STARSHIP FARRAGUT’s finale “HOMECOMING” is coming along… (interview with STEVE SEMMEL)

Starting in 2005, Starship Farragut began releasing a series of nearly a dozen high-quality fan productions—including full length episodes, vignettes, and even two animated projects (featuring voice-overs by TIM RUSS (not playing Tuvok from Voyager) and CHASE MASTERSON (not playing Leeta from Deep Space 9). Along the way, they constructed an extensive TOS set recreation that was eventually shared with, and later sold to, VIC MIGNOGNA of STAR TREK CONTINUES. (Read the full and fascinating history of Starship Farragut here.)

At the end of 2014, Farragut Films decided to transition themselves ino the first full-budget, set-based regular fan series to be set in the Trek movie era.  The actors had aged a decade since the earliest episodes of Starship Farragut, so jumping the series forward seemed logical. In fact, the new series was to be called Farragut Forward. But it never came to be. Instead, at the end of 2015, the group crowd-funded a series finale episode called “Homecoming,” and raised $15,787 from 207 donors on Kickstarter.

Things seemed to be going smoothly on “Homecoming.” Filming took place in early 2016 with some outdoor reshoots being completed in June of that year, according to donor updates. In early 2017, donors were treated to a two-minute teaser-trailer with an unexpected cameo by Marvel Comics legend STAN LEE (who passed away in November 2018). The trailer looked promising…

But after an October 2017 update from show-runner and lead actor JOHN BROUGTON saying that post production was about 50% completed, two and a half years went by without any further updates to donors or new trailers or news of any kind.

That changed this past April when a new update was sent to Farragut donors by STEVE SEMMEL. Steve came on board the project last September to help compose the score, and he had some good news. Steve would be taking on the title and duties of Post-Production Supervisor, and along with Special Effects Supervisor KEN THOMSON, Film Editor JAYN PENNINGTON, and Music Scorer CARL HAYES, there would now be a concerted effort to bring “Homecoming” to completion (and to YouTube) in 2021.

Naturally, I was curious to learn more—not just about the status of the project itself but about Steve, how he came to be involved with the project, how he got the “promotion” from Composer to Post-Production Supervisor, and what tasks he and others will be doing to bring “Homecoming” home…

Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT’s finale “HOMECOMING” is coming along… (interview with STEVE SEMMEL)”

The STARSHIP FARRAGUT finale “HOMECOMING” is still being actively worked on!

While AXANAR usually hogs the comments on social media asking, “Why isn’t it finished yet?” there’s been another crowd-funded Star Trek fan project from 2015 also still lingering in post production. No, not PACIFIC 201. And not FIRST FRONTIER either (it wasn’t crowd-funded). And not EQUINOX or PIKE (although successfully crowd-funded, neither project was ever filmed).

No, I am talking about the long-awaited finale to the venerable fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT, an episode titled “Homecoming.”

Starship Farragut got its start way back in 2005 when they began shooting their pilot episode “The Captaincy.” Over the course of the next decade, the folks at Farragut Films would release nearly a dozen more full-length episodes, vignettes, and even two animated episodes (featuring voice-overs by TIM RUSS (not playing Tuvok from Voyager) and CHASE MASTERSON (not playing Leeta from Deep Space 9). Along the way, they expanded their filming space and constructed an extensive TOS set recreation that was eventually shared with and later sold to VIC MIGNOGNA of STAR TREK CONTINUES. (Read the full and fascinating history of Starship Farragut here.)

At the end of 2014, Farragut Films made a decision to transition themselves to become the first full-budget, set-based regular fan series to be set in the Trek movie era.  The actors had aged a decade since the earliest episodes of Starship Farragut, so jumping the series forward seemed logical. In fact, the new series was to be called Farragut Forward. But it never came to be. Instead, at the end of 2015, they crowd-funded a series finale episode called “Homecoming,” and raised $15,787 from 207 donors on Kickstarter.

Things seemed to be going smoothly on “Homecoming.” Filming took place in early 2016 with some outdoor reshoots being completed in June of that year, according to donor updates. In early 2017, donors were treated to a two-minute teaser-trailer with an unexpected cameo by Marvel Comics legend STAN LEE (who passed away in November 2018). The trailer looked promising…

An October 2017 update by show-runner JOHN BROUGHTON reported decent progress:

Our video editor Jay Pennington is doing an outstanding job with the edit. I’d say that we’re 1/2 way done based on the cuts that have been reviewed and critiqued for edits. Although he is on track to deliver as promised an edited film before year’s end, the CGI and FX shots still need to be done. In addition, there is also color correction and ADR work to do given the acoustical and lighting challenges we had filming outdoors.

And then, silence…

Continue reading “The STARSHIP FARRAGUT finale “HOMECOMING” is still being actively worked on!”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT completes re-shoots on their finale “Homecoming”

Farragut HomecomingThe long running fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT is currently in production on its final episode, “Homecoming.”  After that episode is released, Farragut Films will transition into a new movie-era fan series to be called FARRAGUT FORWARD.  You can read more about that new series here.

In the meantime, Starship Farragut‘s final episode had initially shot a series of exterior scenes last October.  But as post-production ramped up, the producers felt that the footage and performances from these October shoots could be enhanced and improved for a better final product.

Over the past weekend (and also during a weekend last month), Farragut re-shot those exterior scenes…and they report that the results will bode very well for the overall quality of their swan song episode.

For people who complain that fan films suffer from poor acting and a general lack of quality, this is a wonderful example of a fan series going the extra mile to present the best finished product possible.  So a big hand for Starship Farragut!

STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 3 (2011 to 2016)

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

        — Rear Admiral David G. Farragut

Cover 3Last time: Between 2005 when they first started production on their pilot episode and the end of 2010, Starship Farragut managed to produce two full-length fan films of about an hour each, two shorter “Crew Logs” vignettes, two animated episodes, and one online comic book.  They also moved their production from the Washington, DC area to St. Marys, GA where they began construction of their own TOS sets in a 2,500 square foot facility they called Studio 1.

As plans began to solidify to produce their third (and most ambitious!) full-length feature, Starship Farragut creator and star, John Broughton, announced an unexpected decision of his own: he would be giving up his leading role as Captain Jack Carter and would be stepping back from day-to-day production going forward.  Would Starship Farragut be able to continue without its captain?  Let’s find out… Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 3 (2011 to 2016)”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 2 (2008 to 2010)

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

        — Rear Admiral David G. Farragut

Cover 2Last time: we met John Broughton, U.S. Navy veteran turned starship captain.  Broughton played John “Jack” Carter, commanding officer of the USS Farragut NCC-1647, who began his mission during the third year of Captain Kirk’s original five-year mission.

Starting in 2005, John Broughton assembled a dedicated team made up of dozens of family, friends, and family of friends in the Washington, DC area who worked intently on building sets, sewing uniforms, and making props.  With help from NEO f/x to do CGI visual effects and James Cawley, who generously allowed John’s team to film scenes on James’ meticulously-constructed Star Trek: New Voyages TOS bridge sets in upstate New York, Starship Farragut managed to film not just one but two full-length episodes and release both during the 2007 calendar year.  Their second episode even went on to win the award for Best Fan Film at the Wrath of Con film festival in 2008.

It’s fair to say that Starship Farragut successfully navigated a whole slew of torpedoes that might have sunk a lesser fan production, and they were sailing “warp speed ahead!” into 2008.  And that’s where our story picks up… Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 2 (2008 to 2010)”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 1 (2004 to 2007)

Farragut-1
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut.

 

 “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Rear Admiral David G. Farragut issued that order in 1864 at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the American Civil War.  A century and a half later, a group of dedicated Star Trek fans has followed that order with enthusiasm to make a film series that bears his name.

If you think about it, there are a lot of things that can torpedo a fan film production.  From inception to completion, the fan(s) behind it have to have the five Ds: the Dream, Desire, Design, and Determination to get it all Delivered.

Starship Farragut had its fair share of torpedoes to get past, but speed on it did.  And through a full decade of filming and production, Farragut has continued to grow, improve, and evolve into one of Star Trek fandom’s MUST-SEE fan-based series.  Along the way, Farragut boldly went where no fan film had gone before, blazing a successful trail for other fan series to follow.

Cover 1 Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 1 (2004 to 2007)”