Trek XI Scribes Invited Innovative Input Session on Transformers Script | TrekMovie.com
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Trek XI Scribes Invited Innovative Input Session on Transformers Script November 26, 2006

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Orci/Kurtzman,Uncategorized , trackback

TrekMovie has reported how Star Trek XI co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have sought out fan input for their Transformers Movie script. The LA Times is now reporting that they also used an novel approach to get peer feedback on the script as well. Apparently in May (right before shooting began) they held a ‘brainstorming session’ with a number of other writers to help give the script a final polish. From the article:

Kurtzman and Orci’s dream team included David Ayer ("Training Day," "Harsh Times"), Rawson Marshall Thurber ("Dodgeball"), stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt ("MADtv"), Jon Hurwitz ("Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"), Lona Williams ("Drop Dead Gorgeous"), Jeff Nathanson ("Catch Me If You Can") and Don D. Scott ("Barbershop"). While all of the screenplay’s major elements — structure, plot, characters — were locked down, these writers were asked to double check its logic and help squeeze whatever additional humor they could from potentially comedic moments.

Will we see this approach on Trek XI?
This kind of session is often used for comedies but is not really done with big budget action movies. Orci and Kurtzman certainly are showing an inclusive approach to their writing. The LA Times article quotes a studio executive saying their writers session was a "good sign of their mental health" going on to describe it as a "smart and innovative approach to this kind of material." The pair are now deep into the writing for Star Trek XI. One wonders if they will look for the same fan and peer input on it, let’s hope they do.

 

read the LA Times article for more

 

Comments

1. JON - November 26, 2006

I’m not interested in Transformers,sorry.But I think it would be interesting to get into what motivates the Klingons to hate humans so much.At one time in Trek Klingons were humanoid.My story would have Klingons purging their genepool after some internal crisis to rid themselves of humanoid traits and eventually expandiing that purge to humans.Presto.Klingon hostility explained.The similarities to anti-semetic terrorism (as Jews and Arabs are both descendants of abraham) and anti-US hostilities could be mirrored similarly to how Trek was rumored to mirror US-Soviet tensions.Maybe too strong for Trek.

2. Anthony Pascale - November 26, 2006

the point of the story isn’t about the Transformers but about how the guys who are writing Trek XI approach screenwriting. Part of the purpose of this site is to help Trekkies learn about the creative team behind Trek XI. Other Trek sites talk about what Dinner Theater Garrett Wang is preforming at…we talk about the poeple involved in Trek’s future.

I personally have never liked the Transformers, but I am interested to see how Orci and Kurtzman take this extremely geeky franchise and sell it to a mainstream audience. If they can make Transformers relevent and believable then that will be a good sign for Trek XI. Also it is interesting to see how they approach screenwriting and as I said I hope to see this inclusive approach for Trek XI.

3. JON - November 26, 2006

Yes.If, I may respectfully say I understand brainstorming sessions.As writers they seem to be welcoming ideas.My contribution would bring Trek to today and make it relevant to non-trekkies but also explain a time of galactic tumult within a emerging Klingon Empire facing a complacent Federation.

4. Josh - November 26, 2006

Trekformers, plotting big surprise
Trekformers, Starship Enterprise

Kirk and Spock wage their battle to convert the evil forces oooooooof,

The Naysayercons

Trekformers, fans launch an uprise
Trekformers, it’s all a pack of lies

Kirk and Spock wage their battle to support the writing forces of….

The Trekformers

5. jonboc - November 26, 2006

Interesting approach to be sure. But I’m not so sure that I’m real confident in Trek fandom being able to give any solid imput on this. Maybe if the writers had some way to approach original series fans only, then they might…and I say MIGHT be able to get an idea of at least general expectations of a 23rd century setting with Kirk and Spock. But Trek fandom is so fickle and fractured that any open invitation to ALL Trek fans would be utter chaos. Now, ideally, they should meet with DC Fontana, Bjo Trimble, and the orginal cast members…people really involved in the day to day nuts and bolts of Star Trek. A group like that would make a great sounding board….but leave the fans out of it. In the end, they just need to have a vision and stick to it….whatever it is, and just make it the very best they can. Like Ricky Nelson sang….you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.

6. Litenbug - November 26, 2006

IMO, I can’t see the writers taking input from any fans. It wouldn’t be helpful.

And I am looking for my tatoo label to tell me which kind of Trek fan I am…

7. Adam Cohen - November 26, 2006

I read an early draft of THE TRANSFORMERS script by John Rogers, with revisions by Orci and Kurtzman and it was pretty terrible. Of course, that draft is only a snapshot in the writing process and I’m sure (and hopeful) that changes were made from what I’ve read. My point is that I suspect THE TRANSFORMERS was subject to so much input and rewrites because their starting point was flawed and they had to work backwards to make changes and improvements. A general rule of thumb is that the more people needed to doctor a script, the more troubled the production. THE TRANSFORMERS is a perfect example of a troubled production.

Given what’s transpired on TRANSFORMERS, I’m still quite optimistic about TREK XI. Abrams is involved in TREK (No Michael Bay, thank God!) and Orci and Kurtzman get to break out the story with Abrams from scratch, no revisions of someone else’s work.

As for fan input, I think fans have their place in certain respects. Look at how fan input helped contribute to CBS DIGITAL’s vast improvements on Trek: Remastered. Of course, that sort of give and take is mroe difficult to establish when it comes to writing the screenplay. And as typical of all productions, they will want to keep TREK XI’s plot under wraps. But when it comes to general issues, like “should they stick to the same design for the original NCC-1701 as was used in the tv show?” or “same costumes?” etc., I think fan input can be helpful. Certainly there is also a big fan push to get Shatner and Nimoy involved, and I think that letting Abrams and Co. know that we care about these things will give them an indication of what the fanbase expects.

I’ve said it in another comment, but this site is a unique and profound opportunity for fans and production teams to mix and mingle and exchange ideas. Thanks to Anthony and Co. for putting out a great daily product and for giving us all a forum to voice our ideas.

8. Vifx Twokay - November 26, 2006

To be honest this gives me a bit less confidence in these screenwriters. Many of those other writers wrote fairly broad comedies. How that relates to a major scifi/action movie like Transformers I don’t see… other than broadening it up and dumbing it down. Not exactly the sort of thing you’d want for Trek, is it? Perhaps instead they could consult folks like Nic Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, D.C. Fontana, Peter Allan Fields and Ron Moore for starters. That’s more of a writer’s ‘Dream Team; appropriate to Trek than a bunch of one-liner/gag experts, no?

9. K-9 - November 26, 2006

Can we rename this site to ThisOldStarship.com ???? :)
HeHe, that would rock! Yeah! Yeah! Fire! Fire! Fire!

10. Dave - November 27, 2006

Fan input on this film would be a disaster. Stick to talking with the people who originally helped build TOS and stop there. (my two cents only)

11. Captain Pike - November 27, 2006

This writing by committee approach does not inspire me with confidence. If they were real Star Trek fans they would have been planning their ultimate Trek movie for the last 20 years, not the last 4 months.

The effects in Transformers may be amazing. That does not mean the movie will please old school fans of the TV series or the general public. It really leaves be ambivalent about their take on STXI

12. litenbug - November 27, 2006

Script-writing by committee….
Transformers has very little “canon” to worry about and I doubt if whatever it does have has no comparison to a 40 year old “universe” that has been built upon show by show, layer by layer.
Were I writing or producing this, I wouldn’t get fan input from any group. If you do, you are trying to please everyone and entertaining no one.

IMO…. Don’t even go there.

13. De Baisch - November 27, 2006

Au contraire, litenbug. Take a look at the Wikipedia entries on the Transformers and you’ll find there is a lot of canon within that particular universe over the last 20 years.

As far as soliciting fan input for a script, that’s not necessarily a bad thing IF you snag the right type of fans for the job. I’m thinking maybe some of the novel writers, certainly not the fanboys.

14. An olde timey fan - November 27, 2006

All this movie needs is basic market research and maybe a focus group or three drawn from the movie-going public.

(Well, maybe not -that- group after reflecting on the typical Hollywood film!)

All they need to know from the Trekkers is whether or not there will be a backlash, since their endorsement has limited value to the larger audience. Of more value to them would be the opinion of other potential ticker buyers, those who are not necessarily Trekkies or even sci-fi buffs.

A movie like this would seem to be attractive to any number of genres outside of the expected ones: sea-stories (Master & Commander), adventure tales (‘National Treasure”, Raiders of the Lost Ark), action-adventure (anything Bond), epics (Braveheart, Gladiator) and probably more. What all movies had in common was a strong sense of plot, plausible suspension of disbelief, and charismatic leading men with apparently strong characters.

Sounds like Star Trek to me.

15. JON - November 29, 2006

If this is going to be the last time we see Kirk and Spock (in old age).Please,At least let them finally be married.It would be nice to see each of them away with a beloved .

16. CW - November 30, 2006

Interesting.
So we can expect Orci to get fan input- then write the exact opposite. Then we can see Kirk portrayed as a female Andorian, and the Enterprise will be depicted as a swiss army knife with all blades and accessories extended.

17. BILL BENDER - November 30, 2006

BILL-I don’t know about the rest of use ,but I ‘M sick of hearing about KIRK AND Spock .the last three movies was about next generation and I would like to see them finished with that . or move on . And I think that the trek fans should have some say in it. because we’re the ones that pay the money to see it. this is like making a movie like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid the early years.

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