Last week, we took a look at the fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION, which debuted in early 2015 and returned in late 2016 and 2017 with two additional episodes that crossed over with STARSHIP VALIANT and Vance Major’s MINARD saga. Now Dominion is set for yet another return, and has launched a brand new GoFundMe campaign attempting to raise $1,500 for a full-length (two 15-minute episodes) fan film.
In the first part of my interview with show-runners GARY DAVIS and RANDY WRENN, we discussed the crowd-funder, the guidelines, and the two recent vignettes that were released. But were very outside-of-the box fan films. The first, “Reality Check,” debuted last month and features jumps between the Star Trek fan film universe and the “real” world where their production is actually being filmed. You can watch it here…
The second vignette, “Silent Acknowledgement,” focused on an intriguing concept: a communications officer who is deaf. Played by Gary’s wife TRACEY DAVIS, who is actually deaf and has cochlear implants, Lt. Paula Tomkins’ “disability” is no more a hindrance in the 23rd century than Geordi LsForge’s blindness was in the 24th century. For hearing impaired watchers of fan films, this is (I believe) the first totally deaf character to be featured in any fan production or series. You can watch the vignette below…
One of the most distinctive things about Dreadnought Dominion (in addition to the deaf communications officer and the use of a tri-nacelled Federation-class dreadnought design from the Franz Joseph Starfleet Technical Manual from the 1970s) is where the series has been filmed. The first two episodes and the most recent two vignettes were each filmed on the TOS sets in Kingsland, GA, previously used exclusively for the fan series Starship Farragut and Star Trek Continues. No other fan production was ever allowed to film there. But Dominion filmed there years earlier and was also the first fan production to film on those sets just as the new owner, RAY TESI of STARSHIP REPUBLIC, was opening them up to other fan productions. How did they manage that…?
One of those “hidden gems” of Star Trek fan films is the series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION. Not as fancy or polished as the “big guns” like Star Trek Continues or New Voyages, Dominion is one of those mid-tier productions that has benefited from using TOS sets from other productions (or faked it when they weren’t able to) and put a lot of heart and dedication into producing labors of love.
I also fancy this particular fan series because it’s the only one to feature the Federation-class dreadnought starship design from the Franz Joseph Starfleet Technical Manual from the 1970s. I always loved that 3-nacelled design with the hangar bay on the front!
Dreadnought Dominion release two episodes in 2015, each filmed on the sets used at the time by Starship Farragut and Star Trek Continues (the only other fan production to ever use those sets). Their third episode wouldn’t come out until the end of 2016 and was actually a crossover with Starship Valiant. You can read more about all of that in this blog. Ten months later, Dominion crossed over again withStarship Valiant but in the Mirror Universe as part of the MINARD saga from Vance Major. That’s covered in this blog.
Then last month, Dominon returned yet again…this time all on its own, once again using the STC sets in Georgia( now owned by Ray Tesi). They promptly released an amusing 10-minute vignette titled “Reality Check” that broke the “fourth wall”…
Then last week they released another new vignette, “Silent Acknowledgement” that focuses on a hearing-impaired communications officer (the first Trek fan series that I’m aware of to feature a deaf character)…
They also just launched a new GoFundMe campaign trying to raise $1,500 for their next production:
Less than a month after RAY TESI announced that the STAGE 9 STUDIOS Star Trek sets were open for fan filmmakers to shoot on, the long-running fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION released the six-and-a-half minute fan film “Reality Check.”
The TOS-era sets, originally constructed for the fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT and STAR TREK CONTINUES, were purchased by Ray Tesi (show-runner for STARSHIP REPUBLIC) late last year from STC‘s VIC MIGNOGNA. After checking with CBS Legal and receiving guidance, Ray has opened up the Kingsland. GA sets to any Star Trek fan film project that agrees to follow the fan film guidelines and first submits their script for review and approval.
Although I’ve published a couple of recent interviews with Ray Tesi, things do seem to be moving quite quickly forward with this amazing fan film resource. So I had yet another brief chat with Ray, mainly curious about how Dreadnought Dominion got their project scheduled and filmed so quickly and how things are progressing with other fan productions at Stage 9.
Please note, I’ll also have an upcoming interview with GARY DAVIS and RANDY WREN of Dreadnought Dominion about “Reality Check” as well as other planned projects.
And speaking of “Reality Check,” before we start our brief interview today with Ray, I invite you to take a look at this unique, tongue-in-cheek fan film that cracks through the “fourth wall” and has some important things about why fans make these films in the first place…
And now, let’s hear what Ray has got to say today (yay!)…
Last November, the fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINIONreturned from a 16-month hiatus with a new episode that crossed over with sister fan series STARSHIP VALIANT…an episode entitled “Chain of Command.” You can read more about that endeavor here in this Fan Film Factor blog.
Written by Vance Major, Gary Davis, and David R. Wrenn, and directed by Vance and Gary, the scenes for “Chain of Command” were filmed separately in the states of Ohio, North Carolina, and Oklahoma (the former location of Starbase Studios) and then edited together into a 7-minute fan film. It focused on the new CO of the USS Dominion trying to find a first officer.
It’s rare to see the full (or nearly full) casts of two different fan series cross over into a single fan film. What’s even rarer is to see them cross over TWICE!
And it’s interesting that I said “cross over” because the latest film film to feature these two crews crosses viewers over into the Mirror Universe with a retelling of the “Chain of Command” story with the same characters but from the Terran Empire’sISS Dominon and ISS Valiant.
It’s fun and fascinating…all at the same time! Written by the same team, the directors were now Gary Davis and Kent Edwards. And the locations still included Ohio and North Carolina, but Starbase Studios has now moved to Arkansas, and some scenes were also filmed in Georgia. I’m told the entire production was shot last month (with a few scenes filmed in May) and edited together pretty quickly to come out with such a fast turnaround.
I’m going to provide links to three different fan films here. The first is mirror universe “Command and Conquer.” Below that is the prime universe “Chain of Command” for you to compare it to. And finally, there’s a short vignette written by and starring Vance Major titled Project Defiant: “Dark Glimmer.” Although it came out in late June, it’s a sequel to the newly-released “Command and Conquer.”
And look for a really great audio interview with Vance Major on Fan Film Factor this coming Friday!
Back in April of 2015, a new Star Trek fan series called DREADNOUGHT DOMINION premiered with its initial episode, “Haunted.” Three months later, a second episode, titled “Anchors Aweigh” (a bit of a prequel to the first episode), made its debut. It wasn’t the only TOS-era fan series to feature the crew of a non-heavy cruiser class starship, but it was the first and only one to feature the crew of a Starfleet dreadnought-class starship based on the mid-1970s Franz Joseph Star Trek Technical Manual.
Thanks to a 3D model created by Kenneth Thomson, Jr. and Thomas Phong, the beauty shots of the tri-nacelled USS Dominion in the opening credits and during the episodes were gorgeous. The two episodes were filmed primarily on the very impressive TOS sets in Starship Farragut’s Studio Two in Kingsland, GA (also the shooting location of Star Trek Continues).
A year earlier, another fan series, Starship Valiant, made its debut on YouTube with an introduction vignette titled “Legacy.” Valiant was filmed using the TOS bridge set at Starbase Studios in Oklahoma City. (The following year, a “special edition” version of “Legacy” with added footage was posted after Starbase Studios built a new sickbay set.) Valiant has since completed principal filming on its second episode “The Ties That Bind,” although post production is still ongoing and the second episode hasn’t been released yet.
So what do these two fan series–filmed in different locations in different states during different years–have in common? A man named Vance…