Star Trek: Phase II - "Kitumba" Officially Released!

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Loken, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Ehhhh, yeah, I guess you're right. The transporter room did seem a bit crowded. I actually thought the corridor right outside it seemed really narrow, but I could be wrong on that one. Still, I thought that scene was good, as it set the tone for what was to come later in the episode.
     
  2. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    As you can't "hear" exactly what is meant in type, I just want to comment on this because of how it comes across to me.

    To be clear...there was no "replacement director" pulled in during or after the main film shoot in disrespect to Mr. Mignogna. Deniz Cordell (a professional music director/composer by profession who has directed a lot of children's theater productions) was asked to take the reigns by Mr. Mignogna and Mr. Cawley when Mr. Mignogna left the film shoot to attend two different conventions on two different weekends - leaving the production at a stand still unless a second director was named.

    So, while this was technically a "replacement director", it was Mr. Mignogna's choice at the time, both the person and teh need for another director to add to his work...due to his choice to fulfill other professional committments during the shoot.
     
  3. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Some of that crowdedness is my fault (although not too much).

    One of my pre-production script notes on the “Kitumba” script (I do a kind of a combined Bob Justman/Kellam de Forest Research script pass to check for, well, all sorts of things) was to suggest that we add a transporter technician into the transporter room assisting Mr. Scott with the transport duties. (I always liked the Old School visuals of an Engineering smock-clad technician assisting the transporter officer in an elaborate technical “dance” of working coordinately on the transport function, gesturing to one another.) But one of the things I forgot to specify in my suggestions was to have that technician be directed to clear out when the Admiral beams aboard and we begin to learn about the Top Secret nature of the upcoming mission. (Dispensing with the ND character served a small dramatic point: forcing him to vacate the room was meant to suggest a sense of intrigue and urgency.) In the end, even though he fails to leave the room as I had planned, the technician is hardly in any of the shots, so he’s not really contributing much to the crowdedness of the shot.

    The major contributing piece of the puzzle as I recall is that Mr. Mark Goddard (“Major Don West” from Lost in Space) was slated to do our cameo as “Admiral West”—to get us started on our mission and get our story going. In the end, Mark couldn’t make the shoot at the last minute (I forget why) and we were forced to punt. By coincidence, Gil Gerard and Andy Probert were visiting the studio that day. So we hastily got some uniforms for the two of them (and for Ken Thomson) and came up with the idea of a “Captain’s Summit:” something really big must be brewing because of this gathering of so many high muckamucks from Starfleet. (We were able to capitalize on the notion that “Commodore Probert” was mentioned by name in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.)

    In retrospect, it really is just pretty darned crowded in what is a pretty darned small room—especially when K’Sia the Klingon comes on board; that’s nine people in that room (assuming Klingons aren't 3/5 of a person)—as well as lights and cameras and production crew, of course. I don’t know if we would do it again if we had it to do over—including my notion of adding that extraneous transporter technician. (I’m not sure his presence, as well intended as it might have been visually, really would even have been worth it—even if there had been only one Admiral coming aboard.)

    For what it’s worth, I think McCoy is fairly extraneous too, but he gets little enough to do in the episode as it is. (Candidly I think we disliked any time we made any change to John Meredyth Lucas’ script; keeping McCoy there helped to keep the fidelity of Lucas’ script if nothing else.

    As always, question or comments are welcome.

    (A reminder about having to “punt:” Special Teams account for about 30 percent of all points scored in American Football.)

     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    For what it's worth--from the DGA Basic Agreement for those who are DGA Signatories and so are bound by such agreement (or productions that simply aspire to the same level of professionalism of course):

    "For television programs covered under the BA, as well as prime time and high budget dramatic programs covered under the FLTTA, the Director’s screen credit must be accorded on a separate card, which shall be the last title card before the first scene of the program or the first title card following the last scene of the program. However, in the case of split credits where credit is given to any person before the first scene of the picture, the Director’s credit must appear on the last solo card before the first scene of the program. No commercial or other material shall intervene between the Director’s card and the body of the program. For BA-covered programs only, the Director’s credit must be accorded in a size no less than 40% of the episode or series title, whichever is larger. Television programs less than two hours in duration require the directorial credit to be displayed for two seconds, and not less than three seconds for shows two hours or more in length."
     
  5. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    He ended up having family obligations that conflicted with our shoot dates.

    I disagree. McCoy, as CMO, really needed to be informed of this "top secret information" so he knew what was going on - hence his need to be there. (face it, McCoy would have been a thorn in the side of Kirk till he got filled in anyway.) Also, If you recall, I cut the scene which should have followed this...with McCoy running tests on the Klingon for some reason trying to make him believe the Federation had "truth torture machines". It is referenced though, and McCoy serves the purpose of getting K'Sia somewhere after this scene...accounting for his whereabouts while Kirk goes on about ship's business.

    umm...yeah, no. I respectfully disagree. Okay, yes and no. I disliked making any changes to JML's writer's drafts to begin with. But when I decided on a new story on his framework, I basically closed my eyes and punted - taking a huge chance that my trying to explain what happened between TOS and the feature films to the Klingons we knew, as well as changing the Kitumba from a weak, ignorant boy who didn't ever buy Kirk (who ended up making no impact on the Klingon Empire in the end) wouldn't be thrown back in my face as "NOT what JML intended!". James ended up liking it.

    JML's "writer's draft" was clearly that...a draft and there was a lot that just didn't work - especially considering the Klingon history that canon had been established since he wrote it. So I kept the bones and wrote a different story. Then, after getting notes from Carlos Pedraza and Diane Randall, I threw that in the trash and restructured the whole thing. (There is actually one scene that is copy and pasted exactly in three different spots. As a writer I found that very interesting...seeing how another writer's mind was working. "hey, maybe that scene I put in earlier would work better here") An interesting note...in JMLs drafts, you didn't meet anyone in the Klingon Empire until almost the end of the first episode. That's pretty much death to an episode. It was also written in the middle of the 70s and was clearly an "anti-cold war" treatise. That was no longer socially relevant...IMHO.
     
  6. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    well, there you have it.

    Though Phase II is not a DGA signatory. Or a WGA signatory for that matter ;) (last I knew)
     
  7. RCAM

    RCAM Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for your thoughts on the crowded transporter scene. It makes sense to me now (with respect to the extra Starflett brass and the transporter operator). McCoy is certainly still extraneous in my view, so I'll have to go with Greg on that one.

    Other thing I noticed is that Kirk says "gentlemen, let's get some answers" twice in about 30 seconds, which took me out of things a bit.

    Don't want to belabor the negatives, though, so I should add a couple positives:

    - I liked the scene with Chekov, Peter, and Prescott. Good way to develop the minor characters without letter them take over like Peter did in past episodes.
    - I appreciated the writing for Uhura in the episode, and Kim played the part very well.
    - The complicated space shots were visually excellent.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not accurate. Andy didn't just happen to be visiting. He was specifically there to play a part. I just consulted my email archive and on Thursday, June 11, 2009 there are emails back and forth with Andy over his planned cameo (he left for the shoot Saturday June 13th). He had sought some advice on acting for the first-time actor, which is why I knew he was going to appear. He'd been given dialogue and was working on learning lines beforehand. Andy emailed me about the experience of the shoot on June 16th.
     
  9. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    It's been so many years Greg just got the facts a little cloudy. Goddard did let us know ahead of time that he couldn't attend, so Andy (who was coming partly because James was using his design for Malkthon's ship) had been asked to step in.

    Gil Gerard just happened to be visiting that day to discuss the possible "Buck Rogers Begins" series. He confessed he hated Star Trek, but that his wife was a huge fan...and by the end of the day he asked to participate. Ken Thompson the same...he came to check out the shoot and so "happened" to be available to add to the scene.

    That very crowded, very HOT scene was shot late into the night....we had to use hairdryers between scenes to dry the sweat off the actors uniforms and went through a lot of towels and setting powder to keep the sweat running down the actors faces off camera. The fact that there is not one sweat stain visible is a testament to the costume and makeup department in this scene.
     
  10. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    You could well be right Maurice. I attended the shoot for only a few days--and that scene wasn't one of the days. Patty is right that I might not be remembering right.

    I guess only Gil was kind of a surprise visit. I suspect Mark's necessary pull-out was not quite "last minute." Andy might have been asked to fill in a couple of days before the shoot.

    It would be interesting to know what Andy's lines were planned to be when he was prepping for the role. Did he have all the lines--including the ones that eventually went to Gil? Does your e-mail chain explain at all when and why he landed this acting gig with us?

    Whatever the timeline had been for casting this final scene, it was some fancy (or clumsy) footwork to escalate the scene to a "Captain's summit" idea as I crappily recall.

     
  11. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Correct, we are not. Patty--which is why I added the additional "...or productions that simply aspire to the same level of professionalism" comment. In the past STP2 has always adhered to these DGA rules even though we are not actually obligated to do so. (Well, not always: I think we didn't do so with our two versions of "To Serve All My Days.")

    Voluntarily following the DGA crediting rules has generally been a priority with us; I'm just not sure what professionally took precedence this time.

     
  12. USSantaprise

    USSantaprise Commander Red Shirt

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    Let me also congratulate on the latest outing of PHASE II.
    Stunning visuals, great sets and well played.
    Although there are (or can be) minor nitpicks about some staging decisions (as demonstrated regarding the Transporter Room scene), it is one nice hour of Star Trek Fan Filming. High above amateur levels, showing semi-professional handling.

    Especially the close-ups / reaction shots are well handeld - compared to earlier outings with more long takes during a dialogue scene. I'd also like to add the scene between Kirk and Karrgh, where Kirk's shot had be reversed to have a more conversational feeling during their scene. Otherwise both actors would have been at the right side of the frame, thus not necessarily talking "to" each other, but rather focusing at something else. Nice touch, thought out! (But James' haircut gave it away, anyway!)

    Overall still my favourite PHASE II film is "World Enough And Time". But that's just my opinion.

    Thanks for a very delightful hour of entertainment!
     
  13. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have written a brief story about "Kitumba" which can be seen here.
     
  14. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    Goddard's son was graduating from college so he pulled out when he learned what the exact dates he was needed were. (scheduling is a balancing act and we couldn't change the dates to accomodate him.) Andy Probert had all the lines for this scene (which were the same ones Goddard would have had) up to the filming day. I both split them up and wrote extra ones on-set when Gil and Ken were added to the mix. (I feel it was better before the addition of new characters - more tight. To me the "captain's summit" idea didn't convey urgency, it was just clumsy. But writer's do as they are told to...)

    You can find out what Andy's original lines were by looking at the script distributed for the shoot, Greg. (you'll notice that the character was always intended to be named Sheehan)

    “Kitumba”

    TEASER

    EXT. SPACE - ENTERPRISE FLYBY (OPTICAL)

    KIRK (V.O.)
    Captain’s Log: Stardate XXXX.X Urgent, cryptic orders have mysteriously diverted the Enterprise...

    ANOTHER ANGLE: SHOWING APPROACH to Space Station K-7. (OPT)

    KIRK (V.O.) (CONT’D)
    ...to Space Station K-7, and the disputed area with the Klingon Empire.

    INT. CORRIDOR

    KIRK, SPOCK, MCCOY stride down the corridor.

    MCCOY
    Jim, what’s going on?

    KIRK
    You know as much as I do, Bones. But we’re not the only ship involved.

    SPOCK
    We’ve monitored coded orders to twenty-nine vessels and twelve Starfleet installations.

    McCoy reacts.

    KIRK
    This sector has been extremely unstable since the Organians disappeared.

    SPOCK
    The Klingons have been increasingly active after realizing enforcement of the treaty is now problematic.

    INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM - CONTINUOUS
    Kirk, Spock and McCoy ENTER. Scotty and a CREWMAN are at the control panel.

    MCCOY
    Well I don’t like it. This cloak and dagger stuff always manages to fill my sickbay.

    SCOTT
    We’re ready, sir.

    KIRK
    Let’s get some answers, gentleman. Energize.

    ADMIRAL SHEEHAN materializes on the pad.

    KIRK (CONT’D)
    Admiral Sheehan. You know Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy - Commander Scott.

    SHEEHAN
    Gentlemen.

    KIRK
    Jack, what’s this all about?

    SHEEHAN
    Klingon activity has trailed off.

    KIRK
    There haven’t been any reports of pirating or raids in months.

    SHEEHAN
    They’ve pulled back to concentrate their efforts. Intelligence drones report Klingon battle groups building in orbit around their planets on the border.

    SPOCK
    Wargames are not uncommon training tactics.

    SHEEHAN
    This is bigger then anything we’ve seen before. A large scale attack on the Federation is imminent.

    KIRK
    Admiral, I have great respect for Starfleet Intelligence, but interpreting Klingon mentality...

    SHEEHAN
    It’s confirmed, Jim.

    The information settles hard on the seasoned space veterans.

    KIRK
    Our orders?

    SHEEHAN
    Proceed to the Klingon home world: once there, convince the Emperor to abandon their plans for war.

    MCCOY
    To Qo’nos? With one starship? You’re talking suicide.

    SCOTT
    We’ll be facing the entire Klingon fleet before we make it a parsec into their space.

    SHEEHAN
    You’ll have an advantage. Mr. Scott: beam over your guest.
    Scott operates the transporter controls.

    KIRK
    Who?

    SHEEHAN
    Your best chance to get to Qo’nos safely. He’ll provide any details you may need to complete this mission successfully.

    A figure begins to shimmer into form on the transporter.

    SHEEHAN (CONT’D)
    The Organians once said we’d end up working together despite our differences, Jim. That’s what you two need to do -- to stop this war -- before it begins.

    K'SIA, a Klingon armed with ceremonial weapons, and with forehead ridges, materializes.

    Kirk and crew are shocked.

    END OF TEASER

    ACT ONE

    EXT. SPACE - STATION K-7 AND THE ENTERPRISE DOCKED THERE (OPTICAL)

    KIRK (V.O.)
    Captain’s Log: Supplemental. With war looming, the Enterprise has been ordered deep into Klingon territory: to the Klingon homeworld. Our mission: to convince their Emperor to stand down. Our guide: a Klingon...

    INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM
    K'Sia steps off the transporter: he and Kirk eye each other warily. The Captain is on guard, matching the man’s steps.

    KIRK (V.O.)
    ...who shows no signs of having been affected by the Augment Virus.

    The Enterprise crew are shocked at his appearance.

    K'SIA
    (amused, not unkindly)
    Have you never met a Klingon, Earthers?

    SPOCK
    Only those genetically engineered.

    KIRK
    Improved with human DNA.

    K'Sia grabs for his sword. Sheehan steps between them.

    SHEEHAN
    K'Sia! This is Captain James T. Kirk, commander of this ship. Captain: K'Sia.

    K'Sia relaxes slightly. Kirk does not.

    SHEEHAN (CONT’D)
    He was tutor to the Emperor: and he’s working with us, Jim.

    KIRK
    No Klingon would ever defect. And I wouldn’t trust him if he did.

    K'Sia, an older warrior, has both speech and manner tempered by years of scholarly study: but his diplomacy still comes to him with difficulty, pressed upon him by his mission.

    K'SIA
    I’ve not defected, nor am I working with you. We merely have a mutual goal.

    SHEEHAN
    He’s convinced Starfleet this mission can succeed.

    K'SIA
    If we can reach the Kitumba, this war can be averted, Captain.

    MCCOY
    What’s a “Kitumba”?

    SPOCK
    Not a what, Doctor: a whom.

    SHEEHAN
    The Kitumba is their Emperor: a sacred leader who governs as a god.

    K'SIA
    He carries the blood of Kahless. All of the planets, peoples and battle fleets of the Empire are his personal property.

    MCCOY
    Civilized people don’t own other people.

    K’SIA
    The history of your Earth says otherwise, Doctor.

    KIRK
    A loyal slave. And yet you come here prepared to help your enemies defeat your Emperor. Why?

    SHEEHAN
    The Kitumba is a 16 year old boy. From birth he’s been sheltered, never leaving Qo’nos. He’s little more than a figurehead. The real power now lies with the regents: the Warlord Malkthon and his deputy, Kali.

    K'SIA
    For five years Malkthon has been gathering forces loyal to himself, amassing power which is not rightfully his.

    KIRK
    And the Kitumba will ignore his closest advisor and regent to listen to his dismissed and, I assume - disgraced - tutor?

    SHEEHAN
    As Regent, Malkthon declared the boy’s schooling finished to get rid of K’Sia. My gut tells me if the Kitumba knew the reality of what they face he wouldn’t endorse the war Malkthon plans.

    KIRK
    The more I hear of this, the less I like it. A Klingon that would betray his own people because he’s afraid of war? I don’t buy it.

    K'SIA
    I do not fear war, Captain: I relish it.

    KIRK
    Really? What does scare a mighty Klingon warrior?

    K’SIA
    A dishonorable death. (beat) This is not war, Captain: it is certain death, without purpose. As formidable as the forces that Malkthon has built, the Federation’s are no less so. I know the power of your starships -- I fought them in my younger days. Only mutual annihilation can come from open war between us now.

    SPOCK
    If the Kitumba comes of age in the midst of such a war, Klingon pride will demand that he continue it.

    SCOTT
    And Malkthon will stay in control: there’ll be no avoiding it.
    Kirk considers, makes a decision.

    KIRK
    Doctor, please escort K'Sia to sickbay for an examination.

    K'SIA
    You question my honor, Captain? So be it. Subject me to all your truth devices - you will find I do not lie. The Empire prepares a massive strike: from many directions, with all our forces.

    MCCOY
    Mr. K’Sia, if you’re going to be on this ship I need to examine you.

    K'Sia is unconvinced.

    MCCOY (CONT’D)
    We’re flying into a warzone. Do you want me to figure out your biology while I tend your injuries?

    K'SIA
    A warrior would not need the interference of an Earth doctor.

    SPOCK
    A tutor and peace emissary might.

    K'Sia relents and EXITS with McCoy.

    KIRK
    Jack, you’re risking my ship and the lives of my crew on a slim chance that this Klingon is trustworthy.

    SHEEHAN
    A single starship has the best chance of getting through. K'Sia can help you avoid patrols and open battle.

    KIRK
    Or he can lead us into both.

    SPOCK
    Capturing the Enterprise would allow the Klingons to dissect it’s technology...

    SCOTT
    ..and destroy the balance of power.

    SHEEHAN
    Which is why the Enterprise can’t fall into Klingon hands.

    Sheehan climbs back onto the Transporter Dais.

    SHEEHAN (CONT’D)
    Are we clear on that point, Captain?

    KIRK
    Perfectly. We’re expendable.
     
  15. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    And McCoy ended up being wrong about not being around to see the Klingon High Council in 100 years. But of course that line was thrown in because of that.
     
  16. JT Perfecthair

    JT Perfecthair Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They should have had both Mccoy and Scotty exchange a glance during that line.
     
  17. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    The hallway outside the transporter room was definitely much smaller than what was shown in TOS. I suppose one could argue that it was a different transporter room than the one we were used to seeing but that's reaching a bit.

    What was the name of the other Constitution class Starship that we saw, I don't think it was mentioned but was there a name chosen? Same for the single nacelle ship, did it have a name?
     
  18. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    The other constitution class ship was the Constellation (Admiral Sheehan's "flagship" in this episode) and the single nacelle ship was the "Saladin". There is a animated fanfilm about the Saladin.
     
  19. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Does is have the same registry as Matt Decker's ship (with an added letter) or is it totally different? It would have been nice to see it named Constitution instead since we haven't seen that ship yet.
     
  20. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    It seems to be still in production. There's a thread about it here.