Phase II - Act One of "KITUMBA"

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by TrekGirl, May 24, 2013.

  1. PonyHorton

    PonyHorton Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    I hope to run that film at some of the bigger cons in the near future.

    My Nixon short was run at a con in L.A. a year or so ago, and that was fun. It also ran at Fedcon, Germany to about 400 fans in the Main Room, and they seemed to like it from the reports I've heard. So bit by bit, I'm getting seen.

    you should check out my latest, a trailer for Homer Hickam's novel CRESCENT. It's on YouTube as Crescent Trailer. I think it's Version 4.

    check it out if you've not already seen it.

    here's a link...

    http://youtu.be/Wz5Pw_tm8Yo
     
  2. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh MY! Pony, those are magnificent! I'm really impressed with how Phase II and Star Trek Continues keep pushing the envelope of what's expected for an "amateur" production, because there's certainly nothing amateur about the special effects!
    Whoa! You weren't kidding when you mentioned you've got one of the best editing facilities in LA at your disposal for this. How on earth did you manage to pull that off? Are the owners of Sol 7 Trekkies? :D
     
  3. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    Star Trek Phase II has been blessed with some of the best talent of any fan-film production. They aspire to and often achieve a professional standard of quality because the goal is to achieve a professional standard of behavior behind the camera as well as in front. All the shoots I've attended have been exemplary.

    Where there have been problems, it has almost always been because someone forgot to check his/her ego at the door. This is true of any production. If you are not focused on doing the best job possible and making the best product possible, then YOU are the problem.

    The blame game is a great way to destroy morale, but there are three other things that are also inappropriate in a professional environment: complain, compare, and conspire. "I don't like the way this is going. The other guy was a better director. Let's you and I take over." Every fan-film has had to deal with these problems. Because Phase II is the leader in fan productions, when these things occur they look larger. But yes -- situations have occurred -- it's fair to say that there are a few people who will not be invited back.

    But while it's easy to say, "leave the past behind," it's also fair for professional people to warn each other about problems they have had to deal with so that others can also be aware and avoid the same mistakes.

    Looking to the future:

    James Cawley has consistently assembled the most qualified teams in fan-film production. When he brought myself and Alec Peters aboard to manage production issues, both in front of and behind the camera, we were both honored to become a part of the high quality team already in place. Our job will be to focus on streamlining the mechanics of production.

    Because of Phase II's popularity, over the years a lot of people submitted scripts, a lot of people have declared for the parts they want to play, and a lot of people have offered to come in and direct. There's a wealth of ability available to us. It's overwhelming. And because there have been so many "that's a great idea" statements that have been perceived as "okay, it's a deal, you're up next" it has increased the challenges in front of us.

    As much as I personally would like to see every commitment honored, I know that's not going to be possible. As much as I would like to see us shoot two full episodes per year, we have some work to do behind the scenes to get ourselves up to that speed.

    We have several remarkable opportunities in front of us (that I cannot discuss until we have actual commitments), and all pending scripts are on hold while we see if we can make those opportunities into realities.

    The other point that I want to make is a personal one. I don't want to put any script into production unless and until it is as good as any of the episodes of the original series. Story, idea, theme, structure, dialog, character, relationships -- all that stuff. It's not easy to write a great Star Trek script. We've seen the evidence that even some of the professionals in the film industry still don't understand the heart and soul of "exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations." It's my commitment that we will aspire to achieve the standard of excellence set by the original series.

    I know that all of the people involved in the production of Phase II are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by our millions of viewers. I know that we welcome the feedback of the audience. But at the same time, please be understanding that what we're doing is extremely difficult because it is almost all volunteer work. We're not perfect, but we are working for excellence.

    Let me say it another way. We appreciate the cheers. You can hold the jeers. Not because we don't want to hear them, but because most of the time they're unnecessary. We're much more aware of our stumbles and bumbles and fumbles than you are.

    Thank you!
     
  4. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, thank YOU for taking the time to write this. I can't tell you how tickled I am that you're running the show now.
     
  5. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Agreed. Well said.

    And since we have Phase II's new showrunner reading this thread, forgive me for taking the opportunity to ask the question that has gone thus far unanswered:

    Will Vic Mignona be credited for his role as Director and the part he played in "Kitumba" or is Phase II purposely ommitting said credit, and if so, for what reason?
     
  6. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    Mr. Gerrold, since your PMing isn't working, and I apologize for going off-topic, guys... I wish to say that "The Trouble with Tribbles" is yet my favorite in the comedic episodes of the prime Trekverse. :) Nothing beats Captain Kirk in that pile of tribbles or Spock's human showing as he pets the tribble. :D
     
  7. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    At the moment, it is more likely that "Alan Smithee" will get the directing credit.
     
  8. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    For those who don't know, "Alan Smithee" was the official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project, coined in 1968, until its use was formally discontinued in 2000.

    I'm not sure why the director might want to disown this project.

    More info here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Smithee
     
  9. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    Let me add this. If Vic wants a directing credit on Kitumba, he is free to write a letter to the Production Team explaining why he feels he deserves the credit. The final decision will have to be made by James Cawley, Alec Peters, Rob Mauro, and myself.

    I have a personal rule against ever saying anything negative about another professional, but since you have asked and put me into this position, I will answer. This will be my only public statement on Vic Mignona. After this, I request that you drop the subject. We are moving forward and it is no longer worth the investment of time and energy from the Phase II production team.

    Here's my statement: I will never work with Vic Mignona again in any capacity, nor would I recommend him to any other producer. Vic Mignona's actions, both on the set and off, are the primary reason why we will have to junk everything we shot on the Origins episode. The script is a good one, we got an astonishing performance from Matthew Ewald, and it's a story we want to tell. We should have been able to finish it and have it out by now, but much of Vic's work was unusable and Vic has so alienated the production crew that none of us want to invest any energy into finishing an episode with him in it. We will have to start fresh if we want to do this episode. I expect we will do that when it is convenient to schedule it.

    Everything I have said above is a fair reflection of the thinking of senior members of the Phase II team (James, Alec, myself, Rob). We have a kind of unwritten policy that however much we might argue among ourselves about our choices, when we finally do reach a decision it will be unanimous.

    What I have said here should be the end of it. It's not an invitation to argue or discuss. And should anyone want to make an issue of it, then I will request the forum moderators to delete such discussions.

    Star Trek is supposed to be about working together while we reach for the stars. That's the adventure I intend to invest in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  10. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    Greg, in this case, it is more likely that the project is disowning the director. Can we now drop the subject and focus on the future instead of rehashing the past?
     
  11. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    Can I just interject here to say thank you to Mr. Gerrold for responding to this thread and that I'm looking forward to seeing both Kitumba and Bread and Savagery when they are available, as well as every future episode of Phase II.

    As a fan, I appreciate every person who works on these productions, and I look forward to seeing what each and every group has to offer. From my perspective, having multiple groups each trying to produce the best films they can is a win in all ways.
     
  12. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Thank you David for answering my question. Allow me to reply.

    1) the direction of the conversation doesn't just END because you say so. Many a topic veers into different directions and this is a normal part of interaction and conversation here. So respectfully, until a moderator deems it necessary for me to drop the topic and says so, I'll talk about it as much as I like thankyouverymuch.

    2) I am sorry to hear that the shoot on "Origins" was such a disaster. I can certainly see why you would wish to omit Voc's name from having directed it if you're still planning to reshoot the majority of it since most of his work was "unusable"... But that still does not explain why you or your production are omitting his credit in favor of a pseudonym on "Kitumba." His work as the director of that episode and as the Klingon antagonist sure seem usable to me in that preview cut, so I am at a loss as to why he is not being credited there.

    For all your talk of professionalism, you now state that on order for Vic to properly be credited for the work he did on an already previewed episode he has to write a letter to explain why?

    If that's not vindictive spite, I don't know what is.

    I don't really know or care about what went down with Vic behind the scenes, but it really looks bad -professionally- to see you guys stooping this low.

    Why on earth would any Professional director -DGA or no- want to work with you guys if this is how you conduct your business?

    3) if I put you in any "position" it was solely to get SOMEONE from the production to answer a legitimate question. And since Loken was tooting his own horn here all week about having hard drives and what not I thought I'd be able to ask him. He ignored me. Now you very nicely posted here and since you're the new showrunner, I took a chance and asked you.

    This is an open forum where we are allowed to discuss matters relevant to the thread topic. I believe my queries have all been precisely that - relevant. The conversation doesn't go away because it might make you guys look bad.
     
  13. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    Your question has been answered as much as it is going to be answered. There is nothing more to add.

    Your remarks about Alec Peters are ill-considered. I've known Alec for a long time. He's a professional. He understands the difficulties of getting all the pieces to arrive at the same place at the same time -- not just costume, props, makeup, lights, cameras, lenses, computers, people to do the jobs, and a facility to put them all in -- but all of it as a process. That he has taken the time to share some of the difficulties, some of the challenges, and some of the progress that we are making -- that's a gift. That's a sign of his respect for the audience.

    None of the people on the production team are obligated to be this accessible. We do it because we respect everyone who contributes, especially the audience that gives us such valuable feedback.

    And yes, the conversation is over -- because if this becomes a forum for attacking and challenging the production team, you will find that members of the production team will stop participating.

    You might not like some of our decisions, that's your right. But the decisions we make are the decisions that we think are best for our production. We ask you to understand. We ask you to support us. We ask you to not make our job harder than it already is.

    So when someone asks you to drop the subject, it is because this has already turned into a nonversation and we'd prefer not to waste any more time on it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  14. dgerrold

    dgerrold Ensign Newbie

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    Thank you! Much appreciated.
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you David. I'm asking a legitimate question about how you guys are running your production. I know it's a tough job - I work in TV also. But my previous inquiry remains: why not just credit Vic on "Kitumba" and be done with it?

    How can you expect your audience -let alone fellow professionals- to support you when you refuse to even explain your logic here?

    It reads very clearly as though you just want to spite Vic Mignona for whatever bad blood there may be between himself and you guys by retroactively not crediting him on the first episode - nearly completed, I might add- that he both acted in and directed for you.

    Please note: I don't know what happened with Vic and I don't really care. I just think it's really shitty that even afterward, Phase II is choosing to be so shady and vindictive about the matter.

    As for Alec, I've no doubt he's a fine producer. No one is more excited to see Axanar than I am. But in my opinion he has a long way to go when it comes to interpersonal communication and simple questions and answers. Too, I'm well aware that your guys being here to share tidbits with us is a "gift" but the fact remains, unless we are praising His everlasting glory, Alec has been LOUSY at answering simple queries here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  16. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not in the film industry. Nor am I in the fan film industry. But I what I am a part of is the Common Sense industry. With all due respect to you, the above, bolded, quote tells me that you do in fact care what happened with that Vic dude and what happened behind the scenes of Kitumba. You can't have it both ways. If you didn't care, you wouldn't be calling out the producers of Phase II like you have tonight. And if you do care you should have the courage to say that.

    Look, if I was working on a project, and the director started smacking babies and stealing their candy, it'd be a cold day in hell before I'd work with him again and an even colder day before I'd put his name on a project he may screwed by doing those things. David was very clear, hell, more clear and more honest than I've ever seen from someone on a message board. He didn't lie or sugar coat his opinion. I'd tend to give an honest man the benefit of the doubt. And besides, I've heard of David Gerrold all my life. I've heard of James Cawley for the last ten years. I've heard of Vic for 5 minutes.

    Besides, if there is another side to a story, then let Vic make an account here and give his side. Other than that, this thread is here for Kitumba and the future of Phase II. Unlike the behind the scenes drama, is something I'd like to know more about and can't wait to see in it's completion.

    Please allow us to get back to doing so.
     
  17. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    You brought up your concern, they addressed it. Please stop beating a dead horse.

    This is their hobby, what they do for their own enjoyment, and they are no more obligated to justify themselves to any of us than I am to justify the decisions I make regarding my D&D games or comic book collection.

    From what I've seen and heard, the argument can be made that neither side really wishes to be associated with the other production, so why not just let it drop?
     
  18. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I've already stated my reasons for asking. If they want to ignore me that's their right. But it doesn't erase the issue nor their inability to come up with any kind of decent answer and it certainly doesn't wipe away the inherent hypocrisy they're displaying by claiming to be as "professional" as possible yet trying to remove any trace of their former association with Mignona.

    The questions I've asked are legit, fair questions and so far they've just swept them all under the rug. Which is totally their right to do. But it doesn't mean that's not also utter horseshit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  19. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    No, you got a decent answer. It's not their problem you didn't like it. Are you in the film industry? Do you know the details of what happened?

    As far as sweeping things under the rug...wow. David Gerrold himself has answered your question. The man has worked with Gene Roddenberry, Gene L Coon, he helped write the TNG show bible. Has written classic Trek and written for the Animated Series. And he took the time to come to a message board to do his best to answer your questions. And you're STILL not satisfied?

    That proves nothing will.
     
  20. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I appreciate Mr. Gerrold's candor and I really don't know what more needs to be said. Vic obviously has talents behind and in front of the camera, but as sometimes happens talent can get overwhelmed by personal issues. I really don't need any more detail and I don't see why anyone else wants any. If Vic wants to respond I'll read it with interest, but really it won't make any difference in the overall scheme of whether I watch and enjoy Phase II or STC. I certainly wouldn't presume to pass judgement on who's right or wrong. Personally I don't care THAT much. Anyone who wants to continue to bring it up can (mods willing), but I'd really rather not read any more about it and don't see anything to be gained by further discussions. YMMV.