At the end of March, a new Star Trek fan production titled MELBOURNE (just that, no “Starship” in front of the name) posted its debut fan film: “Storm Front, Part 1.” One of several fan series shot on the sets of STARBASE STUDIOS (while they were still in their previous Oklahoma City location), Melbourne initially released two ultra-short vignettes, “Pen Pals” and “Pen Pals 2”.) But fans were really waiting for their first full episode to see what this new fan production would be all about.
Most successful Star Trek fan projects have a driving force behind the production, and in the case of Melbourne, that driving force is show-runner/producer/writer VANCE MAJOR OWEN (his friends call him “Vman”), who lives in Kansas with his wife of 17 years and his newborn son, Royce. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Vance for a very friendly interview. In fact, “friendly” is one of the best adjectives I could use to describe this warm and humble film producer from the Sunflower State. Since having our interview, we’ve actually become good friends, have spent hours on the phone talking Trek and swapping “Daddy” stories, and he’s invited me to appear on camera in an upcoming episode of Melbourne anytime I can get myself over to Arkansas (the new home of Starbase Studios).
So here’s what Vance had to say…
Continue reading “MELBOURNE – Interview with VANCE MAJOR OWEN, Part 1”
Lately, there’s been a lot of stuff coming out of STARBASE STUDIOS (all of it made before the recent move from Oklahoma City, OK to Harrison, Arkansas). This recent explosion of fan films has included: “Chain of Command”, Star Trek: The Federation Files– “His Name is Mudd”, Starship Valiant – “Crosses to Bear”, Starship Republic – “Serpent of Yesterday”, and a pair of super-short vignettes “Pen Pals” and “Pen Pals 2”.
The last two short fan films were also teasers for the latest production made at STARBASE STUDIOS…a new fan film (possibly series) called MELBORNE. And no, the word “Starship” is not in the title—unlike many other projects.
Melbourne is the brainchild of VANCE MAJOR OWEN, a filmmaker from Kansas who also plays Chief Engineer Minard on Starship Valiant. From its debut episode, it looks as though Melbourne is set somewhere between the end of Kirk’s five-year mission and the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture…featuring starship and uniform elements from both (apparently in a very purposeful way).
I’ll be featuring a full interview with Vance in a few weeks. But for now, please enjoy Part 1 of Melbourne‘s first full episode debut, “Storm Front”…
Back in April of 2015, a new Star Trek fan series called DREADNOUGHT DOMINION premiered with its initial episode, “Haunted.” Three months later, a second episode, titled “Anchors Aweigh” (a bit of a prequel to the first episode), made its debut. It wasn’t the only TOS-era fan series to feature the crew of a non-heavy cruiser class starship, but it was the first and only one to feature the crew of a Starfleet dreadnought-class starship based on the mid-1970s Franz Joseph Star Trek Technical Manual.
Thanks to a 3D model created by Kenneth Thomson, Jr. and Thomas Phong, the beauty shots of the tri-nacelled USS Dominion in the opening credits and during the episodes were gorgeous. The two episodes were filmed primarily on the very impressive TOS sets in Starship Farragut’s Studio Two in Kingsland, GA (also the shooting location of Star Trek Continues).
A year earlier, another fan series, Starship Valiant, made its debut on YouTube with an introduction vignette titled “Legacy.” Valiant was filmed using the TOS bridge set at Starbase Studios in Oklahoma City. (The following year, a “special edition” version of “Legacy” with added footage was posted after Starbase Studios built a new sickbay set.) Valiant has since completed principal filming on its second episode “The Ties That Bind,” although post production is still ongoing and the second episode hasn’t been released yet.
So what do these two fan series–filmed in different locations in different states during different years–have in common? A man named Vance…
Continue reading “DREADNOUGHT DOMINION and STARSHIP VALIANT cross-over in “CHAIN OF COMMAND”!”