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Old June 2 2013, 10:18 PM   #16
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Great stuff.
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Old June 2 2013, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Hm, I dunno, maybe I'm spoiled because of the high quality of the first Continues episode and even the earlier Phase II efforts, but this first act didn't quite work for me, personally. The dialog-heavy scenes in the transporter room and during the dining seem much too long and ridden with clumsy exposition. Also, Ksia's costume looks really ill-fitting and especially his dialog seemed too quiet and not really well edited.

Here's hoping some of this will be fixed in a tighter edit.
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Old June 2 2013, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

M wrote: View Post
Hm, I dunno, maybe I'm spoiled because of the high quality of the first Continues episode and even the earlier Phase II efforts, but this first act didn't quite work for me, personally. The dialog-heavy scenes in the transporter room and during the dining seem much too long and ridden with clumsy exposition. Also, Ksia's costume looks really ill-fitting and especially his dialog seemed too quiet and not really well edited.

Here's hoping some of this will be fixed in a tighter edit.
Totally agree with the sentiment that the scenes are too talky. Saw the unofficial release of this episode and the dialogue is clunky throughout, and the scenes are filled with much more "telling" and less emphasis on actually "showing." Every scene with Ksia feels like an infodump of backstory and they are painful to watch.

However, not only are the scenes overly talky, but they are overwritten and the dialogue isn't interesting or how people actually talk.
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Old June 3 2013, 12:19 AM   #19
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

middyseafort wrote: View Post
M wrote: View Post
Hm, I dunno, maybe I'm spoiled because of the high quality of the first Continues episode and even the earlier Phase II efforts, but this first act didn't quite work for me, personally. The dialog-heavy scenes in the transporter room and during the dining seem much too long and ridden with clumsy exposition. Also, Ksia's costume looks really ill-fitting and especially his dialog seemed too quiet and not really well edited.

Here's hoping some of this will be fixed in a tighter edit.
Totally agree with the sentiment that the scenes are too talky. Saw the unofficial release of this episode and the dialogue is clunky throughout, and the scenes are filled with much more "telling" and less emphasis on actually "showing." Every scene with Ksia feels like an infodump of backstory and they are painful to watch.

However, not only are the scenes are overly talky, but they are overwritten and the dialogue isn't interesting or how people actually talk.
The main challenge we had to face was being faithful to the original source material while simultaneously trying to make the necessary changes.

The late John Meredyth Lucas (who wrote four episodes of TOS) wrote a very interesting episode about the Klingons for the aborted Phase II television series back in 1977. So all his interesting stuff about Klingons predates anything that we learned about them from the not-yet-envisioned motion pictures or The Next Generation.

We could have made the changes we thought were necessary to his never-actually-quite-finished script, and we actually did make some changes, but if we deviated too much, then it would no longer be John Meredyth Lucas' "Kitumba" (and folks in the know were really interested in seeing his vision realized.) But we also wanted to honor and do justice to 25+ years of Klingon lore that the franchise has built up since that time. We already get e-mail from people saying "How dare you change a single word of Lucas' great original 'Kitumba' script!" Conversely, we get angry letters from people that say "Gowron said in 'Rightful Heir' that there have been no emperors for 300 years; how can you possibly ignore that comment?" As a result, despite or more likely because of our attempted balancing act, the script which, like all of John Meredyth Lucas' scripts, was kind of expository-heavy to begin, probably has too much yadda yadda yadda dialogue, trying to reconcile Lucas' Klingons with 25+ years of Klingons.

Nevertheless, I'm proud of our (still as yet unfinished) episode, even if it doesn't actually become our new high-water mark.
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Old June 3 2013, 01:03 AM   #20
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Well, having read a JML Kitumba draft one can argue that the episode did alter the story rather significantly as is, first by crunching a 2-parter down to 1, adding characters, etc. etc. Given that, tightening and trimming the dialog wouldn't have been any bigger sin.
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Old June 3 2013, 01:21 AM   #21
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Maurice wrote: View Post
Well, having read a JML Kitumba draft one can argue that the episode did alter the story rather significantly as is, first by crunching a 2-parter down to 1, adding characters, etc. etc. Given that, tightening and trimming the dialog wouldn't have been any bigger sin.
Right, we might not have struck the absolute best balance.
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Old June 3 2013, 02:00 AM   #22
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
Well, having read a JML Kitumba draft one can argue that the episode did alter the story rather significantly as is, first by crunching a 2-parter down to 1, adding characters, etc. etc. Given that, tightening and trimming the dialog wouldn't have been any bigger sin.
Right, we might not have struck the absolute best balance.
I have to give you credit for being open to critique, Greg. It's not something I see a lot. Kudos.
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Old June 5 2013, 03:32 AM   #23
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

I enjoyed this alot more than STID. I can't wait to see the rest!
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Old June 25 2013, 03:27 AM   #24
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Maurice wrote: View Post
Well, having read a JML Kitumba draft one can argue that the episode did alter the story rather significantly as is, first by crunching a 2-parter down to 1, adding characters, etc. etc. Given that, tightening and trimming the dialog wouldn't have been any bigger sin.
hmm...not sure what "added characters" you are referring to - unless it's the cameos in the teaser, and our regular Phase II characters...Peter, Xon, etc...who are just featured like the rest of the original crew.

As for crunching the two parter down to one "extended episode" (it's five acts rather than four) it wasn't entirely disrepectful of JML to do so. The two episodes were "writer's working drafts" and, literally, there was one scene repeated (I mean copy and pasted) in the script four or five times. It was quite interesting to see how his mind was working...clearly having the thought "hey, that earlier conversation might fit here better!"

And if you go back to those original drafts, you will discover that the "talking" was cut down considerably. If I remember correctly the first "conversation" took place in the transporter room and lasted a good 25 minutes.

It is, undeniably, still a talky episode in the beginning...and maybe even later. But I did work to cut out as much of it as I thought I possibly could and still tel his story.

(as for TNG the line was "We REALLY haven't had an Emperor for..." so we latched onto the "really". When you think about it, it's a little weird that he would say it that way, instead of "we haven't...) By the end of the episode, hopefully, you'll know why he said it like that...it's only one of the things that "didn't match up in ENT/TOS/TNG about the Klingons we attempt to explain... )
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Old June 25 2013, 04:12 PM   #25
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

I've seen Act 1 a few times now. I do think it could use a few trims here and there, but overall it looks great. The only scene I didn't like was when Kirk made the comment about the TOS Klingon warriors being 'perfected' with human DNA. That seemed really out of character for Kirk.
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Old June 25 2013, 08:23 PM   #26
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

To last 25 minutes a scene in a TV script would have to be 30 pages long (45 seconds per page), and I doubt that was the case. I'm in Bucharest at the moment so don't have access to the JML script, which is on one of my computers at home.
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Old June 25 2013, 09:25 PM   #27
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Well, lets remember we actually shot this in 09'. It has been a horrible process for me, as the footage was kept away from us here at Phase II for quite some time and we were unable to do what was necessary to fix certain things because too much time had elapsed. I have been forced to fight a very tough battle with the edit and fix some very clumsy continuity issues shot by the director. It is what it is, not one of my favorite episodes we shot by any means, but it will be my swan song in the role.
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Old June 26 2013, 02:38 AM   #28
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

I am, and will continue to be, a person who waits for the entire story in final form before I view it.

I know that there were issues that did harm to what was a very promising story, and one that I have been looking forward to watching. Still, I'm confident that many of those issues will be resolved in the final edit.

The issues about the filming and editing might prevent having this episode from turning into a swan, as Blood and Fire Parts 1 and 2 did. But I still recall all the negativity about B&F before the final final was released. I waited, and saw what I still think is the second best Phase II story ever, after only WEAT. Others who have discovered Phase II after the final was released have held opinions like my own.

I suspect that the final Kitumba will not be as good as it might have been if not for all the issues, but it will be better than many expect.
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Old June 27 2013, 04:19 PM   #29
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

I was already disappointed that Mr. Cawley would no longer be playing Kirk, but now, knowing that Kitumba will be his last is really a bummer. I thought since the yet to be released episodes had been filmed for the most part, that I had several more episodes to look forward to.
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Old June 27 2013, 06:05 PM   #30
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Re: Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

TrekGirl wrote: View Post
I was already disappointed that Mr. Cawley would no longer be playing Kirk, but now, knowing that Kitumba will be his last is really a bummer. I thought since the yet to be released episodes had been filmed for the most part, that I had several more episodes to look forward to.
"Captain Kirk" only appears in the teaser and tag of "The Protracted Man", and we only filmed one scene with "Kirk" for "Mind-Sifter" - because James was working and had Elvis sideburns. (it was a "torture scene" where his sideburns were able to be covered up by latex and a lot of blood). Truth be told, if James keeps working steadily and he was "Kirk", filming would not take place for Phase II for several years. So it's a catch-22: people who want James to play Kirk would not get any new episodes until 2016 at the earliest. (he's got gigs booked into 2015)

If it's any consolation, I think "Kitumba" was some of his best work - as well as the best work I've seen from Doc John as McCoy. (as well as most of the cast and crew) So, if the script sucks the acting is top notch (and the VFX incredibly beautiful) and he'll go out on a high note!
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