STARSHIP DEIMOS releases their eighth episode: “The Deimos Factor”!

Two weeks after releasing their sixth and seventh episodes just one day apart, the production team for STARSHIP DEIMOS just debuted their eighth episode, “The Deimos Factor.”  If it seems like Deimos is pushing its production warp engines to ludicrous speed, it’s actually much simpler than that.  All of the fan series from POTEMKIN PICTURES ran into a many-months-long delay last year when show-runner and main editor RANDY LANDERS (who also directed each of the latest releases) had quadruple bypass surgery last August.  He’s fine now, by the way.

Randy’s ultimate goal is to release one fan film per month under the Potemkin Pictures label, and it looks like he’s rapidly getting back on schedule.  With seven different fan “series” in active production, plus the 36 episodes of the completed Project: Potemkin, Randy has released a jaw-dropping 62 separate fan films in 8 years, ranging in length from a couple of minutes to nearly an hour.  That’s an amazing accomplishment.

I’ve heard a small number of fans recently disparaging Randy and his fan films, claiming there is weak writing or minimal character development or just complaining about the low production values.  I say: “Nonsense!!! Malarkey!!!  Horse pooey!!!”  What Potemkin Pictures has done is to assemble separate casts of people over five dozen times, get them to perform and complete enough full scenes to create finished productions, edit those scenes together, add VFX and music, and release those completed episodes on a very consistent schedule fro nearly a decade.  Along the way, they built home-made sets, got inexpensive costumes to look like Starfleet officers and assorted aliens, and even had some make-up.

As for the scripts, while not every one is a cinematic masterpiece, they have all managed to be unique and non-repetitive.  They focus on different characters and different scenarios…just like Star Trek.  There are episodes with lots of cast members and ones with just two or three.  There’s first contacts, prime directive dilemmas, space battles, mind control, alien rituals, medical emergencies, diplomatic missions, Starfleet bureaucracy and intrigue, personal crises, spatial anomalies, drama, humor, triumph, and tragedy.  It’s never the same thing twice.

You try to do that 62 times and see how diverse your scripts are!

Anyway, you can watch all 62 productions here on the Potemkin Pictures website.  And you can watch their 63rd release, “The Deimos Factor,” right here, right now…

 

STARSHIP DEIMOS releases TWO fan films in FIVE days!

POTEMKIN PICTURES now produces five active fan series (even though they don’t call them “fan series,” since the guidelines don’t allow those) plus another two with episodes in post-production, plus the 36 episodes of the completed Project: Potemkin fan series.

You might remember back in early March when Starship Tristan released two new episodes (their 11th and 12th productions) within a week of each other.  Now its time for Tristan‘s sister series, STARSHIP DEIMOS, to have two releases, this time just five days apart!  In this case, it’s Deimos’ 6th and 7th episodes.

Prior to these two, the last fan film to come from the Deimos Production Crew debuted nearly a year ago.  The reason for the delay, followed by the quick double release, was that show-runner and main editor RANDY LANDERS (who also directed both of these latest releases) had quadruple bypass surgery last August, and much of the work had to be pushed back.

These latest two episodes could not have been more different from each other.  The first, “Prodigal Daughter,” takes place mainly on a Klingon battlecruiser and features “action” fight scenes (hey, those aren’t as easy as they look!), and it focuses on a single member of the Deimos crew.  At the end of the episode, we are told there is also a new captain on board, even though we don’t meet him yet.  The previous captain, Jeremy Quinn, was played by actor TERRY SELF.  The new captain, Mark Stone, is played by TONY ANDERSON, taking his place as one of the few black actors to command a starship in Star Trek fan films.

The second episode, “Shattered Sky” (which actually shows the new captain), had scenes filmed on location at a historic landmark in Birmingham, AL, other scenes filmed on their bridge and lounge sets, and still others in front of green screen with composited backgrounds.  Nearly all regular members of the crew were featured throughout.  So it was a pretty ambitious production, all things considered.

Also, Potemkin Pictures has begin to use ADR (voice dubbing) to record dialog separately into a microphone after a scene is filmed.  The process results in clearer sound quality, but sometimes the words don’t synch perfectly to the lip movements.  Oh, well…it’s a fan film, the The Avengers.

You can view all of the Potemkin Pictures releases on their website.

And here are the latest two adventures of the crew of the USS Deimos

STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group releases their 12th fan film: “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE”!

Last week, I announced the release of the eleventh fan film, “Sepulchre,”  from the STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group from POTEMKIN PICTURES.  I noted that the previous tenth release had come out seven months earlier.  But now, the new twelfth release, “Pride and Prejudice,” has followed only ONE WEEK after the eleventh.  What gives?

I decided to go to the source and ask show-runner RANDY LANDERS.  I was quite surprised to learn the answer:

Back in August, I had a quadruple bypass which delayed post production on a number of our short films. We have never before held back releases, in fact, but we actually are this ti me.  We released “Sepulchre” as soon as it was ready, then released the follow-up “Pride and Prejudice” a week later.  “Pride and Prejudice” was actually ready for release in January.  For the same reason, we’re holding up the release of “Shattered Sky” (a Deimos film) until we finish up and release “Prodigal Daughter.”

It’s quite possible we will have four releases in March!

I asked Randy how he was doing after the bypass.  (My own father had a double bypass about three years ago and is still going strong).

I’m doing great. You can quote me, and report that two productions were filmed without me (“New Orders,” which was directed by Jason Furman, and “Sepulchre” which was directed by Lee Drew).  And “Pride and Prejudice” was directed by Christin Woods [who plays T’Noshi  -Jonathan] relieving me of that concern as well. I’m very proud of the work they did to get these productions completed.

I should also mention that this latest episode from the Tristan folk was written by WILLIAM C. SEARCY, who plays the fan-favorite character of the half-Vulcan Dr. Skep Anderson.

So please enjoy the second Potemkin Pictures fan film release in two weeks, “Pride and Prejudice”…

 

STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group releases their 11th fan film: “SEPULCHRE”!

The nice folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES now have five different Trek fan production teams producing new fan films, two teams with new series in post-production, and of course the completed series that started it all: PROJECT: POTEMKIN (with three dozen episodes).  You can watch everything from Potemkin Pictures on their website.

The first fan series to spin off from Project: Potemkin was STARSHIP TRISTAN, filmed in Pelham, Alabama where show-runner RANDY LANDERS is based.  It debuted in December of 2015, but six months later, the fan film guidelines prohibited ongoing fan series.  So Starship Tristan simply dropped their fan series name and began naming each new release with the title of that particular “episode.”

Their latest offering is a fan film called “Sepulchre” which runs ten and a half minutes.  Set in the post-TOS-movie-era, the series has built its own somewhat cramped bridge set and uses simplified long-sleeve shirts for uniforms.  But if you’re watching these productions for their big-budget quality, then you probably want Star Trek Continues down the hall.  These folks are more about the story, and this latest story is pretty decent.  In fact, if lengthened out and developed a little more, I could imagine “Sepulchre” easily being an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Although the first ten episodes of this fan-series-that-is-not-to-be-called-a-fan-series were released about once every 1 to 3 months, it’s actually been 7 months since the last new Tristan fan film.   However, in that time, there has been an interesting change that I noted.  Previously, all new releases were credited to the “Tristan Production Crew” or the “Potemkin Creative Team”—not really wanting to call too much undue attention to the previous fan series name.  Now the opening credits say “Produced by the STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group.”  Big step forward, in my opinion.  With luck, CBS won’t bat an eyelash.

And now, please enjoy Tristan’s latest fan production, “Sepulchre”…

Potemkin Pictures’ TRITON production crew releases its FIRST fan film: “New Orders”!

POTEMKIN PICTURES holds a truly unique distinction in the world of Star Trek fan films.  After several years of producing three dozen episodes of the fan series Project: Potemkin, the production company branched out to launch additional fan series: Starship Deimos, Starship Tristan, and Battlecruiser Kupok.  And this past July, the first episode premiered focusing on the crew of the USS Endeavour.

Overseeing these various series is RANDALL LANDERS, who began shooting Project: Potemkin back in 2010 in Albany, Georgia (here’s a great interview with him) and then moved to Pelham, Alabama, where he currently lives.  Randy serves as executive producer and edits just about all of the episodes.  He also directs some of the episodes, provides the occasional story and/or script, sound effects, and even makes the rare appearance in front of the camera.

Randy and his team are a fan film-making MACHINE!  For years, there was something new released from Potemkin Pictures at least once every month or two!  But things have slowed down recently.  Their last offering, an episode of the Klingon-based series Battlecruiser Kupok, was released at the end of August.   In the three and a half months since, we’ve seen nothing from any of the Potemkin series.

Then, late last week, there was a fan film release from a brand new Potemkin Pictures production crew: TRITON.  With the fan film guidelines now nixing ongoing fan series, this new offering is not called Starship Triton but rather is simply credited to the “Triton Production Crew.”  But one would assume that, like the other series, it will focus on the missions and crew of a single starship.

While most Trek fan films are set in TOS, TNG, or NX-01 periods, all of the Potemkin Pictures series (I mean “production crew projects”) are set in a time after Star Trek VI and before TNG.  This latest production focuses on Commander Janice Rand, recently reassigned from the USS Excelsior where she served with Captain Sulu.  Somewhat unavoidably—considering where the new series is filmed (Alabama)—Rand has developed a distinctive southern drawl.  But if you can get past that, this looks like a promising new fan series…even if we can’t call it a fan series.

You can access the entire nearly FIVE DOZEN fan films released thus far by Potemkin Pictures at their website.

And here is the first offering from the Triton Production Crew: “New Orders”…

BATTLECRUISER KUPOK production crew releases its fourth fan film: “The Soul of Honor”!

A bright and happy Q’Plah to everyone in fan film land!  The BATTLECRUISER KUPOK production crew from POTEMKIN PICTURES has just released the fourth fan film to feature the warrior crew from that honorable warship (pronounced “kuh-POOK”).

This time, there’s a wedding happening, and you’re invited.  But don’t start drinking the bloodwine just yet.  This wedding has some surprises in store.

Potemkin Pictures has multiple production teams all producing fan films featuring the crews of different starships, and “Team Kupok” is the only one to focus on a Klingon crew.  You can watch all the various fan films that Potemkin Pictures has released over the past seven years on their website.

And now, you are cordially invited to view their latest offering, “The Soul of Honor”…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “Seeing Red”!

And then there were ten…ten episodes of the don’t-call-it-a-fan-series from “Team Tristan” of POTEMKIN PICTURES.  One of now-seven different production crews producing original Star Trek fan films for Potemkin Pictures, the Pelham, Alabama-based Tristan Production Crew presents stories dealing exclusively with the missions of the U.S.S. Tristan, a Constellation-class starship in the late 23rd/early 24th century period of Star Trek.

All of Potemkin Pictures’ productions are ultra low-budget, using actors from the surrounding areas–a combination of drama students at local colleges, community theater folks, and others who just want to be a part of a fun Star Trek fan film project.

Their latest offering, the 8-minute “Seeing Red,” was shot entirely on location (not on pre-constructed sets, although they have a few of those, as well) using what’s available in the local Pelham area.  It’s a fun little look into an away mission with two crew members, one of whom is a gung-ho “red shirt.”  (You kinda have to forget that, during movie-era Trek, security personnel on starships wore dark hunter green and not red tunics.  Obviously, a title like “Seeing Dark Hunter Green” doesn’t work as well as “Seeing Red,” so just go with it.)

This short film is more action-packed than many of Team Tristan’s other releases of late, and it takes a few unexpected plot turns.  Not bad for ultra-low budget and (when you subtract opening and closing credits) just five minutes of actual story!

Take a look for yourself…

New fan series ENDEAVOUR releases its debut episode “The Gift”!

Okay, I know we’re not supposed to call it a “fan SERIES.”  After all, the guidelines specify that there are to be no ongoing fan series.  So instead, POTEMKIN PICTURES is simply producing a series of fan films, each with a different title, and each produced by a different production crew.

So the Potemkin Production Crew already finished a run of 36 fan films featuring the crew of the USS Potemkin.  The Tristan Production Crew has released 8 fan films telling stories of the crew of the USS Tristan.  The Deimos Production Crew has produced 5 fan films focusing on—you guessed it!—the crew of the USS Deimos.  And a final team, the Kupok Prodcution Crew, has told 3 stories of the crew of the Klingon Battlecrusier Kupok.

However, for the last 15 months or so, the Potemkin Pictures website had displayed an additional production crew (for the Endeavour) with no episodes released yet.  I assumed this was for a new series of fan films featuring the crew of the USS Endeavour (and it turns out I was right), but why was there such a delay?

Well, the wait finally ended last week when the Pelham, Alabama-based Endeavor Production Team released their first completed fan film, the 13-minute long “The Gift.”

I asked show-runner RANDY LANDERS about the long production schedule:

We filmed last June, and it took two extra months because of the extensive green screen work, some camera choices that had to be corrected in post, and because we were looking for fans who had an infant, who live nearby, and who would be willing to have their child on camera.  Our longer productions take 9-12 months.

Still having struggles with the green screen. But getting better.  

I hope y’all enjoy it. It is good family fare.

You care judge for yourself, folks.  Take a look at the first effort of a new fan FILM (don’t call it a fan SERIES!) from the Endeavour Production team…

BATTLECRUISER KUPOK production team releases its third fan film: “A GATHERING STORM”!

If you’re looking for Klingons in a Star Trek fan film, you can certainly find them…but it’ll take some work!  And usually the Klingons are just there to be the bad guys (at least in TOS and movie-era Trek fan productions).

But there is one production which guarantees a Klingon in every episode…and they’re not there just to be the bad guys.  Well, yeah, they are the bad guys, but not to their way of thinking!

BATTLECRUISER KUPOK (pronounced “kuh-POOK”) debuted in September of 2015 as the eighth episode (“The Battle Of Alawanir“) of the third season of the long-running fan series PROJECT: POTEMKIN. It was a unique episode, self-contained and presented with its own opening monologue:

Space…it is ours for the taking.  These are the missions of the Imperial Klingon Cruiser Kupok.  Its never-ending quest: to seize unclaimed worlds, to seek new cultures and species to serve us, and to further expand the Klingon Empire!

The idea was to create a fan series completely from the point of view of the Klingons, to show them in their “natural element” without any influence from or even interaction with Starfleet.

Their low-budget fan series was later given an independent run of its own the following March with the release of their second episode, “Sanctuary.”  A few months later, the fan film guidelines were released, and all of the Potemkin Pictures projects were forced to drop their series titles (like Starship Deimos, Starship Tristan, and of course, Battlecruiser Kupok) and instead treat every subsequent release as a new fan film with a completely new title.

Since then, the Deimos and Tristan production teams have released a combined total of nine new fan films (plus two that completed the run of Project: Potemkin), but nothing from the Kupok team…until now!

Based in Pelham, Alabama, Kupok‘s latest episode “A Gathering Storm” was written and directed by Potemkin show-runner RANDY LANDERS.  It asks the question: what happens when the Klingons try to conquer a planet full of Renaissance Faire attendees?  No, I’m just kidding!  Well, I’m KINDA kidding.

Oh, just see for yourself…

DEIMOS Production Crew releases their fifth episode: “No Greater Love”!

Anyone who says that Star Trek fan films are “dead” needs to get that message out to the fine folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES!  These guys continue to churn out new releases with the constancy of the north star and the inevitability of death and taxes!

Currently, two Potemkin Pictures production teams are working on a series of fan films featuring two different Starfleet crews.  Over in Georgia, the Starship Tristan production crew is currently in pre-production on their NINTH fan film.  And in Pelham, Alabama, the STARSHIP DEIMOS production crew has just released its FIFTH episode, the 14-minute “No Greater Love.”

Both productions use actors enrolled in drama programs at nearby academic institutions, along with other actors from local community theater.  As such, the performances of many who appear on camera in these two series tend to be slightly more elevated than your typical Trek fan film that uses only fans who are usually untrained in the performing arts.

“No Greater Love” is no exception.  Constrained by budgets, Potemkin Pictures concentrates primarily on character and st0ry-driven scripts.  The result is a fan film without the glitz and sizzle of the sleeker, higher-budget fan productions, but with a lot of heart and soulful performances.

So no, my friends, Star Trek fan films are not dead…not if Potemkin Pictures and show-runner RANDY LANDERS have anything to say about it!  You can read a 2-part interview that I did with Randy last year by clicking here.

And you can watch “No Greater Love” below…