TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “DEPARTURES”!

The fan series that started out as STARSHIP TRISTAN (and is now no longer a fan series but rather a collection of individually-titled fan films) has released its latest, um, well, “episode” is now no longer an appropriate word either, come to think of it.  How about “offering”?

“DEPARTURES” is the latest adventure of the USS Tristan and her crew, produced by RANDY LANDERS for Potemkin Pictures, and filmed in Pelham, Alabama.  You can watch all of the offerings from the various productions teams at the Potemkin Pictures on their website: http://www.potemkinpictures.com/productions.html

And you can view “Departures” below…

DEIMOS Production Crew releases new episode: “The Archive”!

Yes, folks, there are still other Star Trek fan films out there, and DEIMOS is one of them.  Formerly known as the fan series Starship Deimos, the umbrella”brand” POTEMKIN PICTURES has now dropped their fan series names (because the fan film guidelines prohibit it) and simply has tabs for each of their five endeavors, sorted by production crew.  You can view episodes from all the teams on the Potemkin Pictures websiteDeimos is based in Alabama and led by Potemkin Pictures creative head RANDY LANDERS.

The latest offering from the Deimos crew (their fourth production), the 11-minute long “The Archive,” features all of the main Starfleet characters plus a Romulan captain from their previous episode.  Like the rest of the Potemkin Pictures fan films, what this low/no-budget production lacks in style and pizzazz, they make up for in heart and dedication.  You can view “The Archive” below…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “BETWEEN TWO WORLDS”!

Okay, time to stop calling it STARSHIP TRISTAN.  Show-runner RANDY LANDERS told me there are no series or episodes, there are only individual fan films made by the various creative teams working under the POTEMKIN PICTURES “umbrella”: Tristan, Deimos, Kupok, and Endeavour.  The reason for this nominal change, of course, is the fan film guidelines that prohibit a fan film from releasing more than two 15-minute episodes of the same story “…with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.”

So the “elephant in the living room” (or “mugato in the cave”) question that I asked Randy was: if you’re being so careful to follow the guidelines, then why is this fan film 30 minutes long and not broken into two 15-minute parts?  Randy’s answer:

It was filmed over a year ago, and it is our understanding that the guidelines probably wouldn’t apply.

Fair enough (at least as far as I’m concerned).  Randy went on to tell me a little more about the making of this episode:

It was actually one of the first episodes we began filming once we moved here.  Nearly all the dialogue shot at the park had to be ADRed…

[re-recorded and dubbed over later – Jonathan]

…and in some cases dubbed by a different performer.  It was a challenging experience.  We had folks recording their lines on phones. That’s where you can really tell.  We’d’ve rather they’d returned to the studios for ADR, but that just wasn’t possible.

This is just a hobby for us, and real life and real jobs have to come first.

I always keep that last fact in mind when I watch the “low-budget” fan films.  While not as slick and polished as the studio-made films and series with the professional actors and production crew, fan films like those coming from Potemkin Pictures show heart and dedication and, most of all, fans just having fun.  For me, that’s extremely important.

Randy says the Tristan creative team currently has two films completely shot and now in post-production.  And there’s three more films in pre-production for 2017.  In the meantime, you can watch their latest release “Between Two Worlds” below or visit the website of Potemkin Pictures to catch up on all the episodes of their various series…oh, excuse me…to see all the independent fan films from the four creative teams.

 

STARSHIP DEIMOS releases its first post-guidelines episode, “Pas de Trois”

starship-deimos-pas-de-troisWhen STARSHIP DEIMOS last released a new episode, it was April…and the fan film guidelines were still two months away.  Now it is November, and like its sister productions from Potemkin Pictures, Starship Deimos is also now changing the title of the series with each new episode (since the new guidelines do not allow any continuing series).

And thus is Starship Deimos‘ newest episode also its first “stand-alone” fan film: “Pas de Trois.”  And for those of you who (like me) don’t speak French, the title translates to “Dance for Three.”  It’s a ballet term where one male dancer partners with two female dancers…or two males and one female.  (Keep this clean, people!)

This episode introduces what appears to be the overarching story arc of the series: The USS Deimos is assigned to a region of space where the Federation and two other interstellar powers all have interests.  It calls for a delicate mix of diplomacy and cowboy improvisation.

Deimos films in Pelham, Alabama, where Potemkin Pictures show-runner RANDY LANDERS moved with his wife last year.  Another Potemkin Pictures series called Battlecruiser Kupok also films there.  Meanwhile, back in Georgia where Randy used to live, Starship Tristan is filming and releasing new episodes, also under the Potemkin Pictures banner.  You can view all their various series here.

And you can watch “Pas de Trois” below…

PROJECT: POTEMKIN releases its series epilogue final episode “ROOM SERVICE”!

potemkin-room-serviceSo you’re probably saying, “Hey, I thought PROJECT: POTEMKIN already released its final episode back in late September!”  Well, yes…and no.

The long-running fan series which has produced three dozen original episodes since 2011 and spawned four different spin-off series, did, in fact, release its series finale back on September 20.  But there was still one more episode shot and in post-production waiting to be shared with fans.  And it was always intended to be an epilogue showing, at least for some of the Potemkin crew, the aftermath of the events of the previous finale episode.

“Room Service” was written by Christin Woods, who also plays the Vulcan Lt. T’Noshi, and filmed on location at the 2015 Treklanta con with a great deal of whimsy.  My ol’ buddy Eric L. Watts wears his iconic Klingon Korgoth persona to perfection, and goodness knows the green dye sellers in the metro-Atlanta area were counting their profits that weekend.  You can tell by the still image I’ve included above that this might not be your typical fan film, but don’t worry…it stops far short of an NC-17 rating.  And it’s pretty fun.

And so, with this tongue-in-cheek 7-minute episode, we bid a fond and final farewell to a unique and heart-felt fan series, made with love, dedication, almost no budget…and all for a spoonful of borsch.  You can read more about Project: Potemkin in this great 2-part interview with show-runner Randy Landers.  And you can watch “Room Service” below…

The fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its fifth episode!

starship-tristan-logo-4So far, the four previous episodes of STARSHIP TRSITAN from Potemkin Pictures have ranged in length from six-and-a-half minutes to ten-and-a-half minutes.  (You can watch them all here.)  Their latest episode, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” has a 15-minute run time and a much larger cast than usual.  The episode was an ambitious endeavor that required a lot of on-location shooting.  It’s a very impressive effort.

William C. Searcy, who plays the lovable and colorful character of the half-Vulcan Dr. Skep Anderson, wrote the episode and produces the Georgia-based series.  Note that, from their second episode onward, in order to comply with the CBS/Paramount fan film guidelines, the series is no longer known officially as “Starship Tristan” and is instead just a collection of separate fan films, each with a different name (the title of the individual episode).  That said, Dr. Anderson has appeared before and will (hopefully!) appear again.  Will that constitute an “ongoing series” and violate guideline #1?  Hard to say, but it’s such a minor quibble, one would think the studios wouldn’t bother making a big deal of it since the series complies with all other guidelines.

At this time, according to the Potemkin Pictures website, two more episodes of this series have been filmed and are currently in post production.  With luck, we’ll be seeing them soon!

PROJECT: POTEMKIN releases its SERIES FINALE (but it’s NOT ending because of the GUIDELINES)!

In 2011, a new Star Trek fan series based in the movie-era released its first episode, and the world of fan films was introduced to PROJECT: POTEMKIN.

Five years and thirty-four episodes later, Project: Potemkin has just released its series finale, “Destinies.”  No spoilers except to say that this seven-minute episode wraps up the series nicely and ties in with three other fan series also being produced by Potemkin Pictures: Starship Tristan, Starship Deimos, and Starship Endeavour.

Some fans have been wondering whether Project: Potemkin is yet another victim of the fan film guidelines released by CBS and Paramount.  Not so, says series show-runner RANDY LANDERS:

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The fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its newest episode!

starship-tristan-logo-3Continuing a new tradition of renaming their fan series with each fresh episode release, the fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN has posted their latest episode, “The Greater Good.

The renaming of the series is meant to keep their production in compliance with the CBS/Paramount fan production guidelines, which specify no ongoing series.  Technically, all the stories for Starship Tristan take place on the same Starfleet vessel, but so far, the characters have changed with each new episode released since the guidelines were published.

We’ll have to see what happens if/when the “series-that-isn’t-a-series” features its first recurrence of a character or characters.  But for now, the production continues to follow all the guidelines in terms of length (shorter than 15 minutes), budget (pretty much nothing), no professionals, no unlicensed prop or costume knock-offs, etc.  This latest episode is just a quiet conversation between two people, one of whom is from a canonical race of Trek pacifists, and he’s just had to kill someone in order to protect his people.  What kind of fallout follows such an act?

The fan series is from the folks at Potemkin Pictures, and they currently produce multiple series.  You can find all of their releases on their website.

PROJECT: POTEMKIN is no more…and it’s “ALL IN A DAY’S WORK!”

Potemkin-All in a Day's WorkThe fan series Project: Potemkin was nearly finished with its four-season run.  Thirty episodes had already been produced and released, and only three more remained.  Show-runner RANDY LANDERS (read his interview with Fan Film Factor here) had announced that the series would wrap up after the end of season four, although four other series–Starship Tristan, Starship Deimos, Battlecruiser Kupok, and Starship Endeavour–would continue with new episodes.

The remaining three episodes of Project: Potemkin had already been filmed over a year ago and were simply awaiting post-production editing, sound, VFX, and musical scoring.  Then the fan film guidelines were released by CBS and Paramount.

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The fan film formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its newest episode

Starship Tristan logo 2It’s interesting to watch the various reactions of the current Star Trek fan series to the new CBS/Paramount guidelines.  In the case of Star Trek: Renegades, they dropped the name “Star Trek” from their title, took off the comm badges, and named Walter Koenig’s character “The Admiral.”  Of course, we all know who they mean…don’t we?  But with no “obvious” Star Trek content, the fan guidelines no longer apply to Renegades: The Series.

On the other side of the United States, Alabama-based Potemkin Pictures has taken a different approach.  For the last half-decade or so, the vast majority of Potemkin Pictures’ fan films have actually followed most of the guidelines (before they even came out!): short-duration episodes, no crowd-funding, no perks, original music, home-made costumes, and store-bought props.  Their only real “violation”–now that the new guidelines are in place–is “no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.”

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