Monday, April 28, 2008

Trekkie Central Apr '08

48pages colour, 9.2Mb pdf,
Issue Five for April '08, of Trekkie Central Magazine is now online and gives a broad, colourful overview of Star Trek fan films and audio dramas. It features articles on Starship Farragut, The Animated Episodes, plus an interview with it's producer, Michael Struck and a review of Borg War, The Movie by Australia's very own Gerri & Eugenia of GE News, plus an interview with it's creator Geoffrey James. There's also an interview with Guy Davis, creator of USS Tamarlane and a review of his Trek manga fan comic by Richard Miles.

Star Trek fan fiction is covered in this issue by an article on Trek by Alex Matthews and an extended feature on Trek Fanfic author, Rigel Kent, including an extract from four of the books in his Star Trek: Endeavour series and another review by Richard Miles.

All this plus interviews with Areakt productions exec. producer, Rob Caves, Trekspace creator, Alec Peters, and a commentary by the ever erudite Mr John Whiting make it well worth browsing.

Looking For Group, May '08

May 5 - Voice Actor auditions for Star Trek: Dimensions
Audio Drama looking for Voice Actors, Auditions close May 5. Details on Voice Acting Alliance
  • Three any voicing
  • Three Male or Female, late 30s - Late 50s
  • Three males age: 26-42.
  • Two females age 30-32
  • One male Mid 40s, early 50s. A bit of a southern drawl.
  • One male age 45, British Accent
  • One male age: 25. nerd
  • One female age:26, American Accent
  • One female Andorian, Age 33.

May 10-11 - Casting Call for Star Trek Osiris
Live action fan film, Detroit, Michigan area. Millada Productions will be holding a general casting call on Saturday May 10th and Sunday the 11th for starring roles in the upcoming Star Trek: Osiris, late Summer to early Fall '08 release . Contact details on website
  • Six female parts, ranging from age 25-40+
  • Nine male parts, ranging from age 25-50+
No Closing date - Voice Actor auditions for Star Trek: Orion
Audio Drama looking for Voice Actors, no closing date for Auditions. Details on ST Orion Blog
pre-production stage.
  • Five males
  • One female
No Closing date - Writer for Star Rabbit Tracks
Established Audio Drama comedy/parody of Star Trek/Beatrix Potter looking for writer/s to extend the season. Contact details on Misfits audition page (sorry I missed getting the auditions out for the VA's for this!).

Starship Farragut, The Animated Episodes

A landmark announcement has just been made of a collaboration, spearheaded by the cutting edge cgi production house, NEO f/x and the dramatic talents of the live action fan film, Starship Farragut, which will see the first Star Trek cell animation since the demise of Star Trek, The Animated Series in 1974! This is ground-breaking not only because of the scope of the project but because of the amazing array of fan and professional names that have been gathered to make it happen, led by Chase Masterson (Leeta on Deep Space Nine), Tim Russ (Tuvok on Voyager) and Vic Mignogna (the voice of Edward Elric on Fullmetal Alchemist). Whlst Vic might not be as well known to Trek fans, His acting experience on stage and behind the mike is truly impressive as can been seen on his website.

As reported in the article on Starship Farragut on TrekUnited, March 27, NEO f/x and Farragut Films announced back in December last year that they were working on two “Special Editions”, scored by their composer from "For Want Of A Nail", Hetoreyn, and written by Michael Struck, manager of NEO f/x and Jack Treviño, a professional writer who has previously worked on Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Phase II. Described only as "short films ... produced by NEO f/x in cooperation with Farragut Films”, the details have been kept a closely guarded secret until the announcement at Creation convention in Hollywood last weekend.

The wait is now over with the public launch the new website for "Starship Farragut, The Animated Episodes", where you can view a video teaser trailer, read the full text of their press release and browse some eyebrow-raising FAQ's. The new episodes are going to be as close as possible to the feel of the original animated Star Trek series produced by Filmation which debuted in September, 1973. However, as the term "special edition" implies, the two episodes are currently considered to be a special project with no immediate plans for a series. They will be further adventures of the U.S.S. Farragut, the subject of the live action fan film, over the same time period as the projected fourth season of Star Trek.

This marks the entrance of NEO f/x as a production group in their own right, as the instigator and prime-mover of this project. Established in 2003, they are a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in visual effects work in the areas of 3D animation, from consultation to post-production. I cannot help but feel that the sourcing and organisation of all the different people involved in this project is an excellent example of the Total Media Packages that NEO f/x has available to its clients for 'one-stop shopping' for their multimedia projects.
“NEO f/x has now been involved with literally seven live-action fan productions based on Star Trek. We felt it was time for us to throw our hat in the ring with something no other fan production has attempted… cel-style animated episodes,” explained Michael Struck ... “These animated episodes will be a tribute to the original Filmation animated series, and should be a real treat for the fans.”

“We were thrilled to collaborate with NEO f/x’s talented team once again to produce the first Star Trek animated fan film," said John Broughton, president of Farragut Films and Executive Producer of Starship Farragut. “It was an incredible experience to lend our voices to this outstanding, visually appealing piece of work that extends the tales of Starship Farragut's gallant crew. NEO f/x's one-stop, Total Media Package continues to be a great asset for us."
The first episode which Michael Struck has co-written with Jack Treviño, “The Needs of the Many”, takes place on Cestus III, the planet where Kirk and the Gorn fought and “as fate would have it, Carter and his crew encounter the same rogue Gorn, looking for revenge against the Federation.”

The second episode, “Power Source”, is written by Thomas J. Scott, an accomplished writer and president of Magique Productions, finds the Farragut dispatched to search for the USS Azrael “only to find that they may be the ones being searched for.”

Starship Farragut will be supplying the voice talent for the major, recurring characters who perform in their live action fan film however Michael has been able to follow in the footsteps of ST: Phase II and recruit some Star Trek alumni to make special appearances as well. The featured guest artist in “The Needs of the Many” is Chase Masterson, who played Leeta on Deep Space Nine and Tim Russ, Tuvok on Voyager, will be making a special appearance.

A special link to Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) will be Chris Doohan, son of James Doohan, the original ‘Scotty’, who will be voicing two characters his father made famous in the original series. James Doohan was an accomplished voice actor from his days on radio in his native Canada and exercised those talents to great effect in TAS. In this production, most of the secondary male characters are being voiced by Vic Mignogna a prolific voice actor who is best known as the voice of Edward Elric on “Fullmetal Alchemist”. Additional voice talent featured includes Hetoreyn (who is also doing the music), Jason LeBlanc, and Ralph M. Miller.

A Star Trek: The Animated Series fan production without Kail Tescar, webmaster of, would be unimaginable and NEO f/x have appointed him the lead artist as well as an associate producer in this project. Kail's website is a comprehensive homage to the Animated Series, with nine fan-made comic books in the same 'Filmation' style and he will be continuing this run by creating a companion comic book to the animated episodes, to be released (for free over the internet, of course) at the same time.
“Since opening nine years ago, creating a full length episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series has been a dream of mine,” explained Kail. “I've been having a great time working on this project with NEO f/x and Farragut Films. It's been a lot of fun helping to create these episodes, and I hope everyone enjoys them."
For more interesting insights into the production, check out the FAQ section of the website. I was interested to read what it had to say about their production technique ...
While these episodes are being created digitally with the latest in computer technology, many of the aspects of these episodes are being created very similar to traditional cel-style animation. All of the characters are being created from scratch and animated by hand in the computer to give a very similar look and feel to the original Filmation Star Trek animated series of the 1970's. Some ship models are being created with traditional 3D animation techniques, but will be textured to give a hand-drawn, 2D appearance.
Work has already started on the two episodes and the accompanying comics and they are expected to be released on the internet simultaneously toward the end of 2008.

Friday, April 11, 2008

ST Fanzine - Chekov 40 Years and Counting

I'm a bit late with this snip, but it meshes well with Water Koenig's recent red-carpet showing of "To Serve All My days - A Night in 1969" at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA on Saturday, March 29.

A commemorative magazine has been created as a gift for Walter Koenig on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Chekov’s first appearance on our television screens: September 15, 2007. With 124 pages of high quality photos, this is fanzine is a homage to the every aspect of Walter Koenig's alter-ego, Pavel Chekov. It is an invaluable reference and commentary on just about every appearance he ever made in a Trek related production, including his appearances in Star trek fan productions.

You can download "Chekov 40 Years and Counting" as a zipped pdf for free so that you can print it off yourself. Alternatively, you can order a high resolution printed copy, spiral bound with clear covers (300dpi, versus the web 72 dpi) from the print shop that handles Orion Press fanzines for the low price of $39.99, shipping included. For each magazine sold, the entire profit of $1.34 will be donated to the U.S. Campaign for Burma, Walter's current charity of choice. (feel free to add a larger donation).

Checkout the main page of The Chekovsite for more details.

ST Farragut Apr 08

Most fan films find it hard to get out one episode a year, Starship Farragut is planning to followup its latest successful, full-length episode, "For want of a Nail", with at least one of four vignettes and two special episodes in collaboration with their CGI partner, NEO f/x before they release their next, double-length, episode. This could be a big year for Farragut!

Interest in episode 2 from Starship Farragut, “For Want of a Nail” (FWOAN), continues with a review on the SciFi Channel's web site,, on March 03. Much of the comment on FWOAN has been on the production standards, the acting, scenery (some of it was filmed on the ST Phase II bridge set) and the locales which (without giving away any spoilers) were historically authentic for the plot. The CGI and music were a strong contributing feature, once again. The CGI was by NEO f/x, the company who had done the work for Farragut's first episode, "The Captaincy". NEO f/x have gone from strength-to-strength over the last year with work for other clients, mostly SF related, and the latest news is that they were responsible for over fifty CGI shots for Star Trek: Of Gods And Men.

One of the innovations that NEO f/x have developed are what I think of as 'strategic alliances' with a number of talented artists who they work with to offer a more complete package. One of these is composer Hetoreyn, who was confirmed as the musical director for Farragut's second episode on Sep. 25 last year. he's a young British composer living in the Netherlands who uses the Vienna Symphonic Library - Special Edition (and to a lesser extent, First Edition) on a Quad processor G5 Applemac with Logic Pro 7. On Nov 21 he sent off the first CD's to CD Baby ready for sale as a CD and on Dec 10 announced that the original soundtrack was available for sale on iTunes. His website is pretty cool too, with a sample CD and a podcast – be sure to download show 041 which has information and sample tracks from FWOAN.

We know very little about the next episode, "Fathers and Sons" or should I say next two episodes, for, with a 155page script, it is a two-hour, feature length production, split into two for downloading purposes! Guest stars include James Cawley as Cpt Kirk and Frank Hernandez, Declan from Star Wars Revelations, who has been cast as Dr. Gene Carter, with the tagline, “Captain Carter has battled Klingons... Made first contact with alien civilisations ... Travelled through time ... Now, he must face the greatest challenge of his life - His father.”The script was completed and handed over to the producers on Sep 24 and the rest of the year has been spent constructing an exacting full-scale, shuttlecraft interior set which will be shared with Star Trek Phase II as per their mutual support agreement. The shuttle console is being built by John Broughton, Senior, father of the Executive Producer, and instrumentation is being added by Mike Bednar, who told me recently that the shuttle console is complete and functional with lights and switches reminiscent of the original series – a more time-consuming project than complex.

On Jan 22, Mike Bednar posted that Fathers and Sons was being pushed back to later in 2008. "We have some other goodies that are in the works that we will focus on first ... We have several vignettes that we have lined up. Also, we need to finish up the last details of the shuttlecraft interior. I still have four computers to put together for the walls and those funny looking spherical thingy-ma-bobs that attach to the wall." It's all hi-tech stuff this set construction business, folks!

Of their fifth episode, "The Potemkin Passthrough", we know absolutely nothing, except it's name and the fact that Mike Bednar is directing!

The Farragut forum lists four vignettes or “Crew Logs”: Just Passing Through , Security Conference , Oblivion's Curtain and Rock and a Hard Place and Mike Bednar has said in February that of these, the first, Just Passing Through, “is 95% in the can with a rough edit. There is still one scene left to shoot.” Of the other four, the last is in pre-production with locations being scouted out and a poster made, whilst the other two are still just concepts.

They also have two “Special Edition's” - short films to be “produced by NEO f/x in cooperation with Farragut Films” - scored by Hetoreyn and written by Michael Struck of NEO f/x and Jack Treviño, a professional writer who has previously worked on Deep Space Nine and ST Phase II. The first, "The Needs of the Many", is set in the fourth season of TOS, on Cestus III, where Kirk fought the Gorn, and involves Gorn, Romulans, humans, Andorians, Vulcans and “a very nice guy from a ship called Enterprise”!

The second, "Power Source", will be scripted by Thomas J. Scott, with music by Hetoreyn and involves a search in uncharted space for the U.S.S Azrael and Farragut's attempts to save the Azrael crew when they find them. Michael Struck has said from the start that they will both be released in 2008 and on Mar 20 posted on the Farragut forum that they were “going into full production in April, and will be announcing these episodes about mid-month.” NEO f/x attended the Creation convention in Hollywood on the weekend of April 11-13 where they released a teaser trailer and a press release. For more on these special projects see my separate posting on "Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes".

Whilst Farragut, like most fan films has a commitment to Canon in it's productions, they have also introduced a few ... extrapolations on how they believe that TOS canon might have developed in the years leading up to the first motion picture. One of those is the phaser rifle that was conceived by "Big Paul" Sieber, John Broughton Sr. & John Broughton, and was detailed and finalised by Michael Bednar for their first episode, and is now available as a DIY kit. Another is the classy "away team" jacket that is vaguely reminiscent of the cold weather jackets worn in the third Star Trek movie, "The Search For Spock". As it turns out, this is actually an off-the-shelf work jacket available from Aramark Uniforms with the addition of the all-important Farragut badge!