Star Ship AJAX Production

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by JimTheBuilder, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. JimTheBuilder

    JimTheBuilder Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Alright guys...let's get back to discussing this production, please! :rolleyes:

    NO MORE THREAD-CLOSING BICKERING ALLOWED! :scream: :wtf:

    IT'S WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE, got it?

    Good!

    First order of business, how to get money, sets redone and a better space? :confused:
     
  2. Robert Simmons

    Robert Simmons Commander Red Shirt

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    John plans on being out at the hangar this evening. I plan on taking pics of the progress and posting them late this evening just to keep things current here.

    John has asked me to come back onto the production and I have been very reluctant given all that has gone down that I tried to prevent from the outset. So reluctantly I have agreed to offer my services in managerial oversight in planning and managing his resources to the max to get him out of this mess. ( Other than that I will be totally hands off in the production...and keep myself at arms length from everything that is going on. John Hughes and crew have asked that I step in and take over in case of an emergency when things get out of hand. I do have misgivings over this since this whole ordeal has been egg on everyone's face....but I have agreed. I hope it does not happen again and that I won't have to do anything which I prefer at this point....) As it stands now his budget will not allow payment on the hangar past January. So we made the decision to find cheap storage ( safe protected from the weather storage ) that would allow his wallet to recouperate. Our plan is to finish the physical construction of the bridge in place before moving out in January, and finish it cosmetically while in storage. I have recommended that he and Charley England focus on scripting and casting and final prep for production. That way he will be ready to hit the ground running when they come out of storage. Maurice's suggestions on how to do things I have been in complete agreement with the whole time. ( I just had my hands tied in following through with John's decisions as a result. I say this to put to ease Maurice's concerns over this time around...) We are now searching for cheap storage. John has mentioned he has found a 2 car garage size facility for $90 a month. I have voiced my concerns that we need to shoot as each part of the script is done and that storage should facilitate pulling necessary set pieces out for on the spot filming. Or at least find nearby space to film in that has the necessary height minimum for the bridge and just try to block our shots tight to work around the lack of space for long shots like we initially intended. This is still a plan in progress and evolving literally by the minute. As for additional sets they will be built as needed at each stage of the scripting immediately prior to filming.

    Robert Simmons
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2011
  3. Robert Simmons

    Robert Simmons Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't you mean "Water under the incomplete bridge?"

    Robert Simmons
     
  4. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have one sentence for ALL of you: Get an agreement, even among you, and PUT IT IN WRITING. OK, you can videotape it if you prefer, but make a record of EXACTLY what you've agreed to. Also, if you work with others in the future, GET THAT IN WRITING. Yes, I'm what the English call a solicitor... a documentation lawyer. It's the job of the doc lawyer to cut the business of the courtroom guys. Even if you don't use a lawyer, just reducing agreements to black and white forces people to be express about their hopes and intentions.
     
  5. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Nevermind.
     
  6. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mars, I don't think you want to bring stuff from the closed thread here. They'll just close this thread, too.
     
  7. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    True, the post that I was quoting just seems to be a continuation of the closed thread which is not allowed. I'll delete my post. (Oops..can't delete post, just deleted comments.)
     
  8. Robert Simmons

    Robert Simmons Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. I have harped on this while everything steamrollered forward despite my putting the breaks and getting this all spelled out on paper first and signed. So you get no argument from me Barb. I was saying this to John Hughes from the beginning with Josh Johnson hounding me repeatedly every step of the way on this point. Totally agree.

    By the way thank you for the wise and sage advice. Written agreements pin people down so they can't wiggle out of it. I prefer it that way. Forces people to be repsonsible and uphold their end of the bargain.
     
  9. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    First priority is securing the sets you have now.

    Second, get a script finalized.

    Then, figure out what sets you actually need for the production at hand. When the financial situation improves enough to actually begin production, then only build what you need. If you can get away with a partial bridge, go with it. A finished production will do more to generate interest than a hundred timely updates.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with CRA on this. Fan-filmmakers often sabotage themselves by biting off more than they can chew. It's hard enough to make a film when you can use existing locations and clothing, and adding set, prop and costume construction to that adds expense/time/stress which can make it more difficult to ever actually get into production, let alone through post.

    Fan filmmakers constantly miss out on the fact that the cheapest thing to make is actually the most important: THE SCRIPT. I'm not going to win any brownie points here, but the vast majority of fanfilm scripts are not good. They're typically plodding, clichéd, and antidramatic. If you have a good script, you're halfway here, no matter how if any few sets you have.

    Think of the movie Lifeboat: it's set entirely on one set (the boat). You could do an entire show on the bridge alone and make it riveting if the story and the acting are good.

    My two cents.
     
  11. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    Also agreed. :)
     
  12. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Exactly. Keep it nice, please. I AM here today unlike yesterday. ;)

    Thanks.

    P.S. Robert, I've stripped out your postscript. I don't want this discussion of the troubles to be continued. I really want it to end here and now. Thanks for understanding.
     
  13. dayxday1000

    dayxday1000 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sorry to hear about what you guys have been through so far. I agree with what others have said regarding written agreements. As a business owner, I can assure you that I go into every situation with a great attitude and I hope for the best , however, I always make sure I have written contracts in place that protect everyone if problems occur. When problems have arisen , I'm always thankful that I had a written contract in place to fall back on. I've found this to be true both in business, and with my custody agreement with my ex-wife. Always have signed agreements in place, it's better for everyone.

    I thought I'd reiterate a few observations I made during my short time helping the Exeter TTI production:

    Lesson 1: Complete as much as possible when you aren't paying for use of your space. Don't think of your studio space and sets as neat things that you love to show off and play with. Think of them as a money sucking burden that is costing you money 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week and do your best to minimize your time there. To the best of my recollection, the Johnsonn brothers were in Austin Studios for three weeks. They created as many bridge stations, props, communication panels, costumes etc as they could prior to occupying the studio space. They stored the parts and pieces in peoples garages, sheds, and living rooms. I remember seeing test footage of the captains chair and a bridge station assembled in someone's living room.

    Lesson 2: Because the above is true, utilize the space 24-hrs a day. If at all possible, plan your shoot so that the assembly and finishing of set pieces can be done for 12-hrs a day, and filming can be done during the remaining 12-hrs a day. It was hot, hot, hot in Austin Studios during the TTI filming so construction took place during the day and filming took place at night because it was relatively cooler.

    Lesson 3: Plan well. The more time you put in to planning, the more efficiently you can utilize studio space and the talents of everyone involved. This translates in to less wasted money, time, and effort.

    I wish you guys success and look forward to seeing your final product.
     
  14. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also agree that the script is the key element. If you have a good story to tell, you should be able to make it work. In TOS there was constant tension between GR and NBC. NBC wanted more (budget busting) planet shows, while GR was trying to hold down costs by making "bottle shows" that used minimal (if any) original sets. The fact is that some of the best episodes were bottle shows (Balance of Terror). There was also "Gem" which used almost no sets of any kind (it's a polarizing episode, but not because of its lack of elaborate sets). Then there was "Specter of the Gun" which used partial sets because there wasn't enough money to finish them, but that actually turned into a critical plot point. Odds are that if you concentrate on making your script about people (interesting people hopefully) instead of sets and gadgets you'll find a way to make it work with what you have. Personally, I would say that if you've got a finished bridge, you've got a huge start.
    Good luck!
     
  15. JimTheBuilder

    JimTheBuilder Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Having read a portion of the script, I can tell you we're well on our way. J.C. sent me the teaser, Act 1 and part of Act 2 (which left me hanging in mid-paragraph...DAMNYOU!!!) and I gotta tell ya...WOW! And this is just the first draft...

    If I tell you much more beyond that, they'll have to fly up here to VT and shoot me...
     
  16. Loken

    Loken Lieutenant Commander

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    A few things:

    1) Yes, get everything in writing. Despite being a lawyer, I trust people too much and often get screwed. I grew up in a time when my Dad taught me to do a deal with a handshake. But that no longer works. Everything needs to be in writing.

    2) Getting a script done is more important than sets. If you have beautiful sets but no script, then your sets sit there costing you money.

    3) ONLY build the sets you need. And you don't know that until you have a finished treatment.

    4) Why build sets? Seriously, you have to ask that question. I know it is cool to have sets, but what is your goal? Is it to produce a great Star Trek fan film? Is that best achieved by building your own sets? Why not partner with another production that has sets? (that has its own issues of course). Excalibur is considering virtual sets. Just ask the question and have a great discussion about your goals.

    5) Have a budget. Plan this out. Know what your costs are.

    6) Have a timeline. Know how long each element will take. This also helps you with # 5.

    Finally, when you guys have a script, David Gerrold, the writer of "The Trouble with Tribbles" who has directed for New Voyages is interested in chatting with you about directing. I spoke to him last month and told him about you guys.

    Alec
     
  17. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    If you'd like a fresh pair of eyes to give it a once over, I'm available.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^I hear that about fanscripts all the time...I'm just waiting to see one that actually delivers. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  19. J.C. England

    J.C. England Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thanks Loken, for the mention to Mr. Gerrold.
    Just knowing someone has mentioned us to him
    is a little overwhelming to some of us.

    There are many different routes to get this
    production completed. We're all learning as
    we go here & we appreciate all the information
    everyone has given us. Hopefully, when the
    sets are completely completed, we can show
    that appreciation in giving some tours and letting
    others film on our sets. With Roberts help and
    some incredible guys performing the labor, the
    bridge and all the other sets are going to be
    better than the originals. Suitable for
    High-Definition filming (although our goal on
    Ajax is to make it looks as if it was filmed
    in 1968).
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  20. Robert Simmons

    Robert Simmons Commander Red Shirt

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    Only Richard and John showed up tonight. Scott was unavailable. Down to the wire push to do final prep for painting all over the bridge. Richard plans to be ready to do the painting Friday. Did some test patches with the new colors on the upper display frames.

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