STARSHIP TRISTAN gets a NEW CAPTAIN in their 13th fan film: “A Look in the Mirror”!

After a seven-month hiatus due to heart bypass surgery for POTEMKIN PICTURES‘ show-runner RANDY LANDERS, their parade of fan films came flooding back in March with the release of the eleventh and twelfth fan films from their Starship Tristan Creative Group…only one week apart!  This was followed by the release of two fan films from the Deimos Creative Group in May…only five days apart.  And last month, there was yet another fan film release for Deimos, their eighth total.

Well, it’s July, and that means it’s Tristan‘s turn again!  (Actually, Potemkin Pictures has SEVEN different active fan series at present, each in varying states of pre-production, production, and post production.  You can view all of their offerings at the Potemkin website.)

With this latest release , the titular Constellation-class starship now has a new captain, the former first officer, Lt. Commander Privette (played by Kimberly White).  I’d noticed that, over on Starship Deimos, that fan series had just gotten a new captain, as well (this one being Captain Mark Stone, played by actor Tony Anderson).

I asked Randy about this new game of “musical captains” that his main fan series seem to be playing lately…and also noted that, while a promotion from first officer to commanding officer isn’t unheard of, a rank jump from Lt. Commander directly to Captain is pretty significant.  Randy replied…

Tristan’s former Captain Walker (played by Keith Harris) has disappeared while on a mission, and the circumstances are quite mysterious.  Privette’s promotion came as quite a shock to both Lieutenant Commander T’Noshi and Lieutenant Commander Mycroft, and expect this to rear its head from time to time.

In real life, Keith stepped down, as the demands of the role of a ship’s captain are very challenging (Tristan films 4-6 times per year). Keith and I spoke about his return as Captain Walker in a much more limited capacity again only last week, and we look forward to his continued involvement with Potemkin Pictures once he recovers from a work-related injury.

Expect more cast and crew changes as our productions continue. Filming 12-15 times per year is very challenging to both our actors and our behind-the-scenes personnel.

We also expect to begin construction on our small shuttlecraft…I’m calling it a shuttle-coupe (LOL). It will be for two or three persons, and we’re hoping to begin its construction in September.

Here’s the latest adventure of the Tristan crew, “A Look in the Mirror”…

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”…

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…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “THE VOICE OF YOUR BLOOD”!

Chalk up yet another fan film release for the folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES!  This brings their total number of finished fan productions to (I think, because it’s easy to lose count) FIFTY-FIVE!  Their latest offering is from the Tristan Production Crew—which is based in Georgia (the other teams are in Alabama)—and provides fans another look at the adventures of the crew of the USS Tristan in the movie-era TOS time frame.

The 14-and-a-half-minute “The Voice of Your Blood” is the ninth completed fan film from the Tristan team.  It brings back WILLIAM C. SEARCY’s fan-favorite character of half-Vulcan Chief Medical Officer Skep Anderson.  (William also wrote this episode.)  Fans of the various Potemkin Pictures series will also enjoy an unexpected cameo by a cast member from one of their other productions.

You can watch all of the Tristan Production Crew’s episodes (along with the other four dozen or so Potemkin Picture releases) here on their website.

And here is “The Voice of Your Blood”…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “THE MONSTERS ARE WITH US”!

The folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES currently have two production teams actively releasing new Star Trek fan films.  The DEIMOS production crew has released four episodes so far, ranging from 6 to 15 minutes.  And the TRISTAN production crew (based in Pelham, Alabama where show-runner RANDY LANDERS lives) has just released their eighth episode: “The Monsters Are With Us.”

Like the rest of the several dozen films released over the past seven years by Potemkin Pictures, their budgets are meager, their costumes simple, and their sets minimal.  Their cast members are recruited from local drama programs at nearby colleges and from community theater actors.  But their stories have always been their strength, that this latest offering is no exception.  It’s a fun little exploration of first contact gone screwy, with a compelling mystery that doesn’t get resolved until the end.  I think that, given the right conditions, a story concept such as this one could have been expanded into the A-story of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Instead, we get a 14-minute, low-budget fan film with lots of heart.

It’s also worth noting that both Potemkin Pictures production teams have recently begun incorporating green screen compositing of actors against static backgrounds.  Although this method of placing characters into virtual “sets” has been used extensively in numerous fan films since the first episodes of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier back in 2000, the Potemkin Pictures production teams have relied almost exclusively on practical (physical) sets like a bridge and transporter platform, and on-location filming both indoors and outside.  I believe “The Monsters Are With Us” marks Team Tristan’s first foray into green screen, using it this time to create virtual corridors inside the Constellation-class starship Tristan.

You can watch the latest production below…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “DEPARTURES”!

The fan series that started out as STARSHIP TRISTAN (and is now no longer a fan series but rather a collection of individually-titled fan films) has released its latest, um, well, “episode” is now no longer an appropriate word either, come to think of it.  How about “offering”?

“DEPARTURES” is the latest adventure of the USS Tristan and her crew, produced by RANDY LANDERS for Potemkin Pictures, and filmed in Pelham, Alabama.  You can watch all of the offerings from the various productions teams at the Potemkin Pictures on their website: http://www.potemkinpictures.com/productions.html

And you can view “Departures” below…

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “BETWEEN TWO WORLDS”!

Okay, time to stop calling it STARSHIP TRISTAN.  Show-runner RANDY LANDERS told me there are no series or episodes, there are only individual fan films made by the various creative teams working under the POTEMKIN PICTURES “umbrella”: Tristan, Deimos, Kupok, and Endeavour.  The reason for this nominal change, of course, is the fan film guidelines that prohibit a fan film from releasing more than two 15-minute episodes of the same story “…with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.”

So the “elephant in the living room” (or “mugato in the cave”) question that I asked Randy was: if you’re being so careful to follow the guidelines, then why is this fan film 30 minutes long and not broken into two 15-minute parts?  Randy’s answer:

It was filmed over a year ago, and it is our understanding that the guidelines probably wouldn’t apply.

Fair enough (at least as far as I’m concerned).  Randy went on to tell me a little more about the making of this episode:

It was actually one of the first episodes we began filming once we moved here.  Nearly all the dialogue shot at the park had to be ADRed…

[re-recorded and dubbed over later – Jonathan]

…and in some cases dubbed by a different performer.  It was a challenging experience.  We had folks recording their lines on phones. That’s where you can really tell.  We’d’ve rather they’d returned to the studios for ADR, but that just wasn’t possible.

This is just a hobby for us, and real life and real jobs have to come first.

I always keep that last fact in mind when I watch the “low-budget” fan films.  While not as slick and polished as the studio-made films and series with the professional actors and production crew, fan films like those coming from Potemkin Pictures show heart and dedication and, most of all, fans just having fun.  For me, that’s extremely important.

Randy says the Tristan creative team currently has two films completely shot and now in post-production.  And there’s three more films in pre-production for 2017.  In the meantime, you can watch their latest release “Between Two Worlds” below or visit the website of Potemkin Pictures to catch up on all the episodes of their various series…oh, excuse me…to see all the independent fan films from the four creative teams.

 

The fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its fifth episode!

starship-tristan-logo-4So far, the four previous episodes of STARSHIP TRSITAN from Potemkin Pictures have ranged in length from six-and-a-half minutes to ten-and-a-half minutes.  (You can watch them all here.)  Their latest episode, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” has a 15-minute run time and a much larger cast than usual.  The episode was an ambitious endeavor that required a lot of on-location shooting.  It’s a very impressive effort.

William C. Searcy, who plays the lovable and colorful character of the half-Vulcan Dr. Skep Anderson, wrote the episode and produces the Georgia-based series.  Note that, from their second episode onward, in order to comply with the CBS/Paramount fan film guidelines, the series is no longer known officially as “Starship Tristan” and is instead just a collection of separate fan films, each with a different name (the title of the individual episode).  That said, Dr. Anderson has appeared before and will (hopefully!) appear again.  Will that constitute an “ongoing series” and violate guideline #1?  Hard to say, but it’s such a minor quibble, one would think the studios wouldn’t bother making a big deal of it since the series complies with all other guidelines.

At this time, according to the Potemkin Pictures website, two more episodes of this series have been filmed and are currently in post production.  With luck, we’ll be seeing them soon!

The fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its newest episode!

starship-tristan-logo-3Continuing a new tradition of renaming their fan series with each fresh episode release, the fan series formerly known as STARSHIP TRISTAN has posted their latest episode, “The Greater Good.

The renaming of the series is meant to keep their production in compliance with the CBS/Paramount fan production guidelines, which specify no ongoing series.  Technically, all the stories for Starship Tristan take place on the same Starfleet vessel, but so far, the characters have changed with each new episode released since the guidelines were published.

We’ll have to see what happens if/when the “series-that-isn’t-a-series” features its first recurrence of a character or characters.  But for now, the production continues to follow all the guidelines in terms of length (shorter than 15 minutes), budget (pretty much nothing), no professionals, no unlicensed prop or costume knock-offs, etc.  This latest episode is just a quiet conversation between two people, one of whom is from a canonical race of Trek pacifists, and he’s just had to kill someone in order to protect his people.  What kind of fallout follows such an act?

The fan series is from the folks at Potemkin Pictures, and they currently produce multiple series.  You can find all of their releases on their website.