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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old October 27 2013, 05:55 AM   #1
trekkist
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re: Star Trek Redux

This doesn't really fit (by format) this sub-forum's 1st 2 header threads; I hope moderation will be as gentle as I invite readers' critiques to be harsh!

What follows is a header statement for an as-yet nonexistent website. As thoughtful as folks here are, I figured feedback from square one would be to my benefit. Does this say too much? Too little? Do I come off badly in tone? As all writers ask, would you want to read more?

David Winfrey


What, another Original Series era fan film?

Not exactly. Nor is Star Trek Redux a “re-imaging” of TOS. Exactly.

Over a decade ago, I wrote some essays as to what I’d do if given the authority to re-make Star Trek. My first goal was an obvious fannish one (since realized with Star Trek Exeter, New Voyages/Phase II, and others) – to recreate on screen the fantastic sets and imagery of Star Trek, which I believed could capture an audience even decades after their creation, and to tell new stories set in that universe. The larger goal was the same as Gene Roddenberry’s in 1964: to use a believable science fiction format to tell stories outside the parameters of acceptable contemporary television narratives.

Despite the relaxation of broadcast standards, certain issues remain untouchable, even on cable. Capitalism, patriarchy, polygamous and/or polyandrous sexual mores, above all the mixed ramifications not of fundamentalist religion, but of religion per se remain generally outside the scope of television storytelling.

In 1964, a utopian future Starship boasted a female second in command, a multi-racial crew, and a token alien on the bridge. A year or so into production, it was realized that of course the Enterprise should have a Russian crewmember.

Of what would a contemporary vision of a utopian future consist?

In 2002, I penned a two-hour pilot script introducing the newly-launched Starship Endeavour, its captain Fazal Allende – a practicing Muslim. My navigator was a Chinese woman, my helmsman a gay man, my science officer Richard Daystrom’s son, my Engineer and First Officer female, my chief medical officer a Vulcan, my transporter officer a three-legged, three-armed Edoan. Had Star Trek Redux debuted back then (on TV or online), its vision of a unified future Earth would, I think, have struck more nerves than did Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura across the American south.

Overwhelmed by the impossibility of the project, I put Redux aside. But the concept refused to leave my mind. In time, another fan joined me – of his own free will, I should add – in fleshing out Redux. New characters were developed, a pair of villains introduced, story arcs worked out, scripts written and polished. In time, a seven season series took shape, my pilot followed by major events, developing storylines, and a projected conclusion. At present, about 20 episodes (all but the first forty-minute, four-act teleplays with teasers) exist, along with another 80 or so story ideas (all told, about one-half our would-be series)…as well as a projected spinoff set in the Mirror universe.

Certain aspects of Star Trek Redux are apt to take long-time fans aback. As this website’s headers illustrate, the Starship Endeavour is not exactly the Constitution class we have come to know. Nor are its technologies and operating characteristics quite in line with those dubbed “canonical.” Neither divergence, however, is intended as difference for difference’s sake. Rather, they are based upon a painstaking examination of what the Original Series (and to some degree, its sequels) showed. A shuttlecraft large enough to stand erect in (whose interior would not fit into the soundstage exterior prop), dwarfed as depicted on-air by her mothership’s hangar deck, leads to the inescapable conclusion that Enterprise was more than 947 feet in length. A “standard orbit” from which a Starship would if powerless quickly plummet is in fact not an orbit at all. An impulse drive capable of taking a Romulan warbird readily into and out of Federation space, of outpacing the planet-killer, of completing a journey to Regula requiring twelve hours at warp speed – of taking a Galaxy-class saucer anywhere from where Geordi left it and Argyle stationary when returning to the “arsenal of freedom” – is not a merely sublight propulsor. It is for these and other reasons that my pilot script – like the Next Generation premier – takes its time in introducing not just crew, but vessel. Neither are “revisionist” for the sake of empty theatre, or purposeless grandeur – but both are unfamiliar, despite decades’ age. Thus, Star Trek Redux.

This website presents Redux in its entirety, as it presently exists. Not a frame of imagery has been shot, not a foot of soundstage constructed. For the present, Star Trek Redux lacks a cast, a crew, a budget. Its “production staff” consists at present of two men writing words. Just words. Good words? We think so. And with those words, we hope to spark the idea in others that this fan film too should see its genesis.
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Old October 27 2013, 06:25 AM   #2
Barbreader
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Re: Star Trek Redux

Right now, this is fan fiction.

Are you are trying to turn it into a drama (film, live action, or audio)? Please say so.

Personally, in a reboot I would also update the tech, eliminate the clone wars of the 1990s (they didn't happen) and the World War of the 2020s (it's unlikely). I would also just delay everything by 100 years, including the arrival of the Vulcans.
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Old October 27 2013, 04:01 PM   #3
trekkist
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Re: Star Trek Redux

Right now, it's fan fiction in script form. I would indeed (should I win the lottery, or enough volunteers/online funding) pursue a film series, whether live action or animation. Hell, I'd welcome a comic book artist! Anything to get it off the "printed" page.

Omitted from this short(!) description is Redux being an alternate timeline: that of TOS -- i.e., 1960s orbital nukes, 1990s Eugenics Wars, DY-class sleeper ships until 2018, etc. Post-TOS canon is recognized, but their "correction" or reconciliation of what are now to us events of the past is disregarded.

I want to add that Redux does NOT consists of a top-heavy collection of "message" stories. Like TOS, we mostly do character stories and SF, with the occasional "if this goes on--" or "what if the ____ took over" type story.

And the phrase "empty theatre, or purposeless grandeur" should not be read as a dig at existing fan films, but rather the current "franchise."

David Winfrey
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Old October 28 2013, 05:39 PM   #4
Barbreader
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Re: Star Trek Redux

This map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...4&source=embed (which you can move around and zoom in with) shows productions currently under way and others which have produced a film before disbanding. You might want to seek out people who have worked on a film near you geographically. You might also want to volunteer to work on somebody else's fan film for a while, the learn about independent productions. There are also threads in this forum which discuss many aspects of filmmaking you might find useful.

If you are completely rethinking it, you might want to consider severing the last ties and just making it an independent production so that if you ever do make the film, you can run it on You Tube with commercials and sell DVDs.
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Old October 28 2013, 06:21 PM   #5
trekkist
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Re: Star Trek Redux

Thanks for the map link! I'd never seen that.

I've been making my way (slowly) through this site's primer. Great stuff.

David Winfrey
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Old October 28 2013, 08:41 PM   #6
Captain Atkin
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Re: Star Trek Redux

trekkist wrote: View Post
Despite the relaxation of broadcast standards, certain issues remain untouchable, even on cable. Capitalism, patriarchy, polygamous and/or polyandrous sexual mores, above all the mixed ramifications not of fundamentalist religion, but of religion per se remain generally outside the scope of television storytelling.
All of the subjects you listed above were covered in Star Trek. Most notably, they were all covered on Deep Space Nine.
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Old October 28 2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Star Trek Redux

I'd like to see a fan take on a new version of TOS.
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Old October 29 2013, 05:04 AM   #8
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Re: Star Trek Redux

As I think is apparent to anyone who's read this forum for a while, I'm all about encouraging and in a small way educating people in what it takes to actually produce a film, so I hope I'll be forgiven for this. I want to see people make their productions happen, but I'm weary of self aggrandizing Mission Statements about how innovative and wonderful a nonexistent program is going to be when and if it ever gets made. Maybe it's just me, but I want to see and learn about what you're actually doing, not hear prettily worded plugs from the top of a soapbox.
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Old October 30 2013, 05:35 AM   #9
trekkist
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Re: Star Trek Redux

As I said (quite clearly I think) what I'm doing/have done is WRITING. Being as how I lack the resources to do more…and since the only way to attract such (sans pay) is to attract volunteers…it seems to me the practical next step is to advertise the product. I'm not first out of the gate, and what's been done already is incredible. As has been said elsewhere, "Why should I be interested in Capt. Y aboard Starship Z?" What I've posted here is the introduction to "why." Which I tried to keep short and NON-self-agrandizing. I welcome scathing criticism, but a simple dismissal isn't useful to me in trying to tweak the product (i.e., my eventual website intro).

I don't know the length limit on posts, and figured it rude to post a script (in which pudding the proof, if any, would be). But Maurice, if you'd care to sample the product, drop me a PM with your email address. Maybe you'll like it, maybe not. And if that doesn't grab you, how about letting me know what SPECIFICALLY in my "intro" put you off -- other than its mere existence?
David Winfrey
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Old October 30 2013, 05:44 AM   #10
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Re: Star Trek Redux

I'd slap down fully 1/3 of TOS as worth viewing by anyone. In watching every episode of every sequel, I found most of the first 3 years of TNG abysmal, DS9 interesting but lightweight (with occasional exceptions like "Duet"), Voyager kind of tedious, Enterprise…well, why go on? Compare the average level of any post-TOS "socially relevant" script with that maintained week in and out by Babylon 5 or the Galactica reboot, and I'll think you find the former lacking. Fun? Sure. Pretty? Yep. Decent in SF terms? Sometimes. But "deep"? Hah. Now compare TOS with its contemporaries…and consider that it still stands up today. I hold that TOS outshines all its sequels, which far from pushing the envelope conceptually or contemporary-comment wise, came off as sophomoric compared to what was THEN on non-SF TV.

David Winfrey
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Old October 30 2013, 07:19 AM   #11
Duane
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Re: Star Trek Redux

I prefer "short and sweet" web site intros, and let them read more if they want to by digging further into the website. My own project has a "concept introduction" which is a bit shorter than yours, and I am always trying to trim.
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Old October 30 2013, 08:10 AM   #12
Maurice
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Re: Star Trek Redux

First, I have no problem with the "mere existence" of the project. It's the hand waving around the idea instead of the actual idea that I tire of reading on this site. The "tone" is self important.

Me, I prefer details about what something IS to fluffy aspirations.

Example:

Flight of the Icarus is an dramatic series about the crew of the titular starship engaged in the Earth-Romulan War 100 years before Star Trek. The stories follow adventures of the ship and its war-weary crew as they struggle to defend Earth outposts, shipping lanes, settlements and the "freedom" of the Sector from a mysterious, relentless foe whom they've never seen face to face. At the core of the show are themes about holding onto humanity and compassion in a world which compels people to become wind-up soldiers and killing machines without conscience.

The format is a "procedural" in which the crew has missions to accomplish, and we see the details of how they do it in enough detail so that it's real and believable and has grit and consequences which test the characters' mettle in matters professional and personal.

The format is "Bochco" style, with overlapping plots, one starting, one in the middle, and another ending in each episode. Episodes may also contain a self-contained single story.
Etc. etc.

That's a brief show pitch. It's got what, where, why and how, and now only needs the who—the characters. There's meat there: the setting, the episode format, and, most important, the theme the show would explore.

(BTW, I just made that up on the fly, it's not something I'm writing.)
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Last edited by Maurice; October 30 2013 at 08:26 AM.
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Old October 30 2013, 07:23 PM   #13
trekkist
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Re: Star Trek Redux

OK Maurice, how's this?

David Winfrey

Star Trek Redux aims to resurrect the spirit of TOS with a mix of SF, action-adventure, drama and the occasional comedy, and to re-introduce to this franchise the challengingly mature social and political commentary characteristic of TOS at its best, a torch since passed to the likes of Babylon 5 and the new Galactica. The USS Endeavour follows Defiant’s launch by some months, serving to maintain fleet strength pending advent of the refitted Enterprise and her sisters.

The cast of Redux aims to recapture the then-utopian mix of Kirk’s crew. Captain Fazal Allende is a practicing Muslim (as startling a hero as was Uhura a bridge officer in the 1960s). A female First Officer and Chief Engineer, a (rightfully, though amusingly) culturally proud Chinese helmswoman, a gay navigator, Richard Daystrom’s son as science officer, a Vulcan Chief Medical Officer, a Security Chief from the deep South, and various others season the mix.

Redux rings changes on familiar Star Trek technologies as well – though not as a re-imagining, but rather per close examination of what TOS depicted (as vs. what has since been maintained to be canon). Endeavour’s impulse drive is hyperlight-capable, her saucer routinely detachable, her photon torpedoes the energy pods of matter and antimatter introduced subsequent to “Balance of Terror,” not the physical armaments of the films and sequels. Her overall length is 1262 feet (as deducible from the relative proportions of a full-scale shuttlecraft and hangar as seen in TOS – though notably the remastered episodes – and required to permit the rec deck and parallel torpedo bays of the refitted starship).

Redux includes both stand-alone and multi-part episodes, series-long character development, a pair of recurring villains, and ongoing story arcs. Per the latter, the beginning and end of a projected seven-season series exist, as well as certain “waypoint” events – but only some 20 scripts have been written, offering many opportunities for future screenwriters. This website offers the opportunity for others to explore and contribute to the would-be Redux universe.
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Old October 31 2013, 12:06 AM   #14
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Re: Star Trek Redux

trekkist wrote: View Post
The cast of Redux aims to recapture the then-utopian mix of Kirk’s crew. Captain Fazal Allende is a practicing Muslim (as startling a hero as was Uhura a bridge officer in the 1960s). A female First Officer and Chief Engineer, a (rightfully, though amusingly) culturally proud Chinese helmswoman, a gay navigator, Richard Daystrom’s son as science officer, a Vulcan Chief Medical Officer, a Security Chief from the deep South, and various others season the mix.
Why is the sole listed characteristic for the navigator is that he is gay? That shouldn't be in the "press" releases, it should flow naturally from the stories themselves. A regular gay character would've been a big deal twenty-five years ago. Now, I just don't see it as a selling point.

Not too many people are going to know or care who Richard Daystrom is.

I also hate when someone tries to nail down the entire crew right at the first episode. It reminds of Modern Trek's '7-by-7' formula, seven characters for seven seasons with little change no matter how useless a character becomes (*cough* Riker *cough*).

Just some thoughts.
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Old October 31 2013, 12:32 AM   #15
trekkist
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Re: Star Trek Redux

>Why is the sole listed characteristic for the navigator is that he is gay?

I agree, and thought this as I wrote it. Bear in mind 3 things though: first, the pilot (and cast) dates to 2002, when a gay male on TV was less common or acceptable than today; 2)lack of gay representation in official Trek persists to this day and 3)the purpose of this section of the description is to play up the diversity of the crew by (relatively) contemporary standards.

I certainly agree that the guy's being gay isn't a defining characteristic as such, nor in fact does any existing script reference it. As for Daystrom's son, I agree that only TOS fans would recognize the name; citing it was a covert way of saying "he's black."

The painful truth is that franchised Trek hasn't broken new "radical" ground in diversity since Number One. A black commander was no big deal by the time we met Sisko, a woman Captain a "so what?" on introduction of Janeway. As I asked a friend once, given a united Earth, what would be the most statistically unlikely identity for a typical captain? Answer: a white male.

I hasten to add, Redux' cast isn't diverse for the "sake" of diversity, but to try to tell its audience, subliminally, "See? It's the future…we're all equal now" with as close as possible to the impact of Uhura & Chekov on the bridge. Thus my "enemy as hero" captain -- an intrinsic reminder that all is no longer as it is today.

I'm surprised no one has taken me to task for religion, BTW. I'll say only that, secular utopia though it appeared, TOS made repeatedly clear that Kirk, McCoy & Uhura (at least) believed not just in one god, but (in the former & latter cases) Christ. Were they "Christians" by contemporary standards? Roddenberry couldn't/wouldn't address that. But I find it unlikely that identifiable beliefs will all be gone by the 23rd century. Changed, sure; matured, hopefully…but not gone.

David Winfrey
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