A Bit of an Update on "Kitumba" (Sort Of)

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by GSchnitzer, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Captain Atkin

    Captain Atkin Captain Captain

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    I'm not going to point a finger at anyone, because I don't know who actually posted this rough cut online. That said, releasing a rough "Director's Cut" before the actual film is released is very wrong on many levels. It shows a real level of unprofessionalism in my eyes, and speaks very poorly of whoever did this. Phase II is a team production, and this hurts the entire team. I have no issue with a Directors Cut being released online down the road, but this should have waited until after the official Phase II version was released.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Captain Captain

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    So did Vic take all the footage from Kitumba and only supply the leaked edit? Phase 2 no longer has the rest of the footage to complete the edit? Am I understanding this correctly?

    I did check out the edit briefly last night before it disappeared, although I didn't watch the whole episode. I just wanted to get a feel for the edit. If that is the edit Vic expects Phase 2 to go with, then the episode is going to suffer. It's clearly not ready for prime time and if Vic is holding back the footage, insisting that this is the best edit to go with...then ego has gotten in the way of letting the editors do their jobs. There is an AMAZING episode in there, but it won't be fully realized with Vic's edit...not with the inconsistencies in the cuts he made. He needs to let Phase 2 do their job....if indeed he is withholding the footage.
     
  3. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Yes, that's basically what happened. Over the couple of years since we shot it, I think we now have most but not all of the original footage. We've gotten it in dribs and drabs. Some important pieces (well, the prodcers think they are important) are still missing. Also, I believe we still don't have what is called in the Final Cut Pro editing software the "timeline." So rather than having something we can edit--sort of like a Microsoft Word document--we have something we can't really edit--sort of like an uneditable .pdf image of a document. And the only edit we were given is a low-definition version. So we're at a loss on how to proceed with what we have. If we can't get the last stray pieces, we may have to reshoot them--and then reshoot some other stuff that we actually already have so that, continuity-wise, it will match the new stuff we shoot.

    It's a challenge, but we'll get it all sorted out.

    Ad astra per aspera!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  4. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Captain Captain

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    Wow. That's terrible, just terrible. :(
     
  5. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Greg, you deserve kudos for the way you handle these difficulties. From Spinrad's script to this business with Kitumba, you've repeatedly demonstrated almost saintly patience. Maybe you smash china plates when no one is looking or have a poor, abused pet upon whom you vent your frustration, but your public demeanor is astonishing.

    :bolian::bolian:
     
  6. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Yeah, I'm a saint--until that day where I finally go postal.

    It's interesting: some of my biggest heroes are the White House press secretaries--who have to thread that thin line between being informative and spinning information advantageously. Sometimes I think I know how they must feel as they do their jobs. It always helps me when I remember that people who I might disagree with have their postions because they feel passionate about something. I hold such strong passions in high regard, so I treat people with respect--no matter how knuckle-headed they are. ;)

    Thank you for your kind comments. Mostly, I'm just doing my job.

    In the meantime, the bootleg "Kitumba" video was blocked by the video content provider, leading to the user simply taking it down once the party was over. So the smoke is clearing and the dust is settling. We'll see how this all shapes up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  7. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    I completely understand why the Phase II folks would want to distance themselves from an edit they didn't authorise.

    That said, I think its time for those who aren't directly involved to step back and let those who are deal with it quietly. :)
     
  8. CaptainSerek

    CaptainSerek Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with Nick and the others, I will wait for the official authorized release of the episode and see it as Phase II intended.
     
  9. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Regarding all the melodrama behind the scenes, add me to the chorus of people who think it should remain behind the scenes. I don't wish any ill will on anyone, least of all the various fan film groups who produce these wonderful gems for me to enjoy free of charge, and I do sincerely hope things will be settled in a way that is amicable and beneficial to all involved.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  10. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Kitubma is a two-parter, right? So the leaked version was part 1 of 2?
     
  11. Captain Randy Hall

    Captain Randy Hall Commodore Commodore

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    Add me to the list of those who plan to wait for the official (notice I didn't use quote marks on that word) version of "Kitumba."

    To be honest, I'm glad this was brought to light. If I didn't know about it, I might have stumbled upon that version during a slow week and gone ahead and reviewed the thing. (Unless the quality was significantly poorer than usual, which I suspect is the case.)

    The personal clashes don't interest me, but I think everyone who works on a project should abide by the guidelines of the organization. Phase II has been producing tremendous work for several years now, and I'm sure that many fans like me will wait for the final cut.

    I hope all the material for the production can be used in generating the final episode. If not, I'll be sad that we might never get to see "Kitumba." But no matter what, I'm right with the other fans of this excellent series.:bolian:
     
  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    John Meredyth Lucas' original "Kitumba" script for the aborted Star Trek Phase II series only made it to the "Writer's Working Draft Script" stage--not quite to an official "First Draft." That original Writers Working Draft Script did indeed contemplate that the episode ultimately would end up being a two-parter.

    As we looked at the script, teleplay writer Patty Wright attempted to adapt it and shoehorn the John Meredyth Lucas version of the Klingon Empire into what we now "know" about the Klingons based on a dozen movies and four Trek series that hadn't existed when the original script was written. She had to do this in a way that would do justice to both Lucas' original vision and the 45 years' worth of Klingon lore that has developed since.

    In adapting the script, it became apparent that there just wasn't enough there there to sustain a two-parter. All of the expository "Behold the amazing end exotic Klingons" content of the script could be dispensed with. (By now, we are all well aquainted with Klingons; they aren't quite so amazing anymore.) In the end, when we stripped out much of the duplicative content and talky exposition that existed in Lucas' original script, our Star Trek Phase II fan film production of "Kitumba," ends up being one single episode--one lean and mean kick-butt episode.

    We have miles to go until we get it released, however. In the meantime, sit back and go watch our episode "The Child" again.
     
  13. PvtKtara

    PvtKtara Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm wondering how this Vic character managed to make off with all the footage. Shouldn't that have stayed with Phase II? Even if he wanted to edit it on his own, we're not talking film stock here. Shouldn't the raw footage have stayed with Cawley?
     
  14. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Yes, that would have been better. The information technology processes related to our episodes--with all the terabytes of digital data and hard drives large enough to handle and copy and back-up this massive amount of data--are some of the most complex aspects of our production; we're always working on improving our processes--and sometimes we learn the hard way. It's not filmstock, but it's a monumental challenge to deal with such enormous amounts of data navertheless.
     
  15. scifib5st

    scifib5st Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you for what you do. This helps explain why this episode has taken soooo loooong. Now I know the great crew working on this have not dropped the ball. We fans enjoy the episodes you make, we were just woundering why this was taken so long. This will help us wait until it is completed.
     
  16. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    It's always worth repeating what our lag-time between episodes is. I'm not sure if our stats are good or bad--but people often don't actually know what our production rate is:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Captain Captain

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    I certainly hope that everything works out and that the Phase 2 team is able to release the episode with a proper edit, without having to go back and re-film parts of it.

    It would be nice if Vic would do the right thing and give whatever raw materials remain back to Phase 2. I find the act of putting together a director's edit that wasn't ready (if you're reading this Vic, yes...it needs more work) and then telling phase 2 to essentially take it or leave it appalling. Regardless of whether or not they were 'best intentions' it's just not the right thing to do.

    Fingers crossed everything works out for the best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  18. Tribble Herder

    Tribble Herder Lieutenant Commander

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    New rule suggestion for all future directors of Phase II episodes: Unless your name is James Cawley, or you work for CBS, it ain't your project! You don't get to take the footage home and hold it hostage!
     
  19. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    This strikes me as the kind of thing that would have been easily avoided had there been some kind of contractual paperwork between all the relevant parties involved stipulating what gets done with the footage and who gets to, ultimately, house it.

    I'm sure whatever the internal conflict is, each party will probably take that nugget of wisdom from Maurice much more seriously next time around.
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    It strikes me that contractual paperwork doesn't really help: if there is some kind of breach of contract, it would ultimately have to be settled in a court of law. It might end up being a Pyrrhic victory.

    As I've said before, if it turns into a pissing match--especially an actual breach of contract legal pissing match, I can easily imagine the actual copyright holders just declaring "a pox on all your houses" and shutting the whole thing down once and for all.

    It's interesting that some people have suggested settling it "behind the scenes." But an actual legal case to settle a contractual disputes is about as public as you can get.