Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by aalenfae, May 21, 2014.
There was an episode where they had a director...ah, my memory fails...stupid me
Such a nice ship.
I liked this fanfilm when I watched it the other day it had a good story and acting. I liked the uniforms they looked like the Enterprise era crew would wear in that time period.
Story? What story? LOL
Back in my teaching days, the number one issue with student writing projects was a complete lack of story. More often than not, they'd have a great idea for a situation, something that if they gave it some more thought might be the beginning of a story (or a beat in a larger story). But alone, even with some added trappings of "plot", they still weren't stories. Just ideas, sitting there, inert, no matter how much action there was around them.
And yes, I see a lot of this in fan fiction as well. Even the dreaded Mary Sue isn't really all that noticeably a bad thing if in the context of a story that works for that character (the biggest problem with Mary Sues is that their existence tends to BE the story), but I digress.
I have no idea what the story of Pacific 201 was. I can list out the plot. I can tell you their neat ideas. And yes, of course, there are some weaker canon Trek episodes that have this issue as well, but they are fortunate enough to live within the larger scope of a series. If this was just an off episode of a Pacific 201 show, it would be kind of forgettable. As the entirety of the Pacific 201 universe, it's... an idea, much of it quite well executed, and that's about it.
(I need to remind myself that more often than not, fan works are just excuses to have fun in a universe folks already like and are engaged with. It's playing with toys. This might be the most damning of faint praise, but if they had a good time making this, if they learned some new stuff, even if all they get is a bullet point for a CV or showreel, that's all pretty darned cool!)
^^^Yep. The problem, of course, is that a lot of people assume plot is the story, but the plot (plotting) is merely the sequence of actions that move the characters through the events. The story is the what it's about.
THE PLOT: "Obsession" follows the Enterprise as it encounters this interstellar vampire cloud that Kirk encountered in his youth, pursues, and attempts to destroy it before it can multiply, finally blowing it to kingdom come.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Kirk's gnawing guilt at acting too slowly once before and blaming himself for the deaths that resulted, and his bloody minded titular "Obsession" with destroying the thing once and for all, and his relationship with young Garrovick who reminds him of that supposed failure and in whom Kirk sees his younger self.
And that distinction is the key something most would-be writers aren't taught and many never learn on their own, and something it took me years to put together: the plot is endlessly fungible, because the events and actions illustrate and express the themes. So even with these little 8 to 14 minutes short subjects I've done over the past decade+ I can tell you what each one's story is about without relating the plot at all. Perhaps this will be illustrative to any wanna-be fan filmmakers who see this:
Secret Identity Crisis is about how literal opposites attract and how our desire to be with someone can delude us into thinking we can change them
How the Bunny Got the Bear is a fable about bigotry and how you don't get to choose who you fall in love with
The Road to Wellness is about realizing you've spent your life on a road to nowhere and choosing not to just change directions, but to leave that road entirely
Stagecoach In the Sky is about a man who dreams to be something he isn't but to get what matters he has to become the thing he's been playing at
Black and White Blues is about people who missed their chance at a romantic connection and learn what mistakes not to make if they get a second go
The Limbo Set is about the figurative "limbo" relationships can get into when people drift or grow apart, the purgatory that is, and if you'd choose to escape if you could make a clean break
Afterglow is about the conflicting emotions of grief after a breakup and finally having a moment when you forget your pain and realize things can and will eventually get better
See? Not a single plot event is related but I’ve just told you exactly what the stories are about. Their plots are the actions by which these themes are expressed (whether I did them justice is another matter entirely).
Try to do that exercise with most fanfilms.
And this is where I chafe at the ego of fanfilm makers who put out videos and interviews where they crow about how long and hard they worked on the script, talking up their "stories" without the awareness that those stories are really about nothing much at all.
Absolutely. And it's often just as hard for folks to wrap their heads around the difference between theme and story as it is to make the distinction between plot and story.
A great many fanfilms are about... filling a hole. Sometimes it's a period of time we haven't seen before, or ships we haven't seen before, or genre trappings we haven't seen before (ostensibly). That can be a fine creative starting point. It's how most professionally produced television and films are born. It simply isn't an ending point, creatively speaking.
At least Pacific 201 has some stabs at this as they try to define the characters and situations. With a lot of hand-waving and squeezing, you could make passable attempts at describing the plot and even some themes presented here, just not the story.
SadlyPacific 201 is just a bunch of lip service to themes w/o exploring any of them.
Finally took a look at this. Kudos to all involved. Even though it took me a minute to really get into the design of the Pacific, I came to really think it was neat, as well as the Velocity. And I really liked the design of the Romulan starship. I also liked the turn of the 23rd century uniforms as well. They felt like a natural progression from the ENT uniforms while also feeling realistic and practical.
Sucks that there can't be a Pacific series like the fan series of old.
But did you like the story? Everything you mention are designs.
"Perhaps there is no moral to this story."
"Exactly! It's just a bunch of stuff that happened."
What would the series be about?
It would be about a whole lotta nothing if it stayed true to this film.
And I say that with no joy some considerable disappointment.
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