Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by jamesmc, Jun 4, 2010.
It does when you don't want to matte in a spfx shot.
You missed the point. The helm/navigator stations are facing the wrong way. They should be oriented so that the center faces the viewscreen. They aren't. Very strange.
No, I didn't. They changed the orientation of the helm console to avoid having the main viewing screen in the shot. Just a way of saving some money on their part. It looks like it might have been from "By Any Other Name" just as Chekov is converted to a "cube." That would've been a complicated spfx shot to have the viewscreen in the same shot, so they simply turned the helm to avoid it (which was my point).
I get it, and that makes sense. Nobody would likely catch the different orientation in "real time". And yeah, the shot is definitely from "By Any Other Name."
It's called "cheating" the shot--we'll move the players or the scenery in order to make the best/easiest method of production without causing too much damage to the story/plot. Its a big thing I've noticed in TOS--the helm is moved A LOT.
Other shows did it too--was watching some old eps of "The Streets of San Francisco" and "Hawaii Five-O" and they used to cheat there a lot too. Karl Malden sitting right next to Michael Douglas in the car--I mean right next to him in the front seat, not across where the passenger would sit. Same thing with McGarrett and Dano. They cheated the mirrors in the car all the time so as not to block the shots, or they removed the mirrors all together.
For Potemkin, we have not "locked down" the helm in any wild. It's completely movable (and removable) so we'll be able to set up the camera anywhere as needed.
But Greg... weren't fans told that Enemy Starfleet would be released in April? Then June. And now you're saying July.
I was always skeptical of the early to mid-June date as I knew you were shooting in early June. But what's happened to releasing Enemy Starfleet? It's starting to look like a pretty low priority, it will happen when it happens, que sera sera.
Please understand I do not mean to be critical. I'm talking about perception, just as you were talking about perception ("disappoints fans"). It seems to me it is a lack of communication which is the hardest thing for fans to deal with. Some of us check the forums everyday looking for news about the release of this episode. We try to wait patiently and not bug you guys but when you casually shift our expectation from April to June to July... well, I don't know I just wish you would say something to explain. It can be quite honest, "Hey guys, working on the new shoot for Origins was more consuming than we anticipated and we've fallen behind in completing the last few tweaks on ES. Hang in there." I'm only guessing, of course, but a simple explanation like that goes a long ways to keeping up fan confidence.
No offense intended, Greg. You guys are doing awesome work and I love it all. Communication is part of what I do for a living, but if my post was inappropriate just tell me to keep it to myself.
Peace and long life.
Ken, do you like to nag people? Particularly fan film producers? Can you genuinely tell me you've watched EVERYTHING at my website, and listened to all the existing audio shows?
How about writing a few reviews of films that no one else is reviewing.
Dude--I personally spend tens of thousands of dollars per episode--out of my own pocket--plus whatever all the other Phase II contributers, James included, sink into an episode--to make these damn things. (I'm fortunate enough to be wealthy enough to help subsidize such frivolity. For better or worse, that makes me a Co-Executive Producer.) I think it's pretty nervy of you to tell me how low of a priority these episodes seem to be to me. You're doing that from over in the Free Seats, right?
I can't think of any other fan-based Star Trek production where an Executive Producer weighs in more frequently than I do with behind the scenes trials and tribulations that affect the production and where it looks like our production schedule is putting us at any given moment--as if anyone really cares about the crazy behind-the-scenes problems that affect our fake Star Trek show.
So, the latest word on "Enemy: Starfleet!" is that after we showed a relatively finshed version of the episode at a convention in May, it looked like some tweaking of the editing needed to be done--as well as adding in some last-minute pick-up shots. (We had the opportunity to grab those shots when we went into the studio for "Origins.")
So, the last I heard we were still looking good for an early July release--and that's quickly approaching.
Of course, it's not just a matter of having a completed episode. That's just half the story. The other half is making sure our Internet delivery system (file servers and web sites even in other countries) are ready to go, too.
Although I'm really proud of both the quality of our output and the quantity of our output--and even our communication--I'm sorry that it's too long between episodes, and I'm sorry that our release dates move a bit, and I'm sorry that we aren't even more forthcoming about why those dates move. We'll try to do better so that you can get your full money's worth.
It will be interesting to see how many nanoseconds after "Enemy: Starfleet!" gets released that we get our first "Yes, that was great--but when will your next episode be released?" post.
You don't want to throw a couple thousand toward a puppet film, would you? I can make you an executive executive producer.
You can't mean they wait until you release an episode to ask about the next one... watching you suffer for your kindness is 90 per cent of why I actively object to announcements of releases in advance. You are the definition of "no good deed goes unpunished."
Instead of changing the orientation of the Helm/Nav Console, they should have just turned off the main view screen like they did in the season 1 episode "The Enemy Within". After all, that shot of Chekov is after the Enterprise passed through the galactic barrier en route to the Andromeda Galaxy. So they really did not need to keep the main view screen on while the Enterprise is traveling to Andromeda for the next 300 years, they can travel using instruments.
Here is a picture of the main view screen turned off in the episode "The Enemy Within".
Just my 2 cents worth,
Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
P.S. Phase II keep up the good work. Thank you James, Greg, and the rest of the cast and crew of Phase II. Your efforts are appreciated.
They still put out more episodes than the nearest competitor, so I ain't complainin'.
I think they probably didn't want to put the entire viewscreen wall back in place for that one shot. With the size of the cameras back then, didn't they keep 3-5 pie wedges out of the bridge most of the time? That's one of the cooler things about the Phase II productions -- with the smaller cameras and lights they can actually have the full 360° in place if they want.
Well, that may have been the case. Except I remember reading that James Cawley's Phase II Production bridge set is missing the sections after Spock's Science Station upto but not including the main view screen. Greg, a little help please.
Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
First things first.
The problem is probably not just the viewscreen that would have to be matted in. (But it's true: you could have the viewscreen be "off"--but then having just been showing the galactic barrier on the viewscreen as the Enterprise passed through it, you'd need to have a line like "Whew! We made it! Mister Chekov--you can turn off the main viewer now." Otherwise people will say "Hey wait! Kirk never gave an order to turn off the viewscreen. Why is it off? Continuity error! Continuity error!"
And it's probably not just about putting in the viewscreen segment of the bridge set. All the segments were wild and could be pulled out to permit better access and camera view. So they might have had to pop it in place--which would indeed be a headache.
But I think the main reason is the lighting. Even if the viewscreen section is in place, and even if you decide to have the viewscreen in the "Off" position and even if you add a line of dialogue that explains the deactivated viewscreen, you still have to get a bunch of guys from the lighting crew to hang lights and power to illuminate that whole section of the bridge behind Chekov--as well as Chekov himself.
So it looks like they just "cheated" for the five second shot "knowing" that no one would ever really notice. They pulled out the captain's chair and helm/nav unit and rotated a bit so that the background would be a part of the bridge that they already had to light:
And of course, they didn't have to move the camera crew and sound crew and everything else very much, either. The only thing that had to move was Chekov's console--instead of moving a zillion other things. A nice quick and dirty solution that saves time and money.
By the way: our Phase II bridge set is a full 360 degrees--complete all the way around with the only access being through the turbolift or by stepping through the viewscreen when the green screen isn't in place. (It seldom is.) Nichelle Nichols gasped and looked like she was punched in the gut when she stepped out of the turbolift onto our set the first time. We recently upgraded the set and replaced winky-blinky Christmas tree light contraptions at the bridge panels with nice flat screen monitors. Expensive but they use less power and keep things cooler. I don't believe we've upgraded the Navigation station and the Weapons and Defense Stations over past the Library-Computer station. That might be the source of the "not complete" story. The bridge is complete, but one section is still 20th century while the rest is 21st century. When Dr. Daystrom invents a Comptronic system, we'll upgrade again.
I think part of the problem is that people see "professional" TV shows and movies arriving on schedule. If ABC says something is going to be airing something tomorrow at 10 p.m., it would take a national disaster for the program not to be aired.
But when we're talking fan films, which are labors of love done in the "spare time" of the folks pullling them together, when a person being sick can have more of an impact on production than the "Big Boys," though as I've always said, independent productions more than make up with heart whatever they lack in art.
I understand the desire to let fans know as soon as possible when their next favorite production will be available, but I figure it's a balancing act between the desire to let everyone see what you've been working on and being able to get all the pieces together and ready online.
I just say keep up the good work. I am seriously interested to see Arex in Phase II. That's something I think only a fan would get excited about.
Yes. All that is true. We like to keep people in the loop, but we also want to have something left to share when the episode finally arrives. "For my first trick, I want to pull a rabbit out of my hat. But before I do that, I'm sure you'd like to see some behind-the-scenes stuff about this little secret compartment in my hat in which I keep the rabbit."
But what surprises me is that everyone knows (or at least I think everyone knows) that basically we get a couple of hundred suckers to donate their time and talents and money and their sanity to come to "Camp Star Trek" annually--generally in early summer to shoot an episode. Since we only shoot one of these damn things a year, you basically can expect only one a year. We can't release them faster than we shoot them. (Okay, I'll say it: "I canna change the laws of physics!")
So I'm delighted that we have such passion among our fans. But I don't know exactly where passion crosses over into a sense of entitlement.
Greg, I apologize.
I knew I might be misunderstood. I should've not said anything. I really did not intend to offend and I'm sorry for that.
In addition to correcting me, you graciously provided the kind of detail I was asking for, so I thank you.
It's all VERY amazing what you guys accomplish and I will continue spreading the word: Star Trek lives, Phase II.
Production schedules are a difficult issue and we've learned at Excelsior to be very careful about hard deadlines. The exception was last year's special episode that we specifically targeted for Boxing Day (Dec 26). I got the pleasure of playing showrunner on that episode while James was studying in Italy (he was supposed to be studying anyway) and thanks to incredible work and co-operation from everyone involved we got it done. Our 2009 April Fool's episode got released several months late, but then it was a joke, right? Actually we're very proud of "The Line" and hope everyone enjoys it.
Sorry Greg, didn't mean to go that far OT. You guys are great and I look forward to every new episode!
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