The TWO missions of the INTERLUDE fan project…

We all know the primary mission of the USS Enterprise: to explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man/one has gone before.

But if you think about it, any decent science vessel could do that job just as easily. The Enterprise was different, though. While its primary mission was one of exploration and discovery, the crew had many, many more responsibilities: peacekeeper, diplomacy, war ship, search and rescue, medical transport, resupply, and even (in a couple of cases) espionage.

The starship Enterprise carried out many kinds of missions, and in the same way, so will my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE. Unquestionably, the primary mission (aside from having fun…always a must for fan productions!) is to make a slick, kick-ass fan film for you all to enjoy. But like our favorite TOS and TNG starship, Interlude had some additional tasks to accomplish…among them showing how Ares Studios is a viable resource for other fan films beyond just AXANAR (Vance Major gets his chance in a few more months) and demonstrating that it’s still possible to crowd-fund a Star Trek fan film into the five-figure range even post-guidelines…while dutifully following those guidelines.

But there’s one other mission for Interlude which, to me at least, is the most important: I did it for the blog.

More specifically, I did it for the majority of my readers who might never have an actual opportunity to walk onto a fan film set or be a show-runner. Perhaps a few of you want to be an executive producer or director yourself someday. Or maybe you just want to get a ringside seat on all the action.

Either way, I’ve done (and will continue to do) something with Interlude that I’m pretty sure has never been done before with any other fan film. I’m documenting nearly everything that’s gone into making it—from budgeting to building the team to all of the strategies I’ve used to crowd-fund to pre-production design to casting and costuming details. (No Land’s End shirts!) Thanks to these many blogs, my readers are getting to “look over my shoulder” at nearly every detail…assuming they’re interested in such things. To me, that’s actually one of the most exciting aspects of this whole process: not only do I get to watch and be a part of it all, but I can SHARE the experience with all of you!

And this past weekend’s shoot was no exception.

As happened a month ago on the Axanar shoot, I also did a bunch of behind-the-scenes filming of set-up and interviews with cast and crew. But unlike Axanar (and, I believe, any other fan film of this caliber), I also recorded the actual production itself…nearly all of it. (I drove my directors nuts!) Who films the filmmakers? I did! I was there on set with my own camera recording all of the action. I shot hours and hours of video footage.

I would like take a moment to sincerely thank both of my directors, JOSHUA IRWIN and VICTORIA FOX, for their patience and understanding in letting me have this opportunity. They don’t usually have some obsessive blogger nerd with a camera documenting their every move—few directors ever do—which is why this was such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime chance for me. I wanter so much to bring this incredible experience to fans who might never see or experience anything like this. So thank you again, Josh and Victoria, for allowing me to shoot so much footage of you shooting footage.

That said, I’ve assured them both that I’m not going to release a 10-hour “how to” documentary. If someone wants that level of detail, they can go to film school. But there’s still a lot I can share with all of you to provide a flavor of the experience. However, please be aware that I did promise to save the vast majority of this amazing footage until AFTER Interlude is released. Even though the comic book version is already out there and (most) fans already know the Interlude story, let it be a surprise to discover exactly HOW Victoria and Josh choose to tell that story.

So initially, you’ll probably only see still photos and mostly silent video clips (with background music) for the scenes being shot on the bridge. But after Interlude gets released, I’m looking forward to taking my readers onto the set itself (virtually) to let you experience what it was like to stand on that bridge…before, during, and after the director called “Action!” (And believe it or not, Josh didn’t actually say “Action!” You’ll see what I mean next year.)

In the meantime, while we wait for the finished production, I hope you’ll indulge me as Fan Film Factor continues to feature a parade of Interlude-focused blogs…although not exclusively. There’s lots more happening in the Star Trek fan film world—including the release of Victoria and Josh’s latest and most excellent Avalon Universe fan film DEMONS (with 23K views in less than a week!).

But I’ve also got so much material to share from Interlude…I took over 1,300 photos and videos!!! (Don’t worry, I’m trimming that number waaaaaay down right now.) Over the coming months, I’ll share this amazing journey (as I’ve already been doing) through words, photos, interviews, and of course, videos.

And I’m going to start right now with a bunch of livecasts that were shot over the weekend. Most of those livecasts were done by ALEC PETERS himself because, well, because that’s what Alec does. And he actually does it rather well. Here’s the first one (flipped horizontally by yours truly so everything isn’t backward), just as people were arriving early Saturday morning…

Just for laughs, I’m going to include one of my behind-the-scenes videos…even though those won’t be edited for a while yet. But I just so happened to be filming WHILE Alec was livecasting! Take a look…

While Alec’s first video was nine and a half minutes, this next one was only 53 seconds…

That was it for Alec’s livecasting on Saturday, but on Sunday, he was actually in uniform…

Meanwhile, Alec wasn’t the only one posting to YouTube. Although TREY McELWAIN signed a non-disclosure agreement, I gave him permission to record a podcast of his own ’cause—c’mon—it’s just a fan film, right?

A few hours later, Alec was in the middle of the action on the bridge, in uniform, introducing and re-introducing his Ares crew to viewers…

Then came the Sunday night wrap party, which was essentially Chinese food in Alec’s living room with three dogs doing their best to help themselves to our dinners…

And finally, Monday morning’s breakfast with the “leftover” gang who still had to cross three or more states to get home (not including one local fellow). And of course, Alec took us to the best biscuit place in Lawrenceville…

LOTS more to come…stay tuned!

10 thoughts on “The TWO missions of the INTERLUDE fan project…”

  1. Wow, I am so envious (good type of envy) seeing this ─ I would sooo much love to be even a tiny behind-the-scenes part of this. OK, I’ve contributed a little of the money and that’s ‘behind-the-scenes’, but I mean being physically there, working in the studio as part of the team even if only to sweep the floors. It seems remarkable that all of this can be achieved with what is really a small sum of money, despite the amount of effort needed to raise funds like this. So congratulations Jonathan, it must be incredibly rewarding to know that ultimately, this is your achievement. Certainly, with the help of a lot of people, but you are the person who made it happen.
    Meanwhile, your blog writing is slipping ─ first and fifth pars need an edit! (Sorry, can’t help myself.)

  2. Well, after watching all those videos, I just crossed the rubicon, 50 gigabytes of used data! Fortunately I have unlimited. But still like to set a limit for tracking my use. First time hitting this only a day before new month.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing the experience. However, I want to see Alec smack Jonathan a couple more times, like in the video of the day before on Friday, Axanar channel. You were doing do so well keeping politics out of your work. SSH.
    Perhaps Jonathan was channeling Biden? You can remove foot from mouth now!

    Still looking forward to the whole Interlude production. And the behind the scenes video blogging. Thanks!

    1. Alec likes to think of himself as the older brother who tortures his younger sibling with me. Not as much fun on my end, but I let Alec be Alec. 🙂

      And yeah, those head-smacks hurt. Fortunately, there was no dain bramage.

  3. I think what is most impressive, is that with all the content that we have seen, it’s not even a scratch on the surface!

    In addition to being a part of it, and then seeing all the wonderful photos, and live-streams that came out, you think to yourself, “OMGoodness this is so much”….but in reality, there is still so much more! Because now being a part of it, you get to get a sense of the scope, nay the magnitude of all the different moving parts that are going this production so fracking good.

    This was such an amazing opportunity! A total “dream come true!” Thank you so very Jonathan.

    Many of the fans that I have spoke with all say the same thing….”wish I could have been there!”

    1. Thanks to my photos and videos, many folks out there will have the next best thing to being there. But you’re right, even if I made a 10-part documentary of every hour of video I shot, I wouldn’t scratch the surface because so much was going on at the same time in totally different places! It was truly a marvel to behold.

  4. ” I’m documenting nearly everything that’s gone into making it—from budgeting to building the team to all of the strategies I’ve used to crowd-fund to pre-production design to casting and costuming details.

    I’ve assured them both that I’m not going to release a 10-hour “how to” documentary. If someone wants that level of detail, they can go to film school.”

    You provoked me into commenting. When my wife and I watched the LoTR EE, we were entranced by the “making of” scenes from how to layer sound to seeing every take of a short segment and so forth.

    I was struck then and am still struck by how informative the EE segments were and how much they were a “Introduction to Film 101”.

    So my hope is that the middle ground you choose turns out to be “Introduction to Fan Films 101” – an informative survey of what goes into making a fan film.

    1. I’m going to put together an initial edit, and then Josh and Victoria get to say what they’d like taken out. Seems only fair. But that’s all still half a year away…which is fine ’cause I’m gonna need nearly that long to edit through everything! 🙂

  5. Hi Jonathan. You realize I’m being ultra pedantic just for the fun of it, but as you asked, in par one, “… the primary of mission of the USS Enterprise…” has an extra “of”; and in par 5, “… opportunity to walk onto on a fan film set…” should be, “….walk onto a fan film set …”. You asked!
    With everything you are doing just now (just now? ─ you never stop!) it’s amazing there aren’t many more trivial slips like this. You are amazing with what you achieve and, in particular, can’t wait for “Interlude”.

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