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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old August 10 2012, 03:22 PM   #16
Newtrek
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Yes, a learned experience indeed in the trenches. We have gleaned a lot shooting this episode and the sequel which were shot congruently over the past 14 months. We've tested various cameras and sound techniques which we are finally getting solid results (thus the changes in consistency). I am cleaning up the volume issues and attempting to get some better balance before posting on our webpage. We have had our challenges and will not place any blame on what did or didn't work but are excited to have our first installment out. We begin editing all the footage shot so far for episode 2 in the next week and a few additional scenes are left to shoot.

The current versions uploaded on vimeo and youtube were done extremely close the eleventh hour to make the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention premier. We are really excited to have the opportunity to promote this project at an "Official" Convention and thankful for CBS legal to give us their blessing directly. The first of many responses to this episode is overall very positive and we are encouraged to continue while determined to make the needed improvements necessary to secure a place in your hearts. As with any dream, getting others to adopt the same passion can be daunting, and attracting a certain level of skills and talent can be almost impossible on a volunteer basis.

I am thankful for the actors and technical people we did manage to enlist and their work has helped us get to where we are now. I am hopeful and confident that we have shown at least glimmer of the vision we have for this new series and the potential to make new and exciting action based adventures moving forward.

I would also like to thank James Cawley, Patty Wright, John Broughton, Neo/fx, and Alec Peters for their assistance and support on wardrobe, props, and encouragement. It is truly a great example of various productions working together and sharing resources. The community of fan films has been both generous and constructive and we welcome your insights and input. After all we all want more stories we can enjoy. If anyone with expertise on audio, editing, and vfx is interested helping us reach our goals you can email me directly at [COLOR=#0000ff]info@startreksecretvoyage.com[/COLOR]

Sincerely,
Craig Sheeler
Executive Producer
Star Trek Secret Voyage
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Old August 10 2012, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

As I mentioned in my article *cough* there are some things you're just not going to know until you actually put an episode together. To me, one of the real pleasures of fun productions is seeing improvement from episode to episode. Phase II is a great example, while there are issues that pop up in every episode, every episode shows improvement in some area and the overall trend is consistently upward. Recognizing areas that need improvement and working on them is going to take you a long way!
Keep going!
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Old August 10 2012, 07:56 PM   #18
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Congrats on the release! I downloaded the mp4 version from Vimeo and imported it into iTunes so I could watch on my Apple TV.

I enjoyed it. I won't comment on any of the flaws, because others have already beat me to it. I will say, that sound is a lot harder than it appears, and people often underestimate it.

Look forward to your next installment.
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Old August 11 2012, 01:46 AM   #19
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Mike, I've added a link to your review both in my Headline about Star Trek: Secret Voyage and on their permanent page. http://startrekreviewed.blogspot.com/2009/06/40.html
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Old August 11 2012, 02:42 AM   #20
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Many thanks as always for your support Barb!
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Old August 11 2012, 03:42 PM   #21
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Well, I also stand by my comment that this episode is A LOT BETTER if you download the original file and watch that. Yes, it takes some time, it's 1GB. But it is well worth it. I love the relationship between the captain and his first officer here. But then, I love platonic relationships in general.
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Old August 12 2012, 10:02 PM   #22
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

One thing I give this piece a lot of credit for is having original music. Michael Klubertanz's score gives the piece it's own aural identity. Too many fanfilms "track" existing Trek music onto their shows, which is distracting. Kudos to the makers for not taking that path.

The costumes look great. Very well done. (But when the Captain opens the shoulder of his tunic I was immediately reminded of why Bill Theiss balked at showing how the costumes were fastened. It suddenly feels less futuristic when I see the zipper.)

Of the cast, I like the two female leads the most, as I feel like both of them can deliver dialog. What issues I'd have with what comes out of their mouths is more about the script than the delivery.

Speaking of mouths, the sound remains the Achilles Heel of the whole production. Seriously, most of looping most of the episode would help a lot, as so much of it is hard to make out.

I agree that some of the edits are...odd. Sometimes there's a super quick cut to another character that doesn't communicate anything, and often the cuts are too short.

There's the usual beginning filmmaker problems with mismatched looks and eyelines and constant "crossing the line" (described here). I always urge fan filmmakers to learn the most basic rules of cinematography, because even simply things like the not crossing the line makes a big difference in making a film feel more professional and well made.

There're some bumpy visual effects. The spaceship shots are mostly fine, but the phaser beams and alien aircraft and stuff are rather clumsy. The shuttle never actually looks like it's actually there on the planet (the shadow under it isn't even as dark as those of the actors passing it). Notably, there's one moment at about 21:00 where U'nara is in front of the shuttlecraft, but when she turns she passes behind the shuttle. Oops.

The Captain's beard is wildly inconsistent. At 17:00 it's basically stubble, and at 20:00 and forward it's much more grown in. Another oops.

Hopefully these are first voyage bumps that the filmmakers can address in future episodes.
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Old August 15 2012, 05:22 PM   #23
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

This was fantastic. I see lots of different story threads, which is something I like in a series. The story was a lot stronger than most of what I have seen in Phase 2. The acting was great. The Andorian looked superb. The makeup was done really well. The Romulan looked great too. I had trouble hearing actors at time, but it's just a teething problem I hope. Thoroughly enjoyed this, it really had a feeling of the 60s Trek. Especially the castle appearing. Bravo on an amazing first episode.
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Old August 26 2012, 12:33 AM   #24
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Bixby wrote: View Post
(2) I realize this is a fan-film, but the sight of what are supposed to be members of Starfleet, as far as I know a semi-militaristic body, sporting some VERY unmilitaristic hairdoes takes me right out of the story. I'm speaking about the red-headed security guy (13:10), Banks the geologist (13:19), and Albright the super-curly-haired security guard (13:39)
I am going to call this out as nonsense. Did you watch TOS? Since when is a freakin beehive a "military hairdo"?

Anyways, I enjoyed the episode. I echo the comments about sound but did notice an improvement as the episode went on. Wasn't that thrilled to see the Enterprise being used but I can simply pretend it's another ship. But overall a very strong start.
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Old August 26 2012, 04:00 PM   #25
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Many of you will notice that Phase II is begining to use longer hair on many of its charactures in keeping with 70s style production.
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Old August 27 2012, 10:34 PM   #26
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Utopianvista wrote: View Post


I am going to call this out as nonsense. Did you watch TOS? Since when is a freakin beehive a "military hairdo"?
No, the beehive (worn by many of the women crewmembers, notably Janice Rand) was not a military hairdo.
But I did say Starfleet was `semi-militaristic`, which means that for the most part they DO follow many of the trappings of the military: chain of command, uniforms & ranks, discipline, duty, and so on.

And often you would have many of the characters discussing these in a given episode: Kirk scolding Scotty and other crewmen for barroom brawling in THE Trouble with Tribbles, Pike lamenting the pressures of command in the Cage, Kirk telling Spock he is unworthy of his uniform in This side of Paradise, Duty and the pressures of same in Court Martial

Where it got to the SEMI-militaristic part, meaning deviations from what was then 1960's strict military code and uniforms came from a little thing unique to television, called ''ART DIRECTION''!

The men on Star Trek all had short clean-cut hair, not AS short as a crew cut but believable enough, and didn't lock the actors into hair styles that might bug them. I'm sure their pointy sideburns were all designed to reflect a more futuristic look.

Where Chekov and Janice Rand (and most of the women crewmembers) deviated came about AGAIN because of a chosen art direction, and the need to appeal and attract a target audience.

Chekov's hairstyle was to bring in a younger female teen demographic, and the women's hairstyle (as well as their very short skirts) was to help bring in horny males!

Sure, the women's beehive hairstyles don`t reflect 1960's military grooming standards. Nor today's for that matter, but that was the point! You'll notice at least two instances I can think of where a female crewmember is shown with her ''starfleet'' hairdo, then later on in a more relaxed look (Saavik in The Wrath of Khan, meeting Kirk in the elevator: ''it's still regulation, sir'', and Lt. McGivers in Space Seed)

Beards and mustaches were also out of the question at that time you"ll notice. Scotty's mustache in TMP was probably agreed upon because the actor refused to shave it off. The first instance of beards I can remember in ST was Kyle and Capt. Terrell in Wrath of Khan. On TNG first season Worf's hair was very short at that time though they grew it a few seasons later. The same with Riker's beard.
All were mandated as changes in the art direction!

But back to what I actually meant: Secret voyage is a non-paying fan film, I get that. We cast the actors we can get.

I eventually stopped thinking of the 3 actors and their different hairstyles, but it was the same as when I watched Starship Farragut's first episode (the Captaincy) many months ago. As soon as I saw the very overweight Klingons, they were all that I could think of, and I stopped paying attention to the story.

Yes I have watched a lot of TOS, thank you very much.

Last edited by Bixby; August 27 2012 at 10:45 PM.
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Old August 28 2012, 10:20 PM   #27
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Bixby wrote: View Post
Utopianvista wrote: View Post


I am going to call this out as nonsense. Did you watch TOS? Since when is a freakin beehive a "military hairdo"?
No, the beehive (worn by many of the women crewmembers, notably Janice Rand) was not a military hairdo.
But I did say Starfleet was `semi-militaristic`, which means that for the most part they DO follow many of the trappings of the military: chain of command, uniforms & ranks, discipline, duty, and so on.

And often you would have many of the characters discussing these in a given episode: Kirk scolding Scotty and other crewmen for barroom brawling in THE Trouble with Tribbles, Pike lamenting the pressures of command in the Cage, Kirk telling Spock he is unworthy of his uniform in This side of Paradise, Duty and the pressures of same in Court Martial

Where it got to the SEMI-militaristic part, meaning deviations from what was then 1960's strict military code and uniforms came from a little thing unique to television, called ''ART DIRECTION''!

The men on Star Trek all had short clean-cut hair, not AS short as a crew cut but believable enough, and didn't lock the actors into hair styles that might bug them. I'm sure their pointy sideburns were all designed to reflect a more futuristic look.

Where Chekov and Janice Rand (and most of the women crewmembers) deviated came about AGAIN because of a chosen art direction, and the need to appeal and attract a target audience.

Chekov's hairstyle was to bring in a younger female teen demographic, and the women's hairstyle (as well as their very short skirts) was to help bring in horny males!

Sure, the women's beehive hairstyles don`t reflect 1960's military grooming standards. Nor today's for that matter, but that was the point! You'll notice at least two instances I can think of where a female crewmember is shown with her ''starfleet'' hairdo, then later on in a more relaxed look (Saavik in The Wrath of Khan, meeting Kirk in the elevator: ''it's still regulation, sir'', and Lt. McGivers in Space Seed)

Beards and mustaches were also out of the question at that time you"ll notice. Scotty's mustache in TMP was probably agreed upon because the actor refused to shave it off. The first instance of beards I can remember in ST was Kyle and Capt. Terrell in Wrath of Khan. On TNG first season Worf's hair was very short at that time though they grew it a few seasons later. The same with Riker's beard.
All were mandated as changes in the art direction!

But back to what I actually meant: Secret voyage is a non-paying fan film, I get that. We cast the actors we can get.

I eventually stopped thinking of the 3 actors and their different hairstyles, but it was the same as when I watched Starship Farragut's first episode (the Captaincy) many months ago. As soon as I saw the very overweight Klingons, they were all that I could think of, and I stopped paying attention to the story.

Yes I have watched a lot of TOS, thank you very much.
This is a fascinating wall of text where you're basically talking in a bunch of circles. You have to work within the framework of the universe. You cannot apply modern standards to the future. If we applied the fashion standards, or military code whatever of the 1600s/1700s to today it'd be laughable. Star Trek takes place in a more enlightened future. There is a distinct fashion. Some of it based on the time period (real world) the show was shot and sometimes not. Starfleet regulations seem to be pretty lax.

But lets break it down. Star Trek was made in the 1960s where mainstream appearance was conservative for males. You even have stupid 60isms like "reading that long hair stuff" from the second pilot. But then you get Chekov and a move away from that. If Star Trek had a 4th season you'd probably have gone even further away from it.

By TMP things just go crazy. You have Native Americans in traditional garb with long hair and no one bats an eye. You talk about facial hair and act as if Scotty is an exception. I can post a screen shot where no less than 4 background actors are sporting a mustache. There are a ton in the rec room briefing!

Argyle had a beard before Riker did in TNG. Men and women were also wearing the skant in TNG. Worf has never been clean shaved.

No one ever had a problem with Worf's hair.

There are so many examples to show that judging a fanseries by 1960s military code is nonsense. To explain it away as "art direction" just doesn't fit with what has been established in the universe. It's the 23rd and 24th centuries not military codes from the 20th century.
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Old August 28 2012, 10:37 PM   #28
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

My objection to the grooming in fan films is when its contradictory to the series it's aping. If you're going to the trouble to recreate all the costumes and other minutia, why not take the last logical step and do the hairstyles in keeping with the show?
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Old August 29 2012, 01:15 AM   #29
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

From the beginning we intentionally did not want to make this film look as though it were shot in the 60's, but rather an updated vision that utilized the basic iconic designs of the original series we think play so well even today. Things that worked for the original series may or may not work today as new forms of media and creative expression are explored. For instance TOS was originally shot with film noir type lighting because most televisions were still black and white thus more moody dramatic lighting, today that would be more of a preference. Also, standard screen format verses widescreen. Some fan films want to recreate the original as close a possible, or a contrast approach, while others may wish to fall in the middle somewhere.

Many of our favorite fan based web series have had considerable resources to recreate accurate sets, access equipment, and utilize consummate professionals skilled in modern techniques. While these productions are usually quite generous to loan the use of their sets, it is still a considerable cost to fly cast across the country. I know of a few productions that are waiting to raise these kind of funds before embarking on such a journey, whereas we chose to jump right in with the goal of telling stories about visiting strange new worlds instead of bottle shows. Though production wise we’ve learned why these all ship episodes can be easier for sound, weather, and lighting consistency, we still like the idea of outdoor environments. Yes, volunteers on a zero budget can mean accommodating grooming preferences, schedules, and even requirement changes at an actor’s regular day job. At least until the vision and fan base is strong enough where you can turn volunteers away.

As we learn and grow we will naturally improve, though I personally feel really good about what we’ve accomplished thus far. If anyone out there wants to assist us in polishing our efforts, improving our techniques, and assisting in helping us with stories, visual effects, and editing we welcome your time, talents, and treasures. If our version of Trek is not what you like, that’s fine too as we give a 100% money back guarantee.

Long-Live Classic Trek, for the People, and by the People.
And all Gods people said…..AMEN!

Craig Sheeler,
Executive Producer
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Old August 29 2012, 05:33 AM   #30
Maurice
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Re: Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

^^^That seems contradictory. You're okay with the hairstyles being modern, but you stick with microdresses that are clearly out of the the 60s?

I'm not criticizing, merely observing.
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