INTERLUDE Confidential #22: Presenting INTERLUDE version 3.0!!!

Geez, Lane! How many times are you going to re-do your frickin’ fan film???

Back in April, we premiered a version of my AXANAR Universe fan film INTERLUDE with PAUL JENKINS playing the chief engineer of the ill-fated U.S.S. Artemis. At the time we shot those engineering scenes, Paul was still directing the Axanar sequels and had been a great help behind-the-scenes advising my directors JOSHUA IRWIN and VICTORIA FOX along with myself on ways to work collaboratively on finishing up the production. Giving Paul a small role in Interlude seemed like a fun way to acknowledge his generous help, and Paul was happy to appear in our film.

Then things soured between Paul and Axanar producer ALEC PETERS—Paul was no longer director, lawsuits were filed, fire and brimstone came down from the skies, rivers and seas began boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. (Wait, that was Ghostbusters…who here loved Afterlife?)

Anyway, just as we were about to release our just-completed Interlude fan production on April 5, Paul informed us that he no longer wished to appear in the film and demanded we remove his footage. There wasn’t time to replace his scenes before the big premiere (he contacted us just a couple of days prior), but thanks to some scrambling and about 22 hours of round-trip driving from Arkansas to Georgia and back by Josh and his good friend TYLER DUNIVAN, we were able to get Interlude version 2.0 out just two weeks later, with Tyler replacing Paul as the engineer. You can watch that release here…

A couple of months later, while I was making a video about the editing process of Interlude, Josh asked me if I’d be okay if he created a special version of Interlude just for himself using a different transition between the first portion of the film (the battle sequence) and the epilogue documentary. You can watch the transition that we used at the 6:37 mark in the above video.

But Josh had always wanted to do a different transition using an alternate take of Garth where the camera slowly zooms out from a close-up. Victoria, as director, wanted to go a different way, but now that Interlude had been released, Josh was curious how the other transition would have turned out.

And so was I!

Truth to tell, I was never all that crazy about the transition that we ended up with and never even knew that we had an alternate take available. Josh said the new transition would be closer to what I’d initially had in the original comic book version of Interlude…a direct cut from the younger Garth to the older Garth as though he were emerging from a recollection of a haunting memory.

“Make it so!” I told him. A few hours later, I watched the new alternate transition for the first time.

My friends, it looked amazing! Such a small change, and yet it felt so much more impactful. And then I had a thought…

“Josh, let’s do this right,” I said to him over the phone. “We can ask Kevin [Croxton] to redo the background music under the transition, and then we’ll re-release Interlude v3.0 because that’s the version that I want to enter in film festivals!”

And yeah, I realized that it seemed a little ridiculous to re-re-release your fan film multiple times with minor changes. But as I’ve said previously: these are just FAN films. With the exception of the guidelines, there’s no real rules for what we do, and no “fan film police” who will arrest us for making tweaks and uploading new versions to YouTube. So why not make Interlude a little better?

“Well, Jonathan, as long as we’re changing the transition,” Josh replied, “there’s a few other things I’d like to adjust if you’re on board.” The first thing Josh suggested, which was pretty much a given, is that we needed to do a little shuffling of Garth’s interview commentary, as some of what he says in the new zoom-out take is the same as stuff he says later on. Ultimately, this would shorten the entire film by about 30 seconds, but Josh felt that the Garth commentary went on a little bit long anyway.

Along those same lines, Josh’s second suggestion was to drop in some B-roll clips of Jakande and other visual elements from the film over Garth’s longer dialog segments. Just looking at a single take of the same talking head for long stretches can start to feel a little monotonous for the viewer. Breaking that up by interspersing visual cutaways can make the sequences more interesting and even more emotionally impactful.

For this same reason, we also decided to chop the second clip of Admiral Slater in his San Francisco office into two sub-clips in order to give the last part of documentary portion a more back-and-forth feel.

The final change Josh suggested was adding in a bit more shaking during the battle sequence at the beginning, since one of the only consistent criticisms we received on Interlude was that things felt a little too “calm” during that part. You’d think this sort of thing would be quick and easy to do, but adding shaking is kinda like adding lens flare, and we didn’t want to J.J. ABRAMS this thing to the point of making our audience car sick!

So Josh and I spent a few weeks carefully trying to figure out where in the film to add shake, how much to shake, when to stop each shake, and whether or not to add rumbling underneath a shake—each new iteration requiring a from-scratch re-render of the entire film from Josh!

We didn’t always agree, but we did ultimately reach some nice compromises, and we’re both very happy with the final result. So no one out there complain that there’s now too much shaking…Josh and I will virtually smack you!

In addition to thanking Josh for all his hard work (this has taken nearly four months because it’s not like Josh isn’t busy earning a living and making other fan films at the same time), I’d also like to give a very special thank you to KEVIN CROXTON for putting in the time (also four months…for free, no less!!!) to recompose the transition and all the epilogue music and also rebalance the sound mix. This took way more work than anyone (except another musical composer) would ever imagine. Kevin came through for us despite having to deal with a parent whose health is failing and who has been in and out of the hospital for the past couple of months. So Kevin earns a HUGE shout-out of gratitude for getting this done for us.

And now, my friends, I am so proud to present—for the third time ever!—the newest version of Interlude

29 thoughts on “INTERLUDE Confidential #22: Presenting INTERLUDE version 3.0!!!”

  1. I liked that transition from younger Garth lowering his head in mourning for the crew of the Artemis, to older Garth lifting his head to speak! It was just like the Tokra from Stargate SG-1 switching from the symbiote talking to the host talking, or one of the Faceless Men from Game of Thrones switching “faces”. As if Garth had never quite stopped mourning the sacrifice that Jakande and the Artemis crew had made on his ship’s behalf.

  2. I just watched Interlude for the first time. Terrific work all around! It’ll definitely be something that I come back for repeat viewing.

    1. Awesome! I am so glad you enjoyed it, Jared. Just curious: did you only just find out about Interlude? (It first came out back in April.) If so, how did you hear about it?

      1. Or I could write a script for you where the warp core breach hit a point in the universe where the dimensional barriers are at it’s weakest and Jakande ended up in a brand new universe much like his own, but different somehow.

  3. Hi Jonathan,
    I completely agree that the latest changes enrich the film, and hope to see this version offered at upcoming film festivals. 🙂

    – LynnMarie

  4. I think Warren Hawk was really good in this and he seemed familiar to me but I hadn’t really seen him in much else so it had to be from one of your first Interlude videos that I recognized him. He seems to be very outstanding and I would like to see more work from him in other projects. The rest of the team did fantastic as well. Everyone deserves a huge pat on the back for the work and dedication you all put in.

  5. Y’know, if you wanted I could have recorded the line I made up for you and send it to you. 😛 I know you didn’t need it, but I would have. “Commander, transporters are down. I can’t restart them.”

    I read the script and heard the lines while filming. I found the Transporter restart button on the bridge. 😛 I was quiet when I spoke. But I did it just in case.

    Love ya Jonathan. And thanks for leaving me in. Wow this is good.

  6. I for one cannot argue that the alternate cut and B-roll footage definitely enhanced the film for the better, Jonathan! Thank all involved for making my financial support for the fan film so much more memorable! Merry Christmas / and looking forward to a brighter 2022!

  7. I actually donated to one of the crowdfunding campaigns for it at some point, but I just never got around to watching it. Always intend to, but never got around to it. Got excited after reading the email update today and decided to pull it up and watch it at work

  8. Oh, I think that there will be Bjos 2022 for long (Squadron) and short (Interlude 3.0) form 😉 .

    1. Yeah, I just realized that Interlude and Squadron won’t be going head-to-head…although just barely! Squadron is over the 30-minute long-form cutoff by just 9 seconds! So Interlude will be going against Cosmic Stream–meaning Josh Irwin will kinda be competing against himself. And Squadron takes on Agent of New Worlds as the two favorites. Very interesting to see will be two of the best actors currently in fan films going head-to-head: Warren Hawk (Jakande from Interlude) and Tyler Dunivan (Mason from Cosmic Stream)…both of whom now play once and future captains of the U.S.S. Excalibur in the Avalon Universe. May the best (leading) man win! And of course, there’s other strong actors and actresses, directors, writers, and fan films out there, as well. And just because a particular fan film seems like the “one to beat,” that certainly doesn’t mean it’s unbeatable!

  9. Thank you all for this wonderful gift at Christmastime.
    As usual, the production values are better than average “Hollywood” quality. This directors cut is perfect!
    (And, that’s coming from a perfectionist.) This is the Star Trek loyal fans deserve. Happy belated Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

  10. Oh, I might as well throw in another comment saying ‘Well done’. It’s nice to see you getting attention for a blog that’s not Discovery related. Interlude 3.0 is my favourite version (so far? 🙂 ).

    This prompted me to watch Agent of New Worlds too and I’m VERY intrigued by the ending. Let’s hope there’s more of this (yes, I have donated).

  11. Others have already written it, but I wanted to add my +1. The changes were well worth making. The result is noticeably better.

  12. Two words: Paul who?

    IMHO the film is better without him. And yet, since his hissy-fit demand to be removed gave you the chance to make other improvements, I suppose we could thank him for making one last (non)contribution to the success of Interlude.

    Or maybe not…

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