INTERLUDE Confidential #10 – I’ve got a peaceful, easy feeling…

You can’t please all the Trekkies all the time.

I wrote that sentence at the beginning of yesterday’s blog featuring the new YouTube music video from GARY DAVIS of DREADNOUGHT DOMINION. In it, Gary featured a compilation of many of the viewer comments that have come in through social media over the past five years both praising and scorching their fan film efforts.

The video—set to the popular song “I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again” (the actual title is “Tubthumping” by the band Chumbawamba)—reflects Gary and his team’s positive and “bring it on” attitude about their hobby. They know they aren’t the giants of fan films, but they’re having FUN…and that’s really all that matters.

After writing that blog yesterday, I began thinking about the fan reaction to the trailer I released last Wednesday for my own fan film INTERLUDE. Man, did that one light a match! And it all came from a fun and silly little idea I had to do an homage to the opening credits of one of my favorite sci-fi series from the mid-1970s, Space: 1999. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, or you’d like to check it out again, here it is…

Actually, lots of people liked it. It’s had about 2.1K views so far on YouTube, with 85% of the reactions being thumbs up. Of the 15% that were thumbs down, the main complaint seemed to be my choice of music—likened by some to 70’s porn, and called by one Facebook poster “ear-raping” (whatever that means…although I’m guessing it’s not a good thing).

Others didn’t like the quick cuts, the over-use of the CGI shots, and one fellow thought I had too many clips of people spinning around in their chairs! ALEC PETERS said he liked the trailer but added that it’s not what he would have done. One of my oldest friends, ADAM “MOJO” LEBOWITZ, took time from his busy schedule to write on my Facebook post: “That’s the kind of trailer a fan makes after the movie came out. A mash up. It was cute and cool but I know nothing about your movie other than battle CGI.” Heck, even one of the members of my Interlude production team told me didn’t like the trailer. (Hey, at least he was honest.)

Such a fuss over a 1-minute trailer that I threw together in iMovie on a lark! Honestly, folks, I didn’t make the trailer for Alec or Mojo or for ear-raping guy. I made it for me…as a way to provide a sneak peek to supporters and friends and family members of what this fan film that they’ve been hearing about for a year was going to look like. It was fun to edit together, and I like the way it came out. Sure some people didn’t like it. So what? The world didn’t end (at least, not because of one Star Trek fan trailer).

But these past five days of reactions to the trailer got me thinking about what’s gonna happen when we release the full Interlude fan film on July 25. Do I expect people to criticize our passion, hard work, and dedication? Of course I do! Asking Star Trek fans to all universally praise something is like asking the sun not to rise or for all politicians to get along with each other.

Some fans will justify their criticism by saying, “Hey, I’m entitled to my opinion! If you don’t like my comment, then don’t read it (or don’t listen to it).” Of course, in the modern world of social media and podcasts, it’s really hard NOT to read or listen. After all, by completely avoiding Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and all of the rest, you miss the good along with the bad—and we certainly don’t want to miss the good, right?

So what’s the solution…?

While the folks at Dreadnought Dominion have chosen to sing their fight song—“I get knocked down, but I get up again!”—my fight song is a more laid back “you do you; I’ll do me” kind of ditty…

I realize that the famous Eagles song “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” written by Jack Tempchin, is technically about being okay with not finding love and instead living in the moment with no pressures or expectations. But the song speaks to so much more than just romantic connection. It’s a song about life itself and providing a simple path to dealing with adversity, criticism, uncertainty, and failure…

I got a peaceful, easy feelin’
And I know you won’t let me down.
‘Cause I’m already standin’
On the ground.

I didn’t set out to make Interlude because I wanted accolades. I didn’t need to go down in the history books as having been the producer of one of the greatest fan films ever seen by human eyes. Heck, Interlude could suck, everyone could tell me so (although I hope it won’t be that bad), and I’d still be “standin’ on the ground.”

And the reason is simple. My goal in producing a fan film was to produce a fan film. I wanted to have the experience…both as a fan who loves the universe of Star Trek and as a blogger who’s been writing about this quirky sub-sub-genre and the people in it for nearly half a decade now.

Interlude wasn’t only about the destination; it was about the journey getting there…the TREK, if you will. And it’s been such an incredible, eye-opening experience. It’s provided me with amazing first-hand insight into filmmaking that I couldn’t have gotten any other way…insight that is certain to make me a more effective blogger on this subject.

In fact, part of what I wanted to do in producing Interlude was to share this unique experience with my readers, every step of the way—from conception through crowd-funding and pre-production, then production, and finally post-production—aided by photos and videos, animations and audio files, and interviews and insights from the people who would be helping me make this dream a reality. I’ve assembled an awesome team of incredibly talented fans who have given their all to this project. What else could I ask for?

I’ve already been able to share so much with all of you through these many Interlude blogs, and there’s even more to come! So in that way, even if people aren’t impressed with the finished product, it’s still been a satisfying success in my eyes.

So that, my friends, is where my “peaceful, easy feeling” stems from, even if my dream project winds up getting torn to shreds on social media. I already had criticism when I released the comic book version of the Interlude story when some people complained that it’s ridiculous that both Federation starships spend the entire time running away from the Klingons without firing back a single shot. (By the way, folks, that’s because phasers and photon torpedoes are ineffective against the new D7 battlecruisers’ reinforced hulls and improved shielding—so full power of the fleeing vessels is being diverted to aft shields.)

I’m sure there will be even more criticism when Interlude is released in July. I’m already expecting the members of a certain Facebook group to mock ALEC PETERS’ acting (although I think some people will be pleasantly and unexpectedly impressed) or say that we should have done it this way or that way. Everyone is suddenly an expert when they criticize, right?

Bring it on, guys; it’s all good…

’cause I’m already standing on the ground.

18 thoughts on “INTERLUDE Confidential #10 – I’ve got a peaceful, easy feeling…”

  1. You’re in very good company, Jonathan. I write this because I’m reminded of the legions of people upset with Trek movies and the TV shows, Star Wars, LoTR and all the rest. They all were attacked by at least some who did not like something or other.

    So when it comes out, just stand by to raise shields when you detect incoming attacks. Your shields are stronger than their written and verbal phasers.

    There will be without a doubt some well-written and helpful feedback about what to do if you ever do it again, but I’ll bet that a lot of it will be, in these immortal words, “just a bunch of hooey”

    1. Rather than raise shields, I plan to just phase out of the temporal vibrational frequency long enough for the complaints and criticisms to pass harmlessly through me. Raising shields takes energy. No need to waste it. Interlude is Interlude…I have no regrets. πŸ™‚

  2. I thought the trailer was snappy and fun. Not sure about that starting clip of Peters though. (grin) He sure seemed PO’d about something! Sure the timing on the scenes was pretty short but they give a (very) quick overview of what’s to come. Personally, I enjoyed the music. (Full disclosure – I’m a pretty unsophisticated consumer of music.) Anyway, it made me curious and now I’m looking forward to see what the whole thing is going to be like.

    More importantly, I’m glad you had fun making it.

    1. The challenge was in finding two single clips long enough for both main actors, as the musical intro for each lasts a pretty long time. Honestly, that was the only clip of Alec that fit the time I needed. πŸ™‚

  3. I was a fan of ‘Space: 1999’ back in the day. I appreciate the video.

    I admit to being just a little bummed. I was scheduled to drive up to Kentucky and film a couple of Potemkin episodes with Randy Landers, but the trip got cancelled due to the Roners. Hopefully we will reschedule soon. When those episodes are complete, I have another Trek project in the wings…

    Happy Trails!

    1. The quarantine won’t last forever, I.T. You’ll be back making fan films with Randy before you know it! And when you are, please keep me posted.

  4. I actually found the trailer very exciting and the music to be an original choice and very creative. Yes you could have played it safe and done something more traditionally expected, especially with regards to the music,but kudos for putting your own unique stamp on it. I respect that and personally think it was a good don’t need to defend that to anybody. Bunch armchair producers and movie maker out there that haven’t done anything .

    1. Actually, a couple of the people criticizing the effort were filmmakers themselves. But that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and even to share it. The important thing to remember–for me or for anyone–is that opinions are simply that. There is no one “right” way to make a fan film or even a trailer. There’s also not necessarily a “wrong” way. Some might think it’s the wrong way, and that’s fine. And they’re welcome to do it differently when it’s their turn…if they are so inclined. It was my turn, and I did it my way. (Cue Frank Sinatra here.) πŸ™‚

  5. And all’s right with the galaxy. I saw interlude being made by an incredible team who were full of passion for the project. It’s gonna be great!

  6. Hi Jonathan; must admit to brief confusion being my first reaction to this “trailer” then realized what it is ─ a bit of fun when times are tense. But, to a certain extent, see the point of the comment that it’s the sort of thing done after the event, after the completed film has been released.
    Most viewers would already be onboard with what your movie is all about and understand what it is, after all it has been made available to your subscribers. But what of someone browsing through YouTube and coming across it without any background knowledge? Almost certain loss of a potential subscriber (to your channel, subscriptions to the film being closed).
    If course, the chance of this is remote, but this is still a thought that should be considered even if then dismissed due to low probability. Personally, I thought it was clever and a fun idea.

    1. What do I care if I lose a potential subscriber…or ten…or a hundred?

      My YouTube channel isn’t monetized. And even if it were, I couldn’t monetize a Star Trek fan film.

      The purpose of the trailer was simply to announce the launch date to those who are following or interested in Interlude. And there’s no one correct or incorrect way to do that. There’s always a hundred reasons to do something one way and a hundred reasons not to do something that way. In the end, you decide on a path to take and then proceed confidently.

  7. Lots of us don’t like Alec for various treasons and wish you would have used someone else. You should have Ruby Rose’d him!

    1. It sounds like you were one of those children back in school who ostracized the unpopular kid, Edward.

      Having been the unpopular kid myself, always criticized for this and that, I learned how important it is to feel like someone is standing up for you…even if it’s just one friend.

      Some people would call a person like you cruel or heartless, Edward, but I choose to think of someone like you as simply not having empathy. Being cruel or heartless is a choice. Not having empathy is more of disability. Condemning you for what you just said would be like condemning a blind person for not being able to tell me the color of my car.

  8. I saw the trailer and while it was ok, the music and the quick cuts were a bit much. However, just because it isn’t in my top 10, much less my top 50 doesn’t mean other won’t like it.

    It is after all your baby and as I am sure people have told you, you can do whatever you want with it. So, good job! I am looking forward to your next one.

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