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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old September 6 2013, 01:57 PM   #256
JarodRussell
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Maybe it's the confusion between "fan film" and "no budget film". Phase II and other fan films is certainly not "no-budget".

What I also don't like it when people say they made this film with no budget, but then you look at who was involved and it's semi-professionals who have access to equipment worth a couple of thousand bucks in either renting or owning. Other people have access to a camcorder and to a free copy of Adobe CS 2. Those can claim they did their stuff without a budget.
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Old September 6 2013, 02:21 PM   #257
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I'm not sure what in the name "fanfilm" would suggest its status as such would be dependent on the number of people involved in making it. It's a pretty self explanatory descriptor
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Old September 6 2013, 07:43 PM   #258
Potemkin_Prod
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Maurice, I'm just pointing out that many fan films don't have the personnel, the space, the budget that your short films do. I think you're comparing apples and pecans. Sorry you resort to getting personal in your remarks. Or is that being "contrarian" too?
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Old September 6 2013, 07:52 PM   #259
Potemkin_Prod
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Maybe it's the confusion between "fan film" and "no budget film". Phase II and other fan films is certainly not "no-budget".
There are several tiers in fan film production. The top tier has quite a bit of a budget. The middle tier has a modest or even minimal budget. The lowest tier is literally being made on a shoestring, and might even be doing the editing in the camera.

Potemkin is fortunate enough to be a middle tier production. We have a modest budget (which comes out of my pocket usually) that goes to the set construction material, purchase of mini-DV tapes, costumes, makeup, lighting. None of it goes to the producers, cast members, VFX guys, directors, etc. Construction is done by volunteers, e.g. my son and I relocated and rebuilt/built the sets for Potemkin this summer.
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Old September 6 2013, 07:59 PM   #260
Potemkin_Prod
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Pingfah wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what in the name "fanfilm" would suggest its status as such would be dependent on the number of people involved in making it. It's a pretty self explanatory descriptor
Actually, I'd argue it's not. The descriptors are getting murky.

Is "Renegades" a fan film? Is "Of Gods and Men?"

Is Phase II still a fan production? Is Star Trek Continues? Is Starship Farragut?

At what point does having professional involvement push a fan film out of that arena and into a semi-professional or even professional production?
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Old September 6 2013, 08:16 PM   #261
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I would argue that the top tier fan films are of at least semi-professional quality, but I wouldn't call any of them professional regardless of the production values. There's just so much more to it than the quality of the product or even the people involved.
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Old September 6 2013, 09:34 PM   #262
JarodRussell
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Pingfah wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what in the name "fanfilm" would suggest its status as such would be dependent on the number of people involved in making it. It's a pretty self explanatory descriptor
Actually, I'd argue it's not. The descriptors are getting murky.

Is "Renegades" a fan film? Is "Of Gods and Men?"

Is Phase II still a fan production? Is Star Trek Continues? Is Starship Farragut?

At what point does having professional involvement push a fan film out of that arena and into a semi-professional or even professional production?
A fan film will always be a fan film unless it is produced and distributed via official channels. The fact that professional actors and directors are attached to it doesn't mean anything to the label "fan film". Even if they threw 150 million at the wall, it would still be a "fan film".

The labels here have to be distinguished:

fan film - official film - independent/original film
no budget - low budget - high budget

Of Gods and Men is a fan film. Star Trek Into Darkness is an official film. Polaris is neither, it's independent or original.
The budget question is totally independent from "fan" or "official" films. Official films can be no budget, and fan films can be high budget.

"professional production" is a strange term. When is a production professional? Give James Cameron a camcorder. Will he be doing something professional with it? Give a bunch of students the most expensive equipment. Will that make their attempt professional? If professional actors, writers and directors come together to make a film in their garage as a hobby, is it a professional production?
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Old September 6 2013, 09:35 PM   #263
USS Intrepid
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

A fanfilm is a fanfilm. Makes no diference if the fans making it are professionals, or just Billy and his iphone. It simply means they have better resources to play with.

It's all just unlicensed fanfic anyway. Why argue over semantics?
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Old September 6 2013, 10:31 PM   #264
Potemkin_Prod
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Agreed. Just curious as to other folks' thoughts on the matter, especially when Tim Russ would not agree with JarodRussell's definition.
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Old September 7 2013, 02:00 AM   #265
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Agreed. Just curious as to other folks' thoughts on the matter, especially when Tim Russ would not agree with JarodRussell's definition.
Randy, I want to comment here. There are those who claim that CBS/Paramount has abandon their claims to productions that mimic the original series and its style. I have no idea if that is true, but the law of franchise copyright itself is pretty murky. The gold standard is usually set by DC Comics, whose lawsuits through the years show how franchise copyright claims weaken with time. The case that established it, against Captain Marvel, took down a creation that would easily pass muster today as NOT infringing. Recently DC has lost cases with much stronger claims. This has left me wondering what, if anything, remains of their 'franchise copyright.' Unlike regular, common-law and statutory law intellectual property rights, the court-created 'franchise copyright' doesn't seem to die, it just fades away.

Unless and until a 'fan film' spends millions on a lawsuit to overturn the claim of the franchise copyright holder (and there are many franchises, not just geekdom ones; the first fan film was based on the 'Little Rascals' films) we won't know.

For now, I'd venture to guess that the distinction is not one of the quality of the filmmakers but purely one of the right of the filmmaker or other writer to profit from their creative work.

While the writing has been attacked as terrible, (and I have no interest in these books) the hit series "Shades of Grey" was a re-write of a fan novel series based on one of the vampire franchises. By eliminating the 'vampire' element, the writer seized full control over the copyright of the work and was able to make money on it.

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Old September 7 2013, 11:57 PM   #266
Maurice
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Maurice, I'm just pointing out that many fan films don't have the personnel, the space, the budget that your short films do. I think you're comparing apples and pecans. Sorry you resort to getting personal in your remarks. Or is that being "contrarian" too?
"[p]ointing out that many fan films" were not of a particular scale is not what you wrote prior; you were dismissing that scale of production as not being in a fanfilm category.

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
Doesn't sound like a fan film.
...which is demonstrably false as Exeter had as many if not more people that I was discussing, and I suspect Phase II often does as well.
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Last edited by Maurice; September 8 2013 at 12:22 AM.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:36 AM   #267
Potemkin_Prod
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

It's amazing how you manage to read my mind and intent so perfectly. I bow to your absolute authority in everything.
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Old September 10 2013, 04:20 AM   #268
Maurice
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Oh, as if that's ever going to happen. Disagreements are part and parcel of creative work.

Anyway, this thread isn't supposed to be acrimonious, misunderstandings aside.
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Old September 14 2013, 04:00 PM   #269
scienceguy
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Forgive me if the following subject has already been discussed on this thread …

I'd like to offer some friendly advice for producers, directors and behind-the-scenes folks involved in fan film production. When making casting decisions, I believe it is a mistake to cast yourselves in key roles or include your family and friends in the cast.

I realize fan films are produced "for fun", but with all the extraordinary care and attention to detail devoted to building sets, developing props, selecting wardrobe and designing visual effects, I'm a bit surprised by some of the questionable casting decisions.

It's relatively easy to recruit experienced, talented and attractive actors for a serious production. Some will work for free if they believe in the project.

I understand it may be a "dream-come-true" for behind-the-scenes folks to appear on camera along with family and friends. But your production will be more entertaining, appeal to wider audience, and be less stressful to produce if you recruit experienced actors.

Just some friendly advice.
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Old September 15 2013, 03:26 PM   #270
JarodRussell
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

scienceguy wrote: View Post
It's relatively easy to recruit experienced, talented and attractive actors for a serious production. Some will work for free if they believe in the project.
Emphasis on relatively and if.
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