The shoots must go on – filming MUDD baking in an OVEN!

You’ve probably heard it on the news—or maybe you’re experiencing it yourself. There is a massive “dome of heat” sitting across much of America right now with temperature records being broken left and right. Even in the higher elevation Ozark Mountain area, the mercury on the thermometer outside read 95 degrees last Saturday. And it wasn’t just any kind of hot. It was the southeastern U.S. in June…meaning sticky, humid heat that melts you into a puddle of sweat even if you’re standing in the shade!

But inside WARP 66 STUDIOS in the town of Flippin, Arkansas, well, it was even HOTTER!!! Actually, I should specify that inside one of the WARP 66 Studios, it was even hotter. That’s because their TOS sets occupy two different locations. The bridge and shuttlecraft sets live in a nice, air-conditioned building owned by DAN REYNOLDS in Harrison, AR, and even though the lights and warm bodies can heat things up a bit, those two sets remain pretty comfortable.

However, things are much different in Flippin! GLEN L. WOLFE constructed a metal building on his property that currently houses the transporter room, briefing room, sickbay, corridors, and a swing set area. The building has no insulation, and only one small room inside for the actors to prep has a small A/C unit. The rest of the building is “cooled” by running small fans to move the air around. But when it’s 95 and humid outside, those poor fans are fighting a losing battle, and with the hot lights and bodies inside, you may as well be filming inside of an oven!

“It was dead air inside and hotter,” said Dan Reynolds, who served as director of photography for this oppressively sweltering Saturday shoot. “Thank goodness Glen built it with extremely high ceilings.”

Interestingly, not one but TWO different fan films shot simultaneously on those super-hot sets. The first and more significant of the two (in terms of total footage filmed) was for the next episode from Glen and Dan’s “fanthology” series THE FEDERATION FILES. Titled “MUDD’S MISSION,” this new production brings back two colorful characters from the series’ very first release back n 2016, “HIS NAME IS MUDD“: Captain Charles McCann of the U.S.S. Constitution, played by JIM VON DOLTEREN, and the irredeemable Harcourt Fenton Mudd played with flair by DAVID WHITNEY.

DAVID WHITNEY as Harry Mudd with DAN REYNOLDS (left) and JOSHUA IRWIN (right)

David, who lives in Iowa, actually filmed his scenes a couple of weeks ago during a much more pleasant weekend. “Up until June,” said JOSHUA IRWIN, showrunner for the AVALON UNIVERSE, who was also there this past weekend filming pick-up shots for that team’s upcoming release THE NEEDS OF THE ONE, “the weather in Flippin can be pretty mild. In fact, late spring this year has been cloudy and rainy, even into May. But June is about the farthest you can do it. July and August are out for shooting there, and we don’t typically schedule anything until September again.”

So why not simply cancel the hot shoot and come back some cooler day?

Continue reading “The shoots must go on – filming MUDD baking in an OVEN!”

STARFLEET STUDIOS cancels THE TNG PROJECT but revs up for VOYAGER CONTINUES!

the-tng-projectThere’s some bad news and some good news for STARFLEET STUDIOS (based in Iowa–not to be confused with STARBASE STUDIOS, which is moving from Oklahoma City to Arkansas…more on that in an upcoming blog).  The bad news has to do with their planned new fan film, THE TNG PROJECT (working title), which launched a Kickstarter in late October attempting to raise $11,000.

They ended up raising only 1% of that amount (the campaign finished with $131 total, which means it failed to fund and no money will be collected from supporters).  Show-runner DAVID WHITNEY told me earlier this week:

Frankly I did not expect the TNG project to succeed. I did not do a great job for the videos. I had no cast interviews, and did not groom the fans. But I wanted to give TNG fans something.

One of the reasons for the lackluster effort came because, during the Kickstarter campaign, the main actor for the project, who was set to play Data, became unavailable as his acting career has begun to take off.  So rather than pushing hard for donations for a project that was now lacking a main character, David Whitney simply let the campaign close, unfunded.

But not all is bad news in the universe of Starfleet Studios!  David also told me the following:

Continue reading “STARFLEET STUDIOS cancels THE TNG PROJECT but revs up for VOYAGER CONTINUES!”

THE FEDERATION FILES premieres its debut episode “His Name Is Mudd”!

his-name-is-muddIf there were ever a game of “Where’s Waldo” using the credits of Star Trek fan films, Glen L. Wolfe would surely be Waldo.  If you visit Glen’s IMDb page, you’ll see him having participated in a dozen different fan films and series stretching back to 2013: Star Trek: Renegades, Horizon, Deception, Secret Voyage, Ambush, Equinox, Temporal Anomaly, and multiple episodes of New Voyages and Continues.  He’s worked on fan films as an actor, producer, cameraman, electrician, and art designer.

And now Glen can add writer and director to that list, having finally been the show-runner on a fan film of his own.  “His Name Is Mudd” serves as the debut release of the new THE FEDERATION FILES, which is produced in conjunction with Starfleet Studios in Iowa.  Their Facebook page talks about the new series:

The Federation Files is an opened look at the Memory Alpha database. The concept is to allow filmmakers a location to make their films available to the fans. Scripts will span the entire Star Trek Universe. Each episode can be free standing, therefore a new cast could be featured every time.

Following the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone format, the fan can view any episode in any order as they do not build on each other.

In this way, the new series will conform to the guidelines in not featuring continuing stories about the same characters.

federation-filesThis debut episode features a veritable “who’s who” of Star Trek fan film actors and crew.  Michael L. King of Starship Valiant makes a cameo appearance as Commander Bishop (his character from that series).  Cat Roberts, who appeared in Star Trek Continues‘ “Fairest of Them All” and later played Janice Rand in multiple episodes of The Red Shirt Diaries, plays Rand again, this time on the USS Constitution.  Robert Withrow reprises his character of Admiral Witrow from multiple episodes of New Voyages.  David Whitney of Starfleet Studios in Iowa, the show-runner of the nearly-completed Trek fan film Raven, plays a perfectly unscrupulous Harry Mudd.  And even more actors and production crew from these series and others appear throughout the credits.

federation-files-crew-photo
Glen L. Wolfe sits in the command chair surrounded by the cast and crew of “His Name Is Mudd.”

This 47-minute fan production was filmed at various locations, including at Starfleet Studios in Iowa; down at Starbase Studios in Oklahoma on their bridge, transporter, and sickbays sets; and even up in Ticonderoga, New York at James Cawley’s Retro Studios using the briefing room set.  If there is such a thing as a “family” of fan filmmakers (and I truly believe there is) this production was indeed a family affair.

You can watch “His Name Is Mudd” by clicking here.