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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old June 19 2009, 09:00 AM   #1
Maurice
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A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

I don't really know where else to post this, but it might be of interest to some of you because it involves the talents of several people who worked on fan films. The mods can close or move it if it's the wrong place.

On June 5-7 I led a team participating in the 48 Hour Film Project contest for San Francisco. In addition to myself, on my team were Scott Cummins (director of Starship Exeter: The Tressaurian Intersection) as Editor/Assistant Director, and Michael Struck and NEO f/x for visual effects. Me, I wrote the unfilmed Exeter script "The Atlantis Invaders" and designed the weapons and defense station for the Exeter bridge, as well as have worked on some Star Trek video game projects, published and not.

In the 48 Hour Film Project you draw a genre out of a hat. We pulled Musical or Western. As I had already secured a location, whatever genre we got, it was going to be set there. The location in question might be of some small interest to genre fans: it is the Short Solent Mk.3 flying boat "City of Cardiff", which masqueraded as a Pan Am Clipper in Raiders of the Lost Ark. So, we did a western...on a plane...in 1949.


Since the plane was used in Raiders, we put a couple of Raiders sight gags in the film. If you watch it, see if you can spot them. One is reallllly obvious, especially after you look at the pix below.


Here's the upper deck of the plane as seen in our film. The woman with the red flower on her hat is in the same seat Indiana Jones settles into in the frame grab below (the curtains were removed).




Finally, in this last pic, you can see that the back wall matches the photo from our film.

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Old June 19 2009, 01:13 PM   #2
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

I loved it!

"Must one have a cow to be a cowboy?"


"Are you going to fight real Indians?"

Of course! I'm flying them in from Bombay."


Good stuff, DS9!
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Old June 19 2009, 09:12 PM   #3
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Professor Moriarty wrote: View Post
I loved it!

"Must one have a cow to be a cowboy?"


"Are you going to fight real Indians?"

Of course! I'm flying them in from Bombay."


Good stuff, DS9!
Thanks, Moriarty. I had a great team who did amazing work in literally one 13 hour shooting day. I had a great hair and make-up lady who made everyone look beautiful and authentic to the time, and the cast and crew showed up with an amazing pile of clothing for the wardrobe.

Fortunately, I had a cast of really talented actors who actually have a lot of professional experience and brought parts to life that only had a couple of lines. They all figured out bits of business and body language, from the suspender snaps to the female lead being clumsy. The guy who plays the villain, P.A. Cooley, left our set at 4:30 and a few hours later was performing in the opening night of a Terrance McNally play, where he plays a bunch of different characters. That's dedication!

Did you catch both of the Raiders prop gags?
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Old June 19 2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Nice work, you really nailed the look of the time (at least to my eyes). I really enjoyed it.
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Old June 19 2009, 11:45 PM   #5
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Good short, especially with the 48 hour pressure, that's not always easy. Is the script supervisor Rebecca Wood from Hidden Frontier ?
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Old June 20 2009, 02:45 AM   #6
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

I thought it was great.


Well done.
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Old June 20 2009, 03:16 AM   #7
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
Nice work, you really nailed the look of the time (at least to my eyes). I really enjoyed it.
Thanks! Although we are barred from doing costume design outside the 48 hour time period, I told my team what the location was and when the planes were in service and pointed them to photos from that time period, so, when they showed up the morning of the shoot, they could all bring anything they thought might be appropriate. The actor who played the villain happened to have an actual vintage 40s suit, which is what's he's wearing. The plane had a pair of blue jackets with braid on the wrists, which we used for the steward and bartender.

When the film was screened at the Roxie Theater on Tuesday I was surprised that people laughed at the magazine and at the final shot of Her Not-So Highness...which I honestly didn't think anyone would spot. The gag about the "riding" got the single biggest laugh of any of the 15 films screened that night, which was nice.

Hudson_uk wrote: View Post
Good short, especially with the 48 hour pressure, that's not always easy. Is the script supervisor Rebecca Wood from Hidden Frontier ?
It's a challenge putting anything quality together in that time frame. You have to generate a story out of nothing AND incorporate the three Elements the contest gives you. We had to incorporate the following:
Character -- Claude or Claudette Green, a guitarist
Prop -- A Hat
Line of Dialog -- "I believe anyone can change."
We went from assignment to emailed out shooting script in 8 hours.

And, no, our Rebecca Wood is not from Hidden Frontier. Ours is actually visible in the next row of seats in the gap between Green and Her Not-So Highness. She's wearing a bluish dress. Since space was an issue we plopped her in shot as an Extra and let her do her job on camera, as if she was a passenger writing in a journal. In another scene she was jammed into the coat closet alongside the camera, poor thing, but she's a trooper!

Kelso wrote: View Post
I thought it was great.

Well done.
Thanks!
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Old June 25 2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Cross-posted from this thread.
Dennis wrote: View Post
Yeah, I really was impressed and enjoyed it.

Out of curiosity, what was your lighting set-up like there? I'd think it'd be pretty close quarters.
It was TIGHT. The main deck (Cabin E) was big, but we had to pile people up in the kitchen when we did the wide shot of the cabin for the end!

As you can see here, we used the daylight from the windows and mostly augmented that with small Kino Flo florescent banks. There's also an Inky being used in this take (at right).



Below's a crop wherein you can see one of the Kinos better.

That's me talking to my Director of Photography (Eriq Wities). Scott Cummins is in green, watching as a grip works on the window from outside. This setup was to do the one-shots of Claude Green (Jim Shelton).

Below is what was going on outside...

...Our grips taped opalescent diffusion over the airplane's windows. What this did was let us use the natural bright daylight as a rim/side light, but the diffusion softened it, and also allowed the windows to "blow out" without going all overexposed. This made the view out the windows look all soft and cloudy.


Here's me directing Her Not-So Highness (Meg Curry) on her final bit of business in the film. The empty seat to the left is the one Indy snored in. The hatch at the back is open for ventilation, but we closed it as soon as we started rolling.

As in a previous message, because space behind the camera was so limited, we put our Script Supervisor (Rebecca J. Wood) in costume and actually put her in shot. That's her with the black hat and the blue dress, doing her job on-camera!

Cooley looks real familiar to me, BTW - has he done any TV or film work that I might have seen?
P.A. has done a lot of stage work here on the Bay Area, but not much film or TV to my knowledge. He was the son bunny in my film from last year.
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Old June 25 2009, 08:59 PM   #9
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Oh, I liked the "Raiders" golden idol, too.
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Old June 25 2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Dennis wrote: View Post
Oh, I liked the "Raiders" golden idol, too.
Heh. We almost forgot it...and I forgot to have our Set Dresser place a Maltese Falcon I had on the set! I wanted it on the bar.
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Old June 27 2009, 02:49 AM   #11
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

That was pretty f'ing entertaining. "Madams, that is not what I meant by bareback riding?!"
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Old June 30 2009, 09:25 AM   #12
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

middyseafort wrote: View Post
That was pretty f'ing entertaining. "Madams, that is not what I meant by bareback riding?!"
Thanks! That line -- "Madams! That is not the kind of bareback riding I was talking about!" got the single biggest laugh of any one joke in the screening our film was in.

A friend and I shot some video before and after the premier screening, which I have edited together and posted on YouTube.

Take a look, as many behind the scenes people get a moment in the limelight...or perhaps that's lemonlight.
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Old June 30 2009, 05:18 PM   #13
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

What kind of camera were you using?
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Old June 30 2009, 08:56 PM   #14
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

Dennis...in speaking to Scott, it was a totally solid-state Panasonic camera that recorded in 24fps 720p. The footage I saw looked fantastic!

Also, can you believe the exterior shots were actually just a static picture of a model plane that we put CGI elements on? Kinda old school, but it was effetive for 3 hours worth of work.
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Old June 30 2009, 11:45 PM   #15
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Re: A non-SciFi short made by some fanfilm people

NEO f/x wrote: View Post
Dennis...in speaking to Scott, it was a totally solid-state Panasonic camera that recorded in 24fps 720p. The footage I saw looked fantastic!
It's an older Panasonic that writes to P2 cards. We actually shot on a higher-end camera last year (1920x1080), but this year the Director of Photography was better.

The issue with this particular camera is the P2 cards: to actually plug in a P2 card, you need a full size PCMCIA slot. These are the slots on the old g4 Powerbooks. Intel MacBook Pro's have a different size. I can't speak for any PC laptops, etc. My D.P. has an old G4 that he uses for ingesting cards.

So, if you use the same camera, you need a full-size PCMCIA slow and the P2 drivers. I think more recent models may use more conventional memory card sizes, but I'm not up to speed on this.

NEO f/x wrote: View Post
Also, can you believe the exterior shots were actually just a static picture of a model plane that we put CGI elements on? Kinda old school, but it was effetive for 3 hours worth of work.
It worked like a charm. You did a great job on those shots, and, hey, if cut-out animation was good enough for Stanley Kubrick in 2001, it's good enough for us!

As to the physical model, it was a Short Sunderland kit by Airfix, modified by John Sims into a Short Solent. We photographed the model in natural daylight against an orange card, which gave us nice perfectly parallel shadows. We left the props off so Michael wouldn't have to paint them out. Michael then cut out the images, got rid of the orange color spill, and worked his magic on them.
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