Last week, I began chatting with VANCE MAJOR, the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.” After completing nearly three dozen fan films featuring the (long) career of the character of Erick Minard, Vance briefly stepped away from producing Trek fan films. Briefly.
He returned to the fold early last year, announcing the launch of production on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES. While these new fan films would also feature Vance playing Minard, they would now focus on various members of his crew, once again weaving a complex tapestry of stories that could be viewed individually or as one long saga. In this way, Vance skirts the “no ongoing series” guideline (kinda) because these will be individual, self-contained stories and not an ongoing series. In fact, The Constar Chronicles isn’t even the official name of the production. Ultimately, it will simply be a number of separate fan films which feature some of the same characters serving on the same starship(s).
Last month, Vance released the following trailer…
In Part 1, Vance talked about the filmmaking process so far on Constar. But then we left off with a most intriguing question…
JONATHAN – Alec Peters announced that you’ll be shooting a fan film on the Ares bridge set this year. Is that true?
VANCE – Yes, I am going to the Ares bridge! I had actually been discussing it with Alec for a while, and the opportunity just never was there to do it. Of course, Alec has proven himself a good friend of mine, and I honestly just want to make the trip to Georgia to go meet him and go get a burger.
JONATHAN – And check out that amazing bridge set?
VANCE – Oh, of course! And shooting on that bridge…who could pass that up??
JONATHAN – Will that be for Constar Chronicles, Minard, or something else entirely?
VANCE – For me, I do have an idea in mind. I’ve discussed it with a few people, and they said they were very excited to make a last-minute trip to meet me there if I decided to go. This will be something that will be neither Constar Chronicles nor Minard…yet very much both. But let’s just say Minard might have to put his green hat and jacket back on and grab his blade. WATCH OUT! (LOL)
JONATHAN – How did the idea to shoot on the Ares bridge come about?
VANCE – I’m persistent as hell! No, I’ve always made my intentions clear that if the opportunity ever came available, I’d like to do something. Just like at Randy Landers’ bridge [used for Potemkin Pictures‘ various fan films -Jonathan], things like this are kind of a “bucket list” to me: meet people I respect and shoot on a bridge I haven’t. Nothing big, but just to say, “I was there.”
Everything I do is still with the intention to someday show my son: “I did this with little-to-nothing, and I believe you can do more than me.” So at long last, Alec had this set up to where it was possible. So Alec and I chatted a bit, and agreed I’d come in the summer.
JONATHAN – What are you doing to prepare for this Ares shoot?
VANCE – I’m not really doing anything to prepare. I kinda wing it these days. I’ve done this for so long, I usually don’t plan until a few weeks out. I’m just lazy, dude! (LOL)
JONATHAN – Will you be crowd-funding?
VANCE – I’m not sure. I don’t think so. Everyone was so nice to give me the money for the uniforms; I feel kinda bad asking for more than I deserve. So no, there’s no plans at this time for it.
JONATHAN – Okay, back to The Constar Chronicles. When all is said and done, how many films will you be releasing in total?
VANCE – I would say we’ll have close to 20 films, give or take, and of course, that’s if nothing comes up and if people keep schedules. The one thing about doing fan films that are independent from each other is, if one drops off, it’s not really a big deal. Together it’s a great thing, but its not as if I’m trying to hit a deadline. I’m just enjoying making films with my friends and those who enjoy doing this with me. And I’m evolving my stuff along the way. So when we’re done, we’re done, and we will release.
JONATHAN – And when do you think that will be?
VANCE – I’m thinking the winter of 2019, but I really want to be as vague as possible because people tend to set dates and then not fulfill them. Or they have to backtrack, and that’s not something I don’t want to do. I’m not above doing that if I have to, but I really think if I don’t have everything done by then, then something is wrong!
We were able to get basically 11 films done plus footage for a bunch more in less than 6 months. I think giving us a year to release the product is more than enough time. Plus, one thing I did, which was something most don’t do, is that I got my CGI done a head of time, thanks to Lee Gartrell and Joey Bonice. So now I’m just waiting on the filmed stuff, which is easy. Usually it’s the CGI that people are waiting on, so I made sure that was not an issue this time.
JONATHAN – So, with 20 completed episodes, how often will you be releasing them? Once a month? Once a week?
VANCE – All at the same time!
JONATHAN – Seriously??? All 20 at once? Who do you think you are…Netflix?
VACNE – Why not? I think it will be kinda cool having everyone binge-watch the films just like on Netflix. To me, that’s never been done before with this medium, and it will be worth the journey of coming back to fan films, asking for the small amount of money, and giving my friends a nice look at how I spend my time. Or more accurately, how do many of us spend our time…because it’s not just about me anymore!
These fan films are not about Minard. These are about the Constar crew and the effects of one ship—throughout the years from the Borg encounter all the way to the battle to retake DS9. And by the time you get to the end, you meet so many characters. In fact, it’s a lot like DS9 in how you get to know these many characters, and it’s very exciting.
Except my Starfleet officers sometimes have sneakers, wear blue jeans, or there are cords in doors. Ah, cheap fan film making…we all love it!
But we all know kinda what I have in mind and the goal I have, so they are all pretty much on board to help me get there to release all 20 films for their friends and families to view. And of course, all of you, too.