Star Trek Secret Voyage: E01 Whose Birth These Triumphs Are

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Potemkin_Prod, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I also stand by my comment that this episode is A LOT BETTER if you download the original file and watch that. Yes, it takes some time, it's 1GB. But it is well worth it. I love the relationship between the captain and his first officer here. But then, I love platonic relationships in general.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One thing I give this piece a lot of credit for is having original music. Michael Klubertanz's score gives the piece it's own aural identity. Too many fanfilms "track" existing Trek music onto their shows, which is distracting. Kudos to the makers for not taking that path.

    The costumes look great. Very well done. (But when the Captain opens the shoulder of his tunic I was immediately reminded of why Bill Theiss balked at showing how the costumes were fastened. It suddenly feels less futuristic when I see the zipper.)

    Of the cast, I like the two female leads the most, as I feel like both of them can deliver dialog. What issues I'd have with what comes out of their mouths is more about the script than the delivery.

    Speaking of mouths, the sound remains the Achilles Heel of the whole production. Seriously, most of looping most of the episode would help a lot, as so much of it is hard to make out.

    I agree that some of the edits are...odd. Sometimes there's a super quick cut to another character that doesn't communicate anything, and often the cuts are too short.

    There's the usual beginning filmmaker problems with mismatched looks and eyelines and constant "crossing the line" (described here). I always urge fan filmmakers to learn the most basic rules of cinematography, because even simply things like the not crossing the line makes a big difference in making a film feel more professional and well made.

    There're some bumpy visual effects. The spaceship shots are mostly fine, but the phaser beams and alien aircraft and stuff are rather clumsy. The shuttle never actually looks like it's actually there on the planet (the shadow under it isn't even as dark as those of the actors passing it). Notably, there's one moment at about 21:00 where U'nara is in front of the shuttlecraft, but when she turns she passes behind the shuttle. Oops.

    The Captain's beard is wildly inconsistent. At 17:00 it's basically stubble, and at 20:00 and forward it's much more grown in. Another oops.

    Hopefully these are first voyage bumps that the filmmakers can address in future episodes. :)
     
  3. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This was fantastic. I see lots of different story threads, which is something I like in a series. The story was a lot stronger than most of what I have seen in Phase 2. The acting was great. The Andorian looked superb. The makeup was done really well. The Romulan looked great too. I had trouble hearing actors at time, but it's just a teething problem I hope. Thoroughly enjoyed this, it really had a feeling of the 60s Trek. Especially the castle appearing. Bravo on an amazing first episode.
     
  4. Utopianvista

    Utopianvista Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am going to call this out as nonsense. Did you watch TOS? Since when is a freakin beehive a "military hairdo"?

    Anyways, I enjoyed the episode. I echo the comments about sound but did notice an improvement as the episode went on. Wasn't that thrilled to see the Enterprise being used but I can simply pretend it's another ship. But overall a very strong start.
     
  5. Newtrek

    Newtrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Many of you will notice that Phase II is begining to use longer hair on many of its charactures in keeping with 70s style production.
     
  6. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    No, the beehive (worn by many of the women crewmembers, notably Janice Rand) was not a military hairdo.
    But I did say Starfleet was `semi-militaristic`, which means that for the most part they DO follow many of the trappings of the military: chain of command, uniforms & ranks, discipline, duty, and so on.

    And often you would have many of the characters discussing these in a given episode: Kirk scolding Scotty and other crewmen for barroom brawling in THE Trouble with Tribbles, Pike lamenting the pressures of command in the Cage, Kirk telling Spock he is unworthy of his uniform in This side of Paradise, Duty and the pressures of same in Court Martial

    Where it got to the SEMI-militaristic part, meaning deviations from what was then 1960's strict military code and uniforms came from a little thing unique to television, called ''ART DIRECTION''!

    The men on Star Trek all had short clean-cut hair, not AS short as a crew cut but believable enough, and didn't lock the actors into hair styles that might bug them. I'm sure their pointy sideburns were all designed to reflect a more futuristic look.

    Where Chekov and Janice Rand (and most of the women crewmembers) deviated came about AGAIN because of a chosen art direction, and the need to appeal and attract a target audience.

    Chekov's hairstyle was to bring in a younger female teen demographic, and the women's hairstyle (as well as their very short skirts) was to help bring in horny males!

    Sure, the women's beehive hairstyles don`t reflect 1960's military grooming standards. Nor today's for that matter, but that was the point! You'll notice at least two instances I can think of where a female crewmember is shown with her ''starfleet'' hairdo, then later on in a more relaxed look (Saavik in The Wrath of Khan, meeting Kirk in the elevator: ''it's still regulation, sir'', and Lt. McGivers in Space Seed)

    Beards and mustaches were also out of the question at that time you"ll notice. Scotty's mustache in TMP was probably agreed upon because the actor refused to shave it off. The first instance of beards I can remember in ST was Kyle and Capt. Terrell in Wrath of Khan. On TNG first season Worf's hair was very short at that time though they grew it a few seasons later. The same with Riker's beard.
    All were mandated as changes in the art direction!

    But back to what I actually meant: Secret voyage is a non-paying fan film, I get that. We cast the actors we can get.

    I eventually stopped thinking of the 3 actors and their different hairstyles, but it was the same as when I watched Starship Farragut's first episode (the Captaincy) many months ago. As soon as I saw the very overweight Klingons, they were all that I could think of, and I stopped paying attention to the story.

    Yes I have watched a lot of TOS, thank you very much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  7. Utopianvista

    Utopianvista Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is a fascinating wall of text where you're basically talking in a bunch of circles. You have to work within the framework of the universe. You cannot apply modern standards to the future. If we applied the fashion standards, or military code whatever of the 1600s/1700s to today it'd be laughable. Star Trek takes place in a more enlightened future. There is a distinct fashion. Some of it based on the time period (real world) the show was shot and sometimes not. Starfleet regulations seem to be pretty lax.

    But lets break it down. Star Trek was made in the 1960s where mainstream appearance was conservative for males. You even have stupid 60isms like "reading that long hair stuff" from the second pilot. But then you get Chekov and a move away from that. If Star Trek had a 4th season you'd probably have gone even further away from it.

    By TMP things just go crazy. You have Native Americans in traditional garb with long hair and no one bats an eye. You talk about facial hair and act as if Scotty is an exception. I can post a screen shot where no less than 4 background actors are sporting a mustache. There are a ton in the rec room briefing!

    Argyle had a beard before Riker did in TNG. Men and women were also wearing the skant in TNG. Worf has never been clean shaved.

    No one ever had a problem with Worf's hair.

    There are so many examples to show that judging a fanseries by 1960s military code is nonsense. To explain it away as "art direction" just doesn't fit with what has been established in the universe. It's the 23rd and 24th centuries not military codes from the 20th century.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My objection to the grooming in fan films is when its contradictory to the series it's aping. If you're going to the trouble to recreate all the costumes and other minutia, why not take the last logical step and do the hairstyles in keeping with the show?
     
  9. Newtrek

    Newtrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    From the beginning we intentionally did not want to make this film look as though it were shot in the 60's, but rather an updated vision that utilized the basic iconic designs of the original series we think play so well even today. Things that worked for the original series may or may not work today as new forms of media and creative expression are explored. For instance TOS was originally shot with film noir type lighting because most televisions were still black and white thus more moody dramatic lighting, today that would be more of a preference. Also, standard screen format verses widescreen. Some fan films want to recreate the original as close a possible, or a contrast approach, while others may wish to fall in the middle somewhere.

    Many of our favorite fan based web series have had considerable resources to recreate accurate sets, access equipment, and utilize consummate professionals skilled in modern techniques. While these productions are usually quite generous to loan the use of their sets, it is still a considerable cost to fly cast across the country. I know of a few productions that are waiting to raise these kind of funds before embarking on such a journey, whereas we chose to jump right in with the goal of telling stories about visiting strange new worlds instead of bottle shows. Though production wise we’ve learned why these all ship episodes can be easier for sound, weather, and lighting consistency, we still like the idea of outdoor environments. Yes, volunteers on a zero budget can mean accommodating grooming preferences, schedules, and even requirement changes at an actor’s regular day job. At least until the vision and fan base is strong enough where you can turn volunteers away.

    As we learn and grow we will naturally improve, though I personally feel really good about what we’ve accomplished thus far. If anyone out there wants to assist us in polishing our efforts, improving our techniques, and assisting in helping us with stories, visual effects, and editing we welcome your time, talents, and treasures. If our version of Trek is not what you like, that’s fine too as we give a 100% money back guarantee.

    Long-Live Classic Trek, for the People, and by the People.
    And all Gods people said…..AMEN!

    Craig Sheeler,
    Executive Producer
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^That seems contradictory. You're okay with the hairstyles being modern, but you stick with microdresses that are clearly out of the the 60s?

    I'm not criticizing, merely observing.
     
  11. Newtrek

    Newtrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Great dialoge interesting to hear peoples passions and preferences come out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  12. Newtrek

    Newtrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Actually, we have done quite a few progressive things such as having altered the length of those so called "microdresses" and we added a short rather than the original cocktail server panty. We feel this makes the uniform more functional while keeping as close to the original designs that we DO like. Our moto is "Our gals kick tail without showing to much of theirs". Additionally, we plan on introducing new experimental technologies and uniform designs that honor the time frame but help bridge the gap between the end of Kirk's first 5 year mission and the first Star Trek movie. Things like the addition of digital controls over the previous analog versions from the tv series. We are NOT purists and have no desire to agrue over preferences, there are too many and even the purists can't agree on them. We choose not to assume that only what we see on screen is the truth and nothing but the truth any more that seeing what is on one navy ship tells you everything about the military. The world of Star Trek has room for interpretation and this series is also designed for the NON TREK fan. If I could have had my way and do things over I would have had our background actors more trimmed though. No agruments there, I guess we'll all just have to let it go for now. Our greater focus is to explore good ol fashioned Science Fiction rather than make people feel they are watching a classic trek from the 60's. There is a balance though as we do wish to honor the original series and bring as many fans as we can along for the ride.
     
  13. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am not a purist. I enjoyed your first release a lot. Thank you for it. Good writing and good acting is what makes a show for me. You had both.
     
  14. Linnear

    Linnear Lieutenant Commander

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    Everyone's a critic! UGH. ;-) You have to work within a universe that has a lot established. Then you try and make small changes. Ultimately it is a FREAKING FAN FILM so lighten up Francis.

    Craig has done an amazing job. And frankly, I think just getting a complete episode is an incredible feat.

    Plus, Craig did a class A job at the Vegas Convention. His booth was VERY impressive and on Saturday he had all his people there in costume.

    I don't stress about the little things. I want to see good acting and good story. Those are the things where fan films always fail. I think Craig has done well ob both counts.

    Alec
     
  15. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    Their Facebook page doesn't really have an update on their project. Anyone know the status for their next episode ?
     
  16. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    He's responded a bit on Facebook, and after his initial decision to shut down his production, he's a bit more flexible on resuming production. I think he was expecting more of a groundswell of support in donations and the like, and it just didn't happen. But several of us have offered to help him with his production, and he's been receptive to our help. I'm hoping that we can at least finish what he's shot.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That would be pretty naïve given how many fan productions there are and how many established productions there are to which people could donate money, and that his group really had no track record.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  18. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think anyone (even people with some professional background) appreciates just how hard it is to put together a fan film until they try it. For what's it worth, I really liked the concept and thought the cast was terrific. There were plenty of rough edges, but I thought the first outing showed a lot of promise.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not quite following this. People with a professional background...in what? There's nothing special about shooting a fanfilm as opposed to a regular film except maybe you have the build more stuff (costumes, props, etc.), and deal with more optical effects than maybe a contemporary piece (and even that is changing what with digital set extensions, etc.).
     
  20. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There were people who have some experience in the film industry involved with that project. However, I think that having experience working on professional projects doesn't fully prepare someone for the amount of work that goes into being a producer with overall responsibility for a project.

    Speaking for myself, when I joined the Excelsior team I had well over 20 years of experience in radio, but I still was overwhelmed in the beginning by everything that was involved in putting together a full audio production.
     

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