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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old September 7 2012, 02:11 AM   #16
RB_Kandy
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
There's a big personal problem I have when I'm watching fan films/low budget films in general. I hate video. The look is off putting, it takes me out of the experience every time and I can't take it as seriously. For the same reason I dislike recent Michael Mann films. Public Enemy, Collateral, Miami Vice, they look so incredibly cheap, even though they aren't, and it takes me out of the scenes every single time.

There's something about that contrast between "great sets" or "good actors" and then "horrible camera and sound" that puts me totally off. For some reason, I can take a bad set and bad acting if camera and sound is great, but not the other way round.

The worst thing is when, even though they only have only low budget video cameras, they decide to use shaky cam and zooming and focussing and over/under exposure and similar things as stylistic device. That makes it look even cheaper and more unprofessional. Stuff like that ruined "Of Gods and Men" for me for example.

The thing is, in my opinion, one should not try to "ruin" the image on purpose when you already are on a low budget. Try to make it look as good as possible.
See, me and you are different in that regard. I can tolerate some pretty terrible special effects, even poor picture quality, I can even handle never getting to actually see the monster, spaceship, or whatever because the budget was so small they couldn't afford a passable prop, so they just elude to it being there off camera.

The one thing I cannot tolerate is the bad acting.
I recall a year ago seeing an independent film on youtube, and this woman read her line which was "Well maybe that will teach you a lesson"
the other woman said "yeah, you got what you deserved, Benny."

And they had read their lines so bad, I just stopped watching half way through the film.
The first woman, who made the statement "Well maybe that will teach you a lesson"" said it like she was asking a question.
I mean it really sounded like she was asking him. It was like "well... maybe? That will teach you, a lesson?"

The next line of dialogue from the other woman was read so monotone it was like she was reading out loud the words off of a street sign like "303 railroad boulevard intersection 2".
The tone and moods were so off.

I recall this Nickelodeon show when I was little, called Fifteen.
The actors were unbelievably bad, it was the first time I ever noticed this thing called "acting".
The scene that made me crack up was where this guy comes into the restaurant and says, in the most matter-o-factly way possible "Dillon was just in a motorcycle accident, they took him to the hospital"
And the girl, I think her name was Ashley, said in the most panic attack way possible "Calm down Jake! just calm down! Tell me! Tell me from the beginning what happened!"

and I swear it's like they got the right dialogue but they completely switched the mood.

Me and a friend used to email each other short reviews of movies we seen. I noticed that I would give movies like Underworld Awakening a 0 out of 10, but give Independent films, even 20 minute ones like this http://cinemassacre.com/2004/05/17/l...the-blue-hole/
An 8 out of 10.
Legend Of The Blue Hole by James Rolfe, is a College film he made back in 2004, and it does a great job of "telling a story".
Underworld Awakening is a multi million dollar movie that is just poor CGI and one pointless action scene after another. There was no story to tell as far as I can remember. It had something to do with vampires and some half wolf half vampire kid.

As I was saying, some people like me can handle bad FX and even cardboard scenery, if the actors are good, and it tells a good story. But other people, like you, want to be swept away by the ambiance of an elaborate set, and striking visuals. And to each to his own.

There are of course movies like Beatlejuice that are good stories, but wouldn't have been good movies if the environment, music, and special effects hadn't been done right.

Here is one more bit of advice for anyone that wants to love fan films, but can't get past the shoe string budget: Imagine that instead of going to the movies tonight, you are going to watch a play.
You sit there and watch the actors perform with no special effects, often less than convincing props, and cardboard back ground for environment.
If you're the sort that can appreciate a great play, than watch a fan film, and keep in mind "it's like a play" and that may help your mind to let go of the expectations of mind blowing FX and earth shaking surround sound.
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Old September 7 2012, 03:07 AM   #17
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

I like Phase 2 for video and Nova Trek for comics.
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Old September 8 2012, 03:55 AM   #18
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

lurok wrote: View Post
I've only seen two. Of Gods And Men, which has heart in right place but is a little shaky. But I was very impressed by the animated Aurora. http://auroratrek.com/
I agree about Aurora. That was extremely well done and very enjoyable.

Of Gods And Men was fun to watch from a long-time fan's POV, but it's an acquired taste.

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Old September 8 2012, 06:11 AM   #19
RB_Kandy
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

I just got through watching Starship Exeter - The Tressaurian Intersection.
I really really loved it! it is split into 6 youtube videos, and appears to end on a cliff hanger. And it is unfortunate that there will be no new episodes
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Old September 8 2012, 02:11 PM   #20
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

RB_Kandy wrote: View Post
I just got through watching Starship Exeter - The Tressaurian Intersection.
I really really loved it! it is split into 6 youtube videos, and appears to end on a cliff hanger. And it is unfortunate that there will be no new episodes
For the record, the thrilling conclusion is in production—see Maurice's post upthread.
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Old September 9 2012, 12:41 AM   #21
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

I like the work of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, which includes Star Trek: Odyssey and some other stand-alone movies.
Their technique is a little different. They green screen everything versus building sets. So the "production quality" is worse, especially in the early seasons. But they more than make up for that with interesting complex stories and usually good acting.
It's set in 24th century timeframe, mostly focused on "Briar Patch" area from Star Trek: Insurrection. Very well written.

I also got a kick out of watching "Keeping Up With the Cardassians". Not really a Star Trek story, so much as a "real-life" documentary, but it's fun.
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Old September 9 2012, 02:56 AM   #22
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

One thing I frequently mention in the Fan Filmmaker's Primer thread here is that "sound trumps picture", and rotten sound demolishes everything. I always stress to fan filmmakers that they need to get decent mics, record sound to something other than the camera, and set up a proper acoustical environment on set to ensure decent sound (e.g. sound blankets). In fact, sound is so important that some professionals get thrown off in rough cuts because of the uneven/unmixed sound. This is very true of fan filmmakers, too, so much so that when showing rough edits to those people I do a lot of sound work on the rough edits so that people will not be distracted by it, even though I really shouldn't mess with the sound at all until the edit is locked.
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Last edited by Maurice; September 9 2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old September 9 2012, 04:38 AM   #23
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

Maurice wrote: View Post
One thing I frequently mention in the Fan Filmmaker's Primer thread here is that "sound trumps picture", and rotten sound demolishes everything. I always stress to fan filmmakers that they need to get decent mics, record sound to something other than the camera, and set up a proper acoustical environment on set to ensure decent sound (e.g. sound blankets). In fact, sound is so important that some professionals get thrown off in rough cuts because of the uneven/unmixed sound. This is very true of fan filmmakers, too, so much so that when showing rough edits to those people I do a lot of sound work on the rough edits so that people will not be distracted by it, even though I really shouldn't mess with the sound at all until the edit is locked.
Oh I do agree with that, I'll take bad video over bad audio.

I've seen a lot of independant films. I've heard audio so bad that the microphones kept buzzing and hissing at different levels. It's because one take the mic volume was too low, and when they amplified it, they amplified the RF noise. And I kept thinking "Some copper tape and electrical tape would really come in hand for that microphone cord (to increase RF shielding).

And then I've heard audio where they are outside talking and the wind is blowing and all I can think of is "wind screens are your friend"

And of course all the scenes in laundry mats and the like with so much background sound and I am thinking either do voice overs, or wait until people turn off the machines.

And there is that weird phenomenon where in one shot the sound is fine, but when it cuts to a second camera to get the persons reaction you hear a loud buzzing. I am guessing each camera had a different microphone.
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Old September 10 2012, 03:58 AM   #24
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

I've watched a lot of them lately, and have bailed on a few mere minutes in. The problems with fan films are legion and well known: Bad writing, bad acting, poor production values, miscasting. Some combine many of these flaws in a single production.

I'll say some nice words about "Hidden Frontier", even though it contained it's share of the above enummerated drawbacks.

But...........they put out a lot of product and you have to admire that! By the time their production company got to "The Helena Chronicles", they'd gotten their act together, the writing had improved (and I'll forgive a lot if the basic story is good), the techincal problems had been ironed out and, as far as fan films go, I'd class that specific effort with the best of them.
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Old September 12 2012, 03:57 PM   #25
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

The only one I've really watched is Of Gods and Men and considering it is full of Trek regulars and actors I thought the acting would be better. I did think the story was good though.
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Old September 12 2012, 11:32 PM   #26
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

^ I liked OGAM very much. I wish I could get it on iTunes.
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Old March 25 2014, 09:04 PM   #27
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

Did anyone else here enjoy Star Trek Continues as much as I did?

While I did like Pilgrim of Eternity much more than Lolani, Lolani still has that TOS-ish atmosphere and style more than any episode I've seen of Phase II.
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Old March 26 2014, 01:06 AM   #28
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

I really like new voyages/phase 2
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Old March 26 2014, 03:29 AM   #29
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

Aurora, Exeter, and Continues are the cream of the crop for over all quality I think. They're my personal favorites.

Phase 2 has moments of greatness, and moments of badness, but it's probably one of the more prolific groups out there.

I haven't really seen many of the other productions to give comment..
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Old March 26 2014, 04:58 AM   #30
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Re: Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

If you're not drawn into Team Cawley vs. Team Vic then I really think Continues bests Phase II, based on the most recent released episodes. One would hope that the rivalry will be good for viewers as they try to one-up each other.

Looking forward to Exeter's Tressaurian Intersection final cut.
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