Fallen Star - Episode 4

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Start Wreck, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TrekBBS thread for Episode 1.
    TrekBBS thread for Episode 2.
    TrekBBS thread for Episode 3.

    "Fallen Star is a home-made sci-fi TV show about a crew of British space adventurers."

    If you're not aware of my "inspired by Star Trek but isn't really Star Trek" series yet, check out the following YouTube playlist to watch all episodes from the beginning:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL521399E5427DE646

    Or, if you can't be bothered, you can watch the latest recap (2 mins) and then skip to the fourth episode.

    It's hard to believe we started this series nearly ten years ago! And it's been nearly four years since we showed the third episode, so I hope this one is worth the wait! It's certainly our most ambitious episode to date and was incredibly time-consuming on a technical level.

    In episode 4, "The Butler Did It", the disappearance of Mr. Humphreys prompts a dangerous mission to retrieve him, leaving the crew divided and conquered. A sinister saboteur strikes from the shadows, but the mission illuminates some shadowy secrets of its own.




    As ever, this is a project done for fun, in our own spare time and with very little budget. All writing, editing, visual effects and audio engineering are done by me. I'm open to feedback, good or bad, but regardless of anything, we're still gonna finish the remaining episodes, which are well into post-production already.

    Enjoy!
     
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  2. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    "A deck by deck search." Um, first put out a shipwide, "If anyone has seen Humphreys in the past hour please respond." :D
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    So, I was hoping some others would chime in before I gave any kind of critique, but so far it's cricketsville, so...

    I like the premise of your series and I like that it's lighthearted and aims to be amusing. There's some fun, funny lines and nice absurdity here. The script is one of the strengths, even if it gets a big overly talky at the finish.

    In the past you've seemed open to critical feedback, so I hope the following might be helpful to you in future segments.

    The show's downsides are primarily tonal shift problems (the uneasy tension between comedy and drama) and—as this episode illustrates—pacing issues that undermine the comedy. Comedy is all about timing, and there is just too much dead air. The dialog needs zing to sing, and the performances are too deliberate. This is not a knock on your cast. It's about the editing. This is the issue Marcia Lucas pointed out with the rough cut of the original Star Wars: letting the actors' rhythms dictate the tempo when you ought to be cutting to the pace that works best for the material. I'd encourage you to prune it harder next time out, decide the tempo you think will best sell the humor and cut to achieve that. I think just that will make a big difference in audience engagement and response.

    Keep it up. :)
     
  4. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for the feedback. :)
    Editing is the the only part left for the remaining episodes (shooting was wrapped ages ago) so I can certainly work on that for the next ones.

    Are there are any guides to making editing snappier/funnier that you would recommend?
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Not off hand, but what I will suggest as a first step is just trying to squeeze the pauses between dialog in back and forths so that it gets snappy, like this (link), where the actor's lines basically land one right after the other pop pow pow pow pow, and then you save the pauses for moments where you want the audience to anticipate what the reaction is going to be.
     
  6. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Appreciated, thanks.
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Always happy to help in any small way I can. :)
     
  8. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The obligatory VFX reel (spoiler alert):



    Amongst other things, this shows how important it is to get stuff right on set and not have to spend hours correcting continuity errors and whatnot. Fire the director! (Oh wait, that was me.)
    And I wrote a little more about the whole thing on my blog.
    https://adaninthelife.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/vfx-reel-fallen-star-episode-4/

    We also have a blooper reel coming soon.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Hey thanks for sharing that.

    I can't imagine trying to mask out moving characters in front of an outdoor setting like you did...given blur over said background. Eek.
     
  10. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here we go:


    :)
    (Again, spoiler alert!)
     
  11. werdegast

    werdegast Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Those were a lot of fun!!
     
  12. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One more special feature from Episode 4 (again, spoilers!) - this is one of our storyboards with a side-by-side comparison of the final sequence.



    We didn't storyboard everything like this, and even these were somewhat "rough and ready". But they did the job!

    That's all for now.
     
  13. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here is a little teaser / announcement trailer just to say that we're not finished with this series yet and to expect another episode.

     
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  14. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    I hate to say it but I cannot understand what is being said under the b.g. sound. It’s muffled.
     
  15. werdegast

    werdegast Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The voices were not understandable. But I look forward to the new episode. The others were a lot of fun.
     
  16. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's just snippets of dialogue from previous episodes. It's intentionally muffled, it's just supposed to be an eery soundscape that you can't quite make out.

    It probably wasn't even worth me posting it, but it's something we stuck on the end of the premiere screening. We'll have something more substantial later in the year.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Thanks for explaining. The issue is sound trumps picture so it just sounds like bad audio rather than something deliberate.

    I wanted to point you to a bit in Fit the Twelfth of the original The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy BBC radio second series that does something like what I think you're attempting, but I can't seem to find that version anywhere on the net. :\
     
  18. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've often wanted to listen to the original HHGTTG radio show (I loved the TV adaptation) so maybe I'll hear it in due course!
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    IMO the original radio version is best one, and I say this as someone who finally heard it 23 years after first encountering the books, then audiobooks, then TV show, and a many years afterwards, the movie. The 2nd half of the radio show (Fit the 7th thru 12th) go a completely different direction than any of the other versions.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Here @Start Wreck , I found the bit I was mentioning and put it on Dropbox (link).

    The description of this from the end notes in the book of the radio scripts reads:

    In the collapsing Universe the falling sky was represented by a high-pitched whine and the ground coming up was represented by a deep rumble. In addition these effects were accompanied by a montage of lines from previous episodes (and one which in fact had yet to appear). These were:
    'But there aren't any real people here at all' . . .'So what's new?'
    'Share and Enjoy' '
    Well, well, well. . . Arthur Dent'
    'Tell me how you got here?'. . . 'Impossible' '
    What we did you see was we flew in . . . we flew in. Oh yes, we definitely flew in' '
    Here's to your achievement, Zaphod Beeblebrox'. . . 'Achievement? . . . Oh, yeah'
    Real fanatics, or people who have a got a spare minute or two might like to find out where all these lines come from and ponder their significance.