STARSHIP CALIBORN launches with WAR TARG! (interview with BILLY SWANSON)

POTEMKIN PICTURES has been a fan film “nursery” ever since 2015 when it launched a second fan series STARSHIP TRISTAN, to join its flagship series PROJECT: POTEMKIN, which began back in 2010. Tristan was followed by STARSHIP DEIMOS, then BATTLECRUISER KUPOK, STARSHIP TRITON, STARSHIP ENDEAVOUR, HOSPITAL SHIP MARIE CURIE, and STARSHIP ALEXANDER. Some lasted longer than others. While Tristan and Deimos have released about 20 fan films each, Kupok has released only six, Triton and Marie Curie both had four, Endeavour three, and Alexander only one.

Part of the reason some of these groups folded was due to the move of Potemkin Pictures showrunner RANDY LANDERS (and his homemade sets) from Pelham, Alabama to Lexington, Kentucky in 2019. While some actors and filmmakers are still willing to make the longer drive, others have moved on.

But just because you move the chicken, that doesn’t mean she stops laying eggs. (If that isn’t an idiom, it should be!) Not that I’m suggesting Potemkin Pictures is laying any eggs, mind you!!! But Randy is birthing a whole new crop of creative groups, each with their own starship…or warship. The first out of the Lexington launch bay was the crew of the STARSHIP WEBSTER, and they’ve already completed and released EIGHT fan films less than two years! And in May of 2022, Potemkin Pictures teamed up with NATURE’S HUNGER and RELIC FILMS to release FIREHAWK. And gearing up for its debut in the near future is the new Klingon-based IMPERIAL SCOUT QAB’ELTH team.

Wow, just listing all that is nearly an entire blog just by itself! (You can access all 100-plus Potemkin Pictures films from their website.)

But there’s one group I’ve left out: STARSHIP CALIBORN—and they’ve just premiered their first fan film, WAR TARG. Caliborn spun off from Webster thanks to one the latter’s lead actor, BILLY SWANSON, wanting to become a showrunner himself…along with a captain! Webster‘s second release, A VOICE IN THE DARK, filmed at the height of the pandemic as a one-man show, highlighted Billy’s strong acting abilities. He’s gone on to appear in four of the five subsequent Webster releases, playing executive officer Commander Robert Hawkins.

But now it’s time to Hawkins to get a command of his own, and you can watch his first mission here…

As you can see, Captain Hawkins isn’t your typical starship captain (as if any captain is “typical”)! And Billy Swanson isn’t your typical showrunner. Or maybe he is. There’s only one way to find out…

Let’s interview him!

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STARSHIP WEBSTER invites you to a LANDING PARTY…but wear your MASK! (interview with RANDY LANDERS)

Chalk up another fan film release for POTEMKIN PICTURES, and the fifth in just over a year for the STARSHIP WEBSTER Creative Group. The Lexington, Kentucky-based team of actors is the eighth such group to assemble for Potemkin releases, and as you’ll discover in today’s interview with showrunner RANDY LANDERS, they won’t be the last!

Their latest release is a fun little jaunt that includes a bunch of Gorn, a landing party, and less than five minutes of actual footage shot on location in Belleau Woods Park in Lexington. Who says you can’t make a fan film that runs less than 15 minutes???

But what I found particularly intriguing was the use of “breather masks” for the Webster planetary reconnaissance team. During this time of COVID, masking up is an effective way to stay safe—but it doesn’t always make for good cinema. After all, unless you’re Darth Vader or Spider-Man, you kinda need your face in order to act and show emotions. However, when masks work in your story, they can serve multiple purposes in addition to keeping the cast COVID-safe.

First of all, they add a little bit of “real science” into your science fiction, since the odds are actually very slim that every alien planet you visit will contain a class-M breathable oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. And second, if you’re filming outdoors and don’t have good mics or sound equipment, masks allow you to record dialog later on (a process known as ADR) and not have to tear your hair out trying to make certain that the dubbed dialog matches the lip movements from the original footage.

“Breather masks” were used for the first time during the pandemic about a year ago by the fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION in their film “We Are Many.” Now they appear in the latest release from Starship Webster: “Landing Party. Take a look…

With 58.5% of the country’s population fully vaccinated, many fan filmmakers have gone back into production without masks—at least when the cameras are running. (I know of several that are still requiring crew on set to be masked and actors to be masked while not actively filming a scene.) So I was a little curious about what prompted the Webster team to mask up in front of the camera, as well. And for that, as usual, I reached out to Randy Landers…

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