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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old May 31 2013, 06:35 PM   #136
beamMe
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Re: TOS continues...

plynch wrote: View Post
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Warped9 wrote: View Post
The aesthetic isn't a limitation.
It very much is, if you stick to portraying a futuristic world in the terms of 1960s TV-making.

plynch wrote: View Post
There are composers who compose new pieces in the styles of previous eras. Plenty of jazz groups (mine) play in by-gone styles (mainstream ca. 1955). I write new songs in the style of "standards" (like Gershwin, Ellington, etc.).

This production, yes, is like a KISS cover band . . . that writes new songs in the manner of KISS! And if you like classic KISS, that's a good thing.
The difference here being, of course, that Star Trek isn't and never was a period piece about a specific by-gone time. It's a sci-fi show that tries to show a future world.
To ignore shifting and changing design aesthetics when portraying futurity today isn't creative. It's simply sticking to what you know and refusing to accept change.

This production is good, and I like it. But it is not a sci-fi show that takes today into account to portray tomorrow. It's a nostalgic masturbation fantasy for us fans, a period-piece about how a particular creative team saw the future in the 1960s (and even they moved on and adjusted their creative futuristic vision by the time TMP and, later, TNG came around).
This made me smile. How the future will really look is nowhere like they thought in 1965 and nowhere near what JJ thought it will, in 2009. You don't watch sci-fi thinking it's really gonna be that way, do you? Maybe when I was 12, reading Ray Bradbury rockets landing on their tails I thought it might really be that way, but now I know it's all just a fun vehicle to tell what-if stories that pertain to humanity in general, or to current issues.

C'mon, a space navy traveling at light speed!? By your logic, JJ shouldn't use such a preposterous concept that actually seemed plausible to WWII vets in the postwar era.

And I think it IS pretty similar to performing in a style considered hip in 1955. Hip now is way different. Yet some of us really like the old aesthetics. I can't wait to watch the whole episode tonight. Been saving it for a Friday on the big screen. Be well.
It's as if I've written my post in Klingonese, and you haven't understood a word of it.
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Old May 31 2013, 06:36 PM   #137
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Re: TOS continues...

Kruezerman wrote: View Post
But why is keeping the old aesthetic so important compared to exploring new characters and topics? Fan productions will always focus on the "Star Trek"-ness of Star Trek and not the fun or adventure or stories. I hope one day this will change.
Because that has long been and has long become part of the appeal.

Take a show like Murdoch Mysteries that periodically has a touch of Verne like sci-fi sensibility to it. The series is done in a way that allows them to sometimes look at contemporary issues yet through a late 19th century perspective. Late 19th century Toronto (where the series is set) wasn't like it's portrayed in the show (there are similarities and parallels, but it's not exactly the same). But it's entertaining to see them go about telling their stories in that historical setting. Star Trek and science fiction in general is no different. As fans we enjoy the world-building and overall setting as it's presented.

And perhaps one of the reasons the TOS aesthetic still works for a lot of people is because it harkens back to when some of us feel in love with Roddenberry's universe in a way that didn't quite click when it came to the later spin-offs.

Most likely the real 23rd century of our future will not look like TOS' but then it most likely won't look like JJ's or anyone else's for that matter. It is not SF's mandate to predict the future in any definitive way. Science fiction isn't about predicting or defining the future. Science fiction is about imagining a future. And if any of it happens to come true than that's simply coincidental happenstance.

If one gets too hung up on aesthetics then every few years you'll find yourself having to reject things you might once have enjoyed because they don't look likely anymore.


Also how does it detract from the fun and adventure? It doesn't. The aesthetic is part of the fun. Actors are really playing make believe like we all do as children. And to a large extent we experience the adventure or drama or humour or horror (or whatever) vicariously through the actors playing their worlds in an imaginary setting.
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Old May 31 2013, 06:43 PM   #138
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Re: TOS continues...

I understand that, but there are times that that hearkening back turns into rigidity and stagnation. To be honest I don't care about the aesthetic, but what I do care about are the characters and stories. I want the humanity that JJTrek has in a fanfilm. I want the imperfections, the rage, fear, sadness, I want to see that. Give me adventure again, make me two years old again.
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Old May 31 2013, 06:50 PM   #139
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Re: TOS continues...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
If one gets too hung up on aesthetics then every few years you'll find yourself having to reject things you might once have enjoyed because they don't look likely anymore.
Then why did Roddenberry, Wise and Co. change the aesthetic for Star Trek with TMP so radically?

Hint: They did it to stay relevant and modern. (And they didn't even have the "Nero changed everything" excuse.)
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Old May 31 2013, 07:00 PM   #140
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Re: TOS continues...

"To ignore shifting and changing design aesthetics when portraying futurity today isn't creative." - BeamMe

So it's ok to stay using old aesthetics in music (Dixieland jazz, which some people like), but not ok when portraying futurity?

Why the difference? Since we know our 2013 design aesthetics say more about our own aesthetics ("Apple Store") than about the unknowable future? Why insist on moving on to a new, equally inaccurate-design aesthetic? I think the argument could be made stronger for discontinuing old musical styles, frankly.

I'm checking out of this thread. I like Star Trek Continued. It makes me happy. It is certainly a creative endeavor, just like someone writing new Sinatra-style songs or ragtime pieces or new Sherlock Holmes stories. Or even telling new "Star Trek stories" (what a passé vision of the future!) in movie theaters.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:14 PM   #141
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Re: TOS continues...

plynch wrote: View Post
"To ignore shifting and changing design aesthetics when portraying futurity today isn't creative." - BeamMe

So it's ok to stay using old aesthetics in music (Dixieland jazz, which some people like), but not ok when portraying futurity?

Why the difference? Since we know our 2013 design aesthetics say more about our own aesthetics ("Apple Store") than about the unknowable future? Why insist on moving on to a new, equally inaccurate-design aesthetic? I think the argument could be made stronger for discontinuing old musical styles, frankly.
Apples and oranges.
Or rather: Apple Stores and Enterprise bridges (unless your imagination is so severely stunted that brightly lit = Apple Store)

Why insist on moving on to a new design aesthetic? Because the one from TOS was already badly dated 35 years ago. Or why do you think they changed moved on to something new for TMP?
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Old May 31 2013, 07:39 PM   #142
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Re: TOS continues...

My suspicion is (in this case anyway) to fall back on the old saying: if you don't understand it then I can't explain it to you.

My sense is that you simply don't like the look and sensibility of TOS. Fine, if true, but then why pee on others' parade?

Kruezerman wrote: View Post
I want the humanity that JJTrek has in a fanfilm. I want the imperfections, the rage, fear, sadness, I want to see that. Give me adventure again, make me two years old again.
Then you're not interested in Roddenberry's Star Trek. You want dysfunction and angst and arbitrariness and a certain simplistic mindset to it all. Well JJ has made two films for you and perhaps someday someone will make a fanfilm of that.

In the meantime we can enjoy the kind of Trek that got us interested in the beginning. I like being an adult and have no wish to be two years old again.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:43 PM   #143
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Re: TOS continues...

My original question about the aesthetics of the production was to understand if the primary appeal to some fans was the aesthetics. Is recreating the TOS sets all it takes to please some people? Or is it the story-telling style that's appealing, while the sets are just eye candy? Because sets are always just eye candy, they don't improve the story or the acting.

Again, if "Pilgrim of Eternity" had been shot on the JJTrek sets, would the appeal be gone? I should hope not, but if the sets of STC are all some fans want to see then I guess STC will be the only "new" Trek that will please them.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:01 PM   #144
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Re: TOS continues...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
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Btw, did anyone else sense a hint of Marina Sirtis in the computer's voice?
Apparently it really is her.
Ha! I just saw the credits and you're right. Wow, that's pretty impressive they were able to get her to do it... although, she probably just wired it in over the Internet.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I don't know. The sets and effects were good, but the acting was cringe-inducing for me. Everyone tries too hard. I seem to always find the acting in these fan productions off-putting, even when pros are involved. Maybe it's the script rather than the actors. I'm not sure.
Perhaps you haven't seen the other fan productions, like Exeter and New Voyages. Now in those episodes there are PLENTY of cringe moments. Comparing STC to them, it looks like the real thing to me, just with different actors. Yes, Grant Imahara needs a lot of work, but he has good potential. Everyone else was TERRIFIC.

And remember -- THEY JUST GOT STARTED. All of the Star Trek series with professional actors mind you had to shake things out in the first season. These guys are amateurs. Considering what they've produced, it's extraordinary and I wish them well in cultivating it into an even better production.

And is it really only Trek if it looks like the Sixties vision of the future? I'd rather just enjoy the three seasons that were made than watch fan productions that try to recreate glory days.
You can choose not to watch it if it displeases you so much. But you're overlooking how the SIMPLE SETS for TOS are much more conducive to making fan productions. Yeah, have someone try to come up with a believable TNG bridge. But in any case, TOS was cut short. TNG and the others (outside of ENT) had very long runs. So, TOS being the simpler series from a production perspective and having more "room" to work with makes it a good candidate. There are plenty of us who really wish TOS had gone on for 6 seasons.

Frankly, I really can't fathom how any Star Trek fan would frown upon this production. To me it just telegraphs a very narrow perspective.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:15 PM   #145
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Re: TOS continues...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
My original question about the aesthetics of the production was to understand if the primary appeal to some fans was the aesthetics. Is recreating the TOS sets all it takes to please some people? Or is it the story-telling style that's appealing, while the sets are just eye candy? Because sets are always just eye candy, they don't improve the story or the acting.

Again, if "Pilgrim of Eternity" had been shot on the JJTrek sets, would the appeal be gone? I should hope not, but if the sets of STC are all some fans want to see then I guess STC will be the only "new" Trek that will please them.
I answered this question before. JJ's version of the characters would not behave as the TOS versions. And the way the JJ productions tell the story it wouldn't be the same.

The aesthetic is part of the appeal, but how the story is told is a larger part of the appeal.

TNG's "Measure Of A Man" is my favourite TNG episode. It doesn't look at all like TOS, but it feels like a story TOS could have told and it's told in much a similar way as well. And part of that is because the TNG characters spring from the same universe as the TOS characters and shared many of the same sensibilities. Picard and his crew are not the same as Kirk and his, but both share a similar idealism and value system that is merely expressed in somewhat different ways.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:28 PM   #146
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Re: TOS continues...

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I answered this question before. JJ's version of the characters would not behave as the TOS versions. And the way the JJ productions tell the story it wouldn't be the same.
I'm not asking about JJ's version of the characters telling this story. I'm asking whether shooting on the JJTrek sets would have diminished the appeal. Would you have turned your nose up at "Pilgrim of Eternity" if the actors had worn the costumes used in JJTrek and used the sets of JJTrek? Because it seems to me that the answer is yes, and if that's the case, then recreating the TOS sets and costumes for Star Trek (2009) would have lead you to praise JJ with endless gratitude for renewing Trek.

As for STC, after perusing other fan productions, it's definitely a cut above. And they nailed a TOS vibe, which isn't easy, I imagine. The actors did well with their characters, particularly the Kirk actor - he did a Kirk without doing a Shatner-impersonation-Kirk. I congratulate them for their work, and if they make another some day I'd watch it.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:42 PM   #147
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Re: TOS continues...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
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I answered this question before. JJ's version of the characters would not behave as the TOS versions. And the way the JJ productions tell the story it wouldn't be the same.
I'm not asking about JJ's version of the characters telling this story. I'm asking whether shooting on the JJTrek sets would have diminished the appeal. Would you have turned your nose up at "Pilgrim of Eternity" if the actors had worn the costumes used in JJTrek and used the sets of JJTrek? Because it seems to me that the answer is yes, and if that's the case, then recreating the TOS sets and costumes for Star Trek (2009) would have lead you to praise JJ with endless gratitude for renewing Trek.

As for STC, after perusing other fan productions, it's definitely a cut above. And they nailed a TOS vibe, which isn't easy. I congratulate them for their work, and if they make another some day I'd watch it.
In all honesty I don't know. Because of how JJ set up his version of the universe I doubt I would give a fanfilm made in that universe a try. Speaking for myself TOS' aesthetic is part of the appeal, but certainly not all of the appeal. JJ's aesthetic is part of why I dislike his films, but not all of what I dislike about his films.

I will use the Enterprise as a small example. Matt Jefferies' original design was a mix of inspiration and hotrod design. It not only looked cool but it was also presented in a way that made it seem very believable. It showed us a future that was clean and streamlined and uncluttered. It's inspirational design and how it was presented was symbolic of the rest of the series and of the characters themselves and of the world they inhabited and had sprung from.

The Ryan Church version doesn't do that for me. I find it terribly shaped and proportioned. It has no visual balance and it looks like a miss-mash of design elements and styles. It looks arbitrary and thrown together. It is a distorted take on something generations of us have greatly admired. It flat out turns me off. Yet in its own way it, too, symbolizes the films it's in and all its elements. Next to nothing makes sense to me in JJ's films. So much of it strikes me as arbitrary and made up on the fly. I don't see any beauty in it and I don't sense any conceptual intelligence in it either.

And so because JJ's version of the Trek universe turns me off so thoroughly I likely wouldn't be inclined to give a fanfilm set in that universe a try.

I also sense you are trying to get me to give Abrams some sort of credit. And, no, you won't get me to do that simply because he has burned any goodwill I might have granted him. I greatly dislike his version or interpretation of the Trek universe. I want Roddenberry's Star Trek because it has the heart of what made it really good. JJ's doesn't have that, not in my book.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:43 PM   #148
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Re: TOS continues...

Although I am more of a TOS/TNG guy, I do enjoy 'J-J-Trek.' Some obviously don't like it, but there is plenty of classic Trek to still enjoy. To me, the nu-Trek is completely based in an alternate timeline, and so I don't see it interfering with the prime universe at all. I enjoy it for what it is, and I look forward to new movies in that universe.

As far as fan-films go though, I'm not really interested in seeing JJ's Trek as a fan film (and if memory serves, the studio doesn't want us making fan-films in the universe anyway, so it's off limits for now). There is something more fun and appealing about seeing the classic Trek we grew up with brought to life as fan-fillms. I think Star Trek Continues gets the balance right, and I'm looking forward to more episodes from this series.

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Old May 31 2013, 08:45 PM   #149
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Re: TOS continues...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
My suspicion is (in this case anyway) to fall back on the old saying: if you don't understand it then I can't explain it to you.

My sense is that you simply don't like the look and sensibility of TOS. Fine, if true, but then why pee on others' parade?
You are dead wrong.
I can appreciate both incarnations of TOS just fine.
But I don't think those who don't like the new Star Trek are stupid, while you always look down your nose at those who do like it and think just that.

Since Who mourns for Adonais was the first Star Trek episode I've ever seen, this episode here has a special appeal for me.
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Old May 31 2013, 08:52 PM   #150
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Re: TOS continues...

beamMe wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
My suspicion is (in this case anyway) to fall back on the old saying: if you don't understand it then I can't explain it to you.

My sense is that you simply don't like the look and sensibility of TOS. Fine, if true, but then why pee on others' parade?
You are dead wrong.
I can appreciate both incarnations of TOS just fine.
But I don't think those who don't like the new Star Trek are stupid, while you always look down your nose at those who do like it and think just that.

Since Who mourns for Adonais was the first Star Trek episode I've ever seen, this episode here has a special appeal for me.
Well, maybe you're just trying to bait me into saying something inflammatory which I won't do. I don't like Abrams' Trek yet others do and that's their business. My opinion of others who like JJ is my own and my own business. I've heard reasons as to why they like it and I can only say that I don't see what they see.
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