The Trekzone Interview – Part Two – It’s Time To Take A Stand!

In part one we got to know more about who Matthew Miller is, what he loves about Trek and his hopes for the new Trek series.

In this part, we probe a little deeper into what started Trekzone.org, what is Matthews history with Trek Fan Productions and why he decided to take a stand against Alec Peters and Axanar.



James) Hey Matthew, thank you for taking the time to continue our interview Since Trekzone is not entirely a “podcast” as such, as it features a more video content than audio, I would class it as a Vlog but what would call Trekzone.

Matt) TREKZONE.org is Australia’s first Star Trek fan site, going boldly since 2003.  With that said a lot more effort is going into The TrekZone Spotlight which focuses on science fiction in general to avoid some franchise owners taking offence to me raising advertising revenue (not that it ever has been a concern.)

James) You currently work with Network 10, what would you say is your history with this type of medium?

Matt) I started the video podcast back in 2013 as I geared up for the tenth anniversary of the site, it was very rough in those early days… with a lack of budget and a lack of space in my rental home for a set, but working on TV means I have to create that medium!

Eventually, I bought my own house and decided that I didn’t want a physical set again so I’m renting studio space which has helped make the 2017 season the best yet.

James) Did this start as a hobby or did you have any formal education in video and audio formats?

Matt) I studied film and television for my tertiary education in Perth, I have a diploma of the screen (sound) but a lot of what I know came from volunteering at our local community TV station (aka, public access station)

I worked with a small team on a breakfast show, we were live an hour a day featuring guest interviews and breaking news from overnight feeds, it may not sound like much but for a community TV show, it was revolutionary haha.

James) Trekzone has now spanned over 10 years in total, what else have you done using the knowledge base you have?

Matt) I produced a short-lived fan series called Eternal Night which has a couple of playlists on my YouTube channel.  As I mentioned above, I have a need to produce TV-quality products and I just couldn’t pull it off without a budget so I mothballed the idea… until now. (As River Song would say though, shh! Spoilers.)

James) Dam! I hate it when people tell me they are working on things, but won’t tell me what it is HAHA! I am nosey like that.

Quickly going back to your work experiences in community TV do you think this helped you create Trekzone?

Matt) Yes, My three years with community TV in Perth were key, I think, in my current position to create The Trekzone Spotlight with no crew (I shoot, present, produce and edit all by myself in my studio.)  I’m also a segment producer for a show called The Couch where I make travel segments and other content outside of a Sci-Fi setting.

James) Ok, so about Trekzone, why choose the medium of Video and not a podcast or Blog?

Matt) As I work in TV it has brainwashed me into only being interested in making video.

James) LOL! So What inspired you to create your podcast other than being brainwashed lol

Matt) Trekzone started as a year 10 IT project and sat idle making many grand claims for about 9 years. It wasn’t until 2012 when I was finding my feet in Brisbane full time and settling down for my life that I made a crack at it and am still plugging away with the same basic ideas – the episode reviews are carrying on for just over 4 years now!

James) Why Trek and not random Sci-Fi?

Matt) I started on Trek exclusively, but broadened to general/random SciFi when I realised I was being very niche in my episodes.

James) Funny you say that lol, I have something lined up that if all goes well should be launched in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018 but shhh shhh “spoilers” LOL!

How many episodes of Trekzone have been produced to date?

Matt) There are 13 Trekzone Interviews, 12 SciFi Weekly and 27 Trekzone Spotlights

James) How hard is it to come up with each topic? Since your podcasts vary a lot, does it require a lot of planning in advance?

Matt) In 2017 I’m trying to be a lot more regular than previous years, in November 2013 I was going to be doing monthly but that didn’t work out.  Sci-fi WEEKLY didn’t quite work either, so there may be spurts like this week (3 eps in four days, and I’ve got Carlos coming up next week.)  Not sure yet, see what happens.

James) How is Trekzone funded?

Matt) All me. Google sent me my first AdWords cheque the other month, it took me about four or five months of YouTube ads to reach the payment threshold!

James) Like me then, 100% self-funded, and even IF! I was trying to garnish funds from elsewhere, it would be through Affiliate links like I am doing with CBS All Access.



James) Would you ever try a crowdfund for Trekzone?

Matt) No. I tried a campaign a few years back for Eternal Night and only managed to bring in a couple hundred dollars, then I realised that this is MY hobby and I do it because I want to.

People enjoy watching the episodes, but maybe that’s because it’s free – all they have to do is sit through an ad or two (please.)

Trekzone is only run and funded by me. There is no one else. That’s why I speak in the first person on the social media channels, I think it makes it more personal, and I certainly feel that with several regulars now keeping up with me as I release new content.

James) With you being self-funded and unlike me, as I am in a written format which is cheap as chips lol, how much does an episode cost to produce?

Matt) I’m not going to give away exact figures, but there is studio space for me and the guest at an hourly rate, time on the transcontinental fibre per minute, my subscription to Adobe, my PC (which needs an upgrade now that I’m churning green screen keys out!), my time could also be factored in if we were working ‘in the real world.’

James) So not cheap then :-s I know I couldn’t afford to run my site if it cost me a lot and I am lucky with the package I got from 1 and 1, £5 PCM.

Over the last 5 years since things have moved up a gear in the work you are doing with Trekzone, who have you interviewed?

Matt) That list is really extensive. From Anthony Montgomery, Doug Drexler, Larry Nemecek, Rod Roddenberry, Dominic Keating, Richard Dean Anderson, Grant Imahara, Vic Mignogna, Tim Russ and so much more.

James) Would you say that your interview technique has changed much since your early days?

Matt) You can tell, especially in the early days, who were good talent because of their! Really carried the podcasts…

However, my chat with Alice Krige was one of the very early ones I would not encourage people to watch, sadly, as it was very stiff and very early (in terms of graphics, sets and my abilities.)

James) I have to admit I am still finding my way in how I interview people, I have to work in such a way to get around time zone differences as atm most if not all of the people I interview are based overseas with a big difference in time zones.

Even though you say you were wooden, there had to be some things about it that you look back and think yeah that was really good.

Matt) Learning about Alice Krige’s past and her film project from the Perth film festival was a highlight, it’s just a shame it was my second interview and was delivered with such wooden gusto by me hurts my brain.

James) Do you have a favourite Podcast you have done?

Matt) Dominic Keating was a great talent, Richard Dean Anderson was generous with his time (I was one of two video interviews while he was here) and meeting Australia’s only (so far) astronaut was awesome.

James) If you had to say what podcast you found the most cringe-worthy what would it be?

Matt) Alec Peters springs to mind. The way he turned on a dime when I asked him to explain his finances was incredible and led to the best bit of my series (73,000 other viewers agree.)



James) Ahhh the “Phone a Friend” one LOL! That one I did find a little funny more than cringe worthy but that’s me.

You have done some “location” based podcasts, can you tell me some of the places you have been.

Matt) I’ve followed Oz Comic Con to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to record interviews with guests.  I’ve been working on a US trip for over a year now (can I get in with Trump closing the borders!?)

James) Ah well the USA sucks LOL! Come to the UK, as a member of the Commonwealth lol I am sure you will have no problem lol.

Out of those places you just mentioned, can you tell me the best and worst places you have been?

Matt) I had to interview Dr Andy Thomas in the middle of the World Science Fair, it was so noisy and crowded, which hurt the interview (especially since they set me up right next to the speakers from a radio station’s OB!)

James) Oh, how nice of them.

No doubt over the last 5 years you have not only altered your interviewing technique, but I am sure your equipment has changed. In all the interviews you have done are there any you wish you could go back and redo because you are watching them now and think a man that looks BAD!

Matt) My worst quality production would be my chat with Tori Higginson (Stargate Atlantis’ Dr Weir) and Grant Imahara (Mythbusters)… I had attempted to use a two camera setup using my Lumia 1020 but it did not work out very well.

James) What made these in your eyes so bad?

Matt) Ellie Goulding claimed to have used the Lumia 1020 exclusively on one of her music videos and it looked very good… when I used it, it was shocking.  Lesson learnt!

James) I am glad I do not have to worry about such things “yet” lol!

We are coming to the last bit of this segment, so a few more questions then I’d like to move on.

Is there anything about Trekzone you are thankful for, such as perks you have gained from connecting with a lot of people around the globe?

Matt) I have made friends with quite a few studios in the US, which allows me to be the only SciFi video podcast that employs satellite links (although they’re deep water transcontinental cables now, that’s not as catchy as a ‘satellite link’!) to chat with my guests and not rely on Skype too often (from this year, I’ll be employing production houses in any state I don’t have studio access… so every podcast will be full high-def goodness.)

James) Looking back on your podcasts, you have new digs as of 2017, what prompted the change?

Matt) I moved house after my Dad passed away and the only space in the new house for the studio was in the garage.  It’s summer in Queensland and I just melt walking from the car into the house, there was no way I was going to be able to build a set in there without modifications like air con and a light grid etc etc etc, and then I would have to look at the packed away set every day and I just thought there had to be a better way.

Thankfully, I worked out a deal with some studio space locally where they have all those things I need and it looks so much better than anything I could’ve whipped up at home. (It’s taken me a few eps of this new season to get the angles, lighting and key right… so have a look at the latest ep with Gary O’Brien which gives you a good sense of how things will be for a while to come.)

James) Moving on, you have produced an Audio Drama but a little birdie told me you were thinking of moving into live action productions, so I would like to touch base on your history within filmmaking.

Have you ever written a screenplay before and if so how many have you completed?

Matt) I wrote a bunch of fanfictions back around 2006/07 under the working title Star Trek: Poseidon… it was basic and never for public consumption again! (Not sure if it’s still out there on the web archive…)  When I got stuck into Eternal Night in 2012/13 I had many concepts, but eventually gutted out several log entries for a ‘first’ season ending with a 40-minute news bulletin to build up some B-plots for season ‘two’ which took a different turn (utilising audio and set in 2406/2386.)

Those B-plots were going to come into play for the third season (live action) but it never eventuated.

James) So this is going to be a semi-continuation of your Audio Drama, cool.

When writing a screenplay, how long does it normally take for you to complete one?

Matt) I got on a roll there at one stage and turned out to 300 pages of script for the ten-episode second season in about two months… it was relatively easy because it was a season-long story arc that wrote itself towards the end, then the hardest part was breaking it up for flow and cliffhangers etc.

James) What aspect of writing a screenplay gives you the most pleasure

Matt) I enjoy building characters from scratch, having some of my dreams imprinted on them and exploring a fictional world in my mind through their eyes.  The challenge for me is believable dialogue; the actors chuckled with some of the more intimate moments I’d scripted.

James) Out of all the screenplays you have written, are there any you wish you do over?

Matt) I wish I could tell that second season better. Heck, I wish it was produced beyond its fourth episode – but I didn’t want to crowd fund so I never had the ability.

James) Crowdfunding does have its perks, but also its drawbacks. Which one of your scripts and films are you most proud of and why?

Matt) From a production standpoint, that honour has to go to the season one finale.  All by myself I wrote, shot and edited the news bulletin – I even starred in it at one point.  I managed to get a guy in a chopper to give me two traffic reports, I had WA Police Media offering feedback on one of the plots, we went to hospitals and filmed pieces to camera – just like a real news hour.

James) When writing a screenplay, have you ever drawn upon other Trek episodes as a guide on how you’d like things to feel or look?

Matt) I love DS9’s emotional episodes, season four’s The Visitor, season six’s In The Pale Moonlight for exampleIra Behr is a talented writer, as to René Echevarria.

James) those are two! My all time favourite episodes 🙂

From an outsider’s point of view looking at, what would you think is the biggest surprise anyone would see when producing a fan production?

Matt) Just… how… long… it… takes.  I mean, seriously! We sat for eight hours reading the dialogue for the ten ep second season. (My lead actors were troopers that day!)

James) I think a lot of people seem to forget it’s not as simple as shooting in order etc, also sometimes you have to do a few takes to get the look you want, I just do not like it when things take 23 takes or more lol.

What is the toughest thing about getting a project completed?

Matt) The budget!

James) Lastly then we must move on so I do not take up much of your time :-p

With you thinking about moving into the live production side of things, How do you feel about the fan film guidelines?

Matt) The guidelines are awesome, and no – I’m not paid to say that – I truly believe that the guidelines will help smaller productions like mine cut through the noise from the ‘big guys’ and we are all on a level playing field now… I still won’t crowdfund, but I can now tell a 15-minute story and it won’t be beaten or looked down on for not being a 50-minute epic shot on built sets.



James) Ok, recently you took a controversial stand towards this subject so I would like to probe into why and your experiences with the yet to be made a project called Axanar.

So I guess the first question is, even though we ALL knew what was going on what made you choose to interview Alec Peters

Matt) With the lawsuit hanging over him and a LOT of loyalists hanging around, it seemed right to interview him to place myself ‘on the radar’ of many more fans… I learnt that from work, where we do things that we know will bring in the ratings – people may not like that, but it’s a fact of the business.

James) That was understandable and at the time it was such a hot topic for so many people. Being totally honest, what was it like to interview Alec Peters, as when the interview came out there were a lot of opinions on it, ranging from you ganged up on him to you hate him.

Matt) I don’t hate the man, despite what he may say.

As I said in my recent chat with Christian Gossett, I wish him every success with Axanar now that he can make the two fifteen-minute films – but history says he won’t / can’t.

James) How much fallout has there been from your interview with him?

Matt) I still see viewer figures for part two (with Bawden & Pedraza) increase, there’ll be the occasional loyalist who’ll post their view on the subject but that’s about it.  Perhaps I’m not as biased as certain other individuals…?

James) I have to admit I tip my hat to you, you do deal with them better than I lol, but with all the mixed feedback on the interview and its follow-ups, one has to ask why! Did you cover the Axanar Lawsuit knowing how certain “followers” would cause issues for you?

Matt) I was chatting with the editor at a larger Trek news site and asked why they weren’t covering it… they said because it’s such a divisive issue and they don’t want to deal with the fallout.  I agree that it has divided Trek fan film fans, but I disagree with the whole backing away from the fallout… it is worthy of coverage because it affects so many people and that fallout is par for the course when it comes to coverage hot button issues.

James) To say they do not want to “deal” with the fallout is shady at best tbh but then again each to their own, I personally have not bothered doing a big coverage of it because this issue has caused a LOT of hassle for so many and I felt if I am honest, I wish this certain person and the production had never hit the fan film scene.

One thing that came out of the interview you did was Alec branded you a hater, how do you feel about that?

Matt) I disagree that I’m a hater, that label was placed on me by Peters (along with ‘immature child’ while asking for a follow-up interview) because I questioned financial records.

James) Ah, OK…

I have to ask as like myself a lot of people were “Pro” Axanar at the start, did you ever class yourself in this way or have you always been a down the line kind of guy?

Matt) I don’t go one way or the other with any fan film, to be honest, I’m just not that invested in them.  That said, I enjoyed Prelude just like I enjoyed Continues, Hidden Frontier, Intrepid, Chance Encounter etc.  It’s good to film sometime.

James) Even though this was settled and in essence should be fading away there is still a very strong vocal minority who still are calling for boycotts, etc., How do you feel the fallout from the Axanar lawsuit is going to affect everyone from this point forward both fans and fan Trek?

Matt) While the loyalists shout from the rooftops of a deserted town saying that it’s all over and things will never be the same, I still believe this has levelled the playing field for everyone… now you don’t need to raise a million dollars to be seen and heard (the reason I believe my crowdfunding for Eternal Night failed.) I’m even considering reviving my series.

James) Do you think the Settlement is the end?

Matt) No. I’m not going to say more than that because of some conversations I’ve had off-the-record

James) How do you feel about the settlement?

Matt) Alec Peters is a very lucky man.

James) Do you wish this went the whole hog and he went to trial?

Matt) Well, I was preparing to go live every day with Carlos to cover the trial… it would’ve been fascinating to watch.

James) IF! This had gone to trial, Do you think he honestly could have won

Matt) No.



James) Ok, so about this podcast, “The Stand” as I call it, WHY! Now, after so long, after the settlement?

Matt) It’s always been there but as an impartial observer. Since Alec and his minions can’t see that, I asked myself why bother tiptoeing the line?  So I speak up for what I believe in.

James) What has been the response to it?

Matt) There has been some murmuring, but mostly quiet… they seem focused on Shawn and Carlos.

James) LOL, WOW! I would have thought people would have been pitchforks at dawn over it lol, Can you tell me what made you take more of a stand on this subject matter and not play the line like you did before?

Matt) I received a long winded email from Mike Bawden when I asked him about the fan production aiding Axanar in the move.  In one sentence we went from amicable professionals to adversaries.

James) Erm, how Public Relations of him, can I ask what was in the email or at least see what he said that changed your mind so drastically…..

Matt) 

James) Erm, ok, not touching that one lol, so moving on, Do you think the coverage that TrekZone and Axamonitor have done is the right thing to do, even after all the grief you guys have gotten and still get from it?

Matt) Absolutely, People deserve the truth, whether they believe it or not is up to them… but Alec can’t just get away with taking people’s money and then not delivering – that’s exactly why St fan films have been turned on their head the way they have. Metaphorically, Alec ran into the common room of fandom with a bomb and blew himself up.

Then again, I have to thank Alec for forcing CBS & Paramount to build guidelines because it will allow my production to be on a level playing field with others out there (speaking of, what big names are still in production?)

I’ll probably be releasing my first post-guidelines fan film before he even gets one frame in the gate…

James) I guess there are some good things that came out of this lol, Hey I have met some really cool people so in a way I am thankful to Alec just like you lol :-p

One last thing on this subject, Do you regret getting involved in this massive cluster f**k?

Matt) No. I believe I’ve provided unbiased coverage where possible, I’ve allowed Alec Peters to speak for 30 minutes before questioning his finances, I gave 70 minutes to PR man Mike Bawden, I gave 44 minutes to Jonathan Lane (a “pro-Axanar, self-proclaimed independent blogger”.)

One thing we know Alec likes to say is how we amount to nothing because of reasons! But how do you define success and how do you measure it?

I define success by what you’ve done. My 52 podcasts in three and a half years speak for my success. How do I measure success? Stop talking about what you’re going to do AND DO IT.

James) I agree, success is different for everyone, I do not measure success in the way he does to me it is just being happy with people I love around me as in this world there are some people with nothing.



James) Ok We are hitting the home stretch now and I would like to wrap things up so only a few more questions promise lol.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to: make their own series, what should the aim for?

Matt) Do what TOS did best, focus on the characters, applies the KISS method – keep it simple stupid.

James) What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own production like Trek Zone?

Matt) Don’t. You’ll hurt my rating :P. Seriously though, work out what you want to do and how you want to do it, I spent nine years trying to figure that out… and I’m up to year 5 trying to work out Eternal Night.

James) Do you have any regrets in doing Trek Zone?

Matt) Not getting started on it sooner.  Maybe I could be even bigger today then?  But I am happy with how things have played out.

James) Lastly, What would you like to say to the fans of Trek Zone?

Matt) Thanks.  Your kind words – especially in this week on the new stuff – makes me happy to know that there are a few out there that hang out for the next release, and you’re the reason I’m pushing myself to make more content more often.

James) So Matt, that is it I want to thank you deeply for your time as I know the big time difference between us made this a bit tricky, but before we sign off, is there anything else you would like to say?

Matt) I think we’ve covered everything. This was fun!



Trekzone can be found online at the following links

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The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part One

It has been nearly a year since the release of the vaunted “Fan Film Guidelines” and it has taken time for many to be able to fully digest them and dissect them enough to understand what they may mean for fan films.  Furthermore, personally I wanted to understand what the fallout was from them, was this the end to ALL fan films or was this just a hiccup and then things would carry on as normal but with some alterations.  As history has presented us with all big changes to the status quo the landscape does change and there are always some casualties, as a result of their implementation a few fan films decided to shut up shop or retool to remove the Star Trek aspect altogether, however for the vast majority things carried on but as expected they had to alter things to enable the productions to move forward.

From the “about section” of Project Small Access

However, unlike the Borg some fans did not adapt and as a result a very small yet vocal group of fans have banded together to express their dislike for the guidelines, on the same day the guidelines were announced a group on Facebook calling themselves “Project Small Access” popped up with the goal to semi-boycott the new Star Trek series due to air on CBS All Access, they plan to achieve this by hosting “Viewing Parties” to hurt CBS “in the wallet”.

Admins and Moderators Of “Project Small Access”

Nevertheless after looking through the group seeing it’s Admins and reading its post history the group seems to be just another Axanar group due to the Admins being Axanar’ PR rep Mike Bawden, Known Axanar Surrogate Jonathan Lane who is joined by three other very loyal Axanar supporters but the strong pro Axanar vibe you get from its posts it is clear to see that there is an ulterior motive to the group and its goals. the timing of the group’s appearance is extremely suspect as not only is the group run completely by loyal Axanar supporters its inception was less than six months into the Axanar lawsuit.

An example of the hate directed towards CBS

Although the group started out with a somewhat ill-advised ethos in thinking that a disgruntled group of supposed fans (less than 1300) could try to somewhat hold CBS to ransom with the notion that they could influence change to the guidelines by using the tactics they use or they will not sub to All Access is misguided at best, diluted at worst. However, the worst thing is the group now stands, for the most part, as a group that has just descended into a free for all of venom towards other big named fan film productions and a strong dislike towards CBS in general, this is not only worrying but it tarnishes what Star Trek is all about, the acceptance of all things and the ability to adapt and change. Alongside this worrying facebook group there have been several petitions set up and a lot of extremely vocal folk saying on social media saying they will boycott all officially sanctioned CBS work or even pirate it as a result of the guidelines.


So enquiring minds want to know why have the guidelines been met with a very small but strong vocal opposition by fans and not by the fan films themselves, The answer is anyone guess, to date I have spoken to over 60 independent fan film productions about this and other fan production related issues and, while all of them have their own views on the guidelines varying from they love them too, they hate them, one fact that is undeniable is they all respect the need for them and more importantly respect CBS as they own the Star Trek IP and belongs to them so it is up to them how to they choose to protect it. But here is the thing, these guidelines are here to stay and they are not going to change or even go away overnight, and as it stands we have to work with them and show CBS we can play by the rules.

One thing that was passed along to me in so many conversations is until CBS handed them down, no one had any real idea of the boundaries that were acceptable to CBS for a production to operate within, before the guidelines there had always been the “unwritten” rules that pretty much everyone followed and many knew but unfortunately things started to escalate to the point even these unwritten rules were being ignored by a few and by one in particular. It took one production to push CBS & Paramount to the breaking point of what is acceptable even to them and with this the good old days of semi-unrestricted fan film production into the ground to a halt.

So why a blog series about the guidelines

Well, the principal reason I decided to do this is that almost everything you see online regarding them is so negative and, to be honest depressing, YES! They changed the playing field for fan films, but did they kill them NO! And that is important to communicate not only to whoever wants to read this blog series. So with the negativity and calls for action that surrounds the guidelines, I reached out to some fan film producers of varied experiences to see if they would like to take part in forming these blogs with their own views and commentary, I was extremely honoured and excited that the guys I reached out to decided to accept and have their voice added to these blogs. One key thing we all felt is it is very important to share our knowledge with the next gen of fan films.

These blogs will be split into sections as not to overwhelm you all at once and will be released as and when we have pulled our resources together for each section.

So this is part one of what may! Be ten parts, WHY? Ten parts the idea of these blogs is to break these guidelines down in an easy how-to for ALL fans to be able to make their own fan films without the all the negativity and misunderstanding and that is why I have teamed up with various people from different fan productions as these are the people who know more than others on what is involved in bringing a fan film to life.  


It should be noted the Fan Film Guidelines DO NOT effect anything but Fan Films, this means Audios dramas and alike are not bound by them.


CBS and Paramount Pictures are big believers in reasonable fan fiction and fan creativity, and, in particular, want amateur fan filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek.  Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

1) The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  



RANDY LANDERS – Potemkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

A single, self-contained story cannot exceed 15 mins or 2 15 min segments.  It does NOT prohibit characters or setting from being used to create another single, self-contained story.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

We no longer can refer to them as episodes. They are fan productions. Captain Walker and the crew of the Tristan can appear in any number of self-contained stories/productions providing that they’re not more than 15 mins in length (or two 15 segments).

  • Are there any links you think would be of benefit to add to this section such as lists to strong short stories or links on “how to make a short in 15 – 30 mins”

https://www.youtube.com/user/Potemkin1711/videos

Only 4 of our 48 productions to date are more than 15 mins in length.  You have to be willing to avoid “beauty shots” or lingering on a character’s reaction or melodramatic pauses. Life doesn’t include those anyway. You don’t have to start the story in the beginning. Start it in the middle and let the audience figure it out. For heaven’s sake, they’re not stupid.

I’d recommend not relying on the two-parter as a crutch. Give us a short story!

Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

I think this is very intentionally worded to prevent people trying to market themselves as a series. That said, I also think there’s some room for interpretation. The time limits are pretty black and white but there’s nothing that specifically precludes using recurring settings and characters, as long as you’re not doing story arcs or direct sequels.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

Yes, I do. See above.

  • Are there any links you think would be of benefit to add to this section such as lists to strong short stories or links on “how to make a short in 15 – 30 mins”

Not specifically, but I think if you look at the films Randy Landers’ Potemkin Pictures are producing, or the last couple of films we’ve released, you’ll get a fair idea of what appears to be tolerated. Which is not to say that couldn’t change.


Vance MajorMelbourne

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Well, honestly I’ve already played the same character over several shorts, and no one’s come knocking at my door or taken down my films. I think ppl can look at the things I’m doing and see that what little bending I am doing is in good faith, these are just guidelines, not rules. It’s the spirit of the law, not the letter. Hell, it’s not even law, like I said it’s a guideline.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

If they are made with passion. You watch um, no one’s going to mistake what I do for what’s on tv or compete with the big guns. If they do, they don’t get out much lol but I do bend that rule to some degree while respecting it somewhat. I had an idea when I started doing my stuff and I’m compromising on it because it is not my franchise. However, it’s my time to do with it how I choose. So I can compromise to some degree and respect the guidelines. But as I said, no one’s going to mistake me for what CBS is doing. And I think I have been very creative with the things I’ve put out, and what I’m waiting to put out. So….spirit of what’s intended. Even if not the letter.

Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Just exactly that, however, I would allow for a 30-second intro that would lead into the opening act.  Most Tv shows do not carry long intros anymore

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

Yes, But you have to follow the formula exactly and not make it look like a story arc.

Ray Tesi – Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Having had the opportunity to contact John van Citters and CBS directly, they seem adamite that it’s basically one story and you’re out, meaning no follow-up episodes using the same “crew.” On our Indiegogo page, we stated that we were looking to do a total of 6 episodes of Starship Republic. Of all of the questions I asked CBS about the crowdfunding campaign and its perks, this was the only item they indicated was “out of line.” The good news is that CBS is still allowing fans to play in their sandbox.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

I think there are ways around the guideline, and I don’t think CBS will be “lawsuit happy” if you do, but I think it’s treading a fine line.

Robin –  Dark Armada:

“The guidelines set by CBS are just what they are…….. Guidelines, as it was explained in the podcast they’re not supposed to be rules and CBS, isn’t going to inspect every single fan film about these guidelines. The Star Trek Fan Film community used to live by a certain code or ‘unofficial rules’, until some decided to break that code and all hell broke loose. But it’s really just common sense: making a fan film means you play with someone’s intellectual property and in our case, CBS and Paramount have graciously allowed us to do that for over a decade. The risk that they would ask you to stop is always present, so do you think it’s wise to sell DVD’s, ask for money/donations, build a studio, pretend to be official Star Trek? Only a few thought it was. Most fan productions followed a few simple rules: don’t make a profit, don’t sell DVD’s or similar merchandise and make clear it’s a fan production. The only difference today is that these rules are now officially presented as guidelines by CBS. Follow them and you’re safe from any legal action. Most important about these guidelines are that your intentions are good (the common sense stuff I mentioned before), that it’s a production by the fans for the fans out of love for Star Trek (and of course…. don’t pull an Alec). My advice would be not to try to desperately work around the guidelines, but realise that they are a way for CBS to allow us to play with Star Trek as fans. Some of these guidelines weigh heavier than other. I think I don’t have to explain that collecting more money is a worse guideline to ignore than the one about the length of your film. Whether your film is 15, 30 or 45 minutes long, make sure your intentions are good and put a lot effort, a lot of work and a lot of love into it”

More Producer Analysis is on its way. 


Vic Mignogna from Star Trek Continues on Fan Films and CBS/Paramount

Vid Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbjgYZ1kzE8



  • One thing this does not say is you cannot use the same characters to tell further stories. Ref: 

For example, DS9: “In Pale Moonlight”, TNG: “Eye of the Beholder”, TNG: “Face of the Enemy”, ENT: “A Night in Sickbay”, VOY: “Message in a Bottle”, VOY: “Life Line”

All these episodes focus on one! Character from each series, yes there are one or two scenes with other cast members but the story revolves around one centric character.

 


There are so many fan films out there that have managed to stick to the run times as set out in this guideline it has been done and can be done.

Some examples are:

Animated Examples:

Live Action Examples:

Potemkin Pictures

INTREPID

DARK ARMADA –

Starship Valiant

Dreadnought Dominion

Melbourne –

Other examples see here –

= So making films within 15 mins IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE =


Ref: Engage Podcast – Full Transcript HERE 

Time Index – 00:35:30 – Time Length

{} Jordan {}

“There was somebody else that asked  uh 15 minutes for the film does that  include the credits and tell me if the  answer is right the answer is yes but  now like if you’re if it comes to minutes and  seconds  fine but go for  minutes right I mean  like these are doing shave it down”

{} JVC {}

These are guidelines there they are intended to be something that gives structure and lets people know that these the limits they can operate within where they know they’re not going to get a knock on the door well we don’t we don’t go house to house anyway there they’re not going to hear from us they’re not going to get a phone call they’re not going to get an email  they’re not going to get anything that is going to ruin their day one way or another and in and make them you know feel bad or like they’ve done anything wrong that they’re guidelines we’re not we’re not going to be able to provide the level of feedback that’s like you know I got this really great scene but if I include this scene or  this one really cool shot  I don’t want to cut anything else from  it’s going to make the film 15 minutes and 30 seconds what do I do that’s up to you and your you know  creative decisions were not looking to get into that, were not approving any material we don’t want to get involved in your script choices your costume choices”

Time index – 00:59:55

{} JVC {}

and what I’m what I’m honestly  hoping will happen with the with these  guidelines with a  15 minute or 30 minute limit on this and a  fifty thousand dollar crowdfunding limit  I think it’s going to be easier for people to hit their goals quickly and  easily and get their projects underway  I think with the 15 minute limit I think with some of the things that are here is it’s going to make it easier than ever for more people to pick up cameras everybody’s walking around with a  high definition video camera in their pocket now which is it’s amazing  that that’s where we’re at you buy  computers and there’s a capable video editing software preloaded on it’s an amazing time for that what we want to do is we want to drive more films forward more fan voices not fewer we want more we want we want to see more people express their creativity for Star Trek and hopefully out of that will be able to find new ways to take advantage of this and see  Star Trek continue to grow and evolve.

I’ve definitely had people express their concerns about what this means it’s a big adjustment there’s no question people have gotten people have gotten used to full like 1960’s length episodes of you know 50 minutes  plus 90minute feature films but that’s what we do we’re producing full-length episodes within and Paramount’s producing  amazing amounts of I mean they did the  budgets that are involved in a Star Trek motion picture now are beyond  anything I could you know possibly have  believed  years ago that that kind  of budget would be available to Star Trek


How to make a short film in fewer than 15 mins here are some tips on how to make a short film:


Ref Links:

 

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Star Trek: Horizon – The Most Successful Star Trek Fan Film Ever! Made, Passes 5 Mil Viewers

“Horizon so aptly named both for its majesty and its grand power. 250,000 years ago one race united the entire galaxy, for the first time, in peace. But there is always the separatist one who will not join the whole. The Arioui a race of beings unlike any the Iconians had ever known, sought to lay waste to the galaxy and the Great Alliance, to rebuild it anew. They were cunning. One-by-one, they turned the galaxy against its protectors. And when the races of the Great Alliance turned their attention to destroying the wrongly accused Iconians, the Arioui secretly constructed their greatest weapon…”



Horizon, is simply one of the best Star Trek fan films I have ever seen, back in 2015 when I first saw a trailer for it, I was so excited and apprehensive at the same time as unlike some other fan films I have seen prior to this most of Horizon was shot using green screens and very little physical sets which if done badly makes anything really hard to watch, but there was something about Horizon that just drew me to it. Was it the fact it was a continuation, although a non-canonical one to Enterprise the fifth live action series that was cancelled at the end of season four back in 2005 or was it because it featured the Iconians a race we have never really seen in Star Trek bar two episodes, to be honest, I am not sure but looking back on it I have no regrets about the excitement I felt for this amazing film.

A few things that simply resonate from this film and some of the main factors that make this simply one of the best fan films I have seen is, the film has an experienced cast with all of the actors having done some previous work within the industry, the music was a totally original score which for most Fan Trek is almost unheard of, the look of the film is simply amazing from the uniforms which are almost identical to the ones seen on Enterprise right down to the VFX which could easily be mistaken for the real thing, which is not bad what so ever on the budget of less than $30k.

Iconian Featured Star Trek Episodes: Contagion &  To the Death


Back in 2012 when I began the odyssey that would become Horizon, I wanted nothing more than to marry my passion for filmmaking with my love for a show that inspired so many amazing and wonderful changes in my life. I hoped people would like it and I assumed some would watch it, but I never expected the reception the film has received. I can’t thank the fans and viewers of Horizon enough. They’ve literally propelled me into the next stage of my career and my life.” — Tommy Kraft, Exec Producer 

” I can’t speak for everyone but there was never any doubt that the film would reach 5 million, and I have no doubt it will double that at some point. Horizon is a complete, stand-alone Star Trek film that can be enjoyed by anyone. When you hear that people watch it over and over you know that the movie has staying power and the viewership will grow. I look forward to more of Tommy’s work reaching these milestones.” — Paul Lang, Captain Hawke


The Story of Horizon…

The Horizon story starts back in 2013 when Tommy Craft first conceived the idea for Horizon, Horizon was to be Tommy’s biggest project to date, and certainly, one that back then was an ambitious one for someone who had experience in filmmaking but not had made one of this magnitude. With a series of blogs posted on his YouTube page the story of Horizon started to take shape for all to see and follow.

Tommy’s documented journey of Horizon can be watched > HERE <

Horizon to Tommy was not just another fan film project but one that was born from a personal struggle; back in 2012 not long before he began work on Horizon Tommy was fighting with depression and turned to Trek to help him cope, in an interview with Jonathan Lane in February of last year Tommy had this to say about why he set Horizon in the 22nd century a time setting that only one other fan film has done thus far.

“My depression started in 2012, not long before I began working on Horizon. Enterprise, the character of Captain Archer, and working on the film served as huge inspirations and passions for me that helped guide me through that initial episode and find some ways to cope. There was also this huge religious de-conversion to atheism involved that was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Captain Archer, always being the explorer, inspired me to explore beyond my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, and what I found—basically, science; I found I have a huge passion for it—changed my life for the better in a lot of ways.”

Having suffered from depression myself I know that Trek can and does help coping so I can relate to this so much, and I take my hat off to Tommy for not only using trek to battle his inner demons but also making a Film that will no doubt help others in the way Trek helped him.

So fast forward 12 months to April 2014 the team behind this ambitious project launched their Kickstarter with a small target of $10.000 and in less than a month they broke it and raised more than $20.000 and the film was funded and the hard work in getting this project from page to screen began.



Skipping ahead again to February 26th 2016 and the film was released despite a bit of worry from the donors over at Kickstarter as the film had been slated for release in December 2014, but as anyone within the film industry knows delays happen even to the films with the biggest budget but the wait was finally over and it was well worth the wait.

It is no small endeavour to create a 102-minute long feature film that was almost entirely shot and rendered on green screen with such a tiny budget (this is very much fan-level comparison to what was done with Battlestar: Galactica – Blood & Chrome, right down to the camera motion and seamless transitions from location to location). On a technical level alone, the team behind Horizon deserved some massive congrats on pulling this off.

Since Feb 2016 the viewership of Horizon has been fast yet steady and in the space of six months surpassed the numbers accumulated by the controversial fan film “Prelude to Axanar”.

Despite Horizon surpassing what formerly was considered the highest viewed Star Trek fan film made in August of 2016, this event was tarnished by instead of congratulations by Axanar they hit back with claims of brought viewers and none genuine numbers, this was a spiteful move from the team at Axanar and regardless of its intent did nothing to sway the viewers from watching Horizon and as a result Horizon has now become the most viewed Star Trek fan film made to date.

This is a testament to Tommy Kraft and his team behind this truly inspiring fan film as it shows not only dedication but a love for what they did.

In fact, Horizon was so successful it lead Tommy to plan a follow up called FEDERATION RISING, however, due to the Axanar lawsuit we will now not get to see what would have been yet another amazing film.

In April 2016, co-producer Tommy Kraft issued the following regarding a proposed follow-up production.

“STAR TREK – HORIZON” SEQUEL, “FEDERATION RISING”, SHUT DOWN.

“Earlier today, executives from CBS reached out to me and advised me that their legal team strongly suggested that we do not move forward with plans to create a sequel to Horizon. While this is a sign of the current climate that we find ourselves in with Star Trek fan films, I want to personally thank CBS for reaching out to me, rather than including us in their ongoing lawsuit against Axanar.

It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case. Again, CBS did not have to reach out personally. The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.

On behalf of myself and Ryan Webber, my co-writer and co-producer on Federation Rising, we appreciate your initial support and are saddened that we cannot bring you what we believe was a fantastic feature film. However, rest assured that Ryan and I are committed to continuing our storytelling partnership with an original project. We also welcome other fan productions and fan film lovers to join us in this new venture.

While we initially planned to debut our Kickstarter for Federation Rising this Saturday, we hope that you will instead stand with us as we announce an original sci-fi project that Ryan and I have been co-developing in addition to Federation Rising. We’re incredibly excited to tell you about this completely original story that follows the ideals set forth by Star Trek that Ryan and I have been such huge fans and admirers of our entire lives.”


So what is the plot of Horizon in a nutshell?

Horizon is set within the same era as Star Trek: Enterprise, picking up where that series concluded. The film centres on the discovery, an NX class ship like Archer’s Enterprise, and its crew. Captain Harrison Hawke leads a principally human crew. The one exception is Lieutenant T’mar, a Romulan defector conveyance vital tactical data to Starfleet. Horizon covers the Romulan war mentioned in Enterprise, and conjointly takes parts of the temporal conflict, bringing that to a conclusion.

The film opens with a prelude that includes the last living members of a race legendary within the Star Trek galaxy, the Iconians. They have been defeated by another race that created an excellent weapon known as Horizon. The two Iconians take and conceal the weapon; therefore, it cannot be used again.

The first scene brings us to 2160 and begins with Discovery heading back to earth to get T’mar and her Romulan secrets to Starfleet Command, however, they are not out of danger with three Romulan warbirds in hot pursuit. The Discovery takes serious injury and suffers many casualties. The Enterprise makes a surprise cameo, swooping in to save them at the last moment, in fact, the Enterprise makes many little cameos throughout the flick, which Enterprise fans will love! Just like they will love Horizon.

With Discovery limping back to space dock to undergo vital repairs and debrief. During their debrief they learn from T’mar that the Romulans are building devastating weapon with-in 2 light-years from Earth. A fleet of Vulcan and Earth ships, as well as the freshly repaired Discovery, head out to seek and find and destroy the weapon, known as Horizon. The fleet comes under fire by Romulans, and it’s left to the discovery to destroy the weapon with their new prototype torpedoes. The torpedoes cause a surprising spatial rift that form and Discovery are forced through.

The crew notice themselves in orbit above the planet Horizon that is that the planet we see being pulled through a gate like structure at the beginning of the film. While investigating a structure on the surface they’re found by Daekon, a Romulan deserter from the twenty-eighth century and a combatant within the temporal cold war. We learn that he’s the mysterious man from the future within the Enterprise series. The crew of Discovery works to defeat him and at last fully destroy the weapon, ending the temporal cold war to a detailed end at long last.

The story of Horizon is a canon-worthy outing for the Trek franchise, official or not this fits right into the universe with little trouble, the script is so tight and the story is so compelling I am sad that we will not get to see a follow up but I am happy that I can always get my fix of the Discovery and her crew when I need it from just loading up Horizon on YouTube.



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The Melbourne Files – Part Seven – Ronald Seipel

In this week’s Melbourne files we talk to Ronald Seipel, the actor behind Commander Anthony Tate.

Ronald is not only a first-time actor with his role in Melbourne, but he is a keen modeller who builds custom models not just for fun, but also for other people, and his custom models are things of beauty.

Hailing from Colorado, home to Cheyenne Mountain which is not only the home of NORAD, but also the home to the fictitious TV show Stargate SG1.


“Ron Ron Ron…. So many times that’s all you can say lol he’s one of those ppl that knows so much about TREK that he’ll put you to shame lol if I were to go on a trek game show, it would be with him. The dude was the first hire as far as actors and I knew he would fit the part perfectly, and he did.”

Vance Owen, Executive Producer, Melbourne.



James) Hi Ron, thank you for taking the time to sit with me and answer some questions about not only your role in Melbourne but allowing me to discuss your passion for modelling.

So, I guess I will start with the obvious, tell me a bit about yourself.

Ron) My name is Ronald Seipel I’m 54 and live in a small town in western Colorado, I’m retired but not by choice I was injured on the job and now disabled. I am a huge Star Trek fan, I’ve been watching it since its debut in 66 and I always wanted to be in one episode, but that just wasn’t in the stars, I have been collecting Trek items for a long time and have a good size collection. I have model building business RPS Custom Models it is also a Facebook page, it seems that I build a lot of Trek models but I build all genres.

James) I have seen your page it is AMAZING! And if you lived in the same country as me, I would so hit you up to make one for me.

You say you have a passion for Trek, can you expand that for me what makes your passion so great?

Ron) Well like I said above Trek has always been in my life, it taught me not to judge other races and that if we put our minds to it we can achieve anything it also gave me a strong sense of morals. If we really could all live like that the planet would be a much better place.

James) That is so true, especially in the modern world ATM people seem to be going a bit crazy however politics lol so not going there J

You recently went on the Trek Cruise tell me about it, what was it like?

Ron) OK, it was the inaugural Star Trek cruise hosted by Mr Shatner and there were other guests as well like Marina Sirtis Denise Crosby ETC plus it was our 3rd year anniversary and honeymoon and my wife’s birthday all rolled up in one. Only got to see two places due to the weather Cozumel was first, then Nassau which I will never set foot in again. The parties were late starting but fun each night had a different theme Trek style. It was just what the Dr ordered.

James) That is cool, wish my other half would get me tickets to the Trek cruise for my birthday lol. The Cruise lasted several days, do you have any funny stories to tell?

Ron) Well on the first night of the cruise my wife and went to dinner and suddenly around comes Ethan Phillips (Neelix) so I invited him to sit with us and he did which was great, he told us a couple of stories and how long it took to do the makeup which was 5 to 6 hours. After we were done, we said Goodnight and went our own way.

So we are now waiting for the elevator so we can get to our room and the doors open and standing there is my hero William Shatner I’ve always wanted to talk to him and not about Trek so I said hi and asked him about his horses and he started talking away and showed us pictures of a grass and dirt stone that sometimes horses get and it was as big as a Honeydew melon. But he was really nice and we talked about ponies until he got off so that was like the best day ever.

James) That is really cool and I’m jealous as fook lol… Especially the fact you stood and spoke to the legend himself and not just about Trek, but about him as a person, that is so cool!

So with the exception of Ethan and Bill, what other Trek Actors have you met?

Ron) I have met a lot of Trek actors like pretty much all of them but Nimoy, Kelley and Doohan I know Chris Doohan fairly well I met him in Vegas in 2014 while I was waiting to talk with Vic Mignogna about trying to be an extra on their fan film and we just hit it off, I have a pretty extensive autograph collection TOS tunic signed by all but the above three, a TNG uniform signed by everyone from that series a poster from Voyager signed by almost everyone and last year I brought the very first issue of the DS9 magazine signed by almost everyone o now all I have left is the Enterprise series to get signed off. I will have pretty much all of them, plus I have other signatures from other actors that have been on one series or another.

James) OK, so you have met a lot of people in the Trek universe then… LUCKKKY!

Speaking of the universe, when you think of the Trek universe as a whole is there anything that makes you thankful for being a part of this world?

Ron) The people I meet its like we are family, we are all outgoing and happy people, and we do kind of live like we were in the 22nd century where there was no racism and hatred.

James) Sound words, so moving on to your favourite series, out of all the 5 live action series and the one animated one what one would you say is your go-to favourite?

Ron) I will always be a TOS guy it had the stories with characters that showed humanity at its best and its worst, it showed us that we could be a better person and put aside those certain feelings that we humans have about governments and racism, and what could possibly be if we all could get past these petty differences.

James) and do you have a “worst” series?

Ron) I was never a big fan of DS9 even though I watched all of them, I thought that it was just too bland the only discovery, they really made was in the Gamma Quadrant through the wormhole which in the end almost became the end of the Federation because of the Dominion War which basically saved that series otherwise it was just plain boring.

James) I have to admit, I am not sure I agree DS9 had so many layers, yes, there was the War, which was something we never saw in Trek before, but also the religious undertones that you only really get after watching it several times over and over, from the Emissary through to What we Leave Behind it was set up to be a subplot through the entire series.

I will admit though that I am biased since it is the type of story I like lots of layers and you have to watch carefully to get it all.

What about episodes, are there any episodes you love and hate?

Ron)

My Favourite Trek Episode

My favourite episode is from the Original series, it’s called The Doomsday Machine it brings together two Captains that have totally different command styles, Decker is like shoot first, ask questions later and Kirk is like I need info and facts before I make a decision. Plus, it is one of the few episodes that saw another Starfleet vessel albeit destroyed but there it is.

The Worst Trek Episode

The worst episode that’s a hard one there are several throughout the Trek history Move along Home from DS9 that had to be the worst I mean you are playing a game that can actually harm other contestants by making the wrong decision or move plus it really wasn’t much of a game, to begin with, it was more like a holodeck adventure that some played in your mind it just really

James) yeah that episode is awful and that song is awful lol.

Do you play any Trek games?

Ron) I play Trek Trivia but that’s about all I play in the Trek world.

James) So, Discovery, now we have seen more info leaked on the new series, are you looking forward to it?

Ron) I’m waiting to see it, yes, but they keep pushing it back which is making me less interested. Although a guy I buy my electronics from for the props I build knows the lead modeller and he gave them all my info so I’m waiting to see if they call, that would be way cool.

James) when the first trailer landed there was a LOT of disappointment, were you worried at all at what we saw and what it may mean for the series?

Ron) Oh yeah, it looked bad the CGI was way off and they really had nothing to show but that damned ugly ship. I still keep hoping they will not use it.

James) I have to admit I had my giddy Trek moment, then when I saw it a few times I was like hmm, I am not sure how this ship will fit in with “canon” as even the NX – 01 looked more advanced but I guess we will see.

We have been told who has been cast thus far have the recent castings alleviated your concerns a bit, as we have some damn good actors lined up now?

Ron) Well, I only know of 2, Michelle and that other guy his name eludes me LOL, but you really can’t give an opinion on who they have picked until you watch a couple of episodes.

James) Yeah, this is true, however, with all the actors lined up I do think I am starting to warm up to the idea of Discovery.

Look, everyone, you must have hopes for the series, what are they?

Ron) That it stays with the original timeline and the stories are similar to canon and the Roddenberry concept

James) Well, one thing that worried me from the moment they announced it was what the timeline was it to be set in which I am glad we know now is the Prime timeline.

With the exception of the worries you have over the Discoveries main design are there any other areas you hope they do not touch or should I say DO NOT GO THERE lol.

Ron) Try to bring in much of the Kirk timeline of people in I mean they already are bringing Sarek in and I think it’s too early in the setting for that.

James) Yep, even if I think they try to hard it will just be a mish mash of rebooting meets why bother,

Are you concerned with the sudden yet not surprising departure of Bryan Fuller?

Ron) Yes, now I hope that the others have the passion for Trek and can descent episodes and the filming crew is good.

James) Aye, although I was not overly shocked I have to admit he was one of the main reasons I was excited as he is like the Ron Moore of Voyager, however, I am still curious to see how they follow his vision now he is not around.

Are you as shocked as I was about the sudden move to put it on all access, something that I was not expecting as no Trek has even been on a pay per view channel?

Ron) it’s a bad idea and they know it.

James) Is this from a USA standpoint as it being sold to Netflix around the world means it is already extremely profit-making do you think they should have put it on Netflix in the USA as well?

Ron) I think they should run it on the main channel and quit being greedy. But sure, why not accept that Netflix is pricier

James) I have to admit I am a bit, huh with why Netflix everywhere, but the USA, but hey it’s their show so…

So the last question in this section, then I would like to move on to your Modelling which BTW I am so impressed with they are amazing, With the exception of Trek, are there any other TV shows you watch?

Ron) I really enjoyed BSG Battlestar Galactica I like pretty much all Marvel, superhero movies and I also enjoy disaster movies.



James) Ok, I would like to move on to your role within Melbourne, but first, have you ever done anything apart from this role?

Ron) Until this year I have never been in a film so it was a learning experience I will never forget and I’m looking forward to doing more episodes of Melbourne.

James) Ah ok, so can you tell me more about your role in Melbourne, Describe a typical week at work in Melbourne is it a full-time endeavour of one for the love and fits in around real life?

Ron) Melbourne for me was not a full-time thing as a matter of fact before this happened, I was actually trying to get on the crew of the Farragut, I knew a couple of people who was involved heavily with it and they invited me to the studio in GA in 2014 and it has been almost a complete set just like Cawley’s and it was my first time on a set and when I walked through the door the first thing I saw was the corridor of the Enterprise and right then and there I was a kid fulfilling his dream and I felt like I was back in 1966 it was awesome.

But unfortunately this never happened and I suddenly was disappointed, but later I don’t remember how but I met Vance Major on Facebook and he was going to make a fan film called I think Defiant it’s been awhile, I had asked him if he had anyone designing the insignia and he said no. But later all plans changed and the film had a new name, USS Melbourne and I turned in two designs for the patch and the one that we use was the first one I had drawn and behold, I was part of a fan film then later as we talked, he asked if I would be interested in playing the first officer and of course I said yes and behold first officer CMDR Tony Tate was born and I found myself fully involved with this film I was the first cast member signed for this film as well and very honoured to have been asked to play the role. It never messed with my Real Life at all since I’m retired.

James) That is a shame you could not get a chance to star in Farragut however, as they say, all things happen for a reason and! You got the Melbourne role so it worked out in the end.

So can you tell can you tell me more from your character’s perspective about the story, and how Melbourne is different from other Fan Productions?

Ron) All I can say about the story is that it’s still being written I don’t know any more than anyone else at this time. Melbourne is different from other Trek fan films because we do not follow the usual episode path that everyone else does and it’s more about the people than the Federation. So this is what I can say stay tuned for more Melbourne. Some of us stand on our own… Together.

James) Interesting, and very secretive 😛 What about your Character in general?

Ron) I am the first officer and I’m really very timid or shy, I feel more comfortable with the ship kind of a scared cat. I don’t know why, but Vance thought that I could take and do this character, and I said I like a challenge because if you knew the real me I am nothing like my character by any means.

James) so you’re more of an”I like to be in the thick of things personally” then?

Ron) Yes, I’m also very nosey I have to see and know what’s going on, I like to explore and I will talk with anyone.

James) Did you research your role and how Jeremy & Vance perceived the part to be so you could make sure you’re part fitted how they envisioned it to be or was this totally your own style and you made the character your own?

Ron) There was a little discussion between Vance and me about what he was looking for, something like a Mr Barclay but not totally, so there was my own style. I hope everyone likes the way I portrayed Tate.

James) That sounds an interesting mix! I look forward to seeing it 🙂 How would you describe your acting style?

Ron) I would say that I really don’t have a style I just take it as if it were my real job so I guess you could say natural.

James) That is a really good outlook and a great way of approaching it So, How do you memorise your lines?

Ron) I read the script over and over then have my wife play the parts that I’m involved in and I keep the script close by when doing a scene so I can glance at it.

James) How did your wife feel about doing that for you lol?

Ron) She did not really like doing it.

James) I do not think my other half would be too thrilled either lol, how do you prepare so that you will bring the right amount of realism and emotion to a scene?

Ron) I imagine what it would look like and I also feel the mood of the scene and the other characters.

James) When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

Ron) Getting some water and talk about the next scene with the other actors involved.

James) What other, Star Trek Fan Productions would you like your character to do a cross over with?

Ron) I would like and have talked about being in Starship Valiant and still would love to be in an episode of Starship Farragut, but if any crossovers can happen for me I would not turn them down.

James) Last few in this section now, if someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? & If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next? (Any not just, fan films)

Ron) John Malkovich and Star Trek of course, but I would also do Battlestar Galactica.

James) Oooh quickly can you tell me more about who did the Wardrobe?

Ron) The makeup was done by Danielle Craft and the patches were designed by me and made by Chrissie Harvey along with the tunics except for mine because I have my own uniform to use I just changed the patch and turned it from a Capt to a CMDR and on that note I actually have a total of six uniforms 4 are TOS and 2 TNG. The camera was operated by Matt I don’t know the last name.

James) That is cool, so do you own many Star Trek uniforms then?

Ron) Yes, I do, I own 7. 1 velour for 1st & 2nd season 1 Double Knit for the 3rd season a green wrap around and the Dress green and I’m having the mirror universe Captains vest made as we speak now that was all TOS. I also have the 2nd season command, red tunic from next-gen and the Captains dress whites and that is all at this time.



James) That is so cool, I own a T-shirt lol, Ok moving on, I would like to discuss your passion for making Models, tell me how did that start with you was it just one or two here and there or was this a passion from a young age?

Ron) I started building Models when I was like 7 with my dad, then I just went on my own. But as I got older and was doing stupid things I got away from it for a long time. But when I moved up here in the mountains I started again and found I still haven’t lost the passion for it.

So I built the 34 inch TOS Enterprise with lights it took about six months when I was done I showed it off on Facebook and that’s when people started asking me if I would build for them and bam RPS Custom Models was born.

James) How many models would you say you have built?

Ron) In my life or just here recently?

James) Well, tell me how much you would say in total then tell me the ones you’re most proud of?

Ron) A few hundred lifetimes and 10 I’m most proud of but I’m proud of all my builds because they won’t leave this house until I feel they are perfect.

James) What were the 10 you were most proud of?

Ron) Well when I was like 13 or so I built a Budweiser Tractor with Trailer this was my first attempt at customising a model I put a 70’s pair job on it and I used felt as carpet and really detailed the interior. Then TOS Enterprise then I built a full TOS Enterprise bridge and lit it up and built an exterior dome from scratch it was published in two internet modelling magazines modelgeek.com and modellers miniatures and magic and Starling Technologies these are just a couple I’m not going to write on all.

James) Are you working on a model atm?

Ron) Yes, I am actually working on two rights now and I have my third coming next week. First one is a client build 1/350 scale Enterprise-A with a full start-up sequence and shuttle bay landing lights the next one is a TOS Enterprise for a friend of mine that makes Trek costume as well as Anovos with the same material as well. The third one is a client build USS Voyager with lighting.

James) If you lived in the same country as me, I would so get you to make me a few models, it was one thing I was never very good at lol.

Just out of curiosity, how would someone get in touch with you about models do you have a website?

Ron) You may go to Facebook and go to my page RPS Custom Models and there is contact info there, but it’s either by messenger, email or phone

James) OK, moving on when we spoke a while ago you had a very clear stance on this, but in recent weeks things have changed and I wanted to ask you, how do you feel the fallout from the Axanar lawsuit is going to affect everyone from this point forward both fans and fan Trek?

Ron) That is a hard one to answer, but I guess it’s really up to how the individual perspective on it might be. And as far as Trek there are so many Trekkies out there that had no idea what Axanar is let knowing about fan films so it will be fine and in time CBS might relax the guidelines.

James) This next one is a recent addition, due to it being something I want to know how people feel on it due to the fact it was something I thought that it is very relevant to the topic of the Axanar fall out

How does this statement make you feel?

Ron) Actually, the fan film industry didn’t turn on each other, but Axanar and Alec Peters did throw a couple of the more established ones under the bus and I know that made those people angry. This all really ends up on Alec’s shoulders, although we all know he doesn’t give a rats ass about anyone else just himself. But there are still plenty of films out there that are going to try and Melbourne is one of them.

James) Thank you for your reply to that.

Ron) You are welcome

James) With the release of the “Fan Film Guidelines” has this influenced how much you want to do fan films?

What are your feelings on them, as I know to start with everyone the reaction was different, but many people were angry how did it make you feel when they came out?

Ron) On the fan film guidelines that were put out last year I think that CBS and Paramount really shot themselves in the foot with these and let down a lot of loyal fans that have kept Star Trek alive throughout the years, since they came out several fan film productions have gone down in the likes of Star Trek New Voyages/Phase II and several others because they made it to where it was going to be too difficult to make an episode that was only 15 minutes long hen most episodes run around 1 hour, and it was going to be a lot to ask of the people in them to make the trip to make them.

They are just way too restrictive, to begin with I mean most productions run on a very small budget unlike the larger ones like STC and New Voyages and Farragut. I’m very pleased that Vance and Jeremy did not fold under these guidelines and I hope that we can prove to people that you can still make a good episode in two 15 minute sections for not a lot of money I think Melbourne had a budget of maybe a total of $3,000.00 don’t quote me on that. But it is with high hopes that after the deal with the lawsuit is done that they will t more relaxed with them and brings some of the guidelines where they were before.

James) Can you tell me what about them you feel are a hit and miss or is it all of them that make you feel that CBS Paramount went too far with?

Ron) The episode time allotment is the biggest it is hard to ask people to come and film 2 15 minute pieces since most of us don’t live close and have to spend money on hotels and flights or gas. The other is the props and uniforms they say no aftermarket stuff only official. Plus not being able to continue with a story arc you must have a story title for each if I remember that right. Crowdfunding that’s kind of ok except I think that perks should be allowed it gives people incentive to send money for the production and the amount is fine up to 50,000 that’s plenty. I would have to go and read them all again to give you a complete answer.

James) The prop and uniform one.

In the Engage podcast, this one was cleared up and the explanation was expanded this rule is merely saying do not buy counterfeit stuff (from many people online selling them) and if you want to buy official uniforms please do so from Davos or on their licensed company.

Nothing stops you from making your own props, costumes, etc. Just don’t buy knockoff ones from people who knock them out and sell them.

I know you were not the first person to be upset about this one, but now we know you can indeed make your own etc. I find this one not so bad.

Ron) OK, great and the Anovos thing that is, official, but there is a guy I know and actually got my uniforms through that makes them just as good for half the price, Anovos is overpriced on this I mean a green wrap for $600.00 is way too much I had one made for about $165.00 and I forgot about that podcast.

James) Thanks for this, Ron, we are coming into the home stretch of the interview now, and I would like to go back to the fan films you watch if you had to what would you class as your top five?

Ron) I have watched pretty much all of them at some point. But my favourite ones are in this order and I hope it doesn’t make a couple I know well upset.

Star Trek Continues
Starship Farragut
New Voyages
Starship Valiant
Starship Exeter

James) And the ones you would class as your bottom five?

Ron)

Star Trek Odyssey
Star Trek Phoenix
Star Trek Intrepid
Potemkin

I can’t think of a fifth one. These are the worst due to horrible CGI and costumes, plus scripting I mean I know that not everyone can have sets to work with but some of that green screen stuff should not even be allowed to be called Star Trek.

These are the worst due to horrible CGI and costumes, plus scripting I mean I know that not everyone can have sets to work with but some of that green screen stuff should not even be allowed to be called Star Trek.

And the best ones because of the accuracy of the series and script writing, plus they have better budgets than most.

James) You have been to a lot of conventions and even on the cruise, what would you say is the best and worst parts of the Trek fandom from your experiences?

Ron) My favourite part of fandom is the camaraderie of the people and the way they will dress and act when at cons. Plus, it is fun to dress up in uniforms and believe that you are part of Starfleet. I have never had a bad experience in Trek fandom as of yet.

James) Do you have any regrets in doing Fan Films?

Ron) I have no regrets on this at all it was a chance to live out my childhood dream.

James) As someone who has wanted to get into the fan film world for a while now, what advice would you give to someone who wants to do the same?

Ron) Well if you want to get involved with fan films you need to get to know the right people or you can just contact one that you would consider and see what they say like my mum used to say a closed mouth never gets fed. Or if you have the resources to go and make your own, but try to stay in the realm of it and try not to the green screen too much.

James) What would you like to say to the people who think Fan Films are on the way out?

Ron) Well or you fans out there don’t give up on Trek fan films yet they are still being made, and as far as the fan film I’m involved with Melbourne please keep your eyes and ears open the first episode is on its way and there will be more to follow.

James) Well, Ron, that is it and I would like to extend my thanks to you for taking the time to sit down with me and answer some questions.

Ron) Thanks James for having me on your blog and everyone take care LLAP.

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The Melbourne Files – Part Three – Larry Fleming

This week we catch up with Lawrence Fleming, the man who plays Science Officer Ray Dora.

Lawrence has enjoyed films and filmmaking since he was young and since then he has had a distinguished career acting in various different genres including many Star Trek fan films and he has produced almost a hundred productions.

Lawrence (Larry), is not only an actor and produced he in his spare time likes to ride motorbikes, go climbing and has been an NRA instructor for many years, with his firearm safety training it adds to his already vast range of experience as this makes him an asset on any set that uses guns for its production.

Check out Larry’s


As part of the Melbourne files, I found myself talking to a wide range of people and when it came to talking to Larry, I found myself thinking about someone with Larry’s experience how do I conduct and interview and not come off and a rank amateur. However, with Larry, I found him extremely approachable and he welcomed my questions like a true gentleman and not what I expected at all from someone with his experience.

Therefore, without further a due let us move on to the interview itself.

We caught up with Larry while he was on set shooting

 Jumanji – (YES the one with the Rock) 

Therefore, his answers are a little shorter than normal. 

“It’s Kind of a sequel. They enter a video game. You know there will be some funny moments with Jack Black also in the film. “

Larry Fleming



James) Good Afternoon Larry, First, I would like to thank you for your time for agreeing to answer these questions for me.

WOW! I just looked at your IMDB I am a little speechless, I have to admit I am nervous writing up a Q&A for you now lol  

Larry) Ha, it just means I have worked a lot no big deal.

James) LOL, Well for anyone who does not know you or has read your IMDB, can you tell me a little about yourself?

Larry) I like doing different things. I get bored doing the same thing repeatedly. During my lifetime, I have flown planes, raced motorbikes, climbed mountains, and repelled down. I go to concerts, rock, jazz, and opera. I am ultimately curious about the world and want to see and experience as much as I can.

I dislike people that are uncaring about others. I also dislike large crowds as if I am stuck in one and cannot get around that also includes being sat in traffic. I do not mind speaking to a crowd just hate being stuck. I guess it is because I am a bit claustrophobic.

James) With your hectic schedule other than Star Trek, what other TV shows you watch if you get the time that is?

Larry) I love the Big Bang Theory mainly because I relate to the characters. I grew up in a house where both parents did not go to High School. I like all hero movies, from any source, Marvel, DC, anything. I also like Detective shows, I love puzzles and like to try to figure out Who Done It.

James) I have to admit that is one of my favourite things about “Detective Shows” the who done it thing is one thing that draws me to watch them, If they are too easy it drives me nuts lol,

With the history you have in Star Trek fan films, tell me a bit about your history with Star Trek what does it mean to you

Do you have a favourite Episode?

Larry) I like the Cage or Menagerie. It was the first and left an impression on me.

It is hard to imagine the world where you cannot tell what really reality is and what imagination is.

James) I have to admit I have only seen the Cage and what I guess what would be called its follow up to it The Menagerie a hand full of times, so I am not up to speed on them. I am going to have to take the time to revisit the TOS I think, TNG onwards I have seen so many times I can tell you the episode name from just the first few seconds. Yes! I am that sad lol.

With those episodes being your favourite ones, do you have one you would class, as your “Worst” episode?

Larry) I do not remember the episode, but they had hippie like characters playing music. They brought too much of reality into the show. I also thought the hippie movement was stupid too.

James) I think that episode is The Way to Eden yes I had to Google it lol. I am feeling rather bad here not knowing my TOS, as I should L

Do you have a “favourite” and “worst” series?

Larry) If we are talking Star Trek, it has to be TOS. I grew up watching this series. I like all the other versions, but I really like the original.

James) A lot of people I think either find the TOS as their fave or are on the fence like me, I like it but for me and like you I guess it is because I grew up with it TNG will always be my fave.

Because you like to go and Cosplay and attend conventions a lot, have you met many Star Trek Actors?

Larry) All the TOS actors except, Deforest Kelly also most of Next Gen crew, I have met most Star Trek actors over the years because I go to as many Cons as I can.

James) That is one thing I wish I had more time to do I have only ever been to one Con and that was years ago the last question in this segment do you play any Star Trek games like STO etc.

Larry) None Surprisingly, I play World of WarCraftTom Clancey’s The Division and Elder Scrolls.  I love games with the large territory to explore.


 


James) I have never seen the appeal of WOW many people I know play it. Moving on to your experience in filmmaking, you have been in a lot! Of fan films, can you tell me what ones you have been a part of?

Larry) I have appeared in six or seven different Star Trek fan films. It is amazing being on the set of the Enterprise or whatever the production ship name is.

James) Can you tell me what ones you have been a part of?

Larry) Sure,

James) OK a lot then lol, Is there anything you are currently working on?

Larry) Nothing.

🙂 I retired from all the hard work jobs and am only acting.

James) From your IMDB, you have worked in multiple areas: film, television, web, what is it that makes you pick the projects?

Larry) I work in all three. Mainly whatever script idea I like.

James) How easy has it been for you to move between areas?

Larry) They are all the same as far as filming goes. It is just the format that changes.

James) What do you see as the appeal of the various formats?

Larry) Everyone has a method of watching. We try to offer what people want.

Fan films cannot make money, so free sites like YouTube work best.

James) Was there a particular event or time that you recognised that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

Larry) When I was young, I grew up in Hollywood and wanted to be a part of it.

When my family moved away, I thought I was through with that dream but I found that I could raise funds as a producer from anywhere and started doing that over 15 years ago. Then when Georgia passed the film-friendly tax laws, filming began moving here. I prefer acting to anything I have been involved in thus far.

James) What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you personally?

Larry) Empathy for the characters if you care about them, then their conflicts in the film seem more real.

James) What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and how do you feel about Hollywood atm as they seem to reboot or rehash a LOT Of work.

Larry) I love old movies even black and whites. There were not so many films back then so I think they had to be better. We have become cookie cutter in the industry now, remake after remake.

James) I have to agree, I have been saying it for years that all these reboots just seem lost to me gone are the days of the new films that inspire many, it seems to reboot or just a rework of a classic that ends up being rubbish (YES! Ghostbusters I am looking at you)

When watching a film and you get angry at it, what sets you off? Are there common qualities in cinema today that you dislike? Is there something you try to subvert, avoid, or rebel against in your work?

Larry) I like drama and suspense. I hate when they use standard methods to create the suspense. Like “Let’s split up”. Be creative and come up with something unexpected.

James) When inspiration is waning, like when you feel creatively sapped, what do you do? How do you stay fresh?

Larry) I watch movies I choose a film for the way it will make me feel. I love happy conclusions or at least when the heroes save the day and all seems good.

James) What is harder: getting started or being able to keep going?

Larry) I find keeping going is harder. Starting is easy.

There are so many distractions along the way that can interrupt your progress. Stay focused.

James) How do you know when your story has finished and when to walk away?

Larry) It has never finished. You try to get it to a stopping point where the conflict seems to stop. That is why we have sequels.

James) That is so true, going back to the reboot and rehash in Hollywood at the moment, we all hear so often about the lack of original stories in the world. How do you stay fresh in the face of an idea like that?

Larry) You have to really look for fresh ideas and have the courage to work with them. It seems that the money people and controlling content. If it worked before, we will try it repeatedly and again.

James) Have you done your own stunts in many films? In addition, were they hard to do?

Larry) I have a Black Belt in TAEKWONDO, so basic stunts are easy. I like doing them. I have only done stunts in my independent films.

The Big guys want you in SAG so that their insurance will cover you.



James) I am going to quick fire some questions at you about your acting history and experience, tell me the first thing you think of

When did you first realise that you wanted to Act

Larry) When we had, the main character hurt (offset) and needed to be replaced. I stepped in and had a blast.

James) What do you like most about being an Actor?

Larry) I get to be someone different all the time. I get to be on set and once I know my lines, the rest is a simple direction.

James) What parts of Acting do you not enjoy?

Larry) Being on camera

James) What steps did you take to enter this field? – Training etc

Larry) I took some classes; the rest was just getting in there and learning. I learn best by doing.

James) Tell me about your experience as an Actor?

Larry) I tend to take now leading parts. I like helping the scene take place with only moments of leading it. It takes a team to pull it off and I enjoy watching the Teamwork.

James) What gives you the most pleasure as an Actor?

Larry) Completing my scene and hearing wrap a great job. 🙂

James) What elements of the craft do you find most difficult?

Larry) Emotions When you method act you have to become the character.

James) Do any famous actors inspire you?

Larry) Yes, Sean Astin is the top of my list

James) The hardest role you have ever played, and why

Larry) Working is a sub-freezing environment and trying to act like its warm.

James) The most fun role you have ever played and why.

Larry) Getting to have something (not real) explode in front of you and act hurt and injured.

James) What sort of person is going to love this character?

Larry) I hope someone that likes what I like. I try to imagine the character and perform the way I would like to see it.

James) Is it easier to play this character or to be you?

Larry) All characters are I, in a way.

James) What makes a good scene partner?

Larry) Someone that can connect as an actor we are not all working by ourselves.

James) That was great thanks, Along with acting, I see you have produced many films. Can you tell me more about that?

What does an Assistant/Exec Producer do?

Larry) Exec Producers are money getters. If the name is big, people want to be a part. If you are lesser know, then you have to knock on doors, so to speak.

James) Describe to me, how you’d run a project from beginning to end.

Larry) Each project has basic steps. I could write a book on the exact steps.

  • Find a script – I am always reading scripts
  • Put a production team together – get with friends
  • The cast for the film – find a ringer to attract funds.
  • Start raising money – which and be from day one and last throughout
  • Put together a filming schedule
  • Put the pieces together – Post-production
  • Market and release

James) With your resume being as extensive as it is, have you ever had a time when you had to deal diplomatically with different personalities?

Larry) Every time we film. Creative people are a different breed, need to be encouraged, and complimented all the time no favouritism either…

James) Do you ever take a step back and appreciate what you have made thus far?

Larry) For a short while, it is soon on to the next project.

James) Has there ever been a time where you needed to change your producer-style to accommodate a team or team member have you ever been really challenged by a cast member?

Larry) Early on when I was getting started I was not leading, but letting the project lead me. We ran out of funds a few times and everything would stop.

I prefer to lead now.

James) What kind of routines do you tend to keep for filmmaking to keep you organised or do you even have one.

Larry) I keep folders of past work that aid in the next one. Budget plans, lists of equipment and workers location ideas etc.

James) Many people either have a main job or never stop working on new films all the time with like no time to enjoy what they are doing. How do you earn a living and sustain the career you love,

Larry) I had a Day job working as a consultant in IT. I never really liked that work, but I was good at it. I am retired now and my basic needs are met from retirement funds.

James) Do you think social media is the future of televised series and films, just as you use YouTube etc now is TV on its way out.

Larry) In some form, yes, but we have too many options right now and it is harder to make money.

The pool is too diluted.

James) How do you find the right music for a scene?

Larry) I leave that to the creative sound producers. It is amazing what they can do.

James) What do you know now that you wish you had known at the beginning?

Larry) You can do this on your own. It is not a weakness to get help. It is actually more fun working with those you know.

James) How do you handle being challenged about something that you decide but someone else really disagrees with it?

Larry) Choose your battles. It is not always important to win. If it is wrong, let them fail and learn. I liked helping young filmmakers get started. They all started with grand ideas that I knew would not work. Let them learn.

James) How do you not waste time. How do you get everything you need to get done, done in an allotted time scale?

Larry) It is OK to waste time sometimes. We all need to take a break. Once the project is underway, you just keep at it. The harder you work, the greater the reward.

James) How do you encourage people and get them achieve the best they are capable of?

Larry) Compliment them. Listen a lot. It is like having a spouse or children – Especially children.

James) How do you encourage people and processes to move faster when on a tight time scale?

Larry) Help them to stay focused and be prepared. Downtime is time to go over your lines, not to always socialise.

With so many factors shaping a film’s success or failure, and so much required going into a film just to make it, and even more to make it well, what do you do so it does not ever feel not worth the effort?

James) How does a typical day (for you) begin when you are in full swing production?

Larry) Arrive on set and check the schedule, if you do not already have the updated copy. Exec producers do not do the daily work once the funds are raised.

James) Moving on now to Melbourne, Being an actor in many other fan productions was Melbourne an easy task or did you find the role lead to many challenges in making things fit from script to film?

Larry) I enjoyed the role from start to finish. The direction was well thought out and helpful.

James) Describe your role in the production, how did a typical shoot play out from your perspective?

Larry) I did not produce this film but would have treated it like any other production. Let us get this done.

James) Can you tell me more from your perspective about the story. How is it different from other Fan Productions you have been in?

Larry) It has a Star Trek feel, which makes it the same, but the story was unique. The writing was great and that is what made it work and fun to do.

James) What research did you carry out in the preparation of this role, what challenges and responsibilities did this present in making it something unique?

Larry) Memorise the lines, read the script multiple times standard procedures for this really. I already had years watching Star Trek under my belt.

James) So with your experience in the Star Trek Fan Film world, I want to ask you about the “Fan Film Guidelines,”

What are your feelings on them, as I know to start with everyone the reaction was different but many people were angry how did it make you feel when they came out?

Larry) CBS is running scared they want the franchise, but do not understand it as well. When they saw a production as good as they could make for a lot less, well it is hard to swallow. I hope reason will win out.

James) Can you expand on that a bit? We have seen in recent court filings that the guidelines are a result of Axanar; do you want to see Axanar made?

Larry) I want to see all fan films made including Axanar.

James) Do you feel they crossed any lines?

Larry) I think that CBS thinks they crossed the so-called line. CBS kept quiet for years and only complained when they wanted to make a new series. It is unfortunate that they picked the anniversary of Star Trek to cause problems.

James) Do you feel that the guidelines are a direct result to Axanar and Alec Peters?

Larry) I think that the suit and guidelines are a direct link to Axanar, BUT if it were not them, CBS would have picked on someone else. They are flexing their muscle and are trying to eliminate all work better than their own. CBS should have purchased/bought into the fan film (s) of choice and put their logo on them. Go with a winner instead of an unknown that their new series will be.

James) Do you think they are fair?

Larry) No – The guidelines are stupid and CBS painted themselves into a corner. I hope that reason wins out, but I am a Star Trek fan regardless of who makes what…

James) Thanks for that, I appreciate your view on this since you have been involved in as many fan films as you have, so moving on What Fan Films do you watch?

Larry)

  1. Farragut Films
  2. Star Trek Continues
  3. Starship Melbourne
  4. Starship Tristian, Potemkin
  5. Renegades
  6. Natures Hunger

James) What would you say are yours? Best and worst parts of the Star Trek Fandom,

Larry)

  • The best part – The people
  • The worst part –  CBS/Paramount

James) lastly Larry, What advice would you give to someone who wants to?

Act

Larry) Get out there and do it. Learn and get better each performance.

James) Make their own fan film.

Larry) Get help for the first one or two, mistakes cost money.

James) Co-Produce

Larry) Enjoy what you do the rewards are often missing.

James) Larry, Is there anything else you would like to tell me from your perspective of someone involved in the fan film world? (The good, the bad, how you see the current world of fan productions)

Larry) To summarily, Enjoy what you do, that may be your best reward. Do not be afraid to ask for help, we all need it from time to time. Do not be too proud to take a lesser role. Do not get discouraged.

You will be turned down after your best audition, simply because you do not fit the role in the eyes of the casting team. Make and act the way you would enjoy watching.

James) Thank you, Larry, for taking the time to answer these for me.

Larry) Thank you and my best.


So, guys, that is part three, and although I started off scared with the prospect of interviewing Larry BUT! I enjoyed it a lot, I feel I have gotten to know the man who has acted in so many Fan Films a lot better, and it makes me want to watch Melbourne even more!

Hurry up Vance lol 😛

As always thank you for reading and your continued support with the blog.

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