Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by TK421, Dec 13, 2008.
Are we there yet?
Can hardly wait...hurry up every chance you get, m'kay?
I dunno if "rescued" will be the right word. It was always going to be finished. I'm just helping make that happen.
One thing I will address in detail when this whole process is finished is how project organization affects editorial. The biggest issue I have with editing this show is not being able to find all the pieces because of inconsistent asset naming and files not being placed in some consistent directory structure. I have five drives here with literally thousands of files, which is why I keep stumbling across things I didn't think were here. For instance, I just a few days ago found the beauty and matte passes for a shot of the Exeter swooshing by, which I had been looking for months ago. There's ADR that's not labeled as such, etc.
Perhaps a featurette entitled, "How NOT To Make A Fan Film"...
Totally unfair. It's a fan production. Real life has a way of shunting one's hobbies off to the side.
I have an Amiga computer from which I can no longer access files. On it is an almost-ready TNG fanzine from 1992, about the time the club I used to run transformed into something else. I could have kept going, but suspected I might end up with a garage full of fanzines. And real life was getting in he way. Prior to that particular issue, my previous publication had incorporated a rescue of a friend's unfinished attempt to get "just one more" Trek fanzine out, before real life got in her way.
I also made fan films in the 80s and 90s. On numerous computers are ideas that never made it. Again, real life has a way of getting in the way for the whole of the potential cast and crew.
How not to make a fan film is to not even start making one.
Maybe I'll write an essay "How NOT To Get Along With People Online."
I mean, I'm a past master at not getting along with other posters, but you might be able to contribute a pointer or two.
And the point goes sailing by unnoticed...
Speaking of missing points, I think it's very unkind to take shots at someone who's done so much good work on an amateur/volunteer basis. After several years of producing an audio series (much less complex than video by light years) our production team has finally begun (begun!) to really understand what it takes to make a smooth post production process. In any team effort different people are going to do things different ways and unless there is some sort of all-knowing overseer to keep things straight, stuff is going to labeled and cataloged differently and the farther away from the time the stuff was written and shot the harder it is going to be keep everything straight.
Maurice has taken a much more positive approach to helping anyone who's interested in doing a fan project with an entirely separate thread. I'm sure if you're really interested in learning what caused some of these problems, you can probably piece it together by reading that thread and this one and connecting some of the dots. But really, wouldn't it just be a lot more fun to just enjoy the final product than to try to denigrate the hard work (and very good hard work at that) that went into the project?
I don't know that Tribble Herder was taking a shot so much as noting that one could make a featurette about things that don't go as smoothly as might have been wanted, or pitfalls that beginning filmmakers might run headlong into because they don't see them coming.
For instance, the drive/file organization issues likely started innocently enough, with one drive and data on it, but as time went on and more and more files were generated the natural tendency is to just add new directories and things because the alternative—reorganizing all the data and then having to re-link it all in the Final Cut project file—seemed to be more work. In the short term it probably was, but long term it ended up creating a problem.
Let me draw on the Polaris project for an example of what you have to do to do it right. First, all the footage came off the camera in a format that isn't ideal for FCP (Final Cut Pro), so it all has to be transcoded (say from H.264 to Prores422). That creates a whole duplicate set of files, but the filenames on the camera aren't very useful, so you then should rename them to be meaningful. You can rename them before transcoding or rename the transcoded files that result, but somewhere you really ought to have a master spreadsheet that identifies what the original filenames were in case you ever have to re-access the files as they came off the camera (I try to keep copies of the memory card data in the original form as a sort of absolute backup). Anyway, then if you have second audio you have to make sure the filenames for those files are meaningful, and, should you choose to replace the camera audio with the second sound (using DualEyes or something) you end up creating even more files, and you want to not confuse the original data with the transcoded data with camera sound or confuse those with the transcoded and audio-replaced ones. Etc. etc.
Then there are ADR files, sound effects, visual effects elements, placeholder shots, and then iterations on same. It requires some project management skill to keep this all under control and enforce standards.
It's time consuming to do all this and keep it straight, and it's easy to skip past some of this documenting and renaming. Hell, my experience is that most people are too lazy to write a meaningful subject line in an email, let alone do this kind of organization on projects of such magnitude as a film of any length.
Polaris would be screwed without Maurice's organization and experience, in addition to his knowledge and talents in a lot of different areas of filmmaking. My experience prior to this was sort of watching Jimm Johnson do it...which brings us full circle here.
Bingo! Give that man a Cupie doll!
One little breakthrough I had when I was poking through the old project data recently was my discovery of how Jimm made the "weirdspace" sparkle effect. I really had no idea, and was actually going to call him and ask, but then I opened one sequence and found the source: he took the transporter beam glitter element, applied five filters to it, and enlarged it. The result looks nothing like the transporter. The man is ingenuous at re-using a limited palette of elements to create really cool stuff. Hats off to Jimm!
I was just looking for the "Like" button.
Boy oh boy, Jimm and Josh are full of supprises!
I hope some day they can do a commentary on this episode. Along with Maurice
Oddly, I got it right away.....
...and THAT is what it's all about; doing more with less. And ultimately, I think these little victories are what make this kind of work so satisifying.
This is exactly the same kind of thing they did for the original series...recycling an effect or prop with a few tweeks to turn it into something new. Truly an example to live by.
It's one of the most fun things about this thing, is figuring how how to do more with less.
I should add that he slowed down the transporter effect to 10% speed so it pulses instead of shimmers.
Jimm's the man, no question about it! He set the bar for this sort of thing, and I'm hoping AJAX can come close...
...and on a side note, I don't think I can express enough how grateful we all are at Starship Ajax for the use of the EXETER sets.
You should all know we've fully reconditioned them and finished out the bridge set from a three-quarter set to a full 360 degree set, in preparation for our vigniette, which will be a little back story to kick things off.
I'm just glad to see that this is finally coming along.. I've been quite the admirer of this little fan-film series..OH CRAP!! THE WASHER'S LEAKING ALL OVER THE...
it's amazing how reality intrudes upon one's fantasy life..
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