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Old April 16 2012, 08:37 PM   #31
Captain Randy Hall
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

CaptainSerek wrote: View Post
I agree with Nick and the others, I will wait for the official authorized release of the episode and see it as Phase II intended.
Add me to the list of those who plan to wait for the official (notice I didn't use quote marks on that word) version of "Kitumba."

To be honest, I'm glad this was brought to light. If I didn't know about it, I might have stumbled upon that version during a slow week and gone ahead and reviewed the thing. (Unless the quality was significantly poorer than usual, which I suspect is the case.)

The personal clashes don't interest me, but I think everyone who works on a project should abide by the guidelines of the organization. Phase II has been producing tremendous work for several years now, and I'm sure that many fans like me will wait for the final cut.

I hope all the material for the production can be used in generating the final episode. If not, I'll be sad that we might never get to see "Kitumba." But no matter what, I'm right with the other fans of this excellent series.
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Old April 16 2012, 10:55 PM   #32
GSchnitzer
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

billcosby wrote: View Post
Kitubma is a two-parter, right? So the leaked version was part 1 of 2?
John Meredyth Lucas' original "Kitumba" script for the aborted Star Trek Phase II series only made it to the "Writer's Working Draft Script" stage--not quite to an official "First Draft." That original Writers Working Draft Script did indeed contemplate that the episode ultimately would end up being a two-parter.

As we looked at the script, teleplay writer Patty Wright attempted to adapt it and shoehorn the John Meredyth Lucas version of the Klingon Empire into what we now "know" about the Klingons based on a dozen movies and four Trek series that hadn't existed when the original script was written. She had to do this in a way that would do justice to both Lucas' original vision and the 45 years' worth of Klingon lore that has developed since.

In adapting the script, it became apparent that there just wasn't enough there there to sustain a two-parter. All of the expository "Behold the amazing end exotic Klingons" content of the script could be dispensed with. (By now, we are all well aquainted with Klingons; they aren't quite so amazing anymore.) In the end, when we stripped out much of the duplicative content and talky exposition that existed in Lucas' original script, our Star Trek Phase II fan film production of "Kitumba," ends up being one single episode--one lean and mean kick-butt episode.

We have miles to go until we get it released, however. In the meantime, sit back and go watch our episode "The Child" again.
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Old April 16 2012, 11:01 PM   #33
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I'm wondering how this Vic character managed to make off with all the footage. Shouldn't that have stayed with Phase II? Even if he wanted to edit it on his own, we're not talking film stock here. Shouldn't the raw footage have stayed with Cawley?
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Old April 16 2012, 11:18 PM   #34
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

PvtKtara wrote: View Post
I'm wondering how this Vic character managed to make off with all the footage. Shouldn't that have stayed with Phase II? Even if he wanted to edit it on his own, we're not talking film stock here. Shouldn't the raw footage have stayed with Cawley?
Yes, that would have been better. The information technology processes related to our episodes--with all the terabytes of digital data and hard drives large enough to handle and copy and back-up this massive amount of data--are some of the most complex aspects of our production; we're always working on improving our processes--and sometimes we learn the hard way. It's not filmstock, but it's a monumental challenge to deal with such enormous amounts of data navertheless.
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Old April 17 2012, 03:47 AM   #35
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Thank you for what you do. This helps explain why this episode has taken soooo loooong. Now I know the great crew working on this have not dropped the ball. We fans enjoy the episodes you make, we were just woundering why this was taken so long. This will help us wait until it is completed.
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Old April 17 2012, 04:01 AM   #36
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

scifib5st wrote: View Post
Thank you for what you do. This helps explain why this episode has taken soooo loooong. Now I know the great crew working on this have not dropped the ball. We fans enjoy the episodes you make, we were just woundering why this was taken so long. This will help us wait until it is completed.
It's always worth repeating what our lag-time between episodes is. I'm not sure if our stats are good or bad--but people often don't actually know what our production rate is:

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Old April 17 2012, 11:18 AM   #37
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

I certainly hope that everything works out and that the Phase 2 team is able to release the episode with a proper edit, without having to go back and re-film parts of it.

It would be nice if Vic would do the right thing and give whatever raw materials remain back to Phase 2. I find the act of putting together a director's edit that wasn't ready (if you're reading this Vic, yes...it needs more work) and then telling phase 2 to essentially take it or leave it appalling. Regardless of whether or not they were 'best intentions' it's just not the right thing to do.

Fingers crossed everything works out for the best.

Last edited by NewHorizon; April 17 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old April 17 2012, 10:28 PM   #38
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

New rule suggestion for all future directors of Phase II episodes: Unless your name is James Cawley, or you work for CBS, it ain't your project! You don't get to take the footage home and hold it hostage!
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Old April 17 2012, 10:29 PM   #39
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

This strikes me as the kind of thing that would have been easily avoided had there been some kind of contractual paperwork between all the relevant parties involved stipulating what gets done with the footage and who gets to, ultimately, house it.

I'm sure whatever the internal conflict is, each party will probably take that nugget of wisdom from Maurice much more seriously next time around.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:22 AM   #40
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
This strikes me as the kind of thing that would have been easily avoided had there been some kind of contractual paperwork between all the relevant parties involved stipulating what gets done with the footage and who gets to, ultimately, house it.
It strikes me that contractual paperwork doesn't really help: if there is some kind of breach of contract, it would ultimately have to be settled in a court of law. It might end up being a Pyrrhic victory.

As I've said before, if it turns into a pissing match--especially an actual breach of contract legal pissing match, I can easily imagine the actual copyright holders just declaring "a pox on all your houses" and shutting the whole thing down once and for all.

It's interesting that some people have suggested settling it "behind the scenes." But an actual legal case to settle a contractual disputes is about as public as you can get.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:23 AM   #41
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Well, yes, that paperwork is great to have. It means we can hold it up and say "see, it's ours! You said you'd make copies and send them back!" ... and even if the guy holding the property says "Yup! It says that!" well, he still has it, doesn't he? All the people with the paperwork have is right on their side, and some kindling for the nightly bonfire. Without the paperwork, what we're missing is the stuff to start the bonfire.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:30 AM   #42
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
doubleohfive wrote: View Post
This strikes me as the kind of thing that would have been easily avoided had there been some kind of contractual paperwork between all the relevant parties involved stipulating what gets done with the footage and who gets to, ultimately, house it.
It strikes me that contractual paperwork doesn't really help: if there is some kind of breach of contract, it would ultimately have to be settled in a court of law. It might end up being a Pyrrhic victory.

As I've said before, if it turns into a pissing match--especially an actual breach of contract legal pissing match, I can easily imagine the actual copyright holders just declaring "a pox on all your houses" and shutting the whole thing down once and for all.
andriech wrote: View Post
Well, yes, that paperwork is great to have. It means we can hold it up and say "see, it's ours! You said you'd make copies and send them back!" ... and even if the guy holding the property says "Yup! It says that!" well, he still has it, doesn't he? All the people with the paperwork have is right on their side, and some kindling for the nightly bonfire. Without the paperwork, what we're missing is the stuff to start the bonfire.
Ok, this is where it's hard to take you guys seriously. You're both basically saying that "Even if we did have a contract, he could still keep the footage so why bother?"

That's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

On the one hand, it sucks that you guys are having to deal with this. But surely there's a way to draw up a contract that dictates to the people you farm out these jobs to that will say, in plain english that "Hey, you shoot this footage. You direct our actors. You cut the footage in to the episode, but its all our property and violating this contract invites legal action."

Surely once they sign off on it, that should be all the leverage you need - they've violated the contract. At the very least you can get your lawyers involved to get the footage, timeline and other required material back so as to complete the work you mean to do (and per the guidelines of whatever contract you all signed.)

I'm just saying it makes sense logically to do this beforehand, particularly if you've got to deal with people's egos. Look at what happened with the Ajax crew a few months ago. That should have been all the precedent you guys needed to motivate you to protect yourselves from this kind of thing.

At the end of the day, who cares if Vic still has all the footage? Once you get everything back, you'll be able to put your episode out. But throwing your hands up in the air and saying "Oh even if we wanted to, it wouldn't do any good!" without even trying is passive-aggressive pity-mongering. Don't be those guys.

"Paperwork is great to have..." --- Yeah, it is. And it sure as hell is better than having nothing, which is what it sounds like you guys have right now.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:47 AM   #43
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

That sounds good, doubleohfive, except...what would this "contract" say? "You agree to turn over all files, work materials...etc., etc...stipulating that these are the property of Cawley Films...etc. etc...in exchange for which --"

Uh, "in exchange for which..." what? "We allow you to come work for free for a month?"

I mean, seriously, the problem here is what exchange is the contract governing? I'd bet it's really hard to enforce property claims where no payment for services can (by terms of the understanding with CBS) take place. How are the lawyers going to place a value on the property that's being withheld? It certainly has no market value, because it cannot be offered for sale or used directly to promote the sale of other merchandise or services.

And...given that no money gets made by these production companies, how many billable hours of a lawyer's time can they afford?

As a practical matter, having paperwork is not really better than having nothing...it's the same.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:56 AM   #44
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Surely all parties can agree in the beginning to honor such an agreement if they sign it.

It doesn't necessarily have to say anything beyond "You will shoot this video for us and turn over the materials when its completed."

And besides all that, I think it's fairly evident that money isn't going to be involved in any of this - so you're right - lawyering up would probably be a waste of time and money.

I'm not saying its perfect, but it is at least a start toward avoiding something like this again in the future.
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Old April 18 2012, 01:58 AM   #45
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Re: A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Oh, I think there's some value in writing down what people agree to so that it can be referred to later. But the value is very limited - it might help clarify situations where there's an honest misunderstanding, but in a case where there's a break of faith, as apparently there is here, I doubt that it accomplishes a single thing.
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