer, I can tell you that we need to be concerned with the entire production and with the series as a whole--not just with one single episode in isolation--which is just one reason why the series' Producers make the decisions on release dates instead of an episode's "hired hands.")

Obviously, we're pursuing a number of options to try and get this early cut taken out of circulation until after the official cut is released. (Our first action, of course, was to ask nicely, since it's possible that the offenders simply meant well and are just enthusiastic about the episode.) Actually, we're a little surprised this happened at all; we know that, in the future, any producer with whom these offenders might work professionally would now have second thoughts about hiring any individual or team of individuals who would simply decide something was ready and slip it out without going through the official studio/production release channels.

It's not that this "director cut" is bad; it isn't. It just doesn't maintain the upward trend in quality that we've established in each succeeding Star Trek Phase II episode; at best, it's simply adequate. Some planned (and pretty cool) visual effects aren't completed and incorporated into this cut; some key scenes are shortened or deleted altogether; and much of the editing (especially toward the second half of the episode) is ham-handed with continuity glitches. Our fans know that we let enough of these kinds of continuity mistakes slip by accidentally as it is--which our fans love to catch; so we especially don't want to release an episode which has these kinds of glitches in it that we have already identified and of which we are already fully aware if we still have the opportunity to fix them even before the episode gets officially released to the public.

Looking farther down the road, the good news is that when "Kitumba" is finally released, it will be a completed episode--one that's up to our usual standards--instead of one that has slipped out preliminarily. We still have a ways to go on it with some obstacles still left to be overcome, but we remain excited. However, we know that, not only for our fans but for our hard-working cast and crew, the only thing worse than a long wait for an episode is one that doesn't have all its "i"s doted and "t"s crossed. So if anyone knows anything more about this unfinished version, I'd like to encourage you to do whatever you can to try and get it out of circulation.

As always, thanks for your patience--and for your support of our production.

Qapla'!

On behalf of Senior Executive Producer Mr. James Cawley, and the rest of the Star Trek Phase II producing team,

Greg Schnitzer
Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek Phase II
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Old April 15 2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I hope you get this resolved, and I have no intention of checking out the "director's cut". It would be like eating the batter before you've baked the cake. You make high quality work, and it's worth waiting for, and I do hope it was an accident, otherwise, someone would have to be very petty, unprofessional, and immature to do something like this on purpose.
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Old April 15 2012, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

J. Allen wrote: View Post
I hope you get this resolved, and I have no intention of checking out the "director's cut". It would be like eating the batter before you've baked the cake. You make high quality work, and it's worth waiting for, and I do hope it was an accident, otherwise, someone would have to be very petty, unprofessional, and immature to do something like this on purpose.
Here's a screen shot from the opening moments of this "director's cut:"




So, it's well-intentioned (I suppose), but it was done without the consent or knowledge of the Star Trek Phase II producers. As I've said, it's surprising: what producer is now going to want to hire someone who would do this?
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Old April 15 2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
I hope you get this resolved, and I have no intention of checking out the "director's cut". It would be like eating the batter before you've baked the cake. You make high quality work, and it's worth waiting for, and I do hope it was an accident, otherwise, someone would have to be very petty, unprofessional, and immature to do something like this on purpose.
Here's a screen shot from the opening moments of this "director's cut:"




So, it's well-intentioned (I suppose), but it was done without the consent or knowledge of the Star Trek Phase II producers. As I've said, it's surprising: what producer is now going to want to hire someone who would do this?
Yeah, whether intended to be a good thing or not, if I were a producer, I wouldn't pick up anyone who would do this. I'd be far too concerned they'd be too willing to take matters in their own hands, and take the production control from me, and since I would be the producer, that would be a bad thing. That would be enough to get someone blacklisted, I'd think.
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Old April 15 2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Yeah, whether intended to be a good thing or not, if I were a producer, I wouldn't pick up anyone who would do this. I'd be far too concerned they'd be too willing to take matters in their own hands, and take the production control from me, and since I would be the producer, that would be a bad thing. That would be enough to get someone blacklisted, I'd think.
This.
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Old April 15 2012, 11:59 PM   #6
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Well I can see someone writting a book on this episode. I see Vic has been up to many things.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I will wait until the OFFICAL release. The crew at Phase 2 are the best!!!!

Thanks Greg for the explaintion and back story.
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Old April 16 2012, 12:56 AM   #7
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

scifib5st wrote: View Post
Well I can see someone writting a book on this episode. I see Vic has been up to many things.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I will wait until the OFFICAL release. The crew at Phase 2 are the best!!!!

Thanks Greg for the explaintion and back story.
Well, the downside is that folks will now say "Oooo! 'Kitumba' is out there somewhere? Where? Where? Must find! MUST FIND!" Please don't take the time.

(And thanks for your nice comments.)
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Old April 16 2012, 02:10 AM   #8
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I give credit to Greg and Phase II for taking the high road. But I know the whole truth here.

If Vic Mignogna had been concerned about all the people who worked on the production he would have returned the footage that rightly belonged to Phase II instead of keeping it and REFUSING to return it. He only released the cut because he is trying to screw Phase II. I know this, because after working with Vic the past year, and dealing with his narcissistic personality, he told me many times he wanted to do this just to screw James Cawley, who he has a vendetta against.

I have never been one to shut my mouth when people are being screwed. And after Vic screwed my production partner and I this past year, I want the truth to be told.

There are a lot of good people on Phase II and they deserve to ALL be treated with respect.
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Old April 16 2012, 02:25 AM   #9
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Man...the first time I read about Star Trek Continues, I got a weird feeling about this Vic guy. Looked him up, saw some of his talks, and he really came off as a bit of a douche. Over the last couple of weeks, the more I hear about him only solidifies that initial hunch.

Seems like a real drama queen.

If I were Chris Doohan I would distance myself from this guy.

If he brings as much of his ego to the role as Shatner did, he unfortunately make a great Kirk.
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Old April 16 2012, 02:31 AM   #10
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Loken wrote: View Post
I give credit to Greg and Phase II for taking the high road. But I know the whole truth here.
Alec:

You probably feel some amount of vindication, but your comments don't actually help Phase II very much. There's a tone to it that I'd like to distance myself from; you're throwing off more heat than light. I'm hoping it doesn't get this thread locked down by the moderators just as happened to a similar thread over on the TrekMovie boards.
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Old April 16 2012, 02:42 AM   #11
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Greg, I think this matter would have best been handled behind the scenes instead of this announcement.
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Old April 16 2012, 03:33 AM   #12
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Greg, I think this matter would have best been handled behind the scenes instead of this announcement.
Thanks for your feedback; your idea is such a good one, it's the first thing we tried. (You probably didn't know we've been doing exactly that because we were doing it *behind the scenes*.) We've been trying it for years now. We've been "handling it behind the scenes" for a couple of years without much success--ever since the "director's edit" was cobbled together and supplied to the producers without the full original footage so we could make producer-ly changes to the edit. "Here you go, producers: here's how *I* think it should be edited and that's all you get." That's been since early 2010.

So far, our "behind the scenes" approach seems to only cause escalation; the "behind the scenes" approach resulted in the episode being leaked. So after years of the "behind the scenes" approach, we're trying something additional--a little more public. But our "behind the scenes efforts" still continue in parallel, of course. And what have we got to lose, really. The episode was leaked out to the public a week or so ago. It's already out there. So more "behind the scenes" doesn't seem to be the real answer.

All in all, it has been pretty much a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. But we'll see what we can salvage from this whole ordeal.
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Old April 16 2012, 04:31 AM   #13
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I still cannot agree with the decision to air this sort of BS in public. If it's been going on for "years," then there's been no attempt at reconciling the matter. A simpler solution would have been to remain quiet; file copyright infringement with the video hosts; contact the WGA for an arbitration. Instead, this is the sort of nonsense that could conceivably bring CBS Studios Legal Dept shuts down fan films.
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Old April 16 2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

The WGA arbitration process refers primarily to determining writer's credits (and therefore, compensation) on projects produced by studios that are signatory to the WGA Basic Agreement. Registering a script that's being produced by a non-signatory doesn't provide access to arbitration (nor does it entitle one to membership or benefits of membership); it's mainly useful for establishing a record of authorship.
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Old April 16 2012, 05:03 AM   #15
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I don't have a dog in this fight. But I agree with Potemkin_Prod that the professional thing to do would have been to continue to keep this behind-the-scenes. As we've seen in the recently closed thread and the shut down comments section of Trekmovie, these types of postings quickly degrade to elementary schoolyard name calling.

A major downside of this type of posting is that it could either be seen as a blatant attempt to illicit pity from fans or draw more attention to this release, thus PII stealing its own thunder by diverting attention from its recent release to this edit of "Kitumba." But as you say, Greg, what do you have to lose.

In any case, the journalist in me finds all of this one-sided. Sure, we have the screen shot of Vic's disclaimer. But I hope that the other party does come in here and chimes in.
After all, there are two sides to a story. And truth, if you are a Vorlon, is a three-edged sword — your truth, their truth and what really is true.

We're not really getting the full story and it's unfair to those of us who enjoy these productions to get caught up in the middle of this battle.
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