‘Star Trek 3′: Roberto Orci Wants to Direct

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by HaplessCrewman, Apr 22, 2014.

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  1. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Because his movies are hugely popular and have made hundreds of millions of dollars.

    That's the way it works. As far as the people whose money is on the line are concerned, that's the way it ought to work.
     
  2. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If anything the film maps to historical reality rather than conspiracy theory: Marcus ( Bush ) capitalizes on Khan's ( Bin Laden's ) terrorism in order to further his agenda of a war against the Klingons ( Iraq ).
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The thing is, writers in feature films are not free agents; they're usually just doing what the directors instruct them to do. The onscreen writing credits on a feature film are usually just the tip of the iceberg; a script credited to one or two writers is more likely to be a Frankensteinian hodgepodge of scenes from drafts by half a dozen or more different writers, most of them uncredited. (And sometimes most of the work is done by an uncredited writer. Speed is credited solely to Graham Yost, because the basic story structure came from his script, but in fact almost every line of dialogue in the film was written by Joss Whedon.) The reason so many feature-film scripts are so messy and incoherent is because writers have exactly zero power to protect their ideas unless they're also producing or directing, because it's the producers and directors who have the real power.

    For example, if you look at the original film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, written by Joss Whedon but directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui, it's a complete mess, because the director and cast (notably Donald Sutherland) were free to hack Whedon's script to bits and twist it in directions he never intended. It wasn't until Whedon turned BTVS into a television series, with himself as executive producer, that he was able to portray the character and her world the way he wanted and create something good. But now that Whedon is actually directing the films he writes, he has the power to protect his words and his vision.

    Of the films you mention above, the only ones that Orci and Kurtzman produced, rather than simply writing, were Cowboys and Aliens and Spidey 2. On the others, they were only writing, and that means they were hired to execute the directors' vision, period. For instance, on Transformers 2, it was Michael Bay who constructed the "story" of that film (during the writers' strike) by deciding what action set pieces he wanted to build the film around, and Kurtzman & Orci were brought in after the strike simply to create connective plot tissue to tie those action sequences together. And then an entirely different writer, Ehren Kruger, was brought in to rewrite that script and add the "humor" (including the disturbing racial-stereotype characters). So Orci & Kurtzman had limited input into that script and absolutely no control over how it turned out.

    From what I've seen of the process behind the past two Trek films, I think that Orci & Kurtzman's ideas have been undermined somewhat by the changes imposed by others like Abrams and Lindelof. I'd like to see what the result would be if they were actually able to control the process and get their own (relatively) unfiltered vision on the screen. Although, of course, Orci and Kurtzman are now going their separate ways where their film careers are concerned, so I guess it wouldn't be "their" work anymore.
     
  4. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ST'09 was filmed during the writer's strike, so they weren't allowed to make writing changes on the fly for that one.
     
  5. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And then there's THE ISLAND, which got in a lot of trouble for plagiarizing. Beyond that, they just don't seem to have much of a good track record, even when they started producing the films they wrote and had more control over.

    Yup. A lot of junk gets rewarded as the box office and those people get more work to make more junk. Sad but true.
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Admittedly that is not a terribly encouraging sign.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not during most of shooting, but definitely toward the end and in editing and post-production. You'd be surprised how much a film's content can be changed after filming by redubbing and selectively editing the dialogue. I recall reading an article about how they were actually able to use CGI to alter Leonard Nimoy's mouth movements to fit redubbed dialogue. My understanding is that the entire Spock Prime mind-meld sequence, which contains the most ludicrous science in the movie (the whole ridiculous portrayal of the supernova and how it's "stopped"), was constructed quite late in post-production and was substantially altered from what was originally planned.

    Now, if you think the films that Orci and Kurtzman had a hand in producing were unsatisfying, that's your prerogative. I'm just trying to clarify the process. As a general rule, unless the credited writers of a film are also producing or directing, you cannot safely assume that the finished film reflects what those writers actually wrote in their drafts of the script, or what they would have written if they'd been controlling the process rather than following the director's orders. You can't even safely assume that the credited writers are responsible for a single word of dialogue you hear in the film. That's why so many Hollywood screenwriters have their names on films that run the gamut from brilliant to awful.
     
  8. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hey, PEOPLE LIKE US was pretty.... eh, yeah.
     
  9. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    No.

    Yup. Movies that lots of people actually want to see get rewarded at the box office. Movies that not many people want to see - you know, like the last few oldTrek movies - lose out.

    What's "sad" about that? You think there's some other way that things should work? Is it that you think studios owe some small number of people access to their resources, or that you think most people are somehow less than bright or deserving?

    You know what's really an inferior product? A product that people don't want.

    (Yes, commercial films are products. Surprise!)
     
  10. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The last few oldTrek films got what they deserved at the box office, a fine case of subpar films not getting rewarded.

    Honestly, I don't give a shit what people want. What I want is better writing in films. A lot of studios just crank out films with subpar scripts because they know that the spectacle is what will sell these films, not quality scripts. Nothing wrong with wanting spectacle, but I'd like a little more than just a plot strung together by action sequences and cliches. I'm not asking for endless conference meetings where characters explain everything and bore everyone.

    I don't mind STAR TREK being turned into summer spectacle, but I'd like better writing and less cliches. Is that asking too much?
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then stop paying for theater tickets and DVDs/blu rays for films like these. Vote with your wallet.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it's always kind of amusing to see people talk like they're unofficial bean-counters for the movie studio.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not hard to get a reading on these things. If a $150 million dollar movie sells $400 million in tickets and a sequel is greenlit, the studio would generally be happy. If a $150 million dollar film grosses $75 million and is never talked about again, the studio would generally be unhappy. :shrug:
     
  14. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a good point you make, though I didn't bother with the dvd/blu-rays, I did buy those tickets. Both times I was optimistic about them, even after ST09 I still gave STID a shot because it looked more like a Star Trek story now that we had gotten past the origin stories. I love Star Trek and I give everything a shot before deciding to stop. I watched ENTERPRISE for the first several episodes before giving up.

    After two disappointments, I likely won't see that third film, especially if Orci and the Bad Robot crew are still heavily involved.

    I think a lot of fans get wrapped up in the box office stuff because they genuinely want to see Trek return as a popular entity after NEMESIS and ENTERPRISE tanking. I am glad that Trek has become popular again. I do see the positives of nuTrek such as new fans starting to discover the older shows and films.
     
  15. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Way to completely miss the point there.
     
  16. thumbtack

    thumbtack Commodore Commodore

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    .
     
  17. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    The feeling is undoubtedly mutual. It's decided then: movie studios will continue to make movies that they think lots of people will like. :)
     
  18. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FIFY ;)
     
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cute, I'll give you that. :techman: But knowing something about box office numbers and believing one is an ambassador for the studio's profits are different things.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  20. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    That just doesn't make sense. How is Admiral Marcus any different than Admiral Leyton? President Bush was The President, the top dog, that was the defining characteristic of the whole thing. You can't just slide in an Admiral going rogue and say it's the same thing, especially, when Trek has already done this basic plot with an Admiral, years before 09/11/2001.
     
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