R & R,  SOUND SUBS, SCRIPT REHEARSING, SOUND DAMPENING BOX

The photos will give you a good feel of behind the scenes. Most of the movie was done around in the the permanent Bridge area. The sets were put up and taken down on a rigorous schedule.

The box like contraption is my sound baffle box. The Cannon camera made a loud whirring noise. It was a major problem. It was heave and would easily tip the tripod. It was also very awkward to use. The front had a hole cut into plexi-glass with a foam ring to seal the joint. However it was better than nothing. You can probably pick this high angle shot  out, on the bridge,  when you see the movie.

SOUND TECHNICIANS

Anyone not doing anything was given a job to help out. They wanted to rest but in the spirit of things could see that they were needed occasionally to give up acting and do other jobs. I think their favorite job was going out to get the piza for dinner.

R & R

People took breaks whenever and wherever they could. This doesn’t look very comfortable does it?

He really is able to sleep anyplace!

SCRIPT REHEARSALS


The actors actually came prepared. Rehearsing was short and to the point.  The movie was shot on a  3:1 (three to one) film ratio. That is very small.

Well that’s it for this week.

Thanks and I hope you enjoyed it?

Let me know.

SOME OF BLOOPERS

They are self explanatory and as you will see silly at times. This video will also give you a real sense of how we filmed it and where we filmed it.

NOTE: PLEASE VIEW VIDEOS IN ORDER OF POSTING THEM.  WATCH #1 VIDEO THEN #2 VIDEO. AND THEN THE #3 BLOOPER.  It will be more “logical” as Spock might have said.

NOTE: BLOOPERS ON THE WAY

There is a number #1 video, and number #2 video posted that are best viewed before this one. Please watch videos in order. 

THE GOAL IS TO SUPPLY A NEW POST EVERY SUNDAY.  HOWEVER IF I CAN NOT KEEP UP THEN I WILL DO IT EVERY OTHER SUNDAY. BUT FOR NOW IT WILL BE WEEKLY. THE NEXT FIVE POSTS ARE DONE AND  VIDEOS 4 AND 5 ARE READY. VIDEO 6 WILL BE THE 18 MIN. EDITED VERSION THAT I MADE A LONG TIME AGO. IT IS THE “SOUND” FIX THING WE ARE TRYING TO DO BEFORE DOING THE LONG VERSION.

SEE THE “KIRKIAN”  NERVE PINCH

SEE SELLEK LOOSE CONTROL OF HIS EMOTIONS

HEAR THE  “VULCAN SOUND QUAKE”

EXPERIENCE BEING STUCK IN MICHIGAN WINTER 1974

TRANSPORTER ROOM TOMFOOLERY

KLINGON”S  PREPARING FOR BATTLE?

OUR LEADER “ME” AT RIGHT SIDE OF HELM

OOPS!  US FLYING THE U.S.S. PARAGON

DA DA DA THAT’S ALL FOR NOW FOLKS

POST#  1  A FOUR MINUTE TEASER VIDEO  OF PARAGON’S PARAGON


What a project to get his video and sound  working.

NOTE: The videos are out of order  SCROLL  DOWN for number 2 AND NUMBER 3 VIDEOS  to watch them in order.

THIS VIDEO IS FROM SUPER 8MM TO BETA TO VHS TO DVD AND INTO THE COMPUTER.

BRIDGE was made without official Star Trek blue prints. I did it all by eye.  There were no Star Trek books with blueprints of things when I made the movie. I compared the heights of actors to the size of the object they stood by. People were 5 ft. 6 woman to 6 ft. tall man. Then I shrunk everything a tad to fit it in our basement. When I run some of the bloopers you will get to see behind the scenes just where it all was done.

COSTUMES were done by going to fabric stores and purchasing patterns that were close to what we needed and then altering the patterns or making our own. My mother could sew and mend things and now she took on the task of being a costume designer and maker. She did an amazing job. She was a prim and proper lady and the first version of the mini-Star Trek dress’s were made too long by her. Down to the girls knees. She did that on purpose. Boy was I disappointed. She did not want to shorten them.  However with a little bit of begging she finally gave in and made then nice and “short”.

PROBLEM OF DUPLICATION  How to get everything to look right and also the colors and the music and sound effects etc. SOLUTION. Since photos, videos, vcr’s etc were not available I needed to gather my own. I used a canon 35 mm still camera to take hundreds of photos of the sets and costumes.

MUSIC and SOUND EFFECTS Every night from 6pm to 7pm Star Trek was run on television. I sound recorded each episode ever made. Then I listened to each episode in real time and re-recorded for example: The each unique SOUND FX without music was put on a small reel, and each sound fx with music behind it on a reel. There were dozens of reels of one type of sound fx with and without music. This was so I could later try to find something suitable for Paragon.

The MUSIC was recorded off each episode when there was no talking or sound fx occurring. It was on three big reels. I think I had about 1.5 hours of it. Then I listened to it and sorted it out onto smaller reels of similar types of music. For example the romantic music was on a reel and the fireball chase music on another reel. By finding just the right spot the pieces of similar music blended together into one new longer piece of music. Sometimes 10 small pieces would only add up to 20 seconds.

YES IT TOOK HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS!  Keep in mind their was no music or sound effects or blueprints or costume patterns available when I did this movie.  It was cave man days.

One minute of sound editing took one hour. There were four sound tracks. . Yes 120 hours per finished sound composite tracks. Actually it was more complex than this but you get the idea,lots of time.

One “second” of special photographic effects took one hour to do.

The movie is One Hour and Twenty minutes long.

The film footage editing was done viewing the takes, cut out the one I liked, and hang it on a string. . When a dozen or so were lined up they were spliced (welded) together and viewed to see if it looked correct. The editing was done on a one hour to finish one minute of the movie formula.

Their is also a blooper reel and making of it reel. These were a snap to do compared to the movie. Some of that will be in the blog later.

The article in the Cinemagic Magazine repeats some of this information and you can find it on Freds blog “My Star Trek Scrapbook” There is a link on one of my  posts.

Once again thank you for your patience and comments. It is humbling to know that something that I did years ago had such a positive and lasting effect on people.

I will continue to build the blog with never before seen photos taken during the making of Paragon and also the film clips that I have promised.

NOTE: If you are new to this blog and would like to learn more about me please feel free to go to my web at  www.cosentinocarpet.com . It has always been a one man business with family to help when needed. I did it when I was making Paragon and still do it part time.

Any questions about the teaser? I’ll answer in next post.

Thanks again your friend

John

NOTE:

IF  HAVEN’T SEEN THE 4 MINUTE TEASER VIDEO  posted as   #1 video PLEASE SCROLL UP  AND VIEW IT  BEFORE YOU VIEW THIS VIDEO.

The way the fx were done will surprise you if you view the teaser film “FIRST”.
THIS VIDEO  IS SELF-EXPLANATORY, FUN, AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND.  ENJOY!

(Coming soon posts will present never before seen photos taken for make-up tests, bridge construction, fx set-ups, etc.)

P.S. I am the Klilngon holding the cube in this posts video.

John

TEASER  VIDEO FX  HOW  SOME  WERE  DONE

* **************TEASER  “VIDEO”  IS ON PREVIOUS  POST *******
NOTE: (Go back one post to see the teaser video of Paragons Paragon if you haven’t seen it).

These selected shots here were  done by taking  photos off my blog teaser video.   The chosen subjects here are in general not explained on the Making of Paragon video which is soon to be presented.

MY FAVORITE FX IS THE SPLIT SCREENS

Split screens are a form of double exposures. Split screens were used for the two Selleks in the elevator, and in Selleks quarters. One actor plays both parts but speaks to his counterpart who is actually not there. A matte box, is used to do the fx. One half  of the elevator with Kirk and Sellek  talking is filmed, while the other half of the matte box has a black card in it.  BLACK is nothing to movie film. It doesn’t block out anything and anything can be filmed over it. The camera sees the two actors (for example) on the left half and the right half is filming black.

Next the film is wound back. The black card is put on the other side of the matte box. The actor now goes to the other side and talks to his counter part on the opposite side who really  is not there now. He talks and responds to a tape recording of what was said. It is a fun thing to time out and do.

The actors can not come near the dividing  line where the two black halves meet. In my case it was the blue post next to the red bar. A rock steady claw pull down mechanism is needed on the cameras to make the fx succeed. It it jiggles the two sides would vibrate up and down. I used a Canon 814 super-8mm movie camera.

BRIDGE COMPUTER PANEL BLINKING LIGHTS

The blinking lights were  Christmas tree lights   with blinker plugs.  I collected all our relatives larger outdated lights. Thin foggy acetate behind cut out spaces in black cardboard finished the panels. It took two whole lines ; all of downstairs and part of up stairs to turn on the panel  lights and also the quartz movie lights to do the filming. I used KA 40 whenever I could because it was less grainy and had better colors than the faster speed Ekchromes. The KA 40 needed lots of lights to get a good f stop on the camera. If the television upstairs was turned on during filming it would blow the fuses.

NEGATIVE IMAGE FILM

For this  strange bridge scene I filmed it with B&W movie film, pulled it out of the cartridge, and then took it into my darkroom and processed it as a negative. Photography used to be a hobby of mine.

I took the negative film and projected it through my Aerial Image Optical Printer and re-photographed it with a red filter. The re-filming is done one frame at a time.

AERIAL IMAGE OPTICAL PRINTER

I built my own Aerial Image Optical Printer so I could try out some unusual fx. This type of  printer is what Disney used when he combined cartoon figures with live action actors. The Aerial image is an “image suspended in space”.  Sounds cool doesn’t it .  Perfect for sci-fi movies! Anyhow it uses a projector, a big lens (mine was a  big round magnifying glass), a beam splitter mirror, a camera, and a plate that sits on the face of the lens. A beam splitter mirror is a mirror that allows a percentage of light to pass through it rather than reflecting all of it off.The plate is where fx and mattes and animation figures can be applied and lighted. Both camera and projector must have pin registration or a rock steady claw pull down.

AURA AND OPTICAL PRINTER

The aura was created using the optical printer. I filmed Ayelbourne , who in real life was my Uncle Tony. Then re-copied him in the printer as I  frame by frame moved a special Vaseline gel with a matte over the plate and around his face and body. (see the Making Of Paragon when I drop it in the blog).

My dad and uncles are typical kind, but macho Italians. It took some finagling to get them to agree to be in my what they might have called it “silly little outer space movie”. They were Earth people not Oraganians.  I started with my dad and he said “I don’t think so John” I said what if Uncle Chris and Uncle Tony do it. He said “Ok if they agree to do it”.  I don’t think he thought they would agree. I asked my uncle Chris next. He said “No thank you”. I said but my dad said he would do it. He said “ok”.  Uncle Tony would be tough. He said “no” I said ”  But Uncle Chris and my dad are going to do it. He said”Well if they are going to do it I guess I could.  I think you get the idea. I was a fun task to tackle; getting them in the movie. We had to make big Q cards for my uncle to read when he did his part. I have a great family!

CAVERN MINIATURE AND ACTORS

The cavern was a 4 by 8 foot Lunar landscape (seen in previous post) re shaped into a 2foot tall,      4 x8 foot cavern. A 35 mm slide was taken of the cavern.  Actors were filmed in a field at night. Using simple BACK PROJECTION onto foggy acetate the actors were projected into a dark area of the slides projection on the acetate.  This is very much like the technique used in the old B&W King Kong 1933 movie.  The old black and white King Kong is one of my top ten favorite movies.  The colored lights floating around in the cavern was done using another projector with mattes and Luma fx.

LUMA  SPECIAL EFFECTS

Luma was a term Edmund Scientific Co. used for exciting lighting effects.  It was used as a Disco effect. Remember this was done at a time not to far from psychidelic  Hippie days when dance places would have weird lighting designs floating across their walls to match the weird designs floating around in a lot of peoples minds.

Its primary component is an aluminum foil type material which is crinkled up and put on a rotating wheel. Then a spot light (in my case a projector light) was beamed through another rotating multi-colored rotating wheel and onto the Luma wheel and then it bounced onto a foggy acetate back projection screen. I filmed it.

This film was processed and I used the Aerial Image printer to combine it with a slide or movie of the ship. It depended on what I wanted. Or I could matte out the ship to keep the lighting behind it. Or I could do the lighting fx film back projected and then double exposed over the model of the ship. Lots of ways to do it depending on the way I wanted it to look.

WELDING EFFECT

Carrik welding  was very simple. A 4th of July sparkler was moved under the electronics board and the actor on top matched his moves to the sparklers.

COMPUTER ELECTRONICS PANEL

The electrons panel in the Shuttlecraft was long rolls of actual computer control tape used to tell machinery how to perform various operations. Tape with holes scattered about. That is the modern era that Paragon was conceived and made in. Pretty antiquated aeh? Anyhow A black cardboard with slots to fit the tape and machined to unroll the tape past Sellek as he speed them up. Our motors were three people pulling the tapes across the black panel and then rolling them back up by hand for each re-take.

There was a lot of impatience with flubbed lines by the people who were working the tapes.  The actors wanted to get home. We did a lot of filming after people finished their real jobs.  The schedule was pretty precise.  We filmed every other day. I had to wait for film to be processed. And I needed time to set up the different scenes scheduled for every other day.  It was complicated. People had their own lives to live , but they really did a good job of working things out.

The weather was horrible. Lots of snow storms 8 inches deep. Some it the snow is seen on the bloopers and I changed a scene in the movie  into one with snow because it snowed!

TRANSPORTER MINIATURE

The back wall had string glued to it and then Aluminum foil glued over it. The top light pods that flashed on and off were the cardboard tubes that come inside of toilet paper rolls. The twinkles and the actual making the thing work is shown on the making of Paragon video. And once again the Aerial image printer and mattes were used.

EXPLOSIONS

The miniature of the front of the bridge was filmed with the blinking tracking light. The second piece of film would be the explosion or explosions. The two pieces would be combined in the Optical Printer.   Oh yeh, How did I do the actual explosions?   It  was so simple and turned out so good that I am saving it for you to see on the “Making Of Paragons Paragon”.

Any guesses?

BE KIND: WHAT’S UP DOC? UPDATE

(One more photo)


SHORT TEASER IN THE WORKS

The short video teaser (3.5min) that is almost ready for you  to look at will be taken from a 28 year old  vhs copy of a 28 year old beta copy from  38  old super- 8mm footage of the Paragon movie which IS now being transferred to a dvd, to a flash drive so I could drop it into the blog.

It has some glitches flashing across it from storage, and there is a problem with the sound. The quality of my movie can not compare to the digital camcorder video movies quality that you are used to seeing and hearing. The act of storing things over many years takes its toll.

However I am extremely proud of the result and hope these facts help you to sit back and enjoy rather that knit pick it to death. Just to find and prepare  the  footage that I am going to drop into the blog over the next few months has cost  me a few hundred hundred dollars. So far this exciting experience and making new friends  has outweighed the time and expense.

38 YEARS OLD

Also as I have previously mentioned my movie was strictly for fun with friends, and family. I made the movie because I liked Star Trek and I  still do! It was the perfect medium. It has bright colors, pretty girls, heroes, and characters with integrity and humor.  “We need more Star Trek values in our present world”.

CURRENT FOOTAGE BEING PREPARED

If my computer can hold up, I intend to feed  Paragon to you in segments of  video material in the blog.  Small segments to medium sizes of about 9 minutes.  The teaser is very short. A demo reel of some of my works,  blooper reels, and a longer 18 minute highlight version of Paragon are almost ready to be dropped into blog articles over the next few months. Not all at once. I want you to respond and ask questions if you so desire.

If I can find the super-8 film, and the response to the   material on video that you see is good, I will consider finding a way to  save the actual movie. The film got misplaced during moving. I hope displaced is the correct word and not lost.

The sound needs a big fix through a studio. Is the movie in its entirety worth saving? I do not know yet.  It could have improved sound (better but not great since the master sound tapes are gone) and with a film transfer the “glitches” on the tape from storage would be gone and the visual would also become improved.  It would be a couple of generations closer to the original. That might do the trick!

IT WILL BE UP TO YOU

EVEN WITH EVERYTHING REPAIRED IT WOULD NOT BE PERFECT- IT IS OLD

1.If you find the occasional sync of the voices not being perfect to be too disturbing because the movie was filmed “wild”?

2.If you find the mixing of the tracks to be troublesome  because they are making it hard to hear the actors voices? .

3. If the  obvious inserting of effects and the visual film grain difference bothers you?

Then I won’t pursue getting the 80 minute version of the film footage redone. It is what it was!  I am sharing it with you and hope you appreciate the really neat things about it. Yes it is flawed, but it never was made to show to people on the  scale  it has attracted.  What has occurred  is amazing to me and I appreciate the nice comments and interest in it. In the long run it  is just another amateur fan film with a lot of “heart” and “love” put into it.

THE PLAN

I intend to run a piece of footage and then for the next week or two or three on the blog talk about it. I would explain the effects or behind the scenes stories. There would also be new photos in the articles.  I  will invite questions about each video and will answer them in the blog between the time that I run another piece of footage. It depends on how much information I can supply on a topic at hand.

INTERACTIVE

The first piece is a 4 minute teaser. The next video will be a demo  that I used to show people. It shows some of  my magazine articles , and the Paragon teaser again, and stuff I did for the movie Alien Factor.  Most of the demo videos material has been talked about  in previous blog articles.  I’ll expand on them as the video prompts.

I want this blog to be interactive and hopefully very friendly.  Like a living email blog that evolves on its own. I want it to be  a fun and interesting amateur blog, for those of you who are interested in Star Trek, or monsters,or make-up,or movie making, photography,music etc. There will be links to other talented peoples blogs or webs. You must give me feedback on the movie and the blog.

I am a private person and was just going to let Paragon  fade away,  but interest in it just kept popping up. I am humbled by the many kind comments from all you folks out there and hope I can please you with my blog efforts. I also am enjoying making new friends. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John

HERE WE GO-COMING SOON hopefully next article?