Borderline Trek Film

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Melonpool, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I was wondering if it'd be OK for me to post updates on the film I'm working on right now.

    It's a puppet film called "Melonpool: The Motion Picture" and the story is roughly "Star Trek: The Motion Picture meets Rescue From Giliigan's Island." I drew a webcomic from 1996-2004 and have spent the last few years developing projects with the same characters as puppets. I'm building the set right now.

    My film isn't technically a fan film or a spoof -- but it does borrow heavily from my love of Star Trek, Star Wars and other sci-fi movies and shows to create something (hopefully) different.

    You can see the old webcomic here. I'll wait to post any photos or updates until I hear back.

    I enjoy all of your work!

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  2. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Awesome! There isn't nearly enough puppet scifi.

    Can't wait to see more.
     
  3. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks! I did a lot of work on the set this weekend. It should start looking a lot more like a spaceship as soon as I add the paint and the lights. I'm not sure when the actual filming will commence, but at least the script is in good shape and the cast and the director are set. I really need to assemble a tech crew to help in the set -- it's amazing how long it takes with just me doing all the construction. Oh well, that's show biz!

    Here are a couple of pics. Enjoy!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here's a sketch of what I'm trying to build:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Looking great!
     
  5. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So, I got my door working this weekend! I still have to work on getting it lined up straight and securing it at the bottom of the doors, but at least the mechanism is working!

    Enjoy!

    Door Tests
     
  6. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    How did you get it to work? What hardware did you use?
     
  7. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I used a tranverse rod cord control that I found at Home Depot and a standard closet track.

    It took a little doing, but after removing all of the plastic clips that are used to hang the drapes on, I was able to attach the moving end of the mechanism to the doors. When you pull the cord, the doors open and when you pull the other cord, they close.

    Mine are a little wonky at the bottom because I have to leave it open for the puppeteers -- something that shouldn't be a concern for you guys. I think I have an idea on how to make a tack for it that won't get in our way. That should stabilize it.

    I made the doors because my doorway is only 16 inches wide and about 3 1/2 feet tall, but you guys should be able to use real doors.

    I think this is the way New Voyages does it (I used to chat with one of their builders), but it could be that their mechanism is based on a traverse rod. Mine, being smaller, might be able to use the standard pull string.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    I had not thought of that! I had figured we'd have two volunteers controlling it. My wife the engineer had told me she'd design something for me, but when I told her of your message, she started laughing, looked at her sketch, and threw it away. The simplest solution is again the best solution. Thanks!!!!
     
  9. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, it's far from a perfect solution, but it seems to work reliably enough -- and it's a lot more precise than having two guys on either door.

    One idea I thought about doing for years involved a bike chain and a bike gear and used the same idea for a mechanism found in the adjustable paper tray on most copy machines. if you ever take one apart, there's a small geared wheel and two flat geared things at the top of each slider -- one which lines up with the top of the gear and one that lines up with the bottom.

    When one side is moved, the other moves in the opposite direction. My idea was to make a giant one of these out of the bike gears and chain, attached to two closet doors on a track -- but figuring out how to do this stymied me for about four years... until the guy over at Phase II clued me in on the traverse rod idea.

    You're right! The simple solutions are often the best ones!
     
  10. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Reducing it to one guy pulling a cord will make our lives much easier. With space being a premium on our bridge, we'll be able to use the curved turbolift approach along with the traverse lines, and voila.

    Funny you should mention the copiers considering that's what I do for a living. That particular kind of cord is generally a metal one, and that might be better than the draw string from the traverse blinds. I think a chain would be too noisy, though.
     
  11. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I finally got a new picture posted and a short clip testing out how a wide angle lens makes the set look. It actually does make the 12-foot set look a lot more expansive -- you guys may want to invest in a wide angle lens for your camera (I got mine for about $25). With any luck, the camera you're using is set up for something like that.

    [​IMG]

    A little movie showing the set in action
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  12. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This looks great! I once dreamt of doing something like this. Kudos to you for making it happen.

    Will this be raunchy puppet humor, or something I can watch with my daughter?
     
  13. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure what kind of lenses we have access to, but I'll ask our director of photography... Seems like that would be a good approach on some shots.
     
  14. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's going to be kid friendly -- hopefully, your daughter will still be a kid by the time we get it done! I'm kind of approaching this like a "Star Trek for kids" and the plot is more or less lifted from TMP. It won't be necessary to have seen TMP, but anyone that has will get another layer of enjoyment out of it.

    At least, that's my hope. We're going to have our first reading of the script on Saturday with the cast and a small audience of friends. Hopefully they'll all think it's as funny as I do. ;)

    Steve
     
  15. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So, we had our first script reading on Saturday night. It went really well! It seemed to play well to people unfamiliar with my comic/puppets as well as people that have never seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture, so I think the script has accomplished what I wanted it to. There's still a lot of work to do (like fundraising), but I'm thrilled to have crossed this milestone in the production!
     
  16. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Did they get to see the puppets they are voicing?
     
  17. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah. a lot of them have been doing these puppets for years at comic conventions and we did a movie back in 1994 when I was in college. The puppets keep getting revised, but the puppeteers keep coming back for more. I just posted a short clip of some of the puppeteers goofing around here:

    http://blip.tv/file/3635450
     
  18. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I played a lot of catch-up this weekend (I have to keep up with Project Potemkin, after all). I have three sections (out of eight) in place now and two more ready to be assembled. I'm hoping to have my version of the helm station in place by the end of next weekend as well, but we'll see how much work I can accomplish. As a solo project, a Bridge is quite an undertaking -- even if it is puppet-sized!

    As I said in an earlier post, this isn't supposed to be a direct copy of any one Bridge -- it's just heavily-influenced by TMP Bridge, with elements of all the other bridges and command decks from Sci-Fi that I've loved over the years.

    Anyway, enjoy!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  19. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    What do you mean, keep up with Potemkin? You've got alot accomplished already, and an especially great turbolift and captain's chair (although fuscia's not my personal color preference)! I just wish I could figure out how to do the angled turbolift alcove. Could you post a shot from the other side?
     
  20. Melonpool

    Melonpool Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ha ha! The Captain's chair isn't painted yet -- when it's done it'll be like a steel grey with a tan seat back. It's made out of a 10-gallon bucket, so you kind of have to go with what they stock at Target.

    I have a picture of the door from the other angle, but unfortunately, the door's shut when I took it, so it won't be much use to you. ;)

    I'll take some pics tonight and maybe draw up some plans, if that'll help. It's really pretty simple, and would definitely work with what you're building.

    And I think it's great that we're building these at the same time -- I wish there was more online showing tips and pitfalls in this process. I never found anything really when searching for the last year or so while I was thinking about doing this film.