Star Trek ~ Project: Potemkin "Duty Bound" S02-A

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Potemkin_Prod, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Now Playing for Your Enjoyment:
    Star Trek ~ Project: Potemkin "Duty Bound" S02-A

    Be sure and watch it in HD (720)!

    The Potemkin is beset by a pair of Orion frigates! Can Captain Grigory and his crew hold them off?

    Starring Jeffrey Green as Captain Alec Grigory, Douglas Harper as Helmsman Mike Delaney, Hannah E. Ruiz as Tactical Officer Doreen Spampinato, Chris Coleman as Engineer Drew Wallace, Jason Ryan Wallace as Communications Officer Sonaj, Richard Hope Thornton as Security Chief Darrell Frazier, and introducing Sara Higgins Mackenzie as Yeoman Ziandra Yanari.

    Featuring Kim Landers as the Navigator and Linda Marcusky as the Science Officer. Written by David Eversole. Directed by Bill Mackenzie. VFX by Mark Berge, John Northam and Randy Landers. Edited by Randall Landers. Music by Tony Lunn. Senior Producer: Rick Foxx.
     
  2. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Once again, we see the improvement in so many aspects of this production: more of Jeffrey Green (always a good thing IMHO) and a nice little character twist. I sometimes get a little annoyed with the implication that everyone on a starship had a perfect Academy record, never had personal problems, never underachieved, etc, etc. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the Barclay and Ro episodes of TNG.

    Anyway, the sound problems with the first few lines of Grigory's dialogue just can't be overlooked. Just my opinion, but I really don't think it should have been released without addressing that issue.

    Aside from that one very noticeable glitch, a sure-footed episode that does a good job of fleshing out a character.
     
  3. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, Mike! We appreciate the feedback!
     
  4. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Indeed, Mike's honest critiques are always welcomed and listened to.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  5. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hate to say it, but I checked out after the first few lines. Why? Because we're presented with another space battle where we're talking about shield percentages (a common fan film trope at this point). And it's hard to get interested when the actors themselves don't seem vested in the situation. Your last effort was trying to tell a story we'd care about even though there were flaws, but this one fails to engage. There's nothing to care about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  6. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry you didn't care for this one, Middy. Maybe the next one will spur your interest. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. Duane

    Duane Captain Captain

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    Since these types of productions face so many challenges, I am a big believer in solving one issue at a time. Perfecting sound quality would be my goal if I were in your shoes.

    Then we can move on to costumes, sets, effects and other stuff that can't be done well without $$$. I know it's not easy, but I love the effort.
     
  8. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks! In September we purchased a sound recording device that we hope will help in this area. We've used the Tascam on some of the third season productions but those wont be seen until next year or so. At present were working on cleaning up as much of the sound we can with adobe audition. We're still learning. ;)
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah The sound would be my #1 suggestion for a fix where technical stuff goes. Make sure you have a suitable mic type for what you're recording.

    This film gets off on the wrong foot because the battle is so...rote.

    What bugs me is the Captain acts so inert. It's never really clear why they're taking such a pounding. Do these other ships outclass them?

    Question: is that sound effect of the shields being hit from the Sega Star Trek arcade game? It sure sounds like it!
     
  10. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Like I said, we spent half a month's budget and got a small TASCAM to help with the sound. We're using a couple of hypercardioids at 30º to the camera. We may have them positioned too far out from the actors, so we're going to look at moving them closer. We're aware of the issue; we're just not sure if we can get the problem solved with such a limited budget.

    The battle is the first one in Project: Potemkin's 12 releases to date. I don't think we even have another in the next 15 productions until we get to "Third Watch." I think fans have become jaded to battles, but this was our cast's first, and they were excited.
    The poor navigator was my daughter, and I had to leave the set during the shoot. However, she had so much fun doing this, she asked to come back for future episodes. :)

    The pair of Orion ships depicted are, according to the chap that insisted we use them, more than a match for the Potemkin. Faster, more maneuverable, and toward the end of the battle began targeting critical systems.

    The sound effect of the shields being hit is from TOS "All Our Yesterdays": It's Mr. Atoz's stunner. Of all the sounds I listened to when coming up with the sound catalog for this episode, I liked the reverb it had. :) The Potemkin's interior rumble when hit is from "Balance of Terror." And the Orion Sortex frigates engine noises were from DS9 Runabouts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know, I thought I recognized the sound from the original show, but I it was recreated in the Sega game...for a shield hit, oddly enough.
     
  12. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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  13. northstar

    northstar Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked the stuff on the bridge - you can see it is a small set that not necessarily fit to the ship, but that´s ok. I would suggest giving the pilot/nav actors a real visible desk, because sometimes they seem to have no idea what they are doing. The sound issues were pretty severe - I couldn´t understand a lot of the dialogue. What you really need to focus on - if you want to tell these kind of stories - are the vfx. The Orion ships were not recognizeable, the motion of the ships was very awkward - like they have no mass at all. And the lighting is pretty bad, too. Whoever did those effects should watch a couple of Scifi flicks to get a feeling on how big heavy ships should move. Sorry, but that took me really off.
     
  14. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the feedback, Northstar.

    Did you watch it on YouTube or on Vimeo? If the former, try the latter. It's got a much better look and feel to it, and to my ears a better sound.

    The helm-nav console was actually the first thing built for the Potemkin sets, and it is fully decorated using appliques. To accomplish the lighted controls, John Northam took a JPG of the CorelDraw file and animated it for each console. The "buttons" however, didn't always line up, so it was tricky getting the 3-D animated applique in the right position so that the buttons lined up with the actors. What would be really sweet was if the consoles were backlit using color transparencies. Thomas Sasser was going to work on this, but he fell ill, and we ended up going with the console animations instead of a physical set. We're still considering getting some animated picture frames with our animated panels and placing them behind the set pieces, but that would require a tremendous amount of donations.

    The VFX were of the Orion Sortrex class from the Bridge Commander game. Our VFX guy at the time, William Walker (who did a couple of the VFX shots, in fact) secured permission from the fellow who designed them and wanted to use them instead of the ST-R or TOS Orion ships. Unfortunately, real life issues forced Bill away from the project, and Mark Berge had to pickup the pieces, rebuilding the Sortrex (an Orion frigate) from scratch. I rather liked the look myself. :)

    The question of mass and ship movement will always be an issue to some. I recall other productions that have taken some criticism for that same issue. That being said, we receive an equal number of "the Potemkin moves too slowly" to "the Potemkin moves too quickly" so I'm figuring it's just about right. ;)
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's rarely an issue of linear speed, it's usually how the vehicles maneuver which portrays or betrays a sense of mass. Just understanding the principle of "slow in/slow out" fixes a lot of this stuff.
     
  16. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    1) It appears the footage itself is at 480p resolution at best (with some of the graphics displays even lower); so suggesting people watch it at 720p (HD resolution) doesn't improve the video quality.

    Overall a compotent job, but a couple of things from a writing perspective that (IMO) doesn't make a lot of sense:

    - Either the Captain is incompetent, or he has a VERY insubordinate crewmember as, after the Helmsman is killed, either he shouldn't be ordering his tactical/weapons officer to take the Helm. And the crewman shouldn't be effectively telling the Captain off with zero repercussions.

    - And while the death of the Helmsman is tragic; we have one bridge officer asking for help to move the body IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE where the hero ship itself is taking major damage?
    ^^^
    I doubt you'd see this type of behavior on the 1701 DURING a pitched space battle; and like I said to me it comes across as the Captain being shown as incompetent/the crew as unprofessional.

    As to the technical side, as has been mentioned, it appears mike levels weren't being consistently monitored during filming. The post production integration of the control displays and such was decently done.
     
  17. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the feedback, NoName!

    The footage is indeed 480, but as visually demonstrated in our thread about THE NIGHT THE STARS FELL FROM THE SKY, YouTube still compresses the footage (and audio) even though they say they don't. You will get better quality watching the 720 version even though it's not true 720. You'll get even better quality watching the VIMEO version which is not nearly as compressed.

    In regards to the situation involving the death of the Navigator, originally it was to be the Environmental officer asking the Security officer for help, the reasoning was that they were the two most-expendable present. Unfortunately, two cast members failed to show at the shoot.

    Rather than delay the "filming," we went with what we had. Our Tactical officer is actually a Science officer who is out of her element (and the actress had to learn a different set of lines). The Science station was occupied by my wife, who helps out as an extra in addition to production host. Her lines were distributed to other cast members. And the Environmental officer's lines were given to the Engineering officer. I will admit that this may have hurt this episode, but it's a reasonable work-around. This was the only available weekend for most of the cast, and I think we made the best of it.

    As far as mic levels, we did not have a separate monitor for the audio. The camera operator is responsible for the audio as well as the video. Our new equipment allows a sound technician to monitor the levels on the TASCAM from the two mics, but the productions with this capability are several months away from being released.

    Lastly, glad you liked the panel animations. John Northam did a wonderful job with them!
     
  18. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Before the thread disappears, I'd be remiss if I didn't again thank all who have taken the time to critique. All viewpoints are valuable to me, and in fact (I hope no one minds), I do go through and copy all comments made on each episode and save them to individual folders. So long after these posts have sunken away your advice remains with me, only a couple keystrokes away, for my easy reference.

    Best,

    Sir Rhosis
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good for you. :) I take it you saw my recent post about dialogs over in the Fan Film Writer's Primer?
     
  20. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Well, let me put it this way. I save posts from that thread, as well. :)

    The Filmmakers Primer thread, not as much, because as I often point out, I am not a filmmaker. Honestly, the technical side of things doesn't interest me (we used to get tickets, back when I was in the Marines, for all the game shows, sitcoms, and so forth -- in those days, stuff like "Family Ties," "Solid Gold," "The Price is Right," etc. After a while I quit going because I was bored out of my skull).

    I love the finished product, not the technical process. Which is why, when the conversation turns to mic levels and shot composition, and the like, I shy away as I'm ignorant in those areas.

    Sir Rhosis
     

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