Star Trek Continues: Episode 2 "Lolani"...

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Warped9, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Axiom1

    Axiom1 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Out there...thataway
    Excellent point. I've actually been contemplating the same quandary as far as that fine line between parody and serious re-creation. And I think it really depends on the impetus and purpose the actor is looking for. I defer to the many Elvis impersonators or Beatles cover acts, and for that matter any impersonator of a well known actor. Many impersonators are also serious actors, and can play both sides of the range.

    http://www.today.com/video/today/49694464#49694464
     
  2. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    I loved it, and forgot I was even watching a 'fan film'. It felt pretty damned professional to me, and apart from the different actors , felt like a missing episode of TOS. Had a certain 'Elaan of Troyius' kind of feel to it, almost. The lighting was all right, the music cues.

    Star Trek can be many things, and that's what I love about it. One week you'll get a WW2 submarine-battle adventure in space, the next a romance, then a whimsical comedy episode, then a heavy political drama, etc. I own all 6 shows on DVD and all the movies. There's an episode for just about any occasion.

    The only fan films I've seen that really feel like the real McCoy (no pun intended) are New Voyages/Phase 2 and Star Trek Continues. I think there's room for both. More TOS is never a bad thing in my book. I forget I'm even watching different actors after a while. Getting actual stars of the 'real' Star Trek as guests, helps to legitimise them in my mind. Are there any other fan made productions such as these two who boast veterans of official Paramount Trek (behind or in front of the camera)? Of Gods and Men had a rough production quality, but it was great seeing so many familiar faces again .
     
  3. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Location:
    Sickbay, dammit
    I have to say that I got about 15 minutes in and started fast forwarding. Not to diminish the efforts of the cast and crew, but some parts for me just don't do it.

    Vic is a good Kirk. He captures, for the most part, what Shatner did in TOS. Sometimes I can squint and see the original cast. That said, there are times when Vic's body language looks stiff and unnatural, as if he is trying too hard to mimick Shatner instead of owning the part. That's neither good nor bad, it's just an observation.

    The McKennah character gets on my nerves. The actress is capable enough, but the character is out of place in this setting. It's been said that she is too familiar with her captain, and I agree. It was even pointed out by Lolani. :lol:

    I've read comments about Lou Ferrigno's speech impediment due to his hearing loss. I've seen him on King of Queens and Chuck, and it's never been an issue for me. Just curious, though: has anyone asked him what he thought about being back in greenface?

    A couple other thoughts:

    If Haberkorn is going to continue as Spock, he needs to practice his lines looking in a mirror so he can see how his lack of facial expression looks to the rest of us.

    The young actor, the one kidnapped and in love with Lolani, doesn't work for me. Is this the actor that Phase 2 cast as their young Kirk for Origins? I don't get that.

    Chris Doohan does an amazing job of channeling his father's portrayal of Scotty.

    The film grain effect on the space shots (which are very good) doesn't match what I see in the set shots. If it can't be matched more closely, I would leave it out.

    The sets and lighting are excellent. Some of the camera shots seem a little ... off. But that's just me. It's hard to duplicate the original series style. I do like the updated titles and opening sequence.

    I'll have to go back and watch the episode to the end, but this is my impression from what I've seen.

    To any of the cast and crew that might read this, no offense is intended. I'm just relaying my initial reactions. I'm looking forward to more from this group.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I think the STC group are aware of what's being said here and on their Facebook page. Mind you the FB comments tend to be more gushing and less analytical than here on the TBBS.

    I sense they're open to fair minded critique as long as it's offered respectfully. And I think it's safe to assume they've probably gotten more lengthy and detailed feedback through the "contact us" email link on their home website. I know I forwarded much of the same remarks I've made here to them through their website.
     
  5. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    Well, the remaining comments tend to be more gushing and less analytical. They also probably receive some less-than-gushing and much more analytical comments on their Facebook page, too, but those are likely excised rather quickly. (Who could blame them, really?)
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    ^^ True. I have seen the odd less-than-positive remark on their FB page, but those are mild compared to some things I've seen around the net. Mind you that's true for every fan production or even professional productions for that matter.
     
  7. RCAM

    RCAM Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    I saw some pretty severe ones on there, but there may well have been some additional ones that were axed.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Simply put not everyone is going to buy into trying to recreate the TOS vibe and style in terms of production. Not everyone is going to accept the resistance to adding a lot of things that couldn't have been there when TOS was in production.

    In terms of acting opinion is really going to vary just as it does with professional productions. One has to accept that recreating the original cast in terms of near identical appearance, performance and onscreen chemistry is flat out impossible. The best you can hope for are acceptable to respectable interpretations. And, of course, opinion will vary on what should be stressed in an interpretation.

    No one has done a perfect Kirk, including Shatner. There have been a few instances in TOS where Shatner goofs, and that's certainly true in the films particularly the later ones. Chris Pine is a professional actor, but in my view he's not depicting the TOS Kirk, but a shallow caricature. He does have something of a semblance to Shatner's appearance. Now if Pine were in a production I had more respect for and he was depicting a more fleshed out interpretation then I might be inclined to be more forgiving. But as is I simply don't like the character he portrays and how the character is written.

    James Cawley doesn't work for me. For one thing his appearance is too divergent. He does have some of the Kirk mannerisms, but something in his speaking delivery sounds a bit too forced or affected. Then there's also that I don't get the TOS vibe from P2. It feels more like TOS-R writ large and expanded. And so the overall ambience contributes to an odd feeling to P2 in my opinion. They're simply doing it with a different approach.

    I like Vic Mignogna's portrayal even though it isn't Shatner's Kirk. Vic manages to incorporate some of Shatner's mannerisms and distinctive quirks yet generally he doesn't overdo it. That said he does have moments when he, too, seems a bit affected or forced as if he needs to ease up just a bit. He doesn't really look like Shatner, but his hair colour and style and his physique do evoke a mind's eye image of Kirk, at least in my opinion. Vic also benefits from STC's overall ambience and capturing a good dose of that distinctive TOS vibe and visual style.

    Again, in my opinion.
     
  9. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    The Bay Area
    Todd Haberkorn's popped into the Trekmovie comments on the episode: http://trekmovie.com/2014/02/09/star-trek-continues-releases-second-episode-lolani/#comments

    Speaking of those comments, I also posted my review there and it's sparked up a bit of discussion, especially what I wrote regarding the lack of any other color than green in the episode.
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Interesting to read some of those posts.

    I don't get the resistance to using Uhura instead of McKennah. It's what they likely would have done in TOS back in the day and it would be more poignant. As I've said I don't mind McKennah as a character, and I also like the actress, but I don't think she should be treated as a major character. Certainly not more than Scotty, Uhura or Sulu. She could be featured when appropriate like Elizabeth Dehner or Helen Noel.

    I also don't get the resistance to STC sticking with the 4:3 aspect ratio. That's how most of Trek was shot! And if you're going for an authentic look then 4:3 is the way to go.

    The use of cgi is a production necessity because building and filming huge models would be a lot more expensive and problematical. I think STC has managed a look that is TOS enhanced. It's something of a conceit as if TOS had magically had had access to '60's era feature film resources. Hence we get more finished looking models and other f/x. I'm sold on this approach because they still strive to retain the overall aesthetic even if it is higher resolution. I like this much better than what was done with TOS-R---there the new f/x footage doesn't match the remaining live-action footage and I find it jarring. STC's approach melds together much more naturally. If they're not doing it I'd add a touch of grain to all the footage and not just the space shots.

    I also applaud STC not over indulging in continuity porn. If you're trying to recreate the setting as if there really had been a fourth season then you shouldn't get hung up on trying to tie-in to what supposedly comes later because all of that wouldn't have existed yet. For that reason I pray we do not see TNG-VOY and ENT aliens and other references. If Andorians, Klingons or Romulans are done let them be more like the TOS versions. If we see Klingon or Romulan ships, even other types, as well as new Starfleet or Federation designs then let them be treated as Doug Drexler has done the Enterprise with the TOS look and aesthetic. Please, no over greebled ENT or TOS-R style Tholian ships. I thought the Orion slaver ship was a bit over greebled and thought the TNG style lighting effects looked out of place.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  11. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    The Sunshine State
    One thing to remember is that in these fan productions ALL of the actors are donating their time; it's not a paying gig. The actress who played Uhura may have had other (paying) commitments and therefore could not devote the time to be on set (for a non-paying gig). Other considerations may be as simple as she couldn't get the time off of work. The two STC shoots took 20 days last year; a lot of time off for someone to take . . . to work. To my recollection I believe she was only on set for a day or two at the most. That certainly would have prevented her taking on the role that McKennah did which required much more time during filming. It's a miracle that all of these people can be coordinated to be there at the same time; there are bound to be some problems working it out for everyone. FWIW, Uhura plays a bigger role in the up-coming story.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Fair enough. Hmm, seems we might need a behind-the-scenes look at STC when it's all done. :)

    :techman:
     
  13. Campe98

    Campe98 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I fell asleep watching this the other day. That does not bode well in my opinion. I think the production quality is great and the story was interesting enough but there was something about the dialogue that put me to sleep. Frankly, I think McKenna is a horrid character. It is obvious that she is a character created for two purposes: to give Vic's girlfriend something to do (Google the actress) and sex appeal (red hair, huge fake boobs... Come on. And don't mistake me. I love well-endowed redheads.) Kick her character to the curb or minimize the role. Much of her role could and should be handled by McCoy.

    It's better than Phase II though, that's for sure.
     
  14. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    TOS would have had a one-shot guest star, probably a white lady, fulfilling the role that McKennah played in the story.
     
  15. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    TOS would have had a one-shot guest star, probably a white lady, fulfilling the role that McKennah played in the story.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Maybe, maybe not.
     
  17. Eric Snickars

    Eric Snickars Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Is it possible that Zaminhon blew up the ship himself, rather than be taken by a foreign empire? One of the themes explored was sovereignty vs. human rights, and the show is clear that Zaminhon comes from a much different culture, one that does not subscribe to the same logic as the Federation's liberal culture. It "please[d]" Zaminhon to "deny" Kirk with regard to the purchasing of Lolani. Perhaps he'd rather die than be taken as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Wow! That notion never occured to me. In "Journey To Babel" the Orions blew themselves up to avoid capture. And in TAS' "The Pirates Of Orion" they were prepared to do the same thing again (as well as try to take Kirk and the Enterprise with them). Mayve Zaminhon took that way out when he saw the Enterprise coming for him.

    And why did Kenway go back to Lolani's cabin afterward? Maybe for the same reflective reason as Kirk, but also maybe because he half expected for Lolani to have left something there for him.
     
  19. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    They didn't give Uhura roles like that. There's no "maybe" about it.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Given there might have been some changes if there had been a fourth season there is no definitive answer.

    One advantage with these productions is that one can indulge in things we'd like to have seen in TOS. The question then becomes how far one is willing to go. You can add/change a helluva lot, but then at the risk of altering the production's identity. Or you can make mild changes or additions and retain a good measure of the production's identity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014