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The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

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The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby newbabel » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:37 pm

Howdy, folks! This is likely to get me smacked down by somebody who's been around these forums for a while, and... well... this being my third post or so, I reckon I'll have that coming. :)

I'll go ahead and say right now that I didn't do an exhaustive search to see if this topic had already been covered, so if it has, just link me to the appropriate discussion and I'll be on my merry!

That said, I'm an independent filmmaker living in Austin, Texas, and I keep looking at fan productions for Star Trek TOS and I'm just salivating with jealousy over how there's not one, but at least TWO fully-realized recreations of the original Enterprise out there, from bridge to shuttle bay and everything in between. That's captain's quarters, corridors, Jeffries tubes, turbolifts, transporter rooms, sick bay... you name it. It exists.

So as I'm about to embark on my own Firefly fan film (more details at http://www.fireflyfanfilms.com) — in which I don't even use a ship — it got me to thinking...

What would it take to completely recreate Serenity as a standing set that everyone could use?

Now, before your iron clears leather and you make me dance the Macarena, hear me out!

1. Location: There's a lot of open land in Texas. And there's got to be a Browncoat out here somewhere who'd love nothing more than to have a full-scale replica of Serenity in their backyard. (interiors only, mind you, so it could be housed in a large warehouse-looking thing)

2. Cost: Folks have backed Kickstarters for small fan productions of Star Wars films that have asked them to shell out tens of thousands of dollars so they could build a scale replica of a Y-wing, which had to be destroyed after production wrapped because they had nowhere to put it. I'm betting a Browncoat-funded project that made a full-scale replica of Serenity would be funded pretty easily IF that set remained standing and people could go see it and walk her halls and sit in Wash's chair. This could even be an income-generating idea for the person hosting the ship, in the same way that the U.S.S. Farragut opens her doors to the public once a year for a three-day weekend and charges for admission.

ANYWAY, think about the sets for each area of the ship and think about what it would cost in terms of materials alone to build it? Anybody care to hazard a guess? $20-30K?

3. Labor: All of the Star Trek TOS sets were built with free labor, by fans. How many of you would donate a weekend of your life to showing up to recreate our beloved Serenity? *raises hand* I know I would. Hell, I've known people who have used their two weeks vacation to show up for things like this, or just to be a grip on set during productions. Am I crazy to think that the labor costs here would be negligible?

4. Reasons: As a Firefly fan film producer, I've seen how many productions have been slowed, halted, or consumed by the daunting task of building their own set. Some of them have done it. Some of them didn't and the film never got done. But how many more fan films would be made if the set were already available? This is the part where I start to get excited. Because I think, personally, that a Firefly fan film doesn't NEED a ship. There are a lot of tales to be told in the 'Verse that don't require you going into the black. (Mine doesn't.) But if your story does need a ship, why not a Firefly class vessel? I'd love nothing more than to see several fan films produced each year.

Personally, I don't care for productions where people try to take on the roles of the original cast. (That's strictly a personal preference!) But like they said, if you take care of a Firefly, she'll run forever. There can't just be Serenity out there. So why don't we, the fans, do the impossible again and keep flying?

So, prop masters... what do you think?

Full disclosure: It is TOTALLY my SOP to blunder into these discussions with my eyes bright with hope and full of lofty dreams only to get smacked down by wizened veterans of the forums. I mean no harm. Please be kind. Thanks! :)
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby pennausamike » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:54 am

Wow, there are a lot of things that make a permanent Serenity set unlikely;
but it would sure take the right Browncoat (read rich-Rich-RICH) to pull it off.

But, let's start with some basic links to give an idea of the scope of the project.
Spaceship Avionics
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=768

Firefly set pictures and cgi images
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=354

the Bridge ladder
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=481

Possible galley modules...
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=86

I'm sure there are more, including justanuthercap's console build.

Part of the problem is that the builders of the original Serenity had access to industrial garbage purchased by the ton,
but now all those trash items are hard-to-find artifacts.

Also, the sheer size of the Serenity.
Both the cargo bay and the bridge/ galley sets are multi-story sets;
assuming you build the dorms below the hallway.

Just some stuff to kick off the discussion,
but assuming a building big enough to house the Serenity sets wasn't a part of the equation,
I still think the materials would run a quarter million at a minimum.

As far as volunteer labor; a perfect example would be the Ariel Ambulance parked in California.
Calls have been put out several times for volunteer work weekends, and have yet to garner any volunteers.

Mike
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby newbabel » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:07 am

"...and have yet to garner any volunteers" will be the saddest thing I'll read today. :'(

First, let me start by saying those links are FANTASTIC. I don't know how long I would have had to browse through the site before I'd uncovered all of that, so thanks, Mike!

And okay. I wasn't thinking of building the dorms beneath the hallway. As ambitious as I'd like to make this set, I don't think I'd build it with the plan to do the one-take walkthrough at the beginning of Serenity, and I don't think I'd attempt to build it all at once. Just one room at a time, but leave room for each of them to connect.

The panel close-ups are great, but if we didn't plan on doing a fully authentic recreation of Serenity and just wanted to do a Firefly, wouldn't any junkyard panels do? Anything with toggles and buttons and levers and such? Unless it's going to be the hero image in a shot, all of that stuff is just that... stuff.

Also, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! "$20-30K" I must have looked like an idiot up there! Hahahaha.

I'll admit that part of my dream is to have access to a standing set where I can return over and over again to shoot subsequent shorts. But I may be too late to the party. It saddens me to follow these links only to find some of them have been shuttered or abandoned. It also surprised me, since I see more and more Firefly merchandise coming out every week. And now the MMO. Wouldn't that indicate a growing fan base instead of a shrinking one?
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby orion » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:30 am

newbabel wrote:The panel close-ups are great, but if we didn't plan on doing a fully authentic recreation of Serenity and just wanted to do a Firefly, wouldn't any junkyard panels do? Anything with toggles and buttons and levers and such? Unless it's going to be the hero image in a shot, all of that stuff is just that... stuff.


With that I'd agree -- even in Serenity (the movie) many of the cockpit details (e.g. the yokes and panels) don't match what was used in Firefly (the show).
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby taimdala » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:44 pm

Hi newbabel! Welcome aboard! :D

I love your idea. I don't think there's a person here that doesn't wish they had a spaceship to live/work/play/film in.

AND I love the fact that you're not interested in recreating Serenity, but would rather build a generic Firefly for new original stories and crews. Like pennausamike has said in a different thread, there are SO MANY MORE stories in Verse waiting to be told that doesn't have anything to do with Malcolm Reynolds and his crew.

I wanna see more of those! Having a standing Verse set will help fan filmmakers tell those stories. I do hope you get this project off the ground, newbabel. Maybe a crowdfunding campaign will do the trick. I've read SVDrifter's response on legal issues over funding and it still seems doable.

No matter what happens, I wish you all the best and please do keep us posted!!
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby pennausamike » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:31 pm

newbabel wrote:"...and have yet to garner any volunteers" will be the saddest thing I'll read today. :'(


I'll agree with that one.
But, I'm in the same boat as everyone else.
I've thought of going out to work on the AA, but my wife has zero interest in Firefly;
and if, after working 40+ weeks of seven days a week, I said instead of working on the house,
I was going to fix up an abandoned Firefly prop for somebody else........well, connect the dots.

newbabel wrote:First, let me start by saying those links are FANTASTIC. I don't know how long I would have had to browse through the site before I'd uncovered all of that, so thanks, Mike!


I tell new people on here all the time to just spend a hardcore week reading threads on ffprops.net.
That's not a chastisement; this is simply THE resource for props, sets and costumes from Firefly and Serenity.
Another reason is because it seems that, just like good conversation in real-life,
most topics on here spark great discussion tangents.
Fun while it is happening, but makes it harder to find cool insights or info later.
For me, I find a good stroll through the archives to be entertaining as well as informative.
That's because these folks are my online friends with a shared passion,
and I think that comes through on the screen.

newbabel wrote:And okay. I wasn't thinking of building the dorms beneath the hallway. As ambitious as I'd like to make this set, I don't think I'd build it with the plan to do the one-take walkthrough at the beginning of Serenity, and I don't think I'd attempt to build it all at once. Just one room at a time, but leave room for each of them to connect.


Sometimes there is value in looking at the work of those who have come before.
While it would be nice to build a Firefly, does it have to be a Firefly?
Bellflower, Into The Black and BC:R all "built" smaller ships.
At this point, I think Bellflower built the nicest ship sets, with ITB coming in second.
BC:R made a wise choice relative to their resources, but they honestly don't always cut it on screen.

newbabel wrote:The panel close-ups are great, but if we didn't plan on doing a fully authentic recreation of Serenity and just wanted to do a Firefly, wouldn't any junkyard panels do? Anything with toggles and buttons and levers and such? Unless it's going to be the hero image in a shot, all of that stuff is just that... stuff.


And I agree with this 100%, until you are trying to engage a fan base that has proven time and again,
that their love doesn't extend far beyond the original crew and Joss' words...........sigh............

newbabel wrote:Also, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! "$20-30K" I must have looked like an idiot up there! Hahahaha.


Ah yes, love-is-blind-optimism; happens to the best of us.
No problem at the "what-if? stage of any project,
as long as reality is firmly reasserted before the first hammer hits nail.

newbabel wrote:I'll admit that part of my dream is to have access to a standing set where I can return over and over again to shoot subsequent shorts. But I may be too late to the party. It saddens me to follow these links only to find some of them have been shuttered or abandoned. It also surprised me, since I see more and more Firefly merchandise coming out every week. And now the MMO. Wouldn't that indicate a growing fan base instead of a shrinking one?


Speaking of links, don't forget the Gallery of Badger's behind the scenes shots.
gallery/album.php?album_id=46

As far as the growing Firefly fanbase, at this point, it is still an original content and swag fanbase.
Hopefully, if the quality of the new content justifies it, that interest level will open up a little.
But until then we are just holding the line.

Mike
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby taimdala » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:15 pm

pennausamike wrote:


And I agree with this 100%, until you are trying to engage a fan base that has proven time and again,
that their love doesn't extend far beyond the original crew and Joss' words...........sigh............


newbabel wrote:I'll admit that part of my dream is to have access to a standing set where I can return over and over again to shoot subsequent shorts. But I may be too late to the party. It saddens me to follow these links only to find some of them have been shuttered or abandoned. It also surprised me, since I see more and more Firefly merchandise coming out every week. And now the MMO. Wouldn't that indicate a growing fan base instead of a shrinking one?


Speaking of links, don't forget the Gallery of Badger's behind the scenes shots.
gallery/album.php?album_id=46

As far as the growing Firefly fanbase, at this point, it is still an original content and swag fanbase.
Hopefully, if the quality of the new content justifies it, that interest level will open up a little.
But until then we are just holding the line.

Mike


Then we hold the line. We hold and we don't give up. Never give up.
"Never, never, never give in ... except to convictions of honor and good sense."
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby Bronson BB » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:36 pm

There is one standing ship set that can be used.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=504

It may not be a Firefly, but she lives in the `Verse.
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby newbabel » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:38 pm

Hey, Bronson! Yeah, I know about that one. I've been speaking to Julian Higgins (director of The 'Verse fan film) quite a bit and I learned this is where he shot part of his short. It's awful purty. :)

I suppose a lot of my production woes would go away if I lived in California, huh? :)
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Re: The whole gorram ship? (standing set)

Postby newbabel » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:30 pm

taimdala wrote:Hi newbabel! Welcome aboard! :D

I love your idea. I don't think there's a person here that doesn't wish they had a spaceship to live/work/play/film in.

AND I love the fact that you're not interested in recreating Serenity, but would rather build a generic Firefly for new original stories and crews. Like pennausamike has said in a different thread, there are SO MANY MORE stories in Verse waiting to be told that doesn't have anything to do with Malcolm Reynolds and his crew.

I wanna see more of those! Having a standing Verse set will help fan filmmakers tell those stories. I do hope you get this project off the ground, newbabel. Maybe a crowdfunding campaign will do the trick. I've read SVDrifter's response on legal issues over funding and it still seems doable.

No matter what happens, I wish you all the best and please do keep us posted!!


Thanks, taimdala! And right now, my only project is getting this first short done. Once I do that, and if I do a dandy job of it, I can entertain the notion of doing other projects in the Firefly 'verse. Here's to hoping!
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