Hey, guess who developed the Warp Seven engine? Me, that’s who!
Well, that’s not entirely true. I had help (will have help?) from my NX-Zeta project team, and from MARK NACARRATO, the show-runner of the upcoming fan production THE ROMULAN WAR. Oh, and it wasn’t really me; it was Lieutenant Geoffrey Christopher of the United Earth Space Probe Agency. But he looks and sounds a lot like me.
I suppose I should back up a few steps and explain what the heck I’m talking about…
For those of you unfamiliar with The Romulan War, it’s going to be an amazing Trek fan film picking up where Star Trek: Enterprise left off…at the beginning of the war between the Coalition of Planets and the Romulan Empire. Filming on the production is all but completed, and now the finishing touches of post production—editing, VFX, sound, music, etc.—are being applied. Release is planned for 2019.
Of course, with the limitations of the fan film guidelines, it would be nearly impossible to recount the entire war…despite using a “mock” documentary style similar to Prelude to Axanar. So Mark came up with an interesting idea to push the envelope a bit—WAR STORIES. These are short vignettes that are essentially audio dramas…just with a little something “extra” added: images with simple animations. These “enhanced” audio dramas are presented as the logs of various Starfleet officers who served during the war, and the logs are accompanied by computer readouts and archival photos with some short video clips. Less than a full fan film but more than a simple audio drama.
Last August, Mark released the first War Stories, the two-part “Sleep Is Hard to Find.” If you go to that blog page, you’ll see that yours truly provided some of the Photoshop work to get the actors’ faces onto NX-era uniforms. A month later, Mark released the second War Stories, “They Want Us Dead.” That one didn’t require my Photoshop services, but the third release, “Final Flight,” did.
I’m beginning to really, really love these enhanced audio dramas that are being released by MARK NACCARATO as a lead-in to his highly anticipated THE ROMULAN WAR fan film! The project itself managed to take in over $12,000 in a recent Indiegogo (and is now trying to reach $14,000 to cover the cost of new live-action footage shot in Australia along with new CGI). And the full fan film itself is supposed to be released very soon.
But in the meantime, Mark has released a series of “enhanced” audio dramas under the banner The Romulan War: “War Stories.” These are personal log entries from those serving in Starfleet during the Romulan War with Earth that led to the founding of the United Federation of Planets in the mid-22nd century. The idea is to tell the “smaller” stories of war, while the main fan film tells the “big” story.
And what are “enhanced” audio dramas? Like most audio dramas, the actors record their lines vocally, without a video camera running. But rather than just playing back the audio over a black screen or a single image or even a series of images, there is actually an ongoing video the whole time, some with simple 2D animation, some with video footage, and some even with 3D CGI.
Mark’s first release was made available to the public about a month ago, the two-part “Sleep Is Hard To Find” (you can view it here). Now the second release is a one-parter entitled “They Want Us Dead,” and it’s riveting. I really mean that. An intense and gripping vocal performance was turned in by actress GINNY WELSCH, who has extensive experience with voice work, over a brilliant script written by ANDREW J. LUCAS, who previously penned multiple episodes of the just-completed The Romulan Wars (plural) fan series.
You’ll probably recognize some footage in the video “borrowed” from a number of familiar cinematic sci-fi sources. Whether or not the studios who own that footage will care about or bother with a small fan film getting a few hundred views is anyone’s guess. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the production…
And remember that you can still donate to the “in demand” Indiegogo campaign to help them reach $14,000…
One of my favorite things about Star Trek is that there are so many stories still waiting to be told…not only about the crews of the USS Enterprise or Voyager or Deep Space Nine but all over Starfleet, the Federation, the Klingon Empire…the entire Milky Way Galaxy! It’s one of the reasons I love fan films so much, as they explore that special universe that I cherish.
I also find myself truly intrigued with how we get/got/will get from here to there…not just the triumphs that built the Federation but also the struggles and even the failures. It’s why I’m such a fan of Axanar, and why I’m so looking forward to the upcoming Pacific 201 and First Frontier, both filling in some of the missing details about major turning points in the history of the United Federation of Planets.
And it’s why I can’t wait to see the new fan production THE ROMULAN WAR.
War stories, if done right, can be very compelling. They test the characters, twist them into unrecognizable shapes, and spit them out…sometimes for the better but all-too-often for the worse. How do we survive war? How do we fight? What decisions do we make that might have been unimaginable to us during peacetime?
There are just some of the questions that are asked in a fascinating new “enhanced” audio drama just released in the lead-up to the debut of The Romulan War fan film series.
I don’t usually cover audio dramas—not because I don’t enjoy them but simply because I don’t have the time to cover both audio dramas AND fan films. But in this case, I’m making an exception because 1) The Romulan War will be a fan film soon, and 2) this isn’t “just” an audio drama.
While some audio dramas feature still images in a slide-show format over the dialog, The Romulan War series “WAR STORIES” goes a step farther. Rather than try to explain it, let me just show you their first 2-part audio episode: “Sleep Is Hard To Find”…