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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old May 25 2013, 02:45 AM   #1
Johnnymuffintop
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Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

As a subsidiary of my prop and costuming business, I'm trying to branch out into fan productions and this is my big debut.

The concept:
The pilot would be focused primarily on Picard, likely culminating in the Stargazer incident essentially how it happened in the Prime universe. Beyond that we would explore original plot lines for the most part during Next Gen's era, while trying to avoid remaking episodes as best we can.

The design:
We're going for a JJ overall feel but I'll be toning down some aspects mainly due to budget restrictions. However the visuals and size/scale of things will be hopefully still preserved. Around these parts that may have some of you a little worried, I understand, but it's just how I choose to go with Trek. All species other than human will be undergoing at least some minor changes in appearance, some more than others. And in some rare occasions I'll even be differing from JJ's take on specific species.

Still waiting on a reply from an old friend but I'm hoping to get Josh Samuelson, aka MadeinJapan1988 on deviantart for our ship designer.
He did an exploration of a JJ Enterprise D a while back. She's not final, but she'll damn close to this for my production.


As for wardrobe, I'm shooting for VERY fashion forward, having my friend Paige, aka PrinceHamlette do the warbrode design including uniforms and civilian clothes.
Here's a little sample of her take on the TOS Romulan Commander.


CASTING, there's the final piece of the puzzle and so far all I have for sure is my Picard, admittedly he's still rather young but that's intentional since we first will be seeing him young.


I'd like to hear all of your thoughts on such a project as I finish pre-production. I'd also love to answer any and all answers about the specifics of the project.
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Old May 25 2013, 03:11 AM   #2
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Good luck with this - I'd like to see some nuTrek fan productions.
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Old May 25 2013, 03:13 AM   #3
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Are you hoping to film actual episodes or just putting together art as a companion to a written story?
Also, if you're looking for help, I'd be interested in writing and story development.
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Old May 25 2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Intending to film actual episodes, ideally shoot some test footage by August. Always appreciate assistance and would love to collaborate.
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Old May 25 2013, 03:31 AM   #5
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Cool. I have some ideas about possible story ideas as well as some thoughts on an overall structure. Should I post them here or keep everyone else in the dark as we plot and scheme?
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Old May 25 2013, 03:51 AM   #6
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

I'm always a fan of plotting and scheming myself. Let the audience have to wait until the finished product to see it in it's entirety. That being said, if you care to drop some thoughts in, feel free. I wanted to use this primarily as a discussion about what it COULD be as well as get people interested in the production itself.
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Old May 25 2013, 05:11 AM   #7
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Ok, I'll probably catch some flak for this and I'll preface it by saying I have no experience in any actual film production...and I Have nothing but respect for all fan productions. Regardless of the quality in the final output, I give them credit for the work they have done and what they have achieved.

That being said, there is a problem I have noticed in many fan productions. For the most part, many seem to intent on trying and recreate some aspect of one various series. Regardless of whether it's a crew on a ship or a crew on a station, there seems to be a strict adherence to the episode/season format. This ultimately hurts many fan productions I think.

Instead of trying to create several episodes over a long period of time, why not try to make a movie, or a mini-series with one overall tightly focused story. Regardless of the story you tell, I think this heightened focus on a smaller project can improve production because you're giving everyone involved a very clear goal to work towards.

So rather than trying to recreate TNG in the Abrams verse, figure out a story you want to tell, then figure out a way to film it. Once that story is complete, tell another one.

Because let's be realistic and yes, I realize that this goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. We're not hollywood. We don't have their resources or their budget. Even the most well financed fan productions still have trouble completing episodes in a timely manner. And from what I've seen, most fan productions stick with that episode format as if it's the only thing they are allowed to do. Don't venture too far, or you might do something original.

So why not take some chances. I know that if I came across two fan productions, one that was yet another crew aboard a starship series and another that was telling a unique story about some small personal aspect of the Star Trek universe, I would be much more interested in the latter. Taking the risk and doing something that hasn't been done often or at all, goes a long way in my book. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I at least hope you give this some consideration.

Don't worry about pilots and season structures. Figure out a story you want to tell and focus on telling it as well as possible. If the story is good, the audience will forgive other things like poor acting or bad CGI.

As for story ideas, if you have Picard already cast, than obviously make him the center of the production and I would suggest making it a personal piece about him.

I think it would be interesting to start out doing some things set on Earth. We have earth all around us, so why not take advantage of it before you have to get into space and CGI. Ground things in reality with small everyday tasks. One of the things I love about the Abrams films, is that there are simple everyday occurrences...then you look at the bigger picture and realize they're in the future when a shuttle craft flies by.
We see Kirk in a bar, or riding a moto cycle, or driving a car, and in the previous film you see parents watching over their sick child. Those are all things you can point to and say, those are things I can relate to. I've done those things or I know someone how has. It makes things real and adds a level of authenticity to the story without having to exert a great deal of effort.

So, show Picard at home with his brother and have him chide Picard for missing his wedding. Mention Marie is pregnant or has just had Rene...just brainstorming here without much thought about the specific timing of when events in his life would actually occur.

You mentioned the Stargazer and we know Picard faced a court martial when the ship was destroyed, so you could show that as well.

It could be interesting showing a character coming to grips with having lost his first command during a court martial....featuring flashbacks to the action that occurred aboard the ship as Picard gives his testimony. He saved some of the crew, but ultimately lost the ship. Bring up whats her name that acted as judge during Data's trial against Commander Maddex...
Jack Crusher might also be around during this time as well.
Few if any actual crew were actually mentioned by name so you could go with as many new characters as you like.
If Picard was the commanding officer of the Stargazer, then he might feel obligated to visit the families of some of the crew.

If your actor is up to the task, this could be a really great character piece.

The ending....Picard is acquitted of course, but they still don't know who the aliens actually are who destroyed the Stargazer. If you recall, they didn't actually make first contact with the Ferengi until later in TNG proper. For some reason which isn't clear, Picard is given a new ship to hunt these aliens down and see just how dangerous they really are.

I would end it here and then make the second story about Picard wrestling with his orders to investigate the Ferengi threat...it's clear Starfleet expects some sort of retribution, but Picard is determined to find a peaceful alternative.

With some careful work, the story can serve as both the set up to the second part when the Enterprise is finally launched and as a standalone character piece for Picard. If nothing else, you'll go into that second episode with a well developed established character and one production already under your belt. For my money, you'll also have the bonus of doing something that is unique, making a fan production that isn't just a recreation/spinoff or continuation of the series that have come before.

Again I don't intend to any disrepute towards any of the fan productions currently taking place. The bottom line is that were I in your position, I would focus my efforts on something other than trying to recreate the ship/station/crew episodic format. To each their own though because as I understand it, fan productions are all passion projects so there's really no right or wrong.

Anyway, The big question of course is how the movies will effect the TNG era. Personally, I think many things have been accelerated and Starfleet's apparent rush towards pursuing advanced technology has not only put them into contact with a number of species they might not have met until later, but also created a sort of cold war arms race throughout much of the quadrant.

Some sort of general timeline of major events might be required, just so everyone involved has a general idea of where things stand.
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Old May 25 2013, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Timeline planning is currently where I need the most help. I agree I want to have it be more of a character piece and less of a "Mystery, Discovery, Resolution" episode format. I simple use the term series because I plan more than one. I kind of wish to have it be in a somewhat BBC's Sherlock format of longer than an hour episodes with an overall story arc told through multiple episodes with no more than 5 episodes per season.

Though I'm not doing the ship/station/crew format exactly, I do want to have all of those elements designed in case I need to include them.

Come the time that the Enterprise is introduced, I want to give the impression that Picard doesn't need a family in the genetic sense, the crew is his family.

Also, love your thoughts on the real purpose behind Picard getting his own command after the Stargazer. Admittedly I still want the Ferengi to be a relatively comical species, if at the time they've managed to buy superior tech they still could be threatening.
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Old May 25 2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

This is a bold fanfilm idea - a TNG reboot.

I like when people do something a bit different. I checked PrinceHamlette's DeviantART but the images are all locked for some reason.

One thing I should warn you about is Paramount or whoever it is don't like JJverse fan films, they have put down a couple of projects. Maybe you could just call it an alternate timeline? being 24th Century where they're in the Kirk era might not matter.

Timeline-wise, I'd work ot a rough timeline by bullet pointing, e.g:

- Picard gradautes from Starfleet
- meets Beverley Howard
- attends wedding
- joins the crew of the Stargazer
etc...

So you plan to introduce Picard on the Stargazer then later the Enterprise-D - that's great a 'prequel' to TNG would be fun with Jack & Beverley Crusher, Guinan and others who helped formalise Picard's early years.

It'd be interesting to see how you reimagine the rest of the crew.

If I were rebooting that era I would include characters even just in a minor way from DS9 and Voyager, maybe have a EMH onboard and even have DS9 as a regular visiting spot, of course with older TOS people appearing too. Take the opportunity of that humongous canvas drawn between 1987-2002. The Sky's the Limit

What have you produced before? 5 episodes of at least 60mins is hugely ambitious, maybe you should take it step-by-step.

I think it could be fun to revisit TNG in a new and different way. I look forward to seeing your future plans!
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Old May 25 2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

I like this idea but only if it were reimagined. Trying to connect the dots is too much baggage to deal with. An alternate history reboot would suffice. I do think the ship/crew should be recreated. No windows on the ship - just closed viewing ports. how about Julien Picard this time and no Crushers or Rikers. Deckers and no doctors on the bridge let alone a Betazoid empathic (witch). Mix it up. Change it around, or do you want to be as rigid as Picard and Riker were. They were Herberts and reminded me of Frank Burns and Donald Pinopscott of MASH. Don't make it a prequel. Recreate it and take some liberties with it. TNG wasn't Sherlock Holmes, but I agree with a multi overarcing mystery that is interconnected to something larger that could resonate later.
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Old May 25 2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

I think what you're going to do is fantastic but I have one request: Dump it all. Make it yours. Don't make "Star Trek" but make a story for you that just so happens to take place in the Trek universe.

Go radical, this is your baby.
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Old May 26 2013, 12:25 AM   #12
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Danlav05, I like your thoughts as to throwing in some other characters, even if just mentions of them, from the era. I've done a couple 20 minute productions in the past but this is still something I'll be taking step-by-step.

Xortex, I'm not gonna try to connect the dots too much, just a brief story early on establishing the same crew/cast of characters but each one will a bit different. Similar to how the JJverse has the same characters but in a unique way.
Star Trek characters have always been written to reflect their time, or at least when Roddenberry was still informed. The crews were purposely diverse to show the audience of their times how simple it'd be to all live in harmony. I wanna use the same characters as a way to do this again for our times now.

Kruezerman, I couldn't agree more. All I know is I want the setting to be Star Trek, using that as a way to tell interesting original stories with that an primarily the playground we'd get to work/live in. I have some ideas as to the original stories I want to tell just wanna keep those secret until the end.
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Old May 26 2013, 04:42 AM   #13
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

I say change Riker to Matt Decker, lose the name Crusher, have Geordi's eyes look like that guy from TMP on the bridge who questions Uhura about Kirk with swirling contact lenses instead of a woman's hair bow. For God sake change the uniforms and the bridges. The TNG bridge was as off center as Patrick Stewart was.
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Old May 28 2013, 10:26 PM   #14
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Johnnymuffintop wrote: View Post
Kruezerman, I couldn't agree more. All I know is I want the setting to be Star Trek, using that as a way to tell interesting original stories with that an primarily the playground we'd get to work/live in. I have some ideas as to the original stories I want to tell just wanna keep those secret until the end.
Ya know man, if it were me (and thank God it's not) I'd put it in TMP. I think it would be so much more interesting story-wise if it was set just a few years down the road instead of a hundred. And if the new movies or series contradict it, so what? Like I said, make this yours, independent!

Dude, I would love to see maybe a ghost story or zombies or even the Borg! We need a Trek that doesn't care and wants to have fun!
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Old May 28 2013, 11:13 PM   #15
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Re: Currently Untitled JJverse Next Gen Production

Jimi_James wrote: View Post
Ok, I'll probably catch some flak for this and I'll preface it by saying I have no experience in any actual film production...and I Have nothing but respect for all fan productions. Regardless of the quality in the final output, I give them credit for the work they have done and what they have achieved.

That being said, there is a problem I have noticed in many fan productions. For the most part, many seem to intent on trying and recreate some aspect of one various series. Regardless of....
Aren't there only so many ways you can go? Standalone/Film, Mini-series/Series? Everything else is narrative.

I would suspect that ST fans, albeit subconsciously, expect a certain format with which they are familiar. You step away from this, and no matter how good the story is, you lose a good chunk of the crowd, though probably pick up another group along the way, though a bigger risk.

I personally yearn for more prime post-voyager! Pleeeease!
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