Are any of the fanmade Trek productions actually good?

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Nacluv, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    I like the work of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, which includes Star Trek: Odyssey and some other stand-alone movies.
    Their technique is a little different. They green screen everything versus building sets. So the "production quality" is worse, especially in the early seasons. But they more than make up for that with interesting complex stories and usually good acting.
    It's set in 24th century timeframe, mostly focused on "Briar Patch" area from Star Trek: Insurrection. Very well written.

    I also got a kick out of watching "Keeping Up With the Cardassians". Not really a Star Trek story, so much as a "real-life" documentary, but it's fun.
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 17, 2005
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    One thing I frequently mention in the Fan Filmmaker's Primer thread here is that "sound trumps picture", and rotten sound demolishes everything. I always stress to fan filmmakers that they need to get decent mics, record sound to something other than the camera, and set up a proper acoustical environment on set to ensure decent sound (e.g. sound blankets). In fact, sound is so important that some professionals get thrown off in rough cuts because of the uneven/unmixed sound. This is very true of fan filmmakers, too, so much so that when showing rough edits to those people I do a lot of sound work on the rough edits so that people will not be distracted by it, even though I really shouldn't mess with the sound at all until the edit is locked.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  3. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 7, 2012
    Oh I do agree with that, I'll take bad video over bad audio.

    I've seen a lot of independant films. I've heard audio so bad that the microphones kept buzzing and hissing at different levels. It's because one take the mic volume was too low, and when they amplified it, they amplified the RF noise. And I kept thinking "Some copper tape and electrical tape would really come in hand for that microphone cord (to increase RF shielding).

    And then I've heard audio where they are outside talking and the wind is blowing and all I can think of is "wind screens are your friend"

    And of course all the scenes in laundry mats and the like with so much background sound and I am thinking either do voice overs, or wait until people turn off the machines.

    And there is that weird phenomenon where in one shot the sound is fine, but when it cuts to a second camera to get the persons reaction you hear a loud buzzing. I am guessing each camera had a different microphone.
  4. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
    I've watched a lot of them lately, and have bailed on a few mere minutes in. The problems with fan films are legion and well known: Bad writing, bad acting, poor production values, miscasting. Some combine many of these flaws in a single production.

    I'll say some nice words about "Hidden Frontier", even though it contained it's share of the above enummerated drawbacks.

    But...........they put out a lot of product and you have to admire that! By the time their production company got to "The Helena Chronicles", they'd gotten their act together, the writing had improved (and I'll forgive a lot if the basic story is good), the techincal problems had been ironed out and, as far as fan films go, I'd class that specific effort with the best of them.
  5. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Guest

    The only one I've really watched is Of Gods and Men and considering it is full of Trek regulars and actors I thought the acting would be better. I did think the story was good though.
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ I liked OGAM very much. I wish I could get it on iTunes.
  7. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 19, 2012
    Did anyone else here enjoy Star Trek Continues as much as I did?

    While I did like Pilgrim of Eternity much more than Lolani, Lolani still has that TOS-ish atmosphere and style more than any episode I've seen of Phase II.
  8. trekshark

    trekshark Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 6, 2014
    I really like new voyages/phase 2
  9. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 26, 2013
    Everett, Washington
    Aurora, Exeter, and Continues are the cream of the crop for over all quality I think. They're my personal favorites.

    Phase 2 has moments of greatness, and moments of badness, but it's probably one of the more prolific groups out there.

    I haven't really seen many of the other productions to give comment.. :)
  10. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 22, 2010
    If you're not drawn into Team Cawley vs. Team Vic then I really think Continues bests Phase II, based on the most recent released episodes. One would hope that the rivalry will be good for viewers as they try to one-up each other.

    Looking forward to Exeter's Tressaurian Intersection final cut.
  11. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2010
    I really enjoyed the two STC episodes so far made, as well as the vignettes. I haven't seen Phase II yet, but I intend to. The acting is IMO a bit uneven in STC, but production values certainly equal (if not surpass) TOS.

    I also enjoyed Star Wreck, a crossover parody of ST and Babylon 5. It's in Finnish so some people who aren't used to subtitles may be put off, but I have the advantage of being Finnish (as well as used to subtites when I need them). They eventually got a DVD distribution deal from Universal Scandinavia, although that meant redoing most of the CGI to avoid looking exactly like Trek/B5. The production team went pro with Iron Sky, although they thankfully stuck to staying behind the camera. Still, I find that it's easier to get away with bad acting if you do parody.
  12. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    In a Bozo Nightmare
    Moving to Fan Productions.
  13. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    May 26, 2007
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    After I finished watching "Lolani," I felt like I'd seen a real TOS episode.

    I've seen a couple of the Phase II episodes, and my personal jury is still out. From what I've heard, they're working on "Mind-Sifter" - based on a well-known fanfic that got published in one of the New Voyages anthologies back in the '70s. I hope they do finish it; it's a powerful story.
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Aug 3, 2003
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    My avatar says it all. :)

    I think Star Trek Continues has simply raised the bar to an eerie level.
  15. RCAM

    RCAM Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 27, 2013
    I think Continues has set the bar for artistic quality with "Lolani" and that the speed with which they are producing their episodes and vignettes is extremely impressive. Their constant communication with the fan base is also tremendous. "Pilgrim of Eternity" wasn't great but showed promise.

    Phase II has had one great episode ("World Enough and Time"); one very good episode ("To Serve All My Days"); a couple okayish episodes; and some really, really rough outings ("Blood and Fire" and "Enemy: Starfleet" come to mind). They also really overdue the references to later-Trek. Still, I admire their dedication and always look forward to watching their new episodes.

    The last episode of "Starship Farragut" was pretty good (though the lead still really struggles with his acting and screen presence, in my opinion). And while I didn't think much of "The Savage Empire," Exeter's second outing has been very good so far. Like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting the final act.

    "Hidden Frontier" was unwatchable to me in its early seasons, but really grew in all aspects of production over time. I ended up quite enjoying it.
  16. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 13, 2009
    New York, New York
  17. Coloratura

    Coloratura Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    While it's quite subjective, so far I've seen several fan productions that are excellent, and one in particular gets so close to professional that you can almost taste it.

    I'm a big fan of Starship Exeter, Phase II, and Star Trek: Continues, and while they're all great, it's Star Trek: Continues that recently blew the doors off of my expectations for fan film quality.

    Ooh, and I seem to be late to the party. :lol:
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Aug 3, 2003
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    While it's not on the same level as STC I must say I enjoyed Starship Exeter. and I look forward to the conclusion to its last episode.
  19. Coloratura

    Coloratura Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Yeah, I love Exeter, and can't wait for the final episode, which is coming very soon!
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    STC seems to have it's tongue ever-so-slightly in cheek, something which IMHO made TOS so much more awesome than it might have been otherwise.
    It's still nowhere near the real thing, but a step above P2 in it's TOSsy vibe.
    I'm not 100% sure, but I think P2 have dropped their adaptation of "Mind Sifter", along with their prequel story "Origins"
    Agreed. P2 I think gets lost trying to be part of the "real" Trek continuity, when the very best fanfic stories (IMO, at least) are the ones that ask "what if?" and go in new directions. "To Serve All My Days" was greatly diminished by the "It was all a dream" ending tacked-on, and I was disappointed to see "Kitumba" turned into a TOS-TNG Klingon change explanation rather than an exploration of what the Klingons might have become in the 70's.