Considering that THE ROMULAN WAR fan film project began production three years ago and hasn’t yet been released, show-runner MARK NACCARATO has certainly released a ton of original content for it!
Along with a series of really amazing trailers (all of which can be viewed here), behind-the-scenes production briefs (available here) and the online comic book short stories “Holocaust” and “Intruders,” Mark had also previously released five extraordinary “enhanced” audio dramas called WAR STORIES. These short vignettes would normally be considered pure audio dramas (something which, regrettably, I don’t have the time nor resources to cover here on Fan Film Factor), except for the fact that they each also include an animated visual component.
Most of these War Stories vignettes feature photos along with brief computer animations, while others contain short video clips or even VFX shots. The final effect is to create a series of “personal log” voice-overs from various characters who experienced the Romulan War from a diverse series of perspectives. In fact, one of those characters was voiced by yours truly! You can view and listen to all of them on this YouTube playlist.
With production finished and post-production nearing completion, Mark has just released a sixth War Stories installment called “HUNTING GROUNDS: The Battle of Terra Nova.” It features the earth colony visited by the NX-01 crew in the sixth episode of Enterprise, along with some video clips and a few new VFX scenes. Let’s check it out…
Not too shabby, huh? I reached out to Mark for a little more background on this newest release, along with asking for the latest updates on The Romulan War fan film and when Mark expects to finally have it ready for viewing. Here’s what he said…
JONATHAN – First of all, Mark, what’s the latest news from the front on the status of THE ROMULAN WAR? I know you’d wanted to have it released earlier this year but ran into some unexpected delays. Will fans see the finished product before the end of this year, and will the two parts be coming out at the same time or staggered?
MARK: I am tentatively going to say that we can release Part One by October and then Part Two will come next year—hopefully by spring—but as you know, “deadlines” on these things are a moving target at this point.
Here’s the production update on Part One of The Romulan War. Special effects/CGI by SAMUEL COCKINGS’ team are done, as are the animated graphics that a guy here in Nashville was doing for us. We have picture lock. The score/soundtrack by ADAM MULLEN is done, and it’s great. Basically, all we have left now is audio and to do the credit roll. We’re waiting on some dialogue that our supporters are recording for us, and then all that has to be mixed and added in, and then a final sound mix. Oh, and we’re still waiting on some color-graded footage, which has to be checked and then synced into the final cut. After that, we’re pretty much done with Part One.
I’ve privately screened the rough cut to several filmmaker friends who are Trekkers, and they love it. I am proud of what we’ve been able to do with the time and limited budget we have.
JONATHAN – Awesome! As usual, I can’t wait to see it, and it looks like I won’t have to wait much longer. So moving onto your most recent War Stories release, “Hunting Grounds,” what made you decide to use the Earth colony from the Enterprise episode “Terra Nova.” That wasn’t exactly a memorable story (at least for me).
MARK – Oh yeah, I hope nobody interprets “Hunting Grounds” as some kind of love for the “Terra Nova” episode of ENT…that one kind of sucks! I picked the world of Terra Nova as the setting because it was one of the only human colonies we saw on ENT, and I wanted to remind folks that the Romulans are everywhere and threaten every human civilization, not just Earth.
We will be telling stories of other Earth colonies; this is just the first one I was able to finish production on. (Incidentally, I don’t know if you’ve listened to it, but the audio-only version of HG posted on our Soundcloud actually has a little more story in it than the video version does.)
JONATHAN – Now that you’ve released six of these War Stories audio dramas, how will they all interlace with with the main Romulan War fan film(s)? Will a story like Terra Nova’s be a significant part of the overall plotline, mentioned as an aside, or are these audio dramas essentially “extras” to help expand the scope of The Romulan War?
MARK – Not specifically “Hunting Grounds,” but there will be brief snippets from other audio episodes in TRW Parts One and Two. For the most part, though, yes the audio dramas are extras that expand the scope of the overall story we’re telling, and they depict events that are referenced in the TRW films. Same thing with our web comics.
JONATHAN – And finally, are you happy with the way these enhanced audio dramas are turning out, or is it frustrating to be limited in what you can show?
MARK – I’m definitely happy with what’s been released, for sure. We got to show off more FX work from Cockings, so that’s always cool. I wish I had the time and money to film original footage for these, but they are, after all, just audio stories. I add the video graphics, stock footage, etc. to them because, frankly, who wants to stare at a still photograph or a title card for 4 minutes while they listen? “Hunting Grounds” definitely has the most involved LCARS-type animated graphics, so doing some TRW world-building and inventing some new “fanon” was fun for me. And hey, we got to destroy the starship Discovery — cue controversy! LOL
JONATHAN – Indeed, although for me, the Discovery NX-04 from STAR TREK: HORIZON will always hold a special place in my heart. Okay, enough chit-chat! Get back to work and finish your fan film so we can all enjoy it.