INTERLUDE Confidential #15: After putting out fires, INTERLUDE will finally premiere on MONDAY, APRIL 5!

I can finally and proudly announce a release date for my AXANAR Universe fan film INTERLUDE:

MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2021 (Star Trek ‘s “First Contact Day”).

Well be premiering it during a special Axanar Confidential livecast this Monday night at 10:00 pm Eastern Time when I and a bunch of members of Team Interlude will be appearing with Fleet Captain Garth himself, ALEC PETERS. You can find the livecast on the Axanar YouTube Channel.

Let me tell ya, folks, for the last week or so, I wasn’t quite sure we were gonna make that deadline! While there’s no one holding a phaser to our heads to release Interlude on April 5th, “First Contact Day” is a coveted spot among Star Trek fan filmmakers if they can hit it. But I checked around, and this year, no one I spoke to was claiming that day (and if they had, I would have let them have it and just chosen a different date a week or two later). So with the coast clear, I started mentally preparing myself for April 5th.

Although we’ve been REALLY close to completing Interlude for the past few weeks, I wasn’t feeling comfortable enough to make an announcement until today. After all, we’ve been having a series of really crazy things happen along the way that have delayed or at least impacted pre-production, production, and post-production. Among these: rivers flooding, wild tornadoes, freak polar blast ice storms, trapped woodpeckers, and stray dogs on the road. Read more about them here, here, and here.

And now we can add FIRE to the list!

This past Monday, I couldn’t reach MARK EDWARD LEWIS, our post-production sound designer, for most of the day. That in and of itself isn’t unusual; Mark has a pretty busy life, and I don’t expect the entire team to be “on call” 24/7. (You need to actually pay people—and pay them a lot!—for that kind of service.)

But Monday was an important day. With just seven days left until my still-unannounced but highly desired deadline, we’d had an e-mail glitch. Two days earlier, I’d sent Mark a compilation of final notes on the latest sound mix from myself, our director VICTORIA FOX, our editor JOSH IRWIN, and our composer KEVIN CROXTON. But it was now Monday, the clock was ticking, and no one had heard back from Mark. So I messaged him on Monday morning my time (about noon for Mark in rural Tennessee) just checking that he’d be able to get those final fixes done in the next day or two and send the final audio mix over to Josh.

“I’m still waiting for a response from my last e-mail,” he replied.

Uh, oh! Apparently, Mark had sent out an e-mail on Saturday with a complex explanation about one of the notes we were requesting and asking how we wanted to proceed. But no one received the e-mail, so I asked Mark to please re-send it to everyone ASAP. He said sure, and I went off to do other morning stuff.

The hours passed…and nothing from Mark. Thinking that Mark’s e-mail might still be glitching, I messaged him. No response. I tried calling. No response. The hours kept ticking away, and Jonathan’s fingernails starting becoming ever shorter.

I wasn’t worrying without reason, mind you. Victoria was about to start a 6-hour drive from Oklahoma back to her home in Arkansas and wouldn’t be able to read (possibly not even receive) an elaborate e-mail. As the afternoon wore on, Victoria couldn’t wait any longer for Mark’s e-mail to arrive.

It was the early evening for me when I finally received a text from Mark….

Sorry. Had a fire come 100 yards from my house. Neighbor next door. I was there first. The fire dept took 20 minutes. Hose. Buckets. Shovel.


I thought Tennessee was getting hit by torrential rains and flooding! Apparently, the land owned by Mark’s neighbor waited for a break in the weather to catch fire. Sheesh!!! No one knows yet what caused it.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the fire didn’t burn near any homes and was put out before reaching Mark’s land…although Mark inhaled quite a bit of smoke. “But it should be a lovely spring since the fire put some great ash down for seeds,” he texted me. Always looking at the bright side of life is Mark!

Mark copy-pasted the e-mail into a Facebook IM to me, and I relayed it to Victoria. Fortunately, she was stopping for gas, had a chance to read it, and we discussed Mark’s concerns during the final 45 minutes of her drive. Immediately after hanging up, I contacted Mark with our decision, and he was finally good to go. We had a new final audio mix posted for Josh by Tuesday night.

Well…almost final.

One of the things Mark did seems to have inadvertently reduced the levels of some really important musical trumpet notes that—honestly, folks—I can’t tell the difference when I listen! But Kevin can hear it, and so can Victoria. Rather than send it back to Mark, though, Kevin is simply going take the latest audio mix file, re-lay in those brass tracks, and send the file back to Josh to insert into the video timeline. Kevin expects to have that to Josh later on tonight.

Tick, tock, my friends! We’ll see you online Monday night…

31 thoughts on “INTERLUDE Confidential #15: After putting out fires, INTERLUDE will finally premiere on MONDAY, APRIL 5!”

  1. Omg what an ordeal you went through. So glad in the end it all worked out. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Interlude. I have no doubt it will receive rave reviews. I am very happy and excited for you. Great job!!!!

    1. We couldn’t have done it without ya, Lezlie! (Actually, we probably could have, but you get an awesome close-up at a really powerful moment.)

  2. At least you’ve not faced a Kobayashi Maru situation. Notice the tense of that first sentence. After all that’s happened, the past tense seemed to be a bit premature. And I admit to being just a wee bit tense. (I’m also having fun with the word ‘tense’ if you had not guessed).

    I’ll also save the congratulations for after I watch it.

    1. There’s an old joke that works better when spoken, so read it out loud:

      This guy goes to see a psychologist and says, “Doc, I just can’t figure out what’s going on! Each night, I keep having the same two dreams. In one dream I’m a wigwam. In the other dream, I’m a teepee. What does it mean???”

      The psychologist answers, “Well, it seems pretty obviously to me: you’re two tents.”

      (I did say to read it out loud.) 🙂

    1. “Just as it is” isn’t good enough for many of us working on it. A LOT of passion and perfectionism…including last night until the wee hours and continuing right now as I type this very reply!

  3. Congrats Johnathan! Can’t wait to see the feature. No one will remember the birthing pains once the beautiful baby is here !!!

    1. Oh, I will certainly remember the birthing pains, Robert…as will many members of Team Axanar. This “little” 12-minute fan film has been a RIDICULOUS amount of work. When you see it, you’ll think, “Really? That didn’t look so hard to produce.” And then I will quietly throw something. 🙂

  4. It seems really disrespectful to Steve Inhat to call Alec Peters “Fleet Captain Garth himself.” Alec has not played Garth in any official production and he certainly did not originate the role. Steve Inhat is the one who was cast by the actual production and played the role officially. I doubt you call Vic Mignogna or James Cawley “Captain Kirk himself.”

    1. Actually, I would. But that’s beside the point, Wolfie.

      I had the pleasure of having lunch with Steve Ihnat’s widow, Sally Marshall, and her biographer, Linda Alexander, at Axacon in Atlanta back in November of 2018. They hadn’t actually seen “Prelude to Axanar” yet, having only been invited to the mini-con a few days earlier. But I had my laptop with me and showed the two lovely ladies the fan film as they ate their lunch. They were blown away and finally understood why there were so many people at this hotel gathering to celebrate a little fan film.

      After lunch, during a panel discussion, Sally told Alec that her husband would have been honored to see Alec carrying on the legacy of this character that Steve played, and as far as she was concerned, Steve had passed the torch to Alec and was smiling down from heaven. Steve himself had a passion project with Ed Asner that he worked hard to get funded and produce. It took years and was finally going to premiere at Cannes when Steve had a heart attack during the film festival and passed away in 1973. Sally felt that Alec shared this same passion in trying to get his own project completed, and that she saw a lot of her late husband in him. (This is all recorded on video somewhere. All the panels were filmed.)

      Anyway, Wolfie that’s good enough for me. After all, Steve Ihnat can no longer speak for himself, but his widow knew him better than anyone. So as far as I am concerned, Alec is Fleet Captain Garrth of Izar. Final answer.

  5. Yes I have no doubt you could’ve done it without me. Lol
    But thank you it is nice to know I do show up. When you do background work most of the time you end up on the cutting room floor. Even if that had happened the day I got to be there and be on set was a very memorable one. I thank you so much for that opportunity.❤LLAP

  6. Ahhh… the moment you and the rest of us have been waiting for –
    [drumroll sounds]
    EXT: Space – vast vista slow moving starfield
    Que Announcer:
    “And now – LIVE from somewhere in Georgia [under breath] and several other states –
    [Loud and Lively] Its Interlude
    (from backstage) – “Dude – its’ AXANAR Confidential”
    [cymbals crash and drums beat downward]
    Que: Title

    I’ll be there and rooting loud! Congratulations, Jonathan and entire Interlude Team!!

  7. Well, since you are well under the max length as per the guidelines, I can’t wait for the NEXT installment.

    Put this one to bed and start the next.

      1. Plenty of stories left to tell, and now you have the experience to do it again better and without the learning curve.

        Haven’t seen many “one and done” fan film makers. Seems like once they get bitten but the bug, they are eventually ready to do it again.

        I’m patient. I’ll wait.

  8. Congratulations! Now all you need to do is repeal Murphy’s law, because that is an awful lot of things that went wrong…

    1. We expected that. The trick lay in making things as challenging as possible for Mr. Murphy, and I feel like I accomplished that goal adequately. 🙂

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