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Indie versus Fan Production?


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#1 Kirok

 

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:02 AM

I was browsing Dark Frontier's Facebook page tonight and saw a pretty cool graphic ...

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... called "Futures Collide" which had the caption, "The ISS Sudrian fires upon the TCS-Prometheus-2400. A metaphor for the decisions being made by Triple-Fiction Productions. As they try to decide whether to revive the Star Trek version of the series."

It got me thinking about the place of Independant creative productions and fan productions. No one can deny that the creation of an "Indie" production, whether it is a film, audio production or book is probably the ultimate goal of everyone who is involved in fan productions for any length of time. Part of it is peer pressure - there is just such a heavy prejudice against the creative worth of fan productions - but I have to agree that a creative work that you can honestly say is totally the product of your own imagination and talent would have to be the secret goal of justs about everyone who has acted in front of a camera, seen something of their in print or read a glowing review of something you have produced.

Dark Frontier - Operation Deliverance is described as "Star Trek inspired" rather than a Star Trek fan production. I haven't watched it but everything about the production looks very slick and professional. I would say that this is a group that is ready for the leap into Indie production. But does that mean that it has to be the end of their fan productions? Why not do both? Look at the audio drama groups like Pendant Productions, the fans come for the tribute shows and stay for the Indies.

Personally, I like the idea of alternating seasons - what you learn on one season can make your next stronger (and you don't drain your resources by trying to keep two shows going at the same time) - but eventually you have to follow The Pirate King's advice!

Always follow the dictates of your heart, m'boy, and trounce the consequences!

What ever you do, do it with gusto and all your heart so you can look your critics in the eye with confidence that you gave it your all!

<< bIHeghvIpchugh bIHeghpu' >>
If you are afraid to die you have already died

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#2 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

Why not do both? Because they have limited resources. James Calley tried to do Buck Rogers, but that doesn't seem to have gone anywhere, so he's still sticking with Phase II - which is a drain on his financial resources.

He would do better to use that as proof of concept to get Paramount to revive the franchise.

#3 Darkwing

 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:08 PM

And that's the clash. Though Buck Rogers may not necessarily count as an Indie production as it is really sort of just a Buck Rogers fan series, the same way Phase II is.

But that is a real challenge nonetheless. There's the clash of do something that's entirely yours and then do something that people are gonna see, cause it is significantly harder to get views on something that you made from the ground up. I've been trying it for years and ultimately, I resort to fan films cause as much as I'd love to make something original, fan films get views. It;s a lot easier to ride the coattails of someone else's success, that's for sure and with film, you need every break you can get!
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#4 Kirok

 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:24 PM

And that's the clash... the clash of do something that's entirely yours and then do something that people are gonna see, cause it is significantly harder to get views on something that you made from the ground up. I've been trying it for years and ultimately, I resort to fan films cause as much as I'd love to make something original, fan films get views. It;s a lot easier to ride the coattails of someone else's success, that's for sure and with film, you need every break you can get!


I wouldn't want to be the one to tell anyone what to do, ultimately it is a personal decision of doing what needs to be done to achieve your goals. The goal of fan production should be based on what you get out of it as a fan experience, that resonance of the original buzz you got from Star Trek. However it is also a creative achievment in expressing yourself within Star Trek canon both in terms of story and style as Darkwing's Red Squad is doing.

Its when you look further and feel that you want to create original works, within a universe of your own making, that you need to work out what role your fan production should take in your time and resources. I stand by my penchant for alternating seasons of indie and fan productions because this gives you a chance of continually refreshing your fan-base and your works because of the cross-pollination between the two.
  • You (or someone on your behalf <ahem>) goes to aSciFi convention and shows your fan produced video giving out free cards / flyers / CDs that include your Indie work. An Indie movie-maker sees it and...
  • You enter your Indie video in a competition and in the promotional material you mention your fan produced work. An old TNG actor sees this and is impressed, thinks, "Y'know, I've always wanted to try my hand at audio work." and...
Done sequentially one should not be a drain on the other.

As regards James Cawley's no-show with Buck Rogers I don't know what the story is, from what I've seen they've had more success with Wild, Wild, West, which is another fan production. Its possible that Phase II's Trek production might be taking more of his resources but in his case there is no possibility of doing things sequentially because they have a half-dozen things in varying stages of completion at any one time.

If anyone can do it though, James Cawley can - the man is an organisational genius!

K

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#5 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:31 AM

If anyone can do it though, James Cawley can - the man is an organisational genius!


He is indeed.

I don't think his Wild, Wild West is going anywhere, though I didn't know he was doing that until now. I think he is now prominent enough so he can try his hand at something original, or do something under license that he can sell.

#6 Darkwing

 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:37 PM

Yeah, I think even to this day, Phase II occupies more time and resources than they anticipate cause every year they say how many episodes they intend to release and then usually we ultimately end up with one or two. Makes me wonder how old they'll be by the time the reach the final episode of the season...
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#7 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:22 PM

Exactly - what's the point of overstretching himself??? He can't even do ONE episode of Buck Rogers, and he wants to do Wild, Wild West. And, since he's asking for donations for Phase II, he must really be hurting.

He's an organization genius, and he should use that to get a paying contract from Paramount or some other studio.

#8 Kirok

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:59 AM

Exactly - what's the point of overstretching himself??? He can't even do ONE episode of Buck Rogers, and he wants to do Wild, Wild West. And, since he's asking for donations for Phase II, he must really be hurting.

He's an organization genius, and he should use that to get a paying contract from Paramount or some other studio.

Um, that's assuming that the reason for the non-appearance of Buck Rogers is becuase of a lack of drive caused by diluting his efforts due to Phase II. If you've got a source for that I'd really love to see it. Knowing the, shall we say problematical nature of American copyrights I assume that the problem is more likely to be contractual. I've seen studio shots on Paul Seiber's Facebook page from Wild Wild West so I'm pretty sure they've got film in the can for it.

As regards Phase II's slow and changable production rate - it's changable because it is slow (in one case an actor became unavailable due to taking up a teaching position) and in some cases it is slow because it is changable (Kitumba is delayed for re-shooting of footage withheld by a former crew member I believe). Although the blurb says that they are re-creating TV shows in fact their time-management is closer to a film studio production in that they have a handful of productions in various stages of completion. A TV season would have all shows completed before release and their time-management would be more like a factory-style production-line!

I'm not saying you are totally wrong though - another production like Buck Rogers or WWW is not like adding another episode to Phase II - they would require their own sets, costume, cast... and to be independant of Phase II problems they would need an independant crew as well. It would need more than a genius to create and rune three production crews - it would need a miracle worker!

K

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Kirok of L'Stok - Director of Media ..... "I love deadlines! I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by!" - Douglas Adams

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#9 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:42 AM

I have no information whatsoever, and I'm just speculating. But none of these productions can produce any revenue, so, unless he is very rich, he will be having problems juggling all these properties.

#10 Bill

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:56 PM

James does have an agreement with the license owners for Buck Rogers. So technically he could make money on that.
He is a busy guy, still doing his Elvis shows as well.







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#11 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

James does have an agreement with the license owners for Buck Rogers. So technically he could make money on that.


Then he should do it. If he has the license, he should be able to get the funding.

#12 Darkwing

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

I'm sure there sights are probably more reasonable when it comes to Phase II. I just know that I used to read articles and interviews on their site where they sort of intended to do like 5-10 episodes a year. But I definitely give them applause for not giving up after all these years and after all the finances I'm sure it takes to fund a project of the enormity that Phase II is.
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#13 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

Why not produce Buck Rogers for money? That will provide the funding to do other things - including making more episodes of ST.

#14 Darkwing

 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

Wasn't that his goal though? I thought Buck Rogers was gonna be a sort of pay per view type deal? At least that's what I thought the article when it was first announced said, but my memory is shoddy so I dunno for sure
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#15 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:48 AM

I was thinking the same thing, but, if he could have done so for money, he would probably have gotten funding for it. But a google search seems to indicate another group doing a remake on film. So I'm wondering who really has the rights.

Say, if Elvis has the rights but he doesn't want to use them, maybe he can give them to me - I'd seriously consider doing a web series, if I can later upscale it for money.

#16 Kirok

 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:21 AM

I was thinking the same thing, but, if he could have done so for money, he would probably have gotten funding for it. But a google search seems to indicate another group doing a remake on film. So I'm wondering who really has the rights.

Say, if Elvis has the rights but he doesn't want to use them, maybe he can give them to me - I'd seriously consider doing a web series, if I can later upscale it for money.


I don't have the time to go into this deeply - nor the desire: I prefer to focus on people's successes - but this thread on the Trek BBS seems to suggest that they weren't able to get funding. Noone can be a genius at everything and it would seem that James is more interested in getting films in the can than getting them out of the investor's pockets. Again, I've got to stress that we've got very little to go on in the fact department to be pontificating on "where they went wrong".

K

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#17 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:46 AM

That thread suggests they have the rights to do Buck Rogers for money, but they haven't figured out how to do that. And the thread also suggests they don't have the money.

If they're not going anywhere with that, are they willing to give it to me? Bill, can you or someone ask them for me? I'd be seriously interested.

#18 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

From the thread, Gil Gerard says the project is dead, and he's probably right. The thread also referred to a kickstarter project to raise funds for it, and it didn't work.

So it's dead. Are they interested in giving me the rights?

Edited by Fan Producer, 06 March 2012 - 12:41 AM.


#19 Kirok

 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

That thread suggests they have the rights to do Buck Rogers for money, but they haven't figured out how to do that. And the thread also suggests they don't have the money.

If they're not going anywhere with that, are they willing to give it to me? Bill, can you or someone ask them for me? I'd be seriously interested.


Fan Producer, I really don't know how I would write such an email...

Dear Mr Cawley, Following the rumours that you might not be doing anything with your agreement to create a webseries for "Buck Rogers", one of our members has shown an interest in picking it up from you. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about his resources or expertese but he seems very interested...

I think you need to do a little homework of your own, if you are really interested, and contact Cawley Entertainment yourself so that you can pitch your proposal to them personally.

I sincerely doubt whether they would listen to anyone without a solid portfolio to show how they would do what Cawley Ent. had not been able to do themselves.

K

Latest releases !!! ~ March 11 - HFO Personal Logs 2 ~ March 19 - PD Smith-Tales From the Fleet 01 : Species 571 ~ March 11 - Bruffy-NovaTrek06 : A Tale Of Two Captains, Pt 2 ~
Kirok of L'Stok - Director of Media ..... "I love deadlines! I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by!" - Douglas Adams

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#20 Fan Producer

 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:30 PM

Good point - I didn't think of that. :)

But, if they're not doing anything, they should release all exclusive rights, assuming they have exclusive rights. I suppose I could also contact the owners of the intellectual property.

Could someone ask if they're the exclusive holders? Or perhaps give a name of who I can contact?

Edited by Fan Producer, 06 March 2012 - 04:31 PM.





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