When you think Star Trek, you probably don’t immediately think of the Czech Republic in central Europe (Star Czech maybe, but not Star Trek). But when it comes to Trek fan films, there’s some folks in Prague who have taken things to a whole other level!
I first took notice of the Czechie Trekkies in late 2018 when I saw an amazing-looking 4-part Star Trek fan film called DIPLOMACY. What made it so remarkable was that these folks had built a 360-degree 24th Century-era starship bridge set! While not as elaborate as TNG, DS9, or Voyager, it was still darn impressive…as were the Starfleet uniforms and the make-up (they actually had a Benzite!). I put this on my long-range sensors to cover here on Fan Film Factor, but after a year of being really busy, I hadn’t gotten around to reaching out to them.
However, I needn’t have worried because they contacted to me in late 2019! More specifically, JAKUB “JIM” HOLÝ reached out. He had been part of Diplomacy, but he said I shouldn’t bother covering that fan film because he and his team had something that was gonna blow away Diplomacy!
Color me intrigued.
Jakub explained that a new, more action-oriented fan film called SQUADRON had already been shot on that amazing bridge set. All of the live-action footage was “in the can,” (as we say in America) and about half of the VFX shots had already been completed or were in progress. But money was needed to properly finish the VFX and the rest of post-production, and they were planning to launch a crowd-funding campaign in early 2020. I was, of course, more than willing to help promote it with blog features like this one that included an audio interview with Jakub.
Although they missed their $16K goal, they still took in nearly $9K of it…despite the fact that, during the February-to-April campaign, the world turned upside down with the COVID pandemic, and donation dollars became scarce. One of the reasons for their success was a flawless and energetic Indiegogo campaign with almost constant promotion (trailers, behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, etc.) by Jakub and the team…most of whom spoke very good English, despite the film itself being entirely in Czech.
The money was used wrap up post-production, which included stunning CGI effects for the second half by the British Bastion of Blazing Battles SAMUEL COCKINGS. Part 1 premiered week ago on February 1 and has already been viewed more than 42,000 times on Youtube! In contrast, Diplomacy, after two and a half years, is barely over a thousand views, and other Czech fan films shot on that bridge and released over the past couple of years are still only in the low-to-mid thousands of views. So this one’s pretty special, folks!
In fact, you can see for yourself, as the concluding Part 2 has just been released. Here’s both parts together (with close-caption English subtitles that I actually helped edit)…
The celebrate this impressive release, I recorded my first-ever video ZOOM INTERVIEW with not one, not two, but SIX of the cast and crew of Squadron: the aforementioned executive producer and actor Jakub “Jim” Holý, there was also director Tereza Junová, writer Jan “Johnak” Kotouč, designer and lead actor Michal Husák, director of photography and editor Ondra Vodička, and lead actress Jana Peclová. I’d never interviewed so many people at the same time before, but the 90-minute conversation came out FANtastic!
Take a listen (and a look)…
9 thoughts on “The MUST-SEE Czech Trek fan film SQUADRON is complete! (Zoom video interview)”
Just curious if there is any plan to release an English-dubbed version? Subtitles make me crazy. 🙁
It’s been discussed, but the cost of doing it properly would require another crowd-funder, as there aren’t enough native English speakers in Czech for it to sound right (they would have heavy accents and sound awkward). So you’d need to dub it in either the U.K. or America (or Australia) either in a proper sound booth or with actors who have voice-training and good recording equipment. You’ll need experienced VO people because each line of their translated dialog would need to fit within the time constraints of the shot. It would be a LOT of work, and most likely, the VO people you hired would want to be paid at least a little something. Then, of course, you need a proper sound engineer to do the dubbing mix. It’s probably cheaper for them to just make a new fan film…and I’d rather see that. 🙂
The full 2 part show was awesome! Very impressive in all regards! As good or better than the Horizon which was a full movie. Squadron has to be one of the top 5 fan films I’ve ever seen! Congrats to them all.
Amen, David! So say we all…or at least you and me. 🙂
Hmmm… I wasn’t asking if they could re-dub it with Oscar-winning voices and production values. 😉 It is a FAN FILM, after all. 😉
Actually, Willie, I wasn’t thinking that either. But dubbing over another language is a very intricate process. You only have a certain amount of time to get the translated line spoken while the speaker’s lips are moving. And of course, you need to convey feeling along with the dialog. A bad audio dubbing would effectively ruin an amazingly strong fan film. So you pretty much have to go with experienced voice actors. It’s not hard to find them. Todd Haberkorn of Star Trek Continues comes from that industry and would be a good place to start. Most people who do voice-over have their own equipment at home anyway, usually pretty decent. You do still have to pay them–even STC paid salaries to their actors–but it’s not exorbitant. You might be able to get by with between $100 and $500 for each character, depending on the number of lines (possibly $1,000 for the Vorta because she has so many scenes).
Alternately, you could go to a drama school and try to get students to do it for maybe $50-$75 each, some lunch, and the ability to have it on their reel. I actually suggested this, using Samuel Cockings as the bridge to one of his actors from Temporal Anomaly and Convergence, Chris Burdett, who is a professor of drama at university in England somewhere. But Sam would still need transportation and lodging in order to properly direct the students and get the VOs timed correctly. So it’d still be a few thousand dollars for everyone’s time, equipment, and travel/lodging for Sam.
Doable? Perhaps. But much more work than you might think, and there’s still no guarantee it’d be worth it in the end. Remember those old Godzilla movies? 🙂
The old Godzilla movies were still watchable, tho. 😉
Even if the timing was off, I truly think it would still be a watchable story. I’m sure I’m not the only one who really doesn’t like having to read subtitles throughout a whole show. A brief scene here or there is fine, but a whole program? 😮
I still wish them great success. I don’t want to seem like I’m being negative.
BTW, having worked in Broadcast radio since 1987, I have a very good idea of what goes into audio production, having dome a bit of it, myself. 🙂 I especially enjoyed some of the “behind the scenes” videos of Vic Mignogna doing some of the audio editing for STC. 🙂 I recognized everything in those vids, and knew exactly what they were doing. Love it! 🙂
It was a superb film. I didn’t mind watching with captions/subtitles at all, but then I’m used to watching Asian movies with English subtitles 🙂
Impressive! Thanks for posting : )
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