As usual, a quick check on the GoFundMe campaign. While donations have slowed, they’re still coming in and inching us closer to our $19,500 goal. Right now, we’re 45.3% of the way there and 118 donors, with some promotional pushes planned over the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, if you haven’t donated yet, have a little extra to spare at the moment, or simply want to help us spread the word, here’s the link…
And now, the blog…
The spoiler warning is there to remind you that this short comic book story is pretty much identical to what you’ll see in INTERLUDE when it’s finished…only the comic is two-dimensional drawings without sound or motion or all the other cool stuff you see in fan films.
Interestingly enough, we’ve reached the point where I need to start being very selective in choosing which panel(s) to show at the top of the blog entry. I always like to show some thumbnail, as it increases the visibility of the link when I post to Facebook and Twitter. Also, if I don’t set the thumbnail, Facebook and Twitter will use their mysterious algorithm to decide for themselves with thumbnail to use…and that could inadvertently end up giving away an important spoiler.
So as you can see from the image at the top, I’ve chosen something very ambiguous to display while still showing off the amazing artwork of my illustrator DANIEL FU.
And speaking of Daniel, I’d like to take a moment to point out something that many of you might not have noticed. Sure, his art looks awesome…with great composition that moves the eye around the page, dramatic expressions and poses, confident line work, and contoured contrasts of light and shadow.
But did you notice the colors? I mean, they’re bright and vibrant and all, which is important for this era of Star Trek (before things got darker and less saturated in the later TV series like Discovery and Enterprise). But it’s more than just that.
When Daniel and I discussed the story and pages, I art directed him that I felt it was important to distinguish the two bridges—Ares and Artemis—which are, of course, identical. And they’re both at red alert, meaning they both should be colored to reflect that emergency battle status. So how could Daniel make two identical bridges, both tinged red for battle status, look different?
The answer was very clever and brilliantly executed, in my opinion. If you look at Page 2 where Garth is barking orders on the bridge of the USS Ares, you’ll notice that everything is colored with a red hue (except the one panel cutaway to sickbay). But on the following two pages, which take place primarily on the Artemis, the hue shifts more yellow. This doesn’t mean that Artemis is at yellow alert, but it does subtly imply that the situation is worse on Ares. And in some ways, it helps justify Garth’s attempt to beam Ramirez over to the Artemis so they can get away instead. The Ares is battered and, tactically, should be the ship to stay behind.
You might also notice, if you look at Garth on the Artemis‘ view screen, his background color is different than the Artemis’, but it still shifts slightly yellow. It’s a “redder” yellow, but it works better than carrying over that same ruby-red hue from the previous page. Had Daniel used that redder red on the view screen while the rest of the page shifted more yellow, it would have been too visually distracting. Instead, Garth’s background is shifted to yellow (since he’s being seen from the point of view of Artemis), but it’s not the same yellow. He still carries over some of his bridge’s redness.
And then, on the latest page, the awesome “split” panel goes back to Garth’s full red hue while keeping Jakande’s background yellower. It’s visually impactful and remains one of my favorite panels from the whole comic.
By the way, as long as I’m on the subject of making the two bridges look different, I discussed the same subject with my directors, JOSHUA IRWIN and VICTORIA FOX. Obviously, everyone will be filmed on the same bridge set at ARES STUDIOS, and we probably won’t be able to color or light them too significantly differently…although lighting them differently is certainly an option. However, we’ve discussed other subtle visual techniques to distinguish between shots on the two bridges, such as filming Artemis scenes with a stationary camera while Ares scenes use an unsteady cam, and/or having more telephoto close-ups for one bridge and wider composed shots for the other. So many possibilities—I can’t wait till we film this!
Obviously, I’ll leave the final decisions to the experts, but it’s just so darn exciting to know about all of the strategic planning and careful decisions that are going into every aspect of this fan film.
Oh, and speaking of waiting, thanks for reading this mini-lecture that was probably more suited to when I was a design school student back in 1992. Here’s your reward (and remember you can click on any image to enlarge it)…