The latest fan film release from POTEMKIN PICTURES is the sixth episode from the BATTLECRUISER KUPOK (pronounced kah-POOK’) creative team. Altogether, Potemkin Pictures currently has six different fan series—er, creative teams—in active production…resulting in an average of about a dozen fan film releases each year for the past few years. You can watch each of their nearly-80 completed fan films here on their website.
Although there is some occasional cross-referencing of events, characters, and plot elements between and among the various Potemkin Pictures series, full crossover episodes are a rarity. However, for last month’s “A MATTER OF TRUST,” the crew of the Klingon battlecruiser Kupok must seek out the help of the crew of the Federation hospital ship Marie Curie. The two casts and their respective sets are both featured prominently in this ambitious 10-minute episode. You can view it below…
With the frequency of releases from Potemkin Pictures, I’ve begun to ask show-runner RANDY LANDERS a few questions each time. Here’s our latest exchange…
JONATHAN – In a sentence or two, why should fans take the time to watch “A Matter of Trust”?
RANDY – It’s full of the optimism of the original Star Trek series, and I believe it’s a beautiful story. Plus it gave me a chance to work with my old friend, RICK ENDRES (an award winning fan fiction writer) again.
JONATHAN – Were there any unique challenges in filming a full crossover of two of your series?
RANDY – Director TUCK STEVENS actually set up and filmed the Marie Curie scenes first thing in the morning and planned on filming the Kupok scenes in the afternoon. Our problem was that we had several absences in the cast of the Marie Curie. Of the nine regular cast members scheduled, only three actually showed up for the 9:00 am shoot!
As a result, we drafted the father and younger sister of one of the Klingon guest stars, and CHARLES KELSO, who was on set with his wife—who played both Commander Sam Jackson (the Curie’s security chief) and Meb’ta (the Kupok’s pilot)—agreed to sit at navigation. Charles is also one of the story editors for Potemkin Pictures.
Anyway, we got through that and were running late, but fortunately, Tuck got it shot fairly quickly. While that was happening, I was working on Klingon makeup. Fortunately, we always have plenty of folks who do a great job with their own and each others’ makeups. The key is in getting the appliances put on each Klingon as required—fortunately, we have a mixed crew of various types of Klingons, so not all of them have cranial ridges.
JACK ZUMWALT, Klingon Captain Kesh, has one of the more intricate appliances, but he’s an expert at applying it, and then he always helps do the others in the cast. We use a tanning spray on some cast members, heavy wigs on some, and extreme eye makeup on others. I’m always glad ANN ELLIOTT DREW and RENDA CARR are there to help with the beauty makeup, and as always, the results looked pretty darn good.
So Tuck finished with the Marie Curie, and while the makeup was getting final touches, I moved out into the driveway to set up a background wall for the Klingon Sickbay and the green screens on each side of it. I also had rented three tables and covered them with red vinyl sheeting to accommodate the injured Klingons. Again, we were saddened by a couple of absences in the Klingon crew, but we made do.
After filming the Klingon sickbay scene, we took a lunch break and then finished up filming in the Kupok bridge set. Tuck ran at a comfortable pace, and I applaud him for directing so many cast in three locations (four, if you count the woods behind the house) with so many absentees. I also commend the people who were volunteered to assume roles in the production.
JONATHAN – How did this particular crossover idea originate?
RANDY – Star Trek Logs author ALAN DEAN FOSTER created a Klingon tradition of nada (the old Klingon word for “doctor”). The Klingons revered doctors, and would never harm one. So Rick wanted to have a situation where the Klingons had to seek help from the Federation for the dreaded disease polycythemia. They could not seek help from a “battlecruiser” like the Potemkin or Deimos or even the Tristan. But they would work with a completely unarmed ship of nadas, which is what the Marie Curie is. It’s a brilliant idea, and a wonderful one that even sworn enemies can be honorable.
JONATHAN – Do you have more crossovers planned?
RANDY – Right now, we (VICTORIA AVALON, LIZ KNAUEL, and myself) have written a two-part script that involves cast members from Tristan, Deimos, Triton and Endeavour on a mission to find the missing Captain C.T. Walker, formerly of the Tristan. It’s going to be shot completely in Birmingham using the available cast and crew. We’re hoping to film in January or February.
JONATHAN – Speaking of Birmingham (Alabama), your old stomping ground, how is your move to Lexington (Kentucky) coming along?
RANDY – Linda, the dogs, and I have completed our move and the needed repairs to our new home. It’s in a great neighborhood, and we’ve got good neighbors…several of whom amusedly identified that I was parking a shuttlecraft in the garage. We have ample street parking, and we’re in a wonderful city with plenty of locations and actors and fans who want to be a part of our new production.
JONATHAN – Will there be any noticeable delay in the Potemkin Pictures release schedule due to your move?
RANDY – Honestly, I hoped to have released three by now, but we had a couple of events in the personal lives of some of the post-production personnel. I’m hoping to release “Under Fire” (a Marie Curie production) in December. We’re also working on “Crystal Eyes” (Alexander), “Butterfly Effect” (Deimos), “Reclamation” (a two-part Tristan production), “Blood Crystals” (Deimos again), and “36 Hours” (Tristan). All of these are in various stages of post-production, especially in the VFX queue.
JONATHAN – WOW! That’s a lot of fan films!!!
RANDY – And we also have “Seek and Find” (mentioned above featuring cast from several ships) in pre-production for Birmingham.
So we have plenty in post, and by the time we’re ready to shoot here in Lexington (and we have six scripts already being worked on by our production team here), we should be on schedule again.
Next week, we’ll be making some really special announcements regarding our Lexington-based productions, so stay tuned!