The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Star Trek XI: The Movie > JJ to direct XII
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:42 PM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

I meant in terms of their general lack of effectiveness compared to Khan.

Ever since it was mandated that the Trek film's have a villain (this is inevitable in a film structure when you have the action/adventure format working - you just have to end up with protagonist/antagonist to work the story around) everyone's been all about taking the lessons from TWOK and Khan's presence.

But they all generally failed. He's not the most memorable one for no reason.

Half the villains are out for revenge (so were Khan, R'uafo, Shinzon) so there's nothing specific to Shinzon there, just regular Trek villain motivations, and it's also rather subjective whether Romulans were ****ed up or not..........I'm not entirely convinced they were. Would need to see them some more first to make a final call for myself on that score, but it's possible.

The writers however, probably ARE the greatest variables, because the question definitely IS can they up their game or at least deliver something comparable to the last film (if one enjoyed it that was). Having seen enough of his TV and all his films, I have no question that Abrams can direct it as well as the last one. We all know the visuals will be as exemplary..............so the story and content are the only variables remaining.

You firmly believe they won't be able to do that based on what you've said already over the period.............I have, on the other hand, the annoying tendency to wait and get some concrete story information first to see where it's likely to be going.

And then I'll still go and check it out in the cinemas anyway!
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:57 PM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

I like your line about Khan being the most memorable villain for no reason. I view Kruge, Shinzon and Nero as bad, Khan and Soren as good and the rest as mediocre. Back to your point, it is indeed hard to argue why Khan was so good except for the fact that he was well played. I think script-wise he was pretty lousy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
You firmly believe they won't be able to do that based on what you've said already over the period.............I have, on the other hand, the annoying tendency to wait and get some concrete story information first to see where it's likely to be going.

And then I'll still go and check it out in the cinemas anyway!
That's because you are a British empiricist and I am a German idealist.

Seriously, I simply don't like the writing and judging by some things that Orci has said/written on TM during the times when I still glanced over it I also think that he is a moron and a dick ... which I totally wouldn't mind if I would like his scripts but not liking his scripts personal animosity kinda enhances one's "I don't wanna see this crap" mood.
You on the other hand have this lovely cinema flatrate.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:10 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,609
Default

Sedate, thinking type Trek plots only work for TV. TMP proved that, in that it was boring and slow. They learned their lesson and hit the ground running with Wrath and Trek was back.
The next movie will have the same fast paced action as the first—guaranteed. There will be lulls with witty humour thrown in for good measure—but in the end the next movie won't depart from the trend set in the first—guaranteed.
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:41 PM
canadianrosey's Avatar
canadianrosey canadianrosey is offline
Lieutenant, Junior Grade
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 162
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
You say greed and arrogance, I say bullsh*t. I would never describe any studio executive as greedy just because I don't like the implications of his choice. To pick my personal example, while I dislike the fact that ST09 is a cash cow I also consider it, as much as an outsider can judge this, as the best business decision Trek-wise available for the folks at Paramount.
So yeah, wouldn't hurt you to make your points in a less emotional and less argument-lacking fashion.
If it made the studio money they went with it, so in that respect it would be the best decision for Paramount. As I said, I got bone weary of the parade of boring spinoffs and awful movies that were clearly designed with nothing else in mind than making a few bucks off the Star Trek name before the fish rolled over.

In closing, I wasn't making an argument, Horatio. I was stating an opinion and I wasn't crying or gnashing my teeth while I did it. You type what you want, I'll do the same. Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:55 PM
martok2112's Avatar
martok2112 martok2112 is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: River Ridge, LA
Posts: 6,480
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I partly agree, I think it did not matter much that Nero was Shinzon 2.0 aka Khan 3.0 because of JJA and not because of O&K's script. Let a lesser director film that script on a 50 million $ budget and you get something bad.
Indeed....you then end up with another overblown two-hour episode, instead of a big screen experience.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 09-16-2011, 10:17 PM
martok2112's Avatar
martok2112 martok2112 is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: River Ridge, LA
Posts: 6,480
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post


That's because you are a British empiricist and I am a German idealist.
And I am an Orthodox Klingon Latter Day Saint of the Wounded Carotid Artery.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 09-17-2011, 03:14 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,207
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
As I wrote, for a company a cash cow is "a product in your portfolio with a large budget, large revenues and small risk used to finance smaller, more risky products."
You pointed out budgets reductions during the the first Trek movies so no cash cow.
You pointed out the continuous rating problems of all three shows after TNG so no cash cows.
I totally agree that they did milk every last drop out of Trek in the nineties but that's not what a cash cow is.

About the risk, the previous concept for an eleventh movie, a war trilogy based on a cancelled series, was risky. Returning to the roots and the most popular characters was the safest way to go. But that's not what I have a problem with.
You wrote about the bad trend of the last movies and that this implies that Trek is a risky franchise ... but, guess what, they did not make just another Trek movie, they made a high-budget movie designed to reach a very wide audience. The creative implications of this choice is what I have an issue with. Of course I don't want Trek to be a niche product which it has never been, but I neither want it to lose its soul and essence (I am well aware that this is a subjective issue and that you consider ST09 to be a great Trek movie while for me many things about ST09 just taste like arbitrary blockbuster and not like Trek ingredients) while it tries to pander to the masses. Don't spread the butter to thin.
Okay, first of all half this post wasn't here the first time I saw it (insomnia's a byatch), including the parts I've bolded from the first paragraph. So where an "okay, I see now..." response previously seemed appropriate, here it no longer does. The Meyer-Bennett TOS film installments may not have been cash cow for Paramount, however the TNG spin-offs -according to your definition- still were.

TNG was as much a mainstream success for Paramount's TV department as ST09 was for its feature film dept. Produced on a high budget and directed toward a wide audience (you have previously commented on how 'soapish' TNG became in its final seasons, which were incidentally the most successful). And regardless of ratings -which we all know dropped quite sharply- the spin-offs were produced with the *intent* of replicating that success. They too were high budget, soapish, and intended for a wide audience. Even though said audience was rapidly tuning out. VOY served as the flagship title for Paramount's failed UPN network. The creative implications of ST09 you have issue with, already applied. For no less than ten consecutive years of TV programming.

Unless there is evidence somewhere of production budgets being cut, the very first indicator that Paramount no longer considered ST as their cash cow comes as late as 2003, midway through ENT, when producers announced they were changing direction for the show (which they of course ended up doing no less than twice in two years).

On the subject of ST09, dismissing it as the 'safe' direction only indicates refusal to recognize the state of the ST franchise at that point. Returning to the TOS characters was the only viable option still available after the previous regime; there is no 'safe' about it, especially not on a $150 million budget, regardless of how wide an audience they're aiming for. It could just as easily have flopped, even with all the special effects and advertising. It's not like we've never seen that happen in Hollywood before.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:59 AM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

Intentions don't matter, end results do and you have neatly pointed out that the ratings of the spin-offs continuously dropped.
Please re-read the definition of cash cow which I have already provided twice (it is not my personal definition but a general definition and if you find a better one I am all ears as I know very little about marketing, brand management and so on). A product which doesn't sell well is no cash cow.

About the risk of ST09, strange that you write in one sentence "only viable option" and "not safe". Last time I checked "only viable option" implies that all other options, like the previous idea for an eleventh Trek movies, are too risky or lack substance.
But I don't wanna nitpick, we merely focus on different aspects: You emphasize that any Trek movie would have been risky whereas I emphasize the risk-averse, mainstream-compatible aspects of ST09 that made it a safe bet. You emphasize that the franchise was in deep sh*t and I emphasize that ST09 is not continuing but redefining the franchise.

Last edited by horatio : 09-17-2011 at 06:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:23 AM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

It's ironic that it was in fact both safe and unsafe in ways.

It was 'safe' to use the most iconic elements that Star Trek is best known for (put bluntly, no crew or series after TNG has had any kind of permananent permeation into the wider public consciousness theway Kirk, Spock and McCoy did) and yet it remained a real 'risk' to spend so much capital on it in the process.

As Sam noted, the same kind of risk (only in the realm of movies) that TNG itself was in 1987 - even though it had the benefit of a larger fan base at the time which had not been left reduced and apathetic by the 18 years of TV and film that was about to follow.

TNG ended up being cancelled precisely because it was so successful and was a TV cash cow - on Page 196-198 of 'The Continuing Missions' this is even verified looking at the seventh season of it and the processes happening within Trek at the time;

'But now, seven years later, Star Trek was a machine. In fact according to Supervising Producer David Livingston, that's what the production staffers called it - The Machine. An unstoppable phenomenon, almost Borg-like in it's ability to assimilate production facilities at the Paramount lot. By the end of it's seventhe season, as the final episodes of The Next Generation were being made side by side with the second season episodes of Deep Space Nine, while preproduction work was underway on the feature film Generations and planning began for a still-under-wraps fourth Star Trek series, more than five hundred people on the lot were working directly for the franchise, with hundreds more working off the lot for outside suppliers.

But though the executives who had clenched their jaws and crossed their fingers when they had given the go-ahead for the first thirteen episodes of the series would never have believed it, in the midst of this plenty The Next Generation had become too successful. As Rick Berman has said, in Hollywood 'numbers' is the name of the game, and as the executives had forseen back at the beginning of season five, those numbers had finally turned against the show.

The renegotiated fees for the actors and key creative personnel had led to an increase in the series' costs - from about $1.2 million in the first season to about $2 million in the seventh. That did not mean that Paramount was losing money. But it did mean the studio would be spending more to earn less, with it's return on it's investment continuing to diminish into the future as - and if - The Next Generation continued.

But the switch to movie production offered the chance of elevating the earnings potential of The Next Generation considerably. With an anticipated approximate cost of $30 million for a two hour movie, plus an additional expenditure of around $15 million to release the film (to pay for prints, promotion and advertising), Paramount might actually spend less than what another season would cost. In an era of Blockbusters, it was not inconceivable that if a Next Generation movie could reach the not impossible box office goal of $90 million in the domestic market, of which the studio would recieve half, the cost of the film would be covered. Paramount would then be well on it's way to earning far more than the $17 million from foreign box-office, home video, pay television and network television reciepts. And of course, The Next Generation movie would be a perfect replacement for the now discontinued Original Series movies.

In the meantime the success of Deep Space Nine had established that television audience could support two Star Trek series at the same time. Consequently the studio reasoned that still another series could take to the air to replace The Next Generation, come in at a lower production cost, and thus generate the higher earnings above the cost The Next Generation had once brought in.

But as sound as Paramount's rationale was for the studios bottom line, for The Next Generation's most devoted fans it was a controversial move. To those members of Star Trek's audience who would much rather have had twenty-six new Next Generation episodes each year for five or six more seasons, the business strategy underlying Paramount's decision to stop production of the series seemed callous and cynical. They feared mere money was getting in the way of Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future.

But over the preceding fourteen years, it was that same careful business management which had brought forth The Original Series movies, and nurtured The Next Generation's success. Even The Original Series itself had arisen from the belief that NBC could make money by selling advertising on the series after it's network run. So, contrary to fan's fears, business concerns were not getting in the way of Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future - it was those same concerns which had brought that vision to the public in the first place. Paramount's new direction for The Next Generation was simply the next in a long line of decisions that had originally helped create the Star Trek phenomenon, making it available to all it's tens of millions of fans for more than twenty seven years.

Ironically, once it was announced that the seventh season of The Next Generation would be the last, ratings climbed again, prompting an increase in the cost of advertising on the series, making it the highest earning season ever.

In the fifth season Variety - a movie and television industry daily news publication - gave the quoted prince for buying a thirty second national commercial spot on the series as $100,000. According to the same report, Leonard Nimoy's guest appearance as Spock on the two-part episode 'Unification' doubled that price to $200,000. But to buy the same commercial time on the final episode of the seventh season, the projected audience figure gace rise to a price of $700,000. If Paramount executives had thought they could reach that level of earning all the time, the series would have been renewed until the real twenty-fourth century.'

Now why did I write that out for about four people to read? I don't really know, except it's a Saturday and I'm having an indoors day today and had the time to go and look it up and type. Plus, I thought it gave an interesting snapshot at some of the thinking going on at a time when the franchise WAS in a pretty financially healthy and cash-cow state of play. Because you read that right folks, even back in 1993-1994 Paramount was spending $52 million a year making JUST the final season of The Next Generation. And that was just basic production. There was still advertising on top of that as well.

Before the slow decline began around the late 1990s.

However, like any cash cow you obviously have to keep an eye on what you spend so that that cash keeps coming in and not going out, (balance) and when the reverse happens, as it did by the time of Nemesis - (financial flop and a critical one), and latter day ENT's ratings (which then have an impact on the price you can charge for advertising space. No-one pays a fortune to advertise on a show with sinking ratings no matter what the show itself is like) then that's when the drastic action has to be taken to try and stimulate again. And true, it's the point at which you either take a big risk, or you play safe or you try and do a bit of both.

Star Trek has never been heavily risk taking anyway for the most part (definitely not post 1987) and let's not even pretend to ignore it's perennial mainstream aspirations (please, let's just not, because it doesn't hold water IMO) so when they hit the crossroads of 'where do we go now?' they seemingly decided to do the last option.

No doubt helped by the fact that reboots are very vogue the last few years anyway. At any rate, the 2009 film still remained a commercial business risk, even if it used the 'safe' set of characters to use as it's basis. And to an initial degree it worked, but Trek is still a long way off that early to mid 90s machine/cash generating heyday, even with the film being a success.
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist

Last edited by kevin : 09-17-2011 at 07:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:21 AM
Futureguy Futureguy is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,153
Default

But the "Bulls-Eye": a combination of action, story, and popularity in ST has been occasionally met has it not? Whether it is series or movie, knowing that such a combination of both quality story, acting, directing..... and profitability CAN occur, I would expect nothing less, though apparently like many here, I am with ST through thick or thin. However, I would rather it be the former. Why settle for mediocrity in any part of any production just for only the bottom line? This takes me back to the need for a great story over things that only would drive up the cost of any series or movie. Heck, many of us put up with the low-budget sets and FX of TOS and still found time to love it even when the stories were as "good" (lol) as "Spock's Brain". I personally would hope for a decent amount spent on a decent story and be able to get beyond any lacking of minor continuity or set "deficiencies". Many great plays have been done with little or non-existent props. ST seemingly did the same with some episodes in TOS, but because of the story, I was able to use my imagination and fill in the blanks.
Not that I would wish it though, a good movie could be turned out every 6months to a year with just a great story and little or no support props, but then THAT would be a cash-cow machine in itself, turning out great stories, in mass with minimum investment, but high % return. Even that could/would eventually kill off a franchise. It's the too much, too often, that did the series in.

I only watched many of the TNG episodes because it was ST, but I don't really remember a lot of the episodes as stand-out, though there were the exceptions. TOS was a bit different for me because it was all NEW territory. Nothing like this, at it's level, had been on television before. DS9 was interesting, but too soap-like for me. Voyager.....hmmmm???. Enterprise? By the time I was able to start watching episodes, it was already canceled...
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:43 AM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.