Author Topic: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.  (Read 7533 times)

Offline White Wolf

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Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« on: November 23, 2007, 09:21:29 PM »
I just got thru watching Starship Farragut's Pilot Episode. While I was watching it, i couldn't help but noticed it seemed a little hokey in some places, However, It was the SFX that got my attention. Needless to say, The SFX was very top notch. Unfortunately, not all Trek Fan Fics are New Voyages or Starship Exeter calibur. Hidden Frontiers is in this catagorey. 

So Whats your opinion on Trek Fan Fics?  I'm interested in hearing them.
Human Nature. Without a common enemy , men will look for foes in the one place they can guarantee finding one: The Past. -Eoforth, Sigmar's right hand man,

A mind without a purpose will walk in dark places. - Gideon Ravenor, Inquisitor of the Imperium of Mankind.

Offline KBett

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 02:56:53 PM »
To be honest, I tend to read more prose on-line than I watch the films.  If I come across a story, novella or novel that IMVHO stinks, I just make it vanish and move on to the next one. If I've taken the time to download a film, I hang in there hoping to spot one or more fan-actors with a spark.  Besides, I know how much extremely hard work it is to actually *produce* one of those deals. Even if the script and acting sucks, I have to give them a "C+" for effort alone. <shrug>

Offline Kestra

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 10:40:48 AM »
I haven't been able to get into any Trek fan films, despite my efforts.  I guess it's just not my thing.

I was into fanfics for awhile and there are some decent ones out there.  But getting through all the junk and the attitudes of many of the writers totally turned me off to the whole fanfic scene.
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Offline White Wolf

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2008, 02:37:54 PM »
Star Trek fan films are becoming the new rage amongst some fans. Fan films are filmed fan fiction, despite the fact that many of the people involved with their production simply refuse to admit it. They may consider it a "continuation" of Star Trek, but frankly, that's what fan fiction is, too. Still, it's a new medium for fan fiction, complete with its own positives and negatives.

Fan film storylines tend to run into a series of foibles, akin to the Mary Sue phenomenon of fanzines. First of all, every high-ranking Starfleet officer with the rank of Admiral or Commodore tends to be either a complete idiot or a total ass. There are hardly any exceptions to this, and frankly it's a bad cliché. Invariably, the commanding officer of the starship has had a "run in" with this officer, and neither of them like each other. By the episode's end, despite a positive resolution, this does not change. Secondly, the same plot lines have a tendency to appear over and over: The Doomsday Machines pop-up all over the place; Klingons have cloaking devices during a time that they didn't have them; and nearly every episode has the dreaded firefight/fight scene on the surface of the planet, usually with Klingons and everyone hiding behind rocks and trees, interminable in length and confusing to look at due to the lack of continuity. Third, snippets of dialogue from the various incarnations of Star Trek have been worked into these scripts. Rather than come up with new dialogue, writers often have the unfortunate tendency to borrow old "winning" lines from episodes, and yet again it comes across as cliché. New Voyages probably is the biggest offender in this area.

Acting tends to be either unpracticed and disjointed (as in the Tales of the Seventh Fleet) or completely over the top (Commander Chang from Starship Exeter's "The Savage Empire"). Some of the casting is rather questionable, but then again, these are non-profit films, and the folks filming them are usually not very good. Even still, the real stars come out of nowhere from time to time. Andy Bray's portrayal of Chekov in New Voyages and Michael Buford's Security Chief Cutty from Starship Exeter are both quite commendable.

Special effects run the gamut from fairly crappy to fairly impressive, and generally inconsistent throughout each production. The best special effects would probably have to be from Star Trek: New Voyages' latest episode, "To Serve All My Days." The visual effects are quite good, and are superior to those of most science fiction movies aired on the SciFi Channel. It should also be noted that the more episodes a fan film team produces, the better these effects end up being. New Voyages has a leg up on its competition. Much of the better work being done these days is by NEO f/x, who are consistently solid with their excellent special effects work.

The key limiting factors for producing fan films are the tremendous effort, time and money needed to produce, direct, write, score, and develop these films. While fanzines are relatively simple to produce, a film, with all that goes into making one, is not something that's easily done. Some of the films listed herein may never appear; some may never be completed; and some may simply end production. (Long time readers have seen links to Star Trek: Excalibur, Star Trek: Hathaway and Star Trek: He Who Draws the Sword disappear from the listings here.) Others undergo massive changes. Right now, Star Trek: New Voyages is transitioning into Star Trek: Phase II and Star Trek: Lexington has had some major changes in cast as well as changes in their web hosting.

If you would like to know what it's like filming on one of these productions, all you have to do is to read Patricia Wright's article, "Playing Star Trek: Twelve Days on the Set of Star Trek: New Voyages." You'll find it an excellent look at what it's like to be there. Many of the fan film sites have "Making of" sections which you may want to review as well. I usually pass on these because I want to see the magic, not the magician and his assistants and the wires behind the tricks they employ, but you may enjoy these segments.

A new trend lately has been the sudden development of animated series. Starship Farragut has launched its own animated series, and Curt Danhauser (who has maintained an excellent Star Trek website featuring the animated series as well as Peter David's Excalbur series and the Gold Key comic books) has launched his own animated series as well: Star Trek: The New Animated Series. Another form of animation is known as machinima wherein low-end 3D engines are used to generate animation. The quality is irregular at best, but it certainly seems a viable method of creating episodes. Star Trek: Frontier uses this approach.

Another budding artform is the video compilation (or re-compilation, as it were) of various clips from shows into new stories or even to fix editing problems. Albion Minzey has one such TOS project known as Star Trek: Counter Worlds. You can find his work on his YouTube page.

My search for other original series era films only turned up these. If you're aware of any TOS or TOS-movie era fan films I've missed or if any of the information presented has changed, please contact me, and I'll be glad to update this page with the information. I'm not interested in the fan films set in the TNG/DS9/VOY or ENT timeframes, nor am I interested in parodies, but if you'd like a really cute animated fan film series, I'd recommend Stone Trek which features a Flintstonesque version of Star Trek that is so visually entertaining that you'll spend some time looking at it.

Please bear in mind that the following information is subject to change. Websites do crash from time to time, actors are replaced (New Voyages has gone through some major cast changes since its beginning), and productions are often delayed by real life scheduling conflicts. Any reviews on this page are simply my opinion, and are meant to be positive criticism, even if my choice of words may be harsh at times. In the coming months, we'll be adding reviews from Diane Doyle, a regular ORION PRESS contributor, such as those she's completed for "To Serve All My Days," "The Captaincy," "For Want of a Nail" and "World Enough and Time." Fred Dixon has also contributed reviews of "The Savage Empire," "Come What May," Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, Star Trek: Aurora's "The Chamber of Justice" and Curt Danhauser's "The Element of Surprise." Willaim Batross has reviewed Tales of the Seventh Fleet's "Return to Doomsday" and "Upgrade."

PS: Sorry for thread rising. I felt this litte bit of info didn't its own thread. http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/fan_films.htm

Anyway, i think this article pretty much sumes up the state of Fanfilms for me.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 02:41:40 PM by White Wolf »
Human Nature. Without a common enemy , men will look for foes in the one place they can guarantee finding one: The Past. -Eoforth, Sigmar's right hand man,

A mind without a purpose will walk in dark places. - Gideon Ravenor, Inquisitor of the Imperium of Mankind.

Offline TNC

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 03:14:36 PM »
The best special effects would probably have to be from Star Trek: New Voyages' latest episode, "To Serve All My Days." The visual effects are quite good, and are superior to those of most science fiction movies aired on the SciFi Channel.

Regarding the bolded part: that's not saying much.  ;D

I have to say I haven't watched any fan films, so I can't say much about them.
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Offline White Wolf

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 04:18:27 PM »
The best special effects would probably have to be from Star Trek: New Voyages' latest episode, "To Serve All My Days." The visual effects are quite good, and are superior to those of most science fiction movies aired on the SciFi Channel.

Regarding the bolded part: that's not saying much.  ;D



Actually, that's saying a lot. ;)
Human Nature. Without a common enemy , men will look for foes in the one place they can guarantee finding one: The Past. -Eoforth, Sigmar's right hand man,

A mind without a purpose will walk in dark places. - Gideon Ravenor, Inquisitor of the Imperium of Mankind.

Offline GStone

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2008, 07:19:53 AM »
At least some are trying with some believability. Star Trek: Intrepid fails. How are you gonna have a Starfleet security guy that's 350 pounds of flab? He doesn't even have a cool psychic power, like telekinesis to excuse him being that size, but still have him in a gold uniform. He uses a bloody phaser. Their use of greenscreens is horendous, last I saw their work. And there was one chick repeating the same arm movement, as she motioned to a monitor over and over and over and over and over, while saying her lines. I would have liked if they did a few shots of close ups of peoples' faces, as they said dialogue and cut them into the wider shots to break them up.

A lot of Trek fan films I come across are set in TOS and I prefer seeing ones in the TNG+ eras. Costuming and extras can be a problem with set costs, but they can be minimized by going the Avengers route and barely having people around and/or use a far off and high aerial shot in CGI that shows a bunch of aliens, flying cars and buildings, but cut to the next scene were it's just the main cast next to a building or something. And then, you've got the reusable scenes for alien worlds.
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Offline NRSD Moonshadow

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 11:43:38 PM »
Quote
Hidden Frontiers is in this catagorey.

Hidden Frontier has improved a great deal over time. Its later seasons, as well as the Spinoffs and the two joint films ( done by both HF and Intrepids crew) are quite impressive looking, though they still could use some work for interior shots. Exterior shots of the ships are looking exceptionally well done with the later efforts.
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Offline White Wolf

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Re: Quality Of Trek Fan Fics: Film and Scripts.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 06:03:41 PM »
Yes, its improved but not by much, but then again it all depends on Money.


Human Nature. Without a common enemy , men will look for foes in the one place they can guarantee finding one: The Past. -Eoforth, Sigmar's right hand man,

A mind without a purpose will walk in dark places. - Gideon Ravenor, Inquisitor of the Imperium of Mankind.