5-in-5! STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its 16th fan film: “Distant Echoes, part two”!

Five fan film releases in five weeks!  Last week, POTEMKIN PICTURES had gone four-for-four, releasing a new fan film for three of their six (soon to be seven!) active fan series…including two from the STARSHIP TRISTAN creative group.  Well, make that THREE from Tristan, as “Distant Echoes, part two” completed their first-ever mutli-part episode late last week.

As explained previously, the run-time of the full episode was 18 minutes, above the 15-minute limit set forth in the fan film guidelines.  So the Potemkin folks decided to cut this fan film in two.

I asked show-runner RANDY LANDERS whether we’d be seeing a sixth new fan film next week…

This pretty much gets us caught up for the time being. (All hail the time being!)  We have six in post-production.  Oh, we shot one last Saturday.  Make it seven in post-production.  Two nearing completion.  We generally release six months after we film.

I then asked what “caught up” means….

“Caught up” is six releases.  It takes six months for a production to go from the completion of principal videography to release:

  • 1st month: capturing and editing
  • 2nd month: sound and ADR
  • 3rd month: final edit with sound (color correction and other tweaks are in the 3rd month as well)
  • 4th month: VFX guys
  • 5th month: music guys
  • 6th month: release

So if we have six in post, then we’re on target.  It’s a PROCESS. And it’s what works for us.  This is why so many fan films never make it.  They don’t know what to do after they shoot their movie.

Also, we use the 96% rule. If it’s good to the point of being 96%, then it’s time to move to the next step. The remaining 4% is not worth the expenditure of time and energy required to get to 100%.  That 4% is the law of diminishing returns.  That’s a harsh measure to produce by, but it’s what works for us.

I’m aware of everything in our films that’s not perfect, believe me. We have five producers with eagle eyes, but we ask ourselves: “Is the problem worth fixing?”  Most of the time, we can do it immediately. But when an actress or actor is not available for ADR or reshoots, then guess what? Time to cut your losses.

Coming up next: Endeavour and Kupok!

In the meantime, you can access all the dozens and dozens of Potemkin Pictures fan films from their website.  And check out the conclusion of “Distant Echoes” below…

STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its 15th fan film: “Distant Echoes, part one”!

Four weeks…four fan films.  Sounds like I’m talking about POTEMKIN PICTURES again!  These folks from Alabama are a veritable fan film factory, with SIX different fan series  from different creative groups all in active release…and a seventh series about to launch.

Over the past month, Potemkin Pictures first debuted its newest fan series from the Hospital Ship Marie Curie Creative Group.  A week later came the 14th fan film from the Starship Tristan Creative Group.  And a week after that, fans saw the release of the second film from the Starship Triton Creative Group…complete with a record number of Orions!

And now it’s week four, and we’re back to the Constellation-class Starship Tristan.  In this latest episode, we see most of the crew, with a spotlight on its captain, Eva Privette, played by KIMBERLY WHITE.  She’s got a lot of lines, and all were memorized.  (In some of the more “grass roots” fan films, cast members with large amounts of dialog don’t/can’t learn all their lines and instead read from cue cards or scripts off-camera…and sometimes this can be very obvious.)  Potemkin Pictures tries to use, when possible, students from local drama programs and people from community theater who have studied acting.

What’s notable about this latest offering is that it’s the first time any Potemkin Pictures production has been divided into a part one and part two.  Show-runner RANDY LANDERS explained to me that the full run-time for “Distant Echoes” was 18 minutes, over the 15-minute time limit imposed by the fan film guidelines.  So part one ends at the 9:40 mark. “We chose not to risk the ire of CBS,” Randy said.  “The second part will be our next release, possibly by month’s end.”  If that happens, then it’ll be five fan films in five straight weeks!

All episodes of the various Potemkin Pictures series can be accessed from their website.  You can watch the latest release from Starhsip Tristan below…

STARSHIP TRISTAN releases its 14th fan film: “Deception”!

Well, it’s been a week since the last fan film release from POTEMKIN PICTURES…so I guess it’s time for another!

Actually, the goal for show-runner RANDY LANDERS is to release twelve new fan films per year from their various creative teams.  Last week featured the debut episode of their newest fan series Hospital Ship Marie Curie.  This week, we return to the series that has the most releases of any of the Potemkin Pictures projects (that are still in active production): STARSHIP TRISTAN.  Their initial fan series, Project: Potemkin, holds the record currently with 36 completed episodes, but that production is no longer releasing new episodes.

The latest installment in the adventures of the Constellation-class USS Tristan (during “movie era” Star Trek time) shines a spotlight on fan favorite character T’Noshi, played by actress CHRISTIN WOODS.  Her Vulcan character initially debuted way back in the early days of Project: Potemkin and remains a part of the Potemkin Pictures fan film “factory” even now nearly half a decade later.

Their budgets are, of course, ultra-low…and the on-location “sets” don’t have a lot of dressing.  In fact, in this latest episode, you can even see an “EXIT” sign in the background in one scene.  But that’s not why these folks do it.  For them, it’s all about the love of Star Trek and the fun of creating a fan film that starts from an idea, becomes a script, and then through a lot of hard work and persistence, emerges months later as a completed film.  It’s the joy of creating something no one has ever seen before, and now you and others get to see it for yourselves.

All episodes of the various Potemkin Pictures series can be accessed from their website.  You can watch the latest release from Starhsip Tristan below…

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 time.  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…