Friday, April 11, 2008

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 TreviƱo, 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!

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