David Foster Preparing to Pitch New ‘Star Trek’ Series

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Chindogu, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    I have to ask you Dennis...post TOS, TNG, DS9 & VOY what resonates most to/with newcomers?

    This would be the 64 Thousand dollar question. ;)
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To newcomers there is no "post Fill-In-The-Blank" series or movies. There is no 23rd/24th/25th century. Those are the bookkeeping habits of established fandom.

    That's the first thing to get right.

    It's about the characters on the spaceship and their adventures. All eras are the same and matter only to the extent that they support that or distract from it.
     
  3. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    I agree. :techman: I think this is where alot of fan ideas fall flat...focusing on the "post Fill-In-The Blank".

    So when are you gonna pitch your series to CBS? :mallory:
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I'm expecting Brad Gray to call me when he gets wind of the fact that I've written scripts for a couple of fan films recently. I'm sure that he reads the TrekBBS Fan Productions forum every day, because we know that the studio brass and their minions steal all their ideas and plots from fanfic.
     
  5. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Screw pitching "Trek".

    "Polaris" is what you should be pitching anyway. Now that's the stuff. ;)
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    LOL, Thanks. :)
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Here's how a pitch works:

    You come up with your pitch, you work your contacts, you get a meeting, you pitch. 99.997% of the time you get rejected. Talking about it on the interwebs beforehand means you probably don't have a prayer.
     
  8. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with that assessment, with the caveat that someone with a successful track record can probably afford to look like an amateur and yack about it publically beforehand, like Kurtzman and Orci yacking about their animated series idea.

    I wouldn't at all be surprised if the next Star Trek series turns out an animated series. A live action show just has too much working against it - too expensive, and in a genre that has died on on TV, except for animation. For live action space opera to be revived on TV would require an outlet willing to take a serious risk, and CBS does not strike me as being interested in serious risks.
     
  9. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I'm not dismissing Foster. Clearly, he has passion for the subject, put a lot of effort into it, and has a production company (even if low budget) to potentially get things going. It is a matter of having a realistic attitude and having some amount of clout to get on a high profile production that a Trek series would be. As of now, Foster has clearly neither which, unfortunately, makes him look a bit foolish to anyone who has any idea of how television works.
     
  10. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's true. As of today, though, because of the way this story has passed from news site to news site a great many more people have heard of his production company and the people working with them than might otherwise have. This little bit of visibility may result in his folks making more contacts and having the opportunity to work on some projects, in some beginning capacity, with people who might never have heard of them otherwise. And I'm not sure that this in itself may not be part of what they expect to get out of the effort.
     
  11. peteym5

    peteym5 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I personally believe in sticking more toward Gene Roddenberrys' premise of Star Trek. I said it a few times in another thread that to be successful, a new Trek has to stick with either the basic elements or popular elements that drew in fans before. There has to be Klingon, Romulans, Vulcans, Andorians, Tholians, Gorn, etc. You need that iconic Captain character in the middle of the bridge. One thing I am not sure about is an open Gay character because this is something highly controversial and I think it may scare more fans away than it will draw in.

    I may even introduce some TNG era aliens for a sense of connection to the rest of Star Trek. Tell their backstory of where some came from. The Cardassians offer a lot of potential even back in the 23rd century. Its establish that their Military overthrown their civilian government. Can write up of how and why that happened.
     
  12. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You raise a good point, which got me thinking. I almost wonder if Foster completely realizes that this pitch is going to go nowhere fast, but intentionally talked to that news site as a way to increase his profile and/or to network with other professionals. If so, that's kinda clever on his part.
     
  13. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't understand the whole thing with attracting so many newcomers, there are plenty of Star Trek fans to give any new show great ratings. And they'd RETAIN those ratings if they kept the writing sharp and the universe consistent.
     
  14. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Depends entirely on where the show airs. ENT was hitting around the 3-4M mark when it got the axe. In theory, that's enough to be a hit on Showtime, sure. If you assume every Trekkie scrambles to subscribe to Showtime. In this economy, I think a lot of them would wait for Netflix or "other options."

    Now go convince Showtime to develop a series that is indelibly associated with free TV. If you could even get them interested, they would certainly want a show that measures up to their quality brand image. They would not want anything that could just as easily be aired on broadcast TV. They have to justify charging people for a subscription, so they need shows that viewers can't get on free TV.

    Or maybe we'd be better off on basic cable. Can Star Trek get 5-6M viewers? Possibly, but it would be a lot easier if some of the channel's existing viewers were also lured over. And why wouldn't that be part of the game plan? If the show is on FX, then FX would of course advertise to their current viewers. It would be idiotic not to. So they'd want a show that would appeal to FX viewers and again, not be something you'd expect to see on free TV.

    And since a show geared to Showtime or FX would be better than network pablum, why wouldn't this be a good thing? I'm happy that CBS would never air Star Trek. I shudder to think of what they'd do to it.
     
  15. NuFan

    NuFan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Obviously there are not plenty of fans or Crap Trek would still be going strong. Though it's nice that people are finally admitting that only the greatest writing and heaviest promotion in the history of t.v. would get anybody to watch what they want to see. Still, it would be better to be smart and just start off with a concept that has mainstream appeal.
     
  16. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek on TV can't have mainstream appeal. That works okay in movies, but TV has evolved so that you can do mainstream, or you can do niche, but you can't do both, and all sci fi goes into the niche basket, except possibly a cop show with sci fi window dressing which could possibly survive on a network channel. I've discussed why pretty extensively in this thread or maybe others (I've lost track :rommie:).

    But all you need to do is look at the networks and observe how many sci fi shows of any sort - not even the off-putting kind with spaceships and aliens - are managing to survive. Fringe and Chuck, just barely, but they're on their way out and relegated to the Friday death slot. CW, but they don't do sci fi so much as fantasy and superhero stuff and their ratings are so puny that they hardly count.

    Even on cable, space opera is dead, except for on The Cartoon Network, where The Clone Wars still soldiers on. Even SyFy has ditched space opera in favor of cutesy fluff shows, all Earth-based.

    The way to do Star Trek on TV is to forget the mainstream. Figure out what channel it will be on, and craft a show to that channel. We can rule out broadcast right off the bat as being the least likely place where Star Trek can survive. Basic or premium cable are more hospitable environments.
     
  17. NuFan

    NuFan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Then they should just hold off until the industry and the public are more tolerant of "space opera" as you call it. I don't want to see a low budget, cheap looking Star Trek on some obscure channel. I would totally go for a Clone Wars type of thing though.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The industry and the public will never be more tolerant of space opera. The industry is going towards greater division of mainstream vs niche programming, and doesn't need space opera, now or ever, even in the niche space. There are lots of niches they can opt for instead - Westerns, horror, supernatural, superhero, dystopian sci fi, murder mystery, high fantasy, etc.

    The public likes the stuff it's trained to like. Give the public a million cops shows and the public likes cop shows. Give the public no space operas, and they forget space operas exist.

    The way Star Trek will get back on TV is through the concerted efforts of a producer or team who are determined to make it happen, despite the considerable obstacles. These folks need to be established in the TV biz so they will be listened to. They need to have an understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities of the various channels where a series could run, and craft a series intelligently to minimize the pitfalls and maximize the opportunities.

    And it wouldn't hurt for them to bring in international financing to mitigate the risk. A Star Trek series should be a strong seller overseas (sci fi shows usually do well and Star Trek is a globally known brand name).

    After that, the marketing campaign will generate demand for the new Star Trek series, just like it did with the Abrams movie, which became a box office champ by going beyond the traditional Trekkie crowd. If the series is well matched to the channel it airs on, then it should be able to draw from existing viewers of that channel, which are easy to market to. You just show ads for the Star Trek series as bumpers on the shows they already watch.

    Take care of all this, and it doesn't matter what the content of the show is. Klingons or no Klingons, Abrams U or Prime U, that stuff is really beside the point. Many different approaches to Star Trek could be made to work, as long as the people behind it have clout and business savvy to get the show greenlighted in the first place.

    Why do you think that would happen? Are you talking about SyFy? I wouldn't expect Star Trek to end up there at all. Showtime would have the budget to do a good job, though.
     
  19. NuFan

    NuFan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You make it sound almost impossible, Temis. Oh, well. I guess I'm okay with just movies for now.
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's because it is almost impossible! :rommie: Hey I'd love it if it were otherwise, but what's the point of being dishonest?

    Anyway, I'd say there's a reasonable chance that Orci & Kurtzman's animated series idea might eventually work out.