Hidden Frontier Productions Announces the End of an Era

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by DHillMSP, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Captain Randy Hall

    Captain Randy Hall Commodore Commodore

    May 16, 2001
    Columbia, Maryland USA
    You're right. I accidentally posted this week's fan production list here, but I'm moving it to the proper site even as we "speak."

    Thanks for the heads-up!
  2. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

    Nov 15, 1999
    Left the building.
    Just wanted to check in here and say for the record, Hidden Frontier led the way for many of us. They spent the last decade proving you don't need a multi-million dollar budget and studio backing to tell compelling stories. So here's a big thank you to everyone who's passed through Rob Caves' door over the years, for both entertaining us and pushing us to tap into our own creative energies in ways we never would have imagined.

    On a personal note, I've made some wonderful friends, and experienced some events that I wouldn't trade for anything. My experience with Hidden Frontier over the years, starting as a slightly skeptical viewer, to a fan, to an active participant has been an incredible journey, and I have learned things I never imagined I would or could, and have grown in ways that surprise even me. In a way I've grown up with HF (well they do say men mature more slowly), and while we may be done for now, I hope one day maybe I'll get to do a little more growing with you all again. :)

    Anyway here's to every single person that's graced the HF stage, and contributed to that tapestry. You led, the rest of us followed, and that's a pretty awesome legacy.
  3. Captain Randy Hall

    Captain Randy Hall Commodore Commodore

    May 16, 2001
    Columbia, Maryland USA
    What Nick said. :bolian:
  4. DHillMSP

    DHillMSP Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Jan 2, 2011
    North Saint Paul, Minnesota
  5. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Aug 17, 2001
    Hollywood, CA
    I just finished watching "Tossed Upon the Shore," the collective finale to Star Trek: Odyssey and Star Trek: The Helena Chronicles.

    While at times I thought to myself they should have called it "Shelby Keeps Retreating," I've (thankfully) composed my thoughts below.

    The Bad:
    Speaking strictly from a story/plot point, not a lot makes sense. Maxwell's Section 31 ship almost immediately reveals itself not just to Odyssey but also to any Romulan ships nearby. Jorian, despite being returned to "supervised/restricted" duty, seems to have incurred the ire of many people, yet pretty much has free reign to do what he wants.

    Most egregious though would be Ro's decision, promptly after being promoted to an actual captaincy, to ignore Shelby's orders and detour to reunite with Corey. My issue isn't with his desire to be reunited with his husband but rather the extreme selfishness of it, which he even has the gall to call attention to when he makes his announcement to the crew -- two years later and who knows how many dead officers left behind, they can all sit tight for a few more hours while Ro goes and sees his lover. Not exactly the best set of priorities for a man expected to lead people to have.

    Stadi and S'Tal. While reusing actors in various roles in the same episodes of the shows is nothing new for Hidden Frontier productions, jumping from Odyssey's bridge to Excelsior's seeing Julia Morizawa as a human and then as a Vulcan (at the same bridge station and sometimes in immediate succession!) was a bit distracting.

    The plot itself doesn't really make a lot of sense to me and drags, significantly for the first hour or so. I don't know if its a case of padding or if there were just too many plot threads crammed into this, but there was clearly a lot to be serviced by this episode. There's no spontaneity to the story, everything just strums along from A to B to C, and dragging things out. I couldn't keep track of what each ship was doing because they were all going off in zig-zagging directions every few minutes. This directionless nature to the story is also very evident in a clear lack of a singular leading role throughout. Again, I recognize there were many mouths to feed story-wise and that this production would wind up having to service three disparate series, but not having that one leading character to guide the story itself is really a hindrance. I suppose the argument can be made that Ro and T'Lorra are the lead characters of what is inherently an ensemble piece, but again - apart from connecting the dots, there wasn't much going on with these two in terms of character development or growth. Ro got his people home; T'Lorra decided she actually does like humans after all. Not a lot of depth involved. (more on this later.)

    To expound on the point about 'connecting the dots' - first Odyssey is barreling through Archein space. Then it's a mad dash to get to the Archein wormhole/tunnel... and then it's off to slipstream drive, magically after all the distance covered, the fireball of destruction that spit out Odyssey having minimal effect or impact on the ship beyond a shot of the burned hull passing by. The lack of consequences really lessens the piece for me, and makes Odyssey's return ring hollow. It would have been much more interesting for the crew to be making the same mad dash home and still wind up in Romulan space but with a little more suspense added to the mix. Don't answer the question right away - cut to another scene, have Ro and T'Lorra try to figure out what to do and where they are first. Let us wonder about what's going on instead of spooning answers to us every twenty seconds.

    That being said, a large part of my ambivalence to the first hour of the show was due to the overarching plotline of Dais and Caeleno finally being resolved but at as slow a pace as possible. The long arc --this is something that I think Rob and the guys and gals at HF do a lot of, and when it works its great, but when it doesn't, when it just drags on and on it becomes stale. I think had the particular arc between Dais and Caeleno been resolved sooner, it might have made for more tight storytelling and easily opened up ten minutes of time to cut or dedicate to other story points.

    Similarly, I was a bit disappointed with the Corey/Ro reunion. Since their premiere, both Odyssey and The Helena Chronicles were going to be inherently married to one another, just like Corey and Ro, and the driving force between each was that these two characters wanted to be reunited. Finally, at long last, here we are at this moment we should all be waiting for...

    ...and it happens on a viewscreen.

    Talking about some techno-babble plan.

    Is it realistic given the moment their in during the story? Probably. But as an audience member, it let me down. As a storyteller and filmmaker, it disheartened me that such a moment, ripe for the emotionally saturated picking was just shuffled on through airport security like it was no big thing. The scene we did get later, with the two in the lab and with Stadi marking time was nice and probably would have been just fine had it not been for the preceding scene.

    Lastly, I wasn't crazy about the Independence Day/Jeff Goldblum solution to stopping the Archein fleet. Didn't like it on Battlestar Galactica when they used it either. While it was nice to see Vaughan again one last time even after we were sure he was done for (and kudos to his final farewell to the Odyssey crew), we've seen it done before and so this big "aha!" moment (or what I assume was supposed to be a big "aha!" moment) falls flat.

    Flat really would be the way to describe a lot of the film, actually. I hate saying that because I love the Hidden Frontier shows. But there's very little depth to anything that happens. Its just the same faces being short-tempered, sarcastic or teenager-y about (what we are supposed to believe are) Very Big, Epic Situations. Beyond getting Odyssey home and wrapping up the "surface" stories from Helena Chronicles and Odyssey, what is this movie about? What do any of the characters learn or achieve growth from?

    The Good:
    As always, there are many good things to enjoy about a Hidden Frontier production and despite my preceding remarks, this one is no different.

    A distinct pleasure as always is to see John Whiting on screen again, be it as Morrigu (who I wish had had a better death scene) or as Henglaar, who finally gets the happy ending he deserved after the events of "Its Hour Come Round At Last."

    As I mentioned before, Vaughan's reprise was nice and surprising. His moment of reflection with Morrigu struck me as quite genuine - a credit to Matthew Montgomery's performance. Very classy. The fanboy in me wanted Morrigu to listen and then somehow send Vaughan back so Morrigu could then sacrifice himself to save the day, but in retrospect I'm glad he didn't. It would have cheated Vaughan's honor and the decision he makes to make sure his people get home.

    And, while I loved the reference to Star Trek: The Section 31 Files, the mentions of Bishop and Korg too, it would have been nice to see them again.

    Something I thought which was handled extremely well was the references to the Hobus star and the events preceding JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek feature film. It would have been entirely too tempting to have Odyssey and Helena "reset" the beginning of that film with this one but that doesn't happen. A veiled reference to Nero's ship is made and then we go right back into the plot of this film. A clever, skillful reference to what we all know will come and yet leaves open the possibility that the Hobus star will later supernova as we see in JJ Abrams' film. And, on the chance that the intention of this scene in the film was supposed to avert the 2009 film, I have to give Rob and his crew props for being classy enough to at least leave it open-ended and not definitively done, thereby allowing everyone -- lovers and haters of the 2009 film alike -- to enjoy this finale.

    The cameos were well done also. What a treat to see so many familiar faces from over the years! Especially Nick Cook's scene with Shelby, which was top notch, further solidifying what was already a very well-developed and performed friendship between the characters over the years. Well done. Also very nice to see my friend Vin Jacobsen in a substantive role here too. Rock on!

    The score by Hetoryn is fantastic. All at once subtle, bombastic and telling, there were moments I felt like I might be listening to a John Williams piece or perhaps felt like I was in a movie theater watching this, even though I watched it on my laptop at YouTube's paltry 360p.

    Vanessa Celso, the (latest) person cast as Jenna McFarland was superb. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so at ease in their part in any fan film as I did with her, and the unadulterated joy she seemed to be feeling with every word, every movement was refreshing and entertaining at the same time. She's definitely the scene-stealer of the film.

    The final montage of all the Hidden Frontier ships was nice and a poignant reminder -- from the Angeles group all the way to Odyssey and Helena -- of how far this extraordinary group of fans and filmmakers have come.

    Brandon McConnell's final voiceover (which I assume is a paraphrased, modified retelling of part of Homer's The Odyssey) serves as a fitting, emotionally charged and almost fanfare-ish end to this entire, incredible saga. I will admit sitting through the entire end credits hoping for a little, brief tag scene after everything and being slightly disappointed, but now that I think about it, I like the ending sequence just the way it is.

    In conclusion, it's a sad day for Star Trek fan films knowing that the Hidden Frontier universe has reached its end and is folding for good, and while it's not perfect by any means (what fan film is?), "Tossed Upon The Shore" is an entertaining, if slow, two hours and a fitting end to the multiple fan series produced by Hidden Frontier Productions.

    I look forward very much to your next production guys. Congratulations, and thank you so much for keeping me entertained all these years.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  6. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 11, 2009
    Louisville Kentucky - Halliwell
    I'm going to miss the wonderful creations that have been given to us over the years from Hidden Frontier productions. Thanks for giving us years and years worth of watching pleasure. And if it has to come to an end, I'm grateful that it was satisfying. To Rob and everyone responsible, thanks from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to any future projects that you may do. And thanks for showing the unheard minority point of view in characters like Ro and Aster. There hasn't been anyone on Trek bold enough, at least from the Paramount productions, to show us strong, gay characters. It was good seeing those like myself on screen.

    Hidden Frontier will definitely be missed.
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I said out, dammit!
  8. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

    Oct 13, 2003
    RIP Leonard Nimoy
  9. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Admiral Admiral

    Dec 31, 2001
    Boise, ID
    I bow to the dedication and talent of everyone involved!
  10. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    Finally got around to checking out the series finale. Kudos to everyone involved. This was a solid end to a great run. I didn't like everything about the finale, but I felt it crossed all the 't's' it needed to and I liked the voiceover at the end. That felt very Trekkian.

    I haven't watched much Hidden Frontier, but I have watched a lot of Odyssey and Helena and I really liked the designs of both ships, plus I thought the Archein were a great enemy, every neat species design. Loved the Archein ships. A lot of work and thought were put into the look and feel of all of these series and that shines through again in the finale.
  11. dru

    dru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 10, 2001
    Rigel IV
    Congrats to RobC and the rest involved in HF productions over the years.

    I enjoyed the finale. :techman: