Starship VALIANT: ANIMALS

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Bixby, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
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    Canada
    It's not out yet folks, sorry if some expected to see the final film here

    Yorktown has its own thread, so I thought I'd give this one its own as well, especially since its due out in about 5 days, but in the meantime this short Behind-the-scenes vid was just released a few hours ago
    Starship Valiant: Animals - Countdown Day #5 - YouTube


    I'll also add the final trailer from a few weeks ago...
    Starship Valiant: Animals - Official Trailer (2020) - YouTube

    and another BTS vid (may as well put them all together
    Starship Valiant: Animals - An Update on the fan film - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  2. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada

    As promised, ANIMALS premiered today...Have a look

    Starship Valiant: Animals - A Star Trek Fan Production - YouTube

    If there is one thing I can give praise to the Valiant crew over all other fanfilm producers, it is that they completely understand that the Universe is infinite and that each starship patrols a vastly different sector than all the others...That means NO Klingons, no Romulans!
    So I love that they always bring in new aliens (the Dragons, and that helmsperson with rainbow hair) Well-done!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  3. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Sunny California
    I am glad Michael King and his loyal team finished this project; shooting films are very hard and budget and choices of scheduling, and fighting the elements will dictate what material they'll get. Starship Valiant is definitely its own thing, it lacks the vibe of TOS and feels more in tone with DS9 war seasons. The Chief of the Red shirt definitely has a past with these enemy aliens and I was expecting the fanfilm would reveal the personal issue besides there's a conflict between the Valiant and the aliens.
    I was shocked by the decision he made by leaving a comrade behind knowing full well this was a death sentence and later was surprised she didn't survive.

    The ending I thought felt empty because there wasn't enough exposition to justify the enemy alien made the decision to save the Chief Red shirt's life. The performances were fine these actors, the two leads on the planet, said their lines well and showed they had an understanding of each characters' motivation.
    The Star Trek outfits appeared like there were from TOS seasons 1 and 2, with the exception of the Captain's which was fitting because Michael King is a ginormous man and he wouldn't look decent wearing a starfleet uniform. I was suspecting this version of Michael King's universe might be a transition from season 2 to season 3 of TOS because a re-enforcement CO was wearing the green Anovos command tunic from Star Trek's final season.

    As for the SFX, the Valiant is definitely a different kind of ship, the thing fires phasers and torpedoes from every angle. It's either a phase II rendition or this world is some alternate universe which is fine. I like what was done with planet it looked like an alien world. I appreciated the effort from the make up team to create the alien villains, those aliens looked threatening, all in all the fanfilm was okay.
     
  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    King Daniel Beyond
    The lead actor and the young girl were great in this, as was the direction for those scenes.

    The space battle stuff could have been cut entirely, reduced to bits of radio chatter. Watching spaceships exchange colourful effects for too long distracted from the real story.

    I'd have liked to see a little more to go with Main Guy's
    realisation that he was saved by one of his enemies. A little follow up showing real change.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  5. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2020
    Added to my watch later list...my very long watch later list...
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
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    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    Um, big spoiler about the ending.


    Dregons, according to the credits. "Dregs" as our antihero calls them. The "Dregs" of the galaxy, get it?

    "Animals" is the title of one of the worst episodes of Blake's 7. Never call your episode "Animals". It's a curse. ;). That said...

    This is a step up for Michael King's group. They've made progress over the years, so kudos for that. The script isn't terrific, being kind of 2nd tier fanfilm quality, but neither is it bad. It's just a tad underbaked.

    In many ways it's a nice looking film. The rocky terrain in the drone shots reminds me of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA. But since we never see the cast amongst those rocks or around anything that looks. much like them I wonder if those are stock footage or some 2nd unit shot for them elsewhere in the country.

    I liked that they used color correction to make the planet look less Earthlike, and that they put the planet and the asteroid moon in the sky (admittedly, thought, since the latter is small enough to not have crushed itself into a spherical shape, it really should be in a very low orbit to appear that big and probably would appear to move in relation to the ringed planet). Nicely done.

    Sadly, like so many fanfilms, this one opens with a space battle, so it's all ship exteriors for the first 45 seconds and thus everything is at arm's length and frankly inhuman. It gets better when we hit the planet, but we're never invested in what happens to the ship throughout.

    The midstory revisit of the said battle was so by the numbers you could do basic math with it. There was no tension at all, and it seemed there just to show Captain Bishop being a bas ass. Is it adding to or counterpointing anything in the main story? Nope. It's some pew pew with a sprinkling of meaningless technobabble that added zip to the story and frankly should have been left out.

    I admire that they tried to make this story about something. I appreciated that even as I felt the script didn't really explore the theme in a meaningful way. It doesn't help that the lead character was so unlikeable from the start. He goes foam at the mouth angry too easily. I don't usually critique the acting in these things, and he might've been directed to play it that way, but playing it so close to the top throughout didn't leave him much room to go up when he needed to.

    Late in the story we get the big reveal about...
    What motivates Hilton? He doesn't trust that which is "different". And this motivates him to be such a rotten commander to his team? Ellie, the child ambassador (never really explained) declares, "You are prejudice," (that's prejudiced. Augh!) And...that's it? No exploration of why. Just he doesn't like that which is different. Ummm... okay, so what about that furry, horned alien in the landing party who didn't make it? Did he not trust that, too?

    In the end it's revealed his life was saved by of those "alien trash" "Dregs". I suppose this is supposed to make him think twice, but the point gets a bit muddled since the film has gone out of its way to show the Dregons as cruel: slaughtering civilians, creating weapons designed to inflict as much pain as possible. So we have to wonder why they'd help an injured soldier and let him go...not even using their own setup to pay that off, "because they're different."

    So, as ever, the script is the biggest issue with this fanfilm, followed by editing (and those insufferable blackouts) which tends to drag the pace down. But it's still a step up for King's group, so congrats to them on that!

    The spaceship scenes really require motion blur. They looked really choppy when the ships move fast.

    The first Dregon ship loses its starboard nacelle and spins to port. Umm...what?

    Uneven sound. "Energize," at 1:13 sounds like it's in a completely different room than the preceding lines.

    When only two of the five team members who beam down make it, the lead—Hilton—doesn't even look around to register that the others didn't make it. At least phaser rifle carrying Lt. Nova turns her head to take a glance. Hilton just knows because he read the script (or his reaction shots weren't used). Reactions, people.

    Immediately, a firefight. Directional continuity is all over the place with the Dregons, who fire screen right, then in subsequent cut, left, then right, etc.. Then the Dregons seem to duck the phaser shots, which missed by a mile anyway (look at where they hit the ground in the background). And—my pet peeve—our heroes keep missing with a constant beam weapon...essentially a lightsabre a hundred meters long. Wave it around! Hell, Mr. Freeze did it in Batman back in '66!

    Speaking of the Dregon, they remind me a bit of the Ko-Dan soldiers and pilots from The Last Starfighter, with their goggles. I wonder if their leader is Commander Krill? ;) Oh well, the Ko-Dan could afford more than space hoodies.

    1st firefight. I actually had to rewind the video to realize Lt. Nova was hit in the knee, this because she fires her weapon at the same instant as she is shot, so at a glance it can look like she was hit in the upper body because your eye goes to the beam from her weapon and not to the much lower to the ground enemy blast. The color of the enemy beams should have been clearly differentiated to prevent such misreading.

    Neither Hilton nor Nova knows how to hold a communicator. :)

    The constant blackouts were pace killing. The first one is like 178 frames! The next is 108! The 3rd, like 50-something... preposterously long. Towards the end they get shorter, but the early ones...OMG. Dead. Stop.

    6:42 Is that dead guy's intestines hanging out?

    Throughout, Hilton points the controls and screen of his tricorder out towards the camera, so he's busily studying the black back of it. Spock sometimes did something like this, but usually he was looking down at the top of it. It always looks dumb. And is there any tricorder sound? I wasn't hearing it if it was there.

    7:40 Bad action sequence. The Dregon has a fucking gun, and instead of just shooting Hilton—who does not have his phaser in hand—runs around in front of and the charges him so they can grapple in hand to hand combat and then it fires. <forehead slap> And when did he lose his phaser so the kid can pick it up? We never see it knocked from his belt or dropped. Sloppy.

    Camping. The lighting is mid afternoon, our hero is wearing short sleeves, and he says it's about to get cold. You are not selling this, Hilton.

    So, Hilton goes inside this bunker thing, doesn't appear to close the door behind himself (and there is no sound effect) and when he goes to leave, now it's closed? Huh?

    Also, when he finally contacts the ship, he doesn't bother report anything other than that he has the kid. Not that 60% of his team never made it down. Not that he had to leave Nova behind and she'll need rescue. What kind of fucked up officer is this?

    Oh, and while Hilton must rescue ambassador Ellie at all costs...but the Captain won't risk lowering the shields to bring them up. How much of a priority is this kid? And just what qualifies her for this role? And why would the Dregons listen to her?

    What's with the big THUNK sound when Ellie turns her shoulder to avoid Hilton's hand? Did she bang her lavalier mic?

    Back to the Valiant for that pointless pew pew revisit where they're all gung-ho to paste the Dregons. Maybe this is meant to illustrate what Ellie said to Hilton about enjoying killing. Is this Starfleet-wide? Is Hilton average? That could be interesting if intended, but it doesn't quite play off that way.

    To make matters worse, Valiant subsequently gets a message from Random Captain that other starships are on their way, but in the end this factors into the story not at all. Stop. With. The. Skype Zoom. Calls. They're antidramatic.

    How does Ellie know how to operate the grenade launcher?

    The tricorder makes no sound, but the heartbeat monitor in the sickbay is irritatingly loud.

    I could not read the Captain's face at the end. Was he looking on with disapproval or pity? It looked like the former, but it's unclear.


     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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